Sunday, February 17, 2008

Living in the past

The Chinese have a curse; May you live in interesting times. The 1990s certainly were interesting for programmers. A vast proportion of applications coded during those years were written in Visual Basic and, believe it or not, these applications are still hanging around today.

I imagined that finding a team that programs almost exclusively in a language as crippled as VB6 is in these days of frameworks and massive API's would be rare in itself but it seems that they are not so rare as I imagined. Trying to train such a team to change working practices to encompass .NET 3.x and C# is a challenge.

Over the years I've seen many .NET projects written by VB programmers and it seems that the pattern is always the same. No layers in the architecture, code factored by functions - not by classes, no concept of encapsulation or inheritance, every dirty trick possible to create global objects and globally accessible functionality.

I never realised that object orientation was something that was still on the frontier of programming practices. Maybe the millions of VB devlopers out there really do need help.

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