back to article Is it the beginning of the end for Visual Basic? Microsoft to focus on 'core scenarios'

Microsoft program manager Mads Torgersen has posted about the company's programming language strategy, stating that the plan for Visual Basic has shifted from co-evolution with C# to a focus on "core scenarios". Torgersen outlines the strategy for the three pure .NET languages, C#, VB, and F#. C#, says Torgersen, is used by …

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Re: The spirit of VB6 is alive

"Google B4X. RAD development tool targeting all modern platforms."

A new York bus route is a RAD development tool?

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Re: The spirit of VB6 is alive

I am VB6 lover.

I think I could handle that language

Thanks for the 'heads up',

Rob

PS I will see if vbforums can start a forum for it

Do you know of any good existing forums (aimed at those familiar with VB6) ?

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I liked VB

VB6 was a massive improvement and a fantastic platform for Rapid Application Development. I watched people kill themselves in C++ COM programming when I could create an app in a few days and re-use COM classes at will. DCOM components could be written in hours in VB6.

I have worked for a few companys now and have switched back and forth between C# and VB.Net languages regularly. The "too much typing" comment means you'r not using the IDE to it's full potential.

Most people I know switched to C# because it made them feel like they were using a big boy language. I found so little difference between the two I often thought that one or the other should be fazed out. I am however surprised they never replaced "VB" in Office macros with VB.net.

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Re: I liked VB

Replacing VBA is likely too much of a pain in the arse. ExcelDna is your friend here.

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Re: I liked VB

I still like VB, even though I'm trying to get into web stuff so the joys of PHP Javascipt etc..

For me the beauty (yes beauty) is it is readable.

There are many posts in this thread about the elegance of C-squiggle languages and what they can do in 10 lines that take 100 in VB. This is fair enough but most of this elegance relates to low level function stuff (string twiddling db connections etc) which once written goes into your back pocket library code.

VB excels at the mid level stuff on how to validate and process the lines in a purchase order against available stock and delivery scehdules. For business apps it's a modern day Cobol.

My other big bugbear is the what I call compiler delimiters, aka semi-colons and curly braces. Why-oh-Why are they necessary ? In any editor with syntax highlighting foldable code and code completion what do they add. They just seem to be left over from the computer science guys..

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Aw bless!

I used to like VB - well not like but I could bend it to my purpose. I even wrote a lot of add-ons for SQLserver 4.5 so it would do all the things I needed it to do. The sysadmin upgraded to 6 anyway so he could get the four or five weeks training in where menu items had moved.

What I liked best about it was you could write code that wouldnt scare people - two hundred lines of VB didnt scare people the same way the same code in 10 lines of C++ did.

My only real annoyance was, after a really large project, discovering they'd added OOP to it but not told anyone about it and it would have save me a couple of months writing the OOP bits myself.

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Yeah, VBA was a great --

-- idea, except for the drawbacks. Kind of like high explosives -- very useful until misused. Or used inappropriately.

In my misspent early days coding, I certainly wrote more than my share of very fast, very shaky VBA. Which was then used long past its "rotten now" date.

Last month I ported my last rather long-in-tooth VB6 application to Python. What a relief. So yes, while I remember VB6 with fondness, I also am pleased to be done; and I regard VB.net with a bit of (probably unnecessary) skepticism.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Yeah, VBA was a great --

The biggest issue with VBA is "record macro" which leads to people that don't have a Scooby thinking they can code. Once got asked to help out a user whose macro no longer worked as expected. It was a recorded specimen that naturally relied on what tab you were on to start off with and which cell you were in - the muppet hadn't even looked at how it was referencing cells.

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Microsoft's language strategy

I wish MS would release a version of VB for Office that has no access to anything outside of the doc it's part of. Would make those spreadsheets where you need to insert rows under programmatic control so much easier to email around.

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Facepalm

Microsoft Innovation ©

“The best way to prepare is to write programs, and to study great programs that other people have written. In my case, I went to the garbage cans at the Computer Science Center and I fished out listings of their operating systems.” ref

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Using it here

Maintaining 2 systems, one VB.Net (with very pretty DevExpress UI), and a clunky php api. Stuff works, and they keep me too busy at the moment to learn how to migrate to C#. I'm interested to learn it, as I never really got on with the C family. I *get* handling pointers, but the old c way always felt uncomfortable to me. Maybe I'm just getting on a bit - I started with COBOL.

