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Thread: Self-Interest & VS.NET

  1. #16
    Guest

    Re: Self-Interest & VS.NET

    > I'm particularly interested in hearing from those of you who argue against
    > the pain and expense which may be suffered by large corporations which
    > have a need to port exisiting VB6 apps to the .net platform. Don't forget
    > to describe why it is that you feel such pain for large corporations which
    > wouldn't hesitate a moment to hand you a pink-slip on christmas eve if
    > they thought it was in the self-interest of the management and/or
    > stockholders.


    Forget the pain and expense of large corporations. I've never worked for big
    iron and hope I can keep it that way.

    However, maybe i'm in the minority here, but I've got a code base built up
    of some 150,000 lines of code that I reuse on a regular basis.

    One of the big points ms wants to make about .net is how it'll foster code
    reuse.

    How, exactly, for me? A quick check through my stuff showed dang near all of
    it having to be thrown out. Is the new stuff nicer. Sure in some ways.

    But ****. Redoing all my code, retesting etc, so I can move forward on
    substantial projects is not a pleasant thought.

    Then again, I can just "keeping mainting my present stuff" in vb6 and start
    over with .net.

    Then I get the joys of trying to keep two +almost+ the same environments
    straight and maintain two totally seperate yet functionally equivalent
    codebases. I tried that several years back with PowerBasic. I almost went
    insane.

    Bottom line, even for a relatively small base of 150k lines, I think I'll be
    staying with Vb6 till .netv2 or 3...

    That's what happened with me between vb3 and 5 and I'd say it worked out
    rather well. Most of those early OCX's for vb4 sucked anyway.





  2. #17
    Zane Thomas Guest

    Re: Self-Interest & VS.NET

    "Jon Ogden" <jon@ogdenco.net> wrote:

    >if it turns out that you've bet on the next OS2, I'd guess somewhat the
    >poorer ...


    Heh, yeah, I wouldn't like that. :-)

    >Hmmm, can I ask why you feel so comfortable with and trusting of MSFT?


    Trust? I trust them to blow with the market-force winds. :-) As long as
    they keep providing nice niches I can work in that will be good enough for
    me. Dotnet looks good to me, the programming environment is very
    productive for a wide-range of applications.

    >I suspect that Microsoft would make decisions that would leave you
    >feeling as high and dry as some other folks obviously feel right now,
    >if it was in the self-interest of the management and/or stockholders.



    No doubt - but despite what some people here think is said by vb.net MS
    needs people to fill its niches, a forest isn't healthy without the little
    bugs who scurry around on the forest floor picking up the scraps. :-)


    ---
    Ice Z - Straight Outta Redmond

  3. #18
    Zane Thomas Guest

    Re: Self-Interest & VS.NET

    Mike,

    That's all very interesting. Plenty of things there I could argue with -
    most of which have already been argued ad nauseum anyway.

    But I don't think you answered my question. You told us a lot of what you
    feel corporate interests are, and without accepting your numerous
    premises, that's all well and good. So, unless your interests are the
    same as corporate interests then you haven't answered my question.


    ---
    Ice Z - Straight Outta Redmond

  4. #19
    Zane Thomas Guest

    Re: Self-Interest & VS.NET

    "Ray Collins" <NoSpam_ray.collins@bigpond.com> wrote:

    >If you followed the thread I started title "its 2002 and the big questions
    >are" you will notice that nobody was able to answer.


    Not to belittle your questions, but if I had wanted to be involved in that
    thread I would have been. That said, you might consider that the same
    questions have been asked of _every_ release of windows.

    >In my mind VB was the starting language for programmers ...


    Not everyone learned programming via VB, or even BASIC.

    Personally I think C# is going to be a lot easier for new programmers to
    learn than VB6 - which had more than its fair share of inconsistencies and
    constraints. I won't comment on vb.net other than to say that my advice
    to anyone starting with windows programming at this moment would be to
    learn c#.

    >It seems to me that the "professionals" have been unable to leave VB and
    >move on, and now mangled a good introductory language.


    I don't agree that VB6 was a good introductory language - Scheme, for
    instance, is a much better way to learn about the art of programming
    itself.


    ---
    Ice Z - Straight Outta Redmond

  5. #20
    Zane Thomas Guest

    Re: Self-Interest & VS.NET

    On Thu, 25 Jan 2001 19:29:53 -0600, <Darin> wrote:

    >However, maybe i'm in the minority here, but I've got a code base built up
    >of some 150,000 lines of code that I reuse on a regular basis.


