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
VB6 Fire commented
You have not even read the comments, this is a mockery to us all !!! Are you so afraid that this idea reaches 20000 votes too fast?!
You do not see that all of your "modern" technology is worthless?! We, the VB6 programmers replicate with ease your tech all the time, see the open source codes that apear daily !
In April Satya Nadella said at Build 2014 "It's crazy to abandon what you built and crazy to not let what you build work on other platforms".
So now we are told to abandon what we built. That's crazy.
I wonder if Microsoft actually believe this statement will stop the campaign for an updated version of the VB6 programming language ?
All it has done is make Microsoft even less trusted than they were. Developers worldwide have and will continue to request VB6 to be updated or open sourced.
The abandonment of the VB6 programming language has always been a question of trust.
Clearly we now have to look for a replacement.
Clearly, also, that replacement cannot be from Microsoft - they simply can't be trusted.
Who would consider moving to, say, VB.Net knowing Microsoft could abandon it next week.
I never will learn another technology from MS again.
I see there is no explanation of why it is "not feasible" to open source VB6
Karl E. Peterson commented
Paul, in a word, that's ****. Clearly a 64-bit version is possible, as you've already demonstrated with Office. Which, just as clearly, is why you feel it's untenable to release it as OSS. After 15 years, is it really still impossible for Microsoft to present an *honest* answer to their customers?
No I don't think you listened (again) Arrogance has been MS's Achilles heel on several occasions. Vista, the Metro (Win 8 debacle) and the decision to Kill VB 6 and tell developers that it for their own good (no matter how many man-years are required t port their applications). In all situations beta users told MS that there were MAJOR problems, but MS kept the blinders on wasted several year promoting the un-defensible; change for the sake of change just won't be tolerated by educated users Same goes for VB6 it was and is a better language than VB.NET, that's why it is still being used by so many developers, still the fifth most popular language in use today. Their decision on VB6 support is again Arrogant, their decision to not let the VB6 community pursue it's own enhancements through open source is both childish and stubborn. MS says they don't expect us to throw away our code, but that is exactly what they expect us to do; what has NEVER made business sense was killing off VB6 off, is it is the best programming languages MS has developed, period. And why can't the VB6 IDE continue to install/function properly under Win 7/8....poor decisions thought to force developers migrate, no real technical issues that could not have been overcome with the brilliant minds that MS has doing development (vs the mgt delusions to hobble it's VB6 developers),
check Basic4android which allows you to make Android App using VB like language. i am using it for over 1 yr now. and it is fantastic. the creator of B4A also released a Basic4Java which is a VB like IDE but ouputs Java, so our App can run on cross platform.
Lets just put it this way... vb.net aint the language basic. Suddenly it was .net all over. And still it is. It does not make better or faster programs. It does not make easier to use programs. Toolkit come and goes. What Gui framework? One thing in common: all needlessly complex and syntax hungry. Xml? Really? Why do we have json? Because xml is a overengineered piece of garbage... Its just not practical and certainly not human readable. I really still like the concept of vb6. Lean and mean. Can be used next to c if one wants. How is it possible that ms neglected and ignored such a massive company success? Who decided to put it in the wastebasket and came up with .net? Get some common sense... Btw dont get me started on powershell. You want that complex non forgiving piece to replace the cmd and vbscript engine? Wooo you really lost it. Just as .net it is pushed hard... Damn get your act together ms.
For those looking for an alternative, check out www.xerocoder.com. It is not refined yet, but will let you code in BASIC, C++, JAVA, or PASCAL and is cross platform. They are promising a VB6 importer soon, So go to their website and let them know you want it.
Richard Gump commented
As the old saying goes "Remember who brought you to the dance."
MS has forgotten that. If their hot shot programmers can write .Net, they should be able to handle writing an up graded VB6.
Biggest problem is MS feels they can do no wrong. I took a had look at VB.Net. Like others have said, it is big, fat and hard to work with compared to VB6. MS forgets that most of the businesses we write programs for are very small businesses, and they don't want to pay for the extra time it takes to develop in .Net.
I have found that I can make Access act like VB6 and produce some pretty nice programs. Also, there is one set of programs MS won't mess with and that is MS Office. They know with Office people can move to OpenOffice for FREE and read and write the MS formats.
Personally, I am converting some things to Access. Also, I am looking at PowerBasic. It creates very small EXE files and doesn't need runtimes. There is a product called FireFly that is similar to VB6 IDE and works with PowerBasic. For using ODBC drivers with this, there is a product called SQL Tools from Perfect Sync. Then SQL Tools can connect to any ODBC driver.
So, if you don' want to leave Windows, here is one solution, and I am sure there are many others.
MS needs to remember that when a customer becomes unhappy with the products offered, it gives the customer a reason to look around.
Just my two cents worth, not that they care.
If it was so hard to keep old technologies then why was Visual Foxpro kept around another 9 years after VB6 was abandoned?
The simple fact of the matter is MS was hoping the loyal VB6 developers would just blindly follow MS's commands and jump blindly into the total **** that is .NET. Instead what they did is **** off their loyal developers and lost a very large percentage of them to other non MS languages.
To this day .NET has less features than VB6, is slow and bloated and has about 10x distribution size compared to VB6.
It seems clear that hundreds of thousands of developers pleading to Microsoft are going to be ignored, meanwhile MS just keeps losing market share in virtually all markets they are in and they wonder why. If you could have programmed a Windows phone with VB6 with Windows Phone came out Microsoft would own the mobile market now, instead they just keep losing share and keep wondering why.
I would like it if he had expanded on why it isn't feasible to open source vb6
SAD DAY!!! But could also be looked at as a push to move away from MS and embrace other multi-platform options.
John Wunderlin commented
Google, Android, iphones, this disgruntled long term windows developer will no longer be doing windows development.
Oh my, come on - make some really small fixes to the IDE and tell us it will be supported as long as there is Win32. Period. Is this too much?
.net is cumbersome and slow. I want c++ equivalent of vb back. thx.
You're a mere babe. I'm 77 and I recon if I had to convert all my currently active software to fit in with Microsofts plans I wouldn't develop anything else before I die. Moreover it's unlikely that I would complete the conversion task in the timescale alloted to me.
However in the unlikely scenario that it did start on such a mammoth task there is no doubt that I would do it with with a non-MS product that will run under a variey of OSs. We just can't rely on them making everything we've worked on extinct to suit their purposes!
MS seem to have lost the plot. If they're not careful Google with Android and their other products are going to do to them what MS did to IBM with MSDos and subsequently Windows. Come on Bill Gates, get back to basics like you were once so brilliant at or it'll be too late
Ray Erasmus commented
From GWBASIC through VB2 to VB6 and with 25 years development (and still developing) I simply can't re-write my code. Yes it runs on Win8 64 bit and anything down to XP. I'm 63 now and don't have the time nor the urge to learn VB.NET, which is not VB at all. Many have tried to jump onto the bandwagon to create something similar to VB6 but all have failed because VB6 is simply the best **** compiler ever made with an absolutely awesome IDE. What we need is VB7. Microsoft, put your pride in your pocket and admit that you have taken the wrong route with VB.NET. You have lost many thousands of potential great developers now using competition OS and compilers due to freaking VB.NET that you pushed onto us. If you release VB7 they will be back. You created a gem then threw it away to create an abortion - in the name of progress. You failed. Fix it, and fix it fast!!!