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Microsoft Remains Firm On Ending VB6 Support

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the at-least-it's-not-willy-nilly-hippie-open-source-goof-offs dept.

Microsoft 796

An anonymous reader submits "CNet reports that Microsoft is remaining firm an ending support for VB6, despite a petition and many requests from its developer community. If only VB were a F/OSS project instead of a proprietary customers could be assured of continued support as long as there was demand. Are there any good F/OSS implementations of VB out there for customers to migrate to? One can only hope that enlightened groups like the Agility Alliance would warn about the risks of using such software that can be end-of-lifed even while they're in heavy use."

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Meet The Forkers (3, Insightful)

fembots (753724) | more than 9 years ago | (#11958861)

Why is it always a good thing to be able to fork a software?

Personally, I would rather look for a replacement software than having to install some sort of 'Classic VB Runtime Environment' just to run some legacy products.

What if VB is F/OSS? I don't think businesses would touch any more of it once MS stops supporting it.

Gentlemen, (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11958953)

It seems like this would be a good time has for a serious discussion on whether or
not to continue using C for serious programming projects. As I will
explain, I feel that C needs to be retired, much the same way that
Fortran, Cobol and Perl have been. Furthermore, allow me to be so bold
as to suggest a superior replacement to this outdated language.

To give you a little background on this subject, I was recently asked
to develop a client/server project on a Unix platform for a Fortune
500 company. While I've never coded in C before I have coded in VB for
fifteen years, and in Java for over ten, I was stunned to see how
poorly C fared compared to these two, more low-level languages.

C's biggest difficulty, as we all know, is the fact that it is by far
one of the slowest languages in existance, especially when compared to
more modern languages such as Java and C#. Although the reasons for
this are varied, the main reasons seems to be the way C requires a
programmer to laboriously work with chunks of memory.

Requiring a programmer to manipulate blocks of memory is a tedious way
to program. This was satisfactory back in the early days of coding,
but then again, so were punchcards. By using what are called
"pointers" a C programmer is basically requiring the computer to do
three sets of work rather than one. The first time requires the
computer to duplicate whatever is stored in the memory space "pointed
to" by the pointer. The second time requires it to perform the needed
operation on this space. Finally the computer must delete the
duplicate set and set the values of the original accordingly.

Clearly this is a horrendous use of resources and the chief reason why
C is so slow. When one looks at a more modern (and a more serious)
programming language like Java, C# or - even better - Visual Basic
that lacks such archaic coding styles, one will also note a serious
speed increase over C.

So what does this mean for the programming community? I think clearly
that C needs to be abandonded. There are two candidates that would be
a suitable replacement for it. Those are Java and Visual Basic.

Having programmed in both for many years, I believe that VB has the
edge. Not only is it slightly faster than Java its also much easier to
code in. I found C to be confusing, frightening and intimidating with
its non-GUI-based coding style. Furthermore, I like to see the source
code of the projects I work with. Java's source seems to be under the
monopolistic thumb of Sun much the way that GCC is obscured from us by
the marketing people at the FSF. Microsoft's "shared source" under
which Visual Basic is released definately seems to be the most fair
and reasonable of all the licenses in existance, with none of the
harsh restrictions of the BSD license. It also lacks the GPLs
requirement that anything coded with its tools becomes property of the
FSF.

I hope to see a switch from C to VB very soon. I've already spoken
with various luminaries in the C coding world and most are eager to
begin to transition. Having just gotten off the phone with Mr. Alan
Cox, I can say that he is quite thrilled with the speed increases that
will occur when the Linux kernel is completely rewritten in Visual
Basic. Richard Stallman plans to support this, and hopes that the
great Swede himself, Linux Torvaldis, won't object to renaming Linux
to VB/Linux. Although not a C coder himself, I'm told that Slashdot's
very own Admiral Taco will support this on his web site. Finally,
Dennis Ritchie is excited about the switch!

Thank you for your time. Happy coding.

Re:Meet The Forkers (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959008)

Personally, I would rather look for a replacement software than having to install some sort of 'Classic VB Runtime Environment' just to run some legacy products.

