Is learning VB6 now a complete waste of time?

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109 Replies - 41459 Views - Last Post: 08 January 2014 - 04:44 AM Rate Topic: -----

#16 wake12  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is learning VB6 now a complete waste of time?

Posted 09 November 2012 - 07:58 AM

View PostAdamSpeight2008, on 07 November 2012 - 09:31 PM, said:

vb6 is supported in Windows8 (sadly)
Microsoft should make a stand and say they killing vb6 support in the next OS release.


Win 8 is already destined to be a failure, if MS ever drops VB6 support that would be the biggest flop ever for MS.

I own a company that develops and sells a software product made with VB6, our sales are close to 1 mil a year and I see no reason to switch to .net. The time it would take to port the code would be unacceptable, and the end result would be a buggy, bloated, slow program that has no additional features for our customers. Besides from my experience with MS and their "this is the platform of the future" today then obsolete tomorrow, I would never put that much time into going to another MS development platform. If we ever do change it will not be to anything produced by MS.
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#17 xclite  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is learning VB6 now a complete waste of time?

Posted 09 November 2012 - 08:14 AM

View Postwake12, on 09 November 2012 - 10:58 AM, said:

View PostAdamSpeight2008, on 07 November 2012 - 09:31 PM, said:

vb6 is supported in Windows8 (sadly)
Microsoft should make a stand and say they killing vb6 support in the next OS release.


Win 8 is already destined to be a failure, if MS ever drops VB6 support that would be the biggest flop ever for MS.

I own a company that develops and sells a software product made with VB6, our sales are close to 1 mil a year and I see no reason to switch to .net.

Fine, risk vs reward, it's already built and works, why bother.

Quote

The time it would take to port the code would be unacceptable, and the end result would be a buggy, bloated, slow program that has no additional features for our customers.

If it's buggy, bloated, and slow, I'd guess your company isn't very good at programming. Nobody's trying to convince you to change, we're trying to convince OP that they're better off learning a language that new, exciting software is being written with.

Quote

Besides from my experience with MS and their "this is the platform of the future" today then obsolete tomorrow, I would never put that much time into going to another MS development platform. If we ever do change it will not be to anything produced by MS.

Microsoft very rarely obsoletes languages like that. VB6 is a testament to their willingness to keep shitty things around.
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#18 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Is learning VB6 now a complete waste of time?

Posted 09 November 2012 - 08:14 AM

Well that's a pretty unfortunate outlook, but I guess it is part of the game when you are still thumping your chest to defend your territory for a product that had its 'sun set date' back in April 2008.

I have no idea what your software is or does, but if it works for you in vb6 then kudos. My company keeps current on the .NET framework and ports our apps from VB6 as needed. No bloat, no bugs, no performance decrease. I guess that is just part of the devs job to minimize those things.

We tend to take the long view of "no moss grows on a rolling stone" in terms of IT changes so we have a cheerful view when flowing with the times.
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#19 cfoley  Icon User is online

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Re: Is learning VB6 now a complete waste of time?

Posted 09 November 2012 - 08:30 AM

Wake12's post is a great example of why programming languages never really die. (Welcome to DIC, by the way).

Programming languages can be classified into two buckets. It's a sweeping generalisation but it illustrates my point nicely.

Good for learning about programming
Smalltalk - most OO language
Haskell - most Functional language
Assembly - closest to the metal
C - Close enough to the metal
Lisp - Most Lisp-like language

Good for getting work done
Cobol - There's lots of legacy code around. Work MUST have been done it it!
Java - Easy enough for the masses, feature-rich API.
Anything.NET - works very well with Windows.
VB6 - Works well with Windows, superseded by VB.NET

Like I say, a sweeping but useful generalisation.

The languages in the first group are considered great ones to learn. They'll all make you think about programming differently. Some of them are pretty long in the tooth but they are still considered the best examples of their particular paradigm. However, you don't hear about many projects written in them (apart from C of course). The emphasis has been on elegance rather than performance or features.

The second group are more mainstream. They compromise on idealism for pragmatism. They may be a bit ugly but they'll certainly get the job done. Unfortunately for them, once something better comes along, they will be superseded. That's already happened to COBOL. I doubt many new projects are being started in COBOL.

VB6 is going the same way. I think anyone starting a major project in VB6 just now is making a mistake. Maintenance will certainly be around for a long time but for new projects, Something.NET will be a better choice.

If you're going to learn a workhorse language, don't learn VB. Don't learn COBOL either or Fortran. The .NET platform will give you plenty more options as will any other modern, up-to-date language.
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#20 Chris Boss  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is learning VB6 now a complete waste of time?

Posted 09 November 2012 - 08:39 AM

As far as performance is concerned, managed languages while decent in performance are not the panacea some may think. Microsofts own Herb Sutter (C++ expert) in his talk "Why C++ ?" discusses this and basically says that for the last 15 years performance has been pitiful (can't remember the exact term he used). Windows Vista was an attempt to do everything with managed code and it was a bust when it comes to performance. Check channel 9 for his talk, very interesting. Even at Microsoft they talk about the "C++ renaissance" using native code for better performance. One of the reasons many programmers fail to appreciate the problems with poor performance is that their own development PC's are "souped up" PC's with a lot more power than the average mass market PC. For example, force a programmer to use a PC with 1 ghz CPU and 1 gig of ram and ask them if their development language will run very well on it. Not likely. You could load VB 6 on such a computer and it would run fine. Personally, I use tools which would allow me to use a PC even half as powerful as that and still no problem.

