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Campaign to save Visual Basic 6 gathers support (Rapid obsolescence...of workforce?)
InfoWorld ^ | March 10, 2005 | Paul Krill

Posted on 03/13/2005 6:00:05 PM PST by baseball_fan

An online petition gathering signatures to save Microsoft’s Visual Basic 6 programming language will not change the company’s intention to cut free support on March 31, a Microsoft representative said on Thursday afternoon.

Microsoft’s plan to stop support has been discussed for almost three years and the deadline already has been extended once, said the press representative, who requested anonymity. Visual Basic 6 has been supported longer than any other Microsoft product, according to the representative. “Extended” support, which is fee-based, will continue through 2008.

The vendor has spent the past few years encouraging Visual Basic 6 programmers to migrate to the new Visual Basic .Net platform, which has had its share of complications. The Microsoft representative acknowledged that the company “dramatically altered the Visual Basic language-syntax in Visual Basic .Net.”

As of Thursday afternoon, 1,009 signatures had been added to the petition, at http://classicvb.org/Petition/. One signatory interviewed stressed the difficulties in moving to Visual Basic .Net.

“It’s a different language,” said Visual Basic programmer Don Bradner, who has been part of Microsoft’s Most Valuable Programmer community. “It’s like me telling you that you have to write InfoWorld in French.” …

The petition asks that Microsoft further develop Visual Basic 6 and Visual Basic for Applications, continue supporting the language, and allow customers to decide when to migrate code to Visual Basic .Net. An updated version of Visual Basic 6 is requested by the petitioners…

“Microsoft should demonstrate a commitment to the core Visual Basic language. This core should be enhanced and extended, and changes should follow a documented deprecation process,” the petition states.

But all future versions of Visual Basic will be based on Visual Basic .Net…The company has provided “a wide range of resources to help Visual Basic developers make the transition…

(Excerpt) Read more at infoworld.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Technical
KEYWORDS: basic; c; csharp; dotnet; innovation; microsoft; net; obsolescence; unemployment; vb; vb6; vba; visualbasic
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"The petition asks that Microsoft further develop Visual Basic 6 and Visual Basic for Applications, continue supporting the language, and allow customers to decide when to migrate code to Visual Basic .Net."

There are a significant number of programmers who are at a certain stage in life where they will not be able to make the next "transition." Imagine hearing, "We're sorry, but we will no longer be supporting algebra and English." Not everyone can be a Bill Gates and leap tall buildings in a single bound.

1 posted on 03/13/2005 6:00:07 PM PST by baseball_fan
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To: baseball_fan
“Microsoft should demonstrate a commitment to the core Visual Basic language. This core should be enhanced and extended, and changes should follow a documented deprecation process,” the petition states.

Business decisions which are made on the basis of sentimentality are not good business decisions, and ultimately benefit no one.

2 posted on 03/13/2005 6:04:17 PM PST by ClearCase_guy (The fourth estate is a fifth column.)
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To: baseball_fan
Signatories including 200+ MVPs
3 posted on 03/13/2005 6:07:05 PM PST by baseball_fan (Thank you Vets)
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To: Allan

Bump


4 posted on 03/13/2005 6:08:35 PM PST by Allan
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To: baseball_fan

Bill Gates hasn't had to personally learn a new trick since he pulled the DOS wool over the eyes of his partner and of IBM way back in the 70's.


5 posted on 03/13/2005 6:09:33 PM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: ClearCase_guy

"Business decisions which are made on the basis of sentimentality are not good business decisions, and ultimately benefit no one."

I assume if they cannot show enough muscle, as you say, they will lose.


6 posted on 03/13/2005 6:10:25 PM PST by baseball_fan (Thank you Vets)
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To: baseball_fan

I wonder if they had the same outcry about Basic? Technology is rapidly moving forward and if you cannot adapt then you don't belong in the field. I think its insulting to insinuate that certain people are too old to adapt. I just came from a meeting with a guy in his 70's that was as sharp as they come on the latest and greatest.


7 posted on 03/13/2005 6:12:01 PM PST by Naspino (Not creative enough to have a tagline.)
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To: Naspino

"Technology is rapidly moving forward and if you cannot adapt then you don't belong in the field."

