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  1. #1

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    Vb6 , the Future, and what I have discovered

    I make a living from my apps written in VB6, it is the most important part of my bussiness. Becuase of that, since MS has threatened to drop support for vb6 I have been looking for a replacement. I have looked at almost every possible vb6 replacement that is cross platform.

    In recent weeks a fellow developer made me aware of PureBasic. A cross platform Basic style compiler and IDE. Event though im not an OOP disciple I did miss classes but luckily found a plugin SimpleOOP which integrates classes into PureBasic ( and along the way I now under stand how C++ evolved from c to include classes structs with vTables)

    The main thing the PureBasic GUI IDe is lacking is the RAD double clicking on a control to add code. Some of the BASIC syntax is a bit different but pretty close to vb6.

    Here is my point to bring this up to you guys.

    I encourage all to go have a look. I think (olaf correct me) that vbrichclient may even work in purebasic.

    I think if a simple gui plugin is written for easy event editing in GUI like VB6, purebasic could be the cross platform vb6 we have always wanted.

    We have a really BIG vb6 community here and I think if many of us moved to pureBasic, our obsolete issue will be solved, not to mention our dependence on MS.

    I do think if many of us are going to move to PureBasic it still needs one plugin to make it more like VB6, and that is the reason I am posting it here.

    Thanks for your time.

  2. #2
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    Re: Vb6 , the Future, and what I have discovered

    Where can I download the compiler source?
    Imagine what it would be like to set breakpoints in, or step through subclassing code;
    and then being able to hit stop/end/debug or continue, without crashing the IDE.

    VB6.tlb | Bulletproof Subclassing in the IDE (no thunks/assembly/DEP issues)

  3. #3

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    Re: Vb6 , the Future, and what I have discovered

    Quote Originally Posted by DEXWERX View Post
    Where can I download the compiler source?
    you are concerned about future compatibility.. me too: I asked the question on their forum and it was addressed.

    http://www.purebasic.fr/english/view...hp?f=7&t=69944

  4. #4
    VB-aholic & Lovin' It LaVolpe's Avatar
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    Re: Vb6 , the Future, and what I have discovered

    Quote Originally Posted by axisdj View Post
    you are concerned about future compatibility.. me too: I asked the question on their forum and it was addressed.
    lol, the bottom line: trust me it'll be there forever.

    No offense to Olaf and his work, but that this the same reason why I haven't played with his RC5 -- no source I know of and longevity not guaranteed. I don't doubt Olaf's knowledge and commitment.

    Crap happens. Just last year, I actually died for more than 5 minutes, but as you can guess, revived.
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  5. #5

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    Re: Vb6 , the Future, and what I have discovered

    Quote Originally Posted by LaVolpe View Post
    Crap happens. Just last year, I actually died for more than 5 minutes, but as you can guess, revived.
    Oh my, so glad you are still with us...

    I think if enough o us moved to PB the author would make an official and set in stone commitment.

    I really think this is the closest we are going to get, and by all means it is so CLOSE.

    We may have to move to this not by choice when/if MS kills vb runtime in the OS

    WP

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    Re: Vb6 , the Future, and what I have discovered

    Personally I would write my own Translator to C before I jumped to purebasic, but not everyone has that option.
    If I could earn enough money doing this, I would quite my job tomorrow. (of course "enough money" is different for everyone)
    Imagine what it would be like to set breakpoints in, or step through subclassing code;
    and then being able to hit stop/end/debug or continue, without crashing the IDE.

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  7. #7
    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: Vb6 , the Future, and what I have discovered

    It's an interesting problem: Until you have enough users, that set-in-mud commitment isn't forthcoming. Without that, a bunch of people are reluctant to become users.

    The reason I say set-in-mud rather than set-in-stone, is that we can all cite examples where a product was bought by a larger company (Xamarin, and for that matter, DOS) and the commitment is worth nothing.

    If you want stability, you need an ANSI standard language like C/C++...and few others. Even then, the technology may move out from under you. There are no guarantees in this business. At best, you make your choice and ride it as long as it lasts. At all times, you look to the future and guess which direction it will take and put a bet on your guess. We are all doing that, as the replies to this thread show.
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  8. #8

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    Re: Vb6 , the Future, and what I have discovered

    Quote Originally Posted by DEXWERX View Post
    Personally I would write my own Translator to C before I jumped to purebasic, but not everyone has that option.
    If I could earn enough money doing this, I would quite my job tomorrow. (of course "enough money" is different for everyone)
    I would guess they have that bit more ironed out then what you could accomplish in a year or two.

