Grok all the things

grok (v): to understand (something) intuitively.


🙄  Cynics & grumps

Ah, VB.NET, the language that rose from the ashes of Visual Basic 6 like a plucky phoenix, only to find itself in a world where C# gets all the love and attention. VB.NET, the sibling that tries so hard to be cool but is often overshadowed by its more popular counterpart. Let's dive into the world of this undying language and explore the nuances that make it... well, VB.NET.

VB.NET was born in 2002 as part of Microsoft's .NET initiative. You could say it's the spiritual successor of Visual Basic, but with all the trappings of .NET and the joys of object orientation. Microsoft promised that VB.NET would provide an easy transition for VB6 developers into the new world of .NET. Of course, "easy" is a relative term when your entire codebase suddenly requires an overhaul.

One of the first things you'll notice about VB.NET is its verbose syntax. Sure, C# has its curly braces and semicolons, but VB.NET takes verbosity to a whole new level, with keywords that span multiple words like End If and Next. It's clear that the designers of VB.NET wanted to make sure that anyone reading their code would have no doubt about what's happening.

If IsNumeric(userInput) Then
    Dim result As Integer
    result = userInput * 2
    Console.WriteLine("Result: " & result)
    Console.WriteLine("Please enter a valid number.")
End If

You see? It's almost like reading plain English! Who needs concise syntax when you can spell everything out in excruciating detail?

Speaking of syntax, remember when I mentioned object orientation? Enter the world of classes and inheritance in VB.NET:

Public Class Animal
    Public Overridable Sub Speak()
        Console.WriteLine("The animal makes a sound.")
    End Sub
End Class

Public Class Dog
    Inherits Animal

    Public Overrides Sub Speak()
        Console.WriteLine("The dog barks.")
    End Sub
End Class

Inherits, Overrides, Overridable... The language truly embraces its verbose nature. No one will ever be confused about what's happening in VB.NET code, apart from asking themselves why they're reading it in the first place.

And let's not forget our good friend, the My namespace. VB.NET offers you a helping hand with this built-in namespace that provides shortcuts to common tasks, like file handling or accessing settings. It's like Microsoft patted VB.NET developers on the head and said, "Here, let us make your life easier." How thoughtful!

My.Computer.FileSystem.WriteAllText("example.txt", "VB.NET is alive and kicking!", False)

Easy, right? You may momentarily question if you're still working in .NET or if you've accidentally stumbled into some arcane world of shortcuts and abstractions. But don't worry, you're still in VB.NET.

Now, some might say that VB.NET is losing ground to C#, especially with Microsoft pushing C# in all their shiny new frameworks like ASP.NET Core and Entity Framework Core. But VB.NET isn't backing down. It still enjoys a dedicated following, among those who prefer its verbose syntax and the familiar feeling reminiscent of classic Visual Basic. It still receives updates and bug fixes, even if some new features take their sweet time arriving compared to its more popular sibling.

So there you have it, the eccentric world of VB.NET. It's almost like the language equivalent of that one quirky relative at family gatherings – you can't help but chuckle at their peculiar ways, but also secretly admire their tenacity and unwavering dedication to being themselves. Take a stroll in the world of VB.NET, and who knows? You might just find yourself grokking this peculiar language full of idiosyncrasies. is a collection of articles on a variety of technology and programming articles assembled by James Padolsey. Enjoy! And please share! And if you feel like you can donate here so I can create more free content for you.