|If that statement is true, Microsoft is keeping the future of VBScript well-hidden. |
There were persistent rumors that Netscape planned to support VBScript, but that never happened. A third-party Netscape plug-in did provide partial support for VBScript, but it never quite worked seamlessly, was never distributed by Netscape or by Microsoft, and therefore never reached ubiquity among Netscape clients.
"Microsoft is fully committed to evolving implementations of both JScript and VBScript to a level where each language is functionally equivalent. So don't feel that you need to commit to one just to ensure that you are investing in a language that has a future."
If that statement is true, Microsoft is keeping the future of VBScript well-hidden. The most telling stroke against VBScript is that with two cumulative releases of the .NET framework and Visual Studio now behind us, there's still no sign of a VBScript.NET. There's a JScript.NEThas been since the early beta releasesbut no VBScript.NET.
Does VBScript Have a Future?
I once believed that VBScript would rapidly become the script lingua franca of the Internet. After all, VBA, another cut-down version of Visual Basic, found its way not only into the Microsoft Office suite as the primary macro language, but also into a host of other commercial products. Because VBA and VBScript are fundamentally similar and therefore attractive to the same large universe of developers, one might rationally assume that VBScript would make an equally successful transition into Web products as VBA did in desktop products. But that didn't happen. If functional equivalence with JScript were a goal, Microsoft could have created a VBScript.NET. At one point, they had a third-party company create a proof-of-concept VBScript.NET, according to David Simmons of SmallScript Corp.but Microsoft has apparently made a unilateral decision not to bring the language along into the .NET family. Unless rectified quickly, that omission represents a hard stop for VBScript, whereas VBA's future looks a bit more stable for the short term, if not for the long term.
Of course, VBScript aficionados are perfectly free to ignore these warning signs and continue to use this familiar language; but unless Microsoft has some sudden radical VBScript epiphany, those who do should be prepared for heartache and frustration down the road. By the way, if you want to buy the domain name VBScript.NET, it's for sale.