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.
The https://devblogs.microsoft.com/dotnet/whats-new-for-visual-basic-in-visual-studio-2022/ announcement has been updated slightly due to a premature announcement...
A previous version included the “Inline diagnostics” feature here in error. This feature is part of the 17.1 (Visual Studio 2022 Update 1) preview, not 17.0 (Visual Studio 2022).
I can confirm that it is in the Preview...
Let's go out and do amazing things with VB and share with others that we're not limited by any kind of "perceived" limitations; we as a community can do whatever we want in our language.
We really need to find an awesome case for VB, however most of the lovely apps are on the web and with VB I think we can get to MVC 5 and the ASP.NET Core web API if I'm not mistaken.
The deciding factor for VB is definitely MAUI, this tool can really help change the popularity of VB, but I don't know if MS has plans for VB in MAUI
Where there is a will... there is a way. 😎 Thanks to VB Source Generators I'm working on what I'm currently naming "Project Insanity". Tonight I worked through a VERY, VERY, VERY ROUGH proof of concept and do think that what I want to do will be possible. It's still a long road from here to there, but if I can do it... it will be FREAKIN' AWESOME!!!! (I'm being a little ambiguous at this point as I don't want to get peoples hopes too high... but if I can make it work... I'm thinking it's pretty jaw-dropping if I may say so myself - and what a way to try to set myself up for disappointment 😜).
I've said this before, but I believe it bears repeating... Source Generators (along with some other language features along the way) are really opening the door to some very interesting concepts/ideas/possibilities. Of course this now mean that I have to really put in the time to learn the whole of the ins-and-outs of Roslyn. 🤔
As an outside observer to the F# community, I can only speculate. The first point to keep in mind is that F# isn't a "Microsoft thing" but rather something that Microsoft participates within. Officially, it is controlled by the F# Software Foundation (FSSF) (almost 7 years ago) which is a non-profit entity. Microsoft and many other contributors help with the momentum and Microsoft is the primary team behind the Visual Studio integration (to the best of my knowledge). From what I understand, Microsoft has a big interest (and invest heavily to) F# primarily because of Universities and scientific-related teams - of which these organizations typically spend a significant amount of money with Microsoft (again, could be a little off on this). With that said, F# (to me) is a very important part of the .NET eco-system and one that we should not only appreciate it's existence to help ensure CLR/CLS/.NET Standard/etc. but also take a bit of inspiration from regarding what community could do. So to sum up...
Is all the support F# is getting in .net5 and .net6 a MS decision or an F# community effort?
From what I understand, it's "mostly community effort".
WinForms and WPF devs, help us decide if we should build a new feature for .NET desktop platforms and what should be our priorities in the future. Schedule a call with me via https://aka.ms/dotnetdesktopcall. Your feedback is super valuable! Folded hands
This was posted on Twitter... just had my call (I was apparently the very first to sign up) with them and I encourage others to do the same.
Could we as a community do something in any way?
There's not an easy answer to this; with that said I'm working on writing a blog post regarding a particular angle related to this subject... when I get it finished I'll update here with a link. I have a very rough first draft and want to spend some time expanding on it as I want to back up what I'm saying with additional facts that can be referenced.