back to article Microsoft: Hey, don’t forget Visual Basic! Open source and new features coming

Microsoft has posted details of what is coming in the next version of Visual Basic (VB). In the '90s, VB was pretty much Microsoft’s only alternative to C/C++ for Windows development, attracting a large user base from hobbyists to professional developers. VB lost ground following the appearance of the .NET Framework in 2002. …

  1. sabroni Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Why VB is better?

    The main reasons I prefer it is that it's better at autocomplete (sharp seems to lose this ability at the drop of a hat and wants recompiling before getting it back) and better at showing errors (vb tends to flag up the line that causes the issue, sharp often flags all the references to the bad line as well, making a simple job in B much trickier in sharp). Doesn't stop me working in sharp, but it does make me wonder why B is still better at these specific things....

    Sharp does late binding better! (Didn't think I'd ever be typing that....)

    1. Zippy's Sausage Factory

      Re: Why VB is better?

      The only thing I've found easier in VB is writing interfaces to Sage Lone 50 and similar. Sage just likes the way VB handles memory better than the C# way of doing things.

    2. Daniel von Asmuth Bronze badge
      Windows

      Which VB is better?

      Microsoft has not one, but two followings: a hardy crowd that holds on to VB 6.0 with all it's might, and a loose crowd of youngsters for whom VB.NET is their first programming language.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why VB is better?

      making a simple job in B much trickier in sharp). Doesn't stop me working in sharp, but it does make me wonder why B is still better at these specific things....

      You still code in B?

      According to Wikipedia:

      B is almost extinct, having been superseded by the C language.[7]

      1. big_D Silver badge

        Re: Why VB is better?

        Stuart, there was also BCPL between B and C. I learnt BCPL on my Amstrad CPC6128.

        My first experience of VB was a sealed VB3 on my desk, alongside a 200 page request for tender and a note from my boss, saying I should learn VB and write up an offer for the project, deadline end of the week!

        I really enjoyed programming in VB, it made interface design so easy, compared with C++ for Windows at the time. Delphi was also interesting.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why VB is better?

          Stuart, there was also BCPL between B and C. I learnt BCPL on my Amstrad CPC6128.

          Okay, quoting Wikipedia's source:

          B is reminiscent of BCPL [2] , for those who can remember. The original design and implementation are the work of K. L. Thompson and D. M. Ritchie; their original 6070 version has been substantially improved by S. C. Johnson, who also wrote the runtime library.

          I hardly think BCPL could have come between B and C if B is supposedly "reminiscent" of it. I had heard of BCPL as well. I of course haven't coded in either BCPL or B, although I've done quite a bit of C over the years.

          I did try VB4 years ago, and at the time I thought it was great. GUIs at the click of a mouse. Then I came to learn Java and other languages.

          Once I discovered what the Swing toolkit could do (for example) in terms of layout, the manual process of drawing widgets that VisualBASIC offers suddenly didn't seem all that appealing. Today if I want a GUI, I reach for Qt, with C++ or Python being my choice for actual code.

          1. big_D Silver badge

            Re: Why VB is better?

            Aha, you are correct, I haven't used it in years, but I remember it was commonly referred to as "(B)efore (C) (P)rogramming (L)anguage" or simply Before C, but as you say, it predates B as well - by 3 years.

            It was also the first language to uses braces to enclose

            "BCPL was the first brace programming language, and the braces survived the syntactical changes and have become a common means of denoting program source code statements."

            1. Kamal Hashmi

              Re: Why VB is better?

              The great thing about the original book for BCPL - "BCPL, the language and its compiler" - is that it taught you how to write a simple compiler as a way of teaching you BCPL.

  2. NotInventedHere

    No need to move away from VB

    Just because C# is more popular is no reason why anyone should abandon VB. They're both top notch languages with extremely strong capabilities, they both run on the same platforms, and can both achieve exactly the same things.

    C#'s syntax is better than VB's in some ways, VB's syntax is better than C#'s in others. I love them both, and see no reason at all to hate on VB. It's definitely not "...past time to move on"!

    1. 45RPM

      Re: No need to move away from VB

      @NotInventedHere

      "They're both top notch languages with extremely strong capabilities, they both run on the same platforms, and can both achieve exactly the same things."