Tell that to the folks referenced in post #3


8 posted on 03/13/2005 6:15:31 PM PST by baseball_fan (Thank you Vets)
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To: ClearCase_guy
Business decisions which are made on the basis of sentimentality are not good business decisions, and ultimately benefit no one.

True, but you can only do what your customers don't want you to do so many times before they go looking for more stable vendors.
9 posted on 03/13/2005 6:16:47 PM PST by Arkinsaw
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To: baseball_fan

Well, they can just fork off the source tree, and start an independent project...oh, wait...that's right...they can't do that without the source code and an open source license, can they?

Gee...tough break, there fellas.


10 posted on 03/13/2005 6:17:31 PM PST by B Knotts
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To: Naspino

Laugh - well my husband 47 ... not exactly 70 .. but he's made the change... he's gone through a bunch of languages.. mostly on his own - having good jobs. You make a great point that if someone can't adapt they don't belong in the field.

I'm not a programmer - but I live with two - my husband and son.. Maybe it's just that they LOVE what they do - but to them they love the challenge of learning something new.


11 posted on 03/13/2005 6:19:03 PM PST by pamlet
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To: B Knotts
"they can just fork off"

Well said!

12 posted on 03/13/2005 6:20:07 PM PST by Abcdefg
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To: B Knotts

Yup. Welcome to the wonderful world of closed-source proprietary development tools.


13 posted on 03/13/2005 6:20:51 PM PST by SpaceBar
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To: baseball_fan
Microsoft should demonstrate a commitment to the core Visual Basic language.

Microsoft can do what they like. It's their product.

But here, suddenly, people aren't talking free markets. They're talking proprietorship, and a sort of command approach. Interesting.

The free market works differently. If there is something in VB or VBA that isn't found in .NET, and there may be, then some in the free market will hold both to older versions, and will seek a reliable substitute as equally as the substitute now offered by Microsoft. The sentimentality is all on the side of Microsoft. The practical view is that Microsoft provides a product. If that product doesn't meet the needs of customers, customers will look elsewhere - in a free market.

Just because VBA, say, in entrenched as the macro language of Microsoft suites is no reason to forever maintain it. On the other hand, THE ONE THING people point to as Microsoft's advantage is that they rigorously encouraged backward compatibility. The old DOS accounting programs could still be run on XP, they say. So here, Microsoft is abandoning that practice. In doing so, the abandon the ONE THING that set them apart from competitors. From a competitor's viewpoint, I might sugggest, Microsoft - go right ahead. It depends on whether they can use .NET to do what they used to do, even if in a different manner. If there's just no way, then great - obsolete your base. Anger your customers. It's a free market, and a proprietary product.

14 posted on 03/13/2005 6:22:57 PM PST by sevry
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To: baseball_fan

Sounds like they want to halt progress so they won't be forced to hit the books and learn something new. Sorry, but you don't go into IT and expect things to stay still.


15 posted on 03/13/2005 6:26:19 PM PST by Ex-Dem (40 F in March? Where's global warming when you need it...)
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To: All

Crap - and I was just thinking of learning VB6. I guess I'll stick with my GWBASIC and hope they come out with GWBASIC.NET some day. ;-)


16 posted on 03/13/2005 6:28:22 PM PST by Mannaggia l'America
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To: baseball_fan
I just heard something very interesting the other day, at a technical training seminar. While I can't vouch for the veracity of the numbers, it certainly sounds right...

The instructor said that when you make your living with your knowledge, in IT you can expect that your value will decline by about 25% a year. I jokingly mentioned that in that case, at my current job I have a technical competancy level of -200%!

But he's right. Things change so rapidly in the IT world that you have to learn new things every day, otherwise your knowledge becomes obsolete, and so do you.

There are a significant number of programmers who are at a certain stage in life where they will not be able to make the next "transition." Imagine hearing, "We're sorry, but we will no longer be supporting algebra and English." Not everyone can be a Bill Gates and leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Sorry, but I disagree with you 100% here. That's just part of the job. Have you done much support for MS-DOS 6.22 and Windows 3.1 lately? How about QEMM? Or SCO Xenix? OS/2 v2.0? NT Server 3.51? Configured many ARCnet or Token Ring networks lately? All of these were terrific technologies that were really leading edge at one time. But they've all fallen by the wayside.

