Scott Hanselman

Is rooting for Visual Basic like rooting for the Red Sox?

January 11, 2008 Comment on this post [45] Posted in ASP.NET | Microsoft | Musings | VB
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iStock_000001491101XSmallHere in the US we have this professional Baseball team called the Boston Red Sox.

According to Wikipedia (and known to be true) "In 1918, the team won its fifth World Series, and then went into one of the longest championship droughts in baseball history."

Stated another way, for 86 years Boston fans rooted for their team. They pined for them, aching, hoping that they'd win again. That folks would give them the respect they deserved and see their team for what they are - winners.

After a few years of this suffering one may, without realizing it, begin to wallow a smidge. To enjoy it. Being an underdog can be kind of fun. If pain is fun for you.

However, after 2004, the Red Sox's curse, the "Curse of the Bambino" was broken after they won the World Series. Why is this significant? Because there is a whole generation of folks who didn't suffer rooting for the Sox. For them, the Sox have always won. It's easy to root for the Red Sox when they are winning.

Old timers don't like this. They try to remind young people that the drought, the pain, was clearly broken through the strength of their faith, but these protestations fall on deaf (young) ears.

Visual Basic programmers, historically, have tended to be a bit long suffering, patiently enduring the wrongs and difficulties of VB while being mocked by the C# folks. "VB's a toy." "VB's not performant." "VB programmers aren't real programmers."

But according to Paul Vick:

  • Visual Basic is the #1 .NET language (as reported by Forrester Research)
  • Visual Basic is the #1 downloaded and #1 registered Express Edition (topping the #2 position by 20%)
  • Visual Basic is the #1 MSDN language dev center and blog in terms of traffic

    Apparently the great VB Performance Scare of 2001 is over and people realize that VB code runs just as fast and capably as C# code. The young people don't remember the early years as VB programmers slogged on, Dim'ing and AndIfAlso'ing while others used curly braces and semi-colons while pointing and laughing. For a time, to love VB was to suffer. However, today, while VB may not be the #1 .NET language on the tip of your tongue, but it's certainly beat the Curse of the Bambino and earned the respect of the community as a first class .NET language, and apparently the most popular one as well.

    Rooting for VB isn't hard any more, just like rooting for the Sox. Rooting for C# is like rooting for the Yankees, therefore, I'm going to start rooting for the Cincinnati Reds, and for LOLCode. Both are going to go all the way.

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    About Scott

    Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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    January 11, 2008 2:58
    always keen to raise the intellectual level of the discourse, i just want to point out that here in australia the term 'rooting' is a vulgar expression used to denote the reproductive act. ;-)

    AndAlso, when you say 'AndIfAlso' you probably mean 'AndAlso'.

    and yes -- VB 9 is touching all the right bases [note baseball metaphor?] with people i speak to, too. Even long time semi colon lovers.
    January 11, 2008 3:12
    You have a broken link under Paul Vick.

    Also, I used to be a VB6 developer (I was lucky and found Delphi before any permanent damage was done), and that experience is the #1 reason I haven't returned to VB.

    VB.Net is a fine language, and it isn't VB6 at all -- but VB6 killed any love I had for the BASIC language and I just can't make myself go back -- unless I was offered a sweet job with a good salary, then I would go back in a heart-beat. But aside from that, no way.

    That and I just like C#. Especially yield. I really like yield.
    January 11, 2008 3:18
    I worked with VB3 through 6 for years. I was forced to make a switch to Java for a few years all the while I wished I was working in .NET. When my company finally decided to go to .NET we used C# since the syntax was so similar to Java. Even though I have quite a few years of experience in pre .NET VB I feel very awkward when working with VB.NET. I am much more comfortable with the C# syntax. Comparatively I think VB.NET is very wordy and not as elegant but that's just me. Actually, I am surprised by the statistics you mentioned, I would have thought C# would me more popular.

