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Developers Petition Microsoft To Continue Support For VB6

It seems that there are a few developers out there that are trying to petition Microsoft to keep VB6 alive. 

I’ll repeat that.

There are those that want VB6 to stick around.  I’m pretty sure I know who a couple of them are. 

If ever there was a group of folks that just don’t get it, it must be them.  They have even gone so far as to suggest that VB6 and VB.NET should co-exist in the same IDE and that developers could even use both in the same solution and the interop could be handled seamlessly by the framework.  Ya.  That’ll work. <eye-rolling-smilie-face> 

They claim that this move “would not be unprecedented” because Microsoft currently supports the older C++ as well as the new C#.  There’s just one problem with that.  C# is not an evolution of C++.  They are two very distinct and different things.  Sure, C# has curly braces {} and so does C++, but the similarity pretty much ends there.  BTW, Visual Studio itself is written in C++.  Oh, and has anybody heard about this suite of programs called…what was it again…Microsoft Office?!!?  If you had software that represented about 50% of your revenues and it was written entirely in C++, wouldn’t you keep that language alive?  In fact, they are updating C++ as well and fixing up all of the underscore-underscore and similar syntactic gobbledy-gook in the process.  I hear that the new managed C++ is a thing of beauty and many are excited about it.

There are cries that porting VB6 code to .NET is next to impossible and they are absolutely right.  NOBODY is recommending that people port their code.  Ground up re-writes are not required.  If ever there was a red-herring issue, that’s it.  You can still leverage older components through interop, and write new stuff in VB.NET.  Even Microsoft themselves are not advocating a full port of code.  The conversion tool exists, but even they will tell you not to use it.  I’ve written a tonne of VB6 code and it’s all still running just fine thank you very much.  In fact, some DCOM stuff I did a while back even survived an upgrade of the OS from NT4 to Win2K and the database from SQL 6.5 to SQL 2000.  In fact, it’s actally running about 4 or 5 times faster on the same class of hardware.  There’s no need to port that code.  IJW.

I’ve embraced .NET.  I was a fairly accomplished VB6 developer.  I now know VB6, VB.NET, and C#.  Who do you think will be more employable going forward?  When I think of Visual Basic there is one person that pops instantly to mind.  Rockford Lhotka.  Here is a guy that is about as heavily invested in Visual Basic as a person can be.  He’s developed an entire framework on it.  When VB.NET came around what did he do?  Piss and moan about it, or embrace it?  Building on the success of his VB6 work, Rockford Lhotka now has not only the VB.NET version of his framework, but also a C# version.  Creating a C-family version of his framework under the V-6 products would have been a less than trivial exercise to say the least, but with .NET, it’s not that big of a deal.  He now has a wider potential audience, knows a new language, and has gained some street cred (not that he really needed it or cared about it) with the language snobs.

So please Microsoft hear my plea.  You had the courage to make the break.  Stay the course.  Don’t let VB6 linger.  Let it go to the next world with some dignity. 

Just because I can…(BTW, there’s no bigger fan of VB than B. Gates – an if it’s good enough for him…)

posted on Thursday, March 10, 2005 2:16 AM

This article is part of the GWB Archives. Original Author: Totzkeeeeee’s Blog

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