Some people just don't have a clue...
...yet want to sound like they do. I would love to see the like of Jay Roxe (Microsoft) put in a room with this Tom fellow and see the sparks fly. This guy claims that he has the “inside” track as to what Microsoft is thinking in regards to the future of Visual Basic. This guy just doesn't have a clue. The MVP Summit is the “inside” track and with programs like VB Insiders existing where some people (including myself) can interact directly with the VB team. When I say interaction, they are interacting in a one-on-one basis, providing insight into the future of the language very far into the inception phase. I personally saw (while at the Summit) many things that were purely just prototypes and ideas in the making to get feedback well before the actual planning phases of the next release (after Windows Vista).
Visual Basic is here to stay... and no amount of “opinion” will change that. I would love for this guy to provide me with his so-called inside sources so I could pass them along to various people at Microsoft so they could be educated. I'm not saying there aren't people inside of Microsoft saying what this guy is saying... but just because there *might* be people at Microsoft saying what this guy is saying (which I doubt and I'll get to why in a minute) doesn't mean those people know what they are talking about. Just because they work at Microsoft doesn't mean they speak for *all* of Microsoft or know what *Microsoft's* plans are. I really doubt that a team the size of the VB product team exists just to make a few developers happy until they “kill” the product. Also, with the release of Visual Studio 2005 at the end of this year, that puts it on the road map for support for at next 10+ years.
Now let me make a few facts clear:
- “Visual Basic is the most used language in the world.“ That is quoted for a reason. Those are not my words. They are Microsoft's words. With that being said, from a purely monetary reason, Microsoft is not going to “abandon“ a product just to get people to switch to what some would consider “superior“. Superior is quoted since I don't believe that C++, C# or any other language is superior than VB. I don't consider VB to be superior than any other language. In the end, I do believe that VB is the most productive language for both initial development and, more importantly, maintenance.
- Microsoft .NET (as Tom states) is *not* written in C++. The majority of the .NET Framework is written in C# with significant portions written in VB. Obviously there are portions that are written in C++; some of this due to legacy integration, existing code-base within Visual Studio (no since in rewriting code for the sake of just rewriting code) and *raw* performance reasons. C++ isn't dead, but it also is not the *only* language that Microsoft is using to develop and ship shrink wrapped products to the end user.
What is VB for? What is it's place in the world? Well, let's see what the Microsoft folks have to say...
For line of business application developers, Visual Basic 2005 is the most productive tool for developing Windows, Web, Office and Mobile applications.
That is the value proposition statement directly from the VB team. What does it mean? Well, I suppose there could be some lost in translation in what exactly “line of business application developers” are. While there, I asked this question. Pretty much any application that has to deal with data and will be used anywhere from internally (corporate) and to applications that are shrink wrapped to end users. Notice that the statement is clearly stating Windows, Web, Office and Mobile. Is VB8 perfect in this regard? Not perfect, but neither is *any* other product. There's now a vision and that vision is clear. VB is meant to be the “most productive tool” and will continue to evolve in that regard.
In the end, I'm not going to change the mind of people like this guy Tom... but you better believe that I'm not going to let his voice bury mine in regards to VB's place in the world. He has every right to say whatever he wants, but I have every right to respond. My facts are clear and I will be very happy to provide names, places, dates and any other information upon request. I'm also not anonymous in this regard. Trolls, Trolls, Trolls... not just for newsgroups and forums any more. ;-)
Mr. Somasegar's blog has a few comments on the subject of VB's place in the world. Who is this guy anyway? Well, he *runs* the developer division at Microsoft. In regards to development languages, this guy is the *boss*. To save you the clicking, here's a direct quote from him; “...let me talk about how serious we are about Visual Basic – we’re 120% committed to the language and the product not just today but for a long, long, long time to come...“. Can't get any more first hand than that, can you?