Beating the dead horse again about VB 
Author Message
 Beating the dead horse again about VB

Hi,
    I am a rookie powerbuilder programmer, and am enthused about
learning new languages.
    I do like OO like C++ and Java, like many people, those are my
favorites.
    One issue that hasn't been resolved in my mind after perusing
various language newsgroups is the overall status and assessment of MS
VB. A lot of unhelpful emotions flying around. One main objection about
VB was that it was not OO.
    1. My question is this:
    Lisp seems to be highly regarded language (though not very
marketable) and it is NOT, as I found out, a OO language. It is, as they
say, a FUNCTIONAL Programming language. If Lisp could be regarded with
high esteem without being OO, then can the same logic apply to VB?
    Incidentally, could VB regarded as a functional programming
language?

    Before my second question, I will say that I do not think that a
language can sustain its popularity by 'marketting' ALONE, as many seem
to suggest regarding VB. So,
    2. My second question is: What is the 'strength' of VB that is
sustaining its viability? As compared to, say, Cobol, which indeed seems
to be dying?

    3. My thrid question is: How different is VB of today than VB of
five years ago? There seems to be a drastic difference but I am not
sure.

    Thanks. Marcel



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Beating the dead horse again about VB

Quote:

>     One issue that hasn't been resolved in my mind after perusing
> various language newsgroups is the overall status and assessment of MS
> VB. A lot of unhelpful emotions flying around. One main objection about
> VB was that it was not OO.
>     1. My question is this:
>     Lisp seems to be highly regarded language (though not very
> marketable) and it is NOT, as I found out, a OO language. It is, as they
> say, a FUNCTIONAL Programming language. If Lisp could be regarded with
> high esteem without being OO, then can the same logic apply to VB?

Common Lisp is as OO as you want it to be (more or less). It has
a perfectly good (and indeed rather sophisticated) object system.

Quote:
>     Incidentally, could VB regarded as a functional programming
> language?

No, not at all.

Quote:
>     Before my second question, I will say that I do not think that a
> language can sustain its popularity by 'marketting' ALONE, as many seem
> to suggest regarding VB. So,
>     2. My second question is: What is the 'strength' of VB that is
> sustaining its viability? As compared to, say, Cobol, which indeed seems
> to be dying?

It's easy to build things that look pretty in VB without much effort.
Therefore, it attracts people who think that if VB can do easily
something that's a bit painful in other languages, it must be really
good.

Plus, isn't it closely related to the macro languages used by
things like MSWord these days? If so, the learning curve is effectively
made shallower by that.

--
Gareth McCaughan       Dept. of Pure Mathematics & Mathematical Statistics,



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Beating the dead horse again about VB
VB is the MS answer to Java. Java has C syntax which makes it look more
"serious" otherwise on the windows platform I would prefer VB anyday to Java
for anything I am doing. ( Of course C++ is preferred over anything). VB has
a more powerful faster "Virtual Machine"(The Sun name for Run-Time Library)
and much better support for COM/MTS which is the dominating programming
model on Windows.

For your questions:
1. Well how important and how powerful marketing is seen by the popularity
of Java.
    Comparing Lisp to VB is being unfair to both the languages.

2. Cobol is not a programming language. Forget about it.

3. VB of today is totally different from VB five years ago. Initially VB was
supposed to simplify GUI progarmming and that was it. Now its much more.

    Hi,
        I am a rookie powerbuilder programmer, and am enthused about
learning new languages.
        I do like OO like C++ and Java, like many people, those are my
favorites.
        One issue that hasn't been resolved in my mind after perusing
various language newsgroups is the overall status and assessment of MS VB.
    A lot of unhelpful emotions flying around. One main objection about VB
was that it was not OO.
        1. My question is this:
        Lisp seems to be highly regarded language (though not very
marketable) and it is NOT, as I found out, a OO language. It is, as they
say, a FUNCTIONAL Programming language. If Lisp could be regarded with high
esteem without being OO, then can the same logic apply to VB?
        Incidentally, could VB regarded as a functional programming
language?
        Before my second question, I will say that I do not think that a
language can sustain its popularity by 'marketting' ALONE, as many seem to
suggest regarding VB. So,
        2. My second question is: What is the 'strength' of VB that is
sustaining its viability? As compared to, say, Cobol, which indeed seems to
be dying?