    They have had cross platform capability since 2000.

    The thing is, it's easy to say that, but I think if we all get behind purebasic, or at least let them know we are here, they would steer the ship in a direction that would benefit us all, therin lies the main reason for my post.

    WP

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    Re: Vb6 , the Future, and what I have discovered

    Quote Originally Posted by LaVolpe View Post
    lol, the bottom line: trust me it'll be there forever.
    For the (current, VB6-based) RC5-implementation, this is actually quite true ("it will be there for as long as VB6-Apps will run on a Win-OS").

    Quote Originally Posted by LaVolpe View Post
    No offense to Olaf and his work, but that this the same reason why I haven't played with his RC5 -- no source I know of and longevity not guaranteed.
    Well, that position does not really make any sense to me, because when you're working against e.g. GDI+:
    - you have also "no source you know of" - and longevity is also not guaranteed (given the fact, that MS' new WPF or XAML-GUI-renderers all work against Direct2D).
    - now add to this the fact, that "MS is a vendor we just love to trust"
    - and compare it to: "the developer of the RC5 is a member of the VB-community, who wraps platform-independently usable OpenSource-libs"

    Quote Originally Posted by LaVolpe View Post
    I don't doubt Olaf's knowledge and commitment.
    Thanks, I guess...

    Let me ask you a few questions (which you hopefully will not avoid to answer):
    1) Do you see much of a future for VB6-based sources?
    2) If the answer to 1) is "no" (as I guess) - then what should experienced VB-users like you recommend to Newbies to invest their time into:
    2.1) learning more OpenSource-lib-APIs, especially when usable over comfortable COM-Classes (to be able to "apply this new learned stuff" also in other languages or on other platforms)
    2.2) or "just keep going" (learning Win32-APIs, which no other community on this planet is using in App-Code anymore, since everyone else is working through platform-abstracting frameworks)

    I guess you know, that I'm working on a platform-independent VB6-compiler, which will incorporate the RC5-Classes as its new runtime-class-library?
    But that is a bit beside the point (I know very well, that I have to show something in that regard at some point in time) -
    but even if the new compiler and new IDE will never come to pass - the above questions (1 to 2.2) are still valid ones.

    A last question (which I don't expect you to answer, but maybe it will make you (or dilettante for that matter)
    "go into yourself, and think".

    Could it be, that all the "objections" against the RC5 are:
    - not due to: "missing documentation" (which is not true at all, since there's extensive code-coverage with quite voluminous tutorials, if you'd only read it)
    - not due to: "big dependency": (because 2.5 MB regfree deployable extra-content in your App.zip is not really worth mentioning these days)
    - not due to: "what if it's abandoned" (because you will always have that "last working binary", which has less bugs and is 15years more recent than most of the MS-OCXes you currently use).
    - not due to: "there has to be some evil money-making-plan behind it" (because the RC5-libs are out there for free already for over a decade now, always freely available for everyone)
    But instead simply (if you're true to yourself):
    - a kind of: "not invented here"-effect which kicks in (though that's quite normal among "alpha males/devs" )
    - but also the obvious: "should I begin using this lib, I'm starting at point-zero and feel like a bloody beginner" (although developers of your caliber would climb really fast)

    Olaf

  10. #10
    VB-aholic & Lovin' It LaVolpe's Avatar
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    Re: Vb6 , the Future, and what I have discovered

    Well, that position does not really make any sense to me, because when you're working against e.g. GDI+:
    - you have also "no source you know of" - and longevity is also not guaranteed
    I do know that if GDI+ is no longer supported, something else will be by MS. MS isn't going away and if it does, so does VB.

    If RC5 goes away or stops working, and you are no longer supporting it; then what? I'll never compare some closed source, homegrown utility, to MS DLLs on equal footing when I'm working on a MS system. And are you suggesting that none of your code is reliant on other sources: MS, open source, other homegrown DLLs, etc, etc? I doubt it and if so, very impressive. But if it is using those items, especially any MS DLLs, activeX (like ADO, FSO, etc), directly or indirectly by those other sources, then your argument for MS breaking applies to RC5 too, no?

    As for your questions, which I guess are aimed at me & dilletante. I'm not going to use your code without seeing the source since your code is home-grown. Simply not going to invest in it. That is the only reason. As for newbies, to each their own. Personally, I wouldn't suggest someone learn VB by relying on some closed source, homegrown, tool. However, I wouldn't be opposed to suggesting that anyone play with it, if they want to.