    As for long suffering baseball fans you don't know suffering unless you are a Chicago White Sox fan like me. Yeah, they finally won the World Series in 2005 (after 88 years) but we still have to live in the shadow of the Cubs - I mean my god, the CUBS!?! (The Cubs are entering their 100th year of futility) If you care, Richard Roeper (yes, the movie critic) has written an excellent book on what being a White Sox fan is all about called "Sox and the City" and I highly recommend it for all baseball fans.
    January 11, 2008 3:20
    I cut my teeth on Clipper, and later, FoxPro and Visual FoxPro. VB programmers don't get much sympathy from me. :)

    Regarding your resolution to root for the Reds... They finished 2007 with 72 wins and 90 losses. They haven't had a post-season appearance since 1995. Contrast that with the Kansas City Royals, who finished 2007 with 69 wins and 93 losses, and haven't played post-season since winning the World Series in 1985.

    They're both massive vortexes of suck, but I think KC sucks more. Between the Royals and the Chiefs, KC has no shortage of failure. Kinda makes it hard to enjoy sports in KC.
    January 11, 2008 3:22
    Hey Scott,

    I am based in Australia. I believe I speak for all antipodean engineers when I say VB is rooted ;)

    January 11, 2008 3:32
    Hmm Dim gives me a headache. VB.nets not bad. But, I adore C++/CLI and C#. Yes I am a control freak.
    January 11, 2008 3:46
    I recall hearing an MSDN statistics that most code samples were written in VB because an actual vb coder would not touch C# sample code, but C# coders would read the VB sample with little complaining.
    January 11, 2008 4:07
    My first real job was developing a website using VBScript and using Microsoft's InterDev. However I got the job by showing websites I created for myself using a little bit a Perl but mostly PHP and mSQL (yes mSQL not MySQL). Since then I have been developing only with VB and now VB.Net. I tried sometime last year to "upgrade" and switch to C# but there were just wierd things that happened when I tried to use it for a simple web page and so I dropped it and went back to VB.

    I think it's funny how the opensource people get so engaged with something like Ruby on Rails but missed the VB train, probably just because it was a Microsoft language. Stupid is as stupid does I guess. I'll stick with VB and me and my clients will be none the lesser for it.

    go VB go!
    January 11, 2008 4:22
    As a proud Red Sox fan who has endured having popped open a champagne bottle with two outs in the night, two strikes in the count in October of 1986, I dare say those old, suffering VB-ers don't have anything on us! My life has seen pain, pain, pain (which you will only know if you can understand the pain I felt while the Sox were up by several runs in game 7 against the Yankees, we had the game in hand, but (as all Sox fans at the time know), the game was not yet over. Physical pain in my gut during those last few innings! Interesting sports analogy Scott, but you should stick to what you know well ;)
    January 11, 2008 5:13
    Yeah, humans love rooting for the underdog. VB isn't much of an underdog.
    Why don't you root for Ruby, it's getting piles of crap these days as a language for simple organisms?
    January 11, 2008 5:19
    First, I’d just like to say thank you to secretGeek. That little fact is going to be amusing me for some time to come.

    Anyway, back on point, I was thinking about this just the other day when my brand spanking new copy of ASP.NET 3.5 unleashed showed up with a big black dot (made to look like a sticker) proclaiming “All code in the book is now in C#”

    Obviously not being VB is a selling point now.

    Logically I don’t really fault VB developers and my first full program was written in VB so I have a soft spot for it but the reality is that I can’t help but resent them a little.

    VB.NET is basically C# at this point. Some might feel it’s slightly superior, others might feel it’s slightly inferior, but in the end it’s basically the same thing. So I can’t imagine anyone who programs in VB not being able to learn C# in a weekend (Sorry Brian, I don’t know what your deal was but it shouldn’t have been that hard)

    So it annoys me a little that the community has to be split like this because some people won’t let go of the past and move on. It just seems like Microsoft could get a lot more done if all engines were firing to push C# forward.

