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Visual Basic query

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by cj3, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. cj3

    cj3

    I want to learn Visual Basic - what version is the best - ie what is most resourced and stable for use with GCSE Computing group. I've heard VB6 is good?????
     
  2. cj3

    cj3

    I want to learn Visual Basic - what version is the best - ie what is most resourced and stable for use with GCSE Computing group. I've heard VB6 is good?????
     
  3. That's actually two questions. What's the best for you, and what's the best for the children :)
    Whilst VB6 does have advantages of simplicity, and longevity the IDE is out of support, though it does still work, I think (I would ask John Brown because he uses it).
    VB.Net is currently supported and free, but is harder, because it is a proper development environment, uses objects properly and the like.
    Previous VBs were really just a simple IDE hacked onto the Windows Forms Editor and QuickBasic. This means it is simpler, but more limited.
    As an example, VB6 does classic MS Basic Strings whereas in VB.Net they are objects with methods and invariant.
    There are lots of tutorials on the net for both. Obviously the .NET ones tend to be more up to date. VB6 ones tend to be based around Windows Forms, but there are ones which use graphics and so on if that is your style of teaching. I don't know if any of them are suitable for children rather than adults though.

     
  4. Have you looked at the alternatives - things like Greenfoot, Alice, Scratch (and probably lots of others) ? Microsoft Small Basic may well be worth a look, too e.g. http://teachingkidsprogramming.org/blog/kids-learning-programming/

     
  5. cj3

    cj3

    Thanks for your helpful comments re VB autismuk - I know of the alternatives but I wanted to learn a proper textual programming language - so Alice and Scratch no good. Greenfoot might be worth a look.
     
  6. VB is still the best overall choice - there is another thread on here about KS4 programming languages which rehearses the same old arguments re: language choice.
    Needless to say, VB is the nicest to use, has a delightful, simple IDE and will let them learn iteration, variable typing, selection etc etc - all the fundamentals without spending all day putting those oh-so-essential semi-colons and colons in JUST the right place. Support is incredible, of course.
    Greenfoot is HORRIBLE, as it is based on the vile Java - your kids will have to develop the aforementioned skills with precision colon use of one sort or another. Support is ****, too. Worth considering if your kids have brains the size of planets and are absolutely obsessed with learning programming at the cost of everything else.
    VB.Net looks horrible - I don't know what came over Microsoft - it's horrible to use compared to VB6 with no real learning advantage.
     
  7. I do wish MS would allow VB6 as a free licence... I'd love to have it in the classroom... Currently using Flex as an interim, but will also be using IntelliJ soon. On a similar note to VB6, RealStudio is lovely and a great natural VB6 upgrade - a huge shame it costs a lot....
     
  8. cj3

    cj3

    So does one choose VB6 - or Visual Basic Express 2010, which I think is VB.Net. Is Real Studio VB? I just want to learn a text based programming language which is suitable fro GCSE Computing projects.
     
  9. VB6 does everything you need for a GCSE project and obviously, a lot more.
    As I think I mentioned, VB.net offers nothing extra that helps you or your students but is quite frankly horrible to use. Kids hate it.
    I'd go for VB6 every time.
     
  10. You keep telling us you have a CS degree, in which case how on earth do you not understand what Microsoft is trying to do with VB.Net (and C#, the .NET runtime etc etc etc.) ?
    If you are talking about education, I see exactly where you are going, up to a point. A pupil could drown in the Visual Studio IDEs. But professionally, it's ridiculous.
    I would challenge "Support is incredible" because it's actually non-existent. There is a lot of VB6 stuff out there on the internet, but there is no support in the real world meaning of the word. Microsoft support the VB6 run time, but not the IDE.

     
  11. Experiment would be my advice. Try the latest VB.Net, Small Basic both of which are free. Have a look at some of the open source/freeware BASICs.
    As regards VB6, John may have some idea where you can get the VB6 IDE. It can be downloaded from the P2P networks, (I just looked) but where that puts you legally I don't know. You might be able to buy individual copies on eBay, or at computer fairs, maybe. If you buy VS,Net it may be possible to legally downgrade that.
    VB6 still is on many versions of Office (don't know about 2010, never use it) but that loses virtually all the advantages John Brown writes about.
    As I haven't taught for a few years I'm not up to speed with what the GCSE Computing projects require - are they looking for GUIs, which are still relatively easy to hardwire up without much real programming skill, even on VB.Net or are they looking for coding ?


     
  12. VB6 != VBA. Try and do a timer and you'll understand!!!

     
  13. What the f*** has that got to do with teaching kids the basics about programming?
    That's not the best recommendation I've ever heard for an educational computer language, is it?
    Internet support is exactly what I mean - support in the other sense, well, in my experience, vb.net is crash prone but it's 'supported'. VB6 is ultra reliable and it isn't 'supported'.
     
