I am in the process of starting a KickStarter Project to produce a replacement for vb6.
If there is anyone out there that has the technical expertise to accomplish this please contact me.
We would need to get a plan together to make this happen. My intention is whoever works on the project will get paid for their time, but they have to be efficient and an expert.
I have one person in mind... vbRichClient, but not sure if he is willing or able. I really think this is our only option, Imagine a third party vb6 Replacement. Would you contribute funds or expertise?
@martin rizal: Well, React OS may be a nice option, but nobody is using it so it's no option at all except for some personal stuff.. Better WINE support would be a much more viable option (I must admit I have absolutely no idea if WINE even is capable of running VB6 applications these days)..
Open source can be a viable option (like GIMP etc), but a lot of times it's just missing some stuff that a business is already using (like many inhouse written VBA add-ins (which is one of the reasons why MS Office is still supporting VBA in Office)) or just don't convert documents that good.. Ofcourse it's a good measure to look into other options, but there is also the cost and time investment of having to retrain people to work with the other applications which can also be a very time consuming and very costly business, especially when there really is no need to switch (but ofcourse as I said, make sure your IT department is looking into it for when there IS a need to switch).. Open source doesn't always mean more secure, better or cheaper, paying for a license can be much cheaper than having to retrain staff for using other software (and with another change you also have to retrain them again, if it's closed-source or opensource)..
And in regard to the open source community hearing you, well, where were they over the last 14 years when VB6 had already been discontinued...
Here are a few things to consider: - 64 bit adaptation would be no problem - as many below pointed out: VBA is already available in 64 bit. All that is missing is the compiler (which can be taken from Visual C like it was done before!) - If .Net is the technological future, why isn't Office built on or at least moving to .Net? Office Development Team obviously said something like "Screw that sh't..." - If .Net is the technological future, why isn't Windows 8 build on or at least moving to .Net? Windows Development Team obviously said something like "Screw that sh't..." - If Windows and Office Dev Teams won't go .Net, why the heck should we? - Microsoft - especially the Visual Studio Team - has a proven track record of abandoning technologies and programmers alike. Here are a *few* of the *many* examples: GDI+, Lightswitch, Silverlight, XNA and of course VB6.
So my conclusion is: Paul has no clue what he is talking/writing about (64 Bit). Also the VS team is seemingly the only team at Microsoft that is completely misguided and believes in kicking developers in the curb and in that clusterf*ck that is .Net. Why would anyone with a clear mind adapt .Net technology? It will suffer the same fate as every technology the VS team has come up with - excpect perhaps C/C++ - even ths VS team isn't stupid enough to slaugther that beast.
I am astonished. I will simply repeat an internal email circulating amongst my colleagues -- If EVER there was an ignorant and arrogant company that was heading like lemmings off a cliff, it is Microsoft.
And we went on..."They have just recently kicked vb6 into touch -- despite thousands of votes for its revival, despite the fact it was their most popular language, and IS STILL more popular than dot net"
Many people in MS need to be dismissed, including Paul Yuknewicz whose patronising automation is beneath contempt. My plea is direct to the shareholders, weed out those who see your plunging investment as inconsequential, second to their ego. Open your eyes. Wise men once said the customer is always right. Who knows, but the sycophantic lot guiding your policy is not right and will drown you.
Anyone who knows me knows I have invested in Linux. I was always open minded to MS and hopeful of a glimmer of sense. Thanks for the lick in the teeth. You disgust me.
"VB6 was and still is without a doubt awesome. VB6 made developers incredibly productive building a breadth of applications and as a result we have a wealth of applications and passionate developers to this day in 2014. " - but we aren't going to do anything to help you.
Ok. You suggest that we start using .Net to extend our current systems as a start for a full migration process that thus would proceed gradually and painlessly. But that also implies that we can use interop with .Net code from our Classic VB applications. Therefore, our classic VB applications are "empowered" to face the same problems that VB.Net would solve. So we conclude that you pulled the rug from under our feet as a sort of marketing move to force us into your new line of products. Any argument to rationalize the abandonment of Classic VB is easily disproved, even using your own premises. Pleas, stop beig so stubborn and dumb **** and give us back Classic VB.
