VB 6.0 Support


There has been much discussion about the pending end of Mainstream support for Visual Basic 6.0.  About 2 1/2 years ago Microsoft announced the support details for VB 6.0.  On March 31st of this year Mainstream support ends.

There seems to be a bit of confusion in the world and some statements flying around that are not exactly true.  Please allow me to take a few moments to clarify.  I encourage you to read the details here.  This is the end of Mainstream support NOT THE END OF SUPPORT.  VB 6.0 will enter a 3 year period of Extended support.

So what does that all mean to the average developer?  First off you can continue to get support for VB 6.0 both on the telephone and online.  You can still get free self help online.  You can continue to get critical updates.

Now the changes.  Your support incidents will be a charge.  Today you get 2 free phone or online incidents with the product anything beyond that costs you.  After you use your 2 incidents today it cost you either $99 or $245 depending on the response time that you want.

If you have already used your incidents you are charged already today so not much will change for you in this area.  If you have not used your incidents yet I would encourage you to use them before the end of the month.  After the end of Mainstream support you will STILL BE ABLE TO GET SUPPORT on the phone and email.  Some folks have been concerned that we are ending support for VB 6.0 on March 31.  This is not the case.

Next change, critical updates (hot fixes) will be available for a fee.  This is something that each person has to consider for themselves.  The product has been out for 6 years and is on SP 6.  If you have been using VB 6.0 for years as a developer and you have not run into a critical bug in the product that has not been fixed by one of the prior hotfixes what do you think the odds of over needing to pay for a future critical update?  That is a question each developer has to weight. 

Critical updates will still be available just not freely downloadable.  I do not know that pricing, but if anyone is interested I will try and find out.

So on April 1st VB 6.0 will still be supported the biggest change is that some of the free support will go away now that we are six years after the product was released. 

VB will continue to be supported for another 3 years under Extended support.

The rumors of the death of support area greatly exaggerated


Comments (58)
  1. McKenzie says:

    Send me VB now or die…bitch

  2. Bill Vaughn says:

    So Brad,

    What happens on April 1st 2008–at least as far as support for VB6?

  3. Brad McCabe says:

    In 2008 Extended support will end. At that point customers will be able to work out custom support agreements with Microsoft. This will be a choice each company has to make. Based on the amount of VB 6.0 code that is still in production do they opt to arrange a custom support agreement or is it a non-issue for them.

    Each person needs to weigh if I have had this application running for many years and have never called support is not being able to call support something an issue. If the answer is yes then you can set up a custom agreement to have the ability to call support. If you figure you haven’t ever called and you don’t want to pay for it that is a choice.

  4. boyz says:

    Please give me a free software to acces toolbar help in visual basic 6.0 or give me msdn sofwaare to actived help toolbar in VB

  5. Stephane Rodriguez says:

    I believe everyone couldn’t care less about VB6 if you provide them a seamless migration path to VB.NET with no downtime.

    Is it what you have provided so far? Answer : No.

    Is it what you’ll provide before total end of support? Answer is yours…

  6. I agree with the previous comment.

    How dare you bastards leave me no upgrade path for 24/7 production systems for apps with over 200,000 lines of VB6 code / 1200 SQL Stored Procedures ?

    AssWipes.

    Dougie Lindsay

    IT Manager

    Castle Precision Engineering Ltd

    Glasgow, Scotland.

  7. Dougie Lindsay says:

    For any other disgruntled customers please visit :

    http://classicvb.org/petition/

  8. Mark Mehelis says:

    Mr. Lindsay,

    I would disagree with your statement that you have no upgrade path… you are choosing not to take it.

    No upgrade path I have ever seen with any language is without its costs.

    One of the reason I stopped writing VB code as a former VB MVP was the attitude of "I am entitled to ____" which is very prevalent amongst VB developers.

    By the way calling someone an AssWipe does not improve your point. You in fact loose whatever credability you had left after your incorrect statement saying you had no upgrade path.

    Mark

    Not a manager, a doer

  9. Dougie Lindsay says:

    When I say I am IT manager, that is my job title.

    Day to day I manage over 80 client PC’s,30 Users, 2 Clustered Servers running Win2000, manage our own email server/internet connections, in fact everything in IT is done by me. I do not actively ‘Manage’ anyone in this job (6 years+), (21 years IT experience).

