Back in 1991, Microsoft released the Visual Basic (VB) programming language for Windows 3. For many years profession programmers, such as myself, ridiculed the language as an undisciplined (and some might say potentially dangerous) toy.
One of VB’s redeeming features was its drag-and-drop Graphical User Interface (GUI), developed by Alan Cooper of Tripod. This feature of the IDE (Integrated Development Environment) represented a highly productive approach to User Interface design and development. I regard it as being one of, if not the, initiator of renewed interest in the Rapid Application Development (RAD) approach.
RAD, arguably, has evolved into what we know today as Agile development. The RAD technology space grew quickly and included products such as Sybase (then PowerSoft) PowerBuilder (1992) and Borland Delphi (1995), all with their slightly different techniques. Even IBM had a go with Visualizer – what a product!
A couple of VB’s other key features include; Object-based (almost prototypical Object-Orientation in nature) and Event Driver programming paradigms. Microsoft tightened up VB through the introduction of the “Option Explicit” statement, which forced the declaration of variables before use. Sounds a bit like the “use strict” statement to me.
Both VB and JS are scripting (or interpreted) languages (familiar chime). As VB grew in popularity a marketplace of 3rd party components started to form – and there is the last commonality in this piece.