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Ok, this is kind of pie in the sky and very low on the priority list....but have you ever thought of having the ability to translate a code snippet from VB.Net to C#? The online conversion tools generally work remarkably well for this. It may be a bit controversial offering something targetted only to specific languages, but I don't know if anyone would get that upset, would they?

A cheap way to do it would to contact one of the third party vendors, tell them to write the API, and you can just embed into the SO UI for anything tagged C# or VB.Net. In exchange, you will show a "translated by xyz".

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Most every .NET developer who would want this will normally (at least one of):

  • be able to at least read both (even if they only write in one)
  • know how to use Reflector
  • have a preferred translation tool
  • (rare, but sadly real) treat the "other" language with distrust and disdain, and ignore anything by a programmer from that field

I'm never convinced that just trusting translation is a good idea (there are things that doesn't translate well) - so why bother?

Besides which... room here for a grease monkey script ;-p

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I admit it! I'm a VB.NET developer! YOU CAN ALL HATE ME NOW! – TheTXI Aug 21 '09 at 21:26
Pfft, you C# guys would say no. Jerks. – Eric Aug 21 '09 at 21:28
@TheTXI: What made you think we needed a new reason to hate you ;) – Jon Skeet Aug 22 '09 at 8:23

Considering the enormous list of languages posted on SO, it would seem pretty wild to give special attention to building a feature like this for two of them. If your question is on VB, ask about VB. Besides, many .NET developers can figure one from the other - might be good if they have to study it rather than copying it :)

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One of the problems with this is that often code posted on Stack Overflow isn't complete code - it's snippets. It's not entirely rare for it to be missing a bracket or two as well (not that I would ever post without compiling; certainly not ;)

Quite often the exact translation will depend on context, and having an inappropriate translation seems worse to me than not having a translation at all. Add to that the problems where some constructs won't even have a direct translation etc, and I really don't think it's worth it.

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