    I’ve developed every single line of the above code in the last 6 years.

    I work on my own at Castle Precision Engineering, a company with 110 employee’s.

    As for AssWipes, that is my feeling towards M$ at the moment.

    I will be discussing these issues with my Chairman when he returns from holiday (Las Vegas at the moment), but a switch to Linux may well be on the cards in the longer term.

    Why trust Mr. Gates when he’s just piled a load of shit on trillions of lines of source, the world over.

    Dougie.

  10. Brad McCabe says:

    I understand that people on both sides of this issue have strong feelings. Can we attempt to keep the comments professional and not personal.

    Mature debate and discussion is healthy for everyone. Let’s try and check the name calling. I don’t mind opposing views, if I did I would moderate and reject comments I disagreed with, lets just have a professional discussion on the issue.

  11. el Guille says:

    What happens with new OS release… will support VB6?

  12. "How dare you bastards leave me no upgrade path for 24/7 production systems for apps with over 200,000 lines of VB6 code / 1200 SQL Stored Procedures ?"

    How dare you lump Store Procedures into your argument. Did you say it in the hopes that we were all stupid? Perhaps you were hoping we were illiterate? STORED Procedures are stored in your DB and you needn’t change one of them to migrate to .NET. If you had said adhoc string queries you’d still have no argument but at least you wouldn’t be blatantly attempting to distract us with BS arguments. Why not say "but whatabout all those icons and JPEGs and Metafiles my app loads? what will happen to my icons now that VB6 isn’t supported" as though that has anything to do with anything.

    If MS continued support you would leave those 200,000 lines in VB6 and smile. continue leaving those 200,000 lines in VB6. After 6 years do your really need the tech support team to hold your hand while you code? I’d think after 200,000 lines and a 24/7 system you’d be pro enough to not need support. So pretend .NET doesn’t exist and pretend that VB.COM is supported in 2010 and your life will go on.

    Some people aren’t satisfied, VB was released in what 1991, 11 years of consistency, one turbulent transition and you’re ready to pack it up and run to Linux. While you’re translating those 200,000 lines into C using a language that isn’t supported by ANYONE and writing emails to people who may or may not be around in 5 years what with not actually being paid for what they do maybe you could imagine yourself in MSes shoes. Maybe you’ll be lucky enough that in 20 years someone calls you up demanding support for something you wrote 30 years ago and not wanting to pay you for it.

    Software Development LIFECYCLE, pay attention, life cycle, part of life is death, things live then they die. VB3 is DEAD, please don’t write any petitions about it.

    You’ve got my email, send me your 200,000 lines , I’ll help you migrate it to .NET for FREE just to watch you eat crow. What do some of you people get paid for? You can’t learn new languages or new tools, you don’t have time for migration (yet you have tons of time for OS migration and switching to C#). You can upgrade and you can port, you just don’t remember what they mean. If I can port MP3 audio encoders from C (not C++, C) to VB8 your can port your VB6 code. You don’t want a port and you don’t want an upgrade, you want someone to do your job for you or for all of .NET to just be some ActiveX you can reference. Doesn’t work that way, and it doesn’t work that way for a reason. Grow up, I’ll be waiting for your unmigratable codebase @ ad_green@lycos.com -put your code where your mouth is-

  13. Kostas Botonakis says:

    Well, i think that is your decision to make changes on the support of VB6, but you could make the critical updates free for all VB6 Developers arround the world!

    Why changing the things now? There are many many many VB6 Developers that don’t like this change.

    So much code for nothing?

  14. Steve says:

    I have to agree with Anthony D. Green here. Being in the hardware side of computing I see changes to systems ever month, and support for previous ones are dropped before you can say the name of the thing. Its all part of the life cycle of the product which, with technology moving forward at ever increasing speed, mean we , as engineers and developers must take under our belt and learn to learn and relearn.

    And definately moving the 200,000 or whatever lines of code to linux means a rewrite rather than an upgrade.

