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Microsoft MVPs Say They Want Old VB Back

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Hi Jim,

"Jim Hubbard" <re***@groups.p lease> schrieb:
http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1774642,00.asp


For those who are interested in signing the petition:

General information (press, blog articles, etc.) about the petition:

http://classicvb.org/

List of signatures:

http://classicvb.org/petition/

--
M S Herfried K. Wagner
M V P <URL:http://dotnet.mvps.org/>
V B <URL:http://classicvb.org/petition/>
Nov 21 '05 #2
Soapbox time!!!!!!!!

I cannot understand how, on and after 1 April 2005, I am not going to be
able to do things with VB6(SP6) that I can do on and prior to 31 March 2005.
Just because 'Mainstream' support is withdrawn from that date does not mean
I won't be able to use it.

Objective 1 of the petition talks about 'Preservation of assets'. If you
have an asset then it is in place today. If it works today then it is not
magically going to stop working on 1 April. It is therefore spurious to
argue that a 'Future versions of VB6/VBA' (sic) (which, at this stage, there
won't be) will destroy your asset(s). That's like saying that no matter what
models of automobile may be developed in the future, the manufacturer will
always have to provide support for the particular model that I drive today.
In other words - 'I want to see innovation but I also want everything the
way it has always been'.

In objective 2 it states 'This core should be enhanced and extended, and
changes should follow a documented deprecation process.' Am I the only one
who wonders how one can enhance and extend something and peprecate it at the
same time. To me 'enhance and extend' and 'deprecate' are complete
opposites.

In objective 3 it states 'The decisions of if, how and when to migrate code
to .NET should lie with the customer. Some may choose to remain with
unmanaged VB, especially for legacy code bases. Some will use only VB.NET,
others a mix.' Please excuse my mistake in thinking that this is exactly the
case today and is not going to change on 1 April. Also, don't forget about
the developers who are using a mix of VB6, VB.NET and C#.NET to provide
solutions.

In my personal experience I only encountered 2 'issues' in VB6 which needed
to be addressed by Microsoft and both were addressed in later service packs.
In the meantime a rather unattractive workaround was used to acheive the
desired result. While there was much gnashing of teeth at the time, the pain
soon passed. It does beg the question 'What new things are people attempting
to do with VB6 that are throwing up so many widespread issues that
mainstream support is still required?' I am quickly coming to the view that
some are trying to use VB6 to do something that it is just not designed to
do and then criticising Microsoft when it doesn't do it. If that is the case
then I'm afraid I cannot support that sort of behaviour. I also wonder if
some have been using mainstream support as an alternative to 'Read The
Flaming Manual' or other methods of self-help support - It certainly appears
that many use these newgroups in that manner.

In some of the articles regarding this petition it talks about projects not
being migrated to VB.Net because it is complex. So what. An automobile is
complex compared to a bicycle but that doesn't stop teenagers migrating from
the bike to the car. Complex does not mean difficult!!! Unfortunately there
are those who equate the two words and, in doing so, do nothing more than
make things difficult for themseleves. There are also those who seem
incapable of doing anything unless the entire wherewithall is handed to them
on a plate. Along with these are those who wring their hands and make
themselves sick with worry in case they don't get a particular line of code
right the first time. To all those for whom the cap fits all I can say is,
get of your backsides, learn something for yourselves, be prepared to try
something. You'll be surprised just how much one can get done when one is
not spending ones efforts in waiting for someone else to do it for one or
worrying if one has got it right first time.

To finish, I believe that Microsoft announced the timetable from ending
mainstream support for VB6 some 2 years ago, so I'm also wondering why it
has taken so long for a petition such as this to appear, or is it nothing
more than a knee-jerk reaction to the recent reminder.

Stephany

"Herfried K. Wagner [MVP]" <hi************ ***@gmx.at> wrote in message
news:Ot******** *****@TK2MSFTNG P15.phx.gbl...
Hi Jim,

"Jim Hubbard" <re***@groups.p lease> schrieb:
http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1774642,00.asp


For those who are interested in signing the petition:

General information (press, blog articles, etc.) about the petition:

http://classicvb.org/

List of signatures:

http://classicvb.org/petition/

--
M S Herfried K. Wagner
M V P <URL:http://dotnet.mvps.org/>
V B <URL:http://classicvb.org/petition/>

Nov 21 '05 #3
UGH!