    I addressed this issue in response to Dan Barclay, if you want to jump in
    there that'd be great.


    ---
    Ice Z - Straight Outta Redmond

  6. #21
    Dan Barclay Guest

    Re: Self-Interest & VS.NET

    On Fri, 26 Jan 2001 01:15:12 GMT, zane@mabry.com (Zane Thomas) wrote:

    >On Thu, 25 Jan 2001 17:28:44 -0600, Dan Barclay <dbarclay@ih2000.net>
    >wrote:
    >
    >>I guess I shouldn't disappoint you either, then <g>.

    >
    >ROFL! It's the same people year after year, how'd y'all manage to get so
    >old while still taking the bait over and over again? :-)


    Bait's tasty. It's the hook ya gotta avoid <g>.

    >>Or unclear musings as above.

    >
    >Works for me. :-)
    >
    >I really am interested in this topic, although I'm sure some people view
    >my post suspiciously as if it's baiting or something. (or at least people
    >who know me will view it that way <g>)


    <g>

    >Let's narrow the focus a bit.
    >
    >What's behind the evident emotion and many harsh posts from the vb.NOT
    >camp?
    >
    >I think it's because vb.net isn't perceived - rightly or wrongly so - as
    >being in many peoples' interest.


    Can't speak for everyone, but what I've said all along is that with
    regard to using VB for development of apps with long lives either (a)
    we've been mislead or (b) they don't "get it".

    If it's (a) they deserve a slap, and the marketplace needs to
    understand there be quicksand here.

    If it's (b) they need a slap to wake them up to the problem.

    VB.net will, without a doubt, appeal to J&C programmers. They'll love
    it. But, then, they'll love C# as well. It will also appeal to
    biggots who think they should teach us dumb asses how to program.
    That is, us millions of dumb asses who bought that nasty MS Basic
    based product and made apps with it anyway.

    My personal interest is aroused by the fact that MS is clearly
    demonstrating that they will not bring MS Basic forward into their new
    playground. Whether they provide long term support for VB6 or not is
    questionable, but of only partial interest.

    If dotnet is not successful, it goes away and it doesn't matter about
    VB.not. Other than, of course, the poor schmoes who now have to learn
    the old VB6... or will they then change the Windows version to .not?

    More likely, if dotnet is successful, the intent is for it to be a
    layer *everywhere*. Not just net apps, but including the desktop.
    Now those loyal users who made VB (and Windows) a success are left
    with a complete rewrite as a conversion just to get back on the
    desktop.

    Is that in a lot of people's interest? Dunno. I *do* know that it's
    not in my interest, or in the interest of developers who have existing
    apps.

    It is also my opinion that it is not in Microsoft's interest to leave
    out "realVB" or "VBClassic" or "MS Basic" or whatever we want to call
    the language. They are missing out, again just in my opinion, on the
    potential for a lot of apps on the ground in a hurry.

    Of course, there are those here who apparently feel those apps should
    be rewritten anyway. I question, however, if those folks were
    successful in getting apps of their own doing into play. If not, it
    seems the question "what do they know" comes to mind.

    >In the case of someone like you who has a comfortable niche with a large
    >code base I can certainly understand that perspective.


    It's not really that hard to understand. Well, for many people
    anyway.

    >I know it's no
    >comfort, but I have a large investment in ATL code, which was MFC, which
    >was VBX - so I feel your pain. :-) If that investment would have gone on
    >paying off for the indefinite future then it's fair to wonder if vb.net
    >serves your interests at all. Balancing that there may be in your case, I
    >really don't know, the opportunity for greater functionality and access to
    >a broader market. I'm sure you're thinking about all of that.


    Ahhh... but the "broader market" must continue to include the existing
    platforms. Vertical apps, for which VB is really most apt, are pretty
    focused. They also have long lives, being enhanced (not just bug
    support) while the platform spans multiple versions. These aren't
    shrinkwrap-advertise-with-web-spam type business. Likewise, corporate
    apps that are mission critical are very business centric. They are at
    the core of their businesses. Enhancements do not displace core
    functionality. Legacy is not a four letter word.

