Microsoft's C++ bigotry


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  1. #1
    Phil Weber Guest

    Microsoft's C++ bigotry

    "Why should C++ developers enjoy such ease of migration to .NET, while VB
    developers (of whom there are arguably many more) are forced to rewrite
    their code?...The message seems clear: If your application is
    'mission-critical', don't use VB." --
    http://www.philweber.com/net/2003/01/14.htm#a40


  2. #2
    Kent Guest

    Re: Microsoft's C++ bigotry


    Phil,

    a lot of us have been saying things like this for a long time. Where have
    you been? Microsoft's attitude towards VB have clearly made it a less popular
    choice in the market place. You can see it in the lack of VB jobs that are
    currently out there.

    Microsoft cares only about it's own interests. They have a ton of C and
    C++ code, so if .Net is to be taken seriously, they have to make it as easy
    as possible to port their own code. Not to mention that the flexibility
    of C plays into it a bit as well. C++ is an extremely flexible language
    while VB6 (may it rest in peace) was not.

    Kent


    "Phil Weber" <pweber@nospam.fawcette.com> wrote:
    >"Why should C++ developers enjoy such ease of migration to .NET, while VB
    >developers (of whom there are arguably many more) are forced to rewrite
    >their code?...The message seems clear: If your application is
    >'mission-critical', don't use VB." --
    >http://www.philweber.com/net/2003/01/14.htm#a40
    >



  3. #3
    Phil Weber Guest

    Re: Microsoft's C++ bigotry

    > A lot of us have been saying things like this for a
    > long time. Where have you been?


    Kent: I've been here. But unlike many of "you," I'm neither anti-VB nor
    anti-Microsoft. I actually use and like VB.NET, and I don't think VB.NET's
    lack of VB6-compatibility is as serious a problem as many critics portray it
    to be. I'm hoping that perhaps my more moderate position will get a few more
    people to hear what I'm saying.
    --
    Phil Weber



  4. #4
    Larry Serflaten Guest

    Re: Microsoft's C++ bigotry

    "Phil Weber" <pweber@nospam.fawcette.com> wrote
    > > A lot of us have been saying things like this for a
    > > long time. Where have you been?

    >
    > Kent: I've been here. But unlike many of "you," I'm neither anti-VB nor
    > anti-Microsoft. I actually use and like VB.NET, and I don't think VB.NET's
    > lack of VB6-compatibility is as serious a problem as many critics portray it
    > to be. I'm hoping that perhaps my more moderate position will get a few more
    > people to hear what I'm saying.



    Its not very likely that your statements will do anything to change the
    current situation, or other people's perception of it. As Karl stated,
    these facts have been out for years.

    My take on it is that, like Assembly, C++ is at such a level that unless the
    underlying hardware architecture changes, the concepts and structures used
    in C++ will be supported no matter what other layers MS adds to the mix.
    It is simply uneffected by MS's own C++ code that they use to pile on their
    flavor of the month.

    VB on the other hand, was dependant on MS's VB runtime layer originally,
    and got progressively more involved as MS added layer upon layer, feature
    upon feature, to core Windows processes.

    All that 'fluff' is still present, as you know, VB6 still works, but I think MS
    has positioned VB.Net to be less dependant on changes to any Windows
    features, and soley dependant on the same things they need for their own
    C# code. That will, in effect, help to make the language more resistant
    to future change. But, to get there, they had to start from concepts that
    do not conflict with the flow of operation on today's hardware. Rather
    than shoehorn in old concepts that may yet break down the road, I think
    their strategy was to use conepts more inline with C++ / C# so that they
    can keep this new VB.Net backward compatable (to VB.Net) for as
    long as they expect C# to remain backward compatable.

    While that bodes well for future developers and development, current
    developers are left nearly high and dry, forced to switch or maintain
    old code, or both, mixing the two in their attempt to make the transition.

    If you admit that it is pie in the sky for developers to think that their code
    will last forever, how is it you do not recognise when well worn code
    has come to the end of its useful cycle? As a lanuage, you'd like it to live
    on, but as an application, it simply cannot. The time has come for a
    rewrite to addresss the new concepts that were not even dreamed of, at
    its conception.