I am a VB developer since the day it was born. I purchased my first copy of
VB version 1 from Babbage's software at the Galleria mall in September of
1991 and have never looked back since.
I have gotten into many religious battles with other developers over the
typical arguments that VB is a real language that can be used to write real
applications by real developers.

I have gotten to know it very well, spending countless hours learning,
studying and making sure that I understood as much of the language as I can.

All that, and even I think it should die a quite death and be replaced by
VB.NET

Support for VB Version 6 ends on 3/31/2005. Let it die with dignity and
respect.

It is a time to mourn the past and grow towards the future.

If you want to read the rest visit my blog at the link below...

http://spaces.msn.com/members/rcassick/Blog/cns!1pXjHq-RqqMSQdLvn5n4gd nw!113.entry
"Herfried K. Wagner [MVP]" <hi************ ***@gmx.at> wrote in message
news:Ot******** *****@TK2MSFTNG P15.phx.gbl...
Hi Jim,

"Jim Hubbard" <re***@groups.p lease> schrieb:
http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1774642,00.asp


For those who are interested in signing the petition:

General information (press, blog articles, etc.) about the petition:

http://classicvb.org/

List of signatures:

http://classicvb.org/petition/

--
M S Herfried K. Wagner
M V P <URL:http://dotnet.mvps.org/>
V B <URL:http://classicvb.org/petition/>

Nov 21 '05 #4
Ok, I was a stupid head here and gave the wrong link to the wrong blog
entry...

http://spaces.msn.com/members/rcassick/Blog/cns!1pXjHq-RqqMSQdLvn5n4gd nw!111.entry

Sheesh... I should have at least checked the link before I posted the
message right?

"Ray Cassick (Home)" <rc************ @enterprocity.c om> wrote in message
news:eU******** *****@TK2MSFTNG P15.phx.gbl...
UGH!

I am a VB developer since the day it was born. I purchased my first copy
of VB version 1 from Babbage's software at the Galleria mall in September
of 1991 and have never looked back since.
I have gotten into many religious battles with other developers over the
typical arguments that VB is a real language that can be used to write
real applications by real developers.

I have gotten to know it very well, spending countless hours learning,
studying and making sure that I understood as much of the language as I
can.

All that, and even I think it should die a quite death and be replaced by
VB.NET

Support for VB Version 6 ends on 3/31/2005. Let it die with dignity and
respect.

It is a time to mourn the past and grow towards the future.

If you want to read the rest visit my blog at the link below...

http://spaces.msn.com/members/rcassick/Blog/cns!1pXjHq-RqqMSQdLvn5n4gd nw!113.entry
"Herfried K. Wagner [MVP]" <hi************ ***@gmx.at> wrote in message
news:Ot******** *****@TK2MSFTNG P15.phx.gbl...
Hi Jim,

"Jim Hubbard" <re***@groups.p lease> schrieb:
http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1774642,00.asp


For those who are interested in signing the petition:

General information (press, blog articles, etc.) about the petition:

http://classicvb.org/

List of signatures:

http://classicvb.org/petition/

--
M S Herfried K. Wagner
M V P <URL:http://dotnet.mvps.org/>
V B <URL:http://classicvb.org/petition/>


Nov 21 '05 #5
Applause...

Well said.

"Stephany Young" <noone@localhos t> wrote in message
news:uh******** ********@TK2MSF TNGP09.phx.gbl. ..
Soapbox time!!!!!!!!

I cannot understand how, on and after 1 April 2005, I am not going to be
able to do things with VB6(SP6) that I can do on and prior to 31 March
2005. Just because 'Mainstream' support is withdrawn from that date does
not mean I won't be able to use it.

Objective 1 of the petition talks about 'Preservation of assets'. If you
have an asset then it is in place today. If it works today then it is not
magically going to stop working on 1 April. It is therefore spurious to
argue that a 'Future versions of VB6/VBA' (sic) (which, at this stage,
there won't be) will destroy your asset(s). That's like saying that no
matter what models of automobile may be developed in the future, the
manufacturer will always have to provide support for the particular model
that I drive today. In other words - 'I want to see innovation but I also
want everything the way it has always been'.

In objective 2 it states 'This core should be enhanced and extended, and
changes should follow a documented deprecation process.' Am I the only one
who wonders how one can enhance and extend something and peprecate it at
the same time. To me 'enhance and extend' and 'deprecate' are complete
opposites.