Size of classic VB runtime environment: 1 MB, a 4 minute download on dial-up. Size of VB.NET runtime environment: 20 MB, over an hour download on dial-up. Price of broadband in many geographic areas: 4 figures USD for the first year.

The moral of the story (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11958869)

don't invest developer hours into microsoft products.

ABOUT DAMN TIME (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11958873)

Now if only they will end vb.net support ....

First uhh.. crap I'm to late (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11958876)

Yeah

Good Implementations of VB??? (4, Funny)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 9 years ago | (#11958877)

That's like asking if there are any nice versions of Hitler.

Re:Good Implementations of VB??? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11958933)

I understand he's quite good natured during the spring time.

Re:Good Implementations of VB??? (5, Funny)

kin_korn_karn (466864) | more than 9 years ago | (#11958984)

This thread just went from 0-to-Godwin in 6 minutes. A new record!

Re:Good Implementations of VB??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11959094)

Nope, it was an astonishing 2 minutes!

Re:Good Implementations of VB??? (0, Flamebait)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959103)

Actually this is considered slow for a Microsoft post; Most of them get Godwin'd a bit faster... especially if one invokes the name of 'the gates' or 'the monkeyboy'. Then sacrifices a goat and inserts a blank CD with a pentagram on it for formatting.

Ooops... now I have compared them to Satan. I've double Godwin'd! DOH!

Please... only people who can't take a joke would call a Godwin. Besides, calling a Godwin is just as bad as invoking one so STFU!

Re:Good Implementations of VB??? (1)

AceCaseOR (594637) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959125)

Nah, there was a post on rec.games.frp.dnd, which had a subject along the lines of, IIRC, "Which D&D races are most racist" which compared Humans and Elves to Nazis.

Besides, Grandparent was joking, the Usenet thread was serious.

Re:Good Implementations of VB??? (0, Redundant)

kin_korn_karn (466864) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959048)

You just took this article from 0 to Godwin in 2 minutes. It's a new record!

Re:Good Implementations of VB??? (1)

kin_korn_karn (466864) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959084)

shit. I thought that my original 0-to-Godwin in 6 minutes post was a victim of our timeout-ridden network. Sorry about the dupe.

Two minutes is more accurate anyway.

I cant believe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11958879)

That I see someone stating on slashdot that VB is in heavy use.

mono? (2, Interesting)

CodeYoddler (674760) | more than 9 years ago | (#11958881)

Isn't this mono's purpose?

Re:mono? (1)

DaHat (247651) | more than 9 years ago | (#11958999)

Mono does the CLR/BCL, basically an open source implementation of the .NET Framework.

VB6 is a completely different and unsupported story.

Why use VB6 when you can use... QBASIC!! (5, Funny)

Sassan Sanei (714729) | more than 9 years ago | (#11958885)

Too bad they are abandoning it. Fortunately for me, I'm still using QBASIC for all of my programming! Sassan

NOO00oo0ooOO!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11958889)

No more VB6?

wait... who gives a shit? VB sucks anyway.

Windows 98 support called... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11958891)

Mod me down if you must, but I prefer Visual Basic (4, Interesting)

firehorsey (867123) | more than 9 years ago | (#11958892)

I know this will get modded Troll, but if you just look at these 3 simple points, you will see the VB has a lot to offer modern programmers.

1. It is faster to develop an application in VB than any other Language
Microsoft has built in a number of wizards to make building complete application templates with a few clicks. I have built (and sold) many applications which took less than 4 hours to develop - these include a webbrowser, email client, contacts database, file searching tools and a image viewer.

If I had tried to do this in C, C++, or even java it would have taken weeks.

2. Visual Basic is more secure as a language
There are NO pointers to worry about and all low level stuff is handled by the windows VBRUN.DLL's. This makes VB applications MORE secure than any other application, because it is physically impossible to get buffer overruns (the cause of 98% of all security problems)

3. You earn more money using VB
Face it - as much as we all like using Linux, there simply are not that many jobs available for C/Linux coders. Most of the jobs are for large corps or government and they almost always go with Visual Basic for the client and Java for the servers.