Let me replay Karl E. Peterson's last phrase: Oh, and finally, before they orphaned the product Microsoft routinely published their claim/estimate of six million Classic VB developers, so the "tens of thousands" above is off considerably.
Message from Karl E. Peterson: C'mon... This isn't even reasoned out. Unless your goal is to make sure no one even listens to you, you gotta get a few things straight.
It's quite clear why they can't open source it - Classic VB(A) is still integral to their Office franchise. Microsoft sinks if Office does, and Office sinks if VBA goes away. That's the only thing currently keeping Microsoft afloat. Paul was clearly not saying there's any technical reason for that (open sores) refusal, but they have fully understandable business reasons for not wanting to do that.
Now, the story about not being able to do a 64-bit implementation... Yeah, that was purely a fabrication. They've demonstrated it's entirely possible with VBA7. If you want to attack a lie, well, there it is.
Oh, and finally, before they orphaned the product Microsoft routinely published their claim/estimate of six million Classic VB developers, so the "tens of thousands" above is off considerably.
Disconnect the language from the runtime and use the .net framework if you have an issue with the runtime environment. At the same time while you at it cater for the web, mobile and desktop applications from one code base - do not limit the target platform to MS. You made the leap with MS Office, now do it with your development tools.
Microsoft will become irrelevant as the number of alternatives increases. My alternative choice too VB6 is not vb.net, it is Adobe Flash with Flex/AIR. Just as productive as VB6.
You can always traceback to a point were things started to deteriorate.
I guess should be the time to seriously think about to abandon Microsoft and their moods. I would remember that EACH SINGLE time they release a new technology, they present and SELL IT as the absolute and definitive good solution for ever. While, in the meantime, constantly show all the weak point of the past technology like if was made from somebody else! I've partecipated to hundreds of workshop from Microsoft and their "evangelist" and ALWAYS news stuffs are good, past stuffs are absolutely BAD even if THEY MADE IT. This happened with RDO and then ADO was suddendly the new way to god... Also with IIS happened the same. And now it happen with the SDKs...For who is taking the time to read this post, please consider that from .Net 1.0 to .Net 4, ALWAYS a "porting" was needed! Even if you used .Net... but with the new wrong version! At Microsoft seems they do not care AT ALL about developers.
They seems not to understand that all the above "moods" COST MONEY other than time! Bigger the company bigger the costs. Not all the software company around the world have the resources Microsoft have! I hope those are only "moods", otherwise that means at Microsoft they do not know what they are doing! At moment, seems that developers are binded with their operating system and if you want to produce YOUR software, you MUST agree with their politics. Take it or leave it. If you don't agree, you just loose all what you did till that moment! I perfectly understand that the world need to be innovated, but then two considerations came to my mind:
1) I wish to be FREE to decide if I NEED to innovate myself or forced to do it, paying otherwise the penalty to loose my customers or job. 2) If innovation is in terms of software "theology", structure OOP etc. and the porting from "the past old bad stuffs and habits" is the "new" .Net way of light, please consider that JAVA is like is .Net NOW, but just years and years ago! So if we want to talk about innovation, then it is Microsoft that is LATE about 10 years, not WE as developers. WE JUST BELIEVED TO THEIR ABILITY to provide a working environment to build software. And Visual Basic 6 IT IS EXACTLY THAT. So, if we are talking about "innovation" seems then that all the developers that trusted on Microsoft's solutions have really used very OLD stuffs, not competitive since the beginning. So, how many of you still believe to continue trusting in Microsoft?
How long this "new and good" technology will remain the same,until the new "porting", in the name of the "innovation"? We have to still trust about the forecast for the support of this .Net product? What about the mandatory switching to Windows 8 if you want to INVEST into the new latest versione of .Net? How many of your customers will feel comfortable to mandatory switch to Win8 only because you started to use the latest .Net framework? Personally, because of the amount of the products and related code I've done in these years I CANNOT AFFORD to "port" it to .Net. Too much complicated, good for "complex" stuffs to do with VB6, but incredibly slow and difficult for basic everydays stuffs. Not to mention the protection of the intellectual property, that with .Net it is simply impossible to really protect. Well.. there are "obfuscators"... good to stop my grand mother... (continue)
That said, if a new Linux Basic SDK appear on the market, I'll for sure reccomend it to ALL OF MY customers, suggesting to switch to Linux. Probably I'll do the switching for free then! Incredibly less cost, more performance, more stability, less problems system-wide. If a new "Linux Basic" that REALLY WORKS will be sold for Linux, I'll go to buy it. 100%. So, who is able to do a compiler, should take this opportunity that Microsoft left open! Whoever will make a Linux Basic, have a market of thousands and thousands of developers, READY TO GO. Those developer, like me, are simply tired to be kept by the neck from Microsoft. We do not switch to other systems simply because there are no good alternatives, or good economic alternatives. Yet.
