Stupid, Stupid VB
Once again a couple of days ago I was turned into a Visual Basic whore. This time it was “real” VB, not VBScript. I thought it’d be better, a more Bill-like religious experience.
Boy was I wrong.
Short story, man, it sucks. I’m not talking about the language itself, but the interface you are forced to deal with to do any work with it. In my case this horror was Visual Basic 6.x I’m going to make a guess that you can’t just open up the source code in a real editor, but I haven’t confirmed that, nor do I really care to.
Things I want to bitch about.
- If the program is running, you can’t edit the source code.
- The help window’s last option when you right click on it in the task bar is not close, like every other window, but an ‘About HTML Help…’ option
- The home key will take you to to the end of the line if you are not there already, and then you have to hit it again to go to the start of the line. Isn’t that a bit counter-intuitive?
- When the program you write has a modal dialoge box popped up (say, for debug purposes), you can’t switch back to the IDE and stop the task! So if you’re doing debugging where a message box is up on every iteration of say, a loop, you have to be really fast to hit the “OK” button and then hit “stop” in the IDE.
- If you’re not fast enough, you can always go to the task manager and kill the application (not the IDE). Oh wait, the two are tightly tied together, so now you killed your development environment as well!
- The help system is nice, but if I say I only want to search in the Visual Basic Documentation only (via the “Active Subset” drop down), I mean it! Don’t give me other topics, only what I ask for. Another fine example of Microsoft giving the user what they think the user wants, not what they asked for.
- If you’re going to ignore my topic to search in the help, at least save the sort field of the results so I don’t have to resort after every search.
- And why can’t I open more than one help window at once? What if I want to look up two things at the same time, and compare them or switch back and forth?
- Ok, looking back at the above bitch about the help search not using my filter, it is, kinda. It’s restricting from some documentation, like the really extranious stuff, but “Visual Basic Documentation” also searches IE, MS ADO, Active Server pages, and a bunch of other stuff that seems loosely tied to VB. Why can’t I search just the Visual Basic Reference?
- Who thought up the “rank” system for the search by the way? I search for “MsgBox Function” and the page titled “MsgBox Function” gets a rank of 17, while “Designing an error handler” gets 1. “Change Event” gets 111 (it’s the 111th result), and I’m not sure which way the scale of “rank” goes. They need to take a look at google I think.
- Why doesn’t my scroll mouse scroll? It does in every other app I’m using right now.
It could be worse though, years ago I was forced to do some coding in a program called Reflections, which had it’s own bastardized form of Basic called Reflections Basic, which stored all the code in binary, so you had to use their editor, and their editor wouldn’t let you open more than one file at a time! You had to start another instance of the development environment just to see another file.