September 11th 2000 is the date the SharpDevelop project was launched. It all began with Mike Krüger testing out the first public release of what was to become .NET Framework 1.0. As no IDE was (publicly) available at that time, he decided to write a code editor that could at least run the compiler. In its first alpha release, there were already code templates, a customizable tool menu, syntax highlighting, a project explorer and more.
From that base onwards, the project grew over time to what it is now. The growth certainly was not painless at times – rewriting when new .NET versions (betas in the early days all of them) came out, long discussions of new features to implement, countless acres of flip chart paper spent in discussions… SharpDevelop’s growth brought us an addIn architecture, localization to users’ languages, rising numbers of users and contributors.
Since then, tons of features have been added which we will not list here as we want to celebrate with you, not bore you to death. The timeline can be found online on our site in any case. However, if you indeed are historically inclined, take a look at our Web site on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine! You can find screenshots from old versions, or even download old versions (0.60 seems to be the oldest one available).
What does the future hold for SharpDevelop? The near term future will see us completing the Beta cycle for version 4.0, with Beta 3 shipping later this month. In addition to that, the service release SharpDevelop 3.2.1 is pending (currently waiting only for IronPython 2.6.2 to be available). Further out is work on version 5.0, codenamed "Zimnitz". The first discussions about feature set and architectural changes have happened in July at our annual developer meeting in Bad Ischl. If you want to chime in, feel free to do so on our forums!