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July 1, 2005

Microsoft was right to freeze Visual Basic 6

Posted 4548 days ago on July 1, 2005

I'd be more impressed by the various Microsoft has abandoned VB rants if the ranters gave any clue what Microsoft *should* have done.

VB6 as we all know is horribly broken, even when it works - see Verity's article, Bring your Hatchet, and other famous pieces.

I feel a little guilty saying this (only a little), since I also admire VB hugely for introducing RAD development to the Windows mainstream, and because it often does work and gets the job done admirably.

However my general view is that old-style VB is not fixable, so I don't blame Microsoft for not fixing it. Let's also recall that VB development was in decline before the .NET revolution.

Furthermore, I don't think VB6 developers should worry too much about the viability of their code going forward. There will probably never be a 64-bit version, but VB and VBA will work for as long as 32-bit Windows is around. I still use VB6 myself from time to time. VBA in Office will carry on too.

Contrary to what some imply, Microsoft has a good track record in the area of backward compatibility. Many 16-bit DOS apps still run on Windows XP. Personally I think Microsoft has done the right thing with VB.

Is there any point to VB.NET over C#? For a developer like Hogan (author of the first article referenced above), probably not. However, VB's case insensitivity and more English-like syntax does make it easier for casual developers. Others simply prefer it, and why not?

Update: I've written a short article which goes into more detail on why Microsoft abandoned Visual Basic 6.

Re: Microsoft was right to freeze Visual Basic 6

Posted 4548 days ago by Hairy • • • Reply


I can only say you had better bring in your dog and board up your windows. A few brick bats are lilely coming your way.<g>

Never the less yet another explanation why Huw Collingbourne of Bitwise Magazine quest for people who have recently switched from VB6 to Delphi didn't expose a thundering herd of converts..

Re: Microsoft was right to freeze Visual Basic 6

Posted 4330 days ago by Matt • • • Reply

Just another encouragement to piracy of vb

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