        3. My thrid question is: How different is VB of today than VB of
five years ago? There seems to be a drastic difference but I am not sure.

        Thanks. Marcel



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Beating the dead horse again about VB

* Marcel K. Haesok
|
| I do like OO like C++ and Java, like many people, those are my
| favorites.

I'll refrain from posting my opinion of C++ as I don't wish to ignite
a flamewar. Java has many nice things about it, but is still awkward
to program in, I think.

| One issue that hasn't been resolved in my mind after perusing
| various language newsgroups is the overall status and assessment of
| MS VB. A lot of unhelpful emotions flying around. One main objection
| about VB was that it was not OO.

That's just scraping the surface.  VB has bad support for building
data structures, bad performance, bad control structures, no
portability and in general bad design.

At least, that was the case around VB 3.0 when I last used it. It's
simply an awkward language to program in for most things you want to
do.

|     1. My question is this:
|     Lisp seems to be highly regarded language (though not very
| marketable)

Not very market_ed_, no.

| and it is NOT, as I found out, a OO language.

There are today two main Lisps: Scheme and Common Lisp. Both allow you
to program in an OO style if you so wish, and the Common Lisp Object
System (CLOS) has many features that do not exist in C++ or Java.

Lisp also has numerous features that are missing from both C++ and
Java, such as really powerful macros.

In general, be very skeptical about believing what non-Lispers say
about Lisp. In many cases you'll get a description of the state of
affairs in the late 1960s. To put it mildly, things have happened
since then.

A superlative article on the state of affairs in 1991 (with a comparison
to C) is <URL:http://www.naggum.no/worse-is-better.html>

| It is, as they say, a FUNCTIONAL Programming language.

This is incorrect.  Neither Scheme nor CL enforces a functional style,
although both allow it, and some existing Scheme literature tends to
encourage it.

| If Lisp could be regarded with high esteem without being OO, then
| can the same logic apply to VB?

There are other measures of goodness in programming languages than
just being OO or not. :)

| Incidentally, could VB regarded as a functional programming
| language?

No. You could do functional programming in it, although most of the
features that make this approach a convenient programming style are
missing from VB.

A separate issue is the fact that it's not very productive to think of
functional programming as a family of languages rather than as a style
of programming.

| Before my second question, I will say that I do not think that a
| language can sustain its popularity by 'marketting' ALONE, as many
| seem to suggest regarding VB.

I agree with this, although it sure helps.

| 2. My second question is: What is the 'strength' of VB that is
| sustaining its viability? As compared to, say, Cobol, which indeed
| seems to be dying?

Two main things:

 - it's marketed by Microsoft, which means that books, information,
 propaganda, intro CDs, reviews, articles etc etc etc keep cropping up
 wherever you turn

 - a good implementation exists, which has good integration with its
 environment and good support for building GUIs, which means that
 although the language is poor it is certainly usable to do real work
 in

| 3. My thrid question is: How different is VB of today than VB of
| five years ago? There seems to be a drastic difference but I am not
| sure.

Relatively different. Some modicum of OO has been added, and several
other things besides. You really should ask in a VB group for this
information, though.

Followups set to cl.lisp.

--Lars M.



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Beating the dead horse again about VB

Quote:


>>     One issue that hasn't been resolved in my mind after perusing
>> various language newsgroups is the overall status and assessment of MS
>> VB. A lot of unhelpful emotions flying around. One main objection about
>> VB was that it was not OO.
>>     1. My question is this:
>>     Lisp seems to be highly regarded language (though not very
>> marketable) and it is NOT, as I found out, a OO language. It is, as they
>> say, a FUNCTIONAL Programming language. If Lisp could be regarded with
>> high esteem without being OO, then can the same logic apply to VB?