You shouldnt ignore Visual Basic as a language, and it definitely doesnt make VB coders any less skilled than C coders - if anything, I think we are a little stronger, as we have the courage to admit that we like this 'toy language'

Re:Mod me down if you must, but I prefer Visual Ba (3, Insightful)

Visaris (553352) | more than 9 years ago | (#11958951)

because it is physically impossible to get buffer overruns

That's garbage. Do you really think that MS's VBRUNx.DLL is free of all programming errors? I would argue that VB is less secure because one cannot verify the underlying libraries because they are closed source.

Re:Mod me down if you must, but I prefer Visual Ba (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11959138)

His point is exaggerated but yours is simply stupid. Do you think all your users do a line-by-line audit of libc every time they upgrade it? Or you, for that matter?

Re:Mod me down if you must, but I prefer Visual Ba (1)

marshall_j (643520) | more than 9 years ago | (#11958952)

VB.NET gives you most of these things as well so I think the only issue really lies in having to maintain legacy projects which have already been built.

Re:Mod me down if you must, but I prefer Visual Ba (1)

brilinux (255400) | more than 9 years ago | (#11958981)

1. I want to know exactly what is going on in my code. I do not want it generated for me.

2. I want to know exactly what is going on in my code. How do I know that VBRUN.DLL is safe? I do not want to depend on something that is closed like that for my software to work properly.

3. Money is not the most important thing. I would rather be happy in my job than be forced to do something that I do not wish to do. On the other hand ... work is work ... so I cannot argue as much with this one.

Re:Mod me down if you must, but I prefer Visual Ba (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11959030)

"1. I want to know exactly what is going on in my code. I do not want it generated for me."

So, I gather you don't use a compiler?

Re:Mod me down if you must, but I prefer Visual Ba (1)

Cap'n Steve (771146) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959063)

"I want to know exactly what is going on in my code. I do not want it generated for me."

So do you go over every library you use before using them or do you just write everything from scratch?

Even if you're using *BSD or *Linux... (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959098)

How do I know that VBRUN.DLL is safe? I do not want to depend on something that is closed like that for my software to work properly.

How do I know that BIOS is safe? I do not want to depend on something that is closed like that for my software to work properly.

Even if I have a LinuxBIOS, how do I know that my processor's microcode is safe? I do not want to depend on something that is closed like that for my software to work properly.

Bottom line: No matter how Free your computer's execution environment is, it probably went through at least one not-so-trustable Proprietary code path to get there.

Re:Mod me down if you must, but I prefer Visual Ba (5, Insightful)

abradsn (542213) | more than 9 years ago | (#11958987)

Delphi offers these same benefits. Let's face it. The reason VB is so popular is because Microsoft is its mother.

Re:Mod me down if you must, but I prefer Visual Ba (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11959015)

I'll add some points that VB and VB programmers have in their favour:

4. Men tip their hats when they see you on the street. Women curtsie politely. You are recognized as a software engineer and respected as such.

5. You get a "free ice cream" card when you go to Baskin Robbins. Every 6 hole punches on the card gets you a free icecream cone of two scoops!

6. Barbers give you a shave and a haircut for only one bit instead of two.

Re:Mod me down if you must, but I prefer Visual Ba (1)

eakerin (633954) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959017)

You should try a nice Java IDE with a form designing tool, like Netbeans. You'd be supprised how fast you can make a full featured Java GUI application (once you get to used to the new IDE of course, every platform has learning curves, including VB).

Re:Mod me down if you must, but I prefer Visual Ba (1, Insightful)

FyRE666 (263011) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959022)

I have built (and sold) many applications which took less than 4 hours to develop - these include a webbrowser, email client, contacts database, file searching tools and a image viewer.

If I had tried to do this in C, C++, or even java it would have taken weeks.

If you honestly think it would take "weeks" to write any of those apps in Java, then maybe it's best you do stick to basic.

What amazes me is that someone actually paid you for any of these apps, since they're all freely available in many different forms already - and probably a lot more robust than your 4 hour VB efforts...

Re:Mod me down if you must, but I prefer Visual Ba (1)

hawkbug (94280) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959092)

I was thinking the same thing - who would buy this stuff? Ok, maybe a customized contacts app, but I highly doubt anybody would have a use for a custom written web browser - which BTW, how is it possible with any language to write one in 4 hours? I'm sure there are libraries to incorporate the HTML/XML parsing side of things.... but still, 4 hours seems unrealistic.

Re:Mod me down if you must, but I prefer Visual Ba (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11959023)

As much as I detest the VB language (don't get me started...), it always did have the buest GUI builder. That was until Visual Studio .Net provided an actual usable language (C#) with essentially the same GUI builder.

At this point VB is just C# with shitty syntax.

Re:Mod me down if you must, but I prefer Visual Ba (1)

mugnyte (203225) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959033)

Dude

If you can learn VB6, you can learn VB.NET. This is where MS wants the VB programmers to go, and it ain't hard. In MS's .NET (or most newer languages like Python, Perl and Java), you can write much more feature-rich applications than VB could dare to touch, much more quickly.

Your list above is silly, btw. I'd keep that stuff to yourself.

Re:Mod me down if you must, but I prefer Visual Ba (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959059)

Microsoft has built in a number of wizards to make building complete application templates with a few clicks. I have built (and sold) many applications which took less than 4 hours to develop - these include a webbrowser, email client, contacts database, file searching tools and a image viewer.

Wow...

This makes VB applications MORE secure than any other application, because it is physically impossible to get buffer overruns (the cause of 98% of all security problems)

But not on VB...

Most of the jobs are for large corps or government and they almost always go with Visual Basic for the client and Java for the servers.

Wise choice. That at least eliminates most SQL injection bugs ;-)

Re:Mod me down if you must, but I prefer Visual Ba (1)

grazzy (56382) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959113)

98% you say, I beg to differ, MY recent scientific studies show that it is actually closer to 98.59%.

Please, show some credability in your statments.

Re:Mod me down if you must, but I prefer Visual Ba (5, Insightful)

Umbral Blot (737704) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959126)

I applaud you for supporting the language you love. I am not a Visual Basic programmer myself, but I know that it has a place in the world, a place that is not filled by a more complex and more formal language. There are things you wouldn't want to write in VB, true, but that doesn't make a language useless. Just like a more conventional scripting language VB allows the creation of tools at minimal programmer expense. Why code up an app from scratch in days when you can do it for a few hours in VB. Especially when the app is light weight or in-house VB can easily outshine other languages. While VB may be coming to an end of it's lifespan it will leave a hole in a programmer's tool box that will eventually need to be filled by something else, something not currently available.

Re:Mod me down if you must, but I prefer Visual Ba (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11959135)

"1. It is faster to develop an application in VB than any other Language
Microsoft has built in a number of wizards to make building complete application templates with a few clicks. I have built (and sold) many applications which took less than 4 hours to develop - these include a webbrowser, email client, contacts database, file searching tools and a image viewer."

You didn't build anything. This is like me saying I went to Ikea, bought a chest of drawers, screwed on the drawer pulls, and claim that I am a master carpenter and that I built the chest of drawers.

Re:Mod me down if you must, but I prefer Visual Ba (1)

MurkyWater (866956) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959136)

The issue I always had with programming in VB, is that it breaks the Model-View-Controller pattern. All of the components given to you to use in your VB projects are compenents of the user interface. This is just not good programming practice. The user interface should have as little to do with the main operation of the program as possible.

There are NO pointers to worry about...
Java is another language with this capability, though I'll agree it's not as much of a rapid development language.

it is physically impossible to get buffer overruns
As another person mentioned, you can't trust any piece of software to be 100% bug free.

Huh? (4, Insightful)

BMazurek (137285) | more than 9 years ago | (#11958893)

  • If only VB were a F/OSS project instead of a proprietary customers could be assured of continued support as long as there was demand.

Can anyone explain to me how a F/OSS project implies assurances of continued support while there is demand for said support?

Re:Huh? (2, Insightful)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 9 years ago | (#11958957)

If there is sufficient demand, a provider will step into the void.

Now continued, free (as in beer) support is not guaranteed.

Support in free software vs. proprietary software (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 9 years ago | (#11958959)

In the world of enterprise software, "support" includes custom modifications to the software. By law, only the copyright owner may provide modifications to proprietary software. With free software, on the other hand, any company can hire developers to branch the code and make modifications.

Re:Huh? (2, Interesting)

RonnyJ (651856) | more than 9 years ago | (#11958962)

Microsoft != continued support
Microsoft != F/OSS

therefore,

F/OSS == continued support ...right?

Re:Huh? (1)

carlos92 (682924) | more than 9 years ago | (#11958973)

Because if I want to sell support services, I have all (or at least some) of the resources that I need in order to support the product, and I am not tied to anybody's hidden agenda. If RMS suddenly decides to drop GCC, and it is still used by half the world, I can enter the market with GCC support service (not that I would like to do it).

Re:Huh? (2, Insightful)

xoboots (683791) | more than 9 years ago | (#11958998)

Can anyone explain to me how a F/OSS project implies assurances of continued support while there is demand for said support?

Sure. Pay for it or do it for yourself. The idea is that as long as there is motivated demand there will be motivated supply. You have to remember, with FOSS you *can* continue the development. With the alternatives, you are at the mercy of the provider.

Of course you knew that and are just trolling.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11959031)

The notion is that in OSS there is support as long as there is a support community, as opposed to "until whenever Microsoft would rather concentrate on other things." Consider, for example, the existance of things like the Fedora Legacy project.

The example here is a popular marketplace project with a significant userbase who want to continue using the project...

And, yes, usage and support are different concepts, but in general popular applications have pretty good support.

Re:Huh? (1)

amigabill (146897) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959118)

I just bought a pcHDTV card for my Gentoo box. pcHDTV advertizes support for Linux users, but I cannot find out how to get teh thing working on my particular distro.

Well, they made it for Fedora Core, you say? Huh, it's all open-sourced... Doesn't that make it magically supported? While I expected I'd probably have some waiting around to do for Gentoo drivers, I bought the card to have it before broadcast-flag day. Hopefully the open-source gnomes will get my Linux TV card working with Linux someday. :) Heck, I'm still waiting for MythTV 0.17 to be unmasked, and I've raraly been able to get teh ivtv driver for my PVR-250 card working.

I don't believe that open-source magically makes everything forever supported or even well supported when it is. Look at all the dead projects on sourceforge... Just because the source is there doesn't mean anything is being done well or at all for certain.

Nice Comeback Story. (1)

sanityspeech (823537) | more than 9 years ago | (#11958894)

If you would, please give Timothy [slashdot.org] a nice round of applause. Why? I have yet to see a faster comeback posted to an anti-oss story than this.

^_^

(FWIW, this is not a dig at daria42 [slashdot.org] for submitting the initial story.)

oh GOD NO!!!!!!! (3, Funny)

ciroknight (601098) | more than 9 years ago | (#11958895)

If only VB were a F/OSS project

oh NO!!. DON'T GIVE THEM ANY IDEAS!!!!

Re:oh GOD NO!!!!!!! (1)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959051)

Star Trek - The Next Generation, Episode 123: I, Borg

VB is Hugh.
Bill Gates is Picard.

The whole world's turned on it's fucking head.

-Peter

Re:oh GOD NO!!!!!!! (1)

nkh (750837) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959070)

I can't believe everyone already forgot Gambas [sf.net] ... I just played with it because I don't need it but you can write GUIs in a VisualBasic-like language and works on Linux.

What's wrong with using VB7? {nt} (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11958897)

Good Point (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11958898)

One can only hope that enlightened groups like the Agile Alliance would warn about the risks of using such software that can be end-of-lifed even while they're in heavy use.

Do I detect a hint of sass?

Very good point though.

