Sunday, August 07, 2005

Classic VB versus VB.NET

There has been a lot of discussion in the developer community lately about the fact that Microsoft abandoned so-called Classic VB (Visual Basic 6.0 and its predecessors) in favor of the .NET version. In fact, even the Microsoft MVP's are divided on the subject.

One group thinks that Classic VB should be re-introduced into the Visual Studio .NET IDE; another says that the architectures are too different. Plus, managed code is the new paradigm; the non-managed VB6 world is being left behind.

However, Classic VB still lives on in the form of Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) which lurks behind every Microsoft Office application. In fact, MS has even licensed VBA to other software companies.

I've worked with Visual Studio .NET since the betas of the 2002 version, and C# made much more sense to me than VB.NET. I had worked with C and JavaScript before, so I was accustomed to the language elements, semicolons and curly braces; the object orientation took longer to understand, but once I "got it" then things started happening for me.

On the other hand, VB.NET is so utterly different from Classic VB that it looks and feels like a new language. The original concept of what "BASIC" stands for - the Beginner's All-Symbolic Instruction Code - is lost forever.