Is VB.Net really that bad?

The endless VB.Net discussion

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#1 remorseless  Icon User is offline

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Is VB.Net really that bad?

Posted 25 December 2009 - 07:02 AM

A few days ago, there was a heated discussion about how VB.Net teaches people very bad programming habits in the Other Languages forums (I might link the topic if it is still there), and I must say that I absolutely love VB.Net and think it is a great language, but me and a friend had a discussion about it and he raised up some really good points and now I'm starting to doubt myself if we should be teaching C# instead of VB.Net.

My friend was saying that the syntax that VB.Net teaches differs greatly from most other languages. I previously thought this was great, it's unique, gives a flavour and simplicity to the language that everyone can use it, but was it too unique? I mean, it's like teaching a child Hieroglyphic. Sure it's a language, but it's one that nobody uses except others who speak Hieroglyphic too. Let me ellaborate:
VB.Net: If conditon And x = 5 Then ...... End If
C#: if(condition && x==5){ ...... }

Much more languages use the C# method, and no other language uses the VB.Net method. Most languages use the usual "==" for comparison and the "=" for assignment, but VB.Net manages to use "=" for both assignment and comparison. Secondly, declaring variables in VB.Net is quite different than most other languages. In Java, C#, C++ they all follow the same trend of: int x = 0; while VB.Net uses Dim x As Integer = 0 This point is probably one of the stronger points that made me doubt myself.

Furthermore, something that I did subconsciously in the example before is the end of the line character, the semi-colon ";". VB.Net is like a Windows Batch file, the end of the line is the end of the line, while C# follows the usual and most used form of a semi-colon to denote the end of the line. This allows for more cleaner looking source, e.g:

VB.Net:
Dim x As String() = {"Hello, ", "my ", "name ", "is ", "David.", "I ", "am ", "from ", "California, ","America"}



C#
string[] x = {
"Hello, ", "my", "name", "is", "David.",
"I ", "am ", "from ", "California, ", "America"
};


Straight away you can notice the potential of something like that in larger pieces of code, it helps you visualize what you are doing at the very least and it doesn't mean you have to cram a lot of code into one line, you can spread out and let the sky be your limit. (Or text-editor for that matter.)

Finally, and more importantly, is the use of methods and members. Using something simple like Dim s As String = "x" + Environment.NewLine() is allowed in VB.Net, but it is incorrect because Environment.NewLine() is being used as a method, which it isn't. The correct way, in my opinion, is string s = "x" + Environment.NewLine; which is used in C#.

As you can see, me and my friend had a loooooooong discussion (I have never actually talked and debated about programming for that long! We chatted for like 2 hours!) and he actually came out winning, almost changing my opinion about VB.Net. So, I have come to you dear Dreamers In Code, in my final attempt to retain the same love and respect that I had for VB.Net.

What is your opinion about VB.Net? Do you think it doesn't matter what language you teach, as long you teach the main programming concepts? Do you think VB.Net shouldn't be taught at schools, but should be replaced with C# so students can easily adapt to other languages? Do you not care at all what language they use because it all comes down to a bunch of 0s and 1s?

Oh and by the way, MERRY CHRISTMAS! :D

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#2 Raynes  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is VB.Net really that bad?

Posted 25 December 2009 - 11:23 AM

I wouldn't be caught dead teaching VB in any form to anybody as a first language. The things you mentioned, and because of the massive verbosity and wordyness of this language, coupled with the fact that everything upon everything is capitalized turns me off considerably.

I stand by my original argument, and that is that there are so many better languages out there, there is no reason for VB.NET to exist, or be used unless it's required by work (I feel sorry for you), and defending it is just plain redundant.

There is hardly ever a time when VB.NET is better than another language at any particular task, it doesn't even have that going for it.

Beyond fanboyism, VB.NET just isn't that great. There are better options, and until that is no longer true, I'll continue trying my best to keep people away from the language. Bygones will be bygones, and I get flamed every time I so much as refer to VB.NET in a negative light, but it's certainly worth it.
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#3 PsychoCoder  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is VB.Net really that bad?