  15. sokushi jonez says:

    I don’t know. That guy’s rant about software "dieing" seems like a steaming pile of crap. Planned obsolescence is what is causing software to die. Not the laws of physics or science. Its massing the armies of development to support whatever the latest buzzword from the hive is at the time. Why is everyone afraid of C or C++? When you look at the changes to VB.NET compared to VB6, C and/or C++ really don’t look all that bad. Also skills with C and C++ tranfer to other realms of development whereas VB6, VB.NET, C# are things that are pretty much locked into the whims and moods of MicroSoft. So what is microsoft planning on replacing .NET with? How many years until that happens? 5, 7 maybe 10?

  16. Dougie says:

    You guy’s seem to be missing my point altogether.

    If i move my code to vb.net, i am looking at a rewrite and for your information, I can code in C, pascal, delphi as well as vb.

    vb.net is a million miles from vb6.

    Look at the petition. All people like me are looking for is move to .net(if there is no option), load, compile and run the app with no change.

    Get real. If I have to rewrite this, why not just move altogether from Microsoft and not let them shaft me again in the future ?

    Dougie

  17. Nissar Ahamed says:

    It’s a good news that VB 6 support does not end 31/Mar, 2005. However, given the amount of coding that has gone into VB6 worldwide and the learning curve to rewrite all again, 3 years may be far too less.

    I would opt for a non-MS development tool if this is going to be the case every couple of years of threaten…

  18. Baruch K says:

    I’ve asked Microsoft (Israel) to help

    me with porting my smallest utility from vb6

    to vb.net …and I’m still waiting. I’ve tried

    the wizzard and got 100 runtime errors about uninitialized classes (what classes????????).

    Sorry, but this is not VB. We wont VB 7 !!!

    .net is not for us !!!

  19. Brad McCabe says:

    To answer the question of will VB 6.0 work with the next OS Release (Longhorn), for the record VB 6.0 will work with Longhorn.

    Individual applications might not. I put that disclaimer in because I have no way of knowing if you did something unique in your application that won’t work with Longhorn. I would put this disclaimer in if you asked me this question years ago about if VB 6.0 would work with XP.

    As a general statement VB 6.0 will work just fine with Longhorn and the vast, vast majority of applciations will continue to work just fine.

  20. I think there is a huge difference between applications for Windows developed in VB6 and those developed in VB.NET.

    First of all, VB.NET executables are extremely easy to decompile and crack and they require a framework which is not available on many machines today.

    The idea of moving from the COM to the CLR technology does not excite me at all and I really hope the MS experts will change their minds and make VB6 available on the market.

    VB.NET is not the evolution of VB6. It is a completely different language that has very little to do with its "predecessor."

    I agree entirely with Baruch K when he says, "We want VB7!" but a real VB7 that improves on VB6 and does not change it completely.

    Microsoft, be careful! If you go on pursuing .NET and denigrating COM, you could shoot yourselves in the foot.

  21. Brad McCabe says:

    Click <a href="http://blogs.msdn.com/brad_mccabe/archive/2005/03/12/394658.aspx">here</a&gt; for a bit a clarification on two points that seem to have confused a few people.

  22. Dougie says:

    I once again agree with the previous post. VB.Net is not Vb and Microsoft will be losing alot more than VB Sales. Talk SQL licenses etc.

    Linux is free (as in beer) and once apps are moved they certainly will not be coming back to M$ space.

    Dougie.

  23. Dougie says:

    So much crap being posted here :-

    Every new version of VB has always been able to load, run.

    Who was the dickhead that thought this one out ?

    Dougie.

  24. A lot of VB6 programmers I know are looking for (COM) alternatives to VB.NET. They produce shareware applications and they just don’t want to migrate to VB.NET for the reason I gave in my previous post. (reverse-engineering in VB.NET is a piece of cake)

    Trying to convince millions of people to abandon the COM technology may eventually be the mistake which could make MS lose their monopoly on operating systems.

    Believe it or not, I would be very disappointed if this happened. I have invested so much time and effort in studying VB6 and Win32 API that the idea of putting all my knowledge in the bin and starting to learn a new language from scratch really upsets me.

    I think a petition all VB6 programmers should move is to ask MS to proceed on two parallel paths. They can certainly go on with .NET but, at the same time, they should avoid abandoning the COM technology simply because it will certainly backfire. Win32 has been around for such a long time that now it does not make any sense to tell us, "Let’s start a new era and get rid of the millions of tons of existing code."

