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
Miquel Matas commented
Or they have lost VB6 source code... ;)
Miquel Matas commented
The reason MS is not releasing a new version should be that the main vb6 developers should be all retired.... ;)
Dennis Johnson commented
I wonder... The only reason an admin would reply is to comment for "accidental decline"? No interest from Microsoft at all???
YayMS has a great point! Perhaps one reason VB6 was\is so successful is because it is a perfect equilibrium of code and technologies. Crazy easy to create and support applications. Great performance. Very stable when app written well. Easy to learn for newbies. Amazingly potent for seasoned pros. Bravo MS on VB6!
I'd learn my career without an school or college. Only with VB6
Must going on !!!!!
As a contractor I wrote VB6 systems back in 1998 for Manulife Financial (the largest insurance company in Canada)
Still in production today, going strong after 15 years!
TIOBE Index for May 2014 (Visual Basic 6.0 rises, again): http://vb6awards.blogspot.com/2014/05/tiobe-index-for-may-2014-visual-basic.html
And I quote Winston: "Today I open my VB6 Written application with a sense of pride! 12 years after being abadoned, and vb6 cannot be killed, it will live on!"
Now let me get some popcorn and watch the show as they progress...
Today I open my VB6 Written application with a sense of pride! 12 years after being abadoned, and vb6 cannot be killed, it will live on!
VB6 is the #5 most popular programming language
Visual Basic 6 rises to 5th place in the Index of programming language popularity for May 2014
C# drops to 6th, and VB.Net is 11th
Great news for Microsoft's favorite programming language
@Rathbone: talking about multiplatform and then saying Apple has developed, uhm if there is a company that has an even more closed single platform than MS, it's Apple..
Get real, show me a tool that can be perfectly multiplatform, **** even HTML5 apps aren't working on all platforms that support HTML5, for one because it's still not even fully developed yet.. And you can't just convert your big company application to another platform..
VB6 Fire commented
Lumpio - I totally disagree, this is the distribution of VB6 programmaers by age: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=692863474089739&set=a.651171118258975.1073741828.651163214926432&type=1&theater
I started off programming in Basic, then moved on to assembly and C. But then came out of university and landed a contract job doing VB3 then VB5 followed by VB6 over the next 19 years. We're now using VB.NET and C# but the VB6 is still doing okay. Maybe MS could open source the old code and runtime libraries and let the community enhance it for themselves?
I'm not sure about marketing... anyone who makes a product that can import vb6 code will make a fortune! Don't know how they are missing this!
@Dennis Johnson Agree 100%. It's all marketing...
With regard to Mr. Rathbones's comment, I guess we should only use Java or C#? I already do BTW. Does not change the fact VB6 is quicker to market than those.
I wonder how we can get our clients to fund millions of dollars of development costs to migrate the applications off VB6? Not like we haven't tried.
Dennis Johnson commented
@Lumpio & David Rathbone
I have said it before: Declaring something as "obsolete" means NOTHING.
A decent programmer should know that COM was supposed to be replaced by Net, but Microsoft decided to bring it back, instead, through Windows 8 (WinRT). He/she should also know that VB6 is based on COM. What is "obsolete" now?
Another example: Why do you think 25% of the world's computers still run XP? Even 5 years from 7's release? The same thing applies to VB6.
You can't abandon something that works, just because Microsoft decided one day to declare it "obsolete".
Everything happens for the sake of new sales. They release new products (or new versions of products), marking the previous as "obsolete", just to sell more and make more money.
Releasing a new version of Visual Studio every 2-3 years means progress?...
YES! Bring it back! .NET was a mistake.
David Rathbone commented
I agree with Lumpio "VB6 is a bunch of old programmers!"
just look at Microsoft's track record...
1) Front Page obsolete
2) Visual Studio 6 includes VB6 obsolete
4) MS Dos obsolete
3) XP obsolete
4) Vista obsolete
5) Windows 8 becoming obsolete (Re-Write to 8.1)
A better list can be found here.... http://support.microsoft.com/gp/lifeobsoleteproducts
Why Microsoft writes an OS that works on any machine
and development tools that only WORK on a MS Platform tells it all!
Its long lost the plot and if you really are involved in software development you will see that anything that you develop will be out of date and needs support regardless.
Try to learn tools that gives maximum cross platform usage, start today users should vote with there feet, which will force Microsoft to listen.
You can write as much as you like here its just Microsoft trash...
Think how much developed Apple or Google are in contrast to the MS ship Titanic.
@Lumpio: you mean, a lot of people with big projects which don't need converting because it all works perfectly.. But still need to add functionalities or fix some bugs..
You're a very closeminded dev.. Change is good, but if it's not necessary then why change.. It's not like .NET is so much better than the old COM.. And why do they still keep enhancing unmanaged c++? So why not add an unmanaged VB (which is 90-100% compatible with VB6, at least it should load the vb6 project, just like we could with VB4 to VB5 and VB5 to VB6)..
It's got nothing to do with 'clinging to the past' but everything to do with multi billion dollar working software.. But I guess you are too young and unprofessional to understand that..