Richard Grimes is a huge influential in the .NET community. He is a well respected individual that has spread the gospel of .NET and people respect him for that. I am extremely disappointed in his recent article he has posted on why he is leaving the .NET community and why he feels that what Microsoft has done was a mistake.
The one thing about this article that I really don't understand is why he thinks that VB.NET should never have been created and should have been left out. Honestly, I feel that this was a brilliant idea by Microsoft. I mean come on, if you were trying to introduce a technology that you thought was going to change the world of software architecture wouldn't you do what ever it takes to get everyone to adopt this technology? Absolutely! And that is what Microsoft has done. They released VB.NET simply because if they didn't, the acceptance that .NET has today would be NOTHING with out it. I know I would have never even looked at it if VB.NET was not included. Or at least not as quick as I did. At the time, a programming language with the letter “C” in it frankly intimidated me since I really have had no experience with C languages. But, I have used VB and when I saw that they had a version of that in the new framework, I was overjoyed. It made life so much easier for me in that understanding the framework and how things actually worked was made a bit easier. Now, it wasn't the most OO compliant thing I've ever seen but it was a darn good way to get me into the swing of things and to start using this incredible technology that they had released. It wasn't 1 or 2 months later before I was chin deep in C#. I loved it. It was easy to adopt and sooo much cleaner. But if it weren't for VB.NET, I wouldn't even have considered .NET at the time. As Mr. Grimes stated, it seems as if there was more marketing thought put into the initial release of .NET than there was quality. Again, if you were trying to get everyone to adopt a technology that you were passionate about wouldn't you want to provide a good marketing scheme for it? And besides, that's the beauty of the CLR; who the hell cares! If you don't like VB.NET, don't use it! Use C#, J#, C++ or what ever. It doesn't matter because in the end, it all gets compiled into the same MSIL anyway. So even if you couldn't stand VB.NET, another shop could hand you assembly completely written in VB.NET and you might never know. It will perform the same and you'll be able to treat it like any other C# assembly that you've written. Yeah yeah yeah. I know. I am rambling on and on but I really feel strong about this and find it hard to believe that someone could think what Microsoft had done was a bad idea.
I think that Microsoft feels very strongly about .NET and they also feel that it is going to continue to rule the field of IT and software architecture. In my personal opinion, .NET is not going away. It's great to see a web development community discuss OOP concepts, design patterns and drawing out UML documents on how they are going to design their web class library. You really didn't see that when ASP 3.0 was around because there really wasn't an architecture and you really couldn't use design patterns and OOP concepts. You can now put a couple of software architects in a room along with some web developers and actually understand what each other is talking about. This is a great thing because not only are you bringing two sets of genius minds together, you are providing a means of exchanging ideas that could result in some unbelievable products and developments.
Take what I say with a grain of salt. This is only my opinion and I am extremely biased because .NET has worked wonders for me and has brought me extremely far in my career. I'd like to hear your thoughts.