Friday, March 11, 2005

Visual Basic 6.0 Petition

If you have been reading my blog since the start, you will know that I come from a Visual Basic background. My first experiences delivering solutions to my business clients came in the form of VB 6.0 windows applications. I even occasionally opened the dreadful IDE that was Visual InterDev. Wow, did that ever suck. I thought it was pretty cool at the time, considering my other alternative of FrontPage and notepad if I wanted to develop on the Microsoft platform.

I also was very supportive of VB.net. I couldn't wait to get my hands on the first beta of the .net framework.

I did have to deal with some pains when it came to the applications I built using VBScript or VB 6.0 once the .net Framework was around. There really is no way that I have found to easily port code from 6.0 to .net. I had to decide for each of my client application's if I thought it would be better to continue to support the application in 6.0 or if it would be better to re-write the app in .net. After working with .net for a couple of weeks, I never wanted to go back to 6.0. Whenever I had the chance, I upgraded my clients. I even estimated an upgrade at about a tenth of the actual cost and resolved myself to doing the rest of the work for free in my personal time just so that I would not have to use Visual Studio 6.0 any more.

That is why I have trouble understanding the purpose of this "Save VB 6.0" petition that has been ciruclating. I understand how there may be very large legacy systems built in older versions of Visual Basic, but come on. Microsoft has continued to support Visual Basic 6.0 for years since the .net release. For legacy code, wrap it, convert it, or leave it. Again, it is completely possible that I missing the whole point, so if I am, please enlighten me. But I do not understand why Microsoft should continue to support an out-dated language. I am sure there are applications written in Lotus 1-2-3 that are still running out there, too. Is there still support for Lotus 1-2-3? Gosh, I hope not. What a dreary life that would be if you were the support person.

So VB 6.0 is a thing of the past. As a Visual Basic language supporter, I ask, what is so wrong with that?

3 comments:

Matt said...

I agree - I'm not sure what the fuss is. .NET is such a better development platform, and as the saying goes, you can't have your cake and eat it, too. Or maybe it doesn't say that.

Regardless, the evolution of VB into VB.NET did kill VB. I never liked the syntax of VB, just the ease of development... I switched to C# for my love of curly brackets.

blameMike said...

Seriously, what's the deal with this petition?

I think it's time for the VB developers attempting to hold on to a nearly antiquated language -- to pick up a book and embrace themselves in a decent development platform.

My background is *very* similar to yours -- I was a professional VB developer for years, and as such, VB .NET just seemed like the next logical progression to me, as C# did from VB .NET.

I think Scott Hanselman put it best in his post about the petition where he wrote:
“Set VB6 = Nothing”

Valerie Vogt said...

I am glad I am not alone on this whole what's up with the petition thing :)