In objective 3 it states 'The decisions of if, how and when to migrate
code to .NET should lie with the customer. Some may choose to remain with
unmanaged VB, especially for legacy code bases. Some will use only VB.NET,
others a mix.' Please excuse my mistake in thinking that this is exactly
the case today and is not going to change on 1 April. Also, don't forget
about the developers who are using a mix of VB6, VB.NET and C#.NET to
provide solutions.

In my personal experience I only encountered 2 'issues' in VB6 which
needed to be addressed by Microsoft and both were addressed in later
service packs. In the meantime a rather unattractive workaround was used
to acheive the desired result. While there was much gnashing of teeth at
the time, the pain soon passed. It does beg the question 'What new things
are people attempting to do with VB6 that are throwing up so many
widespread issues that mainstream support is still required?' I am quickly
coming to the view that some are trying to use VB6 to do something that it
is just not designed to do and then criticising Microsoft when it doesn't
do it. If that is the case then I'm afraid I cannot support that sort of
behaviour. I also wonder if some have been using mainstream support as an
alternative to 'Read The Flaming Manual' or other methods of self-help
support - It certainly appears that many use these newgroups in that
manner.

In some of the articles regarding this petition it talks about projects
not being migrated to VB.Net because it is complex. So what. An automobile
is complex compared to a bicycle but that doesn't stop teenagers migrating
from the bike to the car. Complex does not mean difficult!!! Unfortunately
there are those who equate the two words and, in doing so, do nothing more
than make things difficult for themseleves. There are also those who seem
incapable of doing anything unless the entire wherewithall is handed to
them on a plate. Along with these are those who wring their hands and make
themselves sick with worry in case they don't get a particular line of
code right the first time. To all those for whom the cap fits all I can
say is, get of your backsides, learn something for yourselves, be prepared
to try something. You'll be surprised just how much one can get done when
one is not spending ones efforts in waiting for someone else to do it for
one or worrying if one has got it right first time.

To finish, I believe that Microsoft announced the timetable from ending
mainstream support for VB6 some 2 years ago, so I'm also wondering why it
has taken so long for a petition such as this to appear, or is it nothing
more than a knee-jerk reaction to the recent reminder.

Stephany

"Herfried K. Wagner [MVP]" <hi************ ***@gmx.at> wrote in message
news:Ot******** *****@TK2MSFTNG P15.phx.gbl...
Hi Jim,

"Jim Hubbard" <re***@groups.p lease> schrieb:
http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1774642,00.asp


For those who are interested in signing the petition:

General information (press, blog articles, etc.) about the petition:

http://classicvb.org/

List of signatures:

http://classicvb.org/petition/

--
M S Herfried K. Wagner
M V P <URL:http://dotnet.mvps.org/>
V B <URL:http://classicvb.org/petition/>


Nov 21 '05 #6
I can only give answers from the veiwpoint of the classic VB programmers
that I am personally familiar with. I do not speak for everyone on the
petition. My comments only relate the things I have personally experienced
and are by no means the end-all-be-all of those wishing to continue classic
VB.

That being said.....let's get started, shall we?

"Stephany Young" <noone@localhos t> wrote in message
news:uh******** ********@TK2MSF TNGP09.phx.gbl. ..
Soapbox time!!!!!!!!

I cannot understand how, on and after 1 April 2005, I am not going to be
able to do things with VB6(SP6) that I can do on and prior to 31 March
2005. Just because 'Mainstream' support is withdrawn from that date does
not mean I won't be able to use it.
True. It only means that classic VB will not have the errors that are in
it's runtime addressed (or new security issues addressed) or the runtime
optimized for speed. The classic VB developers that I know want to extend
classic VB, as well as fix it's current problems. To them (and myself)
extending classic VB does not mean or necessitate a completely new language
like VB.Net.

Objective 1 of the petition talks about 'Preservation of assets'. If you
have an asset then it is in place today. If it works today then it is not
magically going to stop working on 1 April. It is therefore spurious to
argue that a 'Future versions of VB6/VBA' (sic) (which, at this stage,
there won't be) will destroy your asset(s). That's like saying that no
matter what models of automobile may be developed in the future, the
manufacturer will always have to provide support for the particular model
that I drive today. In other words - 'I want to see innovation but I also
want everything the way it has always been'.
Actually, they are saying "I want to see innovation, but I don't want to
entirely re-learn programming, expose my code needlessly to others, expand
the runtime from less than 2MB to over 23MB, rewrite tons of code just to be
able to use it in the new programming IDE and I'd like to keep programming
simple. My needs are simple. I'd like to keep my code that way."