    But again, I fully admit that I’m being a little irrational here. They should be able to use whatever they like and who am I to tell them otherwise. As long as Microsoft is still making money and they are still happy, more power to them.

    P.S. As you can probably tell from above, I don’t buy the Paul Vick numbers. I’m not saying they aren’t true I just think they reflect hobbyists that download VB and do some research but never end up using it. Looking at the book market (which I think reflects serious developers who are willing to spend some money) C# is obviously where the heat is.
    January 11, 2008 5:59
    Several years ago, a friend of mine proclaimed the impending end of Windows. According to him, Php and Linux will take over the world. Worried, I decided to learn Php, but then, I found the jobs were not there for php developers, so I went back to VB. These days, I am hearing C# developers make similar proclamations about VB or is it VB.Net?. So for just for smiles and giggles I decided to call a few friends in IT that work for major companies here in the US like I do and what I found is pretty much same as your research found. The language of choice for most Intranets is VB, most mid sized companies, VB, most small companies VB. Now when it comes to customer facing applications, it's a toss up between JAVA, C++, VB, C and very little C#. Check the job listing where you currently live to prove this for yourself.
    C# sounds sexy, but it is facing the same challenges as Php, which in turn is facing challenges from Java , which in turn is facing challenges from C#, which in turn is being challenged by Ruby.
    One language that has remained constant (with small changes) is VB with minimal challenges from Cold Fusion.
    So the bottom line is, C# is still for "programmers" who want to sound geeky, but the real money is still being made in VB and Java. C# sounds cool, but I believe it is over hyped. And here is another piece of data. According a hiring agency HR, a VB developer gets a job in an average of 4 weeks or less between contracts, Java developers 8 weeks or more, C# well more than 12 weeks !!

    January 11, 2008 6:47
    I like VB.NET and C#.NET more-or-less equally. As a contractor, I have learned to simply "sell what they are buying". Anything I can code in one, I can code in the other; so, reading one is really like reading the other. Both languages are great.

    However, there is one point that is important that sets the 2 apart-- C# is standardized, , and as such is not technically "owned" by anyone. That is, any vendor can make a C#-compatible compiler and, if it is C#, then it will compile in that compiler. Etc. That is important, to a degress, given the MS defintely "owns" VB.NET and, as we know, MS can be fickle at times. All of which begs the question-- why don't they just release VB.NET as an ECMA standard too?

    Finally, in the end, we must note-- it is about the design and logic, not the implementation language-- Java/ C#/ VB.NET/ Etc, they are all pretty much the same, IMHO, and what is different is the way they are used in particular designs, patterns, etc.
    January 11, 2008 7:18
    I started as an Access programmer. We were looked down upon by the lowly VB programmers, yet alone the C++ or Java guys.

    And you gotta be kidding me - the Reds? Try the Cubs or Indians, who have both been in the postseason recently, but haven't won a championship in something like 160 years combined.

    The Reds are kinda the Java of baseball - they had their day recently and are now fading.
    January 11, 2008 7:39
    Although my origins are with VB I've spent most of my time since the bubble in Java and C#. Only recently have I come back to Visual Basic (in the form of VB.NET) but it feels more like an old friend than something I'd try to hide in the cause of being more "computer science."

    Maybe the key to all this is to extend the analogy. Whether you hate the Red Sox or not, you have to appreciate "Big Papi" and "Manny." You have to blind (or wilfully ignorant) to claim not to see talent in their roster.

    Likewise, I think it's laughable that people can't get around the design decisions that make VB.NET and its developers productive, fashionable or no.

    So the Cincinnati Reds are like LOLcode? I'm going to take this opportunity to claim Python for the L.A. Angels then -
    January 11, 2008 7:46

    Nice to know few facts here ; and equally surprised to know few unknown facts too.

