I remember a Microsoft representative that shared a story with me that has stuck with me for many years; I'll attempt to share it here. The story goes that when he was a Scout Master (for those not familiar, this is a volunteer role that is handling a group of children) he would have a lot of "complaints" about this-and-that from the various parents. This negativity was ongoing and he had a great way of dealing with it within these common meetings where this would occur. He would listen to the problem being raised and, upon the parent finishing with their complaint, he would respond with something along the lines of "so you are volunteering to resolve this".
This illustrates several points:
“Change is inevitable. Change is constant.” – Benjamin Disraeli
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” – Maya Angelou
“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Barack Obama
“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” – John F. Kennedy
“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” – Alan Watts
“When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Viktor E. Frankl
“He who is fixed to a star does not change his mind.” – Leonardo da Vinci
“Sometimes if you want to see a change for the better, you have to take things into your own hands.” – Clint Eastwood
“We cannot change anything until we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.” – Carl Jung
“If you want to change attitudes, start with a change in behavior.” – William Glasser
“In order to change the world, you have to get your head together first.” – Jimi Hendrix
“Change the changeable, accept the unchangeable, and remove yourself from the unacceptable.” – Denis Waitley
“Change your opinions, keep to your principles; change your leaves, keep intact your roots.” – Victor Hugo
“A lot of people get impatient with the pace of change.” – James Levine
“When you blame others, you give up your power to change.” – Robert Anthony
“To change what you get you must change who you are.” – Vernon Howard
“Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.” – Arnold Bennett
“We live in a moment of history where change is so speeded up that we begin to see the present only when it is already disappearing.” – R. D. Laing
“A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.” – Winston Churchill
“When it becomes more difficult to suffer than to change… you will change.” – Robert Anthony
“I don’t know if you can change things, but it’s a drop in the ocean.” – Julie Walters
“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” – Jimmy Dean
“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” – Norman Vincent Peale
and very true for the current C# space (seeing a lot of very heated differing opinions regarding ongoing changes)...
“Change occurs in direct proportion to dissatisfaction, but dissatisfaction never changes.” – Douglas Horton
and oh so true...
“Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.” – Sydney J. Harris
and I so love this one...
“I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road.” – Stephen Hawking
To say this all another way... how many people are VB developers out trying to convince other developers to use VB? Delphi? C++? F#? F# is a great example of passionate developers using the tool that they love doing the things that they love without a high volume of them complaining about "Microsoft doesn't love F#!!!!". Are there some? Yes. But it's not prolific. Also, these are F# developers making complaints about the language that they love... they aren't typically "everyone else is getting the attention we need/deserve". I'm constantly inspired by the overall F# community. If they want something, they are quick to "just do it"; they don't really complain too often or too loudly. Again, absolutely inspiring!
Are there people who utilize C# that are constantly trying to convince (especially) VB developers to "just make the switch already"? Absolutely. And they are loud, prolific and exhaustingly persistent. Why? I mean it... why? Many of them are self-proclaimed product experts on VB - though have never utilized it making claims about whatever in order to convince. Why? There is an answer... it's complicated but I'll try to summarize it with the basic psychology that in order to solidify their decision in their choice they will try to convince others to make the same choice. Does this characterize all C# developers? Absolutely NO. Most C# developers are just like VB developers... the silent majority. It is only a small number of people who are self-haters (VB) and self-proclaimed champions of conversion (C#) that make up the majority of this noise.
I love VB. I use VB. My business is built on VB. I know and use multiple languages, but I have the luxury of choice so I use VB for everything I can. Not everyone has this choice; but I do and I'm thankful. I also have faith in Microsoft that they will do what they can with the resources that they have to maintain (and improve) VB. This isn't blind faith, this is me seeing the work being done and being thankful that it is.
I've seen, time and time again, people claiming that VB isn't going to work in .NET 5 (it does) and that it will not be supported in .NET 6 (again, it is). One has to wonder why these statements are being made, what is their overall agenda.
I finish this off with the fact that, from all appearances here and in other online spaces that @CyrusNajmabadi has and continues to show positivity toward VB and it is my hope that any negativity he is experiencing simply because the is a part of Microsoft (by some) will not dissuade his commitment to VB. I, for one, am very appreciative of the time he takes (which is his personal time) to be involved here and the education that I've received from his involvement here has been invaluable to me personally. Also, being part of Microsoft doesn't make you a representative of Microsoft. It's a very large company and decisions are made "way above ones paygrade" on a regular basis. As @CyrusNajmabadi has pointed out on multiple occasions (thanks, in part, to VB being open source) he affects change in VB on his personal time because he also loves the language. I think it is important for people to keep in mind that, by the very nature of being involved in this group, you love the language and want to see it continue on. If you don't fall into that category, this isn't the place for you.
Finally, regarding the link to the forum post... one should look down a couple of responses... specifically the one from Paul Yuk.
VB is the most used .NET language according to the internal surveys we conduct as well as Forrester research (both looking at pro developers). Then there's the fact that VB is hands down the most downloaded and registered Express Edition (includes pro's and nonpros).
Let that sink in for a moment. This is in direct response to a naysayer's negative outlook on the future of VB because the current situation of VB (at the time) was looking bleak because people are stating that it is bleak due to it not being able to do in part with some API/Tech stacks (what I've already pointed out is not factual).
Saying that this is foretelling the future is completely looking at this wrong. What really happened is that people locked into this idea (regardless of facts) and, even to this day, continue to be told / think that VB is dead. This all reminds me of a scene from one of my favorite movies...