One of the things that is hardly ever touched on is that the vast majority
of classic VB "programmer s" we are talking about (MVPs not withstanding) are
not "real programmers" (in the purely technical sense).

They are not MIS majors. They do not "write code" for a living. They write
code to make making a living easier. The vast majority do not care to hack
the kernel, directly manipulate memory or even have a purely object oriented
language. They just want to be able to quickly churn out a little
application that makes their job (or their hobby) easier.

They are not interested in competing with J2EE (if they even know what it
is) or with C++ programmers. And, the very few that do want to do direct
memory manipulation, to hook the kernel, to code in an all-object-oriented
environment or develop enterprise-wide applications are more than capable of
learning C/C++/C# to do so.

Rarely have I ever heard a classic VB developer with these aspirations
refuse to move to C++ to accomplish these goals. Quite the
contrary.....th ey run there.

In objective 2 it states 'This core should be enhanced and extended, and
changes should follow a documented deprecation process.' Am I the only one
who wonders how one can enhance and extend something and peprecate it at
the same time. To me 'enhance and extend' and 'deprecate' are complete
opposites.
Well......you depreciate older features while adding replacement features
that may offer more speed, flexibility or functionality. Like going
depreciating "navigate" in the IE object model and adding "navigate2" .

VB.Net is not an extension of classic VB. VB.Net is C# (a JAVA copy) with
superficial classic VB (syntax) thrown in to make it look like they actually
did something with VB besides just scrap it.

In objective 3 it states 'The decisions of if, how and when to migrate
code to .NET should lie with the customer. Some may choose to remain with
unmanaged VB, especially for legacy code bases. Some will use only VB.NET,
others a mix.' Please excuse my mistake in thinking that this is exactly
the case today and is not going to change on 1 April. Also, don't forget
about the developers who are using a mix of VB6, VB.NET and C#.NET to
provide solutions.
Since unmanaged C++ is handled by Visual Studio .Net, why not classic VB?
Since C++ is still being updated (patched), why not classic VB?

I'll tell you why......it was not a concern of the programmers at Microsoft,
the majority of which are C++ programmers. VB was never seen as a serious
programming tool by them (not that it should be considered on the same level
as C++ in terms of capability). Understandable. But, it should have been
taken seriously as a wildly successful Microsoft product that met the needs
of millions of part-time-programmers worldwide and supported a real and
potential revenue stream that any company not Microsoft's size would kill to
have.

In my personal experience I only encountered 2 'issues' in VB6 which
needed to be addressed by Microsoft and both were addressed in later
service packs. In the meantime a rather unattractive workaround was used
to acheive the desired result. While there was much gnashing of teeth at
the time, the pain soon passed. It does beg the question 'What new things
are people attempting to do with VB6 that are throwing up so many
widespread issues that mainstream support is still required?'
Mainly, extending capablities of the runtime to enable easy access (remember
EASY is the thing the accountant/programmer values the most) to web services
and new Windows API functionality as well as handling any security issues
that may arise with the runtime.
I am quickly coming to the view that some are trying to use VB6 to do
something that it is just not designed to do and then criticising Microsoft
when it doesn't do it.
Some do. But, they are such a small (although vocal) minority that they
really are only a bother if you listen to the minority instead of the
majority of classic VB developers.
If that is the case then I'm afraid I cannot support that sort of
behaviour.
I agree....to a point. If you want to do something today that classic VB
can't do, write a DLL or ActiveX control to accomplish it (usually in C++)
or move on to C++ for it's power.
I also wonder if some have been using mainstream support as an alternative
to 'Read The Flaming Manual' or other methods of self-help support - It
certainly appears that many use these newgroups in that manner.
Also true. But, this can be said of any developers - be they classic VB, C,
C++, JAVA or whatever. People are lazy by default. They take the easy way
out. Fortunately, most of use did the same thing and are happy to share our
knowledge because we too asked "easy" questions once upon a time.

