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Changing a Class

I'm a part of this changeover as well. I teach a Visual Basic class at a local university, where I'm transitioning the class from VB 6 to Visual Basic .NET.

The first two years were a lot of fun teaching VB 6. We created many nice applications. Students were impressed by the nice looks of their applications and how quickly they were made. Last year, after a lot of work on my part, I began teaching Visual Basic .NET. I also changed books. This was a lot of change for what has been a successful, popular class. This 102-level class is a requirement for certain majors. It's not intended to be an important component of a professional programmer's training, but it is expected to be a basis for business activities such as Microsoft Office automation, macro writing, batch files, and so on.

So what do we teach in Visual Basic classes? I believe that file I/O (input/output) operations are fundamental. After all, without writing to a file, your application just disappears at shutdown! Teaching file I/O was simple in VB 6. Let me describe a project that the students enjoyed—a project that got more complicated in .NET when .NET changed basic file operations.

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