As people in the technology field, we've all implicitly agreed to keep up with the technology, otherwise we'll be obsolete as surely as the technology that we're experts in...

Heck, I'm in a situation where I'm trying to come up to speed ASAP on Microsoft products. As a Novell specialist, they've got the technology, but they don't have the "mind share," as my instructor put it... Novell could sell a server that prints money, and still, nobody would be buying it. Because they lost the "mind share," and now they're losing the market share as well. (Thanks to Mark G for those statements... They're right on target.)

Mark

17 posted on 03/13/2005 6:28:28 PM PST by MarkL (That which does not kill me, has made the last mistake it will ever make!)
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To: baseball_fan

> ... intention to cut free support on March 31, a
> Microsoft representative said on Thursday afternoon.

MS reminding programmers why it's dangerous to build
your career on what is effectively a proprietary
programming language (that runs only on MS Windows,
and probably not all of the installed base thereof).

> The vendor has spent the past few years encouraging
> Visual Basic 6 programmers to migrate to the new Visual
> Basic .Net platform, which has had its share of
> complications. The Microsoft representative acknowledged
> that the company “dramatically altered the Visual Basic
> language-syntax in Visual Basic .Net.”

So does VB.NET run older VB.6 code, unmodified?
Does VB.NET run on all the deployed platforms where
VB6 apps exist today? Seems like there might be issues
here beyond annoying a community of programmers.

> “It’s a different language,” said Visual Basic
> programmer Don ...

And from what I hear from my relatives in IT, learning
a different language is the last thing that too many VB
programmers want to do.

"Who moved my cheese?"
or
How do you distinguish between an MS product and a mouse trap?


18 posted on 03/13/2005 6:29:54 PM PST by Boundless
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To: baseball_fan
Does this involve Dr. Watson?
19 posted on 03/13/2005 6:30:06 PM PST by jdm (Stockhausen, Kagel, Xenakis -- world capitals or avant-garde composers?)
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To: baseball_fan
Ok ... I was curious - my husband wasn't sure what an "Microsoft MVP" was .. nor was I .. so I researched it..

From Microsoft's Website:

About the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award Program Microsoft started the Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award Program in the early 1990s as a way to recognize those members of the general public who devoted their time and considerable computing skills to helping users in the various newsgroups hosted by Microsoft. Since that time, the Microsoft MVP Award Program has grown and awards are now given to the most outstanding members of Microsoft technical communities for their exceptional contributions to hundreds of online and offline technical communities, including Microsoft public newsgroups, third-party Web sites that include Web boards and Web logs (or blogs), and user groups -- all popular forums for communicating with peers about Microsoft products, technologies and services.

Hmmm maybe if they spent less time hanging out on the boards and learning .net it wouldn't be so tough for them...

20 posted on 03/13/2005 6:31:18 PM PST by pamlet
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To: sevry

I would like to salute Microsoft's development team for finally finding a way to rid the industry of VB programmers. It's a giant step forward for us all.


21 posted on 03/13/2005 6:31:25 PM PST by Nick Danger (The only way out is through)
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To: sevry
Microsoft can do what they like. It's their product.

Absolutely, Microsoft can do exactly what they like with their product. People are also free to sign petitions.

Of course, there is risk involved in such an extreme break and not providing backward compatability. It hacks people off and it costs your customers money. It leads decision-makers to not trust your long-term commitment to any product when they are making the decisions to use it over another.

I am sure Microsoft has considered all that, even though many US companies tend to think only of short-term concerns. They are willing to take the risk. So they are free to do as they like.
22 posted on 03/13/2005 6:32:01 PM PST by Arkinsaw
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To: baseball_fan

Presumably you can continue to run VB6 alongside VB .net.

I have a VB6 package that I installed in my computer because I still have a few legacy programs, and I've never had any problems with it.

I've also got ARJ and LHA still as backup unzippers, although I think I may dispense with these legacy programs when I move to my next computer.

