I had a 3-4 way Twitter conversation with Roy Osherove today that left me hot under the collar even several hours later. The conversation basically played out like this:
- Roy: Boo hoo, new .Net OSS projects are using advanced features in C# that might make those tools hard to use in VB.Net
- Me: Maybe, but I’m optimizing the user experience of these tools for C#. I’m not going to sacrifice user experience in favor of a little extra reach. Besides, VB.Net devs are a very small percentage of OSS users.
- Roy: Jeremy is an anti-VB bigot! Who’s with me VB guys? VB guys can’t use or participate in OSS because they’re actively turned away by guys like Jeremy!
and then Roy proceeded to present himself as the champion of all those poor dispossessed VB.Net developers with some cheap theatrics.
To you Mr. VB.Net Dev:
Stand up if you don’t like the way things are. I have never once gotten any kind of specific suggestion about how to make StructureMap more palatable for VB.Net usage. I’ve gotten complaints, and some questions (which I have answered), but not one single specific suggestion or patch that I recall. Mr. VB.Net developer, if there’s something you want or lack in an OSS framework that would make it easier/better to use that tool with idiomatic VB.Net, you know who’s probably most qualified and able to write that patch? You are! I don’t write software in VB.Net, and haven’t used VB.Net in anger since .Net was in and early beta. I’m not going to get VB.Net idioms, and I don’t have visibility into VB specific issues.
And you know what? There isn’t a major OSS project on earth that doesn’t like getting patches. I would love to get real, useful contribution from the VB.Net community in regards to an improved user experience with StructureMap — but I’m not going to pay attention to empty complaints, and I’m certainly not putting up with vilification.
I’ll go a step farther, give me a usable patch for StructureMap for better VB.Net usage, and I’ll have it released within 48 hours on Sourceforge.
Actually, now that I’m a bit calmer, take this to heart. OSS projects are owned by the community — meaning that you can pick up the reins and do something about a tool that lacks something you need or want. Don’t be passive. Heck, you could even write your own. You don’t think that OSS projects are a friendly place for VB’ers? Start your own and make the .Net ecosystem even richer. Hell, it’s not rocket science after all.
And p.s,. you really need to get the VB.Net team to give you multiline Lambda functions in the next version of VB. Trust me, once you have them, you’ll never want to code in a language that lacks them ever again.