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
Dear Visual Studio team,
Does keeping silent for almost a year mean
a) we're considering
b) we won't even think about this topic
c) it's not up to us in the first place
I'm checking this post quite often hoping to find any kind of response. My guess is you're not the right address for this decision. In such case, please help us address this longing to the right place.
Please bring back classic vb
.net is **** and even slower than vb6 or vba (vb6 is 2 times faster) ! and even those old ones are speed beaten 4 times by freebasic - so wht are you doing the whole day fishing or tryining armani suits ???
VB6 is not to be blamed for what worst programmers have done with it. You might even be thankful that whoever wrote that piece of **** on which you are alleviating your karma, didn't use C# or VB.Net, because your calamities would certainly be way worse (if nobody else has claimed it, then I would call it one of Leonardo's rules: the amount to which a programmer can produce ****' up code is directly proportional to the degree of sophistication of the language used).
And having a better, more reliable IDE, with libraries that reduced your dependency on API calls, tools like refactoring, code coverage analisis, unit testing, keyboard macros, snippets management, collapsable regions and that produced exactly the same code with exactly the same behaviour regardless of whether it was running inside the IDE or as an EXE, your pain would be much lesser.
So just give it three up votes. If not for anything else just to not be defeated without a little fight.
@Hamid: Like it's any different with the new development languages.. If you are unfamilliar with the original code it always ends up debugging stuff..
Even in C#, VB.NET or any other language you can write just as ****** code (or even worse) as with VB6.. It's all up to the coders.. and good code is something that's in the eye of the beholder.. what you call good code may be **** to someonelse.. So if you wanted to give it MINUS 3, than you're nothing more than a snobbish hack.. Also, you might even consider upvoting it, as with a new version of VB you might actually have an even better IDE to do your debugging in, that's another take on the whole thing ofcourse...
I'd LOVE to be able to give this idea MINUS 3 votes!
Why? 'Cause I'm one of those cheap programmers still actively debugging a multi-million dollar enterprise suite written ages ago in VB6... And, as you should be able to guess, I hate every second of it!
I like OO.
And you can do OO using VB6.
In fact, it were the OO capabilities added to VB5 what finally drove me to adopt it as my main development tool, back in 1999.
Delphi was (and still is) way better, but at the time, Microsoft boasted their long term commitment to the language, while Borland seemed to be doomed to failure.
I learned two lessons:
1) always decide on the intrinsical virtues of the tools, never on the political or corporate environment, and
2) never trust Microsoft. I don't know if they are evil or just stupid, or perhaps both.
That said, VB.Net is, generally speaking, a finest language. The object model in Windows Forms is too granular to be immediately useful to anybody, but that is something you can fix with relatively simple adapters.
The problem is not VB.Net, nor OOP. It is just that the language is not compatible.
And there was no need to break compatibility. Nor was there any valid reason for not going on with the evolution of classic VB. Perhaps it seemed reasonable at some point, but the failure of the whole schema that made VB6 a hindrance is completely evident at this point.
Pretending that LightSwitch will be a replacement to VB6 is, again, an insult to most VB Classic professional programmers.
We are not Mort!
Winston Potgieter commented
An interesting read posted below.
On a side note: Just had lunch a few days ago with guys I used to work with. 8 years ago they were in the OOP cult deeper than what you can believe. I asked them what is the one thing they have learned? They said OOP design does not always deliver on its promise. These are not dumb guys the TOP of their class at the TOP universities.
Any way here is a read:http://www.4js.com/files/documents/products/genero/WhitePaperHasOOPFailed.pdf
I am not saying OOP is all bad, but the cult like thinking, what I believe created the .net framework cannot be used productively by all of us. We just want the simple stuff, like what VB6 gives us. I have 3 commercial apps with thousands of copies worldwide running lighting systems and radio stations.
If microsoft can give vb6's code to me and let me improve vb6 and sell vb6, I can return 80% money to microsoft. Microsoft needn't invest one $ or one people.
Again ... to support this discussion (and eventually bring VB back), I would like to propose to build a simple website where people can 'virtually' order a new VB license and set the price for it as they like (of course beeing serious about this ;-) Should be a simple form where one can enter company, country, number of licenses needed and price/license. This would be public visible. The totals - MS earnings - could always be updated live. The site should look somehow professional, like a real MS marketing webpage for "VB7" (it should not look like a hoax). Anybody has some sparetime left for this? ;-)
@Lofaday: I agree totally with you and I'm in a similar situation - cannot upgrade my VB6 CRM Application to VB.NET because there is no real upgrade path (costs!) and the future of Win Forms/WPF is not clear. Also we need real RAD and VB.NET is not as good RAD as VB6 and it is slow/sluggish IDE...
