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Thread: Microsoft Puts C#, Visual Basic on Different Paths

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    Microsoft Puts C#, Visual Basic on Different Paths

    Microsoft Puts C#, Visual Basic on Different Paths

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    Superbly Moderated NeedSomeAnswers's Avatar
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    Re: Microsoft Puts C#, Visual Basic on Different Paths

    I read that article and they used that trick of trying to frame what they were saying in terms of positive language, i thought it was a bit weak and they should have just come out and said it straight.

    Instead of saying this is going to happen, they said these users like this, these users like this and this so we are going to do this.

    So essentially they are going to bring new features to C# faster then VB in the future as they say they have deduced that VB users don't want new language features as much as C# users do.

    Personally i think it just so they can speed up the C# language version iterations so they can keep up with other languages as C# is now competing much more in the web and mobile space then before.

    However as most of my programming is in C# i don't really mind
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    Super Moderator FunkyDexter's Avatar
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    Re: Microsoft Puts C#, Visual Basic on Different Paths

    I imagine they develop most new features for C# first and then hold off release while they get them ready for VB. This is just a way of avoiding that lag for C#. As NSA says, the reasons given in the article are just marketing speak. Valuing quality and stability should be an argument for backward compatibility, not stagnation.

    Personally I moved over to C# a long time ago and would recommend others do the same if they have the option. I'm no doom-monger and I don't think your VB career is going to end tomorrow (Dilettante will probably be along in a minute to ring that bell) but widening your options can't hurt.
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    PowerPoster Nightwalker83's Avatar
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    Re: Microsoft Puts C#, Visual Basic on Different Paths

    Well, if they are going down the path of phasing out Visual Basic they should create a version of C# that includes some of the historical featues of Visual Basic in it only better.
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    Superbly Moderated NeedSomeAnswers's Avatar
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    Re: Microsoft Puts C#, Visual Basic on Different Paths

    They haven't said anything about phasing it out just yet, only updating the VB language less frequently.

    Well, if they are going down the path of phasing out Visual Basic they should create a version of C# that includes some of the historical features of Visual Basic in it only better.
    Which features do you mean specifically?

    You can already add in the Visual Basic namespace which gives you access to a bunch of VB specific functions.
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    Re: Microsoft Puts C#, Visual Basic on Different Paths

    Is the Visual Basic namespace available in a C# project? I've always assumed that it isn't but I've never felt the need to try it so I'm not sure.

    Which features do you mean specifically?
    I was curious about that too. Are we talking language features (e.g. XML literals)? Architectural approach (e.g. the whole COM vs Framework debate)? I guess a part of my question is: is it Classic vs .Net features you miss or VB.Net vs C# features?
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    Re: Microsoft Puts C#, Visual Basic on Different Paths

    Is the Visual Basic namespace available in a C# project? I've always assumed that it isn't but I've never felt the need to try it so I'm not sure.
    Oh yes its available to add in if you want, and it gives you plenty of VB types functions such as string functions like right, left and mid.

    I have used it in a project specifically for a directory copy function i think which was just much nicer in the VB namespace, i will dig out exactly what i used in a bit!
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    Super Moderator FunkyDexter's Avatar
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    Re: Microsoft Puts C#, Visual Basic on Different Paths

    Well colour me surprised, I just kind of assumed it was VB.Net only. Given the convergence (until now apparently) of C# and VB.net I guess I shouldn't be surprised at all.

    I'm curious to see what the classic VB syntax looks like once it's in C# though.
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    Re: Microsoft Puts C#, Visual Basic on Different Paths

    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyDexter View Post
    Well colour me surprised, I just kind of assumed it was VB.Net only. Given the convergence (until now apparently) of C# and VB.net I guess I shouldn't be surprised at all.

    I'm curious to see what the classic VB syntax looks like once it's in C# though.
    It's just .NET classes, so it looks like C#. There's arguments in the community as to whether it should be referenced at all. I personally think a lot of it is garbage, even in a VB project:
    • Some of it is only there as a temporary crutch for porting applications. Luckily for us, MS put almost all of it in the namespaces Microsoft.VisualBasic.Compatiiblity.*.
    • Some of it is just a confusing wrapper around things that already exist. The only thing they do is make it harder for a VB developer to also be a C# developer.

    Then again, there's gems like TextFieldParser. And occasionally something else useful, like the ability to send files to the Recycle Bin. I don't mind referencing this assembly if it's because I'm getting something out of it that'd be too difficult to implement in terms of the BCL.