      They don't both run on the same platforms though do they? C# runs on pretty much anything - especially now that Microsoft has done the decent thing and open-sourced it. Linux? No problem! Mac OS X? No problem! And the source code is available - so you can bet anything you like it'll end up in the likes of ReactOS soon - if it hasn't already. VisualBasic runs on Windows and… No, that's it. Just Windows*. And in this modern world of tablets and smart phones, where (according to several reports**) the most used OS in the world is from Mountain View, and the second most used is from Cupertino, a programming language that only works for an OS with diminishing market share is no good at all.

      Satya Nadella is doing an amazing job of halting the slide into irrelevance that seemed to be Ballmer's mission plan for Microsoft. The problem with VB is that it doesn't really have a raison d'être any more. VBA kind of does, but it needs to be extended to encompass the entire OS and everything that runs on it (like AppleScript). Then it would be truly useful. If this isn't done then it's just an esoteric and kind of crufty language which needs to be taken outside and given an overdose of barbiturates and vodka.

      *Okay, old versions run on MS-DOS too. Hardly counts as cross platform though, does it?

      **Taking into account mobile OS's, Gartner pegs Google's share at 41%, Apple's at 25% and Microsoft's at 22%. You can argue that the figures are wrong - and they probably are, but what can't be argued is that the heady days of Windows 95 are long gone, and one can no longer rely on ones users running Windows.

      1. dogged

        Re: No need to move away from VB

        Much as I despise VB, what you actually compile is CLR code which will run anywhere the .NET framework is installed. Same as C# or even F#.

      2. Steve Todd

        Re: No need to move away from VB

        Have you missed out on the facts that

        1) They both compile to MSiL.

        2) Microsoft have opensourced both?

        I agree with the OP here. Back in the days of VB6 it was the red hair'd stepchild of MS's language family. With VB.NET it's fully as capable as C# and has some advantages (I prefer the HANDLES keyword to adding delegate methods to events in the form initialisation code for example)

        1. Tim 11

          Re: No need to move away from VB

          I think the article author could have made a better job of pointing out that he was referring to VB.NET, not "proper" VB/VBScript/VBA.

          As others have pointed out, VB.NET has much more in common with C# than it does with original VB.

          1. Goldmember

            Re: No need to move away from VB

            "I think the article author could have made a better job of pointing out that he was referring to VB.NET, not "proper" VB/VBScript/VBA."

            If we're being pedantic, the '.NET' suffix hasn't officially been in use with VB since 2005. So the author was right in simply referring to it as 'VB'.

  3. dogged
    Flame

    > Microsoft’s commitment to Visual Basic is understandable.

    No it isn't - kill it with fire.

    1. Daniel von Asmuth Bronze badge
      Boffin

      Quoting Edsger W. Dijkstra: "It is practically impossible to teach good programming to students that have had a prior exposure to BASIC: as potential programmers they are mentally mutilated beyond hope of regeneration."

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        @ Daniel von Asmuth

        Quoting Edsger W. Dijkstra: "It is practically impossible to teach good programming to students that have had a prior exposure to BASIC: as potential programmers they are mentally mutilated beyond hope of regeneration."

        What is it people do when they cant teach then?

      2. Bleu

        As no great lover of Visual Basic

        but someone who sees how many do like it,

        Djikstra's statement was from the perspective of the structured programming model, and times where references to line numbers were near-ubiquitous.

        'Thou shall not use GOTO' and all.

        Case statements in C are similarly despised by the purists, since they have the same effect as a GOTO.

        Visual Basic of today is a structured and obj. oriented language, for sure most powerful in connection with MS products, only because so many things in their programs can be treated as simple variables there.

        1. kraut

          Re: As no great lover of Visual Basic

          <blockquote>Case statements in C are similarly despised by the purists, since they have the same effect as a GOTO.</blockquote>

          Err. No they don't. Case statements are perfectly acceptable even for the most ardent structured programming fanatics.

          Of course, all control flow statements are implenmented with gotos under the hood, but they limit where they can jump and make the code more understandable. That applies to switch/case statements as much as if/else or loops.

          The one thing people might complain about is the break or (intentional?unintentional?) lack of break at the end of a case...

      3. jzlondon

        Dijkstra was talking about early versions of BASIC. You know, the ones with GOTO, line numbers and no support for structuring.

