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VB6 Mainstream Support Retired

Posted on 2005-03-11
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As we all know, Microsoft is phasing out VB6 in favor of its .NET technologies.
VB6 will be "Mainstream Support Retired" as of March 31, 2005.

I just came across an article which may be interesting to all you developers out there:
"A Petition For The Development Of Unmanaged Visual Basic And Visual Basic For Applications"
Click through this link:  http://vbnet.mvps.org/

(In the mean time, I'm studying VB.NET)
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Question by:Erick37
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LVL 38

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by:
PaulHews earned 320 total points
ID: 13518711
Thanks for that Erick.  I signed the petition, although most of my development is in .NET.  :)
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by:ameba
ameba earned 240 total points
ID: 13530560
http://www.infoworld.com/article/05/03/10/HNvbpetition_1.html
Microsoft rep says petition won’t change decision to cut free support at month’s end
:-(
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by:Eric AKA Netminder
Eric AKA Netminder earned 240 total points
ID: 13586878
I'm not a developer at all, but I'm also someone who doesn't believe that I shouldn't be forced to upgrade just for the sake of upgrading. I signed it as well.

Unfortunately, like so many things, the only action that Microsoft will understand is the one people take with their checkbooks. One of the articles on the subject I read -- http://news.com.com/2100-1007_3-5620821.html - says that about 3 million people use VB, as opposed to VB.NET. Not that I have anything against VB.NET, but I do have something against building a product and then abandoning it after you've built a big customer base, and the fact that VB is possibly the busiest TA here says something about it.

ep
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by:imarshad
imarshad earned 240 total points
ID: 13589988
>>"Mainstream Support Retired" as of March 31, 2005.

What does this mean? Will the MSDN, kb articles, Code samples etc. removed from Microsoft website? Or will they cease to add new stuff to it?
Also if Microsoft launch a new OS will it support applications developed in VB6 or not????

Imran
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LVL 15

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by:ameba
ID: 13590968
Imran,
It's a small step towards Unsupported phase in VB6 life-cycle,
http://msdn.microsoft.com/vbasic/support/vb6.aspx says:
"After the Mainstream phase, service packs will no longer be delivered for Visual Basic 6.0."

But last two blogs (by S. "Soma" Somasegar and Jay Roxe) mentioned at http://www.classicvb.org have promises for new SP for Windows Longhorn.

And yes, they are removing VB6 samples.
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:ameba
ID: 13610435
"REAL Software Offers Free Upgrade to Stranded VB Users"
http://www.windowsitpro.com/Windows/Article/ArticleID/45775/Windows_45775.html
(but with that free version you cannot deploy to Unix/Mac)
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LVL 1

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by:dlotts
dlotts earned 240 total points
ID: 13626890
Personally I think they should drop VB.Net when they finally drop legacy VB. When I started using .Net I could find no redeeming qualities of vb.net - the structure and syntax of C# makes a lot more sense to me even though the VB.net syntax was more familiar.  The paradigm is so different in VB.Net that it is like learning a new language; I figured that since I have to learn a new language anyway, it should be the more java-like syntax of C#.
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Assisted Solution

by:garyLittle
garyLittle earned 240 total points
ID: 13629639
I completely agree that abandoning VB6 is really stupid. I have been developing basic since the old CPM days. I have developed projects that still bring in millions of dollars a year and depends on the ability to have a completly secure compilation. It appeared (maybe I am wrong since I stopped looking) but the .NET is a sort of intermediate compile which led to others having to create an "obfuscation" engine. My code depends on extremely rigorous security and the idea that someone can readily look around in it to see what is happening which created the need for obfuscation is unsound.
I will never switch to .NET.
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Assisted Solution

by:sp400
sp400 earned 240 total points
ID: 13640250
I think the real disaster is not the election of a new language to learn in order to develop NEW projects.
Sure we all can learn another one (in this case why .NET and not other able to run in multi-platform?).

The REAL problem is all these projects running (and running secure, stable and quickly) in thousands of sites.
The wizard for "migrating" vb6 to vbNet is a real pain, impossible task for not trivial programs.
Then, how you can continues the developing of natural changes and improvements in these applications?

Converting medium-complex vb6 projects to vb.net may cost already one-man-day per each 100 or 200 lines of code, and you will never be sure if the programmers really was 100% in all the details. Testing, distributing, and so on can cost you another big bucks.
Sure it is a big business for software houses.

I think the real solution is MS providing an 100% migration wizard, even at an little price, it would be an good business for MS, the opposite to spit to the vb6 users.
Other solution is donate vb6 internal resources to sourceforge or similar, maybe you can see even vb7++ running in Linux competing with .Net...
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Assisted Solution

by:IanBrooke
IanBrooke earned 240 total points
ID: 13649698
In light of the fact that a 'switch' from VB6 to .NET requires a re-write of applications (this is even recommended by MS), why would one stay with MS?  Why would you spend all that time, effort and money in re-writing using another language from a company that has clearly demonstrated it cares not a fig about people/companies having to make this expenditure?  Wouldn't you be wiser re-writing in a different language from another company that does seem to have some long-term commitment to its customers and is not going to simply abandon them when their next bright idea for the future comes along.  How long is it going to be before one has to start re-writing the .NET code in the next flavour of the month?
Bye MS.
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by:Erick37
ID: 13811347
"...why would one stay with MS?"

I don't see there is any real choice, since they write the operating system.  But since we are all learning a new language I think it makes sense to learn C# as the .NET language of choice.  The term "Basic" is now far from what the developers of the original Basic language intended.  They may as well call it Visual ThisIsSoNotBasic.NET.

Anyway, it seems that the thousands who signed the petition *may* have had an impact:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/VBRun/

"Welcome to VBRun: The Visual Basic 6.0 Resource Center. I’m Jay Roxe and I’m the Product Manager for Visual Basic."

I wonder how long Jay will keep his job!
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