I remain steadfast that if you want to work with us that we'll work with you, regardless of past behavior.
I concur and can confirm that, if reports are valid/make sense/relevant/professional (nice) that things do indeed get reviewed and (in many cases) do get addressed.
I can also reiterate that working with various teams (at Microsoft) through proper channels and polite/professional/positive approaches seems to open opportunities. I've reached out to several teams for some projects that I'd like to contribute to (or not) depending on whether or not contributions would be considered. For the project(s) that will consider/welcome contributions, I'm adjusting some of the things I'd like to do (personal) that can align with community contributions to better serve VB. (Note that I was going to do these anyway, it's just the how I was going to approach these is modified slightly depending on the answers I received.) There are opportunities, but these do need to align with the overall goals of the different projects/teams. This is true whether it's a Microsoft-funded project or any other open-source project. If you aren't aware of how Linus (Linux) handles things; I think you'd be in for a very rude awakening when comparing it to - I would argue - any Microsoft open-source project.
Sometimes it's not easy to listen to an entire video like this:
Despite being from 2017 with only 60 likes, I couldn't help but reply, I warn everyone that I don't look for negativities in relation to VB, but that a person spends so much time just belittling a programming language is really a lack of respect.
I couldn't write anything and ended up joining the discussion, sometimes I agree with @VBAndCs, that kind of video and comment is everywhere.
Since I'd like to reverse all this kind of comment against VB, I think it's completely unfair.
Because of people like this who make this kind of video, many new programmers just aren't curious to see the beauty of VB.NET
How I wish I had a plan to change all that!
It's interesting that some of the first comments I've seen regarding this blog post are negative. I'd like to respond to a couple of these:
"There's no change to VB.NET."
I think it is important to note and bears repeating... VB has always been more than "just the language". The overall experience the has always been what makes VB, well, VB. Remember, "Edit-and-Continue" was a feature intrinsic to the VB experience and was "lost" in the move from VB6 (COM) to VB7 (.NET Framework). It eventually made it's return to VB in 2005. VB is available on .NET 5 and it continues to be available (supported) in .NET 6. It is part of Roslyn; Roslyn is the foundation of C#, VB and Visual Studio.
I also want to point out that there were indeed language changes to VB... it's just that these changes resulted in no visible difference. And, yes, this is mentioned in the blog post from @KathleenDollard (that @paul1956 pointed to). This isn't the first time that this sort of change has taken place... just because that language hasn't changed doesn't mean that it's not changing and evolving.
"These are just changes in the IDE."
There are also significant changes to WinForms on .NET that have taken place to fully embrace/support VB; meaning that the experience we have as VB developers (and only as VB developers) has made the leap to the new .NET platform. There are also other improvements to this specific API that are being considered; so there are changes beyond "just the IDE". Additionally, the investment in this area is significant and only affects VB... let that sink in.
"Do any of the .NET improvements apply to VB?"
This question was posed in the Q&A and the panel was clearly prepped regarding the improvements mentioned in the blog post liked above by @paul1956. This leads me to a very common comment I encounter that goes something like "Microsoft continues to not invest in VB." This comment is simply ignorant. The amount of time, money, design, etc. that went into designing Roslyn continues to produce results for VB - there is, however, an issue regarding communication and I've already pointed out that there have been some improvements to including mentioning (where appropriate) that a feature is available for VB (as well as C#). But if these types of blog posts are met with negativity, why would anyone want to continue to expose themselves to the "nothing is ever good enough" crowd?
@DualBrain Since you have a fantastic knowledge of VB.NET, how about preparing a text in the comments What's new in Visual Basic in Visual Studio 2022 to inhibit the negative comments that start to appear?
We need to empower the news and prevent negative comments from appearing and proliferating.
In fact, I think each of us should write a positive and supportive review for VB.NET
Wanted to take a moment to share an interaction I had on Twitter regarding the negativity around not only VB, but .NET in general.
David: I don't know about you, but the way I keep in touch and find out about the latest drama in the .NET/Microsoft world is by seeing the usual suspects trying to fan the flames, and stir it up. Very successful strategy.
t_ham: Bad things happen when good people do nothing.
Me: So what is the excuse for the hate directed at "that other .NET language"... Where are all these "good people" you speak of regarding the last 20 years of (what amounts to) bulling that have all but silenced the voice of a significant portion of the .NET population.
t_ham: I don't know what you mean by "that other .NET language". Are you talking about VB? It definitely sucks that MS has been migrating away from that, especially if it's a majority of your skillset. What are you on about bullying, though?
Me: "It definitely sucks that MS has been migrating away from that"... Answered your own question about the bullying and aren't even aware. Behavior by the community has been so constant that your statement is seen as an "obvious fact". The evidence, however, is to the contrary.
Microsoft isn't the one migrating away from VB. This isn't and continues to not be the case. The investment by Microsoft with the foundation of Roslyn is pretty telling and the continued investments are visible (Source Generators, WinForms, etc.) if anyone takes a moment to look. But this guys comment speaks volumes as he doesn't even realize that he's repeating the comments that those that seek to silence others (aka bullying) not even realizing that he's repeating garbage. The comments by bullies has been so constant as these statements have become "factual"; no one even considers it bullying behavior at this point. It is so pervasive that many VB believe it. It's Dark Psychology at it's finest.
This is why it is so important that we work together to try to undo this type of thinking; no only externally but equally internally. Let's get out there and do awesome things with VB and share with others that we aren't limited by any sort of "perceived" limitations; we, as a community, can accomplish anything we want in our language.