Visual Basic 6.0 should run fine on Windows XP with an older CPU and just 512 meg or less memory.

Try that with Visual Studio.
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#21 xclite  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is learning VB6 now a complete waste of time?

Posted 09 November 2012 - 08:44 AM

I'm wondering where things like Python, Ruby, Perl, Scala, Javascript fit into that sweeping generalization.

Python, while not my favorite, is an excellent langauge for learning programming *and* for doing things.
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#22 Curtis Rutland  Icon User is online

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Re: Is learning VB6 now a complete waste of time?

Posted 09 November 2012 - 08:47 AM

I disagree that that's even an issue. Why would I want to develop on a crappy computer? I can write software that will run easily on those crappy computers, in .NET or otherwise. No, I won't be able to run the IDE on them very well, but that's not an issue, unless you're going to be really cheap and make your devs work on crappy machines. IDEs really aren't indicative of language performance.

This is why you need QA VMs. Limit your hardware for testing, not development.
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#23 xclite  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is learning VB6 now a complete waste of time?

Posted 09 November 2012 - 08:48 AM

Thank science IDEs aren't indicative of langauge performance or I would NEVER use a JVM language. Freaking Eclipse.
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#24 Pwn  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is learning VB6 now a complete waste of time?

Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:01 AM

Learning VB is not a total waste of time. I work in healthcare, and there's a product we use called Boston Workstation, basically a screen scraping program, which is build on VB6 technology. It's purported that it will work with new versions of VB, but you lose some functionality such as intellisense by doing so.

This is a widely used piece of software in the healthcare industry, so VB6 skills are viable at least for several more years.

Edit: Also, there are a few home-grown vb.net applications I've made, and it seems every time Microsoft comes out with a .net based update, my application is broken, whereas anything I've created in VB6 chugs right along.

This post has been edited by Pwn: 09 November 2012 - 09:03 AM

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#25 Curtis Rutland  Icon User is online

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Re: Is learning VB6 now a complete waste of time?

Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:06 AM

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and it seems every time Microsoft comes out with a .net based update, my application is broken


Wow, how is that even remotely possible? .NET almost never breaks compatibility. On top of that, if you targeted one version of the framework, your application won't even use the newer runtimes, because you're targeting the older ones.

I have literally no idea how you've manged to write an application that breaks like that.
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#26 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Is learning VB6 now a complete waste of time?

Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:07 AM

To be fair - the VB6 updates have been pretty... sparse... since 2008. Hahaha...
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#27 AdamSpeight2008  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is learning VB6 now a complete waste of time?

Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:10 AM

MS is no longer updating it, they are only providing support.

This post has been edited by AdamSpeight2008: 09 November 2012 - 09:22 AM

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#28 no2pencil  Icon User is online

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Re: Is learning VB6 now a complete waste of time?

Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:13 AM

View Postxclite, on 09 November 2012 - 11:14 AM, said:

View Postwake12, on 09 November 2012 - 10:58 AM, said:

The time it would take to port the code would be unacceptable, and the end result would be a buggy, bloated, slow program that has no additional features for our customers.

If it's buggy, bloated, and slow, I'd guess your company isn't very good at programming. Nobody's trying to convince you to change, we're trying to convince OP that they're better off learning a language that new, exciting software is being written with.

Funny, I've always said the same about VB6 development. It really is (as suggested by xclite) how it's written.
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#29 dodoxyz  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is learning VB6 now a complete waste of time?

Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:24 AM

i think yes,it is why u learn it while u can learn more easy and smarter coding program use VB 2010
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#30 trevster344  Icon User is offline

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Re: Is learning VB6 now a complete waste of time?

Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:28 AM

View Postmikepet, on 08 November 2012 - 10:24 AM, said:

VB6 is a great introductory language for new programmers. The syntax is easy to code and to follow. New programmers can concentrate on learning data types and how to declare and code variables, events, methods, properties, modules, and classes without getting confused with advanced stuff like inheritance. Once a programmer has a firm grasp of how to properly structure an application, then they can graduate to more advanced languages.

The key here is to use VB6 as a base for learning the fundamentals. First lesson is know how to turn on Option Explicit!


I started learning VB6 and while I can agree the syntax is easy, VB.NET was definitely easier for me. My father is a VB6 programmer, one of the greatest programmers I've encountered, who still programs in it today. He tells me the same thing every time I ask him why he doesn't learn .Net, "Son, I can code anything in VB6. Everything I have ever needed is coded in VB6, and frankly I don't have the time and energy to learn and convert everything over to a newer language". So guess what he has me doing? I'm converting his code over slowly lol, and taking some of the work load off of his shoulders. VB6 is still extremely useful and I have yet to find something it can't accomplish. My father and I take turns writing software for stuff, because whether it's him(VB6) or I(VB.NET), the job gets done efficiently. I don't think VB6 is the greatest choice for anyone seriously looking into a job in this field, but I don't see any harm in learning any language you want. There is always something you can create in another language, that is better or easier to accomplish in some way. I will always believe VB6 has a place in this world.
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