Posted 25 December 2009 - 11:43 AM

Oh my God @Raynes, I'm so tired of hearing this crap from you, I truly am. While I use C# 99.9% of the time, I've worked for companies that used nothing but VB.NET, and for enterprise applications used by over 500k users. So what if it has capital letters, so what if the line isn't ended by a semi-colon, who really gives a shit (well other than you and your Haskell/Clojure fanboyism crap). Here's one, if you have nothing constructive/helpful to say how about not saying crap, mmkay :)

I personally despise Haskell, Clojure and the other languages you always preach about, but do I go around in every thread I can find and bash them? No I dont. Do you know why, it's because I'm a mature adult, not some immature kid who has less years living than I do programming years and who really has no idea what he's talking about most of the time. It's really getting old, and I have tried and tried to bite my tongue when seeing you hijack every thread you can find with your M$ hatred, but I just cannot do that anymore.

Whether you like it or not (or can grasp the concept at all) all languages have their place and uses, and Haskell/Clojure/Lisp/<Insert Language Name Here> isn't the bees knees of programming (whether you like it or not), and they're damn sure not the best choice for every programming task. It amuses me when you do this as well, because C# and VB.NET use the same exact Framework, and both have access to the same classes/methods,Namespaces,etc, and there's nothing I can do in C# that I cannot accomplish in VB.NET (I just choose to not use VB.NET).

It's sad, you're actually worse than any Apple fanboy or *nix fanboy I've ever seen, because you actually believe that the crap you spew is gospel or something. Like you're choice of language(s) is the only thing that's right and anyone who chooses a different language is just stupid, and that in itself is a sign of true ignorance and immaturity.

So please stop it, if you've got nothing constructive to say in a thread just dont post anything.
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#4 Raynes  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is VB.Net really that bad?

Posted 25 December 2009 - 12:29 PM

View PostPsychoCoder, on 25 Dec, 2009 - 10:43 AM, said:

Oh my God @Raynes, I'm so tired of hearing this crap from you, I truly am. While I use C# 99.9% of the time, I've worked for companies that used nothing but VB.NET, and for enterprise applications used by over 500k users. So what if it has capital letters, so what if the line isn't ended by a semi-colon, who really gives a shit (well other than you and your Haskell/Clojure fanboyism crap). Here's one, if you have nothing constructive/helpful to say how about not saying crap, mmkay :)

I personally despise Haskell, Clojure and the other languages you always preach about, but do I go around in every thread I can find and bash them? No I dont. Do you know why, it's because I'm a mature adult, not some immature kid who has less years living than I do programming years and who really has no idea what he's talking about most of the time. It's really getting old, and I have tried and tried to bite my tongue when seeing you hijack every thread you can find with your M$ hatred, but I just cannot do that anymore.

Whether you like it or not (or can grasp the concept at all) all languages have their place and uses, and Haskell/Clojure/Lisp/<Insert Language Name Here> isn't the bees knees of programming (whether you like it or not), and they're damn sure not the best choice for every programming task. It amuses me when you do this as well, because C# and VB.NET use the same exact Framework, and both have access to the same classes/methods,Namespaces,etc, and there's nothing I can do in C# that I cannot accomplish in VB.NET (I just choose to not use VB.NET).

It's sad, you're actually worse than any Apple fanboy or *nix fanboy I've ever seen, because you actually believe that the crap you spew is gospel or something. Like you're choice of language(s) is the only thing that's right and anyone who chooses a different language is just stupid, and that in itself is a sign of true ignorance and immaturity.

So please stop it, if you've got nothing constructive to say in a thread just dont post anything.


This is exactly the sort of thing I'm talking about. I wouldn't expect this sort of thing from you.

