A few weeks ago Susan, the SBS Diva, emailed a few of us about moving the pictures from our blog galleries. I had been using the .Text galleries as a convenient store for my blog (seemed to make sense at the time). Luckily there weren’t that many
At the same time, I thought I would take up the offer from my old friend Karl (and Felix) and grab some free web hosting. Thanks guys !
So anyway, with all that change you may see a couple of old entries appearing as new/edited, as I did have to edit them. And while I was at it, I decided to give the blog a face lift. You like ???
Oh, and once again, ***THANKS SUSAN*** for the blog space
Today I heard about the VB team applying for a patent on the IsNot operator. This has got to be one of the saddest days for intellectual property that I have encountered.
My first reaction was won’t that patent stifle 3rd party products such as SharpDevelop. And it really does raise an issue that goes beyond this single patent. Is VB purely Microsoft proprietary ? Why restrict the language from being universal ??
But this patent issue bugged me more than just that. I could feel it knawing at me inside. Something was terribly rotten with this patent. I could had sworn I had heard the community suggest this some time ago, but now MS was claiming it as their own.
Sure enough, a quick search of google newsgroups showed this being suggest as early as 1997. And there were many discussions of it in 2000 and 2001, all without Microsoft’s involvement. These were community discussions, yet now MS claims the idea, the patent, belongs to them ?
A major feature that VB.NET has that C# is still currently lacking is background compilation. Background compilation is much like having an automatic transmission, instead of a manual. The background compilation does the menial task for you.
Traditionally, most folk thing of automatic transmissions as being expensive and less fuel efficient. The up-front cost in the case of VB has already been paid back in version 2002, now each version comes with the auto as standard with no extra cost.
Fuel efficiency has also improved, as background compilation gets smarter about selecting what parts need to be re-compiled. Still, in congested traffic, where you have many changing projects in your solution, there will be some processor overhead with background compilation.
But this is very much like city driving. It’s that start/stop driving where one really appreciates an auto, allowing you to focus on driving, not stopping to change gear. And when projects are changing rapidly, you really do need to compile regularly, making the manual compile tedious, and often interfering with your enjoyment of a coffee while you drive J
Out on the highway, the new background compiler in 2005 is finely tuned to the editor, allow greater matching and efficiencies. This too is very much like the auto industry where the new automatic transmissions can be precisely matched to the engine. My new car (due at the end of the month) is actually more efficient on the highway than the manual transmission. This too is much like VB compared to C# in terms of compilation. C#’s lack of a background compiler means you have to actually stop to change gears! Stop and save your code. This requirement that you must physically safe files to see changes, means changes desirable or not, have to be written to hard disk before you can see their full impact. Here, VB gains in efficiency by re-using the in memory model, adjusting it to changes as you drive.
Of course, there will be some folk who’d rather drive a manual. Some people prefer to do jobs machines are better suited to do for them. Me, I’d rather have an auto any day J