>Common Lisp is as OO as you want it to be (more or less). It has
>a perfectly good (and indeed rather sophisticated) object system.

>>     Incidentally, could VB regarded as a functional programming
>> language?

>No, not at all.

>>     Before my second question, I will say that I do not think that a
>> language can sustain its popularity by 'marketting' ALONE, as many seem
>> to suggest regarding VB. So,
>>     2. My second question is: What is the 'strength' of VB that is
>> sustaining its viability? As compared to, say, Cobol, which indeed seems
>> to be dying?

>It's easy to build things that look pretty in VB without much effort.
>Therefore, it attracts people who think that if VB can do easily
>something that's a bit painful in other languages, it must be really
>good.

>Plus, isn't it closely related to the macro languages used by
>things like MSWord these days? If so, the learning curve is effectively
>made shallower by that.

Very much so! As of Office97, all the Office apps use VBA (Visual
Basic for Applications) as their scripting language. Internet Explorer
supports VBScript, which is another Basic variant. It also supports
JavaScript, but MS had to put something in there so that developers
could make web pages that would do nifty things in IE and not work at
all in Netscape.

One of the very first projects Microsoft undertook was to write a
Basic interpreter for the MITS/ALTAIR computer in the late seventies.
Gates still has an affinity for Basic, and tries to shoehorn it in
everywhere. Too bad he didn't feel that way about C instead!

--
Tim Slattery



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Beating the dead horse again about VB

Quote:

>VB is the MS answer to Java.

Nice theory, except that VB predates Java by at least 5 years, probably
closer to 8.

Quote:
>For your questions:
>1. Well how important and how powerful marketing is seen by the popularity
>of Java.
>    Comparing Lisp to VB is being unfair to both the languages.

>2. Cobol is not a programming language. Forget about it.

It's done pretty well, then, considering it's not a programming language.
But the advice to forget about it is sound (IMHO).

Quote:

>3. VB of today is totally different from VB five years ago. Initially VB
was
>supposed to simplify GUI progarmming and that was it. Now its much more.

True.

All the best,
Stephen McKeown

P.S. Can somebody enlighten me as to what this thread is doing on
comp.lang.c++? My dim brain can't quite grasp it..... Thanks.



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Beating the dead horse again about VB

I would think it is very hard to regard VB as a functional language.
Neither Java or c/c++ are functional either. For functional languages
try Haskell or ML.

How would you in any non-functional language like Java, VB etc write higher
order functions? Concider my function double, it return a twice the result
of the input. Then I have a function primes (returns all primes).

If I now apply double to primes I have a new function, t`lets call it 2primes.
this function will now retunrn somthing like 4, 6, 10 ... and so on.

For an introduction to functional languages download Haskell (hugs) on the net
and do a search on functional languages for some examples.

My personal view of functional languages are that they are not very usefull for
manu real applications (pleas, no flames, this is just my experience), but
for some applications they are great. A lot of phone companies use functional
languages for their switches. And once you have learned a functional language
and started thinking in a functional way it is a lot easier to solv problems
even with regular imperative languages.

My personal view,
   Roger Lindsj?



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Beating the dead horse again about VB

Quote:
>    I am a rookie powerbuilder programmer, and am enthused about
>learning new languages.
>    I do like OO like C++ and Java, like many people, those are my
>favorites.
>    One issue that hasn't been resolved in my mind after perusing
>various language newsgroups is the overall status and assessment of MS
>VB. A lot of unhelpful emotions flying around. One main objection about
>VB was that it was not OO.
>    1. My question is this:
>    Lisp seems to be highly regarded language (though not very
>marketable) and it is NOT, as I found out, a OO language. It is, as they
>say, a FUNCTIONAL Programming language. If Lisp could be regarded with
>high esteem without being OO, then can the same logic apply to VB?
>    Incidentally, could VB regarded as a functional programming
>language?