    You just gotta wonder what goes on behind the scenes when Intel tries
    to suggest the same things about their own architectures and languages
    for the CPU's they manufacture. I'd be willing to bet MS would use
    all of its muscle to keep Intel from making the same types of drastic
    changes MS is forcing on their customers. But for Intel, Microsoft,
    and everybody else, its the same underlying golden rule; When money
    talks, people listen.

    So, the way I see it, VB.Net will be an even better language for future
    developers, (in terms of both capablilities and (Dan's) stability) even if
    the current crowd has to suffer through a few hardships.

    LFS










  5. #5
    Kent Guest

    Re: Microsoft's C++ bigotry


    I'm pro VB just not VB.Net and I used to wave the Microsoft flag as high as
    any of "you" did. But for reasons you've already point, I've burned that
    flag in the street. Too bad CNN wasn't there to see it. it's not that Microsoft
    are C++ bigots, they simply have their own interests at heart and could give
    a hoot less about yours or mine.

    You seem to think that "we" are blowing the whole thing out of proportion?
    I beg to differ. Maybe you can tell me does Microsoft have to completely
    rewrite office every 10 years? Isn't it time for a complete rewrite of windows?
    (yes it is, but I won't go there).

    A software company should be able to keep it's application relevant using
    the latest features of the OS through the programming tools that they use.
    This will no longer be possible using VB6 and for those companies that produce
    shrink wrap products stability is a must. It IS NOT ACCEPTABLE to have drastic
    changes to the development tools.

    You think if Microsoft were not in complete control of Windows and someone
    changed the platform and developement tools they use to the extent VB was
    changed they would not be pissed off? They need their C and C++ code to
    be easily ported to .Net, that should be answer enough for you. The rest
    of us are not so lucky.

    I would hope your observation of their favor of C++ would be warning to you
    of what changes may come next, as history tends to repeat it's self.

    "Phil Weber" <pweber@nospam.fawcette.com> wrote:
    > > A lot of us have been saying things like this for a
    > > long time. Where have you been?

    >
    >Kent: I've been here. But unlike many of "you," I'm neither anti-VB nor
    >anti-Microsoft. I actually use and like VB.NET, and I don't think VB.NET's
    >lack of VB6-compatibility is as serious a problem as many critics portray

    it
    >to be. I'm hoping that perhaps my more moderate position will get a few

    more
    >people to hear what I'm saying.
    >--
    >Phil Weber
    >
    >


  6. #6
    Jason Sobell iGadget Guest

    Re: Microsoft's C++ bigotry

    Kent, you seem to be missing the point... Only joking

    The differences between VB6 and VB.NET are enormous, and most of the [VB
    using] verbose people in this group seem to be split into three main
    clusters:
    1. Those who swear VB.NET is brilliant and deny that it is difficult to pick
    up, defending its every nuance
    2. Those who love VB6 and swear at VB.NET, claiming it should never have
    existed
    3. Those who approve VB.NET for its improvements over VB6, and accept that
    major changes were necessary