    I am Just puzzled whom to trust. Should I trust the Tiobe Index, which clearly shows that VB is on the third position and C# is on the 8th position or the developers, who actually use the languages in real life.

    Since Tiobe Index mentions VB, its confusing to differentiate between Classic Vb and Vb.Net. Perhaps someone can clarify that.

    I think Microsoft is equally responsible to some extent for this things. The Asp.Net Team and the Bloggers for Microsoft seems to be proud to show all codes in C# only. We hardly find any explanation about the VB.Net codes around. They discuss the codes in such a manner that Vb.Net does not exists at all, and this creates a hype that Vb.Net is Dead for ever.

    I think.... This scenerio will not continue for long time, since the world is shifting to Dynamic languages like Ruby and Python. IronRuby and IronPython will take the world in their side and thats for sure. PHP is a;lso entering via DLR in near future. There would be no monopoly in near future. F# is also knocking the door.

    Microsoft should change the old attitude and show the codes in all possible languages to justify the developers form VB, C#, IronRuby and Ironpython Community.

    I Think Dynamic VB can also do wonders for the existing Vb.Net community who is struggling to prove that they still exist. Dynamic Vb should be introduced faster, before the IronRuby and IronPython storm starts blowing.


    Parag Kantharia
    January 11, 2008 8:34
    Oh Scott, you bring back some memories - in some respects, having been on the MS dev platform since 1991, I thought VB 6 was the pinnacle!

    As a Triple A personality type, I could actually draw storyboards of UI's in VB 6 while the customer was sitting with me at the computer terminal. Try that in C#! (and yes I am now a C# developer since 2002).

    In some respects VB was like Smalltalk in the sense that is was simple, yet powerful. If you had to build a 2-tier app that just "worked" for the customer, you could do it in VB6 faster and cheaper than anything else. Man, I miss those days!

    IronPython is about the closest thing I can think of getting the job done as quickly, particularly now that there is an IDE for it. If you are a statically typed programmer feeling a bit shackled by a universe that the compiler creates, unshackle yourself and enter a universe that is still dynamic after compile time!

    Keep up the good writings Scott!
    January 11, 2008 8:55
    Sorry Aussies, about the root thing. It's a really common word in the US, we say "root root root for the Home Team" all the time.

    Parag - The Tiobe data is interesting. I don't know who to believe, but I agree that Forrester, in this example, is just one data point. It's an interesting one, though.
    January 11, 2008 12:25

    I was ranting about this at work the other day. We're a VB.NET shop with a few bits and pieces coded in C#. Most, if not all, of our developers could code in either with equal skill, but our codebase started in classic ASP and was migrated to VB.NET when the jump was made to ASP.NET 1.0.

    I personally started developing in Omnis (Google it), moved to PowerBuilder, then Access 2.0/95/2000, then Lotus Notes/LotusScript (VB-like), then VB6, VB.NET, Java (for a brief couple of years) and more recently have been doing C# and Ruby. C#'s main claim to fame is that it helps win Java developers to Microsoft ...

    We would really like to do more TDD and are particularly excited by the directions LINQ and ASP.NET MVC are going in. However anything remotely cutting edge seems to come out exclusively with C# examples, and when VB is mentioned it is simply to say that budgets don't allow for examples in more than one language.

    Fair enough. So stop supporting so many darn languages in .NET! If you ripped away support for VB.NET we could at least have an argument with our bosses about how we needed to migrate off VB to C# because it was no longer supported, but as it stands our only reason for wanting to do so is that it makes it 'easier' to keep up on new techniques and practices.

    Alternatively, as Microsoft seems determined to keep adding new languages into the CLR/DLR, it seems logical to either distinguish them much more (i.e. you only get LINQ in C#) or ensure that we can mix and match different languages in the same projects without getting bit by the sort of issues that currently crop up regularly at present. At least then we could shrug our shoulders and incorporate that cool code into our projects (regardless of which language it was sourced from).