This question makes no sense. Your logic appears to read.

Lisp is highly regarded : Lisp is not an OO language (ignoring CLOS for the
moment)

VB is not an OO language Therefore VB should be highly regarded.

I would check the logical fallicies web site on that one.

Quote:
>    Before my second question, I will say that I do not think that a
>language can sustain its popularity by 'marketting' ALONE, as many seem
>to suggest regarding VB. So,
>    2. My second question is: What is the 'strength' of VB that is
>sustaining its viability? As compared to, say, Cobol, which indeed seems
>to be dying?

First of all, you are mistaken about COBOL dying. Use of COBOL, if anything,
is growing. As a percentage of all programming, yes, it is declining. However,
the death of COBOL has been greatly exagerated.

If a languages could not sustain its popularity through marketing alone, how
do you explain Java?

The strengths of VB include

A. It was the first development tool for windows that allowed you to do
serious development with ease.

B. It created the commercial component market.

C. There is a large body of programmers who know it.

D. There is a huge 3rd party support for it.

E. There are many books available on it.

F. It is easy enough for idiots to use.

G. Many companies use VB simply because Microsoft tells them to.

Quote:
>    3. My thrid question is: How different is VB of today than VB of
>five years ago? There seems to be a drastic difference but I am not
>sure.

Not much. The most significant differences are OCX's have replaced VBX's and
VB now has become "object-based", a marketing term that means it has things
sort of like you find in object oriented languages, but not really.

John - N8086N
Wise man says "Never use a bank with the initials F. U."
-------------------------------------------
Are you interested in a professional society or
guild for programmers?

See www.programmersguild.org/american.htm
Newsgroup: us.issues.occupations.computer-programmers

EMail Address:



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Beating the dead horse again about VB


Quote:

>Hi,
>    I am a rookie powerbuilder programmer, and am enthused about
>learning new languages.

I haven't seen anybody encourage this on this thread, yet, so:
Good.  Go for it.  Learn something new!

Quote:
>    I do like OO like C++ and Java, like many people, those are my
>favorites.

OO is nice, although I'm not all that fond of Java personally.
There are other ways to program.  I tend to suggest that somebody
who wants to learn them should try OO, procedural, functional, and
imperative languages.   If you're learning C++ or Java, we'll
consider OO and procedural done.  Prolog is a good and easily
available imperative language, and Scheme is a good and easily
available language for functional programming.

One interesting possibility is a programming style based on something
like C++ templates or Common Lisp macros.  I've seen it called
"generic".

Quote:
>    1. My question is this:
>    Lisp seems to be highly regarded language (though not very
>marketable) and it is NOT, as I found out, a OO language. It is, as they
>say, a FUNCTIONAL Programming language.

Where are you getting these opinions from?  Common Lisp is just as
much an object-oriented language as a functional programming language.
I believe it was the first OO language with an ANSI-recognized
standard, beating C++ by four or five years.

You can certainly do functional programming in Lisp, although I tend
not to.  I usually use a more object-oriented and generic style.

 If Lisp could be regarded with

Quote:
>high esteem without being OO, then can the same logic apply to VB?

If the question is, does the Lisp community approve of Visual Basic,
I believe the answer is no.  If the question is, since Lisp is
highly regarded and is not O-O, could VB be too, then it is moot,
since Common Lisp is O-O, and has been for a long time, both by
the more modern CLOS (which is part of the language spec) and by
various systems written in Common Lisp (yes, CL is that versatile)
for some time before that.

Quote:
>    Incidentally, could VB regarded as a functional programming
>language?

At a bare minimum, I'd say that a functional programming language
has to let you compose two functions to come up with a fully
usable third.  You can do that in Lisp, but I don't think
Visual Basic.

--
David H. Thornley                        | If you want my opinion, ask.

http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Beating the dead horse again about VB

Quote:



>>Hi,
>>    I am a rookie powerbuilder programmer, and am enthused about
>>learning new languages.