    I fall into cluster 3, although I am particularly critical of Microsoft in
    that they did not give more helpful tools for the migration process, such as
    the promised code snippet utility (where you type in a VB6 command and it
    suggests the .NET equivalent) or some decent help files aimed at the
    developers (the search system in .NET help absolutely sucks).
    I suspect that the development community would have been happier to have
    seen VB6 dropped and only C# specified as the new language, because this
    would be a _total_ design methodology shift instead of this almost false
    similarity to VB6.
    My sympathies go out to all VB6 developers who do not have prior Java or C++
    experience, because the .NET transition is a very hard one, but I disagree
    that it is 'unacceptable' to have major language changes. Core VB6 was a
    tiny part of the VB environment, and most of the functionality used was in
    COM objects included as references. ADO, networking, 3rd party controls,
    scripting, and a myriad of other commonly used functions were in these
    addons, and these have been replicated with different syntax into the .NET
    library.
    The biggest pain in VB6 code conversion is that we all tended to write such
    apalling VB6 code! It was so easy to quickly knock up an initial solution,
    then spend days or weeks modifying it to give a quality looking application.
    If we had to scrap it and restart we know that we could write it in half the
    code, and make it more maintainable, but with VB6 we don't have to do that.
    When we try to port that code to a VB.NET environment we have terrible
    problems, yet if we had used VB.NET in the first place we would probably
    have been forced to do more planning and developed a more structured
    solution the first time. This is something that Java and C++ developers are
    used to, but VB developers are not. Now we are forced to adopt the same
    design constraints, so what VB developers considered 'RAD' (i.e. don't plan,
    just drag, drop & bodge) is no longer a viable option.
    Is this good or bad? I reckon that 80%+ of VB6 developers will require
    extensive relearning to be able to do this, and this is not good for
    industry. Perhaps MS should have retained VB6 but put in place more
    'incentives' to move over, such as free additional controls or wizards that
    developers and/or companies would be attracted to. From teaching and
    consulting I know how much experience most industry VB6 developers have, and
    I can say that most would (and are) struggling terribly to get to grips with
    VB.NET.

    Cheers,
    Jason

    "Kent" <kp@kp.com> wrote in message news:3e2614e7$1@tnews.web.devx.com...
    >
    > I'm pro VB just not VB.Net and I used to wave the Microsoft flag as high

    as
    > any of "you" did. But for reasons you've already point, I've burned that
    > flag in the street. Too bad CNN wasn't there to see it. it's not that

    Microsoft
    > are C++ bigots, they simply have their own interests at heart and could

    give
    > a hoot less about yours or mine.
    >
    > You seem to think that "we" are blowing the whole thing out of proportion?
    > I beg to differ. Maybe you can tell me does Microsoft have to completely
    > rewrite office every 10 years? Isn't it time for a complete rewrite of

    windows?
    > (yes it is, but I won't go there).
    >
    > A software company should be able to keep it's application relevant using
    > the latest features of the OS through the programming tools that they use.
    > This will no longer be possible using VB6 and for those companies that

    produce
    > shrink wrap products stability is a must. It IS NOT ACCEPTABLE to have

    drastic
    > changes to the development tools.
    >
    > You think if Microsoft were not in complete control of Windows and someone
    > changed the platform and developement tools they use to the extent VB was
    > changed they would not be pissed off? They need their C and C++ code to
    > be easily ported to .Net, that should be answer enough for you. The rest
    > of us are not so lucky.
    >
    > I would hope your observation of their favor of C++ would be warning to

    you
    > of what changes may come next, as history tends to repeat it's self.
    >
    > "Phil Weber" <pweber@nospam.fawcette.com> wrote:
    > > > A lot of us have been saying things like this for a
    > > > long time. Where have you been?

    > >
    > >Kent: I've been here. But unlike many of "you," I'm neither anti-VB nor
    > >anti-Microsoft. I actually use and like VB.NET, and I don't think

    VB.NET's
    > >lack of VB6-compatibility is as serious a problem as many critics portray

    > it
    > >to be. I'm hoping that perhaps my more moderate position will get a few

    > more
    > >people to hear what I'm saying.
    > >--
    > >Phil Weber
    > >
    > >




  7. #7
    Mark Jerde Guest

    Re: Microsoft's C++ bigotry

    <snip>
    > All that 'fluff' is still present, as you know, VB6 still works, but I

    think MS
    > has positioned VB.Net to be less dependant on changes to any Windows
    > features, and soley dependant on the same things they need for their own
    > C# code. That will, in effect, help to make the language more resistant
    > to future change. But, to get there, they had to start from concepts that
    > do not conflict with the flow of operation on today's hardware. Rather
    > than shoehorn in old concepts that may yet break down the road, I think
    > their strategy was to use conepts more inline with C++ / C# so that they
    > can keep this new VB.Net backward compatable (to VB.Net) for as
    > long as they expect C# to remain backward compatable.

