Language Wars

When I started programming, one of my friend and I always had a fight over programming languages. He used to be a nerd and preacher of C++ language whilst, I’m being tenderfoot, always favored Visual Basic aka VB.

He insisted that, being a machine level, ‘PURE’ language, C++ is the most powerful while I believed that VB is most simple, easy to understand and hence can deliver the commands more transparently. Hence, VB is more powerful. But indeed, these were kid-fights.

But, I can see these fights and they still exist in industry too. Many people debate over C#, VB, Ruby, Python and many more languages. However, when it comes to C# and VB.NET, how does it matter? Both of these languages are going to target the same CLR, use the same CTS and the same BCL. And at the end of the day, it’s going to be MSIL. Or to go at deeper level, it’s just going to be 0s and 1s.

Let’s say, if you go to the hotel and order the food in Marathi or Hindi, you’re going to get the same thing, which you’ve ordered. So, if you ordered Pizza, you’re not going to get Dosa.

Nevertheless, guys, it’s not about the power or purity or level of a language, but it’s always about the ease. How easily, I can order the system to perform some tasks? It’s the matter of simplicity. If someone is trained on English since childhood, definitely, he’ll prefer English in conversation. Same ways, if you know VB since ages, you’ll prefer VB in your projects. However, there can be some business reasons behind choosing a particular language.

But, in .NET parlance, it really doesn’t matter, whether you choose VB or C#. Though, previously there were few features available in C# only (like Automated Properties) are now available in VB as well (like Line continuation). And just like that the features dominated by VB are now integral part of C#.

With the release of Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4.0, developers will have a CHOICE of language. Most of the features are common to both, VB and C#. In subsequent posts, we’ll see the new features introduced in these languages. Meanwhile you can revisit my previous entries to see what was new in previous versions on C# and VB.

I remember one story of Akbar and Birbal and would like to narrate it over here.

One day a guy came to Akbar’s darbar and challenged Birbal to guess his mother tongue. He was so fluent in every language, that every one was shocked. Every one was worried about, how Birbal is going to guess that guy’s mother tongue.

But friends, wait a sec. He is Mr. Birbal.

At night, when everyone was sleeping, Birbal went to Akbar and said, “Boss, do you wanna know that guy’s mother-tongue, then come with me”. Both of them went to the guest house, where that guy was enjoying a sound-sleep.

Suddenly, Birbal poured a bucket full of water on that guy’s head and that guy woke up and shocked. The first word came out of his mouth was “You A****E”.

Birbal said, “Bingo!!! Boss, this is your mother tongue. Whenever people get hurt, delighted or want to express their emotions/feelings, they use their mother tongue.”

And thus, once again Birbal won this challenge.

I hope you enjoyed this story. J

Namaste

Mayur Tendulkar | www.mayurtendulkar.com

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Mayur Tendulkar

Working as a Program Manager for Xamarin in Microsoft. More details at: https://about.me/tendulkar

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