October 11, 2006

[XNA] The Curly Brace Agenda

Evidently, the initial release of XNA Studio Express Edition will only be C#.

I can't say that I'm that surprised, but I am rather disappointed.

I can see not supporting C++/CLI. I can see not supporting J#. But come on, guys...VB nowadays is essentially C# without the curly braces and an easier development system. Or to put it more bluntly, C# is VB with curly braces and unsafe memory access.

I know that there is more than sufficient interest from the VB camp. But come on, guys...

C# as a programming language had the lowest barrier to entry for universities and specialty schools that are currently teaching dedicated game programming and design courses. Many professional game studios already use C# to develop some of their game production tools and students would be able to get some exposure to the language.
What you are saying is that professional game developers gravitate towards C# because it resembles the C-style languages that they have been using for two decades now. XNA Studio is letting you not only encourage additional professional game development using C#, but also getting C# in front of more students.

This isn't about promoting game development for the masses anymore. This is about promoting C# using game development as a trojan horse.

What kills me is that VB would have been easier for the 360. The braintrust behind C# added in unsafe memory access for those rare occasions where it would help with speed, but to maintain system security on the 360, the team is going to have to essentially nerf that capability on the 360 for C#. With VB, the nerf isn't needed because we haven't been trusted with unguarded keys to the system. We have to use marshalling in order to do that, and we suffer a performance hit for it.

You had a good mission, guys. Pity you let the language define the terms.

1 comment:

Morgan said...

Duh! Since the company was established, Microsoft aimed to dominate the PC software market. A business most effectively secures a position of leadership through generational integration. That is, an empire that sinks its claws into the young through entertainment and education guarantees itself a longer life. I've always held the highest respect for the marketing brilliance of Microsoft. They know how to win, and they win.