Evolution and the Market Place
Whether or not the purist wishes VB ported to Linux the following appears obvious to me.
A product's survival in the market place is akin to Darwin's theory of evolution. Specifically, survival of the fittest.
The quality of a product is but one aspect of the many properties of a product which contribute to its survival. Linux is, generally, a high quality product. In my opinion, higher than any flavor of Windows. But that alone won't insure its survival.
The best product in the market does not win. Rather the best marketed product wins. Were the opposite true then perhaps CP/M, even AmigaDOS, would be more popular products than anything Microsoft has ever produced. I've seen tool makers choose Windows NT over all other operating systems simply because the tool's users, when surveyed, said they wanted Windows NT. Coincidentally, to most 12 year olds, McDonald's is the best restaurant. Name recognition. Marketing. Nothing more.
In nature, survival is the only game. No other game matters. An organism which excels in several areas can still lose to another organism because it does not compete well in enough areas. An organism may be faster but 'lose' to a slower organism because it can't hide as well. It may have a very efficient gut but only when it eats one thing. An organism very often survives simply because it has the right compromises. It isn't fastest, strongest, or toughest. It is just good enough where it must be. In the same way, a product makes compromises, survives, thrives, or it dies. In the market one feature of a product is not likely to insure the survival of the product. Many features might.
In my experience, a properly set up Linux system is faster, more secure, more flexible, and more reliable than Windows. So what? It still can't compete with Windows 9x/NT because to the butchers, bakers and candle stick makers Windows 9x/NT is, or may simply seem to be, easier to set up and use. It also has a name recognition factor which leads the general public to believe it is easier to use. If adding VB to the mix helps Linux, and the Open Software community of which it is part, win acceptance by helping non-geeks think a little further outside their envelope of comfort, then I personally support it. We shouldn't shy away from VB because it is a buggy, slow, obese language. Rather, let us, the Open Software community, embrace VB and turn a disadvantage into an advantage. Who knows, in the process we might be able to help VB cross the street to become a better product. Or maybe, simply help users find a less painful way to lose it.
The Open Software community with its flagship product Linux has gained a great deal of recognition in the market place. It still has some way to go before the market will think of it first. Within limits, anything which gets us closer to first is probably worth working on.