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
VB6 despite what most people might think, is not a programming language. it's actually a software. it is reasonable that VB6 is not as powerful as a complete programming language but as a software, it gets the job done. What MS did was turning it into a complete programming language! the changes were so dramatic that when the first time I ran a VB project in visual studio I was like: "Oh baby! what have they done to you!!" Those who work with VB6 (including myself) cannot be named programmers! you can't name yourself and architect just because you can use Autocad! this hurts but it's true so my conclusion is maybe it's best to forget VB6 and move on! I'm currently studying any books and tutorials I can find online about VB.Net and C++ on the side.
The VB6 programmers amongst us could have told that company that it would be slower under .NET - and saved them $300,000.
But the .NET experts on this site will insist .NET is better.
The reality is that many business rely on VB6 applications and there is no feasible migration path. We need an updated VB6, whether from Microsoft or elsewhere.
Abraham Barry commented
I have seen the case of a company that migrated 1,000,000 + lines of code from VB6 to .NET.....At the end the product was miserably slow, sluggish and chompy. After $300,000 dollars spent and months of hard team work, the overall conclusion was: WE WILL KEEP IT ON VB6 NO MATTER WHAT....
Microsoft have announced they are restructuring and streamlining.
Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said Microsoft would be able to react faster to changes in the market.
Perhaps they will bring out a new release of classic VB if 15 years isn't too short a period for them to react to customer requests.
I won't hold my breath, though.
eric au commented
Professionals can really use Classic VB as a professional tool to develop professional applications.
VB is a nice learning tool. I loved it as a kid.
If you use it professionally, rethink your profession.
again @mjohn: if .net runtime was closed-source, then there wouldn't really be Mono (Mono is done with access to the .net framework code).. But you're right, .Net is on it's way down the toilet.
@SuperDre, I said c# is closed-source refers to Microsoft's c# compiler and .net runtime is closed-source.
Micrsoft guys, see here:
c# are dying, asp.net are dying, .net are dying, sql-server are dying
All closed-source language are dying.
That is exactly it. As a minimum we need to know that VB6 applications will continue working with each new Windows version. Preferably that should apply to the IDE as well as any applications.
A new version could have new or improved features (64 bit support, Try..Catch, runtime for WinRT - I'm sure we could all put forward our favourite suggestions) but really that is just a nicety. The important point is to be sure that legacy applications will continue to run.
We don't want to be in a position of having to tell our users not to upgrade their Windows because it does not/may not support our applications.
same here Leonardo Azpurua - we have a large CRM VB6 application
and we have also a Lightswitch app out but many problems - slow sluggish interface, lot of bugs and no response from MS about this and the future of the silverlight client...
I don't know whats going on at M$ but thats not acceptable!!
No. What I want is to be able to continue improving my 500+KLOC system written in VB6 without having to worry every time that MS announces a new Windows Versión for which VB6 support is expressely announced to be lacking. Ok, they have to put it back every time, but they will eventually fail big (I mean, someone who is so stupid as to kill VB6 may do any absurdity at any moment) and that's game over for me.
I saw a couple of videos about LightSwitch, and it may have some of the simplicity of VB6 form design. I don't know how good it is to handle large projects, to write libraries. to implement user-controls that act as visual representations of the enterprise objects. But no matter how good it is, it won't take that huge amount of code of mine and execute it cleanly without any change.
I don't care about languages, I don't worry about languages, I just don't want my code to sink into obsolescence because some stupid salesman has a bright idea, or an evil executive devised an strategic plan.
I think most are missing the point for the passion. The point is we want a simple, easy to use, understand and implement system for quick deployment of business/customer needs! Call it whatever you want or write it in whatever language you want, but the average problem solver should not have to have a degree in a particular language that changes faster than the tax code! Remember the old adage - KISS is best. For those .net folks that stands for Keep It Simple S*&^head!!!!!
Bring back Visual Basic
There is a real issue of how to support legacy VB6 applications. Upgrading to VB.net isn't possible for large applications. Yet Microsoft ignores this. Either bring back classic VB6 or open source it.
[Deleted User] commented
The Cloud = putting your data on someone elses computer so they can **** it.
I doubt it is possible for VB.net to have full VB6 compatibility.
The best approach is for Microsoft to launch an updated VB6.
Besides fancy people doing fancy things with fancy devices, there is people who spend several hours a day transcribing data. Even after putting all the fancy little gadgets to fancily do most of the work, there are lots of tasks that are best performed using a full size keyboard to type on a large screen. And once you get used to a mouse, it is as good to select and click things as a finger on a touch monitor. With a mouse you may replicate most of the gestures you do with your fingers on a touch screen. Besides, allowing the pointer to rest at some place is also a gesture, which you can't replicate on a touch only device.
There are classes to consume SOAP services from VB6, you may also use the internet transfer control to gain access to sources of information not as structured as SOAP Services, but nevertheless available. You may also POST information to web servers, open connection across dedicated lines, VPNs or the plain internet.
So what are the dreadful limitations of classic VB?
What led someone at MS to dismiss VB6 is probably one of the most stupid, absurd and senseless examples of prejudice in the history of mankind.
"The cloud" is just a heap of information piled up somewhere. At the end, "the cloud" boils down to one end point that answers to requests that comply with a certain protocol: you send bytes, wait for a proper reply, receive bytes and process them. That could as well be done with Fortran or COBOL. That's what computers have always been about, more or less since UNIVAC days.
What is really new is hype dominating common sense and salesmen conducting technicians.