As a general-purpose development language, Visual Basic includes gobs of features that allow you to develop just about any type of application supported by Microsoft Windows platform. As such, all of its features could never be covered in a concise, 20- or 30-page chapter, and I won't try. What I will do in this chapter is introduce you to the basics of the language, and its core features. Features not covered in this chapter are discussed throughout the rest of the book. It has to be that way, because I don't want you to finish this chapter, and then say to yourself, "That Tim Patrick is so amazing. I learned all I needed to know about Visual Basic in one chapter; I didn't even have to read the rest of the book." My publisher would not be amused.
In the remainder of this chapter, I will take the "from the inside out" approach, starting the discussion with the core concepts of logic and data, and adding layer after layer of Visual Basic functionality as you turn the pages.