I think I had VB4 and VB5 on my last computer, as well, to run old stuff, although I don't seem to have them anymore on this one.


23 posted on 03/13/2005 6:33:23 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Nick Danger
I would like to salute Microsoft's development team for finally finding a way to rid the industry of VB programmers. It's a giant step forward for us all.

LOL. Indeed. Luckily my bunch abandoned VB quite some time ago and made the decision not to move on to .NET
24 posted on 03/13/2005 6:34:10 PM PST by Arkinsaw
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To: pamlet

"Maybe it's just that they LOVE what they do"

I would submit that many of these VB6 signatories were quite accomplished programmers at one time too (have to be to be an MVP I assume) and undoubtedly went through many upgrade cycles themselves. Some of them probably have to keep legacy systems going as well as running businesses. The whole world doesn't necessarily need or revolve around all of MS's ambitious innovations as valuable and essential as those are going forward. If this obsolescence schedule were applied to many other areas of our lives...well I've gone on too long. We know what happens and usually no one cares. Only the winners write the histories.


25 posted on 03/13/2005 6:35:34 PM PST by baseball_fan (Thank you Vets)
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To: baseball_fan; All

I made the tranistion to VB.NET.. And it was a little tough.. having done one consulting gig in Java certainly helped (they basically copied many aspects of Java for .NET languages)...

I then transitionted to C#.. a little tough also (like trying to figure out how to pass optional variables to a function -- you can't have optional parms in C#, but the workaround is to use the SqlString datatype which accepts null values, hence making the values optional....)

.Net indeed has it's own problems, and I will admit not everyone is cut out to be a OOP programmer -- which one reason why VB became so popular in the first place. However, these people just need to apply themselves and stop whining... They never bothered to learn .net -- I had to do it on my own and in my spare time...

The benefits of .NET are awesome, especially for websites... Nothing like populating a datagrid with a few lines of code..


26 posted on 03/13/2005 6:35:37 PM PST by 1stFreedom (1)
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To: MarkL
Sorry, but I disagree with you 100% here. That's just part of the job. Have you done much support for MS-DOS 6.22 and Windows 3.1 lately? How about QEMM? Or SCO Xenix? OS/2 v2.0? NT Server 3.51? Configured many ARCnet or Token Ring networks lately? All of these were terrific technologies that were really leading edge at one time. But they've all fallen by the wayside.

Yep. I am not a youngster. I started with a PDP-11, did some BASIC, did RPG-II, did IBM 360/370 Assembler, did some COBOL, did some Visual BASIC, then into C, and C++. From minis, to mainframe, to Windows PC, and now to Linux grid computing.
27 posted on 03/13/2005 6:40:49 PM PST by Arkinsaw
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To: All

>>Sounds like they want to halt progress so they won't be forced to hit the books and learn something new. Sorry, but you don't go into IT and expect things to stay still.

Exactly. I myself took this route: Bought the VB.NET web apps certification book, created about 300 flash cards with defintions and concepts I didn't know... Spent weeks studying.. Then started to make my own on-line web app.. Then got a .NET contract, worked my tail off to put what I memorized into practical use.... and after about a month, I was doing fine...

It takes work, and these people are whining about having to do something extra to stay ahead. I'm surpriesed they aren't complianing that VB3 isn't supported any more.

I LEARNED THE HARD WAY WITH C# -- I put off learning it until last Q of 04-- and it was a mercy project -- had it not been for that I would not have gotten the gig... Looking at the job market, I have tons more C# offers than VB... And C# hasn't been in practical use for more than a year or so in most places, so I'm not toooo late. These people are gonna be way behind the curve when C# is the "defacto" .NET language and they have just barely started .NET v 1.0....

In this age of outsourcing, one MUST keep on top to stay afloat...


28 posted on 03/13/2005 6:42:14 PM PST by 1stFreedom (1)
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To: Boundless
"So does VB.NET run older VB.6 code, unmodified?"

No. VB.Net is not backwards compatible. There are tricks to migrate some 60% of VB 6 code to VB.Net, but it's error-prone and unreliable.