        VB, in its modern incarnation, is an utter world away from that. It's almost identical to C# or Java, but more verbose and without the semicolons and curly brackets.

        Honestly, if you're going to have an opinion, it's worth having an informed opinion.

  4. Zippy's Sausage Factory
    Windows

    I used to be a VB head back in the VB 5 days. Then C# came along and I found it much easier to learn .Net and C# together rather than try and unlearn the VB I already knew. Now my VB knowledge has become my VBA knowledge instead and it's all happy.

    Seriously though, are they planning to make VB 14 like Visual Perl? All this string interpolation nonsense...

  5. Irongut

    Case sensitivity is more a liability than an asset. It causes all kinds of typos you just can't get in a language like VB.

    There are advantages to using VB.Net over C#. Some of the syntax makes more sense and there are a few things VB can do that C# can't.

    At the end of the day use the right tool for the job. If that is C# great, if it is VB.Net that's good too.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. dogged

      Case sensitivity leads to much clearer variable names since you're not crippled by reserved words and object names.

      For example

      '//VB

      Dim myObject as new MyObject() '// compiler error

      //C#

      var myObject = new MyObject(); // no compiler error

      VB is the enemy of clean code.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Spoken like a man who never had to untangle a mess of almost the same, but slightly differently capitalised variables... myobject, myObject, MyObject, m_myObject, m_MyObject all referring to different variables, some member variables, some method arguments, some globals. And then of course the method argument may be myObject but what gets passed to it is myobject, separate from the global MyObject of course. And sometimes the globals are hidden by the local definitions and you are not sure if that is intentional...

        Thank God for modern IDEs and their renaming capabilities.

        Disclaimer: This flashback had nothing to do with VB. I never did anything with VB.NET, and my VB6 knowledge is limited to fixing some bugs and adding minor features in old orphan programs.

        1. Hans 1 Silver badge
          Windows

          Smells like MSCD, in full swing ... The last time I had the joy of working with one he would print out the code on dozens of pages, tape it to the wall so he could get a better overview ... when I walked past, I noticed he had never heard of sub's or functions ... ;-) I could probably have it all fit on one page.

          >myobject, myObject, MyObject, m_myObject, m_MyObject all referring to different variables, some member variables, some method arguments, some globals.

          Now, whoever wrote that should be taken out and shot. Seriously, I would just start again from scratch - that most likely is the most visible part of the dev's skills, or lack of ... the code is most certainly full of bugs and general bad practice - longer to fix than rewrite, if you ask me.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        This betrays your ignorance and silliness...the following works in VB14 (variable and class name being the same):

        Dim MyObject As New MyObject '-- compiles!

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      As long as you're developing in something like VisualStudio where autocomplete can prevent most of your typos, case sensitivity shouldn't be a problem for the user but it makes a big difference for the compiler.

      In general, any project team will likely have a coding style that handles case to make sure that code is compatible between team members. Case sensitivity is a bonus there.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I used to think the same thing. And then I learned how to code.

    5. Hans 1 Silver badge
      Mushroom

      @Irongut

      Serious question, do you happen to work for digidesign/avid ? Did you write the Mac OS X driver for the MBox ? No? Do you work for Adobe ?

      Real men use case-sensitive OS' and languages.

  6. AbelSoul
    Windows

    I have to use both VB and C# on a daily basis.

    On balance, I probably prefer C# but they both have their merits (and flaws).

  7. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    When do they do the decent thing with VBA?

    And take it out the back and shoot it? Horrible language designed for shooting yourself in the foot.

  8. Pirate Dave Silver badge
    Pirate

    Eh...

    I confess, I still use VB 6 for one-off projects where I want/need a GUI for whatever admin tool it is I'm writing. I looked at VB.net when it came out, but realized it lacked the "elegance" of old-school VB (if such a thing can be said about the older VB). It seemed like a franken-language - kind of like Java or C++ but with a BASIC-esque "front-end". There didn't seem to be much "VisualBASIC" left to it.

    And in absolute truth, most of my VB6 projects would probably compile under VB3. I never really got into the "new" OO stuff they came out with in VB 4 and 5. I only use VB6 because it spits out much faster code than VB3.