    What's more, you can complain about the ATL code and MFC, but I'd
    pretty much be willing to bet that *your* libraries of *your* code
    continue to work. Have you seen me complain about the way dotnet
    windows with their controls, properties, and methods have changed?
    New environment... that stuff's fair game. It was fair game for all
    that stuff to change in the move from DOS to WIN and again to 32bit.
    API's changed... so what. Nice that they made an effort to keep the
    transition manageable, but some stuff changed. The language isn't
    fair game.

    >I've been thinking lately that there's another way in which vb.net
    >threatens the interests of existing vb.net programmers. Portability. But
    >not portability of apps, portability of their skills. VB programmers have
    >had the luxury of being in a more or less stable programming environment
    >for quite a few years.


    I haven't written much VB.net code, but I can't imagine that getting
    productive with it would take long. At least from the language
    standpoint. The framework is a bit different, but then it's supposed
    to take longer learning that because there's more of it than there is
    of the language.

    The overriding problem, from the language standpoint is the need to
    rewrite in the first place magnified by the fact that they hosed it
    gratuitously. It is nuts to put yourself in a position over and over
    that requires you to rewrite. I have little or no confidence that
    what I write in vb.net would continue to run for long.

    >I have no problem accepting skills-portability as being an issue.
    >However, I wonder if - for those people - language stability wouldn't
    >really work against their self-interest in the not-too-long term.


    It wouldn't hurt to learn another language (C# or IL). The best
    language combination I could come up with in the DOS world for the
    kind of app work I do was Basic and ASM. C was a waste because if you
    needed to go there you might as well jump all the way to asm. Again,
    that was true for the kinds of apps I'm involved with (not a C slap at
    all).

    But, what sense does it make to *re*learn a language you already know?

    Bottom line, though, isn't "what's better for a particular
    programmer". The bottom line is "what's best for this app". The
    answer to that is that: what's best is the environment that lets the
    developer turn his *knowledge of the business problem* into a
    *solution to the business problem*. VB is a language and a product
    that has let us get at the heart of solutions without rooms full of
    programmers who only understand how to code.

    >Software development, languages, and systems are inevitably going to
    >evolve - as we've seen with java for instance. Now maybe Java (Delphi,
    >whatever) aren't VB-killers, but if VB was to remain unchanged forever
    >then there's little doubt that it would eventually be eclipsed.


    Some of us have a history of doing bit twiddling and object fiddling,
    but somebody that's enamored with VB or Java or Delphi, or C for the
    sake of the tool us useless. If you play with the tool too long
    you'll go blind.

    VB was a language that caught on with application developers. I can't
    tell you why in a nutshell, but I can tell you that it allowed us to
    focus on the business problems and get solutions working. Somehow
    along the line we also managed to clean some stuff up and write some
    useful/reusable code libs.

    While I can't tell you why VB caught on, I can also tell you MS
    doesn't have a clue about that either. MS Basic was chosen for VB
    because there was a good user base for it. Cooper wanted C under it
    as I recall. Even then, MS Basic wasn't chosen because they
    understood *why* it was popular.

    >I guess it's obvious that MS decided it was time to make a radical change
    >to VB - rather than port it as-is into dotnet. Personally I think that's
    >not all bad for existing VB programmers.


    I think VB programmers can make the transition. It's the apps. Then
    it's wondering if you should write that app in VB.net for fear they're
    going to change it again. It comes back not to "can they make the
    move" but "does it make sense to make that move". They can also move
    successfully to C#, C++, Delphi, Java...

    Once you decide you're going to transition it gets complicated because
    you then need to make a rational decision about *where* to transition.

    Here, again, is where MS is screwing up. They should not create the
    *need* to transition in the first place. Leave the language alone and
    both the apps and the programmers will slip right on over.

    >They get to take their "I am a
    >VB programmer" badge with them into dotnet, which gives them threads and a
    >parity with the functionality of c# without which VB's future would
    >obviously be limited.


    Have you seen anybody who wears a "I am a VB programmer" badge? It's
    more like a confessional for most. As to threads and the other
    functionality of C#, (1) the syntax and behavior changes do not affect
    that in the first place and (2) most VB apps are vertical apps which
    are marginally helped by multiple threads. It's cool and will be used
    if it's there... it is not what made VB popular nor will it be what
    keeps VB popular. A few whiners have been complaining not because
    they need multiple threads for what they're doing but because somebody
    else has it and they don't. It also makes cool mag articles.