In some of the articles regarding this petition it talks about projects
not being migrated to VB.Net because it is complex. So what. An automobile
is complex compared to a bicycle but that doesn't stop teenagers migrating
from the bike to the car. Complex does not mean difficult!!! Unfortunately
there are those who equate the two words and, in doing so, do nothing more
than make things difficult for themseleves.
But, that's where everyone is missing the whole appeal of classic VB, the
power of classic VB and the continuing need of such a product as classic VB.

Classic VB gave accountants, lawyers, students, teachers, fishermen,
electricians and just about any layperson the ability to quickly put
together the solution to a presssing problem. The problem may be temporary
or, it may be just a prototype of a larger production application that is
needed - and, using classic VB, they could design and implement a stop-gap
measure until an enterprise solution was coded.

Complexity kills rapid application development. The more complex, the less
rapid. Bosses loved the rapid way in which most employees could take VB and
put together solutions to company probelms in days or hours instead of weeks
or months for a similar C++ application.

The typical classic VB developer doesn't give a rat's behind if you fancy
him/her a programmer. S/he gets the job done, keeps the boss happy and
makes the company money. And, for them, that's what counts.
There are also those who seem incapable of doing anything unless the entire
wherewithall is handed to them on a plate.
I think this is an unfair assessment of the typical classic VB programmer.
For 99% of them, they never intended to make a living learning programming.
They already have a job. Classic VB made it easy to enhance and simplify
their jobs. The language was easy and RAD.

For the vast majority of programmers that have only known classic VB or have
never programmed - VB.Net is neither RAD nor simple. I know you'll look
down upon this statement, as you seem to be a very intelligent person,
easily capable of learning and excelling in any programming language that
you should choose. But, you are not the typical classic VB programmer. Put
aside your talents for a moment and look at the majority of people that used
and loved classic VB. Try and think of it in terms of why they loved it and
how VB.Net has changed that for them.

Remember, for most of them, they don't get paid to write code.....they get
paid to produce results. Classic VB was a RAD tool that frequently made
that easier. For most of them, VB.Net dosen't.
Along with these are those who wring their hands and make themselves sick
with worry in case they don't get a particular line of code right the first
time. To all those for whom the cap fits all I can say is, get of your
backsides, learn something for yourselves, be prepared to try something.
You'll be surprised just how much one can get done when one is not spending
ones efforts in waiting for someone else to do it for one or worrying if
one has got it right first time.
And, what about those who have to work for a living doing something other
than programming? Classic VB was easy to learn. It was a quick way to
increase productivity. VB.Net is just not that easy.

And, while it is certainly easy to look down your nose at them and shame
them for not learning VB.Net, remember that being a "programmer " (in the
sense that you are) was never their goal. Making their jobs easier with
minimal time and effort diverted from their main task (be it sales or
production of widgets or raising live bait) was their goal, and classic VB
fit that bill. Vb.Net does not.

To finish, I believe that Microsoft announced the timetable from ending
mainstream support for VB6 some 2 years ago, so I'm also wondering why it
has taken so long for a petition such as this to appear, or is it nothing
more than a knee-jerk reaction to the recent reminder.


I think that classic VB developers (at least the ones I know) reserved
judgement for a while to get to know the new product better. They have
played with it, "kicked the tires" and they are not impressed. VB.Net takes
much more time to master, is more difficult to distribute (I'm talking size
restrictions - like for downloads), is less secure (ildasm) and is more
complex - which means more time to code and less RAD productivity.

While, as a professional programmer, I can see your frustration with the
petition, as a long time classic VB programmer, I can also see their
frustration with the demise of VB and no comparable RAD tool to replace it.

While I know that I have spoken largely of the "part-time-programmer" here,
I am quite aware of the real programmers who have taken classic VB and
developed some rather astounding enterprise-level applications. (I have
done this at several companies myself.)

I do not wish to imply that they are not "real programmers", nor do I
dismiss their hard, and often amazing, work. Rather, I stand in awe of a
language such as classic VB that can bring together lay-programmers and
professional programmers to achieve 90% of the needs of any company.

I only wish to point out that here that the majority of the classic VB
programmers are not professionals, and the same things that make classic VB
appealing to lay-programmers also make it a favorite of those of use that do
program for a living.

Jim Hubbard

Nov 21 '05 #7
Herfried,

It says for me something about *those* MVP's.

