jordan.terrell
Just trying to make sense of things...

Is Visual Basic, the language, in its golden years?

Monday, 12 November 2007 11:26 by jordan.terrell

I may be setting up myself for a flame war, but I just had to ask this question.

Visual Basic has been around for some time, and will soon be releasing version 9.0 of the language.  Visual Basic has gone through two major platform shifts - first with the move to COM, and then with the move to .NET.  Through each of these shifts, the language has had to change to participate in these platform changes.  When I recall the 1.0 release of .NET, many Visual Basic 6 programmers viewed VB.NET as an entirely different language because sheer number of changes to the language.  However, many have successfully transitioned to the .NET platform and continued to move forward.

However, look at the new features in VB 9.0 - I have to say, in my opinion, the language is starting to look quite bloated - especially when you look at the XML literals features.

Can Visual Basic continue to survive shifts in platform directions, especially with the continued functional and dynamic focus of languages such as C#, F#, IronPython and IronRuby?

Is Visual Basic in its golden years?  What do you think?

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Comments (3) -

November 12. 2007 13:48

Matt Blodgett

I definitely would not start any new development in VB at this point.  Most of the good .NET developers I know dislike VB and would much rather work with C#.

Matt Blodgett

November 12. 2007 18:01

Jordan Terrell

Matt - I totally agree with you, as I have not done any Visual Basic development since roughly 2002.  I see most of the language innovations coming from languages such as C#, F#, and Iron* - and VB just tagging along trying to keep up.

-Jordan

Jordan Terrell

November 12. 2007 20:24

Dilip

Outside of LINQ, C# is being beaten into submission with a lot of functional/dynamic programming features when you can just as well drop down to F# pretty soon.   By that logic C# is getting bloated far too much.  Its not the same simple language we all knew and loved back when .NET was released.  I think C# is at a cross roads as to whether to stay true to its imperative roots (lambdas are just one example).  I don't know why VB should be singled out here.

I also don't understand why one wouldn't start new development in VB 9.  Hordes of VB 6 programmers who made that big leap of faith and jumped into the VB.NET bandwagon aren't going to disappear overnight because the language is evolving in ways that will keep it alive in the .NET ecosystem.

If there is one dark horse in the .NET family its C++/CLI.  For the first time the C++ gang has an opportunity to mix GC with  deterministic destruction and no one seems to be interested (to be honest GC + RAII was available long ago with Hans Boehm's GC addon to C++ but I read no reports of any serious projects ever using it)

Dilip

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