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Thread: Linux Development Options?

  1. #1

    Thread Starter
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    Mar 2018

    Linux Development Options?

    Ok so in recent times I have myself been wanting to switch over to Linux on my main PC, I am not quite ready to fully abandon windows at the moment but since I plan on making the switch I figure it would be best to figure out my programming plans before I make the change. Ok so for now I feel like I have some options but wanted to ask for advice on this issue. I can use Visual Studio (VB), I can try to get into Gambas (Like VB) or revert back to VB6 which now seems very old and not a great option to be honest.. I really wanted an option that was fully cross platform from the start that would be the best option if possible, so what are my options? I was also looking into C programing since that should be cross platform since I can compile it for each OS right? I have never tried C programming though so I am not sure how much different or complicated it may be but from my research it is one of the fastest programming languages. Since I am still a programming newbie it may not be an ideal choice for me. Besides that I would need to find a visual version. Similar to like how VB, where it has the toolbox where you can add controls to forms and such.

    My goal here is to really be able to program and have it work across all major operating systems.

    I realize a few things like, I can maybe run Visual Studio programs on Linux via wine emulation.. this would be an extra step for Linux users who just want to install a program and have it just work though..

    I can look into Mono which I just heard about, I do not know the process of how it works yet.. maybe a good choice? It would be nice if Microsoft made Visual Studio work natively on Linux though. Will we ever see this?

    If I am actually developing on Linux OS.. Gambas is an option but there is not much information in the wild such as source code examples or many people really using this, so that is not to exciting right now. I would have to wing it and that is difficult for me if not many people are using it.

    So I think my best bet is to stick with Visual Studio (VB) .net
    I could check out visual C, does Microsoft offer Visual C I have seen visual C++ but don't remember if they had just Visual C programming?

    Also what is available on Linux for C programming? I am looking for a software that has the visual aspect of adding forms and toolbox controls to forms.

    Please offer any advice or input I really appreciate it!

  2. #2
    Super Moderator si_the_geek's Avatar
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    Jul 2002
    Bristol, UK

    Re: Linux Development Options?

    Visual Studio Code is free, and you can apparently use it on Linux: https://code.visualstudio.com/

    I don't have Linux myself, so can't comment on any details, but it seems to support VB and C# among others.

    I have never tried C programming though so I am not sure how much different or complicated it may be but from my research it is one of the fastest programming languages
    If you have only ever used VB then C based languages can be hard to get your head around, especially if you don't use Option Strict On.

    In terms of it being "fastest", that depends on how you look at it... in terms of development time C based languages tends to take longer than VB (sometimes much longer), and in terms of the finished program the language is very rarely a deciding factor - a good VB program will run faster than an average C based program, and for both the algorithm is what counts most. If you want the ultimate speed then a C based language is the way to go, but it is very rarely worth the effort to go for ultimate speed (out of the thousands of routines I've written, less than 1% mattered in terms of speed, and few of those needed the ultimate speed).

    In terms of C/C++, if you are used to the idea of classes then C++ is generally agreed to be the better option. There are lots of C/C++ based development tools out there, but I rarely (if ever) hear anyone saying they prefer something else over Visual Studio.

  3. #3
    You don't want to know.
    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Re: Linux Development Options?

    VB is not a portable language because VB developers do not want it.

    C# is a portable .NET language. At this point you can use it with either Mono or .NET Core. However, there's not currently a Microsoft-blessed UI framework for Linux. That's coming later this year. In general, finding a UI framework for Linux has always been a spirit journey, the best bet is an HTML/JS framework like Cordova or Electron.

    VB, in theory, could and maybe will have compilers that do well on Mono/.NET Core someday. But the VB community has fought very hard to discourage Microsoft from doing this, and the Mono Foundation tends to rely on the help of passionate community leaders for such work. Any VB developer who wanted this moved to greener pastures out of frustration at least 5 years ago. The loud majority of the VB community that remains is split mostly between people who either want the language to never change or for MS to discontinue .NET and return to COM. Neither of those groups are going to get what they want. The VB language specs are on github, and the public can submit feature requests. It's received a grand total of 3 since it opened last year. By comparison, C# has implemented more than 10 and received more than 40 requests.

    Committing to Linux programming makes it more attractive to look at languages like Ruby or JavaScript that have always worked on multiple platforms. C is the traditional systems language, sure, but it does take more discipline to produce a functional C program. Really your best bet for random apps are the aforementioned HTML/JS frameworks. When compiled, they start a Chromium window that hosts your application. Major applications like Slack use this approach.

    My advice is to get a little more uncomfy. It sounds like you've only ever used VB, and that you've only ever asked VB developers for advice. They tend to be tribal. It isn't true, and hasn't been true for a long time, that VB is "the easiest language" or "one targeted at newer developers". JavaScript's the one people are throwing at kids today, which is interesting because it scales up to being very complex. There are lots of web sites today that will teach you and let you play with an unfamiliar language, Codeacademy is one.

    Get messy. Make mistakes.
    Last edited by Sitten Spynne; Mar 4th, 2018 at 09:03 AM.
    This answer is wrong. You should be using TableAdapter and Dictionaries instead.

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