    With PowerShell, I no longer have as much need of VB 6, since I can reduce most admin things to scripts. But every once in a while, I'll need a GUI for something.

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Eh...

      I found VB6 let me write decent projects and quickly, especially where a GUI was required. I felt .NET lost that and removed all that was good about the language while providing nothing new or exciting. I dont expect many will agree but VB6 was the one of the best things MS made in my opinion. It worked, it worked quickly and it worked easily. I know it wasnt everyones favorite language but it was mine.

      1. captain veg

        Re: VB6 was the one of the best things MS made

        Like most of the good stuff from Redmond, they bought it in.

        http://www.cooper.com/alan/father_of_vb.html

        -A.

        1. amanfromarse

          Not strictly accurate.

          Alan Cooper always struck me as a bit of an egotist.

          A different perspective:

          http://www.forestmoon.com/birthofvb/birthofvb.html

      2. Pirate Dave Silver badge

        Re: Eh...

        I agree- VB6 was a Golden Child for MS. Back in the days of VB 3 (when I got on board), the main alternative for doing anything in Windows involved C++ and lots and lots of the Windows API. It took, what, like 15-20 lines of C++ to draw a window using API calls? Where in VB, it was click, drag to size, and there you go.

        I've never been much of a C/C++ programmer (having come up in the days when the local colleges taught Pascal under DOS), so VB was the way around having to learn the vagaries and quirks of the Windows API. Luckily, I branched off into SysAdmin-land before that became detrimental to my career. :)

  9. captain veg

    they should do the honorable thing...

    ... and open-source VB6.

    OK, it's a bit late, but some of us still have a lot of (real) VB code to maintain, and no easy way to make it run well and look good on current versions of Windows. It is sobering to realise that when VB6 came out, Windows 98 was Microsoft's premier offering.

    VB.NET and its successors are just C# with superficially VB-like syntax. Porting really is not that different from a total rewrite.

    -A.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't want to start a holy war here, but what is the deal with you Visual Basic fanatics? I've been sitting here at my freelance gig in front of my 4GHz 8 core i7 Asus for about 22 minutes now while it attempts to build a simple VB.NET program. 22 minutes. At home, on my 20MHz Dell 486 running NT 4 and Visual Basic for DOS, which by all standards should be a lot slower than VB.NET on the Asus, the same operation would take about 2 minutes. If that.

    In addition, during this compile, I can’t edit my other files. And everything else has ground to a halt. Even the window is straining to resize as I type this.

    I won't bore you with the laundry list of other problems that I've encountered while using VB.NET, but suffice it to say there have been many, not the least of which is I've never seen programs run faster than those written in other languages. My ZX80 with 1K of RAM runs software faster at times. From a productivity standpoint, I don't get how people can claim that VB.NET is a "superior” programming language.

    VB.NET addicts, flame me if you'd like, but I'd rather hear some intelligent reasons why anyone would choose to use VB.NET over other faster, cheaper, more stable languages.

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      @AC

      I dont know any benefits of VB.NET (I gave up after VB6) but if you want to see the power of VB in action try VB6. Anyone I know who really liked the language like that version (not saying anything about .NET but it is very different to what came before).

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @AC

        The benefits of VB.Net in general is it allows hacks who will take less salary throw together some abomination that can almost pass for a usable desktop app (until it needs to be extended or needs to scale).

        1. Pirate Dave Silver badge
          Pirate

          Re: @AC

          You're vaguely pointing to the dark, ugly underbelly of VB back in the 90's. It was SO easy that the Business jocks could suddenly pass themselves off as "Programmers" just by sticking together a few VBXes/OCXes and a Data control. I guess for them it was a step up from Excel macros, but it still made a large contribution to tarnishing the whole "Programming in VisualBASIC" world. It wasn't really "programming", it was sticking together other people's modules with just a smattering of glue logic (that they probably found on someone's GeoCities website).

          But there was some decent programming going on in other parts of the VB world. Karl Peterson has(had) a site devoted to a lot of cool stuff that folks had done in VB6 (google "classic VB"). VB as a TOOL was quite adaptable to many things in the hands of a semi-competent hacker.

        2. GeezaGaz

          Re: @AC

          Spot on, I think VB3 overnight commodtised the whole programming profession

          Overnight an army of people went to PC world bought a copy, installed it and called themselves a 'programmer'.