    Dear Microsoft, have you have explored the possibility of making a fortune by releasing VB7 for WINAPI32 as a real continuation of VB6?

    Why are you trying to destroy a wonderful technology that you yourselves created some years ago and that many people consider to be the best in the world?

  25. Pasquale Esposito says:

    I have just signed the petion moved by Dougie Lindsay and I firmly believe all VB6 programmers should do the same.

    Please visit

    http://classicvb.org/petition/

    where you will find

    A PETITION FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF UNMANAGED VISUAL BASIC AND VISUAL BASIC FOR APPLICATIONS

    Thanks, Dougie. I really hope your petion will have a positive outcome.

  26. Vahid says:

    My Name is Vahid

    I am a computer student and computer programmer.

    I work with your product Microsoft Visual Studio 6. (Ms VB6)

    I have a question about compilation.

    ther is two choice in vb compile options.

    1- P-CODE

    2- NATIVE CODE

    wich one of them is best ?

    My project is almost done and been finished.

    I want to Make a exe file and close the project and I afraid that

    there was a decompiler that can crack my project.

    now I dont have any knowledge about these codes .

    in P-CODE program compiles all project in one OBJ file and then makes exe file.

    and size of program is smaller.

    in NATIVE program compiles every form of project in seperate OBJ and makes one exe file and size of program is larger.

    wich one of them is inscrutable and un-decompilable.

    if the answer is NATIVE : wich optimization is best suitable.

    thank you for your support.

  27. Nish says:

    Why don’t you guys give the VBers a VB 6.1 compiler with a /clr option that’ll compile unmanaged VB6 code to IL (same as in C++) ?

    Nish

    [somehow my comment vanished]

  28. Nish says:

    And perhaps you could give them extensions (VB 6.1/CLI) to smoothly add managed features to their existing apps.

    Nish

    [this one vanished too]

  29. I read some of the blogs suggested by McCabe relating to the petition and I could not understand the reason why some people are convinced that VB.NET is a better choice than VB6.

    Do you really believe that compiling to byte-code is safer than compiling to machine language? Standard Windows executables are self-sufficient and very hard to decompile. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about the next version of the .Net Framework and hope that it will guarantee perfect compatibility with the version you are now using.

    A lot of people have not yet installed the Windows XP service pack so they don’t have the Framework on their machines. If you distribute your applications through the Internet, you may lose a lot of customers because of that.

    What concerns me is the fact that, presumably, every three years MS will release a new version of the Framework and backward compatibility is not to be taken for granted.

    VB6 programmers are not stupid. Programming for Win32 will give them fewer problems than following MS in this new experimental environment.

    MICROSOFT, PLEASE SELL THE DISTRIBUTION RIGHTS FOR VB6 TO ANOTHER SOFTWARE HOUSE AND ALLOW THEM TO COME UP WITH NEW (VB.COM) VERSIONS.

    Believe me if I tell you that a lot of people are convinced you are digging your own grave by abandoning VB6 and the COM technology.

    You have come to a fork in the road and I’m afraid that, if you decide to abandon Win32, many people will ask themselves the following question, "Well, a new era for operating systems has started. Win32 has died. So, what does the market offer? The .NET Framework and LINUX seem to be the only two valid choices…"

    Please consider that nowadays the operating system is not an issue at all: when you buy a computer, Windows 32 is an inescapable choice.

  30. .NET enthusiasts routinely claim that VB coders are so stupid they can’t learn a new language. They also suggest that VB6 applications can be left in VB6 for ever.

    The first point is plain silly—any programmer worth his salt can learn a new language at need.

    The second point is more subtle, but equally wrong. If VB6 is never updated, newer platforms will acquire progressively more features which are inaccessible to applications written in VB6. Eventually, VB6 will not be able to run on modern platforms. So the evil day of rewriting may be postponed for a while, but it cannot be put off for ever.

    When a new platfom appears and a new compiler is developed for it, it is expected that some code in an existing language might have to be rewritten in order to use the new platform features, for instance file input-output, user interface, or communication with other programs. But much code just does calculations of one kind or another (sorting, adding etc) and that part of it should not need any modification at all to compile and run on the new platform. But to go from VB6 to VB.NET, much of this code has to be rewritten as well. That costs a lot of money. Many programmers won’t mind getting paid to do the same job over again, but their employers won’t be so happy at the cost of it, which will of course have to be passed on to customers.