Unluckily do I find it therefore very strange to see your name as the only
*hard* regular from this newsgroup in that list.

Cor
Nov 21 '05 #8
Thanks for the links Herfried.
"Herfried K. Wagner [MVP]" <hi************ ***@gmx.at> wrote in message
news:Ot******** *****@TK2MSFTNG P15.phx.gbl...
Hi Jim,

"Jim Hubbard" <re***@groups.p lease> schrieb:
http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1774642,00.asp


For those who are interested in signing the petition:

General information (press, blog articles, etc.) about the petition:

http://classicvb.org/

List of signatures:

http://classicvb.org/petition/

--
M S Herfried K. Wagner
M V P <URL:http://dotnet.mvps.org/>
V B <URL:http://classicvb.org/petition/>

Nov 21 '05 #9
As you could see from the first line of my earlier post my questions were
rhetorical. That said I welcome your comments.

I have used VB since version 3 for developing applications for commercial
environments. I still use it today for projects where it is the right tool
for the job. Although I can read (to a certain extent) and understand a C++
source listing I have never had any need to code in that language. Prior to
being exposed to VB I was proficient in COBOL, ALGOL and PL/1.

Now, if one was to say that the transition from COBOL to VB was difficult
then I would agree wholeheartedly. Do you want some horror stories from
those days?

I firmly believe that if one has a good grasp of 'Classic' VB from version 4
(32 bit) or later then a transition to VB.NET, allowing for a smattering of
gnashing of teeth and tearing of hair, is reasonably painless. Sure there
are some new things and somethings are a little different but not to the
extent that it can be considered foriegn. I think a good analogy would be
moving from New Zealand to the USA and adapting to the difference in the
style and use the English language. As a comparison moving for
COBOL,ALGOL,PL/1 was like moving to Japan and learning that language, both
spoken and written.

I would be the first to admit that 'Classic' VB was like a pair of comfy
slippers. But, sooner or later those slippers wear out and one has to buy a
new pair and break them in.

I'm afraid that I don't differentiate between 'professional' and 'hobbyist'
programmers no matter what language they use. As far as I'm concerned, if
you're a programmer then you're a programmer. The code for adding 2 integers
together is the same regardless if you get paid for it or not. Therfore any
argument that 'hobbyists' need 'Classic' VB is spurious.

As I said earlir I still use, and will continue to use, 'Classic' VB when it
the right tool for the job. I will use VB.NET when that is the right tool
for the job and I will use C#.NET when that is the right tool for the job.
When I need something written in C++ I will get a colleague to write it for
me.

I still cannot see any need for 'Mainstream' support to continue past it's
use-by date. As I said earlier, we - as a community - have been well aware
of this date for 2 years at least.

Again, 'Classic' VB prorams are not magically going to stop working on 1
April 2005, (except those with April Fools easter eggs of course).

Stephany
"Jim Hubbard" <re***@groups.p lease> wrote in message
news:ts******** ************@gi ganews.com...
I can only give answers from the veiwpoint of the classic VB programmers
that I am personally familiar with. I do not speak for everyone on the
petition. My comments only relate the things I have personally
experienced
and are by no means the end-all-be-all of those wishing to continue
classic
VB.

That being said.....let's get started, shall we?

"Stephany Young" <noone@localhos t> wrote in message
news:uh******** ********@TK2MSF TNGP09.phx.gbl. ..
Soapbox time!!!!!!!!

I cannot understand how, on and after 1 April 2005, I am not going to be
able to do things with VB6(SP6) that I can do on and prior to 31 March
2005. Just because 'Mainstream' support is withdrawn from that date does
not mean I won't be able to use it.


True. It only means that classic VB will not have the errors that are in
it's runtime addressed (or new security issues addressed) or the runtime
optimized for speed. The classic VB developers that I know want to extend
classic VB, as well as fix it's current problems. To them (and myself)
extending classic VB does not mean or necessitate a completely new
language
like VB.Net.

Objective 1 of the petition talks about 'Preservation of assets'. If you
have an asset then it is in place today. If it works today then it is not
magically going to stop working on 1 April. It is therefore spurious to
argue that a 'Future versions of VB6/VBA' (sic) (which, at this stage,
there won't be) will destroy your asset(s). That's like saying that no
matter what models of automobile may be developed in the future, the
manufacturer will always have to provide support for the particular model
that I drive today. In other words - 'I want to see innovation but I also
want everything the way it has always been'.