          Reminds me of a conversation I had with my accoutant back in '93 when he wanted a bespoke app doing. I had quoted him a price. He then found 'someone else' who he said 'would do it for a fraction of the price', when I asked if he programmed for a living he replied 'no he drives a breakdown truck by day'. Says it all really

          Garish, hideous UIs that look like they've been built by a six year old anyone?

          1. Chicken Marengo

            @GeezaGaz

            >>Garish, hideous UIs that look like they've been built by a six year old anyone?

            To be fair, I know of many very talented programmers who make those too. UI/UX design is not programming.

  11. AMBxx Silver badge

    VB was useful

    It was much simpler than the big step to C++ so a great way into Windows programming.

    Shame it can't be turned into a sort of cut down C#, removing the complexities of OO rather than being a C# alternative.

  12. johnaaronrose
    Thumb Up

    Gambas

    Please don't downvote me just because I mention Linux! However, there is a superb implementation akin to Visual Basic running on Linux PCs (e.g. with Ubuntu, openSuse). It's called Gambas: abbreviated from G... Almost Basic. It's Object Oriented with an excellent IDE. It allows dev on Linux PCs with running on Linux PCs or Windows PCs (the latter requires that the desktop/laptop be connected to a Linux server running freenx software.

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Gambas

      I like to hear of such projects. Something like VB but for linux would be awesome

      1. 45RPM

        Re: Gambas

        @Codejunky

        Something like VB, but for Linux? How about Xojo then? Previously known as RealBasic, you can find it here - http://www.xojo.com

        1. Pirate Dave Silver badge

          Re: Gambas

          I looked at RealBasic as an alternative to VB.net back in like 2002-2003. It looked useful, but didn't have context-sensitive help, which is bummer when you're trying to remember the parameter order for built-in functions.

          1. johnaaronrose

            Re: Gambas

            Gambas does have context-sensitive help.

        2. johnaaronrose

          Re: Gambas

          According to Xojo, Xojo is chargeable per desktop dev at $99 (or is it running?): I couldn't be bothered to look at the licensing details. Gambas is free, though the developer (Benoit Minisini) will be grateful fgor donations.

        3. GeezaGaz

          Re: Gambas

          thats fine as long as you don't want to display any data (apart from in a listbox)

          everyone has been banging on for years about no datagrid control and it still doesn't have one!

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    bah

    Seeing people compare managed languages is like watching toddlers compare the training wheels on their bikes/trikes.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: bah

      ooooooooo! Nice troll!

      I shall steal this for the next OS war hereabouts; any operating system being mere hand-holding for duhvelopers who code with the lights on in case the naked hardware calls them names...

  14. chris lively

    "?."

    Seriously? That's just going to make things even worse. If a dev can't be counted on to make sure that the object reference isn't null before try to use it, then they sure as hell CAN be counted on to abuse the crap out of that to make the software even worse. bad idea.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    all about the barrier to entry

    VB5 and 6 were transformative to MSFT back in the day because they allowed mortals to crank out applications for a very low cost (both mental and financial). You may say, with the benefit of hindsight, "yes, but they were all terrible" but that's not really the point. Not everyone needed, could see forward to, or had the time to build a scalable, secure, perfect app. They just needed to get stuff done.

    Where MSFT lost me and Linux gained one was the rise in the cost of engaging with the MS dev tool chain, compared to Linux, Java and Eclipse. Of course, it's a continual cycle: for a few years Linux/Java was great and very productive, and now they are going a bit loopy and MSFT are coming around. A few years from now it'll be the other way around. Constant reinvention is the only constant, it seems.

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      They just needed to get stuff done.

      Indeed. I have a rather crappy IP camera and I wanted to have a simple little program to fetch pictures and allow movement. I dusted off an ancient copy of VB5 and cobbled together something a few evenings ago. It works better than the camera's own web interface (that isn't saying much) and does exactly what I wanted.

      I'm actually suprised I remembered that much, haven't used VB in ages!

  16. druck Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Performance?

    Microsoft has kept VB mostly on a par with C# in terms of language features, and both compile to similar IL (Intermediate Language) binaries so performance is similar.

    Similar as in equally dire compared to native.

