I spent the last few weeks using VB, and I kept thinking things such as “Wow, this is really awesome, I wish all other languages had that!” or “I’m sure there is an easier way to do this”. I simply can’t help it – just as with any other language, when I start using it I notice a few things that are really cool, and a few things that can be improved.
So, I had my very own list of what was really cool and what could be better, but then I wondered – how did other VB developers feel? And, what is a better way to answer a question like this than actually asking the community? Why not put a blog post and see what people think about the VB IDE/language features?
To make things really simple, I prepared two questions for you:
1. If you had $100 to spend on keeping existing VB features unmodified, how would you spend it?
2. If you had $100 to spend on adding new things to VB / improving existing functionality, how would you spend it?
And then if we take everyone’s $200 and add these numbers together, we will get a pretty accurate picture of what we are doing right and we could do even better. So, help us do our job better!
Just as an example, here is my answer to the first question. I tried to keep the list as short as possible, but there are some things that I really wanted to mention, so I couldn’t make it shorter than that
Preserving current functionality:
- $40 – Ubiquity. I can use VB to create Web apps, Windows Forms apps, Smart Device apps, MS Office scripts, etc. You can learn one language and pretty much do anything with it – that is really the best part about VB to me!
- $30 – Really smart Intellisense and instant feedback while I’m writing code – I can see syntax errors without explicitly compiling my project. I just love that!
- $20 – My! Yesterday I had to write a small script and I don’t really think I could have written less code in any other language. My.Computer.FileSystem.ReadAllText, My.Computer.Network.DownloadFile, My.Computer.FileSystem.SpecialDirectories.MyDocuments, etc. – just a few of the really, really cool things in My.
- $10 – The “dynamic” part of the language and the syntactic sugar – implicit late binding, optinal parameters, with…end with, etc. It makes a huge difference!
So, what are your lists?