Where is Visual Basic 7?
About three years ago this September my good friend and editor Sharon Cox asked me to prepare an outline for a book on the upcoming version of Visual Basic 7. In anticipation I began preparing an outline based on what I knew about VB6 while I waited for the beta for VB7. Basically, the outline was a VB6 outline with room for new VB7 stuff.
Like many people I was in for a huge surprise. Besides being way off base on my outline I discovered that Microsoft had big plans for VB7, and the first and slightest indication of this was that it would be called Visual Basic .NET. So, while at an author's summit in Redmond I took furious notes, completely scrapped my original outline, and wrote a new outline that is now the published title Sams Visual Basic .NET Unleashed. (In fact, I am working on my third and fourth .NET books as I am writing this article.)
Fast forward to the future.
Last month I was fortunate enough to participate in the Comdex event "Great Debates: .NET or .What?" (See Jeremy Rosenberg's "Great Debates ask .NET or .What?" or visit www.comdex.com for highlights of the debate and Comdex.) Imagine my surprise during a meet and greet period of the debate when a member of the audience asked me where VB7 was? The tone was almost one of fear of abandonment. I could hardly believe that there could be this much confusion over Visual Basic .NET left anywhere in the world, yet someone did pose the question.
First, let me say that the question is surprising because I think there have been more books published about Visual Basic .NET and .NET in general than any new technology to date. Counter-posed against the embrace of .NET made by the publishing industry I am surprised that every programmer and company hasn't switched to Visual Basic .NET.
If you are a programmer that wants to switch to .NET but has been unable to convince your manager or boss to do so, I feel your pain. I have been programming with VB.NET for more than a solid year, and I don't want to ever go back. Let me tell you why, and perhaps provide you with some better arguments to take back to your manager.