Pros and Cons of the C# Programming Language

I’ve programmed in C#.Net for a while now, and I have grown to like it (even over VB.Net). While I do not believe in dismissing other programming languages (e.g. VB.Net) just because people “don’t like them”, I do prefer C#.Net over VB.Net for my new projects I work on.

Please note that these “pros” and “cons” of C# are my own opinions and do *not* necessarily reflect the average C# programmer out there.

Pros to using C#

  1. Learning C# will help you later on if you decide to learn harder programming languages (e.g. C or C++). The programming style of C# is very similar to other C languages.
  2. Since people usually see C# > VB.Net, you should have an easier time finding a C# job, instead of a VB.Net one.
  3. Most online examples for .Net languages are in C#.
  4. If you are looking to work with other programmers (commercial or open source), then knowing C# will be a benefit to you.  This is because many programmers out there pretty much have coded (and still do code) in some kind of C language.
  5. The C# language is less verbose (not as wordy) in comparison to the BASIC language. This is more the programmer’s preference than anything else.

VB.Net Verbose Code Example:   Dim  calculations  As  Decimal

C#.Net Non-Verbose Code Example: decimal  calculations;

Obviously the C# code example has much less to type. You may not think this is a big deal, but if you have 1,000 (+) lines of code to write, you will then understand why a less verbose language is faster to write in.

Cons to using C#

  1. C# would not be the best programming language for newcomers to start programming with (C# is a more complicated syntax).  I would rather start them out on VB.Net, and later on introduce them to C#.Net.
  2. In C#, you have to use semi-colons [ ; ] at the end of each line of code you write. You get used to it after a while, but it is an extra step that you do not have in VB.Net (and many other languages).
  3. The C# language is case-sensitive.  You can have the variables dateofbirth, dateOfBirth, and DateOfBirth all at the same time. This can overtime cause confusion, if you are not careful.
  4. C# is not the same as VB.Net in capabilities (they are practically the same, but not necessarily 1:1 on every detail).  In other words, if you try to convert a C#.Net project to a VB.Net project (or vice versa) you may encounter difficulties. Please make sure to choose the programming language you really want to use to start with.
  5. In C#, the switch clause requires a “break;” command every time you check for a value. The case clause in VB.Net does not require this (less to type in VB.Net). Please note that the switch clause in C# is not exactly the same thing as the case clause in VB.Net.  There are differences.
  6. C# uses curly-brackets { }  that define the beginning and the end of things like functions, for each statements, if statements, etc. Curly-brackets can become messy unless you are careful to not confuse them with other curly-brackets that are for something else in your code. There is software out there than can highlight curly-brackets for you while you are coding, so you have less of a chance of becoming confused.

So in the end, which programming language do I recommend for you to use? Well if you are new to programming on the computer, I would first start out on VB.Net. Later on, you can move to C#.Net.

If you already have gotten your feet wet with programming, I would go ahead and start learning C#.Net. In the end, you have to make up your own mind. 🙂

Remember the more programming languages you learn, the more valuable you will be to other people who need your programming skills. Also please remember that VB.Net is not evil (regardless of what people may say). It is ok to go ahead and write software in VB.Net if you want to (or need to).

Posted in Computers, Programming

Pros and Cons to Web and Desktop Applications

Last Updated: 09/29/2019

Pretty much everyone who has used a computer has used a desktop application (e.g. Microsoft Word, VLC Player, Notepad, Adobe Photoshop, Internet Explorer, etc.) Desktop applications can be found just about everywhere for just about every kind of use.

However, over the past (roughly) 10-15 years, another kind of application for users has come about. They are called web applications. Web applications, simply put, are programs that users can interact with using their web browsers. Users also do not have to install web applications. They are already “installed” on the server you are accessing with your web browser.

Now many programmers feel passionate about both. I myself have written several desktop and web applications alike. So I have a good enough feel for both to give some insight into the pros and cons of both. You must remember there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to the desktop or web. Both have their strengths and weaknesses. Anyone that says (or at least implies) otherwise, does not know what they are talking about!

FeaturesDesktop ApplicationsWeb Applications
 Rapid DevelopmentDesigned from the beginning to be a quick and easy solution to building graphical user interfaces (GUIs), especially when using Windows Forms in Visual Studio for Windows.Never was designed for rapid development. Using the MVC (model, view, control) architecture is typically seen as the “correct” way to create web applications.

I have spent hours and hours looking into this and the closest thing to “rapid development” for web applications I have found is ASP.NET WebForms.

Of course, I am aware that WebForms is not a solution for everyone, since it is designed to run on a Windows Server.

 SecuritySince the user keeps his or her data on their own computer systems, this makes it harder for hackers to gain access to people’s data.

There are some desktop applications (usually for businesses) that connect to a central database server to get and store its information.

In that case, the desktop application would be similar to a web application.

Since all the user’s data is stored online, technically there is a greater chance of the users’ data being compromised.
 Available ControlsDesktop application developers have a whole buffet of user-interactive controls to choose from. This goes for the out-of-the-box controls (e.g. Visual Studio for Windows) as well as 3rd-party controls.No real controls “out-of-the-box” to speak of, except for  HTML controls (e.g. text boxes, buttons, check boxes, etc).

While you can add controls via jQuery or something else, these are not as mature as the desktop equivalents (in my opinion).

 FlexibilityIt is very easy to write desktop applications that take advantage of the user’s hardware (such as:  scanners, cameras, WiFi, serial ports, network ports, etc.)Web applications do not compare to the flexibility of desktop applications.

If you want to write a web application that interacts with the user’s hardware, you are doing it wrong. Just stick with a desktop application for your program. You will be happy you did.

 PortabilityDesktop applications can be portable, but most are not portable and require manual installation from the user.Web applications have desktop apps beat here.

Web applications are very portable and will work with just about any computer with a decent web browser.

 MaintenanceDesktop applications usually need to be updated either automatically or manually.Web applications have desktop apps beat here…again.

End-users do not have to install any updates. All the updates are already taken care of by the web application administrators.

 PerformanceUsually you will find that well-written desktop software running on a decent computer runs faster than web applications.Web applications usually have slower performance than desktop applications, due to having to transmit data across the Internet.

The Internet (and web browsers in general) were never designed with huge web applications in mind.

For example, if Adobe created a full-blown Photoshop (all features, nothing removed) that ran in the web browser, I would say a lot of people would have trouble using it.

For one, web browsers would not be optimized for such a web application.

Secondly, most people would not have enough Internet bandwidth to run it smoothly, not to mention many broadband subscribers have a monthly bandwidth limit that they would easily go over if they used such a web application.

Posted in Internet and Servers, Software