Migration plans to Intercal pending.

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Re: Using it here

C# is closer to Java than C. If you already do VB.Net then it probably won't be as big a leap as you think. I don't know if it's still the case, but MS's .NET documentation used to have examples in both VB.Net and C# - comparing the two would be a good way of getting an initial feel for C#.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Using it here

Yes switching between VB.NET and C# is trivial really. A few days of remembering/forgetting to put in semicolons, or using the wrong sort of brackets, and you're back like you never left. They're functionally interchangeable. You build stuff in exactly the same way with either. You'll never see a pointer in C#.

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Pirate

Don't count any language out...

that has a widely installed base.

http://www.cio.com/article/3050836/developer/why-its-time-to-learn-cobol.html

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Oh FFS, just when I'd finally warmed to it...

...they decide to go and scrap it. Wnakers.

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VB6 runs on the Component Object Model (COM). Peering into the Windows boxes in every Boots store it looks as though COM is alive and kicking whilst being programmed now in, er , C#. (Their Nexphase prescription labelling program runs on thousands upon thousands of COM IDispatch interfaces.) And poking around in my own Windows boxes I see a huge number of GUIDS which show me COM isn't yet moribund. What I don't quite understand is why they didn't run a COM based Visual Basic alongside the .NET version. Unless they were afraid the punters wouldn't use the .NET version

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Facepalm

Wrong assumptions, bad mathematics and pointless examples from others: welcome to the .NET world !

As usual, the netties are totally in the ditch! Wrong assumptions, bad mathematics, pointless examples of others they know nothing about (you browsed it on google did you not?) and links that don't work. I am talking about real code that I write and that works, not google links or other half-baked graphics library from ... whatever. VB6 puts .net graphics to shame on every aspect, performance, capacity, speed, capabilites. Try a bilateral space domain bitmap filter in .net... (oopss no such thing)!

The programming world toppled over with VB6 : finally a top level language with limitless possibilities, so easy to use because of its free form and human like simple syntax, leaving you more time to concentrate on crucial aspects of the programming job at hand. There is a concept that netties just don't seem to get, and that is : PRODUCTIVITY.

A big share of the real world is about physics, mechanics and mathematics. I am much more interested in doing FFT's, convolution and correlation on mechanics problems than doing the programming. The language is just a tool to support other mathematical activities. Suddenly with VB6, scientific programming was 5% learning curve/maintenance and a full 95% productivity for problem that matters.

Last 15 years has been a joyride and many people just don't want out of the band-wagon just now...not ever in fact. Who in his right mind would give up 95% productivity in a painless programming environment where everything works so fine all the time and with an almost unlimited access to low level API's power? For what?

Face reality : .Net and the Framework are incredibly stuffy, cumbersome, low productivity, painful environnments born out of the symbiosis relationship between a bunch of micro-managing minded, OOP obsessed techies on a binge (techies are, by definition, people that like making things more complex than they really are) and a very ill advised managing class (pun) that let things go this way for too long, backing them.

The point you are not getting is that scientists and engineers have long masterered ALL the programming they really need, we like the 95% productivity of VB6 and we will just not settle for less or anything else for that matter.

It is pretty amazing to see a company spits out on its own creation, which ironically happens to be one of her best ever, and fail, in fifteen years, at making a successor product that competes with it.

A bunch of us, we are just watching from afar a company entangling herself in a web of doubtable OOP concepts and miscelaneous technologies, jumping from XML to AXML, Silverlight to LightSwitch, DAO to ADO, deprecating perfectly good working stuff at will along the way, for the benefit of their next new great idea that will work (or maybe not), due for deprecation anyway. And from a distance, it all looks pretty silly because it is mostly about stuff a scientific productivity programmer (or accountant or just about any other trade) does not want or even care about.