But I think MS doesn't hear us (smal) developers and it is not worth the time to post here...
what's the future at Microsoft - WPF? Winform? HTML5 (how to build real LOBs with it)? COM? - questions and questions but no answer!!!
@Toan -- thanks, I have often looked at Embarcadero (prev Borland). Out of all the possible alternatives to VS6 & VB6, Emb' ticks most boxes (twice as many as dotnet) except for cost -- stupefyingly high! Borland were similar... sure, if you're doing well or if you work for NASA, not a problem -- but who would pay 2 or 3k speculatively? And no, their 30 day trial is Not enough time. Unlike MS, Emb' does not get OS sales from the success of their suite of course.
This underscores the need I have of VB which others may recognize... I don't want my product to be cross platform (there are many excellent suites if I did) -- I am happy for it to be tied to the most successful OS (in terms of sales volume) like VB6 was, but I want it to do just about anything my corporate customers can dream of (like VB6 did through the API etc), and do it QUICKLY. Here's a taste of what we've done with VB6 -- 1/ With plugins: video (CCTV), image and audio processing, multidisplay imaging, 3D CAD, emailers; 2/ Without plugins: extensive databases viewed by millions, bespoke IIS with Ajax, web publishing software, OCR, VoIP, GUIs, early VNC, web analytics, serial and other device interfaces, and even an IDE for gaming scripts.
Eg1: We recently installed an automated public address across 20 different sites connected by VPN... and with the HMIs & gateway servers etc, we sold about 30 PCs, each with MS OS's. The program is our core package, integrating data from multiple feeds and outputting in pro text to speech. Handling thousands of exceptions, it's taken 15 years to evolve from VB3 up.
Eg2: We recently lost a 4x bigger contract -- reason? I can't upgrade to VB.Net! (I still see banks occasionally advertise for VB6 devs, so I know I'm not alone). That did not impress them much And they Also expressly said they did not want their IT dept to manage dotnet upgrades everywhere. So they bought a Linux solution. Free OS's and free dev suites. Not as good as our VB6 package, but does the job.
Is MS listening? Did you notice how you lost out on around $10K of MS OS licences there in one small contract? Did you notice the loss of MS promotion to senior managers? While you are at it, think about who in their right mind would develop & deploy a dotnet app across 100 pc's with the kind of networking features etc I just mentioned..
Reinstate VB6. 32 bit is fine. Just put it back on sale and stop telling my customers it's amateur/dead. Ie: nothing needed but that you stop deliberately killing it (along with my decades of experience and investments). Indeed, revive your reputation for looking after those that invested in you. VB6 is not VB.Net. VB6 is a RAD tool and is to VB.Net what Excel is to SAP -- you wouldn't tell accountants that Excel was dead and to upgrade to SAP -- but that's what's happened here.
Toan Nguyen commented
I'm a c/c++ programmer who started out with VB. I loved VB6 and had used it for prototyping and creating simple utility programs. I now use Embarcadero RAD Studio (it is what VSS 7 should have been). I've lost faith and interests in Microsoft stuff (Vista, VSS.NET, Silverlight, Expressions, ...).
Bringing back Visual Basic would be a huge step forward in the right direction. It would make me think "finally they're listening instead of cramming garbage (Vista, Ribbon, .NET framework) down my throat and expecting me to take it".
It boggles my mind that a company would slit the throat of a product that had such a huge market hold at the time. Any other company, that would have been the death of them. Gesh.
Windows RT is desperately in need of developers (and programs). It's a good product, clean start.
I wonder what impact would having a VB6 compatible tool have on it's quick adoption ?
Imagine (if it is technically possible) a new COM based IDE capable of opening the vbp projects ?!
It's simple design and small runtime could provide good performance on the ARM. It may not be to hard to modify the visual components on the fly to match the Modern UI, after all, VB6 programs where oftenly developed having small (800x600) resolutions in mind.
Hello Microsoft, how hard would it be to make this vision true ?
I think MS is on drugs!
They are a business and their goal is to make money right?
There are a lot of customers world wide (and many potential new ones) that would pay cash for a product that they already have or would take probably less than 3 months to put it out with the resources that they already have in their shop. Why not sell it? By the way I agree with most, all I need for VB7 is:
Modern ui tools
64 bit compilation
And for all of you that shun on us VB6's saying that we are a lesser kind of programmers or even if we are ones; I love the blues. And just because B.B. King, or Buddy Guy, or Eric Clapton did not go into Jazz or Classical, it does not make them any less of musicians than those that did in my eyes (the listner). It's like someone else said it. I want use the English language to write novels and essays and articles and what not, not to become a english teacher or make it easier to learn German (since I'm brazilian). The readers care about the content and the quality, not the grammar.
just had an idea as I was reading about the disappointed results of windows tablet RT(http://thenextweb.com/microsoft/2013/07/19/windows-rt-the-sinking-ship-why-microsofts-mobile-focused-windows-8-approach-is-doomed/), what if you made vb6 apps run on RT. The runtime is small/efficient and the compiled code could possibly be fast enough. An app explosion is the only way to revive that product, and as we can see the Pro versions of the tablets are selling better because of the support for older windows apps.