    <snip>
    >
    > So, the way I see it, VB.Net will be an even better language for future
    > developers, (in terms of both capablilities and (Dan's) stability) even if
    > the current crowd has to suffer through a few hardships.


    Good thoughts. Thanks.

    -- Mark



  8. #8
    Mike Mitchell Guest

    Re: Microsoft's C++ bigotry

    On Wed, 15 Jan 2003 12:57:42 -0800, "Phil Weber"
    <pweber@nospam.fawcette.com> wrote:

    >"Why should C++ developers enjoy such ease of migration to .NET, while VB
    >developers (of whom there are arguably many more) are forced to rewrite
    >their code?...The message seems clear: If your application is
    >'mission-critical', don't use VB." --
    >http://www.philweber.com/net/2003/01/14.htm#a40


    "arguably"?

    MM

  9. #9
    Mike Mitchell Guest

    Re: Microsoft's C++ bigotry

    On 15 Jan 2003 13:56:23 -0800, "Kent" <kp@kp.com> wrote:

    >Microsoft cares only about it's own interests. They have a ton of C and
    >C++ code, so if .Net is to be taken seriously, they have to make it as easy
    >as possible to port their own code. Not to mention that the flexibility
    >of C plays into it a bit as well. C++ is an extremely flexible language
    >while VB6 (may it rest in peace) was not.


    Ah, but C++ being the "extremely flexible language" it may be was
    unusable by normal people. You had to be abnormal to want to use it,
    let alone learn it. It is a language more akin to climbing sheer rock
    faces without ropes, which the vast majority of the general public
    would never attempt, whereas classic VB, though not quite such a
    "high-level assembler" as C++ could satisfy a huge cross-section of
    the community, both programmers and non-programmers.

    VB was intended to be a fast way of creating effective business
    solutions, and the fact that it was able to be used for vastly wider
    categories of application than just business ones speaks volumes for
    its flexibility.

    Anyway, I've said it all before. I feel totally vindicated now. All
    the chickens are coming home to roost, and it's a great shame that
    this once-great, world-wide language is now effectively dead in the
    water.

    MM

  10. #10
    Mike Mitchell Guest

    Re: Microsoft's C++ bigotry

    On 15 Jan 2003 18:11:51 -0800, "Kent" <kp@kp.com> wrote:

    >I'm pro VB just not VB.Net and I used to wave the Microsoft flag as high as
    >any of "you" did.


    I wave it, too. But I spell it with an i.

    MM

  11. #11
    Mike Mitchell Guest

    Re: Microsoft's C++ bigotry

    On 15 Jan 2003 18:11:51 -0800, "Kent" <kp@kp.com> wrote:

    >You think if Microsoft were not in complete control of Windows and someone
    >changed the platform and developement tools they use to the extent VB was
    >changed they would not be pissed off? They need their C and C++ code to
    >be easily ported to .Net, that should be answer enough for you. The rest
    >of us are not so lucky.


    Yes, you can see to what lengths they went to defend the accusation of
    antitrust which case is still ongoing, I believe. They never accepted
    they did anything wrong and fought like rats in a sack to be allowed
    to continue in the same old ways.

    MM

  12. #12
    Mike Mitchell Guest

    Re: Microsoft's C++ bigotry

    On Thu, 16 Jan 2003 20:06:35 +1100, "Jason Sobell iGadget"
    <iGadget_@hotmail.com> wrote:

    >Kent, you seem to be missing the point... Only joking
    >
    >The differences between VB6 and VB.NET are enormous, and most of the [VB
    >using] verbose people in this group seem to be split into three main
    >clusters:
    >1. Those who swear VB.NET is brilliant and deny that it is difficult to pick
    >up, defending its every nuance
    >2. Those who love VB6 and swear at VB.NET, claiming it should never have
    >existed
    >3. Those who approve VB.NET for its improvements over VB6, and accept that
    >major changes were necessary


    And which cluster do you think the vast majority of traditional VB
    programmers fell into? My guess would be (2).