  31. Danny Bowman says:

    A programming language is only as good as it’s ability to allow you to develop solutions. I am an MCSD in VB6 and have been providing enterprise level solutions for customers since 1996. My VB products are still being developed, sold, and supported across the country. VB has allowed me to provide a very good living for myself and my family.

    Curiously, I have never encountered an issue that I could not resolve in either present or past iterations of Visual Basic, Nor have I ever spent a dime on MS support. VB6 is still my programming language of choice.

    If VB.NET could help me do my job better, I would have no problem in the transition. But in truth, it offers me nothing I can’t already accomplish. Furthermore, if I did nothing else but spend all my time converting my VB code to .NET, it would take years to accomplish the task. So really, what’s the point? What’s the advantage? The truth is, for me and many developers like myself, there is no point and there is no advantage.

    Mr. Gates can keep the fortune that we VB developers have helped him make and MS can drop VB6 support. I could care less. But what I DO care about is whether or not at some point in the near or distant future MS will make a decisions to modify an OS in away that will result in the loss of my livelihood. It is this prospect of coercion and exploitation brought about solely by egoistic will that concerns me the most.

  32. EdwardT says:

    Wow,

    I never post to these things as I find them rant-a-thons and not discussions. I am quite embarrassed to be part of a community that can generate childish rants like this. (I would love to know what percentage of the posters are actually over the mental age of 3)

    Just a quick look through and a plethora of comments come to mind. Won’t bore you with all of them (my mind is a scary place) but a quick smatering from the last few posts.

    "Windows 32 is an inescapable choice.", Uhm, Jonathan. U heard of 64 bit yet. Not much in it at the moment (bit more memory and stuff) but well… So when they start 128 Bit computing u gonna be back whining that you want a 32 WOW environment to run your apps on?

    And as for continuing with VB.COM. Maybe we should all just back port our code to 16 bit, everyone go back to Windows For Workgroup and be happy. How dare M$ force us to upgrade all those years ago.

    I have to admit M$ coming out with new stuff all the time is so annoying. I reckon they should stop it. Then in two years time we can all start another flame war like this where we all complain about how M$ didn’t innovate or come out with new products and left us all unemployable.

    And as for the "I can do anything in VB6, who needs anything new." All I can say is I hope you never work on a project for my company.

    I have been dabbling in VB since early days (yup even had to upgrade from 3 to 5 to 6 (skipped 5 for all the obvious). And think, If I hadn’t and M$ had just kept everything at Vb3 I would now be a Java programmer. (Upgrading my Java code to EJB and beyond). So you enjoy subclassing windows forms in Bas files etc and can’t stand for any of this new-found inheritance stuff. Good for you, Win95 still running ok on your planet?

    If anyone bothered to read any white papers you might find yourself in my shoes. I have an enterprise app which leaves me little upgrade path (The time required is not an option and the upgrade wizard laughed at me). I still have started to write some stuff in .NET (hmm, write 300 lines of SOAP integration code or run a cmd file that generates my class for integration in 5 seconds, which way to go, Oh, hang about I just love rewriting the same code all the time). Will my app ever be 100% VB>NET. Maybe some time,

    Do I care? No. The code that I am not porting has not changed in ages, who needs support, if it ain’t broke…..

    Will I be writing new stuff in .NET. Why not.

    I think it is time for people to think about why they are developers.

    Move to something else if change scares you.

    They even bring out new Cobol compilers (you can even get .Net ones).

    Change is necessary.

    And I hope all you whiners for change are being true to yourselves and running the same OS and hardware available in ’98 when VB CAME OUT (and still use a good old C64 for a games console, none of this spawn of Satan new stuff they keep bringing out).

    Oh well, got actual work to do and I am sure kindergarten is in session again. Have a nice day children.

  33. Ian says:

    The critics of the critics of the VB6 to VB.net conversion are missing the point, entirely.

    1) Writing software is a business – about making money.

    2) M$ provided NO upgrade path other than that provided by the sweat of one’s brow. This costs money. It doesn’t make money.