Well... if I'm FORCED to INVEST my time and MONEY somewhere else, there is JAVA, that prooved to be made from who have clear idea in mind about software industry and how to respect who kept the company grow. Do you think that Microsoft could sell so many licenses of Windows and Office, if there was not so many developers around the world? The above to answer to Mr. Paul Yuknewicz, the Group Program Manager of Microsoft Visual Studio Cloud Tools. I respect what he said, technically speacking. His points are honestly good points, but economically speacking, and in the way Microsoft usually put decisions, it is totally unacceptable. Refactor VB6 is difficult?!!? This means do the .Net is easier?
We have no way to force Microsoft having a "GOOD SENSE OF PRACTICE" other than go away and leave them alone. So, this is a WORLDWIDE CALL to any developers that are able to make a SDK that have the same ability of VB6, but opened to all the suggestions made in this forum, actualize it, make it for mobile applications too, if possible and with the ovious constraints! BUT running onto a serious platform: LINUX. That one will be then a "porting" that could make some sense to do... and not blindly still follow the Microsoft "evangelists" (I'm not kidding. They call like that, by themself, at least here in Italy...).
Paul Yuknewicz states, in his refusal to add support for 64 bit VB6 programming:
"This ensures your apps and components continue to run as you incrementally move forward to .NET. "
Can he really be so naive as to believe that following his attempts to destroy the investment of VB6 developers those same developers will "move forward to .NET". The reality is that developers will move to non-Microsoft development tools.
1. Supporting a VB6 64-bit version does not mean changing your .Net vision. Both can co-exist. 2. We don't need VB6 to do all things (the .Net vision) just a 64-bit IDE and compiler. 3. If you cannot do the above allow an open source version and provide materials to do so.
If a voice conversation with Paul Yuknewicz can be arranged please share your results here. Please stress: 1. Supporting a VB6 64-bit version does not mean changing your .Net vision. Both can co-exist. 2. We don't need VB6 to do all things (the .Net vision) just a 64-bit IDE and compiler. 3. If you cannot do the above allow an open source version and provide materials to do so.
@Sten2005: You could try our VB Migration Assistant. It migrates a VB project to Xojo, but it does not change your source code. It just moves over layouts and copies the VB source as is; you'll still have to update the source yourself. Migrating code from one to language to another is not really a solvable problem in general. There are always enough semantic differences and unknowable intent in code that it cannot be converted 100% reliably. You'd still have to review all the code to make sure it is going to do what you expect.
@Paul Lefebvre Thanks for your reply Paul. I looked at Xojo a few years ago (when it was named Real Basic) and I was quite impressed. The main reason I didn't take it up was the issue of migrating existing VB6 source code. Had you this capability (either directly or via a wizard) you would have a winner.
@Sten2005: You are correct, Xojo is not VB-compatible. It is similar, perhaps more similar than VB.NET. It's also much simpler to learn than VB.NET, so it's probably easier for most VB developers to switch to. Of course, you can also create OS X and Linux (and web) apps as well. I'm not aware of anything that is 100% compatible with VB except VB.
Don't forget that nothing has actually changed. Last week the VB6 programming language was being supported by Microsoft until at least 2024. This week, VB6 is being supported by Microsoft until at least 2024.
The only thing that has changed is Paul Yuknewicz's CV:-
@Paul Lefebvre I'd certainly recommend looking at Xojo (formerly Real Basic). But my understanding is that it is not VB6 compatible. It is another of many Basic languages that puts language 'improvements' ahead of compatibility. As such, it is probably no easier to migrate to than VB.Net. Paul, if I am misunderstanding please post a correction here.
