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Silver Anniversary for Visual Basic

A belated 25th birthday to Visual Basic. Yes, 25 years ago, this language transformed the Windows app market in ways even Microsoft could not have imagined.

A belated 25th birthday to Visual Basic. Yes, 25 years ago last week, the Visual Basic programming language made its public debut at the Windows World 1991 event in Atlanta, Georgia. It was borne out of a project from a newly formed research and development group at Microsoft, specifically for streamlining the development of applications on the popular Windows 3.x using what was at the time a genuinely clever idea: GUI development using a GUI.

Microsoft's Andy Green blogs about the auspicious introduction of the programming language on May 20 so many years ago. It's not hard to find a video on YouTube of former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates in his early awkward keynote speaker days running down features of the VB (it starts at the 2:14 mark of the linked video).

Visual Basic has come a long way, but a search of developer language surveys shows that developers might not be coding in VB as much as C# or other Microsoft languages. Even so, Microsoft says it continues to plan its future.

What that future is, is hard to tell, however. Despite what I wrote back in 2014, every day that passes without any news on VB improvements from the Visual Studio team reinforces my suspicions that there is not much going forward, that developers are ready to move on to other, more capable, more efficient languages. There's not much information on VB or VB.NET or VB.next or whatever Microsoft will be calling the next one. Even more ominous is the fact that under Languages on Microsoft's Server & Tools blogs, Visual Basic is missing.

Where's VB? [Click on image for larger view.]

In any event, one anomaly does not make for a conspiracy, and any proof of VB's future can be cleared up with some late-breaking news on enhancements (with my luck, Microsoft will announce something right after I post this). 

So, with that, here's to VB making it to 25. And may there be many, many more, at least that's the hope, right?

Here are ten more links I've run across that might be useful to you, in no particular order and definitely not conforming to any particular theme:

File Read/ Write Operation In WinJS Applications Using Windows Runtime Component (C# Corner) -- Access native C# methods and use them in WinJS apps with this tip

MyDriving – An Azure IOT and Mobile sample application (Microsoft Azure) -- Mobile app here doesn't apply to phone and other devices, but the four-wheeled kind

How Microsoft does DevOps (Microsoft Premier Developer) -- Dogfooding Devops

Building Applications Using the Azure Container Service (Channel 9) -- Trying to make you forget about Docker

A practical overview of Service Fabric (Franky's Notes) -- A cheat sheet; go ahead, you can look

30 Days of Zumo.v2 (Azure Mobile Apps): Day 10 – Middleware (Adrian Hall) -- There's no escaping extensibility or middleware

Test driving C# 7 features in Visual Studio "15" Preview (thomaslevesque.com) -- On local functions and ref returns and ref calls

C#/.NET Little Wonders Anthology (James Michael Hare) -- desc

Releasing F# Language Documentation as Open-Source (.NET Blog) -- Make and suggest changes to the documentationt that no one ever reads

Here Come the Coding Robots (ADTmag.com) -- They're ready to take your jobs

Know of an interesting link, or does your company have a new or updated product or service targeted at Visual Studio developers? Tell me about it at [email protected].

About the Author

Michael Domingo is a long-time software publishing veteran, having started up and managed several developer publications for the Clipper compiler, Microsoft Access, and Visual Basic. He's also managed IT pubs for 1105 Media, including Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine and Virtualization Review before landing his current gig as Visual Studio Magazine Editor in Chief. Besides his publishing life, he's a professional photographer, whose work can be found by Googling domingophoto.

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