    Edited: When I said "seeing the source", I meant being able to modify the code for my needs when the need arises.
    Last edited by LaVolpe; Jan 18th, 2018 at 10:38 AM.
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  11. #11
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    Re: Vb6 , the Future, and what I have discovered

    My boss and I frequently discuss our code starting with "If I were hit by a truck tomorrow..."

    We both feel that everything we have written would be thrown away. We write disposable software: Small LOB applications that take days to months to write. My boss wants to write (and is on his second version of) programs that allow non-programmers to create applications. He also feels that VB6 is too complicated, so he created his own language (it's available through Google, but I forget the name of it). However, he recognizes that nothing he has done has any staying power, as written, and will be gone as soon as he is. For that reason, he's now working on having his generator generate VB.NET code as well as his custom language. That gives it a modicum of potential longevity, but also gives him something to tinker with.

    The point is that most people have to deal with the question of perpetuation after their departure. If Olaf were to pass on to the great compiler in the sky tomorrow, RC5 would be what it is, static unchanging, and unchangeable unless the source is available AND there is somebody who is willing to take it on. Whether that is even an option is not entirely up to Olaf, or any of us. He can only do what he can. If the stars line up just right, nothing he does will matter.

    We all get to face that, and we all get to place a bet on the right course of action. Good luck with your bet, but I wouldn't be betting in favor of some large number of VB6 people moving to support a tiny company just because it has a language pretty similar to one they are familiar with. You would need an 'en masse' migration to feel confident about it, but the best you can hope for is likely just a slow trickle.
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    Re: Vb6 , the Future, and what I have discovered

    Quote Originally Posted by LaVolpe View Post
    I do know that if GDI+ is no longer supported, something else will be by MS.
    So what will happen to all the VB6-Apps, which have used UserControls or API-modules that internally are heavily dependent on GDI+?
    They break - and all the code will have to be re-written - and because everyone is so happy about that fact, they will of course use "the next MS-graphics-lib" to rewrite it with?

    The same thing just can't happen with the RC5 - because it's graphics-stuff is MS-independent (using the OpenSource-cairo-lib) and its Dlls are sitting right beside your executable.

    MS is known for "breaking or deprecating things" (there's enough examples for it in the past) -
    and I have a hard time to see, what this "outright devotion" to MS is founded upon.

    Quote Originally Posted by LaVolpe View Post
    MS isn't going away and if it does, so does VB.
    I'm not sure about either of the two parts above...
    - in my opinion (ARM-chips, Android and iOS - mobile trends, Web-trends) the long-term existence of MS is not a given
    - and VB has quite a good chance to survive (becoming a platform-independent thing)

    Still everyone and his aunt seems to be ignoring platform-independent libs - even if their advantages and their quite painless usage is demonstrated right here, in a lot of forum-threads.

    Quote Originally Posted by LaVolpe View Post
    If RC5 goes away or stops working, and you are no longer supporting it; then what?
    How should something like that happen, exactly?
    Nobody will make "your own downloaded RC5-copy" go away - it is right there on your dev-machine - and also "right there" beside your deployed App-executables.

    Quote Originally Posted by LaVolpe View Post
    I'll never compare some closed source, homegrown utility, to MS DLLs on equal footing when I'm working on a MS system.
    Right, one should not do that - since most of the RC5-Classes offer far better performance than the MS-alternatives
    and cannot break, when MS e.g. breaks GDI+ or ADO/Jet.

    Quote Originally Posted by LaVolpe View Post
    And are you suggesting that none of your code is reliant on other sources: MS, open source, other homegrown DLLs, etc, etc?
    It relies mainly on OpenSource-libs, which are compiled into a self-contained "flat-API-satellite-binary" (vb_cairo_sqlite.dll) which the vbRichClient5.dll then wraps in comfortable Classes.
    Sure, the RC5-code also contains a lot of "System-dll-Declares" (wrapping that code behind comfortable classes as well) -
    but that's Win32-API Dlls which are less likely to break.

    Quote Originally Posted by LaVolpe View Post
    But if it is using those items, especially any MS DLLs, activeX (like ADO, FSO, etc), then your argument for MS breaking applies to RC5 too, no?
    The SQLite-based JET-alternative does offer its own (quite compatible) replacements for Connection- and Recordset-Objects.
    And the cFSO-class is *not* using the "MS-FSO" underneath (it's a wrapper around the low-level System-File-APIs).

    Quote Originally Posted by LaVolpe View Post
    As for your questions, which I guess are aimed at me & dilletante.
    I'm not going to use your code without seeing the source since your code is home-grown.
    Well, you've avoided answering my questions (as expected).
    Now you focus on "home-grown" (which you already mentioned a few times).