Circa 2004. was the one and only time I rang MS for support I spoke to a very pleasant lady who assured me that she could help me but first needed some information. Thereafter followed a lengthy questionnaire about me and my company and the MS products we used. Once this eventually concluded she simply advised that I contact any Microsoft reseller in my country and that they would be able to help me with my problem. I can't remember but she probably finished up with a "is there anything else we can help you with today"?
Microsoft has in recent years become OSS friendly. They now get praise on sites frequented by the younger developers with a leaning for OSS (e.g. Hacker news) for open sourcing stuff and making contributions to OS projects. It's a googlesque "don't be evil" incarnation of Microsoft, a Microsoft 2.0.
Us old dinosaurs on vb6 though, we get 'classic' Microsoft
1.) Bill Gates did not retire from Microsoft. He was basically pushed out, but very quietly. It's amazing we live in a culture where companies hire these MBA executives who have no clue about actually running a business for longevity. They're only interested in the quarterly bottom line, so they convince investors and board members to run a man out of the very company which he founded.
2.) Although they could very easily do so, the new and unimproved Microsoft has absolutely NO intention of ever open sourcing Visual Basic 6, just so because of the very fact that it is that good. Microsoft is going to attempt to drive the business desktop model into a direction more in line with Metro. But, it will be almost impossible to convince the corporate world to upgrade to newer version of Windows if VB6 is made open source and cross-platform, thereby giving business owners instead, good reason to switch to Linux for which Visual Basic 6 could easily be adapted to produce RAD business programs. For all Microsoft's evading the question as to why they refuse to open source VB6, simply put, the answer is a strategic one. Microsoft does not want to compete with one of its own former products, because if it were adapted to Linux, it is an almost certainty that Microsoft would lose that competition.
I don't use VB6 classic anymore, and I've moved on from VBS because Microsoft has developed richly functional alternatives, VB.NET and PS. But I still support and write a lot of code with VBA because while promising for years to deprecate VBA and develop some other scripting/macro language for MS Office, Microsoft has yet do so. That is another reason why VB simply won't die.
With regard to that ReactOS link below, make your voices heard. ReactOS could be the stable supported platform of choice for VB6 developers for years to come. They need to know that you exist and that you are a community that is worth supporting.
Do a lot of you devs have VB6 code running factories, communicating with PLCs etc.? I don't think MSFT understands how devs have used vb6 to interface with PLCs/controllers to create HMIs etc. and how PERFECT the code has to be, otherwise people can get hurt on factory lines. I doubt that a CS grad fresh from engineering school is going to understand this.
I've written in both and yes .NET can do everything vb6 does. That is not the issue, the issue is the decades of development and SAFETY TESTING that has went into some code to make it perfectly safe for the people who rely on it. You can't just re-factor the code running your factory line and toss it out there, people can get hurt.
Microsoft are you listening?
PS - If anyone is looking for someone to re-factor their vb6 code into .NET, drop me a message, i'm looking for new opportunities.
Shockingly we received your response yesterday about the decision on VB6.
In retrospect, I should not have expected anything different. The technical reasons you gave seem not to be 100% accurate as there is already a 64bit VBA and VB6 is just a layer over c++. But I understand the politics over all this, it makes sense from your perspective.
What I don’t understand is why it is not feasible to OPEN SOURCE VB6? If the product is outdated, what would it hurt MS to open source it. There are many people I know what would take the project and run with it. All this would take no resources from you. As far as I understand vb.net is open source, why then would you not allow vb6 to be the same.
I urge you to re-consider open sourcing vb6, maybe just start with a dialog about why/why not. Not feasible is just to vague.
"We don’t expect or demand anyone to throw away their code or rewrite from any of our technologies unless it makes business sense for them to do so." Nonsense. The only reason I need to rewrite my 300,000 lines of VB6 is because MS has pulled the rug out from under it.
Despite all these yrs and these petition, i think VB community doesnt have a clear vision of the future. If we can get 1000 people to donate 5$ or more each then surly we can do something about it, may be a legal notice to microsoft will move things. Simply complaining will not do a thing, they will just ignore.
this 'Paul Yuknewicz' is responsible for this mess. We should rather contact someone senior to tell them whats going on. may be "S. Somasegar" who is corporate vp of the Developer Division will take a look at this.
