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
@Classic VB6 Programming
>So that is more than there are VB.Net users, and yet Microsoft concern themselves with that.
Is it? The TIOBE index shows VB.NET ahead of VB6 by several places and I see plenty of VB code even at my job.
But that's irrelevant . As they point out here just moving VB6 to 64-bit would require a complete rewrite. That's an expensive thing to do and there's next to no demand for it from Microsoft's customers. Keeping VB.NET updated as a second-class .NET citizen is a lot cheaper and there actually is enough demand to justify that. So VB.NET gets (some) love and VB6 gets nothing.
>> Probably under half a million if that. Not enough for ...
Whose to say what the accurate number of users are for VB6 with complete certainty. I leave that to the fake news specialists.
What IS certain is that those groups and more have constant VB6 activity. What IS certain is that when I spin up VB6 I can knock out a rock solid GUI app faster than Python, Rust, PHP, Java and others.
A kool tool like that should be placed in a domain that does not inhibit it.
Classic VB6 Programming commented
>> "VB6 users is rather small. Probably under half a million if that. Not enough for Microsoft or anybody else to concern themselves with and so they don't bother."
So that is more than there are VB.Net users, and yet Microsoft concern themselves with that.
Well, I looked and it seems rather slow paced compared to the amount of traffic you see on C# sites. Given the number of page views for fortypoundhead.com divided by three and downloads of that installer it seems that the number of VB6 users is rather small. Probably under half a million if that. Not enough for Microsoft or anybody else to concern themselves with and so they don't bother.
Maybe you should try C++. The language and tools are better than ever these days and not nearly as hard to learn as it used to be.
The installer for installing the VB6 programming IDE on Windows 7, 8 and 10 has had over 107,000 downloads.
And the fortypoundhead articles on installing the VB6 IDE on Windows 7, 8 and 10 has had almost 800,000 views.
Looks like VB6 is still being widely installed and used.
I mean you cant make up this level of activity. This VB6 thing is still thriving!
Earth calling Microsoft! Microsoft are you receiving?
What I look for in a language or app dev system is activity on forums. Given that criteria VB6 is alive and doing well! Look for yourself, here are just a few:
It would be crazy cool if there was an entity that saw its current potential and fully supported it. Updated it to 64-bit and latest windows look. That's all I'd need.
If it was Open Source that would have been done a decade ago. I dont need and use third party ActiveX controls. If I need something like that VB6 gives you direct access to the Windows API and\or the ability to create my own.
If there's 20 million VB6 users in Asia where are the jobs? There are no more VB6 jobs there than there are here. To be clear, I'm talking about professionals being paid to code in VB6, not amateurs posting on Facebook.
strict OOP, a micro managers dream...
the PC is still relevant. Here is small survey from San Antonio. VB6 is still relevant: https://www.facebook.com/treyware/posts/10211382271285017?comment_id=10211382690095487¬if_t=feed_comment_reply¬if_id=1500924831355292
8 milion ? There are more than that. Just in Asia there are MORE THAN 20 milion VB6 programmers (Facebook statistics).
Grant Swinger commented
That's a made up figure pulled out of thin air, not a Microsoft one. The 6 million figure was made at the high-water mark of VB6 popularity before Java and then .NET began replacing it.
@kontex @We want VB6 programming
>> "However, the biggest base of Microsoft developers isn't made up of Web developers; it consists of the 8 million Visual Basic (VB) 6.0 developers who haven't migrated to Visual Studio .NET in the numbers Microsoft hoped for."
I'd be interested to see any figures showing 8 million VB6 users. Microsoft regularly claimed 6 million VB6 users. I've also seen Microsoft forecast 8 million and 8.1 million users, but I've never actually seen them claim they had reached 8 million.
>> As expected, 'restructuring' means yet more layoffs at Microsoft with 'several' thousand jobs to go, including that of CIO Jim DuBois. Microsoft refuse to give exact numbers.
Meanwhile they have created the legacy of one of the worlds easiest and most powerful software development tools in VB6. This is a responsibility born of countless users investing in it. In them!
Events dont make entities they reveal them. Who they are that is. Years from now is Microsoft going to be known as a THE greed based techno-giant of the era or the one that lead in innovation and treated their most committed users respectfully.
Its not too late. Microsoft give VB6 back to the community that built it or make the minimal investment to sustain it!
@We want VB6 programming
>> Microsoft should bring back VB6 programming.
>> It would cost Microsoft nothing to allow a free download of the VB6 IDE.
>> Upgrading VB6 to the same standard as VBA7 wouldn't be a large cost.
>> Neither would open-sourcing VB6.
>> Instead Microsoft have chosen to abandon their Visual Basic programming community.
You are right. But M$ don't really care about developers any more. The future of all M$ development tools doesn't look promising.
As expected, 'restructuring' means yet more layoffs at Microsoft with 'several' thousand jobs to go, including that of CIO Jim DuBois. Microsoft refuse to give exact numbers.
The aim now is to compete with Amazon.
It seems "Mobile First" is dead, but "Cloud First" continues.
We want VB6 programming commented
Microsoft should bring back VB6 programming.
It would cost Microsoft nothing to allow a free download of the VB6 IDE.
Upgrading VB6 to the same standard as VBA7 wouldn't be a large cost.
Neither would open-sourcing VB6.
Instead Microsoft have chosen to abandon their Visual Basic programming community.
Visual Basic 6.0 by default on Windows just as Paint is !
Support Statement for VB6 programming
'Restructuring' usually just means more layoffs.
But usually they also state their intentions to be "more responsive" to their customer's needs.
If they really were "more responsive" they would do something with VB6. It doesn't really matter whether that is to update it, to open source it, or to make it part of the OS. But they should do something.