I have two links in my signature, one for the Haskell website, and one for the Clojure website. That's about as far as my fanboyism goes. If someone asks me about the languages, I'll offer to help them. I'm sorry if this bothers you, I'll be sure to not be a helpful member of the community anymore. If someone says they don't like Haskell, or that it's a bad language, I simply ask them why they think that, and if I don't have anything to say that could make them see it in a more positive light, I simply leave it alone. What I don't do is insult people for their opinions, nor do I argue with them when it's hardly even relevant.

Just because you don't like what I say doesn't make it irrelevant. This man asked for our opinions on VB.NET so I gave him mine. Get over it. In those threads that I 'hijack', all I ever do is tell people to try to avoid VB if possible. After that, I'm usually flamed, or replied to, so if I have anything to say, I reply back. I do believe this is the way a forum works. Guess I'm wrong.

Did insulting my age, my experience, what I know, what I don't know, and comparing them to your age, your experience, and what you know make you feel good about yourself? I'm sorry that my mother didn't have me until 1994, do you want me to get her on the line so you can insult her too? By the way, my first language was C#, and I have absolutely no animosity against Microsoft, though you seem to fabricate that so you have one more thing to throw at me.

I absolutely agree, Clojure and Haskell are simply languages in the toolbox, just like all other languages. I'd love to a post where I have declared that Haskell or Clojure reign supreme. I'd love to see me preaching Functional Programming as the savior of all. I /use/ these languages, and they are my favorite languages, and my primary languages, but they are not my /only/ languages. You know, I've done some Ruby in the past, and intend to do more when I get a chance. I've also played with Python and friends as well. I'm sorry I haven't had as many years as you have had to learn various things. I'm sorry I don't have the correct amount of experience to be considered a human being. Should I leave and come back in 5 years, when what I'll be old enough and experienced enough for what I say to be considered?

I'm also deeply sorry that expressing my opinion about VB.NET is forbidden, simply because you don't like my opinion. You might want to edit this guy's thread to say something along the lines of "Only opinions which show VB.NET in a positive light are allowed.".

Where did I say that my choice of languages is the only 'correct' choice? There are a lot of things about me that you could attack. You've already went after my age and experience. You should go after where I live and what I look like next. I'll email you a picture of myself so you have something to work with, if you'd like. All I ask is that you please don't pretend that I've said things that I haven't actually said. That kind of thing bothers me. I understand you don't like me or who I am, but don't fabricate things just to get back at me.

I will say one thing, and leave you to your business. I don't think I'm the one being immature here, but hey, I'm not really old, or experienced enough to know that, am I?

This post has been edited by Raynes: 25 December 2009 - 12:38 PM

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#5 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is VB.Net really that bad?

Posted 25 December 2009 - 01:53 PM

Yes, it's that bad. ;)

Seriously, it's just a language. More importantly, it's one of the two major languages ( three, if you want to consider the bastardized version of C++ ) supported by Microsoft for their .NET framework in Visual Studio. If you want to get started then the choices are C# or VB.NET.

Many moons ago, prior to .NET, Visual Basic was a phenomenon. It started out small. Microsoft put it out more as a proof of concept, never seeming to expect serious development. But, almost in spite of Microsoft, VB caught fire. One reason was it was just so much easier to prototype in than fighting a C WINAPI or C++ MFC. It was, for a time, the lingua franca of Windows. Any code written for Windows need a VB wrapper, library, COM object, some kind of plug-in. It was called glue, but it didn't matter because it worked. ( In Linux, Python currently enjoys much the same niche. )

Then came the .NET framework. The framework was conceived of as an object oriented platform. Language agnostic, as long as some kind of OO system was in place. VB classic is not really an object oriented language, though classes were just beginning to be introduced. Changes would have to be made.

VB.NET started out life as a square peg in a round hole. It was not like the old VB. In fact, it was so very different that the only real similarity were a handful of keywords and Microsoft's insistence that this was the migration path.