    MM

  13. #13
    Patrice Scribe Guest

    Re: Microsoft's C++ bigotry

    C++ is close to the metal and at least at the beginning the idea was to use
    directly the Windows API.

    VB6 was done with this problem in mind and provided a form package as well
    as some runtime functions to allows programming without having to deal with
    those Windows low level details. But unfortunately it was done only with a
    single language in mind.

    ..NET extends this view by providing a form package that is just part of much
    broader support classes that are not restricted to a single language. It
    would make little sense to maintain two products based on the same idea
    (with the later supporting multiple languages).

    Though I'm not a C++ expert IMO someone using MFC classes with C++ could ask
    himself if MFC classes are still the way to go or if he'll have one day or
    the other to switch to Managed C++.

    IMO the problem is not the language but the package. As C++ doesn't rely
    necessarily on an OS abstraction there is no problem to use pre .NET code.

    In VB, to maintain code compatibility would have required to have in .NET
    the same objects/methods than in VB but still provide a much more wider
    support for abstracting the OS capabilities which would have been very hard.

    Patrice

    "Phil Weber" <pweber@nospam.fawcette.com> a écrit dans le message de news:
    3e25c84a@tnews.web.devx.com...
    > "Why should C++ developers enjoy such ease of migration to .NET, while VB
    > developers (of whom there are arguably many more) are forced to rewrite
    > their code?...The message seems clear: If your application is
    > 'mission-critical', don't use VB." --
    > http://www.philweber.com/net/2003/01/14.htm#a40
    >




  14. #14
    Kunle Odutola Guest

    Re: Microsoft's C++ bigotry

    Kent wrote:

    > You seem to think that "we" are blowing the whole thing out of
    > proportion? I beg to differ. Maybe you can tell me does Microsoft
    > have to completely rewrite office every 10 years?


    Is Office 10 years old yet?. [The answer is "no" btw, whatever the
    software. You rewrite when you need to.]

    > Isn't it time for
    > a complete rewrite of windows? (yes it is, but I won't go there).


    DOS->Win9x->WinNT. Major/complete rewites. Enough for your you?

    > A software company should be able to keep it's application relevant
    > using the latest features of the OS through the programming tools
    > that they use. This will no longer be possible using VB6 and for
    > those companies that produce shrink wrap products stability is a
    > must.


    So change the tool. The OS has thefeatures but the tool is outdated. How
    many people are still using VB1? VB4?

    > It IS NOT ACCEPTABLE to have drastic changes to the
    > development tools.


    On the contrary. It is necessary that dev tools evolve to be relevant. Every
    so often, the change will be drastic or the tool might become irrelevant.

    > You think if Microsoft were not in complete control of Windows and
    > someone changed the platform and developement tools they use to the
    > extent VB was changed they would not be pissed off? They need their
    > C and C++ code to be easily ported to .Net, that should be answer
    > enough for you. The rest of us are not so lucky.


    Most of MS's code wouldn't "port" to .NET. It would continue to compile and
    run as unmanaged code with VS.NET. MC++ doesn't magically convert legacy C++
    code to .NET assemblies.

    > I would hope your observation of their favor of C++ would be warning
    > to you of what changes may come next, as history tends to repeat it's
    > self.


    If C/C++ migration support is broken, there will be no VB at all.

    Kunle



  15. #15
    Kunle Odutola Guest

    Re: Microsoft's C++ bigotry

    Mike Mitchell wrote:
    > On Wed, 15 Jan 2003 12:57:42 -0800, "Phil Weber"
    > <pweber@nospam.fawcette.com> wrote:
    >
    >> "Why should C++ developers enjoy such ease of migration to .NET,
    >> while VB developers (of whom there are arguably many more) are
    >> forced to rewrite their code?...The message seems clear: If your
    >> application is 'mission-critical', don't use VB." --
    >> http://www.philweber.com/net/2003/01/14.htm#a40

    >
    > "arguably"?


    If you restrict the numbers to Windows C++ developers (that use MSVC?).
    Otherwise, C++ has many more developers.

    Kunle


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