    In terms of the original article, I sort of agree. It's been a very frustrating aspect of posting on this forum. VB developers seem philosophically opposed to having the boat rocked in any way, shape or form. There's nearly 10-year-old APIs I'm seeing people still claim aren't mature enough for production use. The UI framework of choice is increasingly showing its age, a WinForms app today looks just as janky as a VB6 app looked on WinXP or a Win16 app looked on 95. But the VB community has always been more about compiling a list of workarounds rather than moving on.

    I don't mean that in a bad way, there's certain industries and applications that need stability more than cutting-edge. And the shift towards consumer-focused apps doesn't exactly help business apps in any meaningful way.

    But there's also some changes the VB community's resisted that are actively harmful to its future. Unit testing was accepted like vaccines at least 10 years ago by almost every programming community. VBF's the only place I've been mocked for bringing it up. Presentation Model patterns are old news to other languages. I don't think many VB developers have even read an article about Model-View-Controller outside of ASP .NET. Heck, half the time when I suggest, "You should put that code in another class" people throw garbage and scream "ARCHITECT!"

    That's something I'll say with a negative connotation. Settling on a stable platform is a pragmatic choice. Ignoring the advances of your engineering field is willful negligence. C# needs a lot of new features to keep pace with languages that are proving much more productive than any of the .NET languages. It can't keep pace if it's got to please the VB community along the way.
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    PowerPoster Nightwalker83's Avatar
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    Re: Microsoft Puts C#, Visual Basic on Different Paths

    Quote Originally Posted by NeedSomeAnswers View Post
    They haven't said anything about phasing it out just yet, only updating the VB language less frequently.
    Ah ok!

    You can already add in the Visual Basic namespace which gives you access to a bunch of VB specific functions.
    Yeah, I forgot about that! If when Visual Basic is phasrd out the only things really going would be the seperate IDE, etc all the code, functionally, etc would still be included in later version of Visual Studios for that reason and also it you can create the some things through code who have them making the program bigger when those drag/drop items are available in a other VS tool/language?

    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyDexter View Post
    Is the Visual Basic namespace available in a C# project? I've always assumed that it isn't but I've never felt the need to try it so I'm not sure.

    I was curious about that too. Are we talking language features (e.g. XML literals)? Architectural approach (e.g. the whole COM vs Framework debate)? I guess a part of my question is: is it Classic vs .Net features you miss or VB.Net vs C# features?
    I was thinking the classic features are the .Net of VB and C# that different?
    Last edited by Nightwalker83; Apr 26th, 2016 at 08:02 PM. Reason: Adding more!
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    Re: Microsoft Puts C#, Visual Basic on Different Paths

    Quote Originally Posted by NeedSomeAnswers View Post
    Instead of saying this is going to happen, they said these users like this, these users like this and this so we are going to do this.
    No generalisation is ever going to apply to every member of a group but let's not forget that "VB developers" includes a lot of people who never really wanted to leave VB6 and may even be lobbying for a new version of VB6 even now. I'd say that, on average, VB developers probably are more conservative than C# developers.
    Quote Originally Posted by NeedSomeAnswers View Post
    Personally i think it just so they can speed up the C# language version iterations so they can keep up with other languages as C# is now competing much more in the web and mobile space then before.
    I'd agree that that is probably the primary driving force.

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    Re: Microsoft Puts C#, Visual Basic on Different Paths

    I was thinking the classic features. are the .Net of VB and C# that different?
    I had to read that several times before I figured out there was a missing full stop.

    No, there's not much difference between VB.Net and C#. Mostly it's just syntactical. Curly braces vs End statements, that sort of thing.

    There are very few more substantive differences that I can think of. VB offers xml literals although I'm inclined to call that a syntax feature rather than a language feature. VB offers the choice to turn Options Strict, Explicit and Inferred on or off where as C# mandates the way these choices are made (on, on, off respectively) although those are probably the choices you ought to be making in VB anyway. Other than that I'm drawing a blank at the moment but I'm sure some other folks could pull a few other differences out.

    The difference between classic and .Net are, of course, far more significant. I personally never find myself lamenting the loss of any of the classic features so I guess I fall firmly in the pro .Net camp. Mind you, when I first switched I wasn't actually aware of the backward compatibility libraries so forming new habits was kinda forced on me by my own ignorance. I'm actually grateful for that, though. It forced me to get past my own inertia.

    there's certain industries and applications that need stability more than cutting-edge.
    This is one of the things that bothered me about the article, I don't see the two as mutually exclusive. The article seems to imply that MS have reached the conclusion that C# can support both advancement and backward compatibility but somehow VB can't - which is clearly tosh.

    I think you're right that the psychology of the two sets of developers probably plays some part but I can't help feeling that could be better addressed with how advancements to the languages are presented to the market. Just send out a backward compatibility centric bit of spiel for the VBers and a "look at the shiny things" message for the C#ers. I don't see it as a good argument for splitting the languages after so much effort was invested into converging them - which seemed like a far more sensible strategy from the developers perspective.

