Least among equals ?

Patrick Meader writes on the divide between VB and C# inside Microsoft, and raises an interesting question.

My response is probably going to be lengthy; more than I have time for at present. In the meanwhile, what do you think of the issues raised in Pat’s editorial ?

4 Comments so far

  1.   Julie on March 25th, 2008          

    He introduces by asking “What do ASP.NET, Java, Perl, PHP, Python, and Ruby have in common?” then asks what’s missing from his list? My answer to the quiz was C# and VB. I think he meant to say “C#” where he says “ASP.NET”. ๐Ÿ™‚

    If the essay hadn’t been so level-headed I would have though maybe it was ghost written. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2.   bill on March 25th, 2008          

    I think Pat was referring to  this page:

    There they list the sample as ASP.NET (C#).  Or as I quoted that site in my blog entry :msmvps.com/…/now-the-entire-windows-live-team-says-f-ck-you-vb.aspx

    “This release includes a sample application for each of six different programming languages: ASP.NET, Java, Perl, PHP, Python, and Ruby.”

    But the ASP.NET is C# only. So the one missing is VB.

    And yes, Pat was way too level headed….  where’s the passion ?? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3.   Patrick Meader on March 28th, 2008          

    I had a “D’Oh!” moment when you pointed that out, Julie. Bill is correct: The ASP.NET version is C#, but I never actually said so.

    I’ve amended the online version to reflect this.

  4.   Michael Giagnocavo on March 31st, 2008          

    Well, it’s got a horrible stigma. When I read the MSDN docs I cringe at all the patronising lines like “(Nothing in Visual Basic)” and assorted other tidbits someone felt was necesary for VB users to be able to comprehend even the simplest of documentation. I think every time a delegate is used, the docs have a short paragraph about delegates in VB.

    A while ago, I’d have said that the VB people like yourself represent a very different type of person than the general VB population. That no longer holds true, since C# has its fair share of people who shouldn’t be allowed to touch a keyboard :).

    Anyways, my guess is probably this: VB.NET is no fun, has no current cuteness (unlike, say, Ruby and Python). The C# SDK should be binary compatible with VB.NET, right? So where’s the harm? People interested enough will be able to use the general .NET SDK, right? (‘Cause VB isn’t crippled by an inferior runtime in the first place.)

    Since most C# devs aren’t really using C# to it’s fullest extent, the code translates pretty straightforward to VB.

    So, the “limited resources” argument still holds. Anyone, such as yourself, who really cares to use VB.NET and whatever API that only has C# samples will be able to sort it out without too much hassle. That leaves them more time to write up stuff for the infidels and convert them over.