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:
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.
Group Program Manager
Microsoft Visual Studio Cloud Tools
>> Top 10 languages for Enterprise Application Development.
Python ............ 25%
Visual Basic 6 ..16%
Just what we all know! VB is more used than C#.
"Microsoft is committed to support existing Visual Basic 6.0 applications that run on Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 including R2, Windows 7, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016, Windows 8.x, and Windows 10."
These life-extenders should drive VB6 detractors barking mad.
Like Ol’ Man River, VB6 just keeps rollin’ along.
Another decade of driving the puritans crazy.
>> VB6 users aren't attempting to deny users of other languages the right to use their favorite languages. Everyone should be able to use the language they choose.
This is simply the sign of a professional. Only one that does have meaningful responsibilities (family, mortgage, car payments...) would ever persistently criticize how someone chooses to make a living.
We want VB6 Programming commented
Confirmation of what every VB6 user knows...
We want VB6 Programming commented
> But you can continue to use the failing C#, somebody has to.
That is very much the point of this thread.
VB6 users aren't attempting to deny users of other languages the right to use their favorite languages.
Everyone should be able to use the language they choose.
But others (usually users of the failing VB.Net or C#) post here telling us we shouldn't use the VB6 programming language.
>> can you believe this! 15 years after support was discontinued..
VB6 is still Microsoft's most successful programming language ever, nothing else Microsoft developed ever came close.
An epic Microsoft fail, trying to abandon their most popular ever language against the opposition of its users.
One often overlooked Microsoft failure is the VBScript programming language. (You can consider VBScript to be a 'cut-down' variant of VB6).
Guess which language became successful.
>> You can only wonder what the story would have been had Microsoft offered C# (a fine language, despite its detractors) together with an updated VB6 language (instead of VB.Net).
That was what VB6 users demanded at the time. Microsoft just ignored them.
>> I suggest there would have been even more C# users than their are today (Microsoft wouldn't have gained its reputation for abandoning developers. Once you lose trust, it is hard to regain it).
Yes, many VB6 users considering adopting a further language decided that language would never again be a Microsoft language.
>> Even more importantly Microsoft would have retained the bulk of its VB6 developers who would have been able to move their legacy software forward to an updated VB6.
Obviously that is correct, few moved to VB.Net, many remained with VB6. A genuine VB6 update would have retained virtually all VB6 developers.
>> The 3% would largely have gone to C#, the 97% would largely have gone to the updated VB6. Few would have been lost to non-Microsoft languages.
Yes, the few arguing against a VB6 update would have likely chosen either C# or an updated VB6.
>> It was yet another Microsoft marketing fail, losing millions of customers and losing trust.
Among many marketing fails, this one stands out because it ended Microsoft's dominant role in software development tools.
I for one will not use .NET. A combination of VC and VB6 does everything I can dream of. If vb6 ever does not work my time with Windows and any Microsoft products is simply finished right then and there.
The bulk of VB6 programming was never going to be rewritten in a new language, whether VB.Net or any other language.
By not offering an upgrade path for VB6 Microsoft condemned VB.Net (and by extension C#) to failure. No one could trust Microsoft again.
No one wanted VB.Net, C# was just a clone of Java. And no one trusted Microsoft not to abandon them.
VB.Net and C# never stood a chance of achieving their potential. And Microsoft never again dominated software development.
Another reason VB6 programming remains popular is as Microsoft say "Microsoft is committed to support existing Visual Basic 6.0 applications that run on Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 including R2, Windows 7, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016, Windows 8.x, and Windows 10
One of the reasons VB6 programming remains popular is as Dan Appleman said 'I think it’s pretty clear that anyone who has thousands of lines of code invested in VB6 is probably not going to invest in porting. It simply isn’t worth it - pure cost, and probably no improved performance.'
> Many consider VB6 unsurpassed for Windows desktop development...
"Does that include all the companies that dumped it for Java? Or the ones that dumped it for .Net? If you add them together that's everybody."
It seems you forgot to tell all the companies that they should have dumped VB6 programming for .Net.
The table below shows that VB6 is still a top 10 language for Enterprise Application Development.
But you can continue to use the failing C#, somebody has to.
It is inherent that VB6 will be operational with any Windows PC client or server OS. MS embrace your heritage! You created something relatively timeless. Embrace that! It is not an error. Embrace it by doing the minimal investment for your development community. Make it 64-bit and\or built into every Windows OS install.
VB6 Programming commented
Top 10 languages for Enterprise Application Development.
Visual Basic 6 ..16%
VB6 Programming commented
VB.Net is only 1 % point ahead of VB6 at 17%. Though, as you say, it is surprising that it scores so highly.
C# has 26%. Interesting that VB6 and VBA together are more used than C#.
Microsoft must be pleased to have 4 languages in the top 10 - C#, VB.Net, VB6 and VBA.