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BOOK: ASP.NET 2.0 Website Programming Problem Design Solution ISBN: 978-0-7645-8464-0
This is the forum to discuss the Wrox book ASP.NET 2.0 Website Programming: Problem - Design - Solution by Marco Bellinaso; ISBN: 9780764584640
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  #11 (permalink)  
Old March 19th, 2009, 11:31 PM
g_h g_h is offline
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Originally Posted by jminatel View Post
The bottom line for us is, we think most ASP.NET developers at this level are fluent in both Vb and C# at some level, or at least can understand, get past if they don't code one or the other. So C# v VB was not a big criteria for us here, especially since the code will be available for both.
I can't agree with you on that one at all. I am computer science student at a University. Programming is my life, so to speak, and the same goes for my fellow students. We all have knowledge of many languages like Java, C, C++, C#, ML and others. But VB is not anything that any of us have knowledge of or at most very few of us. It is not considered a serious language by neither students or professors. Again, as i stated in the thread before, i don't want to start at religious war over what language is better, but these are the facts - VB is not considered a serious language, neither at any university or the software industry. (at least here in Denmark and the rest of Scandinavia, UK, Germany and so on.)

The situation being like this, i only know C# and the same goes for as good as any computer science/software engineering student. It is these students who are going to do the programming of tomorrow and they are not going to do it in VB.

Even though the code is available in both languages, you don't get the same benefit from a book written for an entirely different language. It get tedious to read a book in this way. Having to stop up, translate the code for that chapter and then go on. I would rather be spending my time making some serious progress with my programming, than translating code from VB to C# as i read trough the chapters. Ohhh, i almost forgot, i also have to learn VB first.


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Originally Posted by jminatel View Post
The big criteria was a great author (Chris Love, an ASP.NET MVP) with a dedication to doing a good job with the 3.5 and Entity Framework updates. Since his preference was to work first in VB, we are fine with that.
Of course it is important to get the best authors to write this book, but i hope wrox seriously will consider making the book available in C# also. I don't know how many books you have sold of the 2.0 version, but i have heard that it sold very well. I don't think that many of the C# programmers who bought the 2.0 version will buy the new book if it is made available only in VB. It should be financial wiable for wrox to make it available in both languages as there are so many C# programmers who love this 2.0 book, and would buy it if the 3.5 version was made available in C# also. I will certinately by the book if it also is made available in C#.

Last edited by g_h; March 19th, 2009 at 11:38 PM..
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Old March 19th, 2009, 11:43 PM
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You make some valid points but, as Jim said, it is the Authors intent that the readership of this book will be at a level where they are fluent enough with the two prime .NET languages that they can comprehend somethign wrote in VB but very easily apply it to C#.

Personally I come from a VB 4 - 6 background and, like most other .NET developers made the move to C# because, to me, it feels more "logical". And really, the syntax conversion (outside of some silly keyword names MustInherit instead of abstract Shared instead of static, etc) from VB to C# is trivial.

I must make the argument though that if C# developers, typically, have more of a background in theory and computer science in general as you imply, then syntax differences really would be trivial wouldn't they? I mean, I don't know PASCAL but if you were to hand me a print out of some PASCAL script, while I might not know how to actually program it, I should be able to figure out what the application is doing to some degree, wouldn't you agree? I will give you that PASCAL is a C style lanaguage so they syntax wouldn't necessarily be overwhelming, but you catch my meaning (I hope!).

Time will tell on this as to whether or not it was the "right" decision.


-Doug

P.S.
I hope my meaning is not lost in translation via the board. I am not trying to attack your position in any way since, as I said, you make some valid points I am just trying to give you an alternative perspective on why the Author may have made the decision they made and some assumptions they may have made from the outset.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 11:48 PM
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Hi fellas,

As I pointed out both here and on my blog, I was not a big fan of the decision to go to VB on this book either. But of course, I’m no book-marketing expert -- and I know Jim is, so I am willing to defer to his better judgment on such matters.

First of all, I think Jim is absolutely right in pointing out that, quite frankly, the language barrier is not as big a deal as it may seem at first glance; at least not from a “groking the material” standpoint. The fact is that VB is by far the more widely understood language when you count all languages comprehended by most working developers. There are lots of devs (including many novices, to be sure) who only know VB, but almost every C# dev I know understands both C# and VB.

Maybe your average C# dev can’t wield VB with as much speed and dexterity, but they certainly aren’t turned off by a worthwhile read that happens to be presented in VB. On the other hand, many VB guys will simply avoid information presented in C#, period. That includes books, tutorials, blog posts, anything. Studies have actually borne this out.

That being said, it remains to be seen if there will be a marketing impact. I do find it interesting that Stephen Walther’s very popular ASP.NET Unleashed series switched the other way, and went to C# after two successful editions written in VB. I am pretty curious about on which criteria they based that decision, and how it’s worked out for them.
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old March 20th, 2009, 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by g_h View Post
I can't agree with you on that one at all. I am computer science student at a University.
Hmm. As Jim said, the Authors intent for the book going in is that the reader is fluent in both VB.NET and C#. I will give you that C# developers are in higher demand than VB.NET developers but you can't pursecute VB.NET as a language because of the dibolical that was Classic VB. Again, this might be a disconnect since we are on different sides of the world, and that is ok, but I feel that it is incorrect to say that VB.NET is not a "serious" language (there are many serious applications wrote by quality shops that use VB.NET. e.g. DotNetNuke). Knowing VB.NET for me, personally, has come in handy a few times because the fact remains, the company I work for who purchases XYZ software (with source available) or a project I might inherit from another developer might be in VB.NET or the company I am working for purchases another company outright and thus assumes their systems which might very well be wrote in VB.NET.

