.NET Developments

Jun 3 2010   8:55PM GMT

Is there any real difference between VB.NET and C#?

RobBarry Rob Barry Profile: RobBarry

By and large, it seems that Visual Basic no longer deserves the bad rap it’s had for many years among more “serious” programmers. After the .NET Framework hit the scene in 2002 a sort of “grand unification” between VB and C# took place that has now rendered the two languages nearly identical, functionally speaking.

Most of the experts I’ve spoken to on the topic say going with VB or C# is really just a matter of personal preference. But while they were all fairly diplomatic on the matter, everyone seemed only to admit to using VB “in the past” or if clients preferred it. Clearly many of the folks who downplayed VB when C++ was the heavy hitting Microsoft development language still can’t quite shake the bias.

As thinktecture‘s Christian Weyer put it, “I think when VB.NET developers come from the VB6 world, most of them are having a hard time mentally disconnecting from this old world and jumping into the totally different universe of .NET.” Staying with a language that looks the same as VB6 can lead developers to stick to the old ways of tackling problems and miss out on newer concepts like the service-oriented approach.

Weyer recommended switching to C# and not just because it’s is in any major way a functionally superior language. While it takes longer to learn and adopt than VB, he said, the new perspective will help some of the old habits and lead to a “cleaner approach” to .NET development.

So what do you think: Is VB still useful or is it a lame duck that needs to go?

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