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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

    9514 comments

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      • Paul commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        With all the billions at Microsoft why kill off a superb development platform as VB6. They did the same with Visual FoxPro - killed off at V9, and this will work with Win 8 as well.

        As they say, sort of bullet proof - you cannot kill them off - VB6 and VFP9 still live on.

        Why are Microsoft **** bent on forcing the development community onto VS2013 .net development is soooo awkward and the learning curve is exponential.

        Come on Microsoft spend your hard earned cash - Bring VB6 and Visual FoxPro into the 21st century, you will make the developer community very happy indeed.

      • jeffery carlson commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I think that vb.net should just have variant support which would half of the debate. Variants have been the biggest problem in upgrades. VB6 would not be useful now (outside of office) because a lot of functionality has been redone in VB.NET besides variant support. Anonymous is correct a new option to compile C# to native assembler adding vb.net and I would be hooked with the performance boost I get.

      • Dean commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Made a post on this very thread just a few months ago challenging Microsoft Head Office in Reading to go and visit PC World on Rose Kiln Lane, to see for themselves how their strategy is killing off PCs, before it's too late.

        But guess what.... I went there last weekend and this megastore is now CLOSED.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Well, it does not have to be Microsoft. Anybody who'd come up with a 64-bit compiler for VB6-sources would make multi-millions quickly.

      • L Jarvis commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I support this idea. Our flagship software has over 300000 lines of vb6 code...

      • ssjx commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Below has the vb.net's compiler's full c++ source code,
        download the package from http://referencesource-beta.microsoft.com/download.html, and in the dir DotNetReferenceSource.zip\Source\vb has the full vb.net 's compiler source code.
        since vb.net's compliler is open sourced, i hope microsoft can let vb6' compiler open source .
        thanks!

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I fully support this notion. Don't let a good thing die - Especially one that has a proven track record and continues to fulfill the need!

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I understand how MS got swept up in the JAVA rage and wanting bytecode for many processors with .NET, but there is no tool for every job. VB6 was and is extremely competent in what it does.

        Most manufacturers would kill for the market placement it has, the amount of developers (still) dedicated to it, and all of the code samples and expertise in the market place. Its amazing to me they do no continue the product, they are leaving so much money on the table, while they waste so much in other areas.

      • WinMetro commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        VB6 is so much easier than VB.NET so please bring it back!!! The applications run fast on VB6 since all of the code is actually compiled instead of VB.NET where apps are compiled to MSIL need a JIT so its slow as a *****. I would also suggest that you trim the **** in Visual studio since its getting bloated and hogs up RAM which we don't need in a IDE. MS should bring back VB6 as VBL7(Visual Basic Lite 7) where it will be the new home for the next VB6 style language. Then they should add 64 bit support, WinRT compatibility, improved IDE, native Windows theming support, and much more!

      • axisdj commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        from a blog post.

        I've already converted my 350,000 lines from VB6 to VB.NET, but am not releasing the 'new' version, because no matter how much I change the algorithms in the program and use the features of the new environment, the performance is miserable.

        VB.NET is a very poor performer, and converting to it is not an upgrade from the end users' perspective. The IDE is slightly richer, yes, but it's dog slow - even though I'm running it on a computer with far more than ten times the power I used for VB6.

        "Visual Fred" is an extreme failure from my perspective. Utterly incompatible, massive pointless effort absorber, extreme costs for no results. Towering example of "change for change's sake."

        Microsoft's grade on Visual Basic evolution: F-

      • SuperDre commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Basic4Android is nice, but you won't get me to do VB4J EVER!!! there is a reason I shun away from Java... B4A is another matter as it compiles to native code for android, but if they ever get it to compile to native code for windows/linux it might be interesting..
        If you want to get into Android and you are a VB6 developer, B4A is definitly a tool to take a look at..

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