My Entries on the List of Things to Hate about VB.Net

Filed under Rants, VB Feng Shui

First, I should say I’m a pretty ardent supporter of VB, even VB.net. Heck, that should be obvious from the name of this blog<g>

But, as I’m getting more and more into the “.net” of VB, I’m finding more and more things to dislike about it.

There’s plenty already written on this subject and maybe I’m a tad late to the party, but I haven’t seen these particular things mentioned before, so here’s my additions to the topic.

  • Sluggish IDE. Good god. I’ve got a dual core Core2 rig with ultrafast video and 4gb of ram, and the VS2008 IDE feels like trudging through a Valdez-soaked beach compared to working with VB6. I understand this isn’t specifically a VB problem. The IDE applies to all .NET languages. But that doesn’t change the fact that if you program in VB, you use the IDE, and it’s a dog.
  • Intellisense. I like Intellisense, the concept, but there’s just something about the VB.NET implementation that is so much more “in the way” that VB6’s. It feels a bit like that brother-in-law that you can’t get off the couch soon enough…
  • MDI style IDE. While there are definitely some improvements to the UI of the IDE, and just maybe I’m a relic, but I MUCH prefer the VB6 (and before) “SDI” floating windows style IDE to this monolithic, MDI style environment. To make good use of it, you have to maximize it on-screen, which hides everything else onscreen. Granted, a nice dual or triple monitor setup minimizes that impact, but still, I just find it much more cumbersome and “in the way” than the old environment.
  • Uninitialized strings variables. This one just floors me. Take this code:
        dim s as string
        debug.print len(s)
        debug.print s.length
    The len(s) line works like you’d expect (you get 0), but the s.length line fails with an error! What the hell? An uninitialized object? This is like a car manufacturer coming out with the new year model and swapping the gas and brake pedals. I don’t care whether they told me about it before or not, it’s just plain stupid. Why on earth have two functions that do exactly the same thing but one works as any longtime VB programmer would expect and one does not? And no, “That’s just the CLR/it’s necessary for C#/Blah Blah” just doesn’t cut it.

As I read through many of the posts, I have to admit I’ve started to wonder myself as to whether this is all some low-level ultra-subtle manipulations on the part of MS to nudge people further and further away from VB. Yes, it starts to sound like conspiracy theory, but surely, all this couldn’t be completely unintentional, could it?

Even so, there are ways around some of this. And I still much prefer VB, the language, to anything even resembling C and it’s ilk.

Still, if no one complains, things won’t change (or they’ll get worse<sigh>).

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