Thomas and friends,

Sorry to reopen what is probably a closed conversation, but I'm a
developer as well, and I have something to say.  Further, I have a
similar background to Thomas in regard to programming, and I'm not
nearly as polite and restrained as he is. So let me be blunt:

VB is a toy scripting language useful only for small projects and
hobby work.  Full stop.  Do not pass go, do not collect two hundred
dollars.  If anyone chooses to take that as an insult for some reason,
go right ahead.  I have zero patience for thin-skinned people that
take offense at anything they feel might slight them.  I have worked
too long in this industry to tolerate drama queens.

If developers want to release a small project that isn't necessarily
portable, doesn't care about memory requirements, doesn't care about
processor requirements, and doesn't always work exactly right, that's
their business.  In fact, a lot of applications fall into this
category, and I personally use perl, PHP, and bash for a bunch of
them.  But I'd never use those for any serious, long term project.

The fact of the matter is that rapid prototyping languages and
scripting languages are meant for just that: rapid prototyping and
scripting.  I would never consider writing something like Alter Aeon
in VB. The server has well over a million allocated objects in flight
on a slow day, and I'd be surprised if the VB allocator could even
create that many objects without crashing, much less keep track of
them all.

Finally, development time is largely unrelated to the choice of
programming language once a project reaches a certain size.  Any large
project will have a number of libraries created over the years to make
things easier and simpler.  Myself, I spend at most 20% of my time
actually writing C++ code.  The remaining 80% is spent coming up with
a good design, testing it, and getting feedback from the users.
Switching to a faster language would provide virtually no benefit when
adding new features to the game.

In fact, lack of design and testing is the most common problem I see
in programs.  Sure, it's only a thousand lines of code, and it only
took three days to implement.  But it also doesn't work quite right,
and it isn't consistent, and things that should be there aren't while
things that are there probably shouldn't be.  The solution to this is
to design more, and code less, regardless of the programming language.

Dennis Towne

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