Dot net is complicated rubbish, a mistake from square one. Microsoft trashed the best, fastest, easiest way to build forms apps in favor of a complicated, ridiculous system that takes more code, more effort, exposes the code after "compilation," and runs grinding slow to boot. The reason is simple: It takes way less effort to build things with VB6, and dot net is all about selling consultant time, MAXIMIZING the effort and therefore the billing. VB6 was American programmer philosophy: faster, easier, get it done sooner with less bugs. Indian (MS) programmer philosophy is to maximize income, period. A little [true] story: Two Indian programmers spent 6 months writing a "metadata editor" in Swing/Java - it didn't work. Buggy as ****. I rewrote it in two weeks, more features, no bugs - in VB6. Did this prove VB6 is more effective than Java? No! It proves I Am Not A Team Player.
You state regarding VB6:- "Current needs ranging from distributed applications and services, to web applications and services, to devices, to new architectures and languages, required fundamental changes to the whole stack. We looked at how we could accommodate these needs through incremental changes to VB6 while maintaining its essence, and that was not possible."
What we have requested is an updated VB6 programming language. That is an updated VB6 for Windows desktop applications. The main requirements would be to maintain compatibility with existing VB6 source code whilst adding 64 bit support. That is to do the same changes that you have already done in VBA7.
You say the 64 bit change would require 'retooling'. But you have already done (much of) this for VBA. And see Olaf Schmidt's post below explaining how this can be done.
If Microsoft cannot do this, then give us the source code and we will.
I fully support Winston Potgieter's call for a conference call with yourself.
Mr. Yuknewicz , I think a few of the top responders here should have a conference call with you. I think a dialog here could clarify things on both sides. There are people here, "Olaf" being one of them, that has the expertise and skill to make a new vb6 happen with very little effort. I really think you should re-consider Open Sourcing vb6. It does not take any resources from you, and it will solve many problems. If vb6 is unable and outdated what would be the damage if you open source it. I only see the benefit of more OS sales because of more windows apps.
>> you speak about the future problems, mobile interfaces, web application, services, new architectures.
Mr. Yuknewicz thank you for responding. Respectfully, we dont need VB6 to fulfill your .Net vision. We just need a 64-bit VB6 IDE\compiler. VB6 meets a particular segments needs. Please understand that fact.
Please release VB6 to the open source community if you cannot deal with it appropriately.
The whole situation is kind of stupid. A sensible company would have created a small division to support Classic VB and keep it working over time while still making some revenue from it (there is absolutely no doubt that keeping Classic VB in shape would have some cash flowing towards MS). They do not even have to alter their mainstream plans. Just assign a minimal team to fix/upgrade the tool and that would be all. As long as several million PCs are running our applications, they will have to support them. Not because they are gracious, but because breaking support would mean breaking compatibility, and loosing several million upgrades. So we don't have to worry. It is they who should. But if they don't and prefer to redefine themselves as mice makers and phone sellers, that is their problem.
@superdre "open source isn't any better than closed source", Think again. Linux is open source. They are stable kernel and OS. They better and secured than the closed source and it never easily fades. Think of this an M-16 rifle was developed in 1962 until now it is in service. F-15 fighter jet design is still active since 1960's. Because they are effective and successful human creation. Visual Basic is a succesful programming language and Developing Tools for windows. Let it grow and continue to exists.
I understand your decision, but with all due respect, i think Microsoft have not understand what the comunity of vb 6 developers needs or ask for. You speak about the future problems, mobile interfaces, web application, services, new architectures... needs the modern .NET platform that is awesome, is like going in a spaceship to solve that problems now and in the future. I say, Ok , thats ok, the spaceship is perfect for that, but for DESKTOP applications i think it is not a problem for Microsoft to mantain the vb 6 platform working. With maintain i mean only to upgrade to 64 bits all the microsoft components,activex and IDE and let it work in windows 9,10,11.. We dont ask for new functionality, new versions, new upgrades, we only want that all the functionality that is working now will work in the future, nothing more than that.
- Litle vb 6 support team. - Investment in the new IDE and activex,com 64bits
Business advantages for microsoft.