>I haven't seen anybody encourage this on this thread, yet, so:
>Good.  Go for it.  Learn something new!

Absolutely.  A man who only knows how to use a hammer can hardly call
himself a carpenter...

Quote:
>>    I do like OO like C++ and Java, like many people, those are my
>>favorites.

>OO is nice, although I'm not all that fond of Java personally.
>There are other ways to program.  I tend to suggest that somebody
>who wants to learn them should try OO, procedural, functional, and
>imperative languages.   If you're learning C++ or Java, we'll
>consider OO and procedural done.  Prolog is a good and easily
>available imperative language, and Scheme is a good and easily
>available language for functional programming.

The only other thing I'd add is that you should also check out a statically
typed functional language like ML or Haskell, too.  There's really a much
different flavor when programming in that type of system than you get with
the dynamically typed functional languages.

Quote:
>One interesting possibility is a programming style based on something
>like C++ templates or Common Lisp macros.  I've seen it called
>"generic".

Definitely check out Common Lisp enough to understand use of the macro
system, especially with respect to how well it integrates with the
minimalist syntax of the language and how powerful such a simple feature can
be.  You'll never be satisfied with templates again.  Scheme, with its
hygenic macros, is OK, too, but I like CL's better.  Why?  Most Schemers
stay away from fancy macrology, and I like some of the wierdities that true
CL'ers can twist the macro capabilities to do.


Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Beating the dead horse again about VB
hm, very interesting insight, couldn't have come from other than first hand
experience. Thanks for sharing your insight. Marcel
Quote:

> I would think it is very hard to regard VB as a functional language.
> Neither Java or c/c++ are functional either. For functional languages
> try Haskell or ML.

> How would you in any non-functional language like Java, VB etc write higher
> order functions? Concider my function double, it return a twice the result
> of the input. Then I have a function primes (returns all primes).

> If I now apply double to primes I have a new function, t`lets call it 2primes.
> this function will now retunrn somthing like 4, 6, 10 ... and so on.

> For an introduction to functional languages download Haskell (hugs) on the net
> and do a search on functional languages for some examples.

> My personal view of functional languages are that they are not very usefull for
> manu real applications (pleas, no flames, this is just my experience), but
> for some applications they are great. A lot of phone companies use functional
> languages for their switches. And once you have learned a functional language
> and started thinking in a functional way it is a lot easier to solv problems
> even with regular imperative languages.

> My personal view,
>    Roger Lindsj



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Beating the dead horse again about VB
your point taken. Marcel
Quote:


> >    I am a rookie powerbuilder programmer, and am enthused about
> >learning new languages.
> >    I do like OO like C++ and Java, like many people, those are my
> >favorites.
> >    One issue that hasn't been resolved in my mind after perusing
> >various language newsgroups is the overall status and assessment of MS
> >VB. A lot of unhelpful emotions flying around. One main objection about
> >VB was that it was not OO.
> >    1. My question is this:
> >    Lisp seems to be highly regarded language (though not very
> >marketable) and it is NOT, as I found out, a OO language. It is, as they
> >say, a FUNCTIONAL Programming language. If Lisp could be regarded with
> >high esteem without being OO, then can the same logic apply to VB?
> >    Incidentally, could VB regarded as a functional programming
> >language?

> This question makes no sense. Your logic appears to read.

> Lisp is highly regarded : Lisp is not an OO language (ignoring CLOS for the
> moment)

> VB is not an OO language Therefore VB should be highly regarded.

> I would check the logical fallicies web site on that one.

> >    Before my second question, I will say that I do not think that a
> >language can sustain its popularity by 'marketting' ALONE, as many seem
> >to suggest regarding VB. So,
> >    2. My second question is: What is the 'strength' of VB that is
> >sustaining its viability? As compared to, say, Cobol, which indeed seems
> >to be dying?

> First of all, you are mistaken about COBOL dying. Use of COBOL, if anything,
> is growing. As a percentage of all programming, yes, it is declining. However,
> the death of COBOL has been greatly exagerated.

