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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

    9513 comments

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      • Richard Collier commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Microsoft always had the right words, but rarely the right actions.

        "Ours is an evolutionary approach, not a revolutionary approach that suddenly makes old software obsolete. We’re committed to making it as easy as possible to adapt current software, without losing anything in the process". - Tom Button, Group Product Manager for Applications Programmability Product Unit (Microsoft).

      • Richard Collier commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Microsoft always had the right words, but rarely the right actions.

        "When you’re a developer, it’s very important to connect to infrastructure and to people as well, and for developers it’s important to preserve their investments in existing code." - Eric Rudder, Senior Vice President, Microsoft

      • Richard Collier commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Ricardo

        >> VB6 had 6.1 million users.

        >> VB.Net has less than 200,000.

        >> That's what happens when you listen to the 3% not the 97%.

        Yes, Microsoft declined to find out what their customers wanted, instead they listened to the MSDN Magazine camp (the 3%).
        They believed what the likes of Bill Storage told them, instead of asking their actual customers.
        Microsoft never again dominated software development.

        Steve Ballmer (then Microsoft CEO) said "we have to make sure that we don’t let you down". He and Microsoft failed.

        As Dan Appleman said "I think it’s pretty clear that anyone who has thousands of lines of code invested in VB6 is probably not going to invest in porting. It simply isn’t worth it - pure cost, and probably no improved performance.".

      • Richard Collier commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @VB6 programming just got a big boost from Microsoft

        >> "In a number of important ways, .Net is a failure.

        >> Think back a decade or so ago. As you may recall, .Net was supposed to be much more than just the next version of Windows DNA or COM+ or COM. It was supposed to destroy Java, extend the Windows platform, and secure the Microsoft monopoly for another decade or two."

        >> "Unfortunately, .Net also cannibalized Microsoft's most successful corporate IT development environment, Visual Basic. Look at Indeed's Job Trends, Tiobe, and so on, and you'll notice that .Net's rise is all about Visual Basic's decline. There isn't a lot of correlation between .Net trends and Java's bumps and bends."

        >> https://www.infoworld.com/article/2612302/application-development/why-microsoft--net-failed.html

      • Richard Collier commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Joe Bolton

        It seems to me you are trying to promote the failing .Net.

        It's time you accepted that .Net is declining. Time to look for a new job before you too are 'easily fired'.

      • Joe Bolton commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Jean

        Which is more likely to be true?

        1. Your company tolerates incompetent C# developers when they could easily fire them and hire ones who could deliver well performing, bug-free software like I do all the time.

        2. You just pulled that story out of your rear end.

        Given your demonstrated ignorance about modern software development I'd say #2 is far more likely.

      • Jean commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @MichaelE

        ">> That's existing APPLICATIONS they're supporting, not the development system.

        If I create a new application...then it exists. Interestingly, they work as good or better than my Python, C, PHP, Java and other enterprise business applications I create."

        Exactly that!.
        Microsoft have this strange support requirement for VB6 applications - that the software must exist before MS will support it!

        I'm truly disappointed that Microsoft won't support vaporware ;)

        The point is that the VB6 programming IDE works on Windows 10, just like it worked on all previous versions of Windows back to Windows 98.
        So next week, next month or next year, when you develop a VB6 application Microsoft will support it!

      • Jean commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Joe Bolton

        "It is quite obvious that neither one of you are professional developers"

        Because we can, single-handedly, develop software more quickly, with better performance, that does what the users want?

        While a team of .Net developers take longer to develop the same software, that software runs slower, it has bugs in it, it doesn't have all the features it should have, and the users reject it?

        So which is the "professional" software?

      • MichaelE commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        >> That's existing APPLICATIONS they're supporting, not the development system.

        If I create a new application...then it exists. Interestingly, they work as good or better than my Python, C, PHP, Java and other enterprise business applications I create.

        Another HUGE phenomena I find with VB6 is that I can create applications faster than anything else I use.

      • Jean commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I've lost count of the number of times I have quickly prototyped a system using VB6 to show the C# development team what is required.

        While they are working on that, the VB6 prototype is used as a temporary system.

        Users are usually so happy with the temporary VB6 system that when the C# system is eventually ready the users reject it because it is slow, buggy and doesn't have all the features of the VB6 system.

      • Jean commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @MichaelE

        "VB6 rocked then. It rocks now. I use it right along Python, BASH, PL/SQL and everything else I use. What a great tool in my programming tool-belt it has been."

        It is a great tool. I use VB6, SQL, JavaScript (with HTML5 and CSS), some Python, and a little C++.
        I'm just getting into NSBasic now - it's VB for JavaScript and seems to bring the speed of development close to that of VB6 itself.

        "I can rapidly create rock solid applications with VB6 crazy fast."
        Speed of development was always the big thing about VB6 programming. Just so much quicker than .Net if you want to develop Windows applications.
        And performance can be stunningly fast too, as it should be since it uses the C++ compiler.

      • Jean commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Anonymous

        "There was never sufficient demand for VB.Net. VB6 developers never wanted it.
        Microsoft misjudged the market. Without persuading VB6 users to move there was no chance that VB.Net could be successful.

        Worse thing was Microsoft were never nimble enough to correct their mistake. They persisted with the unpopular VB.Net. They failed."

        That is about the best summing up of the VB.Net fiasco possible.

        Java users weren't interested in VB.Net. C# users weren't interested in VB.Net. VB6 users weren't interested in VB.Net.

        VB.Net never had a market. It was never wanted. But Microsoft can never admit their mistakes. That's why the zombie VB.Net language still exists today. But it has never had many users, and even they are declining in numbers.

      • The Professional commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @We want VB6 Programming

        >They dare not drop it.

        They dropped it 10 years ago and have not supported it since. Look at the support statement. It says:

        "The Visual Basic team’s goal is that Visual Basic 6.0 applications continue to run on supported Windows versions. "

        That's existing APPLICATIONS they're supporting, not the development system. About that they say:

        "The Visual Basic 6.0 IDE is no longer supported as of April 8, 2008." And "The Visual Basic 6.0 IDE has never been offered in a native 64-bit version, nor has the 32-bit IDE been supported on 64-bit Windows. VB6 development on 64-bit Windows or any native architecture other than 32-bit is not and will not be supported."

        There you have it. Microsoft is NOT supporting VB6 development and have not been for ten years now. Companies worldwide don't care because they are not using it anymore. There are no VB6 jobs for that reason. Where are the jobs if companies are using it? There are none and it will stay that way unless you convince businesses to return to VB6. As I said before, good luck with that!

      • MichaelE commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        VB6 rocked then. It rocks now. I use it right along Python, BASH, PL/SQL and everything else I use. What a great tool in my programming tool-belt it has been.

        I can rapidly create rock solid applications with VB6 crazy fast.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Ricardo

        > VB6 had 6.1 million users.

        > VB.Net has less than 200,000.

        > That's what happens when you listen to the 3% not the 97%.

        There was never sufficient demand for VB.Net. VB6 developers never wanted it.
        Microsoft misjudged the market. Without persuading VB6 users to move there was no chance that VB.Net could be successful.

        Worse thing was Microsoft were never nimble enough to correct their mistake. They persisted with the unpopular VB.Net. They failed.

      • We want VB6 Programming commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Microsoft say "the Visual Basic 6.0 IDE is available to all MSDN subscribers and can be downloaded at any time from the subscriber downloads section and installed. A generic subscriber key is provided for convenience if needed."

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