    BTW, I know this isn't remotely your problem, but you did bring it up :D

    Angus - an Aussie rooting for SF 49ers and NSW Waratahs ...
    January 11, 2008 13:43
    IMHO, Microsoft has done too much damage to the developers world in the past. They killed VB6, then MSJava, then VFP. How much trust do you have in MS, if your business is seriously spoiled by such decisions? We have been a long time VFP shop with about 20 programmers, with a long standing expertise and knowledge. We have several vertical market applications with hundreds of installations and happy customers.
    And then Microsoft decides that our primary tool is dead. There's no technical reason for that, it's just a political decision to get people to move to NET. So I tell our customers that we will have to rewrite all our applications from ground up, that all customers (who are completely happy with our state-of-art software) have to repay the whole development cycle, that we have to train our whole staff on new systems, invest in new tools, not even talking about the time needed for getting 20 programmers back to speed and efficiency...
    Has anybody at MS ever thought about the Tsunami effect of such decisions? "Hey, lets stop VB6. Oh yes, and that VFP9 is also doomed, because we can save some hundredthousand for the some people in the VFP development team" And at the same time MS spends tens of Millions just for stupid advertising on NET.
    Microsoft just doesn't take a longtime responsibility for their products. Development systems aren't like regular applications (like Word, Paintshop, Excel etc): You can't just install the next new version (like yesterday you had Outlook 2003, today you use OL 2007). There's a huge momentum in such tools, you just can't switch to a new version or to a completely different technology, because there are years and years of knowledge, manpower and money gone into that applications. And customers don't buy that applications "just because", for them it's just a helping tool to run their business. They don't care about which language is it written in, they care about "how much costs it, and how much benefit do I get?". ROI (Return on Investment) is all what counts.

    So: should we stil trust Microsoft? For us VFP developers, VB.NET would be the next best fitting language, according to some of the MVPs etc. But I bet: as soon as we have moved over to VB.NET, have rewritten all of our apps etc, then MS will decide that they really only need one main language and without further thinking will kill VB.NET.. "Who cares, we have C# as alternative, you can port easily.. jada jada jada..."

    Thus: no, we will not move to another "MS only" language anymore. Too much money got burnt on that trap. Thus, even though I find VB.NET much more appealing than C# (I hate curly brackets!), it's an "MS only" product. No backup, no other companies to switch over in case of problems. C# would have the benefit of being standardized, but it's stil MS. And MS has lost our trust.

    Thus we decided to go the Open Source way. One frustrated boss with 20 collegues, hundreds of customers with tenthousand users. Lost for MS and switching to Linux, OpenOffice and Phyton-based development. Bye Bye MS.
    January 11, 2008 17:25
    Here in the UK, the market place for perm and contract jobs seems to be suggesting C# is king, or at least lots of companies need people with it. For every VB.Net role there are 3 times the number of C# roles going.

    As a contractor, primarily VB.Net but with a C background, I naturally find I'm more productive using VB.Net but that's only because that's what I've been using recently. If I put my mind to it I'd quickly get used to those semi colons and brackets again. Just so happens the clients and roles I've had recently are VB.Net.
    To widen my job prospects though I'll be C Sharping to get used to the syntax - but will also need to find an enlightened client who is happy to hire me.

    Frankly, if you know the .Net framework and understand how to write OO you can do VB.Net or C# or both with ease.

    I still come across arguments that VB people can't program OO correctly but that's just sterotyping and rubbish.
    It's a tired argument anyway. I'm sure there's plenty of poorly written C# code out there - remember it's the skill of the individual/team not the language being used that makes a difference.

    I wonder if there will ever be a coming together of C# and VB.Net to have just one main Microsoft .Net language - surely that's a cost saving for Microsoft in the long run? A hot political potato though i'm sure.
    January 11, 2008 17:54
    Numbers can tell many stories depending on how you look at them. VB may be more popular as far as downloads go, but that may be due to many factors. It may be the product of choice by hobbyists. I don't put them in the same category as developers, just like I don't consider my rudimentary skills with a table saw as qualifying me as a carpenter, and wouldn't say that carpentry is the number one hobby because virtually everyone owns a hammer.

