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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

9540 comments

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  • Leonardo Azpurua commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @ThomasX: I doubt this is the place to hold a such silly argument, so I'll try to be short: frying an egg doesn't make you a cook.

  • ThomasX commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @Leonardo: Using a programming language makes you a programmer. Just like driving a car makes you a driver. There are by definition no programs that are written by non-programmers. Just like there are no cars that are driven by non-drivers.
    So please spare us the nonsense of programming for non-programmers.

  • Leonardo Azpurua commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Richard Collette, LIU:

    If you don't like VB6, don't use it. But there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of individuals and companies that still use it to develop and maintain products from which we still make a profit. All of my income, and the operations of around 1.500 small and mid-sized companies that use my programs for their daily chores, depend on VB6.

    Being a one-man-shop, I can't assign a team with the task to redesign or migrate the applications while another keeps improving on the current version. And being a business system, it has to evolve at a very fast rate; no chance to freeze "current version" while vnext is developed. After 14 years of evolution, my VB6 systems are absolutely robust, extensible and adaptable.

    VB6 is still being used by a large number of programmers and shops. Large enough to justify its revival in business terms.

    They (MS) haven't been able to get rid of VBA. There are companies and individuals who rely on VBA macros written several years ago, who won't upgrade to an office version that breaks them.

    We can't "upgrade" to a version of VB that breaks our applications.
    And there is no way to cleanly migrate VB6 to VB.Net. Also, there is no reason for it.
    VB6 was used to write zillions of ****** applications by non-programmers. But it was also used to write zillions of very solid and well designed applications by very professional programmers.
    And both of us, professional programmers and non-programmers at some point believed in MS and the tools they sold us. It would be unforgivable that tey let us down.

    I am devoting most of my scarce spare time to developing web functionality that operates on the same database that my VB6 systems use. And that functionaity is written in ECMAScript and PHP. No ASP.NET at all. Why? Because I can't trust MS anymore as a tool provider.

    By discontinuing VB Classic, MS lost the trust of several million developers. Bringing it back, and keeping it improving at a sensible pace, would be the best PR move they could do.
    They should either retake VB Classic as a mainstream tool, pass it on to a subsidiary company that would make huge profits from it or just open-source it.

    Anything else is deeply unethical: I bought my first VB5 copy based on the alleged commitment by MS to have it as a first class development tool (VB6 came with the MSDN subscriptions that I was given as an MVP). Six years later (which is centuries in computer marketing time, but just enough to really master a language from the developer's perspective) they were throwing it away and replacing it with an incompatible piece of **** with just a similar name.

    It is not a matter of whether VB6 is better than VB.Net, it's a matter of trust.

  • SuperDre commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @Richard Collette: you mean, you don't like it so it's garbage.. great, another moron who doesn't understand there are more people besides him.. There is a reason why this topic is here, appearantly there are a lot of people who do think that VB6 should be reinstated (like I do). Why have to completely rewrite a vb6 application in C# or VB.NET even though the VB6 application runs on MORE!! platforms as the C# or VB.NET application can run.. At my job people are even working on a newer version of the VB6 application in Silverlight 5, which just shows how stupid some managers are..

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I used every version of Visual Studio and I'm sorry to say that still nothing comes close to the simplicity, efficiency and development speed of VB6. Write code while debugging? Worked perfect (except the inability to save while debugging). Also cutting the upgrade-path in half was a really, really bad move. Bring back VB6 - little work and a lot of happily paying customers - isn't that every company's dream?!

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    deberian de regresarlo para los chavos que quieren aprender a programar es una muy buena herramienta

  • demospsoftware commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Seria buena idea regresar vb6 , de manera open source compatible con las nuevas versiones de windows.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Bring back an improved version of VB6. VB++ isn't cutting it - there is NO real-world upgrade path for existing apps, other than a total re-write. Which is economically ... stupid.

  • andrew commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    lots of programmer switch to other language because of the no-support.
    but if counter part happen. Lots of the software will made in vb6.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    ***** .NET, Microsoft doesn't even use it for their own application development. If you can't eat your own dog food, how can you expect people to buy it? VB6 RULES!

  • kaka commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    It is also wrong on part of many people to say that vb.net was a right extension to vb6. Yes, vb.net is a better language as per the bookish definitions of a good programming language... but it still can never be c++ or vb6.

    vb6 has the simplicity for any application development.. especially making a small application takes a huge time in vb.net.... the concepts are totally different.
    If not vb6 I prefer c++... the most powerful of programming languages that cannot be replaced by anything else.

    long live vb6.

  • kaka commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Microsoft is the most foolish organisation in abandoning vb6. There is no better application than vb6 for rapid development of a complete application.

    I have been using vb from vb4 and still till date use vb6 for all my application development. Except for development on Linux where i use C++, all my programing is in vb6. I do windows CE programming with vb6 and till date.. i really dont care if microsoft does not pay attention to vb6.

    To **** with microsoft... long live vb6

  • apple commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Nothing in dotnet will ever boost me like vb6 did. It really gave me my livelihood without my having to be a tech *****.

    MS are loosing the demographic battle of hearts and minds because vb is no longer there as a living thing to bring school leavers into programming.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Here is an Interesting article here: http://www.paulstovell.com/six-years-of-wpf
    After microsoft abandoning vb6 15 years, there are not any good develop tools or languages for desktop, winform, silverlight, wpf all dead and slow, as for .net, here is only asp.net mvc is good for us. .net is only good for web develop, just like java, not for desktop.
    So microsoft should not do wrong thing. just bring vb6 back.

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