- Selling of the new vb 6 IDE and components - VB6 application ecosystem and comunity capture involve more microsoft windows system selled and tools used like for example the office. - For the new Desktop APPS User can choice betwen the spaceship .NET and the VB 6, but finally the comunity will buy both like us, because for modern platforms we use the .NET but for simple lightweight apps and for mantain ancient application we use vb 6.0.
Risk for microsoft if not
- In the year 20XX microsoft say VB6 Game Over, dont work in windows X. The people will invest in ultrafast migration to other development platforms, what reasons will have this people to invest in .NET plataform if the are other alternatives cross-plataform with similar languajes or migration process and free operating system like linux, os chrome, virtualization...
In summary, i think maintain and upgrade vb6 to 64 bits is a great business for microsoft to win the future operating system war with os chrome, linux...
Finally say you that we have a 18 years ERP software (Starting with vb 3) working in more than 2,000 users (and in some PC's with Windows 98!!), 500,000 VB 6 Code Lines and it works perfect thanks to Microsofts well done work, for this we hope in the future microsoft to take good decision with this.
@SuperDre Sure, there are problems with open source too. That's why this call was for Microsoft to upgrade VB6. (As an aside, it is laughable that Paul Yuknewicz puts forward his weak reasons why VB6 can't be upgraded). The point about open source is that it gives the possibility of a way forward. By refusing that, Microsoft just ensure that the campaign for an updated VB6 continues, whilst simultaneously reducing what little trust remains in Microsoft among developers.
But when any large software developer decides not to continue with a development tool (VB6, Silverlight, XNA, whatever - or VB.Net tomorrow) what should happen ? A smaller organisation may sell that tool to another developer, a large organisation probably wouldn't consider it worth the paperwork. A reputable organisation may move the software to open source to safeguard the investment of it's customers, a large bureaucratic organisation may not even consider that.
In reality, of course, the position today is no different to what it was yesterday. The VB6 programming language is supported until 'at least' 2024. That is likely to be extended. And as long as Windows uses the Windows api VB6 is likely to keep going.
With this decision, Microsoft has sent a clear message to developers throughout the world "Do not use Microsoft developer tools. You simply cannot trust Microsoft to protect your investment."
@Martin rizal: that's total BS, open source isn't any better than closed source.. Especially the forking can be a big problem, and A LOT of open source projects just die... It's great if a project is open source because there is a possibility you can continue development yourself, BUT most businesses don't have the capacity nor the knowhow to continue development on their own (yes it's great if you want to fix a bug or two, but adding completely new functionalities like 64bit compilers requires a special knowledge).
And as I said yes it's great you can fork, but the problem is that you have to be carefull to 'follow' that fork and what's to say that fork doesn't die like soooo many forks have before.. Opensource is great for an 'amateur' project, but not for big businesses..
And saying to a developer to stop updating your system/toolkit and forget MS technologies is stupid ofcourse, you clearly aren't a professional developer who has a lot of clients..
And at the moment there also isn't any real 'opensource' development framework that is really future proof.. There is no opensource framework/runtime I've heard of that actually runs on about any Windows (from 95 and up) or any version of linux (from an old early version up till the latest), one of the only runtimes that actually works an most windows IS the vb6 runtime, **** even .NET requires newer versions (1.0 isn't even supported anymore)..
And for MS opensourcing VB6, I think the problem is really with opensourcing it, but with the technology being used which propably has been licensed or patented, which makes it a bit harder to just opensource it..
You are experiencing the effect of using the closed-source software or technologies.
If the VB6 is open source then the developers will fork to continue the existence. For example, when the KDE migrated version 4 from version 3, the group of developers fork the KDE 3 and the Trinity Desktop is born.
Since VB6 is closed-sourced, its now fading to end unlike open-source that the support and maintenance will continue until no longer use or becoming obsolete.
Its now time to swiitch to open source. Time for a change
All VB6 Developers, Leave Microsoft now. Stop any updating your systems and toolkits. Forgot Microsoft technologies. Time to leave to now and build our future of computing for your companies and your career.
so its settled, MS can take their metro UI and keep building their shipyard of freshly minted bad ideas and run in any size circle they want. I however wont be a part of the circus. As a developer i need stability and continuity. VB6 still solves every problem I had and in the way I want to solve it. Someone will create a source compatible language or importer and it will be cross platform. Its not rocket science. There will be a HUGE profit for whoever does this. I look forward to the day of using an alt OS. Innovation for the sake of innovation or trying to force sales, or woo home uses has no value in my book. I like the suggestion of making my software not run on newer Windows builds. Reverse discrimination wont hurt me one bit.
