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Bring back Classic Visual Basic, an improved version of VB6

The silent majority of VB6 users did not ask for changes that came with .NET

We request Microsoft brings back classic Visual Basic as COM development is back with Windows 8.

David Platt wrote an excellent article about why classic VB still thrives:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/jj133828.aspx

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    Anonymous shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    MeredithMeredith shared a merged idea: Make VB6 Free  ·   · 
    Mike PaulickMike Paulick shared a merged idea: Bring back VB6. I have no interest in .net. VB6 is better for me.  ·   · 
    David KayeDavid Kaye shared a merged idea: Bring back VB 6.0! It's an extremely handy language used on tons of business apps.  ·   · 
    Adam SpeightAdam Speight shared a merged idea: Don't do a Classic VB (VB6). Open Source the VB6 compiler source code.  ·   · 
    VB6 FireVB6 Fire shared a merged idea: Bring back our un-killable cockroach, is ours !  ·   · 
    I_A_WI_A_W shared a merged idea: Visual Basic 6.0: A giant more powerful than ever  ·   · 
    Anonymous shared a merged idea: Open Source VB 6  ·   · 
    declined  ·  Visual Studio TeamAdminVisual Studio Team (Product Team, Microsoft) responded  · 

    We have read all of the comments on this thread and I’d like to thank you for providing your constructive feedback on this issue. Instead of merely repeating our support and migration guidance that has been laid out on http://msdn.com/vbrun, I’d like to address some of your specific comments here.

    To play back the feedback themes we’re hearing:
    - VB6 is awesome
    - VB6 needs to be brought forward and maintained: in a new release or OSS

    VB6 was and still is without a doubt awesome. VB6 made developers incredibly productive building a breadth of applications and as a result we have a wealth of applications and passionate developers to this day in 2014. One way I see our mission in developer tools is to empower developers to solve problems. This includes both today’s problems AND the problems of tomorrow. VB6, as you all have stated repeatedly in this thread, is an excellent tool for solving the problems of its day. We also stand behind our decision starting in 2002 to meet the current demands of our developers and the industry with .NET. For the scenarios VB6 set out to do, we see VB6 being “complete”. We feel good about VB6 being able to continue maintaining their applications for the past 15 years. Current needs ranging from distributed applications and services, to web applications and services, to devices, to new architectures and languages, required fundamental changes to the whole stack. We looked at how we could accommodate these needs through incremental changes to VB6 while maintaining its essence, and that was not possible.

    To address the modern needs we would need to go far beyond updating the language. We have to remember that VB6 is not just a language. VB6 is a language, a runtime, a platform library, a tool/IDE, and an ecosystem tightly packaged together in a way that made all of them work well together. We’ve worked with many customers on migration from VB6 to .NET and found that while yes, there are language changes, the dominating factor in migration difficulties isn’t the language differences. Even open sourcing the language/runtime wouldn’t solve the fact that VB6 was thought for a different set of problems, and the fact that its strength came from the end-to-end solution provided by all these five pieces working together. Take a change like 64bit, the complete runtime, tools and ecosystem chain would need to be retooled.

    So, moving forward what can we do? Where we have been able to help move forward is in our stance around support and interoperability. The VB6 runtime it is still a component of the Windows operating system and is a component shipped in Windows 8.1. It will be supported at least through 2024. This ensures your apps and components continue to run as you incrementally move forward to .NET. The support policy is here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/vstudio/ms788708. There are numerous interop strategies that we developed and evolved to enable incremental migration as you upgrade your skills, described here: http://msdn.com/vbrun.

    In summary, VB6 was awesome. We agree. We don’t expect or demand anyone to throw away their code or rewrite from any of our technologies unless it makes business sense for them to do so. We have to innovate to enable our customers to innovate. It is not a viable option to create a next version of VB6. We stand by our decision to make VB.NET and the .NET Framework. We think they are awesome too. It is not feasible to open source VB6 tools chain and ecosystem. The VB6 runtime was last shipped in Windows 8.1 and will be supported for the lifetime of Windows 8.1. Support and interop are great tools to move forward incrementally.

    I hope you feel we’ve listened to your feedback and that I’ve explained things well enough that you understand our decision.

    Paul Yuknewicz
    Group Program Manager
    Microsoft Visual Studio Cloud Tools

    1521 comments

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      • martin rizalmartin rizal commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        When Windows 9 is dropping 32-bit and dropping WOW64. It kills millions of applications. However there is a solution for that.

        WINE is program that translates Windows API functions to Linux/Unix API functions. It is shim that makes a windows program worked on Non-Windows OS. It has an ability to imitate different windows versions and also has an ability to run from 16-bit to 32-bit applications.

        There is a project where the WINE can be installed to Windows. This is called Wine on Windows (WoW). This principle is the same as the original WINE. However instead of translating to Non-WIndows OS API, it translates the old API or 16/32-bit function to the recent Windows API or 64-bit API functions. This allows the Windows 9 to run legacy applications if the WOW64 is dropped.

        This is the best alternative to WOW64 if it is dropped from Windows 9.

        This project must be refined very well.

        more details: http://wiki.winehq.org/WineOnWindows

      • SuperDreSuperDre commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        c2.exe won't work, the VB6 runtime itself is a 32bit dll.. But there are ways to not use the VBruntime (I've seen some on the internet), and then it might be possible.. But if it's stable is another matter..

