Visual Basic 6.0: A giant more powerful than ever

14 January 2014 Off By luigi

by ISpliter, 14 Jan 2014

Original article: http://www.codeproject.com/Articles/710181/Visual-Basic-6-0-A-giant-more-powerful-than-ever

Motions for reintroduction of Visual Basic 6.0 on the market, in parallel with Visual Studio line

Introduction

Released on the market in mid 1998, Visual Basic 6.0 (abbreviated VB6) has been and it still is the most successful version in the history of Visual Basic. The VB6 compiler has been designed to satisfy the slow processors of the late 90’s (800MHz – 1300MHz). Fortunately, compilers do not get old (ie. ADA – an “old” compiler underlying F22’s raptor on board equipment, or Fortran and COBOL – which are widely used. This throws us into an older conclusion, namely if it is new it is not necessary better.

Nevertheless, at the time, VB6 designers were true visionaries, who have done an incredible job which has withstood time. With the increase of the processor speed, compiler designers have become increasingly careless, overestimating the hardware power. These bad habits have probably been taken from the 3D game industry where the size of the game was almost always confused with its complexity and novelty.

Why is VB6 still successful ?!

There is no great secret that VB6 gets along very well with embedded machine code and the assembly language. VB6 advanced programmers are usually advanced assembly language programmers also. They have propelled VB6 programming language to the very top. Nowadays, through a simple copy and paste of the myriad of functions created by advanced programmers for VB6, an intermediate level programmer can create VB6 applications that run faster than those designed in C++ (no joke there).

Microsoft should perhaps listen to the hundreds of thousands of programmers who demand the introduction of VB6 to the market . It seems that no other programming language has created more scandal than VB6, culminating in a very serious petition to Microsoft made by programmers (14627 signatories including 265 Microsoft MVPs) from around the world. The phrase that is most heard from other internet VB6 programmers in small talk discussions is: “if there is no more VB6 then I will move to Linux, I know most programming languages anyway …” otherwise a troubling phrase for Microsoft.

Both I and other VB6 programmers, do not understand why Microsoft does not redesign a parallel version of VB6, (“Visual Basic 6.0 phoenix” would probably be a good name taking into account the circumstances). Most companies take care of their fans and designers. Personally I do not see anything harmful or threatening in a new separate VB6 programming language for the Microsoft grand plans.

The silent VB6 war

Certain VB6 applications (compiled EXE’s) are in conflict with some antivirus companies. The reasons behind this conflict are not yet known. VB6 is too strong and it has the most programmers, this may be a good reason for conflict, or, another reason would be the incompetence of these companies in extracting relevant signatures. There are rumors throughout the VB6 community that many customers uninstall the antiviruses of some security companies due to false detections on VB6 applications (VB6 executables). Let us remember, Microsoft has not perhaps realized that antivirus companies have buried Visual Basic Script (VBS). However, Visual Basic Script did not have hundreds of thousands of programmers worldwide as VB6 has.

If Windows 7 is criminaly ensane-smart and beautiful (Windows 8 being just smart) and the team dealing with it did a great job, the team (department) that decides the fate of Microsoft programming languages does not, still, understand the force of Visual Basic 6.0. Paul Yuknewicz is (as I understand) the Lead Program Manager on the Visual Studio team. He invites us to use VB6 inside VMware in the future!. It says this in an online movie viewed by 45,841 VB6 programmers, 45,841 souls. Now, is not this a lack of respect for the entire VB6 community ?! just a thought …

The humble request of programmers

We have to force Microsoft’s hand to reintroduce VB6 to the market, of course, under the same name and fully compatible with future Windows OS’s! As long as the programmer feels like in VB6 and the classic VB6 source codes work, everything will be fine and everyone will be happy. Increasingly more and more applications are made in VB6. We will not be ignored !

I will end this article quoting Karl E. Peterson:

Microsoft had never rendered any of their customer’s data unusable. Not once. Why they did it first to the users of the world’s most popular programming language ever, the product the company was founded upon and that may have had more impact on their overall corporate position than any other, is extremely puzzling. After years neglecting the VB6 community, Microsoft seems to be missing something. Us!