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1.3 Choosing a Language

Choosing which language to use when developing ASP.NET applications is both easier and harder than choosing a language for classic ASP development. It is harder because it may be intimidating for some to choose between a substantially revised Visual Basic and a completely new language, C#. It is easier because the choice of language no longer requires giving up substantial amounts of functionality for your preferred language.

As in many other cases, including language choice in classic ASP, a lot of the decision is determined by where you're coming from. If you're:

An experienced ASP developer who has used VBScript

You'll probably prefer Visual Basic.NET.

An experienced ASP developer who's used JScript

You'll want to look at C# or JScript.NET (keeping in mind that finding code examples in C# is easier, since the novelty of the language makes it more interesting for many).

An experienced Visual Basic developer

Visual Basic.NET is the obvious choice, but you may also find it worthwhile to check out C#, which offers a lot of the power of C++ without such a steep learning curve.

An experienced C, C++, or Java developer

You'll probably feel right at home with C#, which, as a C-derived language, shares a lot of syntax with these languages.

New to ASP.NET development, with no prior ASP experience

Visual Basic.NET will probably be easiest to learn, although C# runs a close second.

Because of the level of cross-language interoperability in .NET, your choice needn't be an either/or. You can feel free to create applications and classes in Visual Basic.NET, C#, JScript.NET, or any .NET-enabled language, knowing that they will be able to work together smoothly and easily, thanks to the CLR.

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