      • Daniel J LinnDaniel J Linn commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        by stopping support on vb6 it now lives forever. if still supported they would have created a bloated three headed monster in time to come. .net 1 and 2 dead.. vb6 will live past .net 4, 5 and 6. if .net is not dead already.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        While VB.NET is a nice (and better) language than VB6 in many ways, it is not nearly as approchable as VB6 is/was for first-time and part-time coders, and is designed for corporate development/collaborative teams — and is not the tool of choice for one-man shops, not to mention the huge framework, lack of real protection for intellectual property, and deployment headaches.

        Bu I think, if you want to code in OO, why not just use C# – its cleaner and more polished of a language. Did they really need to kill VB6 — I guess that’s the only way to get people to upgrade to VB.net, since VB6 is still ‘good enough’ for just about anything, and there are hundreds of millions of lines of code written in it, and is perhaps the most widely Internet-Community-Supported software that ever lived.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @martin rizal

        You can create more stable and reliable code with .NET than VB6.

      • martin rizalmartin rizal commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Anonymous commented · September 25, 2014 07:16 · Flag as inappropriate

        950 thousand lines converted to NET in 9 months. Not bad at all. Here some people were complaining to convert 100 thousand lines of code, which would last only 1 month. So why do they complain then? I guess it is only laziness.

        ---It is not the laziness of a developer. Its all about stability and realibility of a software. Think of this NASA was not changed their techonologies for the past 30-40 years. Because their techonology that they developed is reliable and stable. Changing their techonology is very critical because in can cause the loss of lives of astronauts. This is same on changing the platform, you write a reliable and stable software for critical mission. Rewriting an app from one platform to other platform is very prone to bugs and errors that can cause service downtime to business firm and affects the productivity of a firm.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        950 thousand lines converted to NET in 9 months. Not bad at all. Here some people were complaining to convert 100 thousand lines of code, which would last only 1 month. So why do they complain then? I guess it is only laziness.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        So it took them 750,000 euros to open source their software.. FUNNY. And if that is a case study I assume MS chose the best one they could find, not too impressive.

      • Sten2005 - vote for VB6 programmingSten2005 - vote for VB6 programming commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Anonymous

        >> "Why the folks here don't convert your VB6 code to .NET. I believe it is not that difficult. "

        Here is a case study put forward by Microsoft to encourage conversion of VB6 programming to dotNet:-

        http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/Case_Study_Detail.aspx?casestudyid=4000006181

        These people had 950,000 lines of VB6 code. It took 3 programmers 9 months to migrate at a cost of 750,000 euros (about $1 million US).

      • KontexKontex commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Sorry wrong language, here again

        @Anonymous Commented · September 24, 2014 8:00 PM

        I think you have no idea what are you writing. The Migration Wizard you can forget it. And about 1.5 million code and 3000 Forms are not just a few months to implement. It takes years!. I did not necessarily have anything against VB.NET but first bring a functioning migration Assitenten makes 95% of conversion. Then we'll see.

      • KontexKontex commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Anonymous commented · September 24, 2014 8:00 PM

        Ich glaube du hast keine Ahnung was du da schreibst. Den Migrations-Assistent kannst du vergessen. Und ca. 1.500.000 Code und 3.000 Forms sind nicht einfach ein ein paar Monaten umzusetzen. Das dauert Jahre !. Ich hab nicht unbedingt etwas gegen VB.NET aber bring erstmal einen funktionierenden Migrations-Assitenten der 95% der Umstellung macht. Dann sehen wir weiter.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Hi, Anonymous:
        There are technical factors beyond plain conversion. Some systems are designed to be extensible: mine uses VBScript and user developed DLLs. VBScript variants are compatible with VB6 variants, but not with VFred variants. So, most of the scripts -that have been developed by customers of whose existence I am not even aware- might be broken. And the DLLs, well, they are VB6 COM DLLs, and there is no warranty that they will behave properly hosted in a system built with a different technology.
        And although MS seems to believe that they can break their customers' code whenever they want, I just can't.
        Then, there is the subject of TRUST.
        There is no way that I will wever adopt another Microsoft development tool: the possibility that they decide to repeat the VB6 episode is way too scary.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Why the folks here don't convert your VB6 code to .NET. I believe it is not that difficult. With improvements in the .NET Framework the speed issue ok too. With Microsoft aid tools and guides converting code should not be a big problem,I think.I heard that people converted 100+ LOB code in a matter of months now. Regards.

      • Hermann WeberHermann Weber commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I would suggest improving the contro's and form's RTL language feature. This is the only feature that made me use .NET. However, I / we can not migrate so quickly to .NET. We will still need 3-4 years, I think. This "hole" makes Microsoft vulnerable to other other solutions.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Kontex

        Yeah, I was being kind of sarcastic with that second remark. Once your app is sitting on terminal services to isolate it from potential environmental changes, 2024 seems totally possible.

        - Hunter Thompson

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Thanks kontex for supporting my comments. Think about how future situation will be horrible when our current generation who adopting .net technologies will going to dead end. At the age of 60 people will found in training centers to learn new language rather than enjoying life. In country like INDIA whole IT education system get affected as well billions of money for business upgrade. Its seems like a terrorist activity granted by the government. Microsoft need to understand that they built technology which built programmers carrier, there is only one advise wake-up before some one --- you.

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