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Chris G. Williams Beware: I mix tech and personal interests here.

as long as we're talking about VB... I figured I would share this as well.

Hi everyone,

I'm about to express a sentiment that might ruffle a few feathers, but I think most of you know me well enough to know I love like accept VB for what it is and that what I'm about to say is with good intentions. (The rest of you, who don't know me, please take my word for it.)

The world is full of VB developers, I was one of them for a long time. I think it's safe to assume that none of us are ignorant people who require handholding. We're working professionals, making a living by using our skills as developers. I'm also willing to bet that quite a few of us are fluent in C# as well as VB. It may not be your preferred language, but many of you can do it and you prove that nearly every day.

Honestly, I don't know ANY developers or consultants that have only known ONE language ever.

So it pains me greatly when I see the word "CAN'T" being tossed around like a crutch... as in "we CAN'T develop for the windows phone or we CAN'T develop XNA games." At MIX, Microsoft hath decreed that C# is the language of choice for developing for the Windows Phone 7. I think it's a safe bet that you won't see VB support if it isn't there already. (Just like XNA... which is up to version 4.0 by now.) 

So what? (Yeah... I said it.)

I think everyone here can agree that actual coding is only one part of software design and development. There is nothing stopping ANY of you from beginning the process of designing your killer phone app, writing up specs, requirements, doing UI design, workflow, mockups, storyboards, art, etc.... None of these things are language dependent.

IF by the time you've got that stuff out of the way, and there's still no VB support, then start doing some rapid prototyping of your app in C# (I know, I know... heresy!)  You still have to spend time learning how the phone does things, what UI tricks do what, what paradigms make sense, how to use to accelerometer and the tilt and the multitouch functionality. I can guarantee you that time spent doing this is a great investment, no matter WHAT extension your code files have. Eventually, you may have a working prototype.

IF by this time, there's STILL no VB support... fret not, you've made significant progress on your app. You've designed it, prototyped it, figured out how to use the phone specific features... so you might as well finish it and pat yourself on the back for learning something new... and possibly being first to market with your new app.

I'll be happy to argue any and all of these points online or off with anyone who cares to do so, but there is one undeniable point that you simply can't argue: 

Your potential customers do not care AT ALL what programming language you used to write the app they are about to purchase. They care that it works. If your biggest concern is being first to market, than stop complaining and get busy because you're running out of time and the 3000+ people who were at MIX certainly aren't waiting for you.

They've already started working on their apps.

Posted on Tuesday, March 23, 2010 11:34 AM | Back to top


Comments on this post: regarding the Windows Phone 7 series, XNA and Visual Basic

# re: regarding the Windows Phone 7 series, XNA and Visual Basic
Requesting Gravatar...
I've used VB since VB3 (you know, back when it came on a couple of 3.5" disks!) so I think I'm qualified to speak as a VB developer. Here's what I say - "Stop frakkin' whining and deal with it!"

I don't anticipate doing game development in anything besides C# and haven't in several years. I've done game development in VB, C, and C++. C# is the best of all worlds. Learn it, use it, love it!

"If your biggest concern is being first to market, than stop complaining and get busy because you're running out of time and the 3000+ people who were at MIX certainly aren't waiting for you.

They've already started working on their apps."

And even us who weren't at MIX aren't waiting either. I've got several ideas on tap. :)
Left by Jim Perry on Mar 23, 2010 11:42 AM

# re: regarding the Windows Phone 7 series, XNA and Visual Basic
Requesting Gravatar...
As we talked offline, there's a similar "issue" with iPhone. Unless you're willing to buy MonoTouch, learning ObjectiveC is the only way to write an iPhone app (more or less). If you wanted to get on the iPhone bandwagon, you either learned it as best you could or train whizzed right by you. I had to make that choice a year ago with a 1-month prototype gig using the iPhone. I chose to learn ObjectiveC. Is it my favorite language? No. Am I proficient in it? No. Did the client like the prototype that they say? Yes. And THAT'S what mattered.

There's writing on the wall, and some people still fail to read it. I stopped using VB unless my clients demand to use it years ago. I can still use it (I've been using it for 7 months on my current gig) but it's not my choice. You said it well: your choice right now is C#. Either continue to lament the fact that you can't use VB, or grow a backbone and learn C#, which, quite honestly, isn't THAT hard to learn.
Left by Jason Bock on Mar 23, 2010 11:48 AM

# re: regarding the Windows Phone 7 series, XNA and Visual Basic
Requesting Gravatar...
I remember the days of VB3 and now program in C# which is sooo much better thankfully. Looking at the iphone development there's the JSCocoa option...
Left by iFunky Website Development on May 04, 2010 9:30 AM

# re: regarding the Windows Phone 7 series, XNA and Visual Basic
Requesting Gravatar...
BTW, web development is a broad term for the work involved in developing a web site for the Internet (World Wide Web) or an intranet (a private network). Web development can range from developing the simplest static single page of plain text to the most complex web-based internet applications
Left by Alex. S. on Jan 08, 2013 9:13 PM

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