When .NET first came out my company, as a mostly Microsoft shop, decided to embrace it. I looked as fairly as I could at both VB.NET and C#. VB had the legacy base to recommend it; anyone writing code at the time had done something in VB. One the other hand, C# was a clear Java clone and finding a good Java programmer that wouldn't just prefer Java was a challenge. We would have liked to go with VB, but we went with C#. I personally like Java and C# and dislike VB syntax, but that wasn't the reason.

VB.NET was so vastly different from legacy VB that it didn't really offer a simple upgrade path; VB programmers would have to go back to school no matter what. At the time, C# seemed favored by Microsoft; this is our language, most of the framework is written in this. Of the .NET examples available, the C# were always more concise than their VB.NET counter part.

The real issue, in the beginning, is that VB.NET was simply lacking some core functionality. The first version of Visual Studio didn't have an event tab for VB, while C# did. A number of things seemed intentionally hidden in VB. This has gotten better over the years, but some things are still harder to find in VB.NET than C#.

VB.NET is also the subject of stigma. VB was considered the language of choice for programmers who were more hobbyists than "real" programmers. That has carried over into VB.NET. Worse, beginners also believe it. It is a myth that VB.NET is an "easy" language. Rather, it's a verbose .NET language that's just as easy, or hard, to develop in as any other .NET language.

Beginners often choose VB feeling it will be easier for them to learn programming. I don't feel this is the case. Everything that VB pundits feel makes their language easier doesn't do them any favors when they face other languages. VB hides a number of OO paradigms. It's case insensitive. It allows non typed declarations. Everything it does to be helpful has the capacity to cause just as much confusion as enlightenment.

VB.NET is viable language. I wouldn't recommend it; I have my reasons, many stated above. Others feel it is ideal for their needs; they are also correct.
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#6 Raynes  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is VB.Net really that bad?

Posted 25 December 2009 - 03:27 PM

:^: Wonderful post. I think it honestly takes somebody like you to say this, because when I do it... Well, you seen what just happened. I guess my age is just a big ol' target on my profile. Anyways, thanks for this post. People are more inclined to take you seriously than they are me.

This post has been edited by Raynes: 25 December 2009 - 06:22 PM

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#7 Choscura  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is VB.Net really that bad?

Posted 25 December 2009 - 11:58 PM

I was introduced to programming in VB. Needless to say, it didn't go well.

VB, as a first language, is horrible. If you're already a programmer, then VB or VB.NET might be wonderful- an easy way to do otherwise boring and mundane things which you've already been doing in other languages. But on it's own, as an introduction, it works against you in two ways: the syntax (or lack thereof) keeps you from understanding how the computer is actually seeing the code, and the lack of understanding prevents you from knowing how to deal with problems in the program.
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#8 T3hC13h  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is VB.Net really that bad?

Posted 26 December 2009 - 12:26 AM

View PostChoscura, on 25 Dec, 2009 - 10:58 PM, said:

I was introduced to programming in VB. Needless to say, it didn't go well.

VB, as a first language, is horrible. If you're already a programmer, then VB or VB.NET might be wonderful- an easy way to do otherwise boring and mundane things which you've already been doing in other languages. But on it's own, as an introduction, it works against you in two ways: the syntax (or lack thereof) keeps you from understanding how the computer is actually seeing the code, and the lack of understanding prevents you from knowing how to deal with problems in the program.


Soooo your saying a good syntax is one that reflects how the CPU is executing the compiled code? I must have missed that memo. So much for that whole High Level Language thing. Seriously I find your assertion ridiculous, almost all high level languages will "insulate" the programmer from the machine code, that is their purpose.

If you failed to understand something I would be surprised if the language syntax was to be blamed and not your teacher or textbook.

I've yet to see a single solid reason why VB.NET is bad, only nit picking about small syntax differences.

This post has been edited by T3hC13h: 26 December 2009 - 12:36 AM

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#9 remorseless  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is VB.Net really that bad?