Fact is : circa 2000 had all the best programming tools (namely VB6) on an hardware base technology that remains unchallenged and is not to be for decades to come. If you want it in other words, that means that the low level kernels of Windows have achieved monolithic status for as long as there is a product called Windows. Then on the upper floor, the techies are having a ball, making Windows and .Net an ever harder thing to manage in the name of...how did you say? Something about managed.. and future ... hum there was also something about spaghetti but I lost you there, you were babbling and I have a short attention span for that sort of things...

I do appreciate that there is a whole sector of programming that is of little interest to me, and about which those fore mentionted programming technologies are promising wonders, and I have no problems with that. I say go for it, have a ball.

But in a sane, mature, productivity world, you don't fix things that are not broken, you do not throw away a winning recipe, you don't re-invent the wheel when yours is running so smoothly, you don't invent New Coke nor Windows 8 (or 10) nor .Net, and if you do, salvation only goes through bringing back Classic, or else drown yourself in your new taste nobody likes.

What the VBsixters are telling you is : we want a hammer and a nail, we'll take care of the rest.

Please bring back VB6! Nothing else will do really. Every year spent widens the gap. Run-time will last beyond 2024. Maybe at that time Xojo or similar will be ready to take over productivity programming and give us what we want. And when that time comes, it will probably not matter anymore whether it's written MS on the label or not.

A comment by MathScienceAndGraphics

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Pirate

Re: Wrong assumptions, bad mathematics and ...

Well put, bro. Have an upvote.

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Visual Basic 6.0 is supported until at least November 2027

VB6 is offering the possibility to focus more on building the algorithms rather than on writing time-consuming code:

TCA is one of the more recent software systems that is based on Visual Basic programming. Source code is written in more than one programming language but predominant is VB6. The reason is quite simple. VB6 is close to pseudocode, offering the possibility to focus more on building the algorithms rather than on writing time-consuming code. Understanding the studied processes and creating the algorithms are the core of any scientific software system building activity. Writing the code is just the implementation phase that offers the possibility to verify the results and that should happen quickly. Otherwise, the research of the phenomenons would be dragged over a long period of time due to the implementation phase. In border sciences, such as colour science (which requests knowledge in the fields of chemistry, physics and mathematics), it is important to have more time to study and understand how to address the problems, in order to create viable algorithms, than to waste time on writing complicated computer language syntaxes. Large software programs that aim to solve a variety of problems are usually not written today in only one computer language. That is because some languages are better suited to some problems, and some are not. I started learning computer languages when Fortran 77 was leader and learned several computer languages since then. VB6 is not a strongly typed object-oriented programming language and that's why I'm not exclusively using this language but VB6 earned its place among the top computer languages for good reasons that should not be underestimated. Ultimately, it is software developers that make computers useful and Operating Systems attractive, and if there's a large number who say that VB6 should be supported, then Microsoft should continue to support it in its own interest.

vb6awards.blogspot.com/2017/06/visual-basic-60-is-supported-until-at.html

vb6awards.blogspot.com/2017/05/some-interesting-open-source-projects.html

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I started .NET with C# during the v1 beta. But the auto-complete and precompiler were much inferior to VB.NET's.

So we went with VB.NET (Option Strict and Explicit On!). Over a quarter of million lines of code later, with a commercial application that's still being intensively enhanced with new features and the deadlines that come with them, taking time out for a C# rewrite isn't practical. So we stuck with VB.NET and still find it far more readable. Auto-complete and intellisense make verbosity simply a non-issue.

I'm sure C# is intrinsically a superior language, though - tell me again how in the 21st century a language should still be using semi-colons as statement delimiters and nested blocks of curly braces that the IDE often can't even indent right...

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VB.NET is still the best for quick coding

While C# has taken over in a pretty big way I still prefer VB.NET (I'm forced to work in both). It seems to promote better coding practices that any C derived language. I noticed even with the same programmers at my company, they create better code in VB than in C# due to VB.NET's support of on the fly code refactoring like automatically changing the case of an identifier to match the declaration. C# because it's case sensitive can't do this, and I noticed that the programmers who would write C# code tend to get lazy and switch from descriptive variables (which are easy to mistype) and use single character identifiers. In VB they will write ProcessNewRecs whereas in C# they start doing B.S. like using just "pnr" for the name or worse just "p".

Even though my first language was C and then C++, I took to VB's way of doing things like a fish to water and am the better programmer for it.

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