    1. Jonathan 27 Bronze badge

      Re: Performance?

      Depends on what you're writing, I write line of business software the whole thing is entirely IO bound if my code took 10 times as long as it does to run it still wouldn't be noticeable so it's not really an issue.

      Sometimes the lower cost of development massively outweighs the performance advantage of native code (and there isn't a huge gap between C# and C++ anyway). C and C++ are still slower than writing in assembly anyway.

      1. asdf Silver badge

        Re: Performance?

        > C and C++ are still slower than writing in assembly anyway.

        May have been true in the early 1990s but unless you are Rainman a modern compiler is going to own your ass efficiency wise for all but the most trivial of programs (assuming of course the C/C++ code is well written) especially with all the constant extensions to virtually every modern instruction set.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Please stop referring to VB.Net as VB. They have a similar syntax but that's where the similarity ends.

  18. Mage Silver badge

    Good Reason to move VB6 to C#

    VB.net is con for VB6 refusniks, it's a C programmer's concept of VB. Pointless. Better off learning C# for .net

    A proper VB for .net would be nice, (not likely), so it's C# (really MS version of Java).

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: all about the barrier to entry

    "VB5 and 6 were transformative to MSFT back in the day because they allowed mortals to crank out applications for a very low cost..."

    Almost correct. What VB (and turbo pascal) did was allow individuals who had solid domain knowledge and experience, to actually complete working software that solved the real problems they had in their own field.

    Something which is simply impossible in C,C++, Java.

    We got a wave of fantastic software that did the job - regardless of the technical deficiencies of VB.

    This was thrown into painful relief when these programs were re-written in fashionable languages, by programmers who had no personal understanding of what "working properly" looks like. (Protel/Autotrax I'm looking at you)

  20. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    "Case insensitivity is more a liability than an asset."

    Wasn't that one of the fun things about Pascal?

    No, I didn't think so either.

  21. heyrick Silver badge

    VB5/6 was nice

    Didn't get what problem VB.Net was trying to solve, other than "let's take VB and cock it all up" so I stuck with old-school VB for a while, then I just gave up writing stuff for Windows. My job doesn't require any IT knowledge, so I 'hack'[term used loosely] for RISC OS in C and ARM for amusement, like when there's nothing on TV. I grew up with it, it's nice to keep the old ways going.

    If VB6 was open sourced and updated for modern platforms, I might give it a try; especially if it could be brought to a stage that could assemble stand-alone executables (instead of needing a pile of DLLs). But I'm not particularly interested in the oddity that VB-but-only-in-name has become.

    1. jzlondon

      Re: VB5/6 was nice

      I can seriously recommending spending some time with C# as a hobbyist. It's superb and satisfyingly elegant and expressive.

  22. Mage Silver badge

    Option Explicit

    VB5 & VB6

    If you had never used BASIC you could apply all the good stuff you learnt doing C++, Modula-2 etc, for the code you wrote to make your visual design work. No Gotos, No pointers, no go subs and everything typed.

    You did have to remember to assign a VB String to a big enough literal if calling C, C++ or Modula-2 based DLLs.

    I ignored Windows programming completely till there were real 32 bit versions and 32 bit VB.

    If there was only as good a visual IDE for web server pages with mix of Cold Fusion, PHP, JAVA and SQL excuted on server with HTML/CSS/javascript on Client. It's like being back in 1976 . Eclipse is hardly better than a Text editor with project resource tree. Notepad++ is almost as good and less annoyance to use.

  23. Stephen Wilkinson

    MVC has finally forced my hand

    Having learnt to program in BASIC on the ZX-81, followed by variants of Commodore (VIC-20 and C-64) and BBC (both Electron and BBC), then QuickBasic and VB for DOS, then moving into the internet world with asp, then VB.net I do like the it.

    MVC has finally forced my hand, while I could code it in VB.net I decided that I would finally move to C# as that is the industry standard.

    Both languages have good points and bad points but it's only a language at the end of the day.

  24. symb

    It does not really mater - it is .net you develop in. c# and vb.net do the same thing - i can read c# from a web page and type it out as vb in visual studio - converting either way in my head, like any decent .net developer can !