    I have also seen more people transition from VB6 directly into VB.NET, many with the thinking that they already know the language. I've interviewed people claiming 10+ years of VB.NET experience. In many cases, I've seen people with a VB6 background program the same way in .NET, and fail to re-think how they build applications. I have not seen many people go from C++ to C# like that. Unfortunately, this adds to the negative stigma of VB.

    I'm not trying to discount VB.NET. I've used it to develop critical enterprise applications. I prefer C# on my team because it has made it much easier to weed out a larger percentage of hobbyist programmers (which I do believe are mainly doing VB.NET) and VBScript developers, and has forced VB6 developers to put on a "beginner's mind" hat.

    If VB6 and a large percentage of hobbyist programmers didn't exist, would we still be saying VB.NET is a toy language?

    January 11, 2008 19:12
    Hey Now Scott,
    Good post, really like the sports reference.
    January 11, 2008 20:05
    Not to spoil the fun, but basing something's worth solely on the number of people that use it is...well, it's just plain silly most times. For example, the United States (my home country; don't think I'm knocking another country; I live here too) is atop the statistical charts in the area of obesity. The fact is, the majority of U.S. Americans eat out at fast food restaurants a LOT!

    Every day, about 1/4 of our population (U.S.) eats fast food. U.S. Americans will spend over $110 billion on fast food; more than they'll spend on movies, books, magazines, newspapers, videos, and recorded music combined.

    Does that make it right? Do these numbers mean eating fast food is a good thing?? Do these statistics mean that the increase in people eating fast food implies that fast food has somehow become that much better?

    Well, you get my point! Regardless, I do think that VB.NET is leaps and bounds better than it's predecessors. However, more people using the language just does not imply that the language is superior, or that it does not have crutches for lesser-skilled or self-proclaimed "programmers".

    In my experience, when I've had to clean up bad programming, it has primarily been written in VB. I am not about to make the same implication from my own statistics. However, the percentage of bad programming done in VB that I have had to fix is far more than 20% of the next closest. The number is more like 90%.

    Maybe it's not the languages fault. But VB can enable lesser programmers to do more. Unfortunately, it cannot prevent the screw-ups.
    January 11, 2008 20:19
    Actually, the statistic I heard (which I have no numbers to back up), is that Visual Basic (in all it's incarnations -- VB6, VBScript, WordBasic etc -- combined), is, to the first approximation, the only programing language there is, with all others merely in the "statistical noise" level. (I believe that was based on estimated lines of code)
    January 11, 2008 21:42
    I think the reason VB.Net is so popular is that regular ASP is vb based and if you go from
    ASP to ASP.NET you should be used to VB based web developement.

    To me both VB.NET and development seem a lot more like VB6 development then classic C or C++ programming.
    January 11, 2008 22:15

    C++ programmers always had more respect and were paid more than VB programmers. I was a VB developer for a while and when I moved to .NET and to avoid this possible scenario and politics between C# & VB.NET, I moved to C#. Another reason for me was that C# syntax is very similar to Javascript syntax, me being also an ASp.NET developer.
    Plus VB.NET makes you type more.... and I want casing restriction. I don't like 'Lastname', 'LastName' & 'lastname' all refer the same variable. It confuses me.
    January 11, 2008 22:39
    Who are you, and what have you done with the real Scott Hanselman? ;)
    January 11, 2008 23:01
    I learned C first and then VB6. So you'd think that when I do stuff in .Net, I'd use C#. But I find myself picking VB.Net because I don't want to have to deal with things like case sensitivity. (I still like C#, VB.Net just seems quicker when I'm trying out ideas).
    January 11, 2008 23:06
    I started programming in VB6, and then moved on to VB.NET and finally C#. The distinction between the VB.NET and C# is not very pronounced and we move between both of these languages here. One advantage of VB.NET is that we have a lot of legacy VB6 code and it is much easier to migrate that to VB.NET than C#. VB.NET can be more flexible too if you set the option to allow it to behave as a loose typed language.