I know some on this board are saying to stop begging MS to bring back VB6.. Im not giving up until its over.
On another note imagine if MS came out with something like the new XOJO IDE. Make all vb6 code compatible with it. That to me is REAL OOP, simple, visual, RAD. It would create an explosion of developers because the entry point is much easier, and would re-activate maybe millions of VB6 developers.
"If Net is bad because "it is not open source", then VB6 is worse, and Windows, the whole of Visual Studio 6, Office, and so on, are just as bad."
--Yes! Today, i think .net is very bad, and widows is very bad, and visual sutdio are all very bad now! all microsoft's lanuges and developer tools are bad and **** now!
Vb6 is very very bad now! because it is closed-source's and dead. I post here is not because vb6 is good, because i just only need continue my work!
I regret i use microsoft' lanuges for many years, I should use java or other cross-platform language.
Today, Microsoft's "not open source" is a very very very big problem!!!!.
Many years ago, When I believe microsoft may always continue improve its products as like vb6/vc6 and will always do good compatibility, I think "not open source" is not a problem.
But After I see microsoft roughly abanded vb6, I can't do may work for new platform and can't convert mywork to the new developer tools, And then, I waste years to use silverlight, but microsoft also kill silverlight and didn't open source it too! then I realize microsoft's "not open source" is a very very very big problem!!!!.
Microsoft waste so many developer's time!! He didn't tell the developer that he wil not support the language several years later and will not open source the language too. how does the developers to continue their work???
So today, I think Microsoft is a cheater.
And then I realize I can't learn any languages from Microsoft, and i will not learn any language that not opend source too.
There is no need to attack VB.Net in order to demand the revival of VB6.
If Net is bad because "it is not open source", then VB6 is worse, and Windows, the whole of Visual Studio 6, Office, and so on, are just as bad.
I have written a few apps using VB.Net, including a very large one to support LOB operations for a mid sized airline and several quick and dirty applications for "smart devices" (where there is not any chance for VB6, as it is), and I find it to be a finest language.
There are two problems, one, stated by M. Oparnica, is that there are components that can be seamlessly used from VB6 apps but need tweaking, or just can't be used from Net, so, their users MUST depend on VB6.
The other is compatibility. Even if there were tools that automated the migration from VB6 to VB.Net, the resulting code should be thoroughly tested. And yet, in the case of VB6 apps designed to host user providede extensions (which is almost an standard feature for modern business applications), there would be no way to be sure that their extensions and plugins would also work.
The bottom line is that systems, in order to be profitable, demand a durable support for the platforms for which they are intended and for the tools with which they are built.
If you build such tools and platforms, you MUST commit to their long time stability. Professional developers and business organizations deserve that little of respect, and Microsoft has grossly failed in that.
Google's Silverlight - Chrome Apps is Out now, very good technology!
.Net is very bad, because it is not open source, and not Cross-platform, and even not Cross-platform on windows, it is just a joke!!!.
For Desktop, vc/vb/Delphi/Com is good enouht.
For cloud web and Cross-platform, java/Chrome Apps is very good, and Chrome Apps may be the future.
So, .Net is uselesss for Cross-platform and desktop, .net is a joke, all new language after vb6/vc6 is waste developers time.
@Lofaday .NET has improved version of lot of VB6 components. Both GUI and the system ones. It has built-in classes that need "workaround-solutions" in VB6 and that is Ok. Building and interacting with web is easier to do in .Net.
On the other hand, interaction between programs and sharing components written in Delphi, C++ or other languages is still possible only through COM and .Net has a big disadvantage comparing to VB6 when it comes to that.
It is also problematic when it comes to dealing with PLC and industry standards processes where you either have COM components or plain DLL's to deal with. VB6 is miles ahead there too.
I was aiming at people referring to VB6 developers as lazy guys not willing to embrace "the-latest-and-greatest".
There is no greatest in the programming world. Just right tool for the right job !
Microsoft destroyed one of the best tools we had for Windows. It affected too many people and too many good app's out there. I say, you can't do that !
.Net is great, but not for what I need it. So, for me, it's "Microsoft, bring back VB6 or die!".
There is nothing else I can't do better in Java.