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
Brian Webb commented
I am surprised at 2 things, how few votes that this is getting, and that no one has taken up the mantle to make a VB6.NET that evolves VB6 to the .NET framework while not making the same mistake that VB.NET has.
Seems to me that this would be a great community project.
Edward Schneider commented
Due to limited personal memory limitations, i have been unable to learn the 'higher' languages but i have had great success with vb6 and still write some pretty good stuff with it. i have in the past tried C, C++, vbC and power C but have always failed, not because I'm stupid but rather because of genetic limitations. I've had the same bad experience with VB.Net and have tried up through 2008 with no real success. I would really love to see and updated vb7 to work better with the newer OSs.
I too would love to see a real updated VB6 version (Like the real VB7 which is only available internally at MS before they stopped development on it due to wanting to push VB.NET)
Yes ! We need an updated VB6 - and VB.NET does not fit the bill. Now we are in a post .NET world it is time for Microsoft to do what they should have 10 years ago - update their best-selling language.
Agreed, I am not a programmer but a scientist that needs a tool to quickly develop apps for my work. I do not have the time to spend learning / coding in more complex languages. Viva VB6 or its successor.
if Microsoft wants to KILL all competitors they would
#1) make vb6 improved
#2) 100% backward compatible
#3) memory, tools and OS make it possible its not a "challenge to keep/integrate" this.
#4) a whole bunch of OLD programs would come out of the woodwork modifying, there apps t slaughterer googe, android etc. due to the years of input in the old app.
(some will be messy, yes, but overall Microsoft would win and gain unbeatable respect)
why? because all "REAL BUSINESS" developers who have REAL WORLD experiences use vb6
and if Microsoft would grantee 100% backward compatibility all business will stick with MS instead of these fly by night languages.. and programming environments.
yes there are advantages of other langues. but maintaining and keeping a parallel already working language showcases your excellence likes Rolls-Royce "even the old stuff " still works and is taken care of. Apple, google, android can not compete with that.
VB6 is still what I use. .Net just seems to have too much going on under the hood for me personally. I think the VB mindset left MS along with Bill Gates. I wish there were someone there willing to take up the classic VB banner. I wouldn't think it would be that difficult to take VB6 and give us some updated controls and forms and say here it is VB7. My 2 cents
yeah i also want classic vb6.
I was shocked at how much extra work I needed to do in .NET, to achieve what would be a simple task in VB6.
I need vb6 run on winrt directly, not vb.net.
vb.net should be abandoned. too little people use vb.net.
If your ms guys won't let vb6 back, please open source it, So we can let it support winrt by ourself.
You MS guys can't waste so many develops' so many years time.
Nick Roberts commented
Nevertheless, improvement of the VS help ought to be obviously high on the agenda.
It would be great to have a big 'tree' of the .NET library classes, grouped by functional area.
Please, please make the search work better, so that it is properly specific to filters (e.g. language), and find some way to get it to present a better targetted, narrower set of results (possibly by retaining a small, exposed, user-editable set of contextual keywords to automatically mix into the search).
But it's a good thing.
Once you get used to it and really understand what's going on (known C/C#/Java helps a lot) you immediately realize the potential.
I still maintain VB6 projects and I just hate the language -- VB.NET is just beautiful, simple and extremely powerful.