    That being said, C# is a little easier to work with on the day to day tasks since its less wordy. Plus, there are always things that seem awkward in VB.NET such as assigning events that are simple in C#.
    January 12, 2008 0:27
    I found the following disclaimer in the Tiobe numbers to be significant in how they calculate the VB numbers:

    A: Some languages are grouped together because they are very similar to each other. An example is the language entry Basic which covers Visual Basic, QBasic, Microsoft Basic, etc. VB.NET has been added as well to the Visual Basic entry because it is often referred to as Visual Basic. The ratings for a collection of languages is calculated by taking the maximum of all individual entries (not its sum!).
    January 12, 2008 1:26
    Here we go again. I like Yankees,No way, I like Red Sox. No one loves the base ball.
    They all are the apples from the same freaking basket called "MIL".

    C# guy: While declaring variables I like to put my class name before my variable name, see how fancy it is.
    VB guy: Nah! thats too much it should be the other way around.

    C# guy: you must agree curly braces looks real good, specially when i use them in "for loop"
    VB guy: why use shift key and stuff while programming whats wrong with "For - End For"

    Real .Net guy:
    Get over it. Think big. Kill the tunnel vision. We have to do whole lot in the technology compare to what we have now.

    Love u all.
    January 12, 2008 1:56
    I started VB programming with version 6 maybe 6 months before .Net was released. Needless to say, VB.Net has made leaps and bounds over v6. But I think it was cool for Microsoft to gear VB.Net and C# to have simular programming structure. Both pretty much accomplish the same goals and output just satisfying those pre-.NET developers with a simular language from which they came. So why root for VB only, hell, root for .NET because every upgrade or change builds better efficiencies on the entire .NET programming family. This isn't a commerical I swear. :)
    January 12, 2008 2:50
    I'd like to point out another "Australian" word. That word is "Wanker"

    In my experience thats what most C# bigots are.... "Wankers"
    January 12, 2008 3:20
    F# 4 ever

    January 12, 2008 4:06
    Several years ago my wife was on a teacher exchange trip to Australia, it was playoff time here and she mentioned to a class full of elementary students she was rooting for her favorite team, which had the class tittering. Realizing she had experienced the cultural separation of to two countries with a common language she asked, and was informed of the Australian use of rooting (f***ing here in the US). A bit later one of the male students came up to her and asked if she would be interested in seeing his used rubber collection. She wasn't quite sure how to respond until she found out that in Australia what is called a rubber (at least in elementary school) is what we call an eraser; he wanted to show her is collection of erasers.

    More on topic I started with db3 went to Foxbase then to VB3 -VB6, VB.NET and only now am trying out C#. The case sensitivity, curly braces and line termination trip me up, but .NET is .NET is .NET. The differences between C# and VB.NET in the .NET environment aren't worth the effort to argue their respective merits.
    January 12, 2008 6:12
    "Visual Basic programmers, historically, have tended to be a bit long suffering, patiently enduring the wrongs and difficulties of VB while being mocked by the C# folks"

