I really like StyleCop it is the right thing to do when you work in a team even if you are just a team of one.

Being a team of one is very nice BTW, I happen to like myself ;-). But I degress.

So Stylecop only works for C# now why is that? Doesn’t Microsoft care about us VB developers, don’t they think we should write well formated code. Don’t they think we should write good code. Do they think we should not write code? Afterall the mouse is your friend.

But no (well I hope not anyway) it is a bit more complicate then that as you can see in this response.

Hi Branko. To understand why there is no version for VB, it’s necessary to understand the history of the tool. StyleCop was written as a Microsoft internal tool, to be used by our own internal developers who are coding in C#. StyleCop is not owned by the C# team, but was developed independently. We released StyleCop externally to allow the community to get the same benefit from this tool that we were getting internally at Microsoft.

Since the release of StyleCop there have been some calls from the community to do a version for VB. Unfortuantely there is a technical limitation currently to this happening. StyleCop requires a managed language service to parse and process the code before it can be analyzed. For C#, a language service was written from scratch to support the tool. But one doesn’t exist today for VB, and this is a very high bar to entry. However, work is underway at Microsoft to create new, reusable, hostable managed language services both for C# and for VB. This work is still in the early stages, but the plan is to dump the custom C# parser used in StyleCop in favor of the official managed C# language service when it becomes available. At that time, it will probably also become technically feasible to do a version of StyleCop for VB. At that time, there will need to be some evaluation of the demand for a VB version of StyleCop in the community, and it will likely be up to the VB team to determine whether they want to support this.

Thanks very much for your comments, and I hope this explanation helps you understand why there’s no VB version of the tool available today.

And that is a very god reason, let’s hope they fix it in VS2010 and start looking at VB.Net as a more grownup language. Because I’m sure if they would do that the quality of VB.Net code woul increase.

BTW I also liked the response


Thank you very much for your explanation!

This is, at least for me (I may have overlooked something), the first time, such a clear statement has been posted. Given the technical limitations, I now understand, that the lack of VB support is not a “political” desition, but a fundamental issue, that cannot be easily addressed.

I am very glad to hear, that there is work on the way, abeit in early stages, that will eventually make a VB version feasible.

When that time has come, I hope, that the VB-team will do the right thing, and give us the tool! I want to stress the fact, that the average code-quality of VB.Net code “out in the wild” is definitely sorely lacking in many respects, and I believe that it is in the best interest of Microsoft, to educate the developpers. Fact is, that a broken application is often wrongly attributed to the OS by its users. The OS is a Microsoft product, hece the blame often is brought to the wrong doorstep, but nevertheless, Microsoft suffers from the folly of “uneducated” developpers. We have seen this Million times over, and one of the remedies would surely be the availability of tools for code analysis.

I myself stll feel the need of such a tool, because I want to do it “right”. Adhering to the “Best Practisies” (most of wich are available for VB as well, thank god!), is one thing, but an “external” audit would really be appreciated. Much more so, because time constraints often lead to sloppy work (“I’ll do that for Version 2 because Version 1 shold have been out the day before yesterday…”). The results of such an external audit, which StyleCop effectively is, would give me some handy argument towards my bosses, why I should invest the extra hour. We all know, that in the end, the extra hour comes back thousandfold, but tell that to the bosses in a non-software company.

Also the availability of such tools creates a win-win situation for Microsoft, as well as for the users of the applications: the application works as expected, and Microsoft as the primary software vendor for the platform is praised.

Sorry for my English, it is not my mother-tongue, but “when the heart is full, the mouth spills over”!


And let’s not forget that it’s not only the language that maked the program but also the tools and especially the one typing the code.