Visual Basic 9.0 (2)

Time for another Visual Basic 9.0 posting. Paul Vick is giving us another teaser in a very short post titled What if everything could be queried with SQL?. Paul doesn't mention VB 9.0 in this post, but I'm pretty that's what he is talking about (and the Integrated Query Framework of course).

Also related to this is the Channel 9 video CLR Team Tour, Part II - The Future of Languages (PDC panel preview). In my opinion this is one of the best Channel 9 videos because you will see and hear a lot of interesting people from the CLR team, like Brad Abrams, Rico Mariani, Jason Zander and Jim Miller. It is nice to see how these people interact.

At about 40:30 minutes into the video Erik Meijer has an interesting exchange with Robert Scoble on VB. Here is a transcription of that part:

Eric: One of the things I want to stress is that there is a big spectrum from a completely dynamic language like IronPython to a completely static language like C# or C++. There is also an interesting kind of middle ground. The funny thing is that Visual Basic is right there in the middle, because it allows you to do static typing but it also allows you to do dynamic typing.

Robert: Isn't that where the marketing problem of VB is right now, because it doesn't stand for anything? There is not a religious thing that you can put a stake in the ground for. So you gotta use VB for this or that.

Eric: That will change, I will bet you.

Robert: (big laugh)

Eric: In a year's time people will point at VB as an example of modern language design. Especially because it allows you to span these two worlds  between static and dynamic typing.

As you may know I am a fan of more relaxed typing but I hope I will not have to suffer the VB syntax to get these benefits. Anders Hejlsberg is always very concerned about putting things in a language, like C#, that will age it quickly.  In my opinion one of the problems with VB is that it is already an aged language and as a result it struggles a bit with ambigous syntax. I admit a lot of that was cleaned up with the move from VB 6.0 to VB 7.0 (aka VB.NET 1.0) but not enough to win me over.

Also I love my angle brackets and case-sensitivity. If C# 3.0 will not get the cool new dynamic features of VB 9.0, I hope a language will arise which has both these features and the C-language family syntax.

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