Posted 26 December 2009 - 04:08 AM

Really good replies coming in guys, keep them coming. I was hoping this wouldn't turn into a Raynes vs PsychoCoder flamewar but I was expecting it. Comments about age are quite low, Psycho, I'm sorry to say that. I'm 15 too, so what you said also applied to me.

One last thing.

Quote

I've yet to see a single solid reason why VB.NET is bad, only nit picking about small syntax differences.


But, Do you really think its just nit-picking? Like Choscura said, the syntax doesn't matter if you already now it, but if you are introduced to programming through VB.Net, don't you think it would be wiser to start off with the standard syntax? At least that way a student can be more suited to other languages when they leave that class. Do you or do you not agree?
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#10 PsychoCoder  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is VB.Net really that bad?

Posted 26 December 2009 - 06:31 AM

View PostChoscura, on 25 Dec, 2009 - 09:58 PM, said:

the syntax (or lack thereof) keeps you from understanding how the computer is actually seeing the code, and the lack of understanding prevents you from knowing how to deal with problems in the program.


So explain to me how int i = 0; shows me how the computer is seeing the code, which Dim i As Integer = 0 does not? The computer does not see C# nor VB.NET code like it is written, it is seen after it is compiled into MSIL, and oddly enough C# and VB.NET both compile to exactly the same MSIL code, weird eh.

Please if you're going to make a statement at least make it semi-coherent and plausible, not just some crap you pulled out of thin air mmkay :)

I give a damn what @baavgai says, VB.NET is an Object Orientated Language, 100% even. It's syntax people nothing more nothing less, anything you can do in C# I can accomplish in VB.NET (regardless of how you want to argue that, it's the truth).

I'm just a little tired of all these Microsoft haters (they're normally *nix or Mac fanboys anyways) spewing crap that they know nothing of.

Quote

I'm 15 too, so what you said also applied to me.


Nope, you seem intelligent enough to ask honest questions, looking for advice. @Raynes on the other hand more enjoys hijacking any thread he can find preaching how Haskell/Clojure/<InsertLanguageNameHere> is the bees knees of programming and the only languages anyone should program in, and acting as if when you chose a different language he's somehow better than you because he thinks it's somehow a lesser language than he should have to lower himself to.

I call 'em as I see 'em, he's a 15 year old that acts like he knows everything, and that acts as if he knows every thing there is to know about programming and every language on the planet. It's that that shows just how immature and young he is, and he has a long way to go before I would ever say Raynes & programmer in the same sentence.
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#11 Raynes  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is VB.Net really that bad?

Posted 26 December 2009 - 07:06 AM

View PostPsychoCoder, on 26 Dec, 2009 - 05:31 AM, said:

Quote

I'm 15 too, so what you said also applied to me.


Nope, you seem intelligent enough to ask honest questions, looking for advice. @Raynes on the other hand more enjoys hijacking any thread he can find preaching how Haskell/Clojure/<InsertLanguageNameHere> is the bees knees of programming and the only languages anyone should program in, and acting as if when you chose a different language he's somehow better than you because he thinks it's somehow a lesser language than he should have to lower himself to.

I call 'em as I see 'em, he's a 15 year old that acts like he knows everything, and that acts as if he knows every thing there is to know about programming and every language on the planet. It's that that shows just how immature and young he is, and he has a long way to go before I would ever say Raynes & programmer in the same sentence.


Show me a thread where I've right out preached about the languages I've used. Show me a thread where I've done more than help somebody who was interested in getting into functional programming. Show me where I have declared that the languages I use are superior than all other languages. If you can't do this, then stop running your mouth.

I know three languages, and I don't dare to say I know everything. I'm less experienced than you, and most of the people who posted above me, probably. Especially Baavgai. I've never once claimed to know more than anyone on this site. All I've done here is express an opinion (quite similar to Baavgai's opinion), and get attacked by you! But in reality, it seems everybody who differs in opinion from you is getting attacked.