Actually, they are saying "I want to see innovation, but I don't want to
entirely re-learn programming, expose my code needlessly to others, expand
the runtime from less than 2MB to over 23MB, rewrite tons of code just to
be
able to use it in the new programming IDE and I'd like to keep programming
simple. My needs are simple. I'd like to keep my code that way."

One of the things that is hardly ever touched on is that the vast majority
of classic VB "programmer s" we are talking about (MVPs not withstanding)
are
not "real programmers" (in the purely technical sense).

They are not MIS majors. They do not "write code" for a living. They
write
code to make making a living easier. The vast majority do not care to
hack
the kernel, directly manipulate memory or even have a purely object
oriented
language. They just want to be able to quickly churn out a little
application that makes their job (or their hobby) easier.

They are not interested in competing with J2EE (if they even know what it
is) or with C++ programmers. And, the very few that do want to do direct
memory manipulation, to hook the kernel, to code in an all-object-oriented
environment or develop enterprise-wide applications are more than capable
of
learning C/C++/C# to do so.

Rarely have I ever heard a classic VB developer with these aspirations
refuse to move to C++ to accomplish these goals. Quite the
contrary.....th ey run there.

In objective 2 it states 'This core should be enhanced and extended, and
changes should follow a documented deprecation process.' Am I the only
one who wonders how one can enhance and extend something and peprecate it
at the same time. To me 'enhance and extend' and 'deprecate' are complete
opposites.


Well......you depreciate older features while adding replacement features
that may offer more speed, flexibility or functionality. Like going
depreciating "navigate" in the IE object model and adding "navigate2" .

VB.Net is not an extension of classic VB. VB.Net is C# (a JAVA copy) with
superficial classic VB (syntax) thrown in to make it look like they
actually
did something with VB besides just scrap it.

In objective 3 it states 'The decisions of if, how and when to migrate
code to .NET should lie with the customer. Some may choose to remain with
unmanaged VB, especially for legacy code bases. Some will use only
VB.NET, others a mix.' Please excuse my mistake in thinking that this is
exactly the case today and is not going to change on 1 April. Also, don't
forget about the developers who are using a mix of VB6, VB.NET and C#.NET
to provide solutions.


Since unmanaged C++ is handled by Visual Studio .Net, why not classic VB?
Since C++ is still being updated (patched), why not classic VB?

I'll tell you why......it was not a concern of the programmers at
Microsoft,
the majority of which are C++ programmers. VB was never seen as a serious
programming tool by them (not that it should be considered on the same
level
as C++ in terms of capability). Understandable. But, it should have been
taken seriously as a wildly successful Microsoft product that met the
needs
of millions of part-time-programmers worldwide and supported a real and
potential revenue stream that any company not Microsoft's size would kill
to
have.

In my personal experience I only encountered 2 'issues' in VB6 which
needed to be addressed by Microsoft and both were addressed in later
service packs. In the meantime a rather unattractive workaround was used
to acheive the desired result. While there was much gnashing of teeth at
the time, the pain soon passed. It does beg the question 'What new things
are people attempting to do with VB6 that are throwing up so many
widespread issues that mainstream support is still required?'


Mainly, extending capablities of the runtime to enable easy access
(remember
EASY is the thing the accountant/programmer values the most) to web
services
and new Windows API functionality as well as handling any security issues
that may arise with the runtime.
I am quickly coming to the view that some are trying to use VB6 to do
something that it is just not designed to do and then criticising
Microsoft when it doesn't do it.


Some do. But, they are such a small (although vocal) minority that they
really are only a bother if you listen to the minority instead of the
majority of classic VB developers.
If that is the case then I'm afraid I cannot support that sort of
behaviour.


I agree....to a point. If you want to do something today that classic VB
can't do, write a DLL or ActiveX control to accomplish it (usually in C++)
or move on to C++ for it's power.
I also wonder if some have been using mainstream support as an alternative
to 'Read The Flaming Manual' or other methods of self-help support - It
certainly appears that many use these newgroups in that manner.


Also true. But, this can be said of any developers - be they classic VB,
C,
C++, JAVA or whatever. People are lazy by default. They take the easy
way
out. Fortunately, most of use did the same thing and are happy to share
our
knowledge because we too asked "easy" questions once upon a time.

