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

In this post http://community.softteq.com/blogs/nick/archive/2007/10/21/vb-guys-can-be-zealots-too.aspx, Nick Randolph makes reference to Bill McCarthy's unfortunate choice of words in his blog and on a VB community list about how Microsoft treats VB.

The short version is, Bill dropped the N word, and got rightfully smacked around for it, and he wrote up a blog post attempting to explain his choice of the word in a more politically correct context.

and now lots of folks are talking about what a shame it is that he got in trouble, and cant we all just get along? The real shame is that an allegedly intelligent man couldn't find a more appropriate way of expressing himself, not to mention opening the list owners to potential liability if they didnt take action to remove him. so they did. 

The right decision was made.

However...

Bill is right about one thing, no matter what some folks at Microsoft like to tell us, VB.NET is not treated equally to C#.  Not even close.

We're just the little brother that makes good grades and stays out of trouble and gets completely ignored. Meanwhile big brother C# is the prodigal son who gets all the attention and quite frankly it is unacceptable.

In fact, it totally sucks and I've been tolerating it so long I had forgotten just how much it really annoys me. So thanks Bill, for the reminder. 

How many more SDKs and toolkits and frameworks (XNA anyone?? Micro Framework anyone??  Health SDK?? Windows Search SDK??) will VB.NET get excluded from?

When is the last time we got samples in VB first and C# had to wait?  What happened to VB.NET being a "first class citizen" right alongside C#?

How many more times will we be told about "VB support in the next release" of something, only for it never to happen? (XNA comes to mind, again)

If you (MS) are willing to acknowledge there are more VB developers than C#, and you have, why are we taking a permanent backseat to C#?

I was there, at the MVP Summit, when a Microsoft employee stated XNA was too hard for VB'ers. She actually had the audacity to say it to a room full of VB.NET MVPs. I swear I can't make this stuff up. 

Don't treat us like we're stupid, and don't just tell us what you think we want to hear. Try actually fixing the problem.  Good grief, I'm an MVP... you already had my loyalty, now try deserving it.

There is precious little that C# can do that VB can't. We're not asking for the moon. We just want some damn code samples and equal support.

Posted on Sunday, October 21, 2007 11:55 PM General Interest | Back to top


Comments on this post: oh no he didn't.... a two parter.

# re: oh no he didn't.... a two parter.
Requesting Gravatar...
While I know Bill isn't a racist, it was a really bad choice of words - especially for someone as prone to being as self-righteous and accusatory of others as he can be. I like Bill and think it was just clumsy, but truth be told, if it were say Me or Frans Bouma that had done the same thing, McCarthy would be the first one staging the lynch mob to burn us at the stake.
Left by Bill on Oct 22, 2007 8:09 AM

# re: oh no he didn't.... a two parter.
Requesting Gravatar...
I respectfully disagree. That word is so charged in our society, that the mere use of it in any context is to provoke massive backlash. The fact that he was not directing it at an individual is of little consequence. He knew better, and as Bill points out, would have been personally lighting the torches and sharpening the pitchforks had it been someone else. MS has to cover their own backsides in this one. Otherwise it because an issue of them "allowing" or "condoning" it.
Left by Chris Williams on Oct 22, 2007 10:57 AM

# re: oh no he didn't.... a two parter.
Requesting Gravatar...
"I was there, at the MVP Summit, when a Microsoft employee stated XNA was too hard for VB'ers. She actually had the audacity to say it to a room full of VB.NET MVPs. I swear I can't make this stuff up."

I'd like to know who the hell said that, because that kind of thinking positively isn't true inside the XNA organization. VB isn't currently in XNA Game Studio because of budgetary reasons. Believe me, if I had to choose between delivering half the features of the current product or giving VB the heave-ho, I'd be tossing VB (or whatever other language) before you could finish your sentence. And don't raise the "you could have started with VB" -- that's a dead-issue because it doesn't satisfy the needs of the academic community we're initially trying to support, nor does it have close kinship to C++, a community of developers that are _most likely_ to bring solid game development experience (this has already been proven repeatedly). It's safe to say that other languages WILL show up in the product support, but "when" is a trickier issue, and is driven by money, not some kind of hateful bias. As an organization that is under INTENSE scrutiny for expenditures, it's hard enough justifying Game Studio for just one language, since it doesn't drive significant revenue.
Left by LetsKillDave on Oct 30, 2007 2:47 PM

# re: oh no he didn't.... a two parter.
Requesting Gravatar...
Well, I did not catch her name, although a couple people have told me who they THINK it was. I can assure you I didn't make it up, nor did I think it was a widespread opinion. It was, however, irritating enough to blog about.

I'm not going to drag her name through the mud here, but if you want to email me privately, I'll be happy to share it with you.

As for your other arguments, I don't recall claiming hateful bias, so much as neglect. ;) But we're splitting hairs. The fact is, you have a community of developers, however small, that are very interested in a product that doesn't currently support their language.

Nobody wants VB at the expense of progress David, and we understand there are budgetary constraints. What a lot people (myself included) are taking issue with is the lack of comment or explanation from Microsoft on the subject.

Your explanation is a reasonable one, although not consistent with what was said by MS on the VB-INSIDERS list. I'm NOT calling you a liar or saying you are wrong or right, just that Microsoft isn't putting out a consistent message to us.

I'm not trying to pick a fight with you David. I'm just trying to do my part in supporting and evangelizing my language of choice. If MS is going to claim VB.NET is a "first class .NET citizen" then they need to support it accordingly.

If you want to discuss it at length, I'll buy the first round. :)
Left by Chris Williams on Oct 30, 2007 3:20 PM

# re: oh no he didn't.... a two parter.
Requesting Gravatar...
A quick reality check, Bill is Australian. The word he used does NOT carry the connotations here it does in the USA. In fact most Australians have probably only ever heard the word used in American music or movies and usually by black comedians or musicians to describe themselves, or an attitude.

Perhaps he should have said VB is the illegal immigrant of programming languages? Or the illegitimate child? Or the disabled stepbrother?

Whatever term he chose it would have to be derogatory to some group of people in order to have the right effect.
Left by Angus McDonald on Jan 10, 2008 5:37 PM

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