I honestly don't know where you're getting this stuff, but it's really starting to annoy me. What is your problem? Does being an admin mean you can right out attack anybody you don't see eye to eye with? Calm down.

This post has been edited by Raynes: 26 December 2009 - 07:23 AM

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#12 Core  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is VB.Net really that bad?

Posted 26 December 2009 - 07:11 AM

@Raynes Now I would ask you to calm down a bit. Please read the topic title. Your post wasn't realated to it. Now, I would ask everyone to keep this thread on topic before it gets closed.
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#13 T3hC13h  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is VB.Net really that bad?

Posted 26 December 2009 - 08:18 AM

View Postremorseless, on 26 Dec, 2009 - 03:08 AM, said:

...don't you think it would be wiser to start off with the standard syntax? At least that way a student can be more suited to other languages when they leave that class. Do you or do you not agree?


I do not agree. I think its more important to start with a language that can teach the underlaying concepts without bogging the fledgling programmer down with syntax and language quirks. But you have a valid point, it is easier to learn another curly bracket language if thats what your already used to typing, however if the programmer has a strong grasp of the underlaying concepts making the switch syntacticly should not be an issue.
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#14 ccubed  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is VB.Net really that bad?

Posted 26 December 2009 - 03:07 PM

@PsychoCoder - You're just as bad, if not worse, than Raynes.
@Raynes - You should really just ignore him man.

As to the OT, Is VB.Net a bad language? Well, to begin with, let's split .Net and VB. .Net is a framework, not the language, and while VB 2008 use to be VB.Net, microsoft decided it was too confusing and renamed it to VB 2008. Now, if you were to ask my opinion of VB, then I don't have a problem with it. There's no law that says VB is any better or worse than any other language. It's just a form of syntax, in the end all of it is machine code.

Some people tend to think that the syntax in VB is bad? Well, what? It's not bad at all. Are you really complaining about Capitalization when C++ is CASE SENSITIVE? Case Sensitivity is NOT a new thing. It's been around for awhile now. So what if you can't type dim. It's no different in C++. So the case sensitivity crap is annoying.

If you were to ask my opinion of VB as a development language, I would say that for some tasks it's just as good if not better than some other languages. There's nothing wrong with being a VB Developer, I happen to be one and people bashing VB because of some apparent belief one platform is better than another is stupid. It's a platform for development, get over it, use the one you know best.

Now, if you were to ask about .Net as a framework, I'd say throw it out. It introduces some truly useful features that are easier to get to such as ADO, but some of it is just confusing, convoluted and trite. Then again, the Win32 API is like this, so if you've done that this is no different.

To ensure I am not tagged as VB Fanboy, I would like to note that I develop in several languages not limited to C++, C#, VB, Python and Java. So seriously, cut the crap. VB is a viable language if you work well with it.
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#15 Raynes  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is VB.Net really that bad?

Posted 26 December 2009 - 04:05 PM

View Postccubed, on 26 Dec, 2009 - 02:07 PM, said:

@Raynes - You should really just ignore him man.


You are absolutely right. I'm learning to hold my tongue when it's reasonable to do so, but he succeeding in pissing me off when he started putting words in my mouth.

On topic: Like Baavgai said, VB.NET is definitely a viable language, and yes it's turing complete so it can make a computer do anything, but no, I cannot and will not recommend it or support it's usage over other languages. Doesn't mean everybody else has to feel the same way. I'm a functional programming guy, but not only a functional programming guy. The fact that I dislike VB has nothing to do with Microsoft, or Haskell, Clojure, or any other of the functional languages I support. It's just the way I feel.

I don't think anyone here against VB.NET has denied it's viability. Case sensitivity is a personal issue. I don't think I could live without case sensitivity. I just don't care to have to capitalize every little thing in a language. That's probably related to my usage of Haskell, where the only thing capitalized are the names of types and value constructors for those types.

This post has been edited by Raynes: 26 December 2009 - 04:12 PM

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