Posted by: YuvalShavit
Dynamic Languages, Visual Basic
As the Microsoft Lang.NET Symposium went into Day 2, the parade of languages and language combos continued. First out of the blocks was Eric Meijer with a discussion of Volta.
Visual Basic meister Paul Vick talked at the symposium about VB, naturally, and the idea of returning scripting to Visual Basic. According to Ted Neward, Vick said the next goal of Visual Basic was to provide the complete range of core/compiler, project and IDE services for people who want to use VB as a scripting engine. Vick demonstrated a simple WinForms app that hosted a single control that exposed the VB editor.
The odd thing is that Visual Basic seemed to take a detour to static approaches and objects just when much of the programmer community was going into reverse, heading away from C++ and Java and toward Ruby. With its appearance as part of the program at Lang.NET, it can be looked at anew.
Here is a sampling of the inimitable Ted Neward, riffing on the Visual Basic struggling under the yoke of the Gods of Computer Science:
I don’t know what Visual Basic did to anger the Gods of Computer Science, but think about it for a second: they were a dynamic language that ran on a bytecode-based platform, used dynamic typing and late name-based binding by default, provided a “scripting glue” to existing applications (Office being the big one), focused primarily on productivity, and followed a component model from almost the first release. Then, after languishing for years as the skinny guy on the beach as the C++ developers kicked sand on their blanket, they get the static-typing and early-binding religion, just in time to be the skinny guy on the beach as the Ruby developers kick sand on their blanket.
Among others appearing on Day 2 was Tomas Petricek, developer lead for the Phalanger PHP language compiler for .NET. Petricek in the past has shown PHP working on Silverlight, and he is said to be moving toward a partial port of Phalanger PHP to the Dynamic Language Runtime (DLR).