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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

    9528 comments

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      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        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?

      • axisdj commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        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!

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        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  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @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?...

      • David Rathbone commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        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.

      • SuperDre commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @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..

      • Lumpio- commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        In this thread: a whole bunch of old people who are clinging to the past and afraid of change.

      • axisdj commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I also encourage everyone to contact all and any software/technology magazines and online press outlets, and let them know about this. Thanks for all the support to this point, but we need to push harder.

        I also ask MS to at least meet with a few vb6 experts so we/they can make the case for why this would be a good decision both technology wise and business wise.

      • Mary commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I love VB6! I tried .Net even created a few mission critical applications in it. Sorry .Net is not as quick and easy at developing in as VB6.

        I know how to do OOP. Just shows OOP was not the cure all. VB6 is simple and powerful. I'll let those hard core .Net guys program all day and night. I have a family. ;-)

      • axisdj commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Leonardo Azpurua , yes I would assume vb6 usage is down from the highs of when it was supported, BUT, think of it 12 years after it's abandonment it is still so popular that it just won't go away.. I think there is something to be said for that.

        PS. went to the doctor the other day and they just bought a whole new office management system, guess what. It was written in VB6.

      • Patrick commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Although my English is very basic maniefestar want to be helpful you should release a version of Visual Basic 6.0 in 64-bit applications to compile on this platform.

        The reasons are many: it is faster; there are more resources, etc..

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I find VB6 to be the right tool for my job (development of business applications for desktop computers). I also think that there is plenty of room for improvement of the language and the IDE without breaking compatibility. I also expect Microsoft to act ethically, acknowledge that many of us depend on classic VB to make our living, and either continues to support the language or else release the language and the source code into public domain.
        But falsifications make me kind of sick.
        The Tiobe Index separates "Visual Basic Net" from "Visual Basic". And nothing that is Visual Basic Net will fall under Visual Basic, no matter is it is Visual Basic 2Kx, or just Visual Basic as written from a kid who isn't even aware of the existence of "our" Visual Basic.
        In StackOverflow, which is one of the most popular places where developers go to put our questions, the tag "vb.net" is on the bottom of the first page, with a total of 67105 questions, whereas the tag "vb6" is on page 13, with just 6618 questions.
        Of course, the frequency of questions is not an absolute indicator. Anybody using vb6 today has been using it for the last several years, so the need to ask questions is much smaller that that of a newcomer to the latest VFred version.
        Not that I want to ruin anybody's party, but we'd do better to face the truth: vb6 usage is decaying, and in a few years it is likely that even our binaries won't be supported by newer windows versions.

      • VB6 Programming commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        "VB6 (vb) has been in top 10 TIOBE index for over a decade. If that isn't the developer community speaking I don't know what is."

        Very true.

        And in April VB6 rose to 6th place.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The language stopped production over a decade ago. VB6 (vb) has been in top 10 TIOBE index for over a decade. If that isn't the developer community speaking I don't know what is. I am not sure how ignoring this is best ROI?

        If MS are turning the page and not going to repeat past mistakes now is the time to show us with a VB6 64-bit IDE\compiler. Thank you.

      • SuperDre commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Well Uservoice is being watched, that's for sure as there are enough other items already 'under review' but those are ofcourse only options for the newer languages.. XNA, Silverlight and VB6 topics which have the most votes are being ignored, hmmmm, all technologies MS dumped...

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