Where is Visual BASIC in Computing History... 
Author Message
 Where is Visual BASIC in Computing History...

Hello People,

I've been a C/C++ programmer for over 12 years. Someone told me that I
should start using Visual Basic because it's the new wave in
programming.

I was very open minded when I first started exploring Visual BASIC, but
since then I realized that this product is no more than a hoax of a
programming language and development environment.

First off, where are the pointers? There are no pointers in this version
of BASIC either? I don't care whether some don't have the ability to
work with pointers, but no true programming language can do without
pointers. The inability for this language to have pointers is one of the
best indicators that Visual BASIC prevents a programmer from developing
fast, efficient, powerful code.

Second, the compiler is a joke. It takes forever to compile. Beyond
reasonable as a matter of fact. It requires a run-time file which
prevents one from writing bug free programs, since you're tied to this
run-time file throughout the execution of your code. And unfortunately I
cannot find the source for this run-time file in case I want to debug it
and fix any bugs I find in it. It should be a requirement that the
source for this run-time file be available in case I want to recompile
it.

The compiler itself doesn't even produce efficient code. I'm sorry, but
this is not a true native-code compiler. It's unacceptable! Take it
back, I don't need it. The interpreter runs faster than compiled code.

Third, this is not Object-Oriented Programming. I can understand that
most of you don't understand what OOP is, and don't understand how to
use it, but the foundation in which the Visual BASIC language was built
upon will never allow true object-oriented programming. That's a shame,
since true OOP is one most important aspects of programming today.
Unfortunately this product still requires you to write structured code.

I've spoken to many of my colleagues in the software development
community, and they all feel the same way I do about Visual BASIC. I
hope that if any of you are truly interested in becoming an "expert
programmer" that you'll consider what opportunities there are developing
in more sophisticated languages and development environments. Consider
how important the understanding of pointers, memory management, true
native-code compilers and true object-oriented programming are to
software development and becoming a top-notch programmer.

Thank you for taking the time to listen.

Sincerely,
John West



Thu, 30 Dec 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Where is Visual BASIC in Computing History...

Oh Well... Back to the good old VB-as-a-proper-language debate...

Let's just say there are two types of languages around, and there always
have been: The scientificaly correct language, which will allow you to so
all sorts of powerful, fast, state-of-the-art compact programs, and those
languages that actually allow an application to solve real-world problems.
Now, I don't know about John West's customers, but mine don't really care
if their problems are being solved using pointers and True OOP and True
native compilation, etc... etc... They expect the application to work as
desired, to adapt itself to the changing of times, basicaly , TO GET THE
JOB DONE! Now as we all VB programers know, we could really use pointers at
times, but the lack of pointers in VB keeps the language safe and hi-level.
After all, if we're talking about building a very fast, compact and
powerfull component, yep, you're probably better off with C++, but if
you're making production app's with 100.000+ lines each, do you really want
to relly on debugging run-time files and using tight code, almost
impossible to maintain? Yes, maintenace of code is yet another issue that
people keep forgeting. That's why COBOL is still the most used computer
language all over the world (actually, if you count all versions of VB, VBA
and VBS, then this place belongs to Visual Basic). COBOL allows you to make
not-so-fast, not-so-compact programs that DO solve custumers needs. In my
opinion, VB is getting COBOL's place these days, in the way that it is a
high-level language, very easy to learn, very easy to debug, and very easy
to mantain, even by programmers that didn't write the original code. In
these days of OLE communication, mixed-language environments, my best
recomendation is: Use the right tool for the job.

Miguel Santos

_____________________________________________________________


Quote:
> Hello People,

> I've been a C/C++ programmer for over 12 years. Someone told me that I
> should start using Visual BASIC because it's the new wave in
> programming.

> I was very open minded when I first started exploring Visual BASIC, but
> since then I realized that this product is no more than a hoax of a
> programming language and development environment.

> First off, where are the pointers? There are no pointers in this version
> of BASIC either? I don't care whether some don't have the ability to
> work with pointers, but no true programming language can do without
> pointers. The inability for this language to have pointers is one of the
> best indicators that Visual BASIC prevents a programmer from developing
> fast, efficient, powerful code.

> Second, the compiler is a joke. It takes forever to compile. Beyond
> reasonable as a matter of fact. It requires a run-time file which
> prevents one from writing bug free programs, since you're tied to this
> run-time file throughout the execution of your code. And unfortunately I
> cannot find the source for this run-time file in case I want to debug it
> and fix any bugs I find in it. It should be a requirement that the
> source for this run-time file be available in case I want to recompile
> it.

> The compiler itself doesn't even produce efficient code. I'm sorry, but
> this is not a true native-code compiler. It's unacceptable! Take it
> back, I don't need it. The interpreter runs faster than compiled code.

> Third, this is not Object-Oriented Programming. I can understand that
> most of you don't understand what OOP is, and don't understand how to
> use it, but the foundation in which the Visual BASIC language was built
> upon will never allow true object-oriented programming. That's a shame,
> since true OOP is one most important aspects of programming today.
> Unfortunately this product still requires you to write structured code.

