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This article is more than just a simple change log. It describes the history of AutoIt by travelling back in time and using all kind of sources to describe how AutoIt became what it is now. Enjoy!


October, 1998: Jon was working on a project to automate the installation of Windows NT 4 for a company, Jon had difficulties with installing some components which didn't take parameters from external programs, so Jon was searching for a program which could force button clicks and he found Microsoft ScriptIt but Jon found that it was extremely unreliable.
Jon said:

"It was notoriously fussy about the speed of the machine it was used on and had no way to control the key delays between keystrokes. Another feature that caused problems was that there was no way to specify a working directory when running a program which caused loads of problems with many of the applications I was scripting. Also, some of the functions didn't work under NT 5 beta (i.e. Windows 2000)".

25 December, 1998: Jon decided to make a program (AutoIt v1) in C as a better alternative to Microsoft ScriptIt.

January, 1999: AutoIt v1 was released on WinFiles.com (now download.cnet.com).
WinFiles.com (no longer exists)

From the official v1.0 helpfile:

  • It's much smaller at 40Kb (600Kb smaller than ScriptIt).
  • It will be updated if problems are found.
  • The "Reveal" function is much better.
  • Non-active as well as active windows can be waited for.
  • Variable delays are possible (defined in milliseconds).
  • The time in between keystrokes can be altered.
  • When running an application, a working directory can be specified.
  • Will force Windows to be active under Win98/NT 5.0 (Use "WinActivate")
  • The "[ADLIB]" section is not implemented.
  • The script file must be formatted correctly (no white spaces allowed on lines containing a command).
  • None of the Wilson WinBatch commands are featured. (But who used them anyway?).
  • Due to the command names I've used, the scripts tend to be a little larger.

January - April, 1999: AutoIt v1.8 was released with many cool features like:

  • Cool /reveal mode
  • Goto!
  • IfWin...
  • Mouse control
  • ScriptIt ADLIB-like support
  • Gosub
  • %ENV% variable support

August, 1999: AutoIt v2 was released with the first version of AutoItX.

September, 1999: AutoIt v2.1 was released along with first version of Aut2Exe.

22 December, 1999: hiddensoft.com (First official site of AutoIt) was registered.
hiddensoft.com (First official site of AutoIt)

September, 1999 - May, 2001: Rapid development in AutoIt with loads of additional function.

May, 2001: The AutoIt source code was a mess and the entire source was re-written in C++.

January, 2002: First version of Exe2Aut & AutoIt DLL was created.

December, 2002: AutoIt v2.64 (last version of AutoIt v2) was released with new FileInstall function after writing his (Jon) own compression and archive library.

20 January, 2003: Jon decided to start work on development framework of AutoIt v3, since AutoIt v2 had some flaws.
Jon said:

"Very little development was done from 2001 to 2003. Project had reached the point where I'd lost the will to work on it. The source code was a mess again because in this sort of project you tend to add on every function that everyone wants without thinking about the future. The AutoIt v2 syntax was really horrible.

Half the requests I got were for proper loops and expressions - half of the questions were "how do I use a backslash in a Run command". Arrgh. In this time there were numerous "add-ons" like Aut2xtra created by Larry that allowed the use of some of the missing functions from AutoIt (because I hadn't the time or motivation to add them).

IIRC Larry suggested that he was frustrated with the lack of development and suggested writing a new version. I decided that if a new version was wanted then it should be more like a "proper" language. I started the development framework for AutoIt v3.

Previous versions were very strict about syntax it was "Command, param1, param2,..." and it took about a month to come up with something that could read in a line containing complex expressions (a whooooole lot of googling required). Although I "get" it now, writing the expression code in AutoIt was the 2nd hardest thing I'd ever done. (Hardest thing I've written was the compression code used in Aut2Exe that I wrote from scratch)

Most of the current devs starting helping out soon after this point. I forget when each person starting helping so hopefully they can fill in here."

4 March, 2003: First (beta) version of AutoIt v3 was released.

20 August, 2003: Started logging of AutoIt version history.

February, 2004: First version of AutoIt v3.0.100 was released.

5 May, 2004: AutoItScript.com was registered.
AutoItScript.com was registered.

12 August, 2006: AutoIt switched to closed source from GPL because other developers were using AutoIt source's to make a rival language as a competitor to AutoIt.


Input for this article has been taken from many sources. Amongst them are: