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How long is too long...

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Microsoft has recently announced that VB6 will not be supported in Windows versions after Windows 7. I for one think this is a long overdue action. Now in their defense, those who are upset with this announcement are normally stuck in schools that still teach this old language, and in a lot of schools the VB6 class is required in order to get your degree. These schools need to go a head and jump into the 21st century and join the rest of us. VB6 has been a dying language for many years now, and it's about time it move peacefully into that programming language resting place in the sky.

When I got my first Computer Science degree taking a Visual Basic course (more like version 4 back then) was an actual requirement, I think these days need to end, and end as soon as possible. VB6 once had it's place, a language for RAD (Rapid Application Development) and a decent language for a beginner to cut their teeth on, to learn some of the basics (term used loosely) of programming, and how the logic works. Some say that Microsoft is making a huge mistake, and I disagree with that point of view. It's time to join the 21st century and learn to program with real languages, languages that support the object orientated paradigm, a language that is far more powerful and robust than VB6 ever was.

I hear one person say that as long as their was a Win32 API and COM that VB6 will live on (long past it's usefulness even). COM it's self is an antiquated (in my opinion anyways) technology that too needs to be replaced. Some even say that they think VB.NET is more of a marketing ploy than a real language. To those, if you feel that VB6 is a better and more real language then it's time for you to mature as a programmer, and look at what VB.NET brings to the table. VB.NET offers true Object Orientated design, which is far more efficient and scalable that VB6 ever was. If you've ever had to support a VB6 language, with hundreds, even thousands of lines of spaghetti code, and On Error Resume Next's then you will understand where I'm coming from.

VB.NET is indeed a real, true programming language, and that's something that has ever rarely been said about VB6. There were days (and even now to an extent) where anyone who programmed exclusively in VB6 weren't real programmers, and that most of them knew little or nothing about true programming, and how objects and classes make an application far more scalable than what VB6 has ever offered. Microsoft has made no major improvements to VB6 is more than 10 years now, it is still the same weak language it was when it was first released. Given that I know I will hear from the naysayers that C++ has been around for much longer than VB6, so why isn't it ready to be decommissioned? That's a simple answer, companies (including Microsoft) have spent years making C++ a better, more powerful language, the same cannot be said for VB6, and never will be. VB6 will never change, and with the introduction of VB.NET there's no need for it.

.Net is the way of the future as far as Microsoft languages, it is growing by leaps and bounds. With the release of the Micro Framework Microsoft is even moving into the Smart Device market, something that could never be done with VB6. The sky's the limit for .Net (whether it be VB.NET or C#) and the same cannot be said for VB6. I cannot think of a single task that can be done in VB6 that cant be accomplished easier and more efficient (not to mention more scalable) in VB.NET, not a single one. VB6 needs to be done away with, VB6 programmers need to wake up and move into the real world. So to all you VB6 "programmers" who think Microsoft is making a huge mistake, if you will honestly give VB.NET a try and a serious look you will see what the rest of us has seen for years now, that VB.NET is a thousands times the language VB6 could ever be. Join us in the 21st century and enjoy :)

6 Comments On This Entry

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WolfCoder 

13 July 2009 - 11:09 PM
I think I would lose my sanity if I was forced to write a large program in BASIC. I've actually tried it before on the Commodore 64.
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danzar 

15 July 2009 - 12:07 PM
I agree 100% Good read.
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Ändrew 

16 July 2009 - 01:24 AM
I think people should get over it and goto vb.NET if its gonna take over why be the only one left using it and as it sounds... Its dieing!
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dragon-slayer 

22 July 2009 - 05:37 AM
Good read, I don't understand why anyone would still use VB6. It's a good language to grasp the basic's of programming but time has moved on, they are better language's to use for such purposes, and those who did learn VB6 should have moved on long ago.
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paperclipmuffin 

24 July 2009 - 12:47 AM
I disagree.

1.VB IS Object Oriented.
2.There is a certain skill to using it.
3.It is reasonably easy to learn, while at the same time it doesn't do all the work for you (unlike VB 2008).
4.It is still used, as you pointed out, by many schools around the world.
5.I believe there should be a choice between VB.net and VB.
6.It has many different controls (and yes, VB.net does have some that VB doesn't, but they are superficial.)
7.It is very flexible and can be used for almost any kind of program under the sun.
8.It can still be used for modern style interfaces.
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PsychoCoder 

24 July 2009 - 07:45 AM
@paperclipmuffin I disagree, VB6 is not nor has it ever been an OO language so I'm not sure where you're getting your information from.

Scientist have already shown trained monkeys coding in VB6, so if a wild animal can do it what skill level is required again?

VB.NET is a long way from doing all the work for you. VB6 is a dieing breed and just needs to go a head and die. I know from a hiring perspective if someone lists VB6 high on their skill level then they have a very low chance of landing that position (I need people who can actually program)

It may still be being taught at colleges across the world, but that does not mean it is still being used. In fact I dont know of a single real programmer who would ever touch VB6 (including myself)

.Net offers almost twice as many standard controls as VB6 (Once again I'd really like to know where you're getting your data?)

Sorry the rest aren't even worth arguing. If you want to work in VB6 then find some other country that hasn't evolved to this century and find yourself a VB6 job making what McDonald's workers make :)
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