-Tips, Taps and Tribulations using Visual BASIC…-

VB Stuff to be aware…

As a first time user, these thoughts may not make much sense but I place these first in the list of pathfinders because you should return here periodically to reinforce your awareness of the pitfalls found in Vb 2008. The majority of these are in effect the first time you use Visual BASIC. Fortunately, or not, you will not see most of them after your first program which also means you will have a hard time making corrections if you have to )-:

Even before you get to start programming there are pit falls of which you should be aware. It would be worth your while to open a VB session and see all this first hand.

1) When you start Visual BASIC by clicking on the icon, in the opening screen you should totally avoid: “Recent Projects” at all costs. The “Getting Started” pane can be of some help but it is generic and may not reflect what we will cover in the course. The “MSDN Visual BASIC Headlines” are generally too lofty even for me but feel free to browse them.  I will be interested to see if anything is there that can help the average beginner to VB.

To start an application hit File/New Program.

2) You will be shown three panels: “Project types” , “Templates”, and “Name”. For this course, always ignore the first two.

3) The third pane can be in one of two states. You will be either prompted in a single text box, for the Name of your application or you will have three boxes where the first and third will be the same information. Be sure to understand this part of the set up as you will not have the opportunity to correct any errors and your program will be lost or corrupted.

a) If you have the single box, be absolutely sure you change the WindowsApplication name to an application name of your own.  Programs titled WindowsApplication will not be accepted. Later, when you go to save your project for the first time, you will see the other two panes and will be prompted for a path in which to save your work.

b) If you have the three boxes, it is highly possible that the path will belong to a program that belongs to someone else. If you do not correct, you will corrupt your program and you will probably never know this until you finish your project and try to hand it in.

4) Never expect that VB will open to the layout that you expect.  Since Microsoft sees this environment as a single user and that single user never uses any other computer, it shows you no respect as a second, third etc user. Since others are using the computer, it is highly probably that the layout will be changed.  Therefore, you should get into the habit of using the reset function. Once you have an application open, you can reset this by a click on the WINDOW option at the top banner and select “reset Window Layout”. Answer “yes” to the prompt.

5) As mentioned in the video, in class, and in the creating a file pathfinder, NEVER use any of the features starting, saving or opening your program.  These include anything in the FILE option except “New Project”, “Save All” and “Exit”.

When you finally hit File/ New Program

6) Never use the default names of files, objects, paths used in Visual BASIC. Not only will they get you into trouble but you will lose points accordingly.  As of the 4th week in the course, I will not accept defaults any more.  It will not matter how much work you have done, if you use defaults, your project is a failure.