Chris Boss's Profile User Rating: -----

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09-November 12
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  1. In Topic: Is learning VB6 now a complete waste of time?

    Posted 24 Jun 2013

    There is good reason to view VB Classic aignificantly different than VB

    Classic VB's end marks ....
  2. In Topic: Is learning VB6 now a complete waste of time?

    Posted 9 Nov 2012

    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.
  3. In Topic: Is learning VB6 now a complete waste of time?

    Posted 9 Nov 2012

    If you are planning on getting a job based on knowing Visual Basic, likely only if you know other languages too. That said, Visual Basic is still useful because one can develop apps very quickly with it with little overhead or complexity added (such as VB.NET). It isn't bad for quick inhouse utility apps which need to be written fast, especially when you need to run the software on older PC's.

    A great combination with Visual Basic 6 is PowerBasic. PowerBasic provides the power of C, but with a Basic syntax. VB 6'ers can use it to create high speed DLL's.

    There is a big difference between VB 5/6 and VB.NET. They are like night and day. While VB 6 is somewhat object based, it is also more procedural in nature (which I think is a good thing). In the languages everything appears to be an object which IMO adds complexity and overhead. There are some who believe a more procedural approach to software development produces faster software with significantly less overhead than a pure OOP oriented approach. VB 6 is a nice middle ground approach which is somewhat OOP like (forms and controls are objects) but also very procedural (especially if you avoiding writing classes). I can appreciate this myself because for the last 10 years I have not been using a Microsoft programming language. After recently downloading and playing with Visual Studio I find it overly complex and bloated. Visual Studio takes up a good 2 gigs of hard drive space, while I use a system which only takes up about 20 meg total.

    While I understand the mindset of staying with the latest technologies, there is something to be said for a more low level, simpler approach. For example I work purely with the WIN32 API's. While I don't currently use Visual Basic (had versions 1.0,2.0 and 5.0 Pro), I do know it can easily be extended using direct API calls. Thats where you push it to its limit. The WIN32's while considered legacy today are actually very powerful and you can write apps which will run on Windows 95 to Windows 8 (yes. Windows 8 ,x86 version, fully supports the WIN32's). The WIN32's also even allow you to build dynamic software which can dynamically load API's depending upon which OS it is run on (use LoadLibrary to load a DLL and then poll the DLL to see if the API's exist and if so call the API's via pointers, which is easy to do using PowerBasic).

    One advantage of programming languages (like original VB or Powerbasic) is that one can write apps which are relatively small in size, which is great when you have limited drive space (ie. on tablets or for flash drives). There is also something to be said about writing apps which don't need to deal with any registered system objects (ie. VB without any OCX's) so you can just copy and run. To be able to just copy some files to a folder and run has advantages.

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