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VB in a big project


I will change company soon. I have to "prospect" one with a big system written in VB.
Is it possible to have that without big troubles ?

.. !! ..
Sunday, September 22, 2002

It all depends on the quality of the programmers who built it. Our two products were built by C++ programmers using VBscript and VB, respectively, and they have some of the cleanest code I've ever worked with.

But many VB projects are created by people with no skills in OO design, possibly not even computer science training, and they're just "buckets of forms." Once they grow beyond a couple of developer-years they become nightmares.

Joel Spolsky
Sunday, September 22, 2002


I'm curious, why VB?

Not that there's anything wrong with that!

Brad Siemens
Sunday, September 22, 2002

Just for some perspective, I am currently making my living off a 'Buckets of Forms' project that I have been developing for 3 1/2 years.  No formal education or training.

Brad Siemens
Sunday, September 22, 2002

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Art Vandelay
Sunday, September 22, 2002

AHHH!  Thanks for the pointer!

Brad Siemens
Sunday, September 22, 2002

A couple, three months from now I will have to take a (plant layout, PLC) module I wrote in VB using the most elementary methods (picture boxes inside picture boxes).  It works extremely well for a fast and dirty but I was wondering what all you smart people (yeah, I'm being insecure LOL) would suggest that wouldn't be too far over my head and wouldn't limit me.  I'm thinking something along the lines of the a scaled down version of the old Generic CADD (General CADD now I believe).  Should I hire the brains?  I really want to take a bash at it but...  Any thoughts?

Brad Siemens
Sunday, September 22, 2002

Go for it, see what happens.

Course, big projects can suck you dry (spit). Rob you of months of precious life and leave you stressed out and jittery with nothing but a little pile of trashy code that doesn't do jack.

So you gotta be smart when you attack it. Don't just throw down and try to beat the crap out of it with your bare hands. No, no, you gotta be methodical. Study the beast, plan your attack, and when it's time to pick up that sword, you know exactly what piece you gonna hack off first. Then just keep chopping, one little chunk at a time, over and over again til your done. It'll take a long time and you're arms going to start hurting, so you have to really want it, you gotta be dripping with gumption.

But brains? This don't take brains, this is purely a function of gumption and practice. Lack practice? Then cheat, compensate with raw will power and planning. Read a stack of those fluffy programming books. And that "Refactoring" book, that taught me what pretty OO looks like. Can't put a price on that. Think about becoming a Ninja-- take a look at XP. Those fight moves, those have made me three or four times the man I was.

Matt Sponer
Sunday, September 22, 2002

That's damn near poetry!

I guess I have to  throw down if I've got a set or I'm just a bitch <g>  I think I'm convinced, and I really enjoyed the post!

Brad Siemens
Tuesday, September 24, 2002

There's nothing wrong with VB for big projects. In fact in many ways a million lines of VB can be easier to manage than a million lines of C++.

More to the point, a project that takes a million lines of C++ might well only take 100,000 lines of VB (I haven't done any comparisons, just accept that C++ projects generally require more code).

The only bit that can be a real problem is what's known as "DLL Hell". This is where a VB program requires a specific version of a DLL. If your program uses version 5.1 and another program the user wants to use uses 5.2, it can be a real nightmare!

Looking forward, it might be worth your while looking at .NET. The 20MB framework is a problem if you're distributing over the Internet, but if it's a corporate solution you're rolling out internally, this won't be an issue.


James Shields
Thursday, September 26, 2002

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