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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

    1361 comments

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      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        im not a programmer if i write a line with .net .i'll goto delphi if i ihad too but a line with stupid .net

      • ShaggyShaggy commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Sten2005: I am focusing on Tiobe because it is being misused. I've tried hard to make no comment on any of the other issues brought up by people here, though I do have opinions about them. I feel that there are people who have good reasons and people who have bad reasons. I have nothing but an opinion, and don't see any point in talking about it. My sole point in this discussion has been that the (Visual) Basic category in the Tiobe rankings is being mis-represented if it is considered a surrogate for VB6. That is not what the category indicates. The reporter should have taken the time to ask Tiobe for that if they had any doubt, but instead they stated that the (Visual) Basic category WAS VB6.

        Argue as you will over the merits and fate of VB6, I only object (here) to the mis-use of the evidence.

      • anonymousanonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I am not concentrating on the TIOBE index. I am concentrating on my CUSTOMER. So many posts here and otherwise are clear on this change request being customer driven.

        Sometimes I wonder if any of the negative posts might be sourced from MS to make noise.

      • mlml commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @SuperDre
        I know. But today, Microsoft's technical line is now complete chaos, MS only want to abandon all burden to goto Cloud.

        MS will not bring back vb6, they lack the capacity and resources to do this, and MS has not interest to do it now. Only we developers who use vb6 has this interest and motion to do this.

        So I want MS can open source it, i think someone can improve vb6 or do something. if MS open source vb6, at least there is hope and look forward, othersewise we only to waste years to rewrite all our old projects and get nothing or complaint from our client.

      • SuperDreSuperDre commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @ml: There is an opensource version of Silverlight called moonlight which was supported by Microsoft, but those developers choose to stop working on it and went on to create a commercial mono based framework, so how's that for opensource being better?
        Yes, it would be nice if it was opensourced but opensource doesn't mean it's actually usefull for commercial use, yes, it's nice you can fix some bugs you are annoyed with, but one problem with opensource IMHO is forking.. See how many different forks there are of some applications and how incompatible those forks are with each other.. And in regard to IDE's, just see what happened to Eclipse, there are so many incarnations/versions and for a lot of 'languages' you'll need a specific version because the newer ones won't work correctly with it..

        I do hope MS will consider reincorporating VB classic into the latest visual studio (as some people are already trying to create a 'plugin' for it)..

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Sten2005: I don't know about you but the other vb6 fanatics are the ones concentrating on the Tiobex index, not Shaggy.

      • Sten2005Sten2005 commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @shaggy

        By concentrating on the Tiobe index, you seem to be missing the bigger picture. That those of us who use VB6 programming require it to be returned, updated or open sourced.
        That all users of Microsoft development tools require assurance that their investment will not be destroyed by Microsoft.

        'Returned' is the minimum requirement - it is difficult to buy VB6 now, Microsoft only supply it via a MSDN subscription, otherwise you have to buy it through eBay or similar - often at a premium price. They should at least make it possible to buy VB6 again.
        'Updated' - it would be best for Microsoft to update VB6 (with the same changes they have already done in VBA). They had a chance to do this as a response to this UserVoice call but declined this chance by claiming it is 'not possible'.
        'Open Sourced' - a third option would be to open source VB6 - Microsoft again missed a chance to make right their wrong by stating (without giving reasons) that it is 'not feasible' to open source the VB6 programming language.

        The forced removal of VB6 by Microsoft was never just. It's effect was to destroy the investment of Microsoft's customers. And it was, commercially, a stupid decision - who having seen this would invest in further Microsoft products ?

        You have to doubt the competence of Microsoft's middle management. In declining this UserVoice call, Paul Yuknewicz still believes those VB6 developers who haven't moved to other Microsoft products in the last 12 years will now "incrementally move forward to .NET".
        Is this naivety , or is he just out of touch ?

        Now, with layoffs among middle management, Satya Nadella has yet another chance to make this right. Will he take it ?
        Satya Nadella deleted the open letter calling for a return of VB6 I posted on his Facebook page, without replying to it. But just like Microsoft have had several opportunities to bring back VB6, their CEO will have several chances to reply to the open letter.

        The article http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240224504/Developers-call-for-Microsoft-to-bring-back-Visual-Basic again highlights the call to bring back the VB6 programming language.

        >> Commenting on the Computer Weekly article, one reader, Sten2005, wrote: "Perhaps when that happens, Satya Nadella may reconsider the middle management decision not to either update or open source the VB6 programming language."

        >> In a Facebook message to Nadella, that was reproduced on the Visual Basic 6.0 Superior Code Awards (2014-2015) website, Sten2005 described the decision by Yuknewicz as "shameful". He also said developers could no longer trust Microsoft: "You clearly will drop any development tools with no regard for the developers who have invested in them."

      • mlml commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I think (Visual) Basic category in Tiobe include all basic languages, include vb.net and vb6 and other basic.

        Today seldom new projects will use vb6, vb6 main for maintain old project, So bring back vb6 or open source vb6 will not threate the. NET.

        But if Microsoft force us developers to rewrite vb6(mfc, silverlight and so on), many of us will not use .net or other microsoft's technology again, we will use java/php/go..., and will not develop only for windows platform, i think this is unfavorable to Microsoft.

