An Uprising? I Think Not

After reading this, I have to speak up. Larry says:

This was the touchpoint for a dramatic uprising within the VB community. More than 200 MVPs (developers designated by Microsoft as being particularly influential within their communities) and several thousand rank-and-file developers have signed an online petition calling for the revitalization of unmanaged, COM-based VB and Visual Basic for Applications.

According to the petition statistics (which as of the writing of this entry was last updated March 8th, 2005), they have 5559 signatures.

Now, I'll take this number as "fact". Whether the people actually used VBLite or not, doesn't matter. I'm not going to question that statistic. But let's throw that number against the numbers I heard from MS and other sources about the strength of the VB community in the 1990s. I heard numbers like 1,000,000 or 5,000,000. Those numbers...well, take them with a grain of salt. Let's trim that down a lot to say, oh, 100,000 developers in the world used VB6. Just for shits and giggles.

That means that 5.5% of the VBLite community wants...whatever the petition says they want.

Now, that's being conservative with the "true" numbers of developers that used VB with versions 6 and before. If you use the bigger numbers, you'll get 0.5% or 0.1%.

5% or less? This is a dramatic uprising?

Now, note that I didn't say the ones supporting the petition are "wrong" or "faulty" or "stupid" or anything like that. But let's keep things in perspective. While that group may be vocal, it (in my mind) is not a "dramatic uprising". A "dramatic uprising" would be 20% or 40% or more of the VB developers in the world saying, "I want my VB.COM - take that .NET crap and shove it!" I just don't see that; in fact, I see people moving on, either to .NET or other tools. Whether you agreed or disagreed with Bruce McKinney's thoughts and ideas, I think he nailed it on the head:

Visual Basic. 1991-2002. It's time to pay our respects, throw some dirt on the coffin, and move on.


* Posted at 04.16.2005 11:41:18 AM CST | Link *

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