> If a languages could not sustain its popularity through marketing alone, how
> do you explain Java?

> The strengths of VB include

> A. It was the first development tool for windows that allowed you to do
> serious development with ease.

> B. It created the commercial component market.

> C. There is a large body of programmers who know it.

> D. There is a huge 3rd party support for it.

> E. There are many books available on it.

> F. It is easy enough for idiots to use.

> G. Many companies use VB simply because Microsoft tells them to.

> >    3. My thrid question is: How different is VB of today than VB of
> >five years ago? There seems to be a drastic difference but I am not
> >sure.

> Not much. The most significant differences are OCX's have replaced VBX's and
> VB now has become "object-based", a marketing term that means it has things
> sort of like you find in object oriented languages, but not really.

> John - N8086N
> Wise man says "Never use a bank with the initials F. U."
> -------------------------------------------
> Are you interested in a professional society or
> guild for programmers?

> See www.programmersguild.org/american.htm
> Newsgroup: us.issues.occupations.computer-programmers

> EMail Address:




Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 Beating the dead horse again about VB


Quote:
>VB is the MS answer to Java. Java has C syntax which makes it look more
>"serious" otherwise on the windows platform I would prefer VB anyday to Java
>for anything I am doing.

While I agree that the C style syntax is obscure (intentionally so,
IMHO, which makes it all the worse), the VB syntax, beyond the most
basic level, is just as bad or worse. The language was built up over
time by accretion, and there is no overall structure to it; While it
is much easier to use for simple tasks, you can easily get bogged down
after only a short time. Also, its support for OO is very poor indeed,
partly because of Microsoft's insistence on redefining the term to
mean COM. The lack of polymorphism (as opposed to properties, which
aren't the same thing) and inheritance is keenly felt.
'Component-oriented' would be a better way of describing VB.

Quote:
>( Of course C++ is preferred over anything).
>VB has a more powerful faster "Virtual Machine"(The Sun name for Run-Time Library)

Actually, the term has been canonical in the industry for decades, and
goes back to (at the latest) the UCSD Pascal p-machine in 1972.
Strictly speaking, the JVM works quite differently from the RTL. VB
runs as a mix of compiled x86 code and interpreted vb-code; the RTL is
the interpreter for the vb-code. Java, OTOH, compiles entirely into a
bytecode which is interpreted by the virtual machine. This is a
tradeoff favoring portability and simplicity over performance. To get
the extra performance they introduced the JIT 'compiler', which is a
bytecode-to-machine language translator. After the JIT runs, the Java
code runs similarly to the VB RTL, with most of the code running on
the CPU and the more complex parts running interpreted.

Quote:
>and much better support for COM/MTS which is the dominating programming
>model on Windows.

This says more about Windows, and the political manuevering of M$ and
Sun against each other, than anything else.

Quote:
>For your questions:
>1. Well how important and how powerful marketing is seen by the popularity
>of Java.
>    Comparing Lisp to VB is being unfair to both the languages.

I agree. Comparing LISP to another language usually is unfair to the
other language.

Seriously, if it weren't for the fact that you almost have to use one
of those two languages to get a job these days, I'd tell you to stay
away from either Java or VB. Using a language that is defined by a
single company leaves you at that company's mercy, and in the end,
there a lot of languages out there that are as good or better than
either one. Finding a job using them, however, is another matter; the
demand for VB, Java, C++ et al is growing so fast that there really
isn't much choice in the matter, you'lll end up using at least one of
them somewhere along the line.

--
Schol-R-LEA;2 ELF JAM LCF BiWM MGT GS ( http://www.*-*-*.com/ ~scholr/)
First Speaker, Last Eristic Church of Finagle and Holy {*filter*}ity
i with the soul of a hamlet      ** Ye shall know the Truth, and
doomed always to wallow in farce ** The Truth shall drive you mad.



Wed, 18 Jun 1902 08:00:00 GMT  
 
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