In some of the articles regarding this petition it talks about projects
not being migrated to VB.Net because it is complex. So what. An
automobile is complex compared to a bicycle but that doesn't stop
teenagers migrating from the bike to the car. Complex does not mean
difficult!!! Unfortunately there are those who equate the two words and,
in doing so, do nothing more than make things difficult for themseleves.


But, that's where everyone is missing the whole appeal of classic VB, the
power of classic VB and the continuing need of such a product as classic
VB.

Classic VB gave accountants, lawyers, students, teachers, fishermen,
electricians and just about any layperson the ability to quickly put
together the solution to a presssing problem. The problem may be
temporary
or, it may be just a prototype of a larger production application that is
needed - and, using classic VB, they could design and implement a stop-gap
measure until an enterprise solution was coded.

Complexity kills rapid application development. The more complex, the
less
rapid. Bosses loved the rapid way in which most employees could take VB
and
put together solutions to company probelms in days or hours instead of
weeks
or months for a similar C++ application.

The typical classic VB developer doesn't give a rat's behind if you fancy
him/her a programmer. S/he gets the job done, keeps the boss happy and
makes the company money. And, for them, that's what counts.
There are also those who seem incapable of doing anything unless the
entire wherewithall is handed to them on a plate.


I think this is an unfair assessment of the typical classic VB programmer.
For 99% of them, they never intended to make a living learning
programming.
They already have a job. Classic VB made it easy to enhance and simplify
their jobs. The language was easy and RAD.

For the vast majority of programmers that have only known classic VB or
have
never programmed - VB.Net is neither RAD nor simple. I know you'll look
down upon this statement, as you seem to be a very intelligent person,
easily capable of learning and excelling in any programming language that
you should choose. But, you are not the typical classic VB programmer.
Put
aside your talents for a moment and look at the majority of people that
used
and loved classic VB. Try and think of it in terms of why they loved it
and
how VB.Net has changed that for them.

Remember, for most of them, they don't get paid to write code.....they get
paid to produce results. Classic VB was a RAD tool that frequently made
that easier. For most of them, VB.Net dosen't.
Along with these are those who wring their hands and make themselves sick
with worry in case they don't get a particular line of code right the
first time. To all those for whom the cap fits all I can say is, get of
your backsides, learn something for yourselves, be prepared to try
something. You'll be surprised just how much one can get done when one is
not spending ones efforts in waiting for someone else to do it for one or
worrying if one has got it right first time.


And, what about those who have to work for a living doing something other
than programming? Classic VB was easy to learn. It was a quick way to
increase productivity. VB.Net is just not that easy.

And, while it is certainly easy to look down your nose at them and shame
them for not learning VB.Net, remember that being a "programmer " (in the
sense that you are) was never their goal. Making their jobs easier with
minimal time and effort diverted from their main task (be it sales or
production of widgets or raising live bait) was their goal, and classic VB
fit that bill. Vb.Net does not.

To finish, I believe that Microsoft announced the timetable from ending
mainstream support for VB6 some 2 years ago, so I'm also wondering why it
has taken so long for a petition such as this to appear, or is it nothing
more than a knee-jerk reaction to the recent reminder.


I think that classic VB developers (at least the ones I know) reserved
judgement for a while to get to know the new product better. They have
played with it, "kicked the tires" and they are not impressed. VB.Net
takes
much more time to master, is more difficult to distribute (I'm talking
size
restrictions - like for downloads), is less secure (ildasm) and is more
complex - which means more time to code and less RAD productivity.

While, as a professional programmer, I can see your frustration with the
petition, as a long time classic VB programmer, I can also see their
frustration with the demise of VB and no comparable RAD tool to replace
it.

While I know that I have spoken largely of the "part-time-programmer"
here,
I am quite aware of the real programmers who have taken classic VB and
developed some rather astounding enterprise-level applications. (I have
done this at several companies myself.)

I do not wish to imply that they are not "real programmers", nor do I
dismiss their hard, and often amazing, work. Rather, I stand in awe of a
language such as classic VB that can bring together lay-programmers and
professional programmers to achieve 90% of the needs of any company.

I only wish to point out that here that the majority of the classic VB
programmers are not professionals, and the same things that make classic
VB
appealing to lay-programmers also make it a favorite of those of use that
do
program for a living.

Jim Hubbard

Nov 21 '05 #10

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