    By providing no useful upgrade path, M$, in one move, is costing a lot of companies a lot of money to no purpose, other than increasing it’s own profits; profits provided by its own developer base.

    Other solutions (already mentioned above and implemented for C++) could, and should, have been provided. The cost to M$ would have been minimal. The benefits to current users, immense, and everyone gets to learn .net in their timeframe, not M$s.

  34. DB says:

    None of us should be delusional. It’s all about the money. M$ doesn’t give an ass scratch about VB6 developers. They want your money. Period.

  35. EdwardT says:

    Ian

    ok, Let the Critic of The critic type this verrry slowly.

    Then DO NOT UPGRADE you idiots.

    I have coded in vb since 3, none of them did a perfect upgrade. ever.

    You trying to tell me every C++ compiler upgraded 100% all the time. Horseshit.

    Are you trying to tell me every bit of Java code since day dot is always compiler/OS/new release un-aware. Crap.

    If you people spent less time wining and more time learning something new the world would be a better place.

    Do me a favour, leave M$, Go To Linux or Apple Mac and Whine about them. If they are so perfect why are you a VB6 developer in the first place?

    And M$ is ONLY IN IT FOR THE MONEY.

    Well surprise, surprise, so am I (It’s called business, look it up in one of those new inventions called a dictionary).

    VB6 was designed as a RAD development tool, for doing rapid prototyping and front-ends. If you have done all you backend business rules and Enterprise systems in it then now is not the time to whine. Why didn’t you read up on the language before implementing it all those years ago. Let me guess, to get product to desktop quicker and save money, hay it’s called things coming back and biting you in the butt, deal with it. Not Bill’s fault you picked the wrong tool.

    I admit I have done the same, but I am at least wiling to live with my choice and not try and blame everyone else. It’s taking responsibility for ones own action, part of being an adult.

  36. Visual Fred says:

    <i>I have coded in vb since 3, none of them did a perfect upgrade. ever. </i>

    And not a one of them was anywhere – ANYWHERE – near as challenging as this one. All – ALL – previous versions provided a reasonable upgrade path. The Upgrade Wizard in all the released versions isn’t anything close to an upgrade path, just a semi-useful add-on commissioned from Artinsoft, that slightly smooths a manual migration.

    The VB6 developer is a customer, often an MSDN subscribing one who is still paying large amounts of money yearly. As customers, we cannot help our supplier (Microsoft) do better if we do not provide feedback on what areas we consider important, Edward.

    We will do so, and you will not be able to shout us down, no matter how much you wish it.

  37. EdwardT says:

    Yes Visual Fred,

    But your post IS feedback.

    I maybe got a bit carried away on my last post but there is a difference between "I am a professional customer and here is my feedback/problems" and 90% of the posts I have seen on this issue. And they are rampant.

    I don’t deny that the upgrade wizard is a bit shoddy and could have been done a bit better but I see a possibility of M$ maybe improving this or coming up with a bit of a "help you upgrade" system or similar.

    Keeping Vb6 and starting rogue versions of it aetc I see as a wee bit silly.

    I think VB6 has (and rightly so) outlived it’s usefulness. It was never the most powerful language and there was always a lot of things that could not be done (which had their own flame wars with demands by paying customers asking for other features.)

    Maybe it is time to start a "how do we move forward" blog not a "lets go back".

    There are a lot of things that generate headaches moving 6 to .NET but over the last while I have found a lot of usefull items. With a gradual upgrade (everyone has 3 years) I believe this is not an insurmountable problem. I have seen upgrades that still use DCOM with Interop running various VB6 bits of code. Maybe M$ just needs to generate another Interop wrapper for existing vb6 code? Maybe the comunity of people like myself who have had success need to be a bit more helpful to those in strife. Reading so many of the blogs and flame wars out there though I am usually very reticent to post replies (this VB6 issue is the first in years) as I find a lot of people don’t want help, they want to complain.

    Getting VB6 to load and run in .NET is not going to happen easily. There are just too many changes (most of which developers like me wanted). but keeping vb6 and COM/DCOM for ever is not going to help anyone (especially not our customers).

    Personally I don’t believe M$ made the mistake with VB.NET I think the mistake was COM. but hey that’s a discussion for a different Blogwar.