Good Riddens (3, Interesting)

Cruxus (657818) | more than 9 years ago | (#11958905)

Pre-.NET Visual Basic was far from the best programming language. Its support for object-oriented programming constructs was half-hearted at best. VB6 was released in 1998; people should be moving on by now, or they should have used a better tool in the first place.

Re:Good Riddens (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11959064)


VB6 was released in 1998; people should be moving on by now, or they should have used a better tool in the first place.


Yeah, tell that to all the folks still writing COBOL and FORTRAN.

Re:Good Riddens (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959117)

Pre-.NET Visual Basic was far from the best programming language. Its support for object-oriented programming constructs was half-hearted at best. VB6 was released in 1998; people should be moving on by now, or they should have used a better tool in the first place.

The problem is, there aren't many tools that rivaled the simplicity and rapidness of VB. If you need a GUI frontend to some command line program, VB would be the best language because you'd just design the GUI, generate the appropriate arguments, and called the program - depending on the number of arguments it takes, it can be anywhere from a few minutes to a day to do.

Writing the Win32 C code (or MFC) would take a while longer to do. Sure it's more powerful, but writing GUI code is rather boring, and the less one had to do, the better.

Just like there are multiple languages for purposes, like C for systems programming, C++/Java/etc for applications programming, Perl/Python for high-level glue programming, VB helps with even higher level programming than Perl and Python, and lets you do it without having to learn too much GUI stuff. A frontend to a database is trivial in VB, including input verification. Bit more work in Perl/Python (having to do the widget stuff manually), even more work in C++/Java, etc.

The right tool for the right job. Luckily, I believe there's a VB workalike coming along that's F/OSS.

MS wants to alienate the world, apparently (4, Interesting)

filmmaker (850359) | more than 9 years ago | (#11958908)

From the petition [com.com] against Microsoft's decision:

"By providing a new version of a COM-based Visual Basic within the Visual Studio IDE, Microsoft will help maintain the value of its clients' existing code, demonstrate its ongoing commitment to the core Visual Basic language, and greatly simplify the adoption of VB.NET by those that wish to do so."

Supposedly the beefing up of VB was in response to the industrial capabilities of Java. Ironically, if MS alienates enough developer partners by cutting of support for VB 6, those folks may end up heading toward Sun or IBM anyway.

How does it impact VBA? (4, Interesting)

sisukapalli1 (471175) | more than 9 years ago | (#11958926)

MSFT has VBA (VB for Applications) that is being used by many people that I know (Word Processing, Spread Sheets, Geographic Information System, etc). Does the decision to stop supporting VB6 impact VBA?

S

Re:How does it impact VBA? (1)

Angostura (703910) | more than 9 years ago | (#11958992)

I have a vague recollection that support for classic VBA is scheduled to be discontinued in forthcoming versions of Office apps. Not sure when though. VBA will be replaced by VB.Net, I think.

Re:How does it impact VBA? (1)

vurg (639307) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959069)

In that case, any .NET language can be used then. Nobody is even sure if the next version of Office will be based on pure managed code.

Sign the Petition (3, Interesting)

Joe Jordan (453607) | more than 9 years ago | (#11958927)

For those of you that wish for Microsoft to continue developing classic VB, Sign the Petition! [classicvb.org] It's too popular a language to just toss aside and break everyones existing code.

Compared with Lotus Notes (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11958928)

Lotus (IBM) will be protecting and developing Lotusscript (which is a VB language clone) into version 7 and beyond. And Notes applications from version 3 can still be used with the current version 6 clients and servers.

Microsoft, while you're at it..... (3, Funny)

machinegunhand (867735) | more than 9 years ago | (#11958938)

Could you be firm on ending development too? I mean, its not like your stuff is getting that much better with time.

oh noes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11958947)

how will I show off to my h4xx0r friends without my l337 vb6 appz.