Well, didn't expect anything else and am not surprised. What leaves a sour taste, is the smoke-grenades and evasive maneuvers we got as an "explanation".
So whilst reading my comments to Paul Yuknewicz, keep in mind that the VB6-sources are written in C++ and its functionality a subset of C++ goodies - but in an easier to use manner, hiding the gory details of COM.
So, VB6 is basically a high-level-layer "on top of C++ in COM-Mode" - and COM is state-of-the-art-tech again (with the new WinRT-libs, which are COM-based too).
C++ is *the* 1st-class citizen in this new unmanaged WinRT/COM-world - and no .NET assemblies are needed at all, to write the so called "modern Apps" with C++, WinRT and XAML.
So, unmanaged C++ is the top-consumer for the new MS-tech - the "WinRT-projection" (the library-binding to the new Windows-Runtime) for C++ is ready - and could easily be re-used by *any* language which emits C++ code in its intermediate compile-step.
And VB6 is such a language! The *native* VB6-compiler emits intermediate C++ code, which gets finally compiled to machine-instructions by C2.exe, a somewhat leaner derivate of the (version 6) MS-C++ compiler.
So, what would have to be done technically, to "lift up" the already C++ emitting VB6-sources to the current tech-level is a WinRT-binding, along with an integration into the latest VS-C++ IDE (basically an AddIn, which shows VB6-sources in the Editor and triggers the existing VB6-C++ emitter... Not exactly rocket-science if you ask me.
Ok, that said, I can keep my direct comments pretty short:
> Current needs ranging from distributed applications and services, Perfectly possible with VB6 even today - and COM+ is still a #1-citizen in the MS-ecosystem.
> to web applications and services, *Writing* Web-Apps (serverside code) was never a domain of C++, please see VB6 as the thin convenience-layer atop of C++ as it always was... *Accessing* WebApps (WebServices) is handled over http-, XML- and JSON-libs - perfectly possible (and often used) by C++ and VB6 as well...
>... We looked at how we could accommodate these needs through incremental changes > to VB6 while maintaining its essence, and that was not possible. Not true. C++ is still a first class citizen - and VB6 always was only a convenience-layer on top of it, using the same unmanaged compiler in the end.
> To address the modern needs we would need to go far beyond updating the language. Sorry, but no larger language-updates would be needed - and as for your "far beyond", I think that I made already clear, that a completely satisfying result could have been provided, by simply offering for VB6, what was offered for C++: A WinRT/XAML projection (re-using the already existing C++ bindings for that). VB6(C2.exe) emits C++ code and produces COM-ABI compatible Class-assemblies.
> Take a change like 64bit, the complete runtime, tools and ecosystem chain would > need to be retooled. Now you're really kidding us, because a recompile of existing C++ sources to 64Bit- targets is not rocket-science at all. The vbRuntime is pretty small - and very portable - there was even a 64Bit version for the 64Bit-DEC-Alpha-CPU (WinNT-era). And "the ecosystem" of VB6 is COM - so there's nothing which requires a "retooling".
> So, moving forward what can we do? As already stated - you could just have offered the compilation of VB6 sources over an Addin for the C++ IDE - the original VB6-C++ codebase offers the C++ emitter already - the VB6-runtime-lib exists as portable C++ source - the VBA-based runtime- parts as well.
> In summary, VB6 was awesome. We agree. Yep - it still is.
> It is not a viable option to create a next version of VB6. That much is clear and I have no real problem with that decision - my replies only try to underline, that the alleged "obstacles" you brought so far, aren't the real reasons - it's clearly a political decision that's made, to not cannibalize the .NET universe.