> I've spoken to many of my colleagues in the software development
> community, and they all feel the same way I do about Visual BASIC. I
> hope that if any of you are truly interested in becoming an "expert
> programmer" that you'll consider what opportunities there are developing
> in more sophisticated languages and development environments. Consider
> how important the understanding of pointers, memory management, true
> native-code compilers and true object-oriented programming are to
> software development and becoming a top-notch programmer.

> Thank you for taking the time to listen.

> Sincerely,
> John West



Thu, 30 Dec 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Where is Visual BASIC in Computing History...



Quote:
> And unfortunately I
> cannot find the source for this run-time file in case I want to debug it
> and fix any bugs I find in it. It should be a requirement that the
> source for this run-time file be available in case I want to recompile
> it.

Leaving the question of ownership of code aside, what would happen with the
compatibility issue if everybody had access to the runtime-file?


Thu, 30 Dec 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Where is Visual BASIC in Computing History...

Hi,

my heart is with John but my earnings come from VB, so I agree with Miguel.
VB is a higher level language than C++, and it is more oritented towards
logic of programs than its real implementation on a real platform. In VB
you just don't need to know many about your OS and quite nothing about your
hardware. That is VB option and, therefore, its strongness and weakness
comes from that. However, I would want to note that each VB version is more
powerful and less easy to use, as VB comes more and more a serious
programming language and it is used by more programmers and for more
different applications.

Wouldn't it be nice to have a single programming language that joined these
two approaches? Why not write 70% of code with the ease and maintainability
of VB, 29% with the control of C++, and even the last 1% at assembler
level, and all of this with a single language, without the need of mixed
language programming?

Best regards.

--
Francesc Hervada i Sala



Thu, 30 Dec 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Where is Visual BASIC in Computing History...

My goodness .. a politician  :)



: Hi,
:
: my heart is with John but my earnings come from VB, so I agree with
Miguel.
: VB is a higher level language than C++, and it is more oritented towards
: logic of programs than its real implementation on a real platform. In VB
: you just don't need to know many about your OS and quite nothing about
your
: hardware. That is VB option and, therefore, its strongness and weakness
: comes from that. However, I would want to note that each VB version is
more
: powerful and less easy to use, as VB comes more and more a serious
: programming language and it is used by more programmers and for more
: different applications.
:
: Wouldn't it be nice to have a single programming language that joined
these
: two approaches? Why not write 70% of code with the ease and
maintainability
: of VB, 29% with the control of C++, and even the last 1% at assembler
: level, and all of this with a single language, without the need of mixed
: language programming?
:
: Best regards.
:
: --
: Francesc Hervada i Sala
:
:



Thu, 30 Dec 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Where is Visual BASIC in Computing History...



Quote:
> Hello People,

> I've been a C/C++ programmer for over 12 years. Someone told me that I
> should start using Visual BASIC because it's the new wave in
> programming.

> I was very open minded when I first started exploring Visual BASIC, but
> since then I realized that this product is no more than a hoax of a
> programming language and development environment.

<cut>
The first programming language I learned was machine code.  After that it
was assembler.  Then Basic, fortran, Cobol, etc.  In every case there were
methods that were effective in one language that could not be done
reasonably in the next.  Each language had it's strengths and weaknesses.
The key is to use the constructs of the chosen language and not to try to
force one paradigm onto another.

I'd like to see a lot of things change in VB.  Real pointers would make a
lot of things easier to do in VB.  Increased OOP capabilites would be nice.
 Their lack does not make VB "inferior" so much as it makes it "different".

I will agree that VB is being used by many people who should be using C++
or something else instead.  Many applications are much simpler in other
languages.  On the other hand VB can be an extremely effective tool when
used for what it was designed for.

I guess the bottom line is that if you feel that OOP is the only way to
code then VB is not for you and you shouldn't use it.  So don't.  Just
don't try to save us poor little fools who don't understand how badly we
are being mislead.  We aren't.  
--
Please reply through the newsgroup.  The reply e-mail
address is garbage to reduce the spam rate.



Thu, 30 Dec 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Where is Visual BASIC in Computing History...

Quote:

> Leaving the question of ownership of code aside, what would happen
> with the compatibility issue if everybody had access to the runtime-file?

The capable hands to do this apparently don't belong to the people using
Visual BASIC. You've shown this o me. But the capable hands to do this
does belong to C/C++ programmers.

But good question. :-)

John West



Thu, 30 Dec 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Where is Visual BASIC in Computing History...


Quote:
> Wouldn't it be nice to have a single programming language that joined
these
> two approaches?

Well, I still think that Modula-3 is the best systems language available,
because it really is multithreaded, safe, and OO from the ground up.  And
you can do low-level stuff if you really need to in a safe way. But, alas,
very few people use it.  I rather suspect Delphi is the next best thing...

