VB.NET: Too Complex to be Considered "BASIC?"

Posted by Phil Weber on March 16, 2003

In the vb.dotnet.discussion group at DevX, .NOT-regular Mike Mitchell rants that VB.NET is too complex to be considered "BASIC." Not surprisingly, I disagree:

Just this past week,...my employer wanted a simple app for importing data from flat files into a relational database. I decided that a "Wizard" UI made the most sense (Step 1: Select data source; Step 2: Select destination; Step 3: Perform import).

Now, I've created plenty of wizard-type apps in VB3 through 6: In 1996, I wrote a VBPJ article about how to create efficient, maintainable multi-page UIs, and I gave VBITS presentations in 2000 and 2001 which featured an updated technique for VB6 based on UserControls.

Guess what? VB.NET was much less complex, but just as efficient, as the techniques (read: hacks) I had devised for VB3-6. I wrote the entire app in less than one day.

How do you explain that, Mike? If VB.NET is so inherently complex, how could I have developed a polished VB.NET UI in a fraction of the time it took me to create the same UI in VB6?

The technique I used for this app, incidentally, is visual inheritance: I created a generic wizard form to serve as a base class, then I inherited from this form to create each page of the wizard. Cake!


Posted by Kent on April 11, 2003:

Hi Phil,

In my own opinion, VB.Net is not complicated but the importance of VB has diminished. It is also fair to say that by taking the approach you took that you completely by passed having to work with the framework thus avoiding the inherent complexity. Nothing wrong with that really, since the forms designer in VB6 does the same thing in a sense. Point being it can be done easily for any .Net language that works in VS.Net not just VB.Net.


Posted by Phil Weber on April 11, 2003:

Hi, Kent! I don’t understand why you say I “completely bypassed having to work with the framework?” My code includes GDI+ calls, ADO.NET calls, etc. What technique, in your opinion, would qualify as ‘working with the framework?’

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