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Visual Basic (Classic) FAQ

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Considerations for one off projects by MickTheBelgian
Posted: 11 Feb 04 (Edited 12 Feb 04)

Every now and then,we get questions like:" I am new to VB, and need to write an app that does XYZ...".  To experienced programmers, this sounds like:"I need to write a French essay on Descartes, but I don't know French...".  These posts often remain without answer, and that is of course discouraging for a "newbie".  You can't learn a language in a discussion forum however, and you should think before you start.  Question: Are you interested in learning to program, and plan on writing more in the future?  Or is this REALLY a one-off?  If your answer is yes, then you are busy.  I suggest you work your way through the examples which come with VB, buy a book if you can afford it, and count at least a couple of weeks hard work before you can write a medium-size database app. You can always come back to this forum, but try to ask specific questions, e.g. specific error messages etc.  Notice how people who put VB code in their questions almost always get an answer.  

If you are really only interested in one app, or don't have the time for those couple of weeks, you are in deep dodo.  If somebody told you that "VB is easy", this somebody probably hasn't touched it since the good old days of GWBASIC.  VB.NET yields all the power of the .NET framework, and therefore also most of its complexity.  Forget about doing it yourself and consider one of these options: 1)Buy a RAD tool (Rapid Application Development) which is specifically oriented towards what you want to do.  This could be a set of ready-made libraries you can import in VB, a stand-alone program with macro capability, or a full-fledged programming language, but specifically designed for accounting, engineering, or whatever it is you want to do.  As these things are much more specific, they will come with examples very close to what you need.  2)Open source.  Have a look at www.sf.net or www.gnu.org and look around.  Chances are there is an open source project which provides 90% of what you need.  You should be able to convince the authors to put in the remaining 10% for a very sweet price.  Advantage is that as the project grows, you automagically get free upgrades to your software!

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