GIMP# and Visual Basic.NET

February 8, 2007 at 12:41 pm | Posted in C#, GIMP, Ramblings | 6 Comments

About 10 years ago I had Fortran on my resume but I always felt a bit embarrassed about that. I didn’t really like the language, to put it very mildly. When people inquired about my Fortran knowledge I always mumbled something like `just the basics’ and tried to steer the conversation into another direction. There was this other language I had the same feelings about. It is called Visual Basic. Why? Mainly because I associate Basic with people educated in any topic but computer science. Often these people seem to be hired by software houses that don’t care about the quality of their employees, as long as they can make money out of them. And as long as there are customers that don’t really care about the quality of the software that is written, they get away with it. Mind you, I’m not saying that you need a degree in computer science to become a good programmer. One of the best programmers I’ve ever met had an unfinished degree in sociology.

Ok, enough of this ranting. Despite my dislike for Visual Basic I downloaded and installed Mono 1.2.3 and the VB compiler yesterday evening. The goal, as usual, is to support yet another programming language for GIMP#. We already have C#, Java, IronPython and now VB is next. I already did some initial experiments and I expect to have a working GIMP plug-in written in VB pretty soon. Some minor problems so far:

  • as advertised, the vnbc compiler is pretty basic yet. Error messages are very cryptic which makes it sometimes hard to find the real error.
  • it seems that VB doesn’t have the yield keyword. So writing a custom Enumerator takes a bit more code 😦
  • I felt kinda dirty after having written a few lines of Visual Basic…

I hope to report on the performance of the Average Blur plug-in written in VB, compared to C#, IronPython and Java soon.


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  1. This is great stuff, though, like you, I am not really a big fan of VB, for the perceptual reason you listed. However, opening GIMP# to more programmers can only be a good thing.

    If you have to turn away from VB support for now, might I make two language suggestions?
    1) Have you considered Boo? Since the grammar is quite similar to Python, I would think that it would take minimal effort to get something going.
    2) What about Nemerle? As a hybrid functional/OO language, it should be just as performant as C#, and its syntax allows for possibilities that, to the best of my knowledge, no other .Net language can.

    Best regards as always,


  2. Hi Steve, thanks for the feedback. We will certainly keep VB on our list of languages that are supported by GIMP# for the exact reason you mention: more potential programmers. Our initial goal is to support the top 10 popular programming languages. So VB and Ruby are high on my list. C#, Java (IKVM) and Python (IronPython) support is already available.

    I haven’t looked yet at Boo and Nemerle, but I certainly will. Now I only wished I had called this project initially GIMP.NET instead of GIMP# 😉

  3. […] In reply to Maurits blog entry. […]

  4. Boo and Nemerle are welcome additions to the supported languages, indeed! About the naming, how about “GNIMP”? 😉

  5. It is never too late to rename the project to Gimp.Net as that better suits the current subject of your project.

  6. Hi,
    I have interfaced AKVIS Camouflage with GIMP. Now I want to interface with my .NET UI. How do i connect with scriptfu.
    if u already already have with other languages, can you help me with an ActiveX or DLL for interfacing with .NET

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