I read an excellent review of the history and current status of Visual Basic at DevTopics but I would change the post title from “The Rise and Fall of Visual Basic” by substituting “Falter” for “Fall” as this post’s title suggests.
I am not sure where the figures supposedly showing the death of Visual Basic come from. If you are happily working with VB then you are probably doing so without making a lot of noise about it – that could be the problem. However take hear from the following.
- Visual Basic is the number one .NET language
- Visual Basic is the number one downloaded and number one registered Express Edition (by a margin over the next of 20%)
- Visual Basic is the number one language gauged by the MSDN centre and blog
- The Visual Basic team blog is the number one MS blog.
Figures taken from Paul Vick’s post on the subject where he is now suggesting that it is time to “lose” the Mort persona used to label VB developers and replace him with Ben (Franklin). Ben is the guy you call when something needs to be done – a bit of a polymath – but practical through and through.
And perhaps there is the rub. VB.NET is for the Bens of this world and has left the Morts behind. I know plenty of lone developers and development team members who are Morts – making their contribution to those “Big balls of Mud” that serve Industry and Commerce so well. There are still a lot of Bens writing VB6 applications but they have the choice of future tools – what’s left for the guys who want a solid, pragmatic development platform that does not demand a theoretical model to hang the code on?
Me – I’m off to write a quick and dirty data analysis in VB6. The Visual Studio 6 IDE might feel somewhat lacking nowadays (you have to type in your own “End If” lines) but it’s still faster to hack a report than .NET and there are no deployment issues in my target domain.