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
I think very many people should be happy if Microsoft released an improved VB6. Many people still creates unmanaged software, and today there is no good RAD tool available anymore.
You can create unmanaged code with Visual C++. This should also be possible with Visual Basic (an improved VB6). The new version can for example handle Internet better and make it easy to add a modern user interface to an application. And of course handle Ribbons etc.
I'm with you dude
I am Chinese
I love Vb6.0
All I can say is WOW!!!,
Wish more of my competitors used vb.NET, I had heard it was possible but did not know how easy it was to de-compile a vb.net app. Now I can take my time and look through how my competitor does it VERY COOL.
I know he should have obfuscated, but there are ways around that as well, I did try ti de-conpile my vb6 app, it was nearly impossible.
Lets Bring Back an Improved VB6, you can implement all the OOP stuff you want, just make it so I can load my current projects.
Andy-W (UK) commented
Shame no-one from Microsoft ever chooses to respond to this suggestion or suggest a pratical way forward.
Hundreds of languages are almost all open source except the languages invented by Microsoft, they all alive good so many years except the languages invented and killed by microsoft.
Microsoft is very evil, it wasted too many developers too many times,
I hope Microsoft quickly closed down, then everyone can concentrate in other languages in operating systems.
So Microsoft, please go to die quickly, thank you microsoft, please goto die!
If MS refuse to reinstate BASIC (B for BEGINNERS) school teachers should investigate Raspberry Pi as an alternative platform.
At least you wouldn't be responsible for teaching students a proprietary (.Net) language that could become antiquated at any time, like VB6.
Unless MS reverse their decision on Basic, which is difficult for the reason I pointed out in my last comment then the VB6 IDE wil probably only survive long term by running in Virtual Machines.
That is also why the code won't ever be open sourced.
I myself would be very frustrated about this if I hadn't discovered an alternative PC desktop OS (Ubuntu) for home. Now I can sit back and watch things like the Windows 8 fiasco unfold with detached amusement
Whatever happens, if I was a business heavily invested in VB6 and MS technologies in general I would be watching MS very carefully and not in a nice way either.
Krishnan Jayapalan commented
Basically i meant to become a Java programmer when earned my diploma. But VB6 snatched my attention and for 10years i am doing projects on it.I want to see VB7 version on the track....its my only wish left to God.
They will not consider this at all. The reopening of the suggestion is likely a PR move based on that principle of "never say no".
Reconsidering the rebirth of Classic VB would mean that some of the highest ranked idiots at MS accept their total lack of sight and the absurdity of the decision they took in the first place.
I can't avoid feeling a little idiot myself for having let some hope arise because of this.
So I am leaving this discussion and focusing back on JS and PHP for my future and current projects.
Just wondering at what vote will MS consider this? Where is bill when we need him, MS was started with BASIC, lets not forget. All you .NET programmers, we are not asking for you to change anything, we just want our powerful RAD tool.
Also here are some ideas for things needed in the new version
backGroundWorker Implementation (simple threading)
That is all I can think of, anybody ELSE? IDEAS?
Wouter Vos commented
VB under .NET suggests it's a viable language for real programming. Put the noobs where they belong!
Alejandro Hernández commented
I've been using VB (VB4) since bachelor. Now, I'm a school teacher and I wish to teach this wonderful computer tool. Today I teach VB.Net, but I see that my students doesn't learn very quicky as they used to do with VB6. Such a shame of M$
By all means, keep vb6 alive. I can develop simple apps far faster in it than .net. And if it runs too slow, I can include API calls. I have the choice to go basic and simple, or complex in the same language. I was extremely angry with MS when they pushed .net on everyone and spent months porting a huge app over to it only to find that GDI+ was dog slow compared to vb6 w/ GDI32. The excuse from the forums was, "GDI+ is now dead...Use the new WPF libraries". I see...So my next question is...How many times will MS keep changing the rules, forcing me to learn yet again, another something, when vb6 w/ GDI32 worked great to begin with?! If .net was so great, how come GDI+ was a piece of...well, you know...?
I used VB6 for a lot of years and I still support a few applications written in it (though they are on a clock to be re-written as we move systems). For the most part I've moved everything to VB.Net and I can't see myself going back though I support the choice. Having the Framework behind the language opens up so much that wasn't possible in VB6 (though I understand, that is stuff that could be added). One of the concerns voiced here which is valid independent of technology is never knowing when you're going to be left behind. WinRT > WPF > Winforms > VB6 Forms. The constant feeling of having the rug yanked out from under you is frustrating.
Raul Web commented
vb 7 classic we are waiting !! i think vb classic is easy powerful i want to see version 7 nexth 2014,,
Bring back VB6. It being discontinued is the worst decision MS ever made.
@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.
@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.
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.
@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..