VB Finally Gets Real

Filed under VB Feng Shui

Bill McCarthy has written a very revealing “What’s Hot” for the July Visual Studio Magazine. First off, the name of the “version after the next version” of VB (VB 10) is apparently VBx. I have to believe that that’s some small homage to VB3 (for those that were around, that was the summer of ’93, I still have the 5.25″ floppies of the beta)  and the .VBX custom control that was the precursor to VB’s OLE custom controls (OCX’s) and in many ways, VB’s entire concept of classes.

I suppose if it was less than 14 years ago, there might be some confusion over the naming, but, hey, it was 14 years ago, so I’ll let that slide<g>.

One minor note here. Bill’s article indicates that VBx is the “next version of the VB compiler”, which isn’t quite true according to this posting on the VB Blog.

Bigger news is that the VB team is rolling out the Interop Forms Toolkit 2.0, which allows you to create OCX controls and integrations with VB6, in VB.NET. Now, as intriguing as this nugget is, it makes me wonder. VB6 is scheduled for End-of-Life in 2008. Introducing such a toolkit so close to that end-of-life would seem to be an implicit acknowledgement that, well, somebody screwed the pooch. This is a pretty clear indicator that, as much as Microsoft would love to see VB6 die, they’ve come to a realization that maybe, just maybe, people have very good reasons to continue using code that works. Maybe this realization will be the kick in the pants for Microsoft to not pull stupid semantic tricks with future VBs that break all sorts of backwards compatibility, again. Hmmm, and maybe Chuck E. Cheese will one day be a fun place for adults to hang out, too.

But, by far the biggest news to hit me square in the jaw was the VB group’s plans to have VB10, er, VBx written in VB itself! For me, this is simply huge. I’ve always said there are a certain fundamental class of problems a compiler presents that a good language should be able accommodate, and finally, VB will become one of those languages. I for one, have heard one too many times “If VB was any good, it’d be written in VB.” ‘Bout damn time!

Of course, there’s this troubling passage on the blog

“Currently VBx is in very early stages, and is a long way off from production. In fact, most of our development team is actively working on VB 9.”

Doh. Well, so VB get’s real when I finally get my flying car (that’s this one, not this one)

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