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
@Thom C. Blackwell
I agree with your comment.
Microsoft no longer appreciate the value of productivity. The concept of RAD seems to have been lost.
>> Legacy systems... http://dilbert.com/strip/2017-02-23
:) :) :)
You are right. Microsoft forgot about productivity when they launched .Net. And since then they have never been big enough to admit to their mistake.
Yet MS still have to support VB6 in Windows 7 and 10 because of user demand.
Thom C. Blackwell commented
"I hope you feel we’ve listened to your feedback"... Respectfully as someone who I believe does a similar job as you...you haven't. The feedback isn't "hey this was great, bring it back". The feedback was "VB6 allows my developers to be incredibly productive - and I do not see the same level of productivity with .NET"... Try this. Take a good VB6 developer and a good .Net developer - not great, good. Give them a business problem to solve and see who finishes first. As a maker of tools, that is the only metric that matters - and I think somewhere down the line... you guys forgot that.
"I had the sinking realization that all of my old code and all of my expertise as a VB programmer was going to be thrown out by Microsoft just because they were afraid of the growing popularity Java (and indirectly Linux and also Google). Instead of letting VB be what had made it so popular they tried to leverage the popularity of the name and developer-base to sell their gamble on a totally new concept."
"I’m sure they sincerely believed that Java would take over if they didn’t sacrifice the Windows-centric API and COM based VB Classic and move as quickly as possible to some amazing miracle product. Now, over a decade later, it is pretty obvious that this was a mistake."
"I already hear rumors that VB.NET will be discontinued because it is similar to (and not as popular as) C#…"
>> Meanwhile VB6 continues and Microsoft refuse to recognize its suitability in the very market it was designed for.
>>"Microsoft no longer address this sector. They think that giving Visual Studio away for free is a substitute for having a quick and simple programming language."
I totally agree. Microsoft have failed with other attempts (such as LightSwitch) at re-entering this market, and have now fallen back on giving away a 'community' edition of the bloated and over-complex Visual Studio. That will fail just like their other attempts.
Meanwhile VB6 continues and Microsoft refuse to recognize its suitability in the very market it was designed for.
The article showing how to extend VB6 programming to UWP https://blogs.windows.com/buildingapps/2017/02/01/adding-uwp-features-existing-pc-software/ follows on from Scott Hanselman's article about converting VB6 apps to UWP.
Putting (my VB6) Windows Apps in the Windows 10 Store - Project Centennial
Whether this is further support from Microsoft for VB6 or whether Microsoft are just getting desperate about the poor take-up of UWP and the Microsoft Store isn't clear. Either way, I'd wait to see some signs of commercial success from the Microsoft Store before committing much time to this.
VB6 Lives commented
Paul, you obviously have a strong opinion, which also happens to be wrong. .Net is a slow monster.
If you really believed in what you say, Open VB 6 code to the open source community, if as you say its a dead language, Microsoft would have nothing to fear.
My guess is that you know if VB6 was update programmers would abandon .net in droves.
Please listen to your customers. They are your job...
No, he doesn't have the experience to be a char wallah.
And Zagor makes the tea.
Zagor Tenay commented
Our company does business in Enterprise composite app design. We charge min 500$US/hr in consultation. Regards.
>>As you are so good at dot Net and so dedicated to helping us, perhaps you'd like to write the VB.Net TC (TransCompiler) for T4? I'm serious.
You are aiming a little high there. But Zagor could copy-and-paste some irrelevant information on to your website for you, I'm sure we would all find that amusing :)
@Zagor, www.vb64.com will address all those concerns. And more!
As you are so good at dot Net and so dedicated to helping us, perhaps you'd like to write the VB.Net TC (TransCompiler) for T4? I'm serious.
Zagor Tenay commented
Dear VB6 Folks
I can see that all your prayers came to fruition. Now you can run your VB6 legacy apps in Windows Store. The irony is that you will be using NET framework that some of you hate so much to use. Seems to me that MS finally managed you to get into NET programming slowly. The better way is of course to use UWP directly, instead of using the old UI of VB6. Using outdated UI won't impress potential customers in a world of modern and flashy applications. Not to mention, if you want to upgrade your apps, you need to use the old and boring IDE of VB6. The best is to start learning NET and convert your apps to UWP. The ones opting to use Windows Store for their VB6 will for sure do that. This will give a whole new incentive for the VB6 users to switch to NET finally. Thanks to MS. It is a great strategy.
@Jake, This is a very good article!
Mario Adorf is a German actor. From him comes the quote: "Ich scheiß dich so was von zu mit meinem Geld, dass du keine ruhige Minute mehr hast." (Google Translator: I **** you like this from with my money that you do not have a quiet minute more.)
Let's spice up the Windows Store with our good VB6 applications, so that the world can see us again.
Microsoft have published an article showing how to add UWP features to VB6 applications and then distribute them using the Windows Store.
Good that Microsoft are showing interest in VB6 programming, but how successful UWP and the Microsoft Store will be remains to be seen.
Sad that Microsoft think that giving away an unsuitable language as a free 'Community Edition' would persuade anyone to take that route.
Do Microsoft no longer have any business sense ?
$1500 is actually very cheap compared to the $300 a month for QT. I know it a big task but the latest Berlin version is amazing..
parallel processing(use of multi core cpu for single tasks), animations, customizable listviews, and much more with a simple ide.
The move to delphi language is going to be painful but I feel that now it may be worth it. It's sad to think that Berlin 10 is what vb6 could have looked like and I cannot imagine the level of success it would have had... but oh well.
BTW, I contacted embarcadero, and they were evaluating a compiler that would compile vb6 code using thier compile engine, but I think the idea got down voted. I should go visit them and ask them in person, they are right up the street from me.
Anyway... I am going to continue training on Berlin 10, and start a 2 week test to see how fast I make progress. I will let you guys know..
Im still just so sad that it is what vb6 could have been if MS did not abandon us :(