    *Every* language is limited. Those who have been crying about the
    limits of VB will find that it is *still* going to be limited in some
    way (unsafe code anyone)?

    >That should be some consolation, I hope, but by no means does it put an
    >end to the threat VB faces. C# is - imo, and assuming the success of
    >dotnet - going to be used by the upcoming generation of programmers
    >preferentially. Mabye Eiffel, Scheme and who knows what else too.


    I don't doubt it at all.

    >So yes, VB programmers' self-interest is threatened - if by self-interest
    >you define being able to stay in a comfortable niche which is never
    >challenged by MS or anyone else. But I don't see how the (probably near)
    >future could fail to threaten that niche anyway.


    There is no reason not to add new capabilities to MS Basic, or put MS
    Basic into new and more challenging environments. It worked with VB
    going from DOS to Windows. One has nothing to do with the other.

    >Seems to me that this is a good time for everyone involved to evaluate
    >which future is in their best interest and try to make it happen. And it
    >doesn't seem to me that asking for a .net version of Classic VB will be
    >the outcome of such an evaluation - for reasons including those I outlined
    >above.


    That, exactly, would be in the best interest of both application
    developers and Microsoft. I don't think it's going to happen, but
    that would be best all around.

    If they don't then they are driving the wedge between them and loyal
    developers who are loosing Language Stability and Trust. Sad as it
    is.

    Dan
    Language Stability is a *feature* I wish VB had!
    (#6)

  7. #22
    Dan Barclay Guest

    Re: Self-Interest & VS.NET

    On Fri, 26 Jan 2001 02:18:34 GMT, zane@mabry.com (Zane Thomas) wrote:

    >
    >Not everyone learned programming via VB, or even BASIC.


    Come to think of it FORTRAN.net would be handy as an alternative.

    Dan
    Language Stability is a *feature* I wish VB had!
    (#6)

  8. #23
    Ray Mercer Guest

    Re: Self-Interest & VS.NET

    Zane,
    > I guess it's obvious that MS decided it was time to make a radical change
    > to VB - rather than port it as-is into dotnet. Personally I think that's
    > not all bad for existing VB programmers.


    You might feel different if they did the same to C though. But instead,
    they did it correctly in that case and created a new language - C#. With
    VB, they just threw out the old and started fresh...

    > They get to take their "I am a
    > VB programmer" badge with them into dotnet, which gives them threads and a
    > parity with the functionality of c# without which VB's future would
    > obviously be limited.


    Your condescending attitude aside, you seem to take it as a self-evident
    fact that C# will become the dominant language of the future. Don't you
    realize that this is a new language that is not even *finished* yet. I am
    really not yet ready to bet my programming future on some vapor-language
    even if MS (really really) wants me too.

    FWIW,
    Ray



  9. #24
    Ray Collins Guest

    Re: Self-Interest & VS.NET

    > Not to belittle your questions, but if I had wanted to be involved in that
    > thread I would have been. That said, you might consider that the same
    > questions have been asked of _every_ release of windows.


    >> Yes, but this time time it appears the answers are different, please

    think about it and tell me why you thing .net will be a winner in the short
    term (the next 3-5 years).

    >
    > >In my mind VB was the starting language for programmers ...

    >
    > Not everyone learned programming via VB, or even BASIC.


    >> True but it appears that more non professionals use it than anything

    else.

    >
    > Personally I think C# is going to be a lot easier for new programmers to
    > learn than VB6 - which had more than its fair share of inconsistencies and
    > constraints. I won't comment on vb.net other than to say that my advice
    > to anyone starting with windows programming at this moment would be to
    > learn c#.
    >


    > >It seems to me that the "professionals" have been unable to leave VB and
    > >move on, and now mangled a good introductory language.


    >
    > I don't agree that VB6 was a good introductory language - Scheme, for
    > instance, is a much better way to learn about the art of programming
    > itself.
    >


    >> As with most things things the best may not have won. However if people

    follow your thinking and now start with C# where does that leave VB ?

    >> I noticed you didn't comment on my last point ?
    >> If C# is the preferred starting point and VB.net is not a useful product

    for the medium/small business and home developers then why buy it ? If it
    doesn't have a reasonable market share then there is no point in developing
    new versions (particularly if other languages do exactly the same thing).





