Javascript in VB…

Yes, it’s true, as Miguel found out at the compiler lab:

Another interesting detail: the new Javascript compiler is written in Visual Basic.NET.

The compiler he’s talking about is the Silverlight-based Javascript compiler that we released in Silverlight 1.1. Of course, we’re also writing VBx in VB as well, so…

20 thoughts on “Javascript in VB…

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  4. Anthony D. Green, MCPD

    What do you mean you’re writing VBX in VB? I seem to remember somewhere ( that moving the CodeBase to VB didn’t have a compelling reason 😉

    And what about the speed? No offense, Paul, but VB.NET builds slow enough as it is on the project I’m working on (HUGE) – I don’t think making the compiler managed is gonna help that.

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  6. paulvick

    Anthony: Well, given that we need a compiler available at runtime that can interface well with managed code, that’s a compelling reason. Note that we’re not replacing the compiler in VS at this point (and we’ve got even more improvements coming for performance in Orcas!).

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  10. Farrukh Shahzad

    Well , these kind of things are obvious if microsoft hire programmers from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh other low wages countries… :-[

    I am from Pakistan wait for my turn 🙂

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  12. Mike

    I don’t want to offend anyone, but I’ve never met any serious developer who would prefer VB.NET to C#. All other developers seemed to be migrated from VB/VBA to VB.NET and – sorry – but most of those are not even close to being serious professional developers. So, why not simply leaving VB.x for all those hobbyists out there and let’s concentrate on C# if it comes to professional development (after all: C#, C++ and Java are syntactically very similar and the switch from one language to another is quite easy).


  13. Reza

    Hey Make

    It seems u r new in programming world and may be trying to find the most powerful programming language (and if it possible the easiest one). but let me say something. I am a C++ programmer for 12 years and I have gone that way once. If you remember when Visual Basic arrived it attracted many Visual C++ programmers like me for RAD purposes. I always choose C for low level works and I think there is no choice other than Visual Basic for high level ones because of many things like it’s syntax and simplicity. Remember that for a professional programmer tools are not realy matter, He/She builds them if he/she wants.

  14. Roman


    Before u talk about ‘serious professional developers’ and ‘hobbyists’ u should learn, what CLR means and how a compiler in .NET works. Compiled VB.NET code is as good as any .NET code.

    How many lines of VB code have you written?

    Do u really think, u know both worlds?

    And even if its not easy for u to switch to another language, u should give it a try.

  15. Iman

    The VB.Net was a very good choice for this job, I know that all .Net languages are same (in compatibility, performance, and run speed), but it is important that you love your language.

    I love VB.NET

    Remember only the grammar of language, make they different

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  17. James Hanauer

    You cannot compare the performance of Classic VB to VB.Net because of the managed aspect of .Net. The CLR allows developers the privilege of utilizing the strengths of a language while providing access to a common class library; the FCL. How the compiler of each .Net language writes its MSIL code and how the JIT compiles it makes the deference in .NET (minus the programmer that wrote the source code).

    As a simple example, C# requires that reference types be instantiated before use. To enforce this on method calls for instance, the C# compiler emits a `callvirt’ (call virtually) IL instruction on methods that are non-virtual. This instruction forces the JIT compiler to emit a null reference check before calling the method and then the JIT checks to see if it really needs to call the method virtually or not. Other language compilers may just emit a `call’ IL instruction and not care if a class instance exists.

    I love C#, C++, VB, VB.Net, and JavaScript, and I try to use them where most appropriate.

    C# and C++ are not designed to be dynamically extended at runtime. Granted, reflection can assist in making these languages extensible at runtime but it is a costly approach if not used correctly; it also requires a lot of security checks when utilized.

    JavaScript is a prototype based language and is designed to be extended at runtime, and it originated as an interpreted language. VB.Net also originates from its BASIC roots as an interpreted language. These languages can been seen as better equipped to help a developer write high-level code that takes advantage of the dynamic runtime aspects of the DLR and CLR because of their experience in an interoperated environment.

  18. tj hock

    It seems that there’s always someone who throws out a flaming comment about VB vs other languages that seems to get everyone excited.

    I just have something to add. Let’s just ignore those comments and concentrate on the topic at hand… it’s a waste of topic time to address such issues. There are plenty of books about CLR and IL out there for anyone who really wants to learn about VB.Net vs C#, or whatever. Just my 2 cents.

  19. gluefish

    Using a high-level language to generate code in another high-level language is always interesting. Here we are talking about using VB to generate Javascript code.

    What’s the advantage, I asked myself.

    Then I looked at all the obtuse JavaScript code that’s required to execute browser scripts with the Ajax / Javascript capability, and looked at how programmers who prefer to program in Python or Java are using ‘compilers’ to write in their favorite language and port their code to JavaScript.

    DUH! Why didn’t I think of that before? My favorite language for high level development has always been Basic. Here’s a way I could cut my AJAX dev time way down.

    The arguments about whether C or Basic are appropriate fade in the distance when your real code output is neither.


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