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
Despite everything Microsoft try, VB6 programming just won't go away.
>> VB6 had 6.1 million users.
Microsoft's most popular language ever. They have never since matched the popularity of VB6.
>> VB.Net has less than 200,000.
I'm surprised it is that many.
>> That's what happens when you listen to the 3% not the 97%.
One of many Microsoft marketing fails.
Microsoft still have to support VB6 programming on Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016 because it is still in use in many businesses worldwide. They dare not drop it.
The Professional commented
> Then they were surprised when the 97% didn't move to VB.Net.
Then the 97% were surprised when the only language they knew was kicked to the curb and them along with it. Anybody that can't learn object-oriented programming is not going to get hired these days. Do you people really believe that there's a huge demand for VB6 and Microsoft is too stubborn to fill it? Seriously? You actually believe that nonsense?
I suggest you try a dose of reality. VB6 died years ago. Companies are not using it anymore and so there is no meaningful demand to bring it back. If you want to see it come back you'll have to convince all the companies that dropped it to start using it again. Good luck with that!
VB6 had 6.1 million users.
VB.Net has less than 200,000.
That's what happens when you listen to the 3% not the 97%.
@Microsoft, update VB6 programming & VBA programming
>> The 3% wanted VB to be the stupid cousin of C#, that is C# with a vaguely VB syntax.
>> The 97% wanted VB to be updated so that it retained backwards compatibility with VB6.
Microsoft did what the 3% wanted and ignored the 97%. Then they were surprised when the 97% didn't move to VB.Net.
VB6 rules ! Is by far the most RAD I have seen. The new programmers can not even copy VB6, this is how bad and low in performance the programming world is compared with the 90'.
Just take a look at stackoverflow.com to see how low the programming performance (and trend thinking) is in C# or C++ or even Java.
Johnny OL commented
>> They did what needed to be done to try and make a clone.
There have been a few wannabes who tried to make a VB6 clone, but most made the same mistake that Microsoft did - they didn't keep backwards compatibility.
VB.Net was never successful because it wasn't backwards compatible.
That's why Microsoft still support VB6 on Windows 10.
Johnny OL commented
VB.Net has failed. It has few users. That's because there was never any demand for it. What it offers you can do with Java or C#.
VB6 continues because it offers what the others don't - productivity.
Hey this VB6 thing is gonna be around as long as there is a Windows OS. Would not mind having a 64-bit version Mr. Microsoft. Thank you.
Lofaday - 0AV com - new IDE abandoned commented
@Damien Gibson, an interesting POV. I am in category 2.
As someopne who made millions out of VB6, coming from an electronics engineer background (and then assy for drivers), VB6 suited me as it gave a straight forward HMI route. However, despite putting successful degree level programmers on it, VB.Net could not run our requirement as a replacement. Even now, NET is still slow and only used successfully for little programs I hear. The nearest in terms of a RAD tool to go from A to B is processing.org. VB6 was a good tool. It was withdrawn and nothing replaced it. End of.
So why did you, like so many, see the need to insult people with your wrong assertions VB6 is s*** and for beginners?
Which brings me to my 2nd point. You know how Elon Musk offered, FOC, a submaribne to rescue the cave boys in Thailand? How he was roundly insulted and verbally assaulted for trying to help (accused of taking advantage of the situation to promote himself blah blah)?
Well, the exact same thing happenned to me, so I withdrew the clone 0AV.com offer of "trying to help" and they can go sit and swivel. All I asked for in return was positivity with some promotional potential. Well... They (vbforums crowd) came at me like an enraged herd of wilderbeast with nothing but bile, cynicism and criticism.
So I salute Microsoft as they obviously knew the only way to stear clear of the aging biggots is change and dissasociation. Pity I didn't have a Harvard degree or perhaps I'd have known too. It was also a timely reminder that "do something that matters so you can be recognized as someone great" (to quote you) only ends with exploitation and abuse.
And that's why there is no clone except, perhaps, XOJO, who indeed stayed away from appeasing the embittered and embraced change.
@damien paints a false picture. Most people that still use it do so because they enjoy it and find that it still does everything they need. It also does it without the bloat of other options. Obviously it still serves a purpose, is enjoyed, and is useful to many. It’s perfectly fine that not everyone gets it.
>> Maybe you could argue that it was reasonable for Microsoft to develop C#, but they really lost the plot with VB.NET.
>> You would have thought Microsoft would have had someone intelligent enough to point out that there was no potential market for VB.NET. Apparently not. C# or Java users didn't want it, and VB6 users didn't either.
It was said at the time that VB6 would outlast VB.Net. It looks like it is happening now.
>> C# has never been able to successfully compete with Java and VB.Net was never able to successfully attract VB6 developers.
So true, they are both declining.
Now there are less than 200,000 VB.Net users Microsoft should admit that VB.Net has failed and bring back the VB6 programming language.
Damien Gibson commented
Everyone here bickering needs to look at the obvious elephant in the room. People who are actually good with programming, loved vb6, and know what the heck they are talking about fit in to 1 of 2 categories.
1) They moved onto another language permanently because they had to use something else and just became more accustomed to a non vb language.
2) They did what needed to be done to try and make a clone.
The problem is, all the people familiar with the language who have been successful at making 'some' kind of clone came into some severe issues. Either you have an accurate remake that is just as limited as the original VB6 (Thereby what is the point of the clone) Or upon trying to expand on it to either multi-platform or modern architecture had to significantly change the language in some way to even make it a stable language.
If you release a 'Modern" vb6 or logical vb7, then without the significant changes to the language as a whole the language is very 'hacky' to say the least.
What does this come down to? Ultimately the fact that something like vb.net would have had to been done in order to even keep vb in the modern language era. It has to change on many levels to accommodate modern machines. Just look at some of the features that VB6 already "Supported" which ALREADY did not even work right.
The real issue here is that VB6 was ****, but it was a lot of peoples starter language and made them feel good about themselves and instead of learning to be great programmers, they stay playing with a relic that can only amount to a toy and complain about the language not existing as they seen it in their fantasies.
With that I would like to leave you all with some advice...
Stop complaining, find a real programming language, and do something that matters so you can be recognized as someone great. The tech industry as well as microsoft themselves are not obligated to hand you anything or bend over your knee and take it every time you don't get your way. VB.Net is perfectly fine for people who ACTUALLY know anything about .net in general and don't just parrot the criticism of the children fighting over "who's the best".
M. Webb commented
The VB6 installer wizard allows you to install the VB6 programming IDE, MSDN library and SP6 under Windows 10/8/7/Vista/2000, 32 bit / 64 bit, any edition (Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate, Enteprise).
M. Webb commented
The VB6 installer wizard has now been tested on Windows 10 v1803
Hey VB6 is simple, powerful and elegant. Also one other attribute...fun! All that in a dev system that can create widgets to full scale enterprise solutions.
You could always use C\C++ and now C# and Java.
OK Microsoft you kinda drank your own koolaide and it ended up be trihalamethane. Revive VB6 for 64-bit and we will forgive you.
> VB.Net has never been popular, with only 10% of the users C# has.
Microsoft used to claim C# and VB.Not had about the same number of users. Now at last they tell us than VB.Not didn't have many users.
It's all about trust. Microsoft threw that away years ago.