Microsoft Small Basic, the entry-level programming language meant to help make programming accessible to beginners, has just been updated to v. 0.9, the most stable release ever.
According to news from the Small Basic blog, the compiler and runtime have been completely overhauled resulting in a huge performance gain. Some tight loop programs run up to 4 times faster than previous versions, it’s noted. The new version also includes a ton of bug fixes and several of the most-requested features, too. And Small Basic documents now get a default file extension of .smallbasic (instead of .sb which conflicted with MIT’s Scratch).
For non-English users, the other big news is the inclusion of the first right-to-left language: Arabic. Also new are Dutch and Polish, bringing the localized language count to 15.