Silly questions about ASP.NET and VB

2 minute read

I had the wonderful opportunity to present at the Dallas Visual Studio 2005 launch event today and presented the ‘Building Web Applications with Visual Studio 2005 and ASP.NET 2.0’ talk. It was an absolutely packed house — I think we had just under 3,000 attendees and the ASP.NET 2.0 talk was in the keynote room and filled with people!

During the Question/Answer session after the talk, which had some great questions about ASP.NET 2.0, Visual Studio 2005, and even Community Server someone asked, “When is ASP.NET going to become a real development tool and support something other than Visual Basic.”

— mental pause —

(deep breath) Exhale…

— resume —

As much as I enjoy the rivalry between C# and VB this question just got under my skin. First of all, ASP.NET has never been just a Visual Basic tool. Period. I’m not even going to explain the rest of that; just Google or MSN it (hmmm… ‘MSN it’ doesn’t sound as cool does it?). Secondly, I personally believe VB as a language has done more for software development, and software developers, than any other development tool — and that’s what I told him. To which he replied, “No professional software development company uses Visual Basic (names of those companies here).” Right …that’s why something like 70% of developers use VB. Sigh. Next question?

Seriously. VB is simple, easy to learn, and is the first language many of us started with. Most importantly with .NET the only people that care about the language are, well, the developers! All CLR code gets turned into MSIL at the end of the day. Nevertheless I’m glad that ASP.NET has such a strong tie to VB …but still happy that it supports other CLR languages, like C#, too.

As for our friend who asked the question, a challenge: you write your ASP.NET pages in C++ — or better yet a real language like assembler — and I’ll use VB. We’ll see who gets done faster.

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