Ramblings from the Creator of WilsonDotNet.com
Good call. Come on, guys, grow up and move on. People like old country dirt roads until a big rain comes and washes the road away. Pave your applications with .NET asphalt.
I've seen some appalling MVPs too (especially MVPs in Server software where the advice was just plain wrong). The fact that some MVPs are signing the petition shouldn't give it any more credibility. Unfortunately, it might convey some credibility to the untrained eye. Perhaps that's an argument for MS to re-axe the MVP program.
> although I prefer C# now.
Which is kind of the point. One of the major side effects of this change is that VB is no longer the largest development community in the world, because so many devs switched to C#. And that's a big change from the Way Things Used To Be. It's why there is (currently) no version of Resharper for VB.NET.
If you want to be a part of the largest, most popular development community in the world, you don't pick VB. Not any more.
The point your blog misses is that Microsoft has not only dropped VB6, but also hasn't provided a usable upgrade path.
To ask for one is not either pro- or anti-NET. It has nothing to do with .NET at all.
To accept that Microsoft can get away without providing an upgrade path should be a worry to you. The key people in the developer tools division at Microsoft seem to have lost sight of the concept that a language and a platform are two separate things.
Platforms come and go. What will you do with the code you have written and need to maintain when the .NET platform goes and Microsoft abandons the languages that formerly targeted it? Of course, it will still be available for a while even after Microsoft stops selling it, so people will tell you "C# hasn't gone away, carry on coding in C#". But the time will come when modern platforms no longer support the latest version of the framework you can still compile to. At or before that point, you will be faced with abandoning all your code and starting again in a new language.
If anything, as a programmer in a new and untried language without any track record in long-term stability, it would be in your interest for the petition to succeed, simply to concentrate the minds of the people at Microsoft on the need to allow developers and application owners to preserve and manage their code assets, lest Microsoft pull the same trick on you in some years time.
So how about a signature from you?
I disagree that there is no usable upgrade path. I can only assume that you think a usable upgrade path means that you will not have to make any modifications to your code, but that's just not realistic. So get over it -- no signature from me.
I agree with Paul's statement above on this. I had no problems converting my apps from VB6/ASP to VB.NET/ASP.NET and now that I have learned .NET there is no way you could get me to go back to using VB6. If it's that important to you guys that you don't have to write any code to upgrade your apps, then quit bitching about it and write a migration tool.
I'm not suggesting that there should be no rewriting at all. But the claim that the migration wizard can do 95% of the work is a sick joke. If it could do 95% of the work, then adoption would have been higher. There's not reason in principle why it couldn't.
As for building a migration tool myself, I have a business to run and code to write. Building a migration tool is probably more of a cost than doing it all by hand. If you think it is so easy, write it yourself and give it away to enoucrage people to migrate!
Why would I build something I don't need? I'm not the one complaining about having to migrate my code. And it wouldn't make good business sense for me to encourage people to migrate, the less people that do, the more work there is for people like me that already did.
Are these VB6 guys still writing NEW applications in VB6? If so, why? If they are just talking about migrating old code to VB.Net, then why? Doesn't the old VB6 version still work? Do they still have clients on Windows 3.1?Applications have a limited life. They need to be replaced from time to time - or at least substantially updated. This is the time to make the switch. The whole argument just doesn't make any sense to me.If they want to stay in the 80's with bad hair and shoulder pads then let them. I see no reason to sign.I'd like to start an MVP petition for MS to NOT continue working on VB6. It's wasted money that could be better used on more modern and useful technology.
Sometimes I just wish a platform will die a dignified death. Windows 3.11 was such a beast, and later, I looked forward to not having to support Windows 98 versions of software.
I feel the same way about Visual Basic 6.0.
I suppose that around 2010 I'll be greatful to drop support for Windows 2003. Of course, there'll still be the "Windows 2010 VB/COM+ Virtual Machine" to deal with.