  10. #25
    Klaus H. Probst Guest

    Re: Self-Interest & VS.NET

    Zane,

    > I'm particularly interested in hearing from those of you who argue against
    > the pain and expense which may be suffered by large corporations which
    > have a need to port exisiting VB6 apps to the .net platform. Don't forget
    > to describe why it is that you feel such pain for large corporations which
    > wouldn't hesitate a moment to hand you a pink-slip on christmas eve if
    > they thought it was in the self-interest of the management and/or
    > stockholders.



    As a n-tier systems architect (or so I call myself these days), .NET is a
    real boon. Developing the classic IIS/COM+/SQL Server app (not to mention
    the more complicated stuff) will get easier and less prone to registry and
    compatibility ****. In that regard I certainly welcome the new platform, and
    I intend to work with it eventually. I do think that the learning curve is a
    bit steep for most VB developers, and if we thought there was a lot of
    crappy code out there things are certainly going to get worse.

    However, as the fun desktop application development tool we have grown to
    love and hate and live with, VB is for all practical purposes dead. And that
    is, I think, what a lot of people will never forgive Microsoft for (and I
    include myself in that camp as well). For years we clamored for more
    freedom, more access to the OS, more OO, more of the things other languages
    had and we didn't. This time around we get a lot of new features, but the
    essence of the language has changed so radically that it makes me scratch my
    head and wonder if, as Cooper likes to say, the inmates are running the
    asylum. I can see the direction the company wants to take from a certain
    perspective, but from this one it certainly makes no sense.

    I'm not going into the why or how or when of all this -- everybody and their
    brother has rehashed everything to death by now. In the final analysis, I
    think this will hurt Microsoft more than it will help them. Maybe in 10 or
    15 years when their vision of what the Internet should be arrives at the
    doorstep of every man woman and child in the planet (heck, I'll settle for
    North America), the .NET platform will be a real force. In the meantime,
    it's only a new language that may or may not live on to grow side by side
    with C# and compete with Java, which I think is what Microsoft really wants
    to do. We are basically hostage to Microsoft's vision of what software
    development should be. And in many ways, it's our own fault. We should have
    bolted when we had the chance and saw all that VB6 was not.

    McKinney, we never knew ya.

    C'est la vie. Better brush up on WTL folks.

    ____________
    Klaus





  11. #26
    Zane Thomas Guest

    Re: Self-Interest & VS.NET

    On Fri, 26 Jan 2001 11:50:49 +0900, "Ray Mercer" <raymer@mvps.org> wrote:

    >Your condescending attitude


    If you want to be a **** take it to the offramp ok?


    ---
    Ice Z - Straight Outta Redmond

  12. #27
    Zane Thomas Guest

    Re: Self-Interest & VS.NET

    "Ray Collins" <NoSpam_ray.collins@bigpond.com> wrote:

    >please think about it and tell me why ...


    Like I said, if I wanted to be in that thread I would be.

    >As with most things things the best may not have won. However if people
    >follow your thinking and now start with C# where does that leave VB ?


    You ask that like you might think I care. :-) I know, heresy, but if VB
    doesn't make it through this decade it's not the end of the world.


    ---
    Ice Z - Straight Outta Redmond

  13. #28
    Zane Thomas Guest

    Re: Self-Interest & VS.NET

    Klaus,

    Thanks for sharing. :-)


    ---
    Ice Z - Straight Outta Redmond

  14. #29
    Jay Glynn Guest

    Re: Self-Interest & VS.NET

    Ray,

    > Your condescending attitude aside, you seem to take it as a self-evident
    > fact that C# will become the dominant language of the future. Don't you
    > realize that this is a new language that is not even *finished* yet. I am
    > really not yet ready to bet my programming future on some vapor-language
    > even if MS (really really) wants me too.


    C# is done enough that MSFT has developed huge chunks of the CLR with it.
    That takes it a step past *vapor*, wouldn't you think.

    --
    Jay Glynn
    Introducing .NET
    ISBN: 1861004893
    Wrox Press Ltd.




  15. #30
    Zane Thomas Guest

    Re: Self-Interest & VS.NET

    Dan,

    Thanks for sharing. :-) Most of what you wrote, while interesting and
    deserving of an argument, doesn't really get at the issue I'm trying to
    explore. And what bits may have were lost in the rest.


    ---
    Ice Z - Straight Outta Redmond

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