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
Dot net is complicated rubbish, a mistake from square one. Microsoft trashed the best, fastest, easiest way to build forms apps in favor of a complicated, ridiculous system that takes more code, more effort, exposes the code after "compilation," and runs grinding slow to boot. The reason is simple: It takes way less effort to build things with VB6, and dot net is all about selling consultant time, MAXIMIZING the effort and therefore the billing. VB6 was American programmer philosophy: faster, easier, get it done sooner with less bugs. Indian (MS) programmer philosophy is to maximize income, period. A little [true] story: Two Indian programmers spent 6 months writing a "metadata editor" in Swing/Java - it didn't work. Buggy as ****. I rewrote it in two weeks, more features, no bugs - in VB6. Did this prove VB6 is more effective than Java? No! It proves I Am Not A Team Player.
There are Java emulators written in C#, why can't there be an emulator for VB6 in .NET?
And if that emulator were to only support MS controls and such would be of great benefit to developers.
You state regarding VB6:-
"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."
What we have requested is an updated VB6 programming language. That is an updated VB6 for Windows desktop applications. The main requirements would be to maintain compatibility with existing VB6 source code whilst adding 64 bit support. That is to do the same changes that you have already done in VBA7.
You say the 64 bit change would require 'retooling'. But you have already done (much of) this for VBA. And see Olaf Schmidt's post below explaining how this can be done.
If Microsoft cannot do this, then give us the source code and we will.
I fully support Winston Potgieter's call for a conference call with yourself.
Microsoft Message To Developers World: Do not use Microsoft developer tools. You simply cannot trust Microsoft to protect your investment.
Do not use Microsoft developer tools. You simply cannot trust Microsoft to protect your investment.
Mr. Yuknewicz , I think a few of the top responders here should have a conference call with you. I think a dialog here could clarify things on both sides. There are people here, "Olaf" being one of them, that has the expertise and skill to make a new vb6 happen with very little effort. I really think you should re-consider Open Sourcing vb6. It does not take any resources from you, and it will solve many problems. If vb6 is unable and outdated what would be the damage if you open source it. I only see the benefit of more OS sales because of more windows apps.
Dennis Johnson commented
Let's see how fast this request will rise up this time.
>> you speak about the future problems, mobile interfaces, web application, services, new architectures.
Mr. Yuknewicz thank you for responding. Respectfully, we dont need VB6 to fulfill your .Net vision. We just need a 64-bit VB6 IDE\compiler. VB6 meets a particular segments needs. Please understand that fact.
Please release VB6 to the open source community if you cannot deal with it appropriately.
The whole situation is kind of stupid.
A sensible company would have created a small division to support Classic VB and keep it working over time while still making some revenue from it (there is absolutely no doubt that keeping Classic VB in shape would have some cash flowing towards MS).
They do not even have to alter their mainstream plans. Just assign a minimal team to fix/upgrade the tool and that would be all.
As long as several million PCs are running our applications, they will have to support them. Not because they are gracious, but because breaking support would mean breaking compatibility, and loosing several million upgrades.
So we don't have to worry. It is they who should.
But if they don't and prefer to redefine themselves as mice makers and phone sellers, that is their problem.
martin rizal commented
By the way these the Microsoft biggest mistakes:
* Dropping Visual Basic 6.0
* Increasing system requirements
* Removing Start Menu
There is no question why PC industry is falling. Microsoft must blame for this situation.
martin rizal commented
@superdre "open source isn't any better than closed source", Think again. Linux is open source. They are stable kernel and OS. They better and secured than the closed source and it never easily fades. Think of this an M-16 rifle was developed in 1962 until now it is in service. F-15 fighter jet design is still active since 1960's. Because they are effective and successful human creation. Visual Basic is a succesful programming language and Developing Tools for windows. Let it grow and continue to exists.
Dear Mr. Yukneewicz,
I understand your decision, but with all due respect, i think Microsoft have not understand what the comunity of vb 6 developers needs or ask for. You speak about the future problems, mobile interfaces, web application, services, new architectures... needs the modern .NET platform that is awesome, is like going in a spaceship to solve that problems now and in the future. I say, Ok , thats ok, the spaceship is perfect for that, but for DESKTOP applications i think it is not a problem for Microsoft to mantain the vb 6 platform working. With maintain i mean only to upgrade to 64 bits all the microsoft components,activex and IDE and let it work in windows 9,10,11.. We dont ask for new functionality, new versions, new upgrades, we only want that all the functionality that is working now will work in the future, nothing more than that.
- Litle vb 6 support team.
- Investment in the new IDE and activex,com 64bits
Business advantages for microsoft.
- Selling of the new vb 6 IDE and components
- VB6 application ecosystem and comunity capture involve more microsoft windows system selled and tools used like for example the office.
- For the new Desktop APPS User can choice betwen the spaceship .NET and the VB 6, but
finally the comunity will buy both like us, because for modern platforms we use the .NET but for simple lightweight apps and for mantain ancient application we use vb 6.0.
Risk for microsoft if not
- In the year 20XX microsoft say VB6 Game Over, dont work in windows X. The people will invest in ultrafast migration to other development platforms, what reasons will have this people to invest in .NET plataform if the are other alternatives cross-plataform with similar languajes or migration process and free operating system like linux, os chrome, virtualization...
In summary, i think maintain and upgrade vb6 to 64 bits is a great business for microsoft to win the future operating system war with os chrome, linux...
Finally say you that we have a 18 years ERP software (Starting with vb 3) working in more than 2,000 users (and in some PC's with Windows 98!!), 500,000 VB 6 Code Lines and it works perfect thanks to Microsofts well done work, for this we hope in the future microsoft to take good decision with this.
Thanks in advance
Microsoft's Paul Yuknewicz has declined the call for an updated VB6 programming language on the Microsoft UserVoice site:
With some laughable 'technical' reasons why VB6 can't be updated Paul Yuknewicz now has the unenviable distinction of having twice cancelled VB6 - in 2002 with the decision to go for VB.Net and again in 2014 with the decision not to add to VB6 the same features already added to VBA.
Paul Yuknewicz has also stated that it is not 'feasible' to open source VB6.
Even then Paul Yuknewicz has to admit that VB6 will continue to have Microsoft support until 'at least' 2024.
Microsoft has sent a clear message to developers throughout the world "Do not use Microsoft developer tools. You simply cannot trust Microsoft to protect your investment."
VB6 Fire commented
When you see that you have no success with your product out on the market, logic dictates that you go to the market with what is required. Well, VB6 is required! VB .NET is NOT!
Paul wants to stop progress. The same words and the same phrases were spoken in 2002, 2005, 2008 and 2014. VB6 is a symbol and a phenomenon since the very beginning.
Any new software technology has been replicated with VB6 and gets even better, all these are open source ;)
Ok, you heard us.
But you still have no freaking clue.