Sat, 11 Sep 1999 15:47:58 -0400
I noted in several responses to my email last night that there seem to be
several misconceptions about with VB is, and people are trying to compare
it to Ada. There are a lot of apples-and-oranges issues here, including
the fact that the VB integrated development environment puts the GUI builder
and the procedural elements of the language in one integrated package that
you don't separate. You don't have this with Ada, which is part of what
makes it harder to learn to use. I can write an Ada application without a
GUI builder, but I cannot write a VB application without a GUI builder.
Another big difference is that the VB IDE heavily exploits object-based
reuse in an intelligent way. It starts by providing you with a class
library that you use to instantiate objects visually. Then, as you type
your code to provide links between the objects, it watches you type and
helps you intelligently along the way by looking up the attributes and
methods associated with the objects you are naming and prompts you to
aid in the selection of the attributes and methods you want to employ.
All of this is part of the standard interface in all VB platforms.
This has lead to the emergence of a reuse industry -- companies developing
ActiveX Controls (reusable classes) and selling them (in binary form, so no
source code is given away). These products integrate into the VB IDE
and become a part of it, looking very similar in the way you use them to
the Microsoft standard controls. Microsoft in its extension of VB to VBA
(Visual Basic for Applications) has added reuse at a higher level of
letting developers reuse facilities like the spelling and grammar checkers
Word and other like resources.
You are welcome to visit my main university website at:
and, for online tutorial material that graphically shows what VB is like,
my VB course at:
Under the Course Materials section you can view the lecture slides, which
are filled with VB screen images. The Chapter 1 and 2 slide set shows
a basic development approach for VB programs. The "Objects and Classes"
slides goes into detail with the object-based orientation issues.
By the way, I still like Ada ... just for different reasons. But with a
like VB around, if I want to target to the Windows platform, I see no
in surrounding Ada engines with VB GUIs.
Richard Conn, ASE and PAL Manager