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Why Visual Basic 6 is like McDonalds

Visual Basic 6 is like McDonalds.

Why? At McDonalds you can order items the way you want them, and they are delivered FAST! But, you don’t have a completely open menu. You can only order certain items.

Sure, you can get your BigMac with A Diet Coke, or with no onions and Root Beer. Or with only ketchup and mustard. But you can’t get the double order of clam tenders with curly fries and a Mocha-Banana Smoothie.

Visual Basic allows you to accomplish certain things very quickly.

You want to whip out a program to track records in Access? Piece of cake. Use the wizard in Access to create your table, slap on a data control, and add a few data linked text boxes. VOILA! You’re finished.

If you know your way around Visual Basic well enough, you can get things a little more customized. Just like at McDonalds. Did you know that if you want the freshest fries, you could order them without salt? Since McDonalds salts ALL of their fries as soon as they are cooked, if you order fries without salt, they have to cook you fresh fries. And sometimes you can order a grilled cheese (they just invert two burger buns, add some cheese, and slap it on the grill).

If you know a bit more about Visual Basic, then you can accomplish more than the average user. Sure, you can create a program to monitor a folder on your computer and email you when something changes. But it isn’t easy, nor for the faint of heart.

Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you have unlimited power. Or that you even should.

No matter how hard you try to order that Meatloaf Mountain at McDonalds, they just won’t have it. Sure, you can take a Big Mac and put it into a blender with a Quarter Pounder. But it just isn’t the same as real meatloaf with gravy and mashed potatoes. Just like in Visual Basic, no matter how hard you try to implement overloading in Visual Basic, it ain’t gonna happen.

C# is like a Supermarket + Gourmet Chef + Short Order Cook

C# is like a Supermarket. Plus a gourmet chef. Plus a short order cook. If you are wondering what a short order cook is, I looked it up for you.

On a web page from the Yahoo I learned that short order cooks, also called grill or line cooks, prepare and cook to order a variety of foods that require only a short preparation time.

You have your choice of any type of food. Plus you create the meal just like a gourmet chef. Using the chef approach will take longer, but you can get exactly what you want. If you don’t want to take that much time, you can be the short order cook whip you up some burgers and fries.

You want that simple program to track records in Access? No problem. Use the wizard in Access to create your table, slap on a data provider, and add a few data linked text boxes. VOILA! You’re finished. As fast an as easy as Visual Basic.

You want that monitoring software? Or want to overload those functions? Not a problem. Unlike Visual Basic, you can do it in C#. It will take you a bit longer to write than the Access program, but you can still do it easily.

If you have any background in C or C++, then you will have a good jump on the learning curve of C#. You will need to learn some new syntax, but most of the concepts are the same, unlike Visual Basic, where you have many new programming concepts to learn (such as overloading).

McDonalds or the Supermarket?

In the end, the choice is yours. Microsoft is phasing out Visual Basic. They are replacing Visual Basic with VB.Net and C#. If you have to learn a new language, you should pick one that is going to be around longer, and something that employers are looking for.

Since many employers are looking for the .Net languages, you should learn one… instead of an semi-archaic limited language like Visual Basic 6.

Author Information:

Eric D. Burdo


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Dial-Up - March 25, 2005 10:51 PM

"If you have to learn a new language, you should pick one that is going to be around longer, and something that employers are looking for."

.NET is a fad. Companies like .NET right now because Microsoft has told them to. I do not believe your precious C# and VB.NET will stick around for very long. Besides that, what's the point? Java's already been doing everything they do for a long time now, and it's free.

You seem to be obsessed with function overloading. It's really not all that great. It lets you define more than one function with the same name and different parameters, that's it. You would survive without it.

What's being said in this article has been said many times before by other ignornant .NET fanboys relying on 5th hand information.

Mitch - May 17, 2005 9:12 PM

It seems that the people that hate .NET hate it for no reason and anyone that likes it is kissing Microsoft's corporate behind. I'm willing to bet you haven't spent more than 5 seconds developing in .NET - if you had you would *have* to say something nice about it. It's a developer's dream! Microsoft has already published it's technology roadmap for the next 10 years and .NET is a huge part of it. Go read up, then come sit at the adult table :-)

Eric D. Burdo - June 5, 2005 4:04 PM

.NET is free also. The Visual Studio IDE costs you money, as do many of the high-end Java IDE tools. I don't think .NET is a fad. No more than Java. And if Java didn't have any competition, it would stagnate and die.



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