Sunday, April 26, 2015

A Replacement to Visual Basic 6 IDE and Compiler



Short Summary

vb6(visual Basic 6) was one of the most used and popular development environments ever created. It is estimated that there were over 6 million professional developers using this software. In 2002 Microsoft decided that vb6 in its current state need to be changed, they created vb.net with Major changes to code syntax. These changes made converting vb6 programs to vb.net almost impossible and the recommendation was to re-write your apps. Many of these applications run systems for companies and big and small. Converting these applications is a huge waste of money and resources. Fast forward to 2015, and still today vb6 apps are prevalent in many companies to run the core business. In June 2014 a petition with over 7400 votes, and again in 2015 with over 11,000 votes, on the Microsoft user voice site was denied by the same person who denied a petition in  2005 of over 15,000 programmers. Clearly the demand is there to bring back vb6. Many have tried to re-create this ide and compiler but all have failed. The reason is that they were not at least 99% compatible. The vb6 replacement MUST be at least 99% compatible with the original version to be a success. The starting point for the new version must be to bring it to exactly where vb6 is today, and then improve it in the future.

What We Need & What You Get

That is where this campaign comes into play. Our goal is to gather funds to re-create a vb6 IDE and Compiler. It will only succeed if at least 99% of the vb6 code is importable and a programmer can import his/her vb6 project and re-compile it in a few hours. That is the hard part. Although vb6 has been deemed the step child in programming language, its simplicity is achieved by many very complex workings under the hood. I believe there are three primary options to get this new vb6 ide/compiler done, but it takes money and time. There are many out there already attempting to complete this task, but they all do it in their spare time and therein lies the problem. If we could gather funds to make this their full time job this new vb6 will become a reality.
his project will require a HUGE number of people to commit a small amount of money.
What you Get:
1. You get a way to move your large project into the future with a new way compile your vb6 Project.
2. All sponsors will be mentioned in the about screen.
3. The project will, when completed, be publicly published to preserve it for the future. Public Open Source.
Once funds have been generated I see three options:
1. Pay Olaf creator of www.vbrichclient.com to complete his project of a full vb6 replacement ide and compiler, which would be cross platform and modern. 
2. Hire a group of developers to write a binding for vb6 using Lazarus the open source delphi ide/compiler.
3. We come up with other options along the way like using the funds to bring VB6 to the open source community.

The Impact

If this project is successful it will save many small businesses that have and use a VB6 generated applications as a major part of their operations. These smaller businesses do not have the resources to re-write their applications from scratch.
Many of our options will make VB6 codebase cross platform thereby removing the limitation today that vb6 code only runs on PC.
Risks & Challenges
When I decided to start this campaign I feel that this is the last option for many who have large code bases in vb6. I urge large corporations that have vb6 code bases to contribute to this fund, this will save your company money if you do not have to re-write your currently working business applications. If we do not reach our goal all funds will be returned to it's original donors. If our goal is reached all who contributed will have a vote in which option to move foward on.

    Other Ways You Can Help

    If you cannot contribute to this campaign please go to Microsoft's user voice page and vote here, or send Microsoft correspondence.


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