29 posted on 03/13/2005 6:42:21 PM PST by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: Arkinsaw

Ever program in DIBOL?


30 posted on 03/13/2005 6:44:23 PM PST by js1138
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To: sevry
"If there is something in VB or VBA that isn't found in .NET, and there may be, then some in the free market will..."

Technically, the older VB 6 has the superior error detection and correction architecture; the newer VB.Net drops support for industry-standard error checking and falls back to the ancient days of Machine-Language "check-it-yourself" formats.

31 posted on 03/13/2005 6:45:39 PM PST by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: baseball_fan
Time to move on. Time to move on.

Now I understand what SAP brought me in for an interview for. Or maybe not. No body knows which way the tides are going on this -- C#, Java, .NET. Not MS, Ballmer, Gates even.

The old Tower of Babel redux.

Probably a time when the small will whoop the big -- because the big and the herd that follows their every fart as if it is a deep mighty nuance are wandering blind and headed into the swamp at dusk.

Well, I just ordered up a VB 5 package today in order to support a product I helped develop years ago. We'll see.

32 posted on 03/13/2005 6:49:14 PM PST by bvw
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To: ClearCase_guy

Seriously, Microsoft pulls this because they know they can. If they don't FORCE adoption of new products, new tools, and relearning they'd never keep up their revenue stream and lock-in. It's not about innovation, it's about keeping the milk flowing and that milk is in their consulting and training not in end-user products.


33 posted on 03/13/2005 6:53:40 PM PST by newzjunkey (Demand Mexico Turnover Fugitive Murderers: http://www.escapingjustice.com)
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To: bvw
No body knows which way the tides are going on this -- C#, Java, .NET.

It's like having a career of playing whack-a-mole every time someone itches another 'standard' into existence.

34 posted on 03/13/2005 7:00:17 PM PST by newzjunkey (Demand Mexico Turnover Fugitive Murderers: http://www.escapingjustice.com)
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To: Naspino

"I just came from a meeting with a guy in his 70's that was as sharp as they come on the latest and greatest."

I do mainframe storage for a large corporation and I'm the youngest on my particular team at 55. The guys I work with actually wrote some of the software that IBM uses. We are constantly installing and upgrading software and really have to stay ahead of the game. It does keep you sharp.


35 posted on 03/13/2005 7:03:29 PM PST by dljordan
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To: Boundless
So does VB.NET run older VB.6 code, unmodified? Does VB.NET run on all the deployed platforms where VB6 apps exist today? Seems like there might be issues here beyond annoying a community of programmers.

One big problem about software: there are programs that run important processes that have been chugging along for years. Then, when you're told to upgrade you discover that the app won't run on the new machine, the developer that created it and understood it left 2 years ago, and you are not quite sure where the latest version of the source code is.

36 posted on 03/13/2005 7:04:06 PM PST by SauronOfMordor (This space for rent)
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To: sevry
On the other hand, THE ONE THING people point to as Microsoft's advantage is that they rigorously encouraged backward compatibility. The old DOS accounting programs could still be run on XP, they say. So here, Microsoft is abandoning that practice.

Except that I doubt that they are. No support for VB6 just means that you can't telephone them with a programming question -- something I would never do anyway -- and there won't be a VB6 Service Pack 7. Well, you know what? Service Pack 6 wasn't much good, so not having a 7 will be no loss.

We still have some Microsoft Fortran programs running under DOS. And how many years has it been that that one hasn't been supported? Yes, a lot of times it is worth rewriting stuff in abandonned languages into the new stuff, but I never believe in doing it just for the sake of being able to say your whole inventory is "supported."

37 posted on 03/13/2005 7:05:17 PM PST by Steve Eisenberg
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To: SauronOfMordor
you are not quite sure where the latest version of the source code is

Indeed, then you are in trouble.

38 posted on 03/13/2005 7:08:50 PM PST by Steve Eisenberg
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To: Southack

>> "So does VB.NET run older VB.6 code, unmodified?"

> No. VB.Net is not backwards compatible. There are
> tricks to migrate some 60% of VB 6 code to VB.Net,
> but it's error-prone and unreliable.