Quentin Stafford-Fraser



Thu, 30 Dec 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Where is Visual BASIC in Computing History...


Fri, 19 Jun 1992 00:00:00 GMT  
 Where is Visual BASIC in Computing History...


Quote:
> Now, I don't know about John West's customers, but mine don't really care
> if their problems are being solved using pointers and True OOP and True
> native compilation, etc... etc... They expect the application to work as
> desired, to adapt itself to the changing of times, basicaly , TO GET THE
> JOB DONE!

And with our customers, they need it yesterday, which is why 90% of our
development is done in VB. On the other hand, I wouldn't try to write a
VB-based OS. ;-)

Quote:
> That's why COBOL is still the most used computer
> language all over the world (actually, if you count all versions of VB,
VBA
> and VBS, then this place belongs to Visual Basic). COBOL allows you to
make
> not-so-fast, not-so-compact programs that DO solve custumers needs.

Is this still the case? Why didn't my B.S. degree ever expose me to COBOL
programming (I don't even know what COBOL code looks like)? Should I take a
course and learn it, or will VB "take its place"?

Thanks, Matt

--
Matt Brown
Programmer, Training Labs Inc. / Shadow Corp.
http://www.tarimar.com/mattkb/



Thu, 30 Dec 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Where is Visual BASIC in Computing History...


Fri, 19 Jun 1992 00:00:00 GMT  
 Where is Visual BASIC in Computing History...

Quote:


> Wouldn't it be nice to have a single programming language that joined
> these two approaches? Why not write 70% of code with the ease and
> maintainability of VB, 29% with the control of C++, and even the last 1%
> at assembler level, and all of this with a single language, without the
> need of mixed language programming?

I think this is exactly what Java Symantec Visual Cafe tries to do.
:-)

I've got a formation on Java last week and have been very surprised
about this language. I think Java will become a great programming
language very soon. All I hope is a "real" visual environment like
Visual Basic's one. The only visual thing in Microsoft Visual J++ is
its name. :-) But I heard that Symantec Visual Cafe is really
"visual".

Fran?ois Chartier
Balatum, consultants en informatique
"N'ayons pas peur des maux..."

http://www.mlink.net/~balatum
E-Mail: Via notre site (no-spams)



Thu, 30 Dec 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Where is Visual BASIC in Computing History...


Fri, 19 Jun 1992 00:00:00 GMT  
 Where is Visual BASIC in Computing History...

FYI, COBOL features a very high-level syntax, very english-like, and uses
very few keywords, yet getting the job done. It also features (in most
versions anyway) a very fast ISAM access, also made very easy to handle.
This allowed to make multi-user apps 30+ years ago. It's sad to say that
now with all the techonoly available to us, things only seem to get tougher
and less reliable. But then, our parents didn't have the couloured icons
did they? :)

Oh, about the OS built in VB, that is exacly my point. Right tool for the
job. If it's going to take 3 years to develop and be fast and powerfull,
build it with a low-level language. C++ seems to do fine at this lever.
Now, about making a 100.000 line program in about a month (true story...)
for accountancy purposes, I wouldn't rely on C++. That would be about the
time I'de need to get me to learn the basics. Oh, by the way, I still use
COBOL DLL's for data access purposes, there have been some recent COBOL
versions (Microfocus' Visual Object COBOL for example) that feature all the
OOP stuff (Yes, POINTERS too), yet they have turned a simple and adequate
tool for a certain job into some hybrid low/high language, Something our
friend John would like to happen to VB, but it's obviosly off VB's
purposes.

I'll be happy to send you some COBOL code if you want, you'll be amazed to
realize you can understand it, even without learning it first.

Regards

Miguel Santos

__________________________________________________________



Quote:


> > Now, I don't know about John West's customers, but mine don't really
care
> > if their problems are being solved using pointers and True OOP and True
> > native compilation, etc... etc... They expect the application to work
as
> > desired, to adapt itself to the changing of times, basicaly , TO GET
THE
> > JOB DONE!
> And with our customers, they need it yesterday, which is why 90% of our
> development is done in VB. On the other hand, I wouldn't try to write a
> VB-based OS. ;-)

> > That's why COBOL is still the most used computer
> > language all over the world (actually, if you count all versions of VB,
> VBA
> > and VBS, then this place belongs to Visual Basic). COBOL allows you to
> make
> > not-so-fast, not-so-compact programs that DO solve custumers needs.

> Is this still the case? Why didn't my B.S. degree ever expose me to COBOL
> programming (I don't even know what COBOL code looks like)? Should I take
a
> course and learn it, or will VB "take its place"?

> Thanks, Matt

> --
> Matt Brown
> Programmer, Training Labs Inc. / Shadow Corp.
> http://www.tarimar.com/mattkb/



Thu, 30 Dec 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 Where is Visual BASIC in Computing History...


Fri, 19 Jun 1992 00:00:00 GMT  
 
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