    That's why I would treat the reasons given in this article with a large dose of scepticism. It's not about making the VBers happy, it's about making them second class because MS don't think its worth the effort to keep both languages up to date any more.
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    Re: Microsoft Puts C#, Visual Basic on Different Paths

    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyDexter View Post
    There are very few more substantive differences that I can think of. VB offers xml literals although I'm inclined to call that a syntax feature rather than a language feature. VB offers the choice to turn Options Strict, Explicit and Inferred on or off where as C# mandates the way these choices are made (on, on, off respectively) although those are probably the choices you ought to be making in VB anyway. Other than that I'm drawing a blank at the moment but I'm sure some other folks could pull a few other differences out.
    C# behaves the way VB does with all three of Option Strict, Explicit and Infer turned On. Option Infer was introduced specifically because type inference was required for LINQ. If C# didn't support type inference by default then you would not be able to use 'var' or anonymous types.

    The biggest feature supported in C# and not in VB is unsafe code. It's rarely used by the vast majority of application developers but, in computationally-intensive scenarios, it can be a boon. C# also supports anonymous methods where VB doesn't but that was rendered moot with the introduction of lambda expressions with LINQ in both languages.

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    Re: Microsoft Puts C#, Visual Basic on Different Paths

    C# behaves the way VB does with all three of Option Strict, Explicit and Infer turned On. Option Infer was introduced specifically because type inference was required for LINQ. If C# didn't support type inference by default then you would not be able to use 'var' or anonymous types.
    Sorry, you're right. Weirdly I knew you were right too. I'll put that one down to a brain fart.
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    Re: Microsoft Puts C#, Visual Basic on Different Paths

    No generalisation is ever going to apply to every member of a group but let's not forget that "VB developers" includes a lot of people who never really wanted to leave VB6 and may even be lobbying for a new version of VB6 even now. I'd say that, on average, VB developers probably are more conservative than C# developers.
    Oh i agree, i just feel they (MS - and they are far from alone in this) tried to put out messaging in there announcement to steer the conversation rather than just straight up saying what they are going to do, which i find a bit annoying and condescending but i probably shouldn't be it's really no big thing.
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    Re: Microsoft Puts C#, Visual Basic on Different Paths

    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyDexter View Post
    This is one of the things that bothered me about the article, I don't see the two as mutually exclusive. The article seems to imply that MS have reached the conclusion that C# can support both advancement and backward compatibility but somehow VB can't - which is clearly tosh.

    I think you're right that the psychology of the two sets of developers probably plays some part but I can't help feeling that could be better addressed with how advancements to the languages are presented to the market. Just send out a backward compatibility centric bit of spiel for the VBers and a "look at the shiny things" message for the C#ers. I don't see it as a good argument for splitting the languages after so much effort was invested into converging them - which seemed like a far more sensible strategy from the developers perspective.
    It matters most if MS wants to keep feature parity between VB and C#. If that's the case, the VB team has to find time to satisfy both backwards compatibility and forward-looking features. That takes longer, and means C# features are slower to release.

    IMO, it's bad for VB overall to become a stable, maintenance language, but I'm not a maintenance developer in spirit. So it's not really my place to make those arguments. Right now the concept of "stability" for any .NET language seems a bit ridiculous as Windows itself is undergoing a lot of churn around its fundamental APIs.
    This answer is wrong. You should be using TableAdapter and Dictionaries instead.

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    Re: Microsoft Puts C#, Visual Basic on Different Paths

    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyDexter View Post
    It's not about making the VBers happy, it's about making them second class because MS don't think its worth the effort to keep both languages up to date any more.
    Well, Microsoft is desperate to find places to cut as Windows and Office continue losing market share despite expensive efforts to keep changing them both. For that matter for all their bluster about Azure, its only real "uptake" is because they count Enterprise Agreement customers who are forced to "take" Azure even if they never use it.

    So maybe VB.Net is just another product they can gradually wind down support for, and lay off a few more people as it moves to a "support only" status over time.

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    Re: Microsoft Puts C#, Visual Basic on Different Paths

    That is pretty much the future I see for VB unless the community changes dramatically in the next year.

    It's possibly the future I see for Windows too. I'm curious how the Slashdot crowd will take it if a year actually is the year of Desktop Linux, but it turns out to be a Microsoft Linux.
    This answer is wrong. You should be using TableAdapter and Dictionaries instead.

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    Re: Microsoft Puts C#, Visual Basic on Different Paths

    Indeed, there is in fact slim to no chance of VB.NET as an alternative language to future versions of ASP.NET.

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