Sounds like the enterprises using VB6 have a bigger
beef with MS than the VB programmers do.


39 posted on 03/13/2005 7:20:04 PM PST by Boundless
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To: SauronOfMordor

> Then, when you're told to upgrade you discover that the
> app won't run on the new machine, the developer that
> created it and understood it left 2 years ago, ...

Been there at the front end, documented that, backed it
all up, labeled the media, and they never had to call.

> ... and you are not quite sure where the latest
> version of the source code is.

Hmmm. I thought that one of the main reasons for using
an interpreted or run-time-compiled language like BASIC
was that the source WAS the executable ...
... or are you now going to tell me that MS VB can be
fully compiled to binary files that can get separated
from the source, and the source lost?


40 posted on 03/13/2005 7:24:00 PM PST by Boundless
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To: sevry

Microsoft's secret weapon agains competitors has been its symbiosis with a support class of computer professionals (MCSE, MCP, MCSD, etc.), who acted as an unpaid salesforce and kept their employers safely within the MS product suite.

Microsoft's products are intentionally inferior, in order to give the support class some reason to exist. (Employers need the support class, and the class in turn has a set of manageable tasks and technical assistance in those tasks from Microsoft.)

The cadre of external Visual Basic experts has served its purpose for MS, and can now go about its next task (selling real estate or home loans, I think).


41 posted on 03/13/2005 7:33:19 PM PST by Tax Government (Boycott and defeat the Legacy Media. Become a monthly contributor to FR.)
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To: js1138
Ever program in DIBOL?

No, but I played around with APL. It never took off because to program in that language you had to have a special keyboard! LOL.
42 posted on 03/13/2005 7:37:51 PM PST by Arkinsaw
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To: baseball_fan
"There are a significant number of programmers who are at a certain stage in life where they will not be able to make the next "transition."

Then perhaps like others, you need to prepare to do something else - like the next version or perhaps simply change fields. Is there some reason that you are above this and others aren't?

"Imagine hearing, "We're sorry, but we will no longer be supporting algebra and English." Not everyone can be a Bill Gates and leap tall buildings in a single bound.""

Personally, I see NO comparison to keeping around an old version of Visual Basic to algebra and English. Surely Visual Basic is not comparable! Oh, stop with the class envy.
43 posted on 03/13/2005 7:42:00 PM PST by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: baseball_fan

Why not circulate a petition to require COBOL and FORTRAN to be around just long enough till folks retire? Why stop at Visual Basic.


44 posted on 03/13/2005 7:43:26 PM PST by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: nmh
"There are a significant number of programmers who are at a certain stage in life where they will not be able to make the next "transition."

In the sluice method of gold separation, there are a series of little waterfalls where light-weight stuff gets washed over the edge to the next level. Any person in the programming CRAFT should have a lifelong commitment to never being washed over the edge...without a fight. A person who has no energy to keep evolving is no longer really functional, and should make plans to change jobs before getting washed away.

45 posted on 03/13/2005 7:44:48 PM PST by Tax Government (Boycott and defeat the Legacy Media. Become a monthly contributor to FR.)
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To: baseball_fan
Here are some comments I found when I googled "visual basic 6" under "news":

While VB6 was _released_ in 1998, the long haul to .NET meant that it was only replaced at all less than four years ago, and only replaced by a practical replacement (I tend to ignore VB.NET 2002/.NET Framework 1.0) under two years ago. That isn't long enough to migrate.

However, the petition calls for something impractical - integration into the current Visual Studio IDE. 'Classic' VB is just way too different. The designers aren't going to work in the new environment. The debugger is based on an out-of-process model, unlike VB6's in-process host (where your code ran inside the VB6.exe process, and could crash the IDE). Debugging is one area of many where VB.NET is simply massively superior to its predecessor.

Businesses do have quite large numbers of legacy VB6-based line-of-business applications. As a bespoke solution provider, we've written a number of them - we now do new work in C# or VB.NET but maintenance and extensions to older projects are much cheaper without translation, which would take longer and hence incur extra costs.

