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Thread: Classic VB - Where can I get VB6? Is starting to learn VB6 a good idea?

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    Super Moderator si_the_geek's Avatar
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    Classic VB - Where can I get VB6? Is starting to learn VB6 a good idea?

    VB6 was released in 1998, and was replaced in 2002 - so it is no longer available from the usual sources.

    These days the options to legally obtain VB6 are:
    • Buy it second-hand
      Your best bet for this is likely to be web sites like eBay.

      Note that in order for it to be legal, you need the "Certificate of Authenticity", which is not always provided.
      You will also want the MSDN Library (the help files) which might not be provided, but it is often available separately fairly cheaply.

    • Buy a MSDN subscription (or licence for a current edition of Visual Studio) that includes it
      I'm afraid that as these tend to change over time, you'll need to check which subscription(s)/edition(s) include it - or if it is no longer an option.

      This is likely to be far more expensive than a second-hand copy, so if you only want VB6 and not later versions of VB (or the other things that an MSDN subscription includes, such as various versions of Windows to test your programs on), it probably isn't the right choice for you.
    Note that if you find any web sites etc offering VB6 for free, it will almost certainly be illegal.

    Why starting to learn VB6 now is probably a bad idea
    As VB6 was released so long ago, it is not supported any more... While VB6 and the programs it creates work on Windows Vista and 7, there is no guarantee that they will work on any version of Windows after that (the next one will probably be released about 2012).

    That means any programs you create now may need to be completely re-written in a newer version of VB (or another language) fairly soon - so you would probably be better off doing that to start with.

    Unless it is mandatory for you to use VB6 (eg: it is forced on to you by your school/college/etc), it would almost certainly be a better idea to use a newer version of VB (or another language) instead.

    An alternative option: newer versions of VB (2002 and later)
    Versions of VB since 2002 are known as VB.Net, and they provide several extra features that VB6 does not have, such as:

    Due to the large amount of differences between VB6 and VB.Net, code written in VB6 is unlikely to work in VB.Net, whereas code written in one version of VB.Net will usually work in later ones.

    Learning VB6 first is unlikely to help you learn VB.Net, and arguably will make it harder - in addition to the extra time you spend learning VB6.

    The latest version of VB.Net is available for free: http://www.microsoft.com/express
    ...and due to the increase in features over the years, the Express edition is almost as good as the high-end editions of VB6.

    I and many others recommend that you use the Express edition to start with. If you find at some point that it does not have all of the features you want (eg: you can't use it to write programs for PDA's and phones), you can get another edition and still use the projects you have written - and the cost of the edition you need instead is likely to be cheaper than getting the VB6 equivalent (assuming there is one with those features).
    Last edited by si_the_geek; Apr 25th, 2010 at 10:32 AM. Reason: typo

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