I don´t sign, because i don´t think that it would make any sense to do it ;-) <the VB6 aera ended, and i have to move on - if i enjoyed the aera or not, and no petition in the world can bring me that aera back. Same is happening right now with VBA aera ...>
@Jonathan: If upgrading from a car, which has a motor driven with firewood to a one driven with gasolin, there are some changes for which you could´t and wouldn´t want any migration tools.
What i mean is: there are some things which just couldn´t be ported correctly and which are not useful to port due to total different architecture. I think that´s a general problem with evolution: You´ve to move and learn and have to change your thinking to follow it.
BTW If you think that you can do a better converter, then try to find a sponsor and just do it. I as chief of a company wouldn´t want to sponsor you, instead i´d use the same amount of money for retraining my stuff, that pays much better in the long run...
Here's my two cents. Those who are signing the petition don't want to do a little work to migrate their code, and don't want to invest in their knowledge portfolio. Too bad! This is the field that your are in; it's always changing. At one point, I belive that was what attracted you to this field. If it doesn't anymore, find a new field of work.
"I'm not suggesting that there should be no rewriting at all. But the claim that the migration wizard can do 95% of the work is a sick joke. If it could do 95% of the work, then adoption would have been higher."
See? Now THAT sounds like the start of a REASONABLE petition for Microsoft: More upgrade support. That'd would perhaps get Microsoft working on something realistic instead of VB.COM4Life.
Quote: "To accept that Microsoft can get away without providing an upgrade path should be a worry to you."
Hmmm, once upon a time there was no Microsoft and all accross the land used to have to write their own drivers, their own languages, their own updates in machine code...
If you are really "that" bothered, "you" pay the money out to upgrade it! Build yourself a compiler to compile your code. It is really quite simple. This is a product we are talking about - how would you cope if Microsoft had of gone belly up?!
Languages come and go what really sets a programmer apart from the rest are those that learn the new languages. If you need to upgrade your product to a new version then you are most likely lazy. Want the cheapest way to get at the better technologies. What you fail to realise is that to get the better technologies you need better languages to cope.
Even more ammusing is that you could actually upgrade in stages as VB is COM and COM is support by .NET (with a small time hit)
I can't believe no one jumped on the statements made above about "If anything, as a programmer in a new and untried language without any track record in long-term stability, it would be in your interest for the petition to succeed..." is a complete joke!
At my company, we have seen huge improvements in reliability and robustness of the applications that we are creating in VB.NET and ASP.NET over ASP, VB6, and COM/COM+. Just handling maintenance on some of the old applications is more costly than a refactor of the COM+ objects to .NET assemblies.
Untried? Long-term stability? <*cough*> I have been using .NET since July 2000 when they handed out the BETA at the PDC in Florida. The stuff in BETA then was good enough for deployment (albeit with some parts I wished had more work). After more than *FOUR* years, how long do we need to wait to accept it as tried and true?
If anything, Microsoft has devoted too many resources and time worrying about the last service pack to Visual Studio 6.0. Not many other companies would have spent the time to build that last service pack after release of a new version. How many of you still actively maintain the code base for your released product two major revisions behind the current one?
Newbie developers that I know also seem to find development with .NET more consistent and straightforward, but here my opinion may be slightly biased since most of our applications are web based and not windows applications.
If anything, the death of COM itself is long overdue... that statement should light a flame of messages. Are you guys going to go off and build COM4EVER.com? Yes, someday web services will be passe.
Bottom line... each generation of software brings with it capabilities and efficiencies that allow us to build more complex systems with more functionality than the previous because of the greater reliability and richness of the base software. We no longer spend large amounts of time languishing over sorting algorithms and putting bytes into and out of packets. Instead we worry about implementing business logic specific to our vertical (business). Why hold a gun to their head and require them to spend millions of dollars to support or construct something that will satisfy the needs of dozens of people, and at the same time propagate forward a code base that needs refactoring anyway?
Is this the Jason Hamby that used to work with me ? If so, drop me a line.
This petition is a joke...correct?
You know as much about as do I if you have read it. I don't have any insider information about it beyond that. It doesn't look like a joke in any way, although I think most signers are making a statement more than expecting change.