        So at least Microsoft should open source vb6(silverlight and other technology that microsoft discard it).

      • Winston potgieterWinston potgieter commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @shaggy I do agree the basis of the article is the TIOBE data. Let look at this rationally. Lets say vb6 is not the only BASIC it's referring to. Well, what else could it mean? powerbasic, xojo, jabaco,freebasic,darkbasic? we will know soon, but if you look at the ALEXA ranking of all those others they are VERY LOW. We have heard someone who spoke with TIOBE say that up to 10% may be vb.net.. cool. I think all the others combined may be another 10%, so the VB6 number would be 20% lower, that is my guess, we will see. And again even if it is lower that does not change the fact that I have years of code I need to evolve and maintain.

        As a PS:
        We will soon create a forum to discuss a crowd funding project to create a replacement for vb6. Several options have come up and each one needs to be discussed in the community to chose the one we will pick for the crowdfunding project.

      • ShaggyShaggy commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Oooh, another example of excellent reporting. It would have taken that writer one brief email to Tiobe to find out that the (Visual) Basic category is not actually VB6. The folks at Tiobe aren't shy about stating that, but the reporter didn't bother taking the time.

        I do expect that the problem will be at least partially remedied by the separation of VB6 out into its own category. Perhaps then the Tiobe index will be abused a little less.

      • anonymousanonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        >> why does MS still support unmanaged C++... That's all we're asking for, unmanaged VB...

        Why in the world would anyone not want to do this for VB6? Is that really so much to ask for?

        It is NOT just a few disgruntled and lazy VB6 developers asking for this. There are thousands of us and thousands of applications that need supporting that the CUSTOMERS dont want to pay $$$ for migrating perfectly good working applications to something else.

        Can you imagine imagine if it was announced C will no longer be supported! We are not talking about the Eniac here. We are talking about a language (like VB6) that is currently integral to world mission critical applications.

        Can a company be SO focused on new stuff (tablets, phones...) that they leave their base high and dry?

        Come on Microsoft - listen to the us!

      • SuperDreSuperDre commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @verelpode: I can't believe you're such a dimwit not to understand the need for extended support of VB6.. VB.NET might be superior in some ways, but there is one thing it just doesn't do, load/compile VB6 applications.. And if C# (which is the VB.NET equivelant for C) is 'superior', why does MS still support unmanaged C++... That's all we're asking for, unmanaged VB...

        And for VB.NET actually being superior is something we can disagree about, as to me a language is more superior if it can run the million lines of code I've already done and my customers are very happy about.. It's not about VB.NET being superior, it's about applications which are already out there still being able to be extended with support for the latest windows..

        Why would we need to rewrite million lines of code just because some moron thinks it's hip to use the cumbersome .NET framework (and let's not forget, most developers here who want a new VB6 already use different languages for different projects)..

        And back in the days of the first release of .NET microsoft did already have a VB7 which as good as feature ready (which means it only needed to be tested thoroughly), but they halted development on that as they wanted to push .NET as the new framework which would run everything... but even MS still doesn't use .NET for a lot of big applications...

        And let's not forget, look at wheels, they are old technology, but it's still getting us for centuries where we need to go............. So old technology doesn't mean bad technology, we (as VB6 developers) didn't ask for .NET as what we are using is still running solid and fast...

      • Sten2005Sten2005 commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @verelpode
        Just because you don't see the need for the return of an updated or open sourced VB6 programming language doesn't mean there isn't a need. Microsoft only guarantee VB6 support until 'at least' 2024, VB6 applications will continue in use well beyond that time.

        Note that this call does not mention VB.Net. It is you making it into "a debate regarding VB6 versus VB.NET". A debate that you say you "would steadfastly refuse to enter into ".

      • verelpodeverelpode commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I really cannot believe that this VB6 request got so many votes. I think someone must have wasted a lot of time writing a special script to submit fake votes. Otherwise, I just can't believe that so many people would truly want such a ridiculous thing. It's obvious that VB.NET is far, far superior to the old VB. Likewise ASP.NET is obviously far superior to the old original ASP.

        I would steadfastly refuse to enter into the details of a debate regarding VB6 versus VB.NET (or classic ASP versus ASP.NET) because it is just such a ridiculous debate.

        What Microsoft has done with .NET is a FANTASTIC achievement and we should not waste any more time on old technology that is clearly and indisputedly obsolete.

      • Fabel58Fabel58 commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Microsoft're wrong! This is the biggest mistake like windows Me and Windows Vista. A company, when it recognizes its mistakes, improves. Back to your steps!

      • Jdogg13Jdogg13 commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        While you are at it bring back Windows 98, MSN Dial-up Internet Service, Microsoft Bob, Dot-Matrix printers, 8-track tapes, and the bee-hive hairdo. Thanks!

      • azerazer commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Microsoft to discontinue Nokia Asha and S40 feature phones
        * As part of its layoffs of 18,000 people, announced on July 17, Microsoft is cutting 12,500 of those it acquired as part of its deal to buy Nokia's handset and services division.
        * all "Mobile Phones" (non Windows Phone) services and "enablers" are moving into maintenance mode immediately. That means no new features or updates to Asha, S40 or Nokia X Android phones or app-development programs for those phones as they are phased out over the next 18 months.

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