Goodbye to Line Continuation Characters


The Microsoft MVP Summit is fast approaching. The last
couple of years they’ve hired a rock band and sang Karaoke.
My friend Keith Elder has a great voice, so for fun I
tweaked the Green Day Lyrics to Good Riddance. Permit my
stab at hilarity and good fun. Maybe Keith will belt it out
for me, so I can laugh my butt off. Keith’s forte’ is
country, so then again maybe he won’t.

Good Redmonce [Sing to Green Day’s Good Riddance]

Another turning point, a fork stuck in your toe
Time grabs you by the brain, directs you where to go
So make the best of this, and don’t ask Redmond why
It’s not a question, but a cluster lost in time
It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right
The Summit was the time of your life.
So take the Photoshop, and crop the friends you find
Add them to Facebook and say these friends are mine
Tattoos of memories dead brain cells on trial
For what it’s worth it was worth all the while
It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right.
The Summit was the time of your life.

It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right.
The Summit was the time of your life.

It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right.
The Summit was the time of your life

The good thing about this Summit and right now is that
VS2010 beta 2 is out, a lot of the technology is in the
public domain, so we can start exploring the new release and
the new framework together.

A History of Basic

I tweaked my first BASIC code in 1978. It was ROM BASIC
on a TRS 80, dubbed the trash 80. This was about three years
after Microsoft was formed in 1975. (I had a couple thousand
dollars in Savings Bonds. Ah, had I only purchased Microsoft
stock a few short years later I would be writing from my
villa in Spain. I can’t complain the Microsoft contagion has
been very good to me.) The program I tweaked was a simple
tank game, slightly more complicated than pong. (Remember

I found video games the year after, but ignored computers
until 1987. My parents used to worry video games would rot
my brain, but combined with being an avid reader my
interested in computers has served me well.

Since 1978 and after from 1987 until now I have
programmed in just about every VB language imaginable. PIC
Basic, GW-BASIC, Visual Basic for DOS, BASIC for DOS 7.1,
Visual Basic for Windows, and .NET.

Sometimes Basic feels clunky and cumbersome, but Basic
has been very good to me. I am a VB MVP and have been for
six years. I have written several books on Basic, and have
had a long-running column, VB Today, for eleven years. Basic
today is a long way away from its roots. Today you can do
anything for Windows or the web that you want to. You can
write really powerful OO code or just use Basic
perhaps as some of us always have–click and code. The
latter way is the way that will provide your solutions with
the greatest flexibility and power, but ultimately it is an
individual choice how you use Basic.

Goodbye Line Continuation Characters

One very simple change is that the line continuation
character is no longer required. You know that simple yet
annoying _ at the end of each line that we have probably
typed a million times. I sometimes seem to upset hard core
VBers by saying things like the line continuation character
sucks, but it does suck. (It especially sucks if you write
code for books and have to adjust them in code for
pagination in print.)

VB is still VB even if it slowly becomes less
differentiable from C# over time. It is a good language and
very programmer friendly.


The only constant is change. Upgrade to Visual Studio
2010. Just getting rid of line continuation is enough for
me, but upgrade so you can use LINQ, Parallel constructs,
the new and improved Entity Framework features and all of
the cool features in VS2010. And thank you for reading all
of these years.

About the Author

Paul Kimmel is the VB Today columnist for CodeGuru and has written
several books on object-oriented programming and .NET. Check
out his upcoming book Professional DevExpress ASP.NET
(from Wiley) now available on and
fine bookstores everywhere. Look for his upcoming book
Teach Yourself the ADO.NET Entity Framework in 24
(from Sams). You may contact him for technology
questions at [email protected]
. Paul Kimmel is a Technical Evangelist for
Developer Express, Inc, and you can ask him about Developer
Express at [email protected]
and read his DX blog at http://

More by Author

Must Read