===========

I work for a large global corporation that employs close to 50,000 people. We have quite a few applications written in house in VB6. These aren't toy apps, these apps are used as front ends to systems that process tens to hundreds of millions of dollars. .net isn't an enhancement to VB, it's a replacement language. Dill weeds like yourself that state 'spare us the complaints' and 'it's time for an intervention' clearly have absolutely no idea what life in the real world is like. It seriously *******me off when people make such stupid blanket statements. It only serves to prove your absolute ignorance.

===========

Try to see this from a corporate programmer's point of view. Microsoft so drastically changed the grammar and rules of this new language, it made porting many of the existing VB6 apps near impossible. And with corporate budgets as tight as they are, people are stuck using VB6 even today.

What M$ should have done is made the first update after VB6 more of an incremental upgrade - changing some things for the better, but leaving others alone; ease the burden of porting our corporate RAD applications. Then, the next version could enhance that even further. SPaced properly apart, these "baby steps" would have helped developers migrate. Instead, M$ chose to jump five steps forward, leaving developers to either buck up the large amounts of cash to perform these insanse ports to the new platform, or wither and die with their now legacy apps.

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Hey Dill Weed who works for the little 50,000 user company; I am the assistant to the CIO for our company that employees over 79,000 world-wide. We too have quite a few VB6 apps litering our operations and a few of them contribute to the multibillion dollar operations we run. My reaction to the end of VB6 support is: So what? It's not like VB6 will stop working or will any of the apps written in it. Not that we'll have any shortage of VB6 era programmers (unfortunatly) and there are mor than a ton of 3rd party add-ons that still work just fine with VB6. You act as if a switch was to be thrown that would turn all these apps off.

AND, Paul is right - time for an intervention. Start now using .net, slowly move to the current generation of tools/code. Just because you work for such a large company it's obvious that you are not in charge there because your shortsighted knee-jerk reaction sounds like that of a VB6 programmer who has no .NET skillz and is therefore worried about losing his job to someone who does.

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Another aspect to the still prominent use of VB6 is it's compatability with VBA code inside office apps such as Excel and Word and Access. As an Architect, I have developed many apps in VB6 that integrate to VBA seamlessly. I can write an app using a combo of VB and VBA without any problems using COM interfaces. At this point, VB.net addins loaded into Autocad cannot be unloaded from AutoCAD without a restart; not a very viable development model. Until the .net platform is as ubiquitous and well integrated as VB6 into the wide range of business applciations, the older version will still be in high use.

If Microsoft ( and other companies integrating their technologies ) would give me a good enough excuse to switch, I would...

46 posted on 03/13/2005 7:46:52 PM PST by baseball_fan (Thank you Vets)
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To: Tax Government

I agree.

This guy is willingly getting washed away and screeching all the way.


47 posted on 03/13/2005 7:47:33 PM PST by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: 1stFreedom

Have you seen the .NET 2.0 beta yet? The ease of use is quite high.

VB.NET has a conversion program for version 6. It seems well suited as a teaching tool in some ways. Anything it cannot convert, it usually tells you why and points to somewhere in the help so that you can fix it yourself. It still misses some things, but it covers a lot of ground.


48 posted on 03/13/2005 7:48:12 PM PST by Ingtar (Understanding is a three-edged sword : your side, my side, and the truth in between ." -- Kosh)
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To: baseball_fan
There are a significant number of programmers who are at a certain stage in life where they will not be able to make the next "transition." Imagine hearing, "We're sorry, but we will no longer be supporting algebra and English."

Quit whining, Fortran and Cobol are pretty much dead languages too. Though Cobol made somewhat of a comeback.
49 posted on 03/13/2005 7:50:37 PM PST by John Lenin
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To: nmh

Farther out toward the horizon, hardcode COM expertise will be less widespread and more of a niche skill. COM is not being retired exactly, but is wrapped by .NET.

The hard-to-learn C++-based programming skills that build COM applications today will be replaced by an easier-to-learn set of skills in .NET languages. So, if you are a potentially unemployed VB programmer today, look to pick up .NET skills that simplify the use of COM.


50 posted on 03/13/2005 7:54:05 PM PST by Tax Government (Boycott and defeat the Legacy Media. Become a monthly contributor to FR.)
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