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The angry VB6 folks are still around!

Read this post about how VB6 r0x0rz and VB.NET suX0rz. I thought we were beyond this back in 2001.

Speaking of 2001, that was the year I first got my hands on .NET, bought an MSDN subscription on employment and played with VB6 for the first time. VB6 was really neat stuff because it was comfortable, like VBscript was for ASP. Meanwhile, as I got deeper into ASP.NET and VB.NET, it became more and more clear every day that to use .NET I had to think differently. I struggled with that even after switching to C#, and probably didn't really start to "get it" until early 2003. But hey, college journalism major here. No CS background. Once you go OOP, you don't go back.

It's true... VB.NET is not VB6. I say, who cares? VB6 had a ton of shortcomings, and its "forgivingness" was the root of exceptionally bad code everywhere. I think VB6 was a liability because people tried to do too much with it, thus its reputation.

But anyway, the linked post is filled with fun quotes. "It's 'basically' impossible to migrate programs written in earlier versions of Visual Basic to the .NET version." OK, assuming for a moment that's true, why do you need to migrate it at all? Corporations are still maintaining COBOL programs from 20 years ago (twice the age of VB), because they still work.

"But those product managers aren't the poor bastards faced with rewriting millions of lines of source code to reinvent crucial applications, nor do the Microsofties have to swallow hard while they lose dependable business logic refined over decades." There's a cliche about wheels in there somewhere. :) Oh, and VB1 came out in 1991. Maybe he uses a different metric for decades.

"...with the release of .NET, I'd be farkled, fubar'd, and frazzled. Like many other developers, I don't have the time, energy, or desire to un-learn the substantial skills I've acquired in over 20 years of coding with Microsoft Basics, and re-learn some new thing that's marketed as Visual Basic, but is, in fact, radically different." Give me a break. Fire up the VB6 IDE and tell me how it's anything like QBasic. Ha! And "un-learn?" Would you forget how to speak English if you learned Spanish? I have to admit that even as an author (I try to work that in whenever I can now!), I am not that clever. Yet, despite my lack of formal training, my lack of cleverness and my general disregard for the hardcore academics of computer science in general, I managed to achieve a commanding position in terms of pay and respect in just a few short years. Not bad for a guy that used to spin top 40 CD's on a really bad Cleveland radio station. If I can do it, certainly someone with "decades" of experience can.

As for the petition, good God, let COM go. I mean seriously, it was a nightmare. To me it was even a barrier to entry into writing really useful Windows software. Why register controls when I can, uh, just copy them?

Good times. Bring on the flames.
Posted: Mar 09 2005, 09:36 PM by Jeff | with 5 comment(s)
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anon said:

Let COM go? But the entire app stack layer of the OS is based on COM. What are you talking about?

# March 10, 2005 6:59 AM

Frans Bouma said:

"None of them need COM."
erm... one of the core subsystems of windows is COM+, in the early days MTS. To have cross-process transactions, a must in enterprise applications, you need COM.

Also, in the ASP days, it was common to write your BL tier in COM components.
# March 10, 2005 8:16 AM

Jeff said:

Yes, I realize that. You're missing the point. You don't have to write code for COM anymore. I'm certainly not using ASP.old these days. My point stands... nothing I'm writing is targeted to COM.
# March 10, 2005 8:32 AM

Norman Rasmussen said:

Ugh, I wish the VB6 'hard-core' coders would just roll over and go back to bed. Vb6 is an evolution of an old broken model all the way back from GWBasic and BasicA. With VB.NET we get a fresh start and a closer idea of good way to progam.

I have to agree that the idea of loading the old slow, buggy vb6 engine into the brad new visual framework would be cool, but i think they forget that the type library is soo ugly that perhaps the best thing is just to throw it out and start again.

FYI: The managed c argument doesn't work here, c has always been a very clean language, it was c++ that made it ugly and complicated.
# March 16, 2005 6:46 PM

Martin Brown said:

IMHO most companies will see a return on investment if they port VB6 to VB.Net. Ok you have an expensive hit up front, but in the long term, the reduction in maintenance costs will pay for it.

Ever had someone install a new version of MSXML or MDAC on a server only to find that all the existing apps suddenly stop working? You just don't get these kinds of issues in .Net.
# March 17, 2005 5:17 AM
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