How exactly? (1)

thanasakis (225405) | more than 9 years ago | (#11958958)

customers could be assured of continued support as long as there was demand

Has anyone understood how exactly can this be assured? I mean, if the guys who developed it (even if it is open source) abandon it you are pretty much in the same situation. Support through forums and such is great for simple problems and questions/answers but when it comes to bug fixes or (god forbid!) feature requests, answers like "it will be ready when it is ready" or "go implement it yourself" are abundant.
I am taking into account the fact that VB is simplified on purpose so no VB developer would want to start messing with its source even if it was available.

VB6? I'm still using QBASIC! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11958960)

QBASIC is still my favorite.
Nice and fast.
Of course, my biggest program is only about 500 lines, so my life isn't too difficult.

Financial Services (3, Interesting)

Giant Robot (56744) | more than 9 years ago | (#11958963)

I work as a quant in an investment bank, and believe me, huge trades (i'm talking about billion dollar derivative trades) are booked into Excel and rely solely on VB/VBA scripts to function properly day to day.

If VBA ceased to work tomorrow, there may very well be chaos in the financial markets causing some huge operational mistakes and huge losses. You cannot imagine how deeply dependent global banks are to excel and VBA.

Re:Financial Services (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11959053)

"If VBA ceased to work tomorrow"

And how exactly will this happen? Perhaps the magic fairies will come and break it in the night?

I believe I speak for slashdot when I say.... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11958965)

My business still develops with the Visual Studio 6 tools and we refuse to switch to the .NET framework because of its large and expensive infrastructure. This is the same company that encourages high school students to become software engineers?? Microsoft..... what total assholes.

If you support Microsoft feel free to mod me down.

yeah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11958971)

If only VB were a F/OSS project instead of a proprietary customers could be assured of continued support as long as there was demand.

Then all VB programmers could maintain the program in their free time and it would soon be more powerfull than c++ ;)

\me ducks

Support is not totally ending; you need to pay now (3, Informative)

WebHostingGuy (825421) | more than 9 years ago | (#11958972)

From the article:

Roxe noted that customers can purchase support on VB6 for three more years or use credits from an existing support contract for VB6-related incidents. Microsoft already added two years to its initial deadline for cutting off mainstream support, extending it to seven years.

More likely (2, Funny)

Zebbie (706596) | more than 9 years ago | (#11958982)

If only VB were a F/OSS project instead of a proprietary customers could be assured of continued support as long as there was demand.

More like customers would have never gotten any support (outside of newsgroup posts saying RTFM when there is no FM) in the first place.

Pain is part of the computing experience... (2, Informative)

USCG (842203) | more than 9 years ago | (#11958991)

Fact of life-computer technology changes all the time. While I have sympathy for VB6 users to an extent, Microsoft has provided a roadmap [microsoft.com] , so you can't say that Microsoft suddenly announced this out of a Smurfy blue moon.

This just reminds me of the people who would not let go of Microsoft Windows NT 4 Server at the end of last year...the pattern is always the same, like it or not.

sweet (2, Funny)

ocularDeathRay (760450) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959000)

now I can go find all those people who said I should learn VB when I was in school, so that I could get one of the many "good jobs" working with it. I am sure you all heard that crap:

"OH, you want to be a programmer? I hear that there are lots of VB jobs! even though I am a useless toolbox that doesn't know anything about anything, I plan to give you advice anyway"

I will find them and and sing my new song:

you said I should
learn about VB
that it would help
find jobs for me


but I said I wouldn't
stoop so LOWWW
I TOLD YOU SO
I TOLD YOU SO
I TOLD YOU SO

Microsoft Fox Pro. (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959006)

Well Microsoft want to kill this too. But Visual Fox Pro in my opinion is much better then VB 6 and much easier to program. It is still by Microsoft but it wasn't originally by Microsoft but Microsoft bought them a while back.

Another case... (1)

ajaf (672235) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959010)

This is a microsoft strategy to rise .NET We all know that they do always the same, why is people complaining?

If you choose microsoft, you have to live with that, if you don't like microsoft strategies, go for another option.

So What? (5, Funny)

simetra (155655) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959032)

Just because they declare end-of-life doesn't mean the cd's are going to burst into flames.

