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)1-3 . 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 world4,5 . 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 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!"