> It is not feasible to open source VB6 tools chain and ecosystem. Sure, because after the opening, a 64Bit compile would have popped up only a few weeks later - followed a few months later by a plugin for the C++ IDE, re-using the C++ WinRT-binding... and the newest C++/Cx compiler to translate the emitted sources. ;-)
> I hope you feel we’ve listened to your feedback and that I’ve explained things > well enough that you understand our decision. Thanks for your feedback - although it came very late. The decision is exactly as expected, no disappointment here - though your explanations for the reasons were lacking some logic, not considering that we always just wanted a "somewhat easier to use C++", unmanaged native compilation, no Garbage-Collector - instead we wanted good old RefCounting and the easy COM-access/COM-lib-generation, along with easy access to the COM-ABI providing system-libs.
Paul, this scandal will reflect badly on your name. Please put this idea on review, it will make many many people happy! We can provide active development for the new VB6 compiler for FREEEEEEEEEEE, what do you want more than that ?
In MS VB6 last only until 2024, in React OS or Open Source Community, VB6 last forever. Lets help the ReactOS developers to make VB6 run smoothly and flawlessly on that OS. Push this app >>>http://community.reactos.org
If you dont want to switch OS or Reversed Engineer the VB6. Help the author of GAMBAS (a VB6 clone,http://gambas.sourceforge.net/en/main.html) to add support on windows (GAMBAS is currently run on Linux but there is also an attempt to run it windows).
Its now time to leave MS, Windows, and the Visual Studio. Just like the symbian developers did to nokia.They walked out from their office after the announcement that nokia was dropped symbian OS.
Lets move and help the open source community especially the React OS, GAMBAS, WINE, and other VB6-clones and attempts.
Here are two GREAT alternative products to VitrolBasic.NET. It's time to take our loyalty, money, and business elsewhere. Since so many businesses are jumping ship from Windows and Microsoft, and moving to Linux, it's time we did the same. Let Microsoft dig its own grave.
One of the main attraction of using windows is the ease of developing apps for it using vb6. If microsoft declined to return vb6, then abandon and uninstall your windows. Make a contribution to ReactOS. A open-source version of windows to make it stable.
Oh, that is SO short-sighted. With a committed developer base, a new head of steam, imagine the coup that MS could have brought off if they had decided to create a new RAD tool like VB6 that was compatible :
1. Ensured compatibility with VB6. 2. Extended the language, new functionality fed via the committed dev base 3. Made the IDE compatible with the old 4. Given the new language 64bit support 5. Given it cross-platform support.
How many would have committed to it? How many would have dived back into the Windows fold. How many would have paid £200-£300 to get back in?
To echo what Karl Peterson said: "Paul, in a word, that's ****. Clearly a 64-bit version is possible, as you've already demonstrated with Office. Which, just as clearly, is why you feel it's untenable to release it as OSS. After 15 years, is it really still impossible for Microsoft to present an *honest* answer to their customers?"
Paul, do you remember when you said "It isn't cost effective to keep rewriting code to get back to functional equivalence" ? Why do you want us to do that now ?
Or when you said "VB6 is still the product to beat in performance." ?
Also guys... rather than continuing our wasted efforts to coax a dying Microsoft to revive VB6, perhaps we should throw all our strength and talent behind a cross-platform product called PureBasic. Microsoft is soon going the way of the wooly mammoth, and so is Windows. It's time we move to newer and BETTER technologies that aren't part of a huge sinking ship...
Microsoft will NEVER open source VB6 because of the fact that it is that good. Microsoft wants to forcefully dictate the direction in which computers and software are going rather than allowing the consumers and market to do so. Therefore, this new evil form of Microsoft (sans Bill Gates) will absolutely not want to compete with one of its own former products driving the direction of computing technology. So, with that guys - who cares anymore? Let these new idiots at Microsoft do the same thing that new comers and know-betters have done to virtually every other corporation in which they have infiltrated... drive it into the ground. I think we can help them out on this.
PAUL, REMEMBER THIS: You said the same thing in 2008 and six years later VB6 IS THE FIRST MICROSOFT LANGUAGE IN ALL CORNERS AND POLLS ON THE INTERNET. LET DOWN THE PRIDE AND BUILD A NEW VB6. If you have NO people specialized in smart compilers (like Microsoft had in 1996-1997) then WE OFFER OUR HELP !!!
Anyway, thanks for the confirmation of 2024, yet it is a beautiful thing from your part !