    No there is not a pure upgrade path, but it is also not as bad as some may think (and is not required in a single hit). If anyone needs help and advise I am more than happy to contribute my 5 cents worth (for all the help I would be <grinn>) but I fear the "lets keep VB6" Blogwars have (hopefuly) seen the last of my thoughts.

  38. 70Bang! says:

    <<If i move my code to vb.net, i am looking at a rewrite and for your information, I can code in C, pascal, delphi as well as vb. vb.net is a million miles from vb6. Look at the petition. All people like me are looking for is move to .net(if there is no option), load, compile and run the app with no change. Get real. If I have to rewrite this, why not just move altogether from Microsoft and not let them shaft me again in the future ? >>

    (you ever write a compiler?)

    I want to get this straight. I went out to the MSDN Subscriber area and found VB6 has been posted there for over six years. The SP6 buglist is dated April 2004. You have issues with this combination which are mission-critical, have no workarounds, and you simply cannot conduct business as a result? Out of the 200’000 lines of code you’ve written in the previous twenty of the twenty-one years of experience, how much of it is written in a fashion for reuse? DLLs? out-of-process? classes? Because of your experience and the fact you’ve worked in "C, pascal, delphi as well as vb", one would hope you’ve blocked your code to take advantage of these structures.

    Guess what? .Net can interact with these assets. (DLL, OOP, etc.) So you wouldn’t have to rewrite 200’000 lines of code. Also, just because they’ve made an announcement of a change (for the future), how is that an bugle cry to begin a mission of rewriting legacy code?

    I’ve worked with VB since it was VB/DOS (early ’92?) and I don’t suppose I’ve seen a need to get worked up about any of the versions. Besides, who knows what might happen? Do you know how Microsoft came to get the lion’s share of the market in Visual C++ and Access? It wasn’t anything shifty on the part of Microsoft. In both cases, it was complete incompetency on the part of Borland.

    In the case of Visual C++, Borland had a good grip on the market through mid-to-late ’92 with something like 80%-85%. Microsoft and Zortech had the remainder, moving back & forth, depending upon which direction the wind was blowing. The difference(s)? Borland’s IDE + everything was all Windows. Microsoft? DOS. One of the other big things is Borland had a class library named OWL (Object Windows Library). What happened? Borland moved to a new compiler and it didn’t respect OWL I. You had to port to OWL II. They supplied a wizard and that was worthless because when something didn’t work you had to either crawl through Bizarro-code or convert the original by hand. When everyone had to convert code, they said, "Hey, let’s poke our head out of this gopher hole and see what’s going on in the rest of the world." Lo, and behold, Visual C++ came out in Jan|Feb ’93 (on twenty diskettes). Borland gets something caught in their zipper and watches their market share dwindle overnight.

    Access? The Access you see isn’t the original Access. There was one before that. It didn’t fly well so they shelved it and started over. In the meantime, Borland bought Ashton-Tate for one reason. The PC database of choice: dBase. Ashton-Tate had some other products, but Borland wanted dBase. Mostly for a port to Windows. A couple of teams were put together to look at what dBase could become and a sizeable committee was organized to watch the presentations. The first one showed a rather simple port with some interesting features added. The second, a kick-ass product which would make people wet their pants. The result? (Q: "How long would it take for #1?" A: "12-18 months"; Q: "How long would it take to for #2?" A: "3-5 years, if we’re lucky.") Pick option #1, wait three years, and come out after Microsoft Access has been available for sale since November 15, ’92, selling for $99, one million copies/month.

    Once again, Borland fritters away a lead – in this case, it was virtually a monopoly as few people were using Paradox (Borland) and those using FoxPro were doing so because it was a clone of dBase IV. When was the last time you heard a headhunter came knocking at someone’s door looking for help with Paradox (Win|DOS), dBase for Windows, FoxPro DOS?

    So interesting things can happen, even if they don’t seem to at a discrete moment in time. Companies can cause things to shift quickly without realizing it.

    Besides, remember a Chinese phrase: "May you live an interesting life." – you never know when it’ll be Microsoft’s turn.