    Mocked by C# folks? Don't forget all the other folks that don't use C#. They all make fun of VBers. As for it being the #1 language, well... being number one doesn't mean it's good or right. Look at Windows, as en example.
    January 12, 2008 17:16
    I would tend to believe that C# is more needed where I live. I like many spent most of the 90's doing VB coding, but once .NET became more in demand, I saw less and less skills needed as most shops were heading down the C# path. This is what I saw the last few times I was out in the job market. The reality of it is I'll program whatever is needed, but now I tend to lean more to C# and much less with The truth is I still will code with vbscript for some small projects. My fellow co-worker never developed in vb, he is a C# noobie and I find it funny that he has a lot of disrespect toward the vb langauge for no particular reason it seems.
    January 12, 2008 18:42
    I for one started out my programming journey as a VB developer, way back in the days of VB3. Today, I do most of my development in C#(as dictated by my employers). I have never seen the need to throw away my years of VB/ experience. Today, I am proud to say I do equally well at writing code in both C# and VB.Net, to the point where my latest application was written using programming logic from both for UI level code (code-behinds), and C# in my DAL and BLL components.
    January 12, 2008 20:52
    I cant take it anymore. Any one who argues the superiority of C# over is participating in a self-nullifying argument and I"m suprised that more people haven't noticed it.

    When I got into programming back in '98, our shop had VB6, C++, Delphi and Clipper.
    C++, Delphi and Clipper compiled stright to Win32 native code. No run-time, Framework or sand box was needed. But VB required a runtime. I can see where other developers considered VB to be a toy. Their program's compiled to a native exe/dll that could fit on a diskette. At that time, the one request all VB developers wanted was the ability to compile to a true native exe or dll. We were all too aware that this could give us performance gains and a small footprint.

    On the day you compiled your first .NET app, you wrote code that needed a "runtime" in order to work. All code we write has to stay within the boundries of the same litter box. None of us can compile our code to a native exe or dll. Granted, C# has the ability to do some work in unmanaged code, but C# still has to tell Mommy(the Framework) that its going to do it. And even then, Mommy limits what C# can do.

    In one of his podcasts, Scott H. said that " wasn't until I used Lutz Roeder's Reflector that I realized IL is IL, whether its C# or VB..."

    The promise of the .NET Framework is finally gaining mainstream acceptance; we can all write code, in our own language, in the same app...and it just works. When it comes to C# vs arguments, I say the king has no clothes.

    January 13, 2008 1:37
    My favorite VB.NET construct: With.

    Now that C# has initializers it's much better, and I'm tired of the line continuation marks in VB.NET so I've switched. LINQ and Attributes are much nicer in C#.
    January 13, 2008 4:04
    I'm pretty much a .NET newbie. Coming over from mainly doing work with PHP/MySQL. I took 2 semesters of VB.NET a year back, and my first real programming language was VB6 years ago. Since then I've pretty much played around with Java. But, right now I'm learning C# and like the language a lot. But I think programmers should know as many languages as possible as each one has its strengths and weaknesses.
    January 14, 2008 18:46
    Doesn't change the fact that VB is VB with it's lack of braces. However, it does lack the flame wars over proper placement of such braces too. I suggest that they go with the code in there.

    But it does come down to this too. VB.Net and C#.Net are pretty much interchangeable and software like SharpDevelop will do the translation for you. This lets people like me who still get headaches from looking at VB, look like I am using it while using C#. I love C#. It brought me over to the dark side. It is what Java should have been. Ooh another flame war with that topic too.
    January 25, 2008 3:54
    I cut my teeth with Algol, Fortran and Cobol with some of Knuth's MIX thrown in for good measure. Did assembly language on the Burroughs B80 and OPL on an Ontel (They were used in Caesar's Palace reservation system back in the 70's) . Moved to sql and pl/sql when working with Oracle, and chose VB when starting with .NET.

    I never did like C, C++ and therefore was not tempted to try C#.

    To be honest I never liked Microsoft Basic either and think MS really screwed everyone by sending them down this road when there so many better options around at the time.

    C was for systems programming and NOT for commercial applications. Again a big mistake and missed opportunity.

    Toaday, I prefer VB.NET for readability and because it does not get too upset if I forget that the CAPS lock is on. In C#, I don't mind the semi-colons, but the curly brackets really bug me.

    February 11, 2008 22:52
    The never ending topic of and Well here's some more for anyone looking to choose:

    Comments are closed.

    Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.