Fortran vs Visual Basic - ByteScout

Fortran vs Visual Basic

In the world of programming languages, there have always been comparisons for languages. Which one is best? Which one should I use? And so on!

In this article, we will explore two popular programming languages: Fortran vs Visual Basic.

  1. Is Visual Basic and Fortran relevant now?
  2. Fortran Vs Visual Basic Key Differences
  3. Conclusion

Both the programming languages are old and were most relevant when they came out. But, with time, both of them have seen less real-world usage due to more readable and friendly high-level programming levels such as Python, Java, and others.

The best way to compare them is to first see their relevance in 2020.

Cobol vs Fortran

Is Visual Basic and Fortran relevant now?

Visual Basic was released by Microsoft, a 3rd generation event-driven programming language. It utilized the Component Object Model(COM). Visual basic has already been declared legacy in 2008 by Microsoft, which means that it is not used commercially.

Visual Basic lost its charm mainly because of the good alternatives out there. There are many good APIs that offer native web support and an easy way to code apps. Its usage is also limited to desktop application interface design.

The design element that worked two decades ago is not relevant anymore. For example, the VB arrays are not as efficient or feature-rich when compared to say JavaScript. This also makes it not so ideal for web applications where you need to create an Active X control and then run it as a web applet. The only good use of Visual Basic is its ability to create stand-alone Windows x86 desktop applications which take less time to compile and execute compared to modern programming languages.

For Fortran, the story is different. It is now rarely used in the industry. However, it truly comes into the limelight for large-scale simulations or other scientific endeavors. There are libraries such as Open MPI, which enable development in two different programming languages, enabling parallelizing code. This means that you can take advantage of Fortran’s speed and execution and other languages for a better development experience.

In short, Fortran is mostly used by physicists. It is also commonly used by hobbyists who relish it as a historical anachronism.

Fortran Vs Visual Basic Key Differences

Now that we have explored Fortran vs Visual Basic relevance, we are now ready to learn more about its difference.

If you are in a hurry, then you can check out the comparison table between Fortran and Visual Basic.

Fortran Visual Basic
Relevance Still used in scientific applications Rarely used
Uses Mostly for scientific applications, computations, and simulations. Mainly used for business and commercial applications
Environment  Multi-platform including Windows, Linux, and MAC Windows and Web
Object-Oriented Programming Doesn’t support OOP Supports OOP features
GUIs Doesn’t support GUI creation Supports GUI creation
Performance Old Fortran versions offer high performance Not that efficient when it comes to performance.
Library Huge library Decent library
  • We already covered relevance and found out that both Fortran and Visual Basic are rarely used in current development ecosystems.
  • The main use-case of Fortran is scientific computations and applications. Visual Basic on the other hand is mainly used for commercial and business applications.
  • The environment supported by Fortran includes Windows, Linux, and MAC. In short, it is multi-platform. Visual Basic is Windows-specific which can also be used to create web applications.
  • As Fortran is an old programming language, it doesn’t support object-oriented programming(OOP). Visual Basic, on the other hand, supports OOP features that enable developers to create programs faster.
  • Visual Basic offers GUI creation features. Fortran doesn’t support GUI creation.
  • When it comes to performance, Fortran is top-notch. However, the latest versions of Fortran can be slower compared to the older versions. Hence, the latest Fortran should only be used for non-critical missions. Visual Basic, on the other hand, is not performance-oriented and should not be used for critical missions or applications.
  • When it comes to the library, Fortran offers a huge library routine that offers routines for both heavy-duty computation and standard routine. VB simply lacks the variety and scale for its library.


There is no doubt that both Fortran and Visual Basic are both old programming languages. Both of them have something to offer. But, that said, Fortran still has some deep impacts on the scientific community compared to Visual Basic on Windows or web community.

Microsoft pulled the plugin from VB in 2008. From there, it saw less interaction from the community. Fortran, on the other hand, has a small scientific community backing it up, making it still popular there.

So, what do you think about both the programming language? Comment below and let us know.

We hope that you completely understood the difference between Visual Basic and Forton.


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