I think it is an error to ignore the need to understand VB.NET to some degree on the grounds that it is not a "serious" language because, the fact of the matter is, it is the secondary language of the .NET framework and, IMHO, Microsoft will be hard pressed to remove support for it.

This industry is all about being able to market yourself. Consider the following secnario: you and another potential candidate have made the final cut for a C# position at a prestegious company. During your final interview the Director of IT informs you that they have some systems that they aquired through a merger with another company that are wrote completely in VB.NET and, while their is not active development associated with these systems they do have to be supported and that this support is part of the job description for the position you have applied. Assume that you and the other applicatian are equally good at interviewing and also that your qualifications are identical EXCEPT that the other applicant knows VB.NET. Who gets the job?

This is obviously a rhetorical question since the outcome is a toss up really but it could very likely swing in favor of the other applicant on the grounds that they know VB.NET. I have been programming a long time and knowing both C# and VB.NET has proved to be a great advantage for me, it makes me versitle which is attractive for companies.

Just some food for thought i suppose.

-Doug
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Old March 20th, 2009, 05:57 AM
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[quote=g_h;237446]I Programming is my life, so to speak, and the same goes for my fellow students. We all have knowledge of many languages like Java, C, C++, C#, ML and others. But VB is not anything that any of us have knowledge of or at most very few of us. It is not considered a serious language by neither students or professors. quote]
Same here in Israel. VB is not considered a serious language here at the industry, the army or the academy. Again, not my feelings, just a state description: I personally worked with VB (6.0, that is)
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Old March 20th, 2009, 06:02 AM
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You I should be able to figure out what the application is doing to some degree, wouldn't you agree? I.
!yrrow on, siht dnatsrednu osla dluoc uoy, esruoc fO

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Old March 20th, 2009, 06:18 AM
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hoping this debate stays on track but would add my concerns about the follow-up readership for this title. given that it is (and jim may correct me on this) one of wrox's best selling titles to date, it does seem a bit risky to rock the boat by putting a vb.net version out as a series follow-up to what was a big buy-in by serious c# readers (a readership that has actually used this architecture in industry standard apps).

now as i mentioned earlier on in the piece, i too come from a vb background so should be able to deal with the book just fine but the fact that i'll have to envision the scenarios and translate the concepts into c# is going to be a put off for me (yes, i know there will be c# code examples but i'm talking about the book content and it's ease of access). I just don't see me buying the book for that simple reason (this is not about having any superior feelings of one language over the other - just that my time is so limited that anything that doesn't tick the box will get ignored)

more often than not i just get on with things but this issue just seems to be a killer for me. i also know that personally when i browse for new titles i only ever look at those that are c# based for the very reasons stated above.

anyway, i hope i'm wrong and i know there are many more intelligent folk out there than me that will be able to juggle the text and still keep the flow but my suspicions are that piggy-backing the success of the 1st book with a follow-up in a different language is going to cause massive dissent. but then again, there's no such thing as 'bad' publicity .

again - hope it all goes well...
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Old March 25th, 2009, 08:25 AM
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I've been programming in vb.net through work for 3 years, but C# have been my preferred leisure language since net 1.0. Recently I switched to a job using C#, and even if I can easily translate the code from vb.net to C#, I will personally avoid this overhead at all costs. In this case looking elsewhere for a pure C# book.

I will add that nearly all job postings in my country (Norway) is for C#.

Last edited by nakori; March 25th, 2009 at 08:27 AM..
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Old March 25th, 2009, 11:08 AM
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I don't see the issue of the book being published in VB.net while I'm using C# for most of my projects.
1) I understood the code will be made available in C# too ?
2) I look at the book as a guide on "how you could develop a CMS like The Beerhouse" and not as a copy/paste book to start your apps. When I vuilt my site I read the book chapter by chapter but almost typed every line of code myself (even though is was available in C#). Every project is different in my opinion, so code needs to be adapted to specific needs.

just my 2 cnts

koen
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Old March 30th, 2009, 10:04 AM
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Default Interesting take...

Don't know how many of you read Jeff Atwood's blog, but in today's post he talks about a Polish developer who decided to learn English so that he could read Microsoft's documentation in its original language.

Jeff goes on to compare the rationale for this to his long-ago switch from Visual Basic to C#:

Quote:
Consciously choosing to switch from Polish to English reminds me why I gave up Visual Basic for C#, as painful as that was. These languages do exactly the same things -- and the friction of choosing the minority language was severe. I found reams of code and answers in C# whenever I searched, and almost nothing at all in VB.NET. I spent so much time converting code into VB.NET and introducing new bugs and errors in the process, along with countless language-only forks. This eventually stopped making sense to me -- as it would to any good programmer.
Man, this hits the nail right on the head for me. This is exactly the same reason I switched too, and I'll bet a lot of you could say the same.

Like many, I started out in Visual Basic. And I stayed with it as long as I could, UNTIL I finally realized how much it was holding back my progress as a developer. Once it became imperative for me to start groking advanced concepts, it was apparent to me that I had two choices -- learn C#, or remain ignorant.

This is why I think you'll find that there are very few intermediate/advanced developers working in VB as a matter of course - simply because it's very, very difficult to even reach beyond the beginner stage without knowing C#. It's kind of like learning how to program without knowing English.
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