Appendix A. What’s New and Different in VB.NET

This appendix is for readers who are familiar with earlier versions of Visual Basic, specifically Version 6. In this appendix, we describe the basic changes to the VB language, both in syntax and in functionality. (Readers familiar only with Version 5 of Visual Basic will also benefit from this chapter, although we discuss only the changes since Version 6.)

We also touch upon other changes to VB, such as error handling and additional object-oriented programming support.

Language Changes for VB.NET

In this section, we outline the changes made to the Visual Basic language from Version 6 to Visual Basic .NET. These language changes were made to bring VB under the umbrella of the .NET Framework and allow a Common Language Runtime for all languages in Visual Studio .NET. In some sense, the changes made to the VB language were to bring the language component of VB (as opposed to the IDE component) more in line with the C# language (which is a derivative of C and C++).

Since we assume in this chapter that you are familiar with VB 6, we will not necessarily discuss how VB 6 handles a given language feature, unless the contrast is specifically helpful. You can assume that if a VB.NET language feature is described in this chapter, there has been a change in its behavior since VB 6.

Data Types

There have been fundamental changes to data types in VB.NET, which we outline in this section. The most important change is that all of the languages under ...

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