On the money - Innovation not duplication
What is the point of attempting to duplicate a flawed product (MS-VB) and failing? Applications like VB are very difficult to duplicate primarily because of issues related to OS hooks, libraries, and GUI facilities. There is no one in the Open Source community with the resources and interest to duplicate both the form and function of VB. No GNU/Linux based attempt at duplicating VB will ever catch up with the MS product. Duplicating the language is easy, but duplicating the functionality in such a way as to not make us look worse for having done a half assed job is very, very difficult.
On the other hand there are valuable things to be learned from this product. In particular having an easy to use rapid prototyping tool for developing full featured client applications which leverage native GNU/Linux platform features. By using a combination of OO Python, GTK, Gnome, Postgres in a well designed Rapid Application Development IDE targeted at the casual client application developer GNU/Linux would have a major jump start into the corporate application deployment world.
Reminder: The REAL reason behind the GNOME vs. KDE war
Three major points:
1. KDE is older and more mature than GNOME.
2. QT is available on MS-Windows.
3. QT's license is NOT free!
As a Unix AND Linux developer having a desktop that can be ported to ANY machine I use with a truely FREE license is the deciding factor. Therefore, in the spirit of FREE software, GNOME MUST WIN. The issue of CORBA compliance and the architecture of the GNOME component architecture is also important since it facilitates a standards based way of interfacing with non-GNOME systems. Incidentally diversity of options is very valuable in terms of ongoing innovations, but interactivity and integration of a common world view for a given environment. GNU-Step another truely FREE environment which deserves mention. Let us hope that it will work well with others better than KDE does. I truely wish that the KDE developers would port their applications to GNOME so that the GREAT work they have done could be leveraged in a FREE environment!