  25. jzlondon

    The big problem with choosing VB for a project over C# is hiring people. There's an increasingly small pool of developers willing to let VB.Net show up on their CVs.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The nice thing about BASIC in any form was that its string handling was usually easy compared to the "proper" languages learned over the last 45 years. That property has been very useful in knocking up tools to massage ad hoc human-readable data into organised reports. Some of my VB6 and VBA functions go back nearly 20 years - and still get bent and reshaped to new tasks.

    It would be nice to see compatible object interfaces for other browsers like the one for IE. Using Excel VBA to access the HTML DOM does not suffer from the "protection" restrictions of Javascript.

    What I currently need is a way to tell IE to scroll down - so that Facebook will load more than a couple of days' posts for an automated screen-scraping task. Kicking the "Timeline" hotspots produces non-contiguous jumps in the postings.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Open source VB6 programming

    Microsoft still refuse to open source the VB6 programming language.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Open source VB6 programming

      VB6 isn't a programming language: it's an embarrassment! I don't blame them for not open sourcing it.

      1. A N Other

        Re: Open source VB6 programming

        Yet Microsoft still support VB6 programming until at least 2024. And it installs and runs on Windows 10.

        Strange that they support VB6 but won't open source it.

        And it is (almost) the same language as VBA and VBA programming is still current in Office 2013.

        1. Pirate Dave Silver badge
          Pirate

          Re: Open source VB6 programming

          "Yet Microsoft still support VB6 programming until at least 2024. And it installs and runs on Windows 10."

          Does it? I tried with Server 2012 and never could get it to work properly. Wound up installing XP in a Hyper-V VM just so I could install VB6. I can't remember what wasn't working under 2012, but it was a show-stopper in my case.

    2. BongoJoe

      Re: Open source VB6 programming

      I am not surprised because they'd only embarass themselves if they did - by virtue that it does more than they claim.

      For example, the official line used to be (it may still be, I don't know) from the MVP dweebsphere that there are no pointers nor any way to use them in VB6.

      Which comes as a bit of a surprise here because I use them to build linked lists and binary trees rather than the Collection objects because my own linked list classes (written in VB6) run around seven times faster than their precompiled collection objects.

      The problem with VB6 is that Microsoft never really understood what a good tool it was.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bring back VB6 programming

    It is time that the VB6 programming language was open sourced.

    VB6 programming and VBA programming is still widely used.

    1. Pirate Dave Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: Bring back VB6 programming

      I'm going to disagree. I think one of the good points of VB6 was that it was single-sourced but immensely extendable. If it gets opensourced, then there will wind up being several competing variants of it, all using different weirdo-libraries (probably open-sourced and highly version-dependent) to build themselves, and none of them 100% compatible with each other.

      I just wish MS would give up on VB.NET and update VB6 a bit. Although, maybe that's a worse idea considering Microsoft's moves regarding the Office Ribbon, the Windows 8 interface, and Cortana. There surely are a lot of people at MS who have lost the plot...

  29. A N Other

    VB6 Programming on Windows 10

    Microsoft have just announced "everyone’s favorite VB6 Runtime will continue to work" on Windows 10.

    VB6 programming continues.

  30. A N Other

    VB6 programming is "everyone’s favorite", say Microsoft

    Microsoft have just described classic VB6 programming as "everyone’s favorite".

    For Windows 10 Microsoft say "Windows is committed to compatibility. The Windows compatibility team has been looking at user telemetry and reacting to feedback from Windows Insiders to ensure that existing apps work well with Windows 10. Windows 10 is designed to run Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 software programs. And yes, everyone’s favorite VB6 Runtime will continue to work, too. "

    And the VB6 IDE installs and runs on Windows 7, 8 and 10.

  31. VB6 Programming

    VB6 programming continues on Windows 10

    Microsoft have announced...

    "Microsoft is committed to support existing Visual Basic 6.0 applications running on Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 including R2, Windows 7, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8.x, and Windows 10."

    VB6 programming and VBA programming continue.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    VB6 programming

    The VB6 programming language was one of Microsoft's best products ever. It worked simply and quickly. And VB6 still works today, with Microsoft supporting VB6 on Windows 10 until at least 2025.

    And VBA programming (VB6's twin) is still part of Office 2016.

    Microsoft then largely lost VB's RAD features with the advent of .Net.

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