Microsoft Visual Studio Express

Microsoft has released the FREE versions of their Visual Studio Suite. I downloaded it because I maintain a bunch of small Visual Basic applications and I use Visual Studio to do this. You can also get a very powerful web page editor and C# and C++ development environments.

I do entirely too much work in Java, which Microsoft does not support. I wish that it did because I find Eclipse, JBuilder and other development environments clunky and not intuitive. This is probably because Java itself has become so clunky and counter intuitive.

I came to the Visual studio editing environment way back when it was still VB version 2. It has grown, but I still think that it is the king of editors. I much prefer it to any other editor. That being said, it is the least used of the editors on my machine. I use Notepad++ for most things. I use Dreamweaver when I need to tweak a web page gui. I use Eclipse for new Java development and I use JBuilder for my older Java apps where I have already built a complex project.

If you are a student and wish to learn VB, by all means download the VB component and go through the tutorials. That’s how I got started and I eventually wrote a dozen or more huge systems using VB.

If you publish web pages and need a serviceable web editor then download the internet developer component. It has way too many bells and whistles, but it gives you total control over the web page including extensive CSS editing. Just make sure that you test the results in FireFox, and please don’t use any Front Page specific code on the pages.