    Rye ‘n Dry,

    p

  39. milev says:

    I started learning VB at the age of 23. i love it, on every time i code,i discover some thing. i continue learing it til now i am learning. now in the age of 33(teen years of my life). i discovered that i still have to learn, but on the way of perfectioning, not discovering. i do it for fun, and i am very upset for what microsoft desided about our experiance. what if i code for money (survive)?. so microsoft (bill gate). you asked ‘where do you want to go today?’, my answer is ‘try to realize my old dreams’.

    ………about my english. i very sory :).

  40. Richard Bethell says:

    <i>So you wouldn’t have to rewrite 200’000 lines of code. Also, just because they’ve made an announcement of a change (for the future), how is that an bugle cry to begin a mission of rewriting legacy code? </i>

    But you are missing a bit of the point, 70bang. You’re forgetting that presumably all these DLLs and classes are also written in VB, right?

    So what advantage is gained to you? Your libraries still have to be upgraded if you want them to live inside the support window.

  41. NABEEN says:

    HOW DO I GET HELP IN VB6.0 . I DON’T HAVE MSDN INSTALLED AND IT ALWAYS ASK FOR IT . HOW DO I GET MSDN .

  42. rajeev says:

    msdn of vb 6.0

  43. Sam Witters says:

    You know, the harsh truth here is that VB6 is dead. Microsoft will never support it anymore not will it ever introduce a new update to that old and tired language. It won’t make a bit of a difference what we say or do. Microsoft says they care about their developers, but all they care about is to find ways to increase their profit. Sadly we all have to just accept the fact that VB is dead. To quote Bruce McKinney (Hardcore Visual Basic writer): "It’s over. There’s nothing left for you here. Wake up. Go home. Your children are waiting." It truly is over. I will just move to C++ or Java. I will never have fun programming, but life’s not fair and it will never be again.

    "Visual Basic. 1991-2002."

  44. Paul Duncan says:

    Before shitting all over the code, learn about it. I’m a true-blue vb guy. I loved it since vb3, loved building dll’s in vb4, loved building my own ActiveX usercontrols in VB5, loved even more in vb6.

    VB.NET IS different. It’s a language that embraces OOP more than any previous VB version ever could or would. I’m born-again. I’m a developer and I love writing computer programs. I love discovering and learning new ways to accomplish my tasks.

    Nothing stays the same forever. Evolution dictates that you either change or die. It’s the natural course of things. Instead of fighting and fretting about like old ladies, embrace the challenge.

    If your programs are written in vb6 and are running in production environments, leave them be. Start developing your new apps in .NET. Oddly, no one is complaining that they had to update thier DOS programs written in QuickBasic to VB3 for Windows. Why is this any different? Because you’re older now? Because you fear change?

    Grow the fuck up people. Progess was never made by sitting on your ass.

    (BTW for all you shareware developers (hell, any developers) so vastly worried about person decompiling your .NET assemblies to gain access to your source code: Click on the ol’ "Tool" menu then down on to the ol "Dotfuscator Community Edition".)

  45. Dougie says:

    In reply to Mr. Duncan, you obviously have no legacy code to maintain.

    I downloaded the VB 2005 Express Beta, bought a MS Learning edition which includes Vb Net 2003 standard. Please believe that upgrading previous vb6 apps is nothing but a no no.

    MsComm control, forget it.

    Major source using ADO (MS previously declared staregy), forget it. ADO.NET is all about being disconnected. What about corporate developers writing in house apps ? Forget it.

    MS obviously believe that every company in the world don’t have a fresh air firewall between their security bug ridden software connecting to the internet and companies that like to keep their network their own.

    Where now ? Delphi mosy likely.

    Dougie.

  46. James says:

    You can say PLEASE all you want, but in the end this is M$, not Open Source. You are Microsoft’s bitch, not the other way around. Do yourself a favour and learn a non-Microsoft language, you will never look back.

  47. RB says:

    DOugie, you nail it bang on. Saying "let it run" is fine for applications that are not changing, which will die out on their own, and which require no new code changes.

    Many of us have applications that have to have a migration path forward. The lame artinsoft translator is not that window forward.

    Many of us have been left in the lurch without an adequate path forward, and Microsoft refuses to acknowledge this simple truth. (As do, sadly, too many of our fellow developers when they don’t have the legacy apps to retain, i.e. Mr. Duncan.)

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