  14. If you can get the discs and that can be as simple as buying the right textbook including the free student version, you are fine. We use a copy of full VB6 - we have licences for vb.net and Microsoft is happy for us to downgrade and run VB6 under those. It is preferable to use VB6 for the reasons we mentioned earlier.
    vba is ok at a basic level but does lose many advantages - the lack of arrays is not helpful as far as many programming mark schemes are concerned..
    VB6 GUIs can be extended to include all sorts of programming complexity or kept simple - cut your cloth to suit.
    Is this helpful to the OP?
    He/she asked, roughly - 'I want to learn a programming language - what's the best thing to use?'
    You then ask him to 'Experiment'. If the OP is not experienced, he cannot possibly make an experienced and sensible choice. He came on here for advice, not to become embroiled in your insane, destructive prejudice against what still remains the most useful teaching language.
    You are also pretty uninformed: vb.net is an unreliable pain to use in the classrooom, Small Basic is more difficult to use than VB6 and is 'small' and as for freeware - jesus - who wants to go down that route when you need something you can rely on?
    Get over yourself, auti.
     
  15. I've never been able to look at VBA without feeling physically sick :)
     
  16. Nothing at all. You said "I don't know what came over Microsoft". VB - any of them - are not designed to teach programming. Microsoft would probably say SmallBasic is designed for that.
    The only time I've managed to crash Visual Studio is when forcibly changing the form base class in 2005. It didn't like it much. It may work now, I haven't tried it.
     
  17. He is actually a she.
    Yes, it is sensible advice. You know nothing about her, her school, her children, what level they are operating at, what her previous experience is, how she likes to deliver lessons or anything.
    Maybe her school is strapped for cash and can't afford VB.Net licenses. Maybe she's running Windows 7 and it works even less well ? Maybe Microsoft won't allow VB6 licensing any more ? Maybe she teaches programming using graphics not windows forms ? Perhaps local schools have a working group which has developed a course that uses Small Basic that would save her hours of work ? You know sweet FA.
    Experimenting with VB.Net, VB6 or SmallBasic would take, what a couple of hours maximum ? Reading about them, looking them up would take about 30 minutes.
    *** is your problem ?
    Even someone of limited intelligence would look at the programming languages thread and say those who like Ruby, Python, Javascript, Java, Scratch, the "online" system, Logo, whatever aren't "wrong" they're just different. (About the only thing everyone would agree on is FORTRAN is a mad choice).
    You denigrate the guys doing Javascript as if they are idiots but you have absolutely no idea what they are doing with it.
    Yes, it's perfectly reasonable to say (as I have) how do you deal with debugging (say), but your response is just "everyone other than me is **** and stupid".
    It works for them.
    There's no definitive answer to this. Hence suggest options and find out what is best for her.
    I did this in the original post, but your stupid approach is to ram VB6 down people's throats as if your next move was to invade Poland.
    Well, plenty of people use (say) Eclipse and Netbeans professionally and god alone knows how many use GCC, but then I suppose you know better. Yep, I wouldn't pick up some transient language that has no user base, but there are plenty that are as well supported as VB6 is on line. And it it fails there's a chance it'll be fixed, whereas Microsoft won't touch it with a bargepole.



     
  18. Yeah mate,
    But I did manage to read her question - 'I want to learn Visual Basic - what version is the best - ie what is most resourced and stable for use with GCSE Computing group'.
    And your response has been sod all use to her in answering that. Maybe I credited her with a little intelligence and answered HER question instead of servcing my own bizarre prejudices.
    But you also know sweet FA and unlike myself didn't bother to read her questions(VB6 is ultra stable on Windows 7 btw).
    For you - read her question.
    Yes, it's perfectly reasonable to say (as I have) how do you deal with debugging (say), but your response is just "everyone other than me is **** and stupid".
    Where have I done that?
    There's no definitive answer to this. Hence suggest options and find out what is best for her.
    I did this in the original post, but your stupid approach is to ram VB6 down people's throats as if your next move was to invade Poland.
    She didn't ask for options - read the original post. Teh Hitler thing- now there's an original, compelling amd mature response.
    I've used Eclipse - are you seriously suggesting that someone would use that in the secondary school setting? And the OP asked about VB
    Like I said: Get over yourself and cut the onanisticc ranting.

     
  19. Really. I tried to post the pluses and minuses of both. You just ranted about how VB6 is brilliant, how **** .NET and VS2x are.
    And the original question is about Visual Basic, yes. This somehow precludes making other suggestions - why not spend a few minutes having a look at this ?
    Somehow I don't think if the question was "I want to learn Python" you would somehow restrain yourself from hammering on about VB6.
    What, by giving all possible sides ? You don't seem to understand the downsides of VB6, but then as I recall you haven't got a clue how Windows actually works. Did your degree fall of a lorry or something ?
    Coming from someone who thinks VS is unstable, that has little or no value.
    Comments like:
    "Only a sadist would use JavaScript to teach programming - it is ugly, stupid and nasty. VB6 allows you to teach everything you need to teach, is easy to use,
    install and run and it free; vb.net is also free but is horribly fiddly
    and silly to use.

    python etc; don't make me laugh."

    So anyone who teaches Javascript is a sadist, and anyone who teaches Python is laughable ?
    Presumably this is meant to be funny then ?
    The pitiful thing is your arguments for VB6 have merit, but you clearly haven't got a clue about VB.Net. You don't understand what MS have done or why or anything very much AFAICS. The idea that VB6 is some kind of quality language - it's a hack of QuickBasic - is laughable.
    It's a response to your pathetically ignorant comments about free software. " jesus - who wants to go down that route when you need something you can rely on?". Half the internet "relies on it".
     
  20. We are so lucky to have you to answer the questions we don't ask.
     

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