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    Eugene shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    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

    8408 comments

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      • MichaelE commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        If VB6 was Open Source this would all be moot. VB6 would be the most used app dev system for 64-bit programming as it was for 32-bit. Sure there would still be a need to C and the like but think about that.

        We have all been denied a 64-bit - modern skinned version of the best Windows app dev system on the planet. Achieved by being in the hands of an entity that de-evolved into only seeing the select data points that effect the financials of the next few quarters.

        VB6 was all about vision. MS you lost your vision and tried to mandate a very fixed structure on us.

        You
        Can
        Still
        Fix
        This!

      • kontex commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @jovanyt

        >> VB6 is by far the most powerful language ever created!

        That's how I see it too.
        I have been very successful with VB4 / 5/6 for 22 years, it is still a lot of fun and financially a pleasant life therefore.
        And I am now 60 years old, I will not reprogram my grown applications. I'm not about to retire, it's just too much fun, but if at some point there is no platform for VB6 applications, I just stop working.

      • jovanyt commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @kontex

        It is best for all the tasks. It is no doubt on that. We started to lobby for VB6 in 2014.

        Until 2014, idiots and amateur C++ programmers made the programming bad trend.

        That happen because we, the VB6 programmers did not write anything to tell the world our opinion. Well, now things change in our favor. We are many and pressure is visible !

        Go, go friends !

        VB6 is, by far, the most powerful language ever created !

      • kontex commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I do not understand why VB6 in the opinion of experts should be good only for prototype. Nobody could explain that to me plausibly. What is better if the executable prototype with a "right" programming language is reprogrammed (with a lot of time, the prototype is also "productive")

      • jovanyt commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        TIOBE Index is a lair ! Classic Visual Basic (VB6, VBA) is everywhere ! in every big company there are high volumes of code !

        This people from TIOBE don't understand how used realy Visual Basic 6.0 and VBA are (the same sintax).

      • Joan commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I recommend users of VB6 to look at both the B4X programming languages (as Erel describes below) and at the NSBasic programming language (which compiles to JavaScript for web and mobile).

        Both are good products which allow you to use and extend your VB6 programming skills.

      • Erel commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        A word about B4X programming language.
        It is not a VB6 clone.
        Like VB6 it is a RAD tool with the purpose of helping the developer get his job done as easily as possible and with as few as possible restrictions.

        There are four development tools. They are based on the same IDE and on the same B4X language (B4R is a bit different).
        B4J - Desktops, servers and SoC computers (such as Raspberry Pi).
        B4A - Native Android.
        B4i - Native iOS.
        B4R - Arduino and ESP8266 micro-controllers.

        B4J and B4R are completely free.

        B4J has built-in obfuscation features. Like any of the millions .Net and Java applications it can be decompiled. Obfuscation makes it more difficult
        You can create a package that includes an embedded Java runtime to deploy your app without any external dependencies.
        If you interact with your custom hardware with RS232 / serial port then you will be able to do it easily with B4J.

        You are all welcome to try B4J and the other tools. I don't think that there any other RAD tool that covers all these platforms and is not based on web technologies.

        I'm the owner of Anywhere Software

      • Abhishek commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        i had suggested the maker of B4J that he should come up with new tool, Basic4Desktop; by using compliers like FreeBasic or GNU C he can easily compile the output to native exe, so there is no need for java. he rejected my idea. may be if more people should message him.

      • Pete commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Isn't it amazing that 20 years after the final version of Visual Basic was launched (VB6 of course) we are still looking for a product to replace it.

        It looks likely that VB6 will never be replaced, it looks as though it will last as long as Windows.

        I see axisdj needs a Linux and Mac equivalent. We all have different requirements but I don't see that many VB6 developers will have this particular need. And certainly it is difficult to recommend a solution. Perhaps B4J, though I see axisdj has rejected that.

        My own requirements are for Windows, Web and Android. For Windows it looks like VB6 will still be the tool of choice (though I would certainly like an updated VB6), for Web I use NSBasic/JavaScript, for Android I also use NSBasic/JavaScript together with Cordova/PhoneGap to make hybrid Android apps (this also works for iOS, though it isn't a market I'm in).
        NSBasic is a VB6 like language/IDE for developing mobile and web apps.

      • axisdj commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Grant , yes I have that book and am using it as reference. Not 100% sure, but for the most part you can write you programs in a procedural way if you choose.

      • MichaelE commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        axisdj thanks very much for confirming that. You know what, I'm going to download it and learn it with full gusto. If it does what I need I'll not only implement it but write about. :-)

        We can compare notes where appropriate etc..

        Thanks again.

      • axisdj commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Micheal e

        1. Does Lazarus has an IDE comparable to VB6?
        Yes
        2. Does create 64 bit apps?
        Yes and Mac and Linux

        3.Can it connect to Oracle databases?
        Yes

        Only challenge is learning the object pascal language

      • MichaelE commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        axisdj,

        1. Does Lazarus has an IDE comparable to VB6?
        2. Does create 64 bit apps?
        3.Can it connect to Oracle databases?

        Thanks sir.

      • axisdj commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Jaap because B4J complies a Java program there are 2 problems:

        Code security , even obfuscated algorithms can easily be copied or altered
        Hardware interaction: 90% of what I do includes talking to external custom hardware, writin java wrappers for all those libraries takes too much time and effort.

        Currently still exploring Lazarus and so for so good.

      • axisdj commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Wolfgang Wolf, I do as well, but my company needs to move to MAC and Linux. I am re-assessing Lazarus and so far I am finding it might be the solution.

        I really do love the power of VB6, along with vbrichclient I can do anything a QT, .NET or any other framework can do with less dependencies and faster dev time.

      • Wolfgang Wolf commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @MichaelE & @axisdj

        The native binaries of VB are very good in a Windows environment and are supported by all versions of Windows.
        Together with the CodeSmart tools, the VB-IDE is a modern development environment with no limitations.
        Modern GUIs are possible with few and cheap additional tools.
        I create really good applications with it. I do not need anything else!

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