Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




Software as Fashion Article (Interesting)

http://www.softwarereality.com/soapbox/softwarefashion.jsp

Talks about software as a fashion. Rants and bashes all your favorites like WAP, XML, Java. Rather interesting article.

Almost as good as a Joel rant. In fact, that guy could be the British version of Joel.

Phillipe.Chaka.Kahn
Monday, October 06, 2003

"VB.Net is so different from other versions of VB that there's no migration path from the old code base. VB.Net is really just syntactic sugar on top of C#. C# offers more and better libraries. VB.Net programmers will inevitably either move to C#, or give up and go to work on their parent’s farm. Looking through the .NET developer magazines over the last year shows a diminishing proportion of VB based articles, and confirms my expectation that VB is just waiting for the hatchet to fall. This creates an interesting question, about how well the new VB.Net will integrate into Office."

He's right on the money with that one. VB6 people have a pretty big chasm to leap before their code can be directly ported to VB.NET. It's not just a recompile, from what I've heard. But then again, this will happen to Perl people to when they move to Perl 6. In the world of non-standard languages written by insane people, I guess this is the norm.

VC++/MFC Dude
Monday, October 06, 2003

I beat my head on the wall when IT managers choose VB.Net "because of all the training we've invested in VB" (and I've heard this a few times)

No clue whatsoever.

VB.Net does have its pros and cons, but "being like VB" is not one of them.

Philo

Philo
Monday, October 06, 2003

Whoa there... the author totally misses the mark with VB.Net.  I happen to be a very satisfied VB.Net programmer, and I also happen to be using it to develop an Office application (an add-in for Microsoft Word.)

"C# offers more and better libraries."

Totally wrong.  VB.Net uses the exact same Framework libraries as C# -- no more, no less.  A major benefit of the .Net platform is language independence, that any CLS-compliant .Net library will work with any .Net language.

"This creates an interesting question, about how well the new VB.Net will integrate into Office."

It integrates just fine -- the author should have done his homework.  Office hasn't changed its object model (it's still using VBA, even in Office 2003.)  However, it's incredibly simple to use COM interop to communicate with Office.  In fact, Microsoft is about to release a new set of tools called Visual Studio Tools for Office that adds new Office functionality for .Net programmers (either VB.Net or C#.)

Yes, VB.Net is quite different from VB6, and there's a significant learning curve.  However, the implication that it's somehow inferior to C# is completely misinformed.  C# and VB.Net are equally capable languages; both languages offer the same capabilities and performance. 

Whether you choose VB.Net or C# is really just a personal preference about language syntax -- they both emit the same intermediate language code, which is what the CLR (the runtime) actually compiles and executes.  However, for VB6 developers, VB.Net will often be the easier upgrade path.

Robert Jacobson
Monday, October 06, 2003

Well, that guy may not be as insightful as Joel, but the graphics are better. The fat chick and the racing pig crack me up.

p->q
Monday, October 06, 2003

Philo, are you saying that VB.NET is nothing like VB6, so these managers might as well introduce c#?

NC
Monday, October 06, 2003

No, I'm saying similarity to VB6 is not a factor; however several times I've seen it be the *only* factor in the decision.

Philo

Philo
Monday, October 06, 2003

http://slashdot.org/articles/03/10/06/2247253.shtml?tid=185

Now I understand why slashdotters keep spawning in this forum and spoil threads.

Slashnot
Monday, October 06, 2003

Erm, most of the comment about VB.NET are true enough, but in what way could it be considered to be fashionable?

To my mind, for the type of fads he's talking about, you should get the "evangelists" running around saying "Wow, this technology is so great you should use it for *everything*!" - and mean it.

That would be true for XML and Java, and mayble struts in some circumstances, but VB.net? Nope.


Monday, October 06, 2003

Anyone else notice the OP's handle? Funny...

How about:

Phillipe.Chaka.Khan.Noonian.Sing, the inventor of a tight compiled Pascal based language who is also an old school soul musician as well as the mastermind of the eugenics wars of the 1990's...

Yeah, pretty bad, I know.