Re:So What? (1)

alyandon (163926) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959073)

Exactly. Microsoft hasn't made a significant update (other than minor fixes in service packs) to Visual Basic in years so it isn't like officially ending support for it is going to be a big deal. It is a very mature product with an large developer base and has plenty of third party library/control support - it won't be going anywhere soon.

Just because it's called Basic ... (4, Interesting)

plover (150551) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959042)

Just because they use a name containing the word Basic means that lots of people who otherwise might be afraid of writing a program will approach it, thinking "hey, I remember learning Basic in high school math." That doesn't make them developers any more than owning a hammer and chisel makes one a sculptor.

If Microsoft wants to appear serious about having customers develop decent code, pulling them off VB 6 is a good start.

A person becomes a good programmer through education and lots of experience. A good programmer can write good code in virtually any language. (Conversely, a weak programmer can write Visual Basic code in any language.) This cry for "keep our precious VB6" sounds suspiciously like the whining "because C is too hard!"

There is still one valid reason for keeping it alive, however. Many people are still writing code for legacy hardware that isn't capable of running the .NET framework. And to that end, Microsoft's decisions should not automatically mean an increase in Intel's stock price. But wanting Visual Basic to last forever simply because they don't want to learn a better language is not going to gain my sympathy.

Gee, upgrading is easy! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11959046)

We'll just go to our business and VPs and say, "Hey, IT needs to re-write and redeploy over 50 applications because Microsoft is no longer supporting the technology. Can we have $5,000,000 and halt all current projects until it's done?"

Goodbye Oldfriend. (2, Insightful)

SteveXE (641833) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959047)

I got started with computers pretty much because of VB. If it wasnt for my strange need to make aol "progs" (addons) then i would never have picked up VB. If i never picked up VB i would never have learned HTML, or PHP. Chances are i wouldnt be all that into hardware modification either. So maybe it doesnt have a huge use in the consumer market but for me it was a great learning tool. Hell i still use it to make quick apps that do tedious tasks for me.

Single Vendor (3, Insightful)

ortcutt (711694) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959050)

That's what happens when your business depends on the whims of a single vendor. If that vendor decides to be a jerk, then you're screwed.

the way it is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11959062)

Microsoft wants the developer base (those using VB6) to migrate to .Net (because the migration isn't going as planned). So what is the standard Microsoft way of "encouraging" this?

By killing off the "favored" application, and forcing them to move to the newest one, thus generating more revenue.

This is news?

when the only tool you have is a hammer.... (1)

malraid (592373) | more than 9 years ago | (#11959067)

everything looks like a nail. And now your hammer is obsolete, though luck!
Seriously, when I meet a programmer that tells me that he only knows how to program in VB, I'll dismiss him as a real programmer. A real programmer should be able to pick up a new language in two weeks, and the basic libraries in a couple of months. Lately, I've been using mostly Java to build some complex inventory systems, but the only book on my desktop is a C++ book to reference some OO concepts (and I study business administration in college, I've never had "real" programming teaching beyond a Pascal course in High School 5 years ago).

Heh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11959089)

This whole discussion on "giving" VB to OSS reminds me of a line from Grumpier Old Men.

Walter Mathau: You couldn't catch crabs from a ten dollar hooker!

Jack Lemon: Oh, how is you sister anyway?

Or maybe this is just me....

BS (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11959090)

"If only VB were a F/OSS project instead of a proprietary customers could be assured of continued support as long as there was demand."

Bullshit. If it were a F/OSS project, there would be continued support as long as there was a developer that wanted to support it.

Gambas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11959124)

Are there any good F/OSS implementations of VB out there for customers to migrate to?

Gambas [slashdot.org]

Alternatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11959134)

Have you looked into Gambas [sourceforge.net] ? It's not VB compatible, but it does give you a syntax like VB. It's also F/OSS. Additionally, pre-.NET VB folks need to move on. VB.NET is not old VB; it's better. So, either pick up VB.NET or C# if you want to continue with Microsoft's supported tools. Otherwise, choose a new development platform. There's always Java or C++. I happen to know that there are great job opportunities for experienced Java or C# folks.
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