{ seek and scar disk }
Monday, October 06, 2003

A slight correction.  Philippe Khan did not invent Turbo Pascal, he acquired it from a Scandinavian author (Swedish??) and simply marketed it to the masses.

HeWhoMustBeConfused
Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Anders Hejlsberg, now at Microsoft.

John Topley (www.johntopley.com)
Tuesday, October 07, 2003

"VB.Net does have its pros and cons, but "being like VB" is not one of them."

Actually, I think *not* being like VB is one of its pros.

And if you think you'll be better off moving to C# anyway, then you'll be right. But then I think VB is the work of an evil mind, and anything sounding similar to it makes me feel sick, so don't rely too much on my advice.

Daniel
Tuesday, October 07, 2003

It's not quite true that VB.Net and C# are equivalent. They should be, but there are some omissions in VB.Net. For example, VB.Net does not allow the 'field' target within an attribute. There is no good reason for this, AFAIK.

MS will probably correct these small problems, so long as there are enough VB.Net coders asking for the fixes. My chief problems with VB.Net are the excessive amounts of typing involved, and some uncertainty as to how committed MS is to supporting it.

And I don't agree that coming from VB6, VB.Net is any easier to learn than C#. Once you get used to case sensitivity and having to use semi-colons, it's pretty straightforward stuff, IMO.

Dave Hallett
Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Dave,

[Newbies, please note...this is a simulated language war, conducted by seasoned professionals in a controlled environment. Don't try this at home.]

>> It's not quite true that VB.Net and C# are equivalent. They should be, but there are some omissions in VB.Net. For example, VB.Net does not allow the 'field' target within an attribute. There is no good reason for this, AFAIK. <<

There are certainly things you can do in one language, but not the other. For example, I recently compiled a list of 20 items that you can do in VB.NET, but not in C#. I'm sure I could do the same for C#. But the two languages are 99% equivalent to each other.

>> My chief problems with VB.Net are the excessive amounts of typing involved, and some uncertainty as to how committed MS is to supporting it. <<

The first is your problem, not an issue with VB.NET. As for MS support, I would be intrigued about any citations you can give for your opinion. Last I heard, MS appeared to be committed to VB.NET, and to sending VB.NET in a different direction than C#. See here for the .NET roadmap:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/productinfo/roadmap.aspx

>> And I don't agree that coming from VB6, VB.Net is any easier to learn than C#. <<

I've learned both, and am actively developing in both. The .NET learning challenge isn't the  language, it's the FCL.

Mark
----
Author of "Comprehensive VB .NET Debugging"
http://www.apress.com/book/bookDisplay.html?bID=128

Mark Pearce
Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Never mind the racing pig. Who put the pig on the wall at Gornal to see the band go by. Was it Billy the Boy, Jimmy the Go, Clockweight, Billy on Tho'b, The Pokey Mon or Jacko, Tasso, Cogger, Blossom, Jackery?

Johnny Longstomach
Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Thanks for the link, Mark: that's an interesting read. I'm particularly pleased that MS is planning to bring lambda functions to C#.

And I see what you mean about different directions: already VB.Net has some shortcuts in, say, event handling, where the details of delegates are largely hidden. It sounds as though they're planning to go further down that road.

I also agree that the difficulty in learning .NET comes from learning the library, not the language. That was probably the source of people's initial concern that VB.Net might be just a way of weaning VB6 developers, followed by a forced transition to C# further down the road once they were familiar with the CL. Given MS's history that's not unlikely, but I agree at the moment they seem to be making the right noises.

I still can find very little reason to prefer VB.Net over C#, even coming from VB6, but everyone's entitled to their tastes, and if you can't stand semicolons...

Dave Hallett
Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Dave,

>> I still can find very little reason to prefer VB.Net over C#, even coming from VB6, but everyone's entitled to their tastes, and if you can't stand semicolons... <<

Hopefully, one of the major advantages of .NET will be that it makes language decisions less critical. Developers from different languages will be able to work together and use each other's code, even inherit from each other's code.

The only problem that I can see is that mixing developers from quite different technical cultures could get really ugly. But that's probably another thread entirely...

Mark

Mark Pearce
Wednesday, October 08, 2003

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home