    What exactly do you mean by that (it surely sounds like you have no trust in the tool you are using yourself!).

    I personally like this tool we have (a decent IDE and a decently fast 32bit native-compiler) - because it helps me
    avoid a whole lot of failure-categories, which are common with e.g. C/C++ development (less chances to forget
    "freeing something", less chances to "pass Zero-Pointers", less chances to "write into mem-areas you shouldn't write into".

    In my opinion, an experienced VB6-dev writes better and faster code, than the "average MS-developer".
    That's proven countless times (e.g. on VBSpeed, where the VB6-implemented replacements beat the pants off the MS-dev-implemented vbRuntime-Functions,
    or in the RC5-Collection-Classes, which are faster than MS-Collection or MS-Dictionary.

    So I guess it comes down to "who has grown something", wouldn't you say?

    Quote Originally Posted by LaVolpe View Post
    Personally, I wouldn't suggest someone learn VB by relying on some closed source, homegrown, tool.
    Yet you failed to support that "personal opinion" with valid reasoning -
    whilst on the other hand, I think I gave a lot of good reasons in my prior post, why "learning MS-COM-libs" or "learning MS-APIs" is a waste of time,
    (given the fact that there's a free available framework, which would teach you to swim also in "non-MS (or non-VB)"-waters when the time comes).

    I guess you should really try to answer the questions I asked earlier (if only for yourself) - and not "avoiding to even look at them".

    And I would like to hear about a good reason from you, why you apparently think that VB6-code,
    written agains RC5-libs is "less safe to use", when the exact opposite is true (compared to MS-libs).

    Olaf

  13. #13
    VB-aholic & Lovin' It LaVolpe's Avatar
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    Re: Vb6 , the Future, and what I have discovered

    So what will happen to all the VB6-Apps, which have used UserControls or API-modules that internally are heavily dependent on GDI+?
    They break - and all the code will have to be re-written - and because everyone is so happy about that fact, they will of course use "the next MS-graphics-lib" to rewrite it with?
    What will happen if cars are outlawed? React and overcome.

    Well, you've avoided answering my questions (as expected).
    Not really, think some questions honestly weren't worth answering. Not looking to get into an extended argument where neither of us are going to change our minds. You don't want to open RC5 but are happy basing most of it on open source. So be it. As stated, I'm not willing to invest time -- hence we are not going to change our minds. If your main selling point is that it is almost ADO compatible and doesn't use GDI/GDI+, then it's not much of a factor for me considering to invest time.

    And I would like to hear about a good reason from you, why you apparently think that VB6-code, written agains RC5-libs is "less safe to use", when the exact opposite is true (compared to MS-libs).
    Kinda hard to do that without seeing the code and/or spending countless hours learning something that I am not honestly interested in. At what point did I say it wasn't safe? Again, how could I even make that statement without using it? If you interpreted me saying that you may not be around forever as "not safe", then so be it.

    I get that you are proud of your tool. I get that you push it to every newbie that posts any questions regarding graphics and databases. I get that this forum has become your personal "RC5 Forum" due to the number of members experimenting and using your tool. But there are also many that simply aren't interested with it in the way it is presented and you can't convert us all
    Last edited by LaVolpe; Jan 18th, 2018 at 12:34 PM. Reason: fix typo which could've changed context
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    Re: Vb6 , the Future, and what I have discovered

    Quote Originally Posted by LaVolpe View Post
    What will happen if cars are outlawed? React and overcome.
    ...that's your response to all the valid questions I asked?

    Quote Originally Posted by LaVolpe View Post
    Not really, think some questions weren't worth answering honestly. Not looking to get into an extended argument ...
    All that "weaseling out" is quite disappointing.

    Quote Originally Posted by LaVolpe View Post
    Kinda hard to do that without seeing the code ...
    Yawn - that again (thought I already destroyed that line of reasoning of yours, with the fact that you're quite happily working against closed MS-libs...)

    Quote Originally Posted by LaVolpe View Post
    I get that you are proud of your tool.
    That goes without saying - but in my arguing so far I was trying to leave out the "emotional components" of the whole thing -
    ...think I've presented enough facts so far - whilst from your end I only read about "your feelz" (which in a technical forum
    are quite pointless).
    "Facts don't care about your feelings" (to cite "Mr. Shapiro" himself).

    Quote Originally Posted by LaVolpe View Post
    ... in the way it is presented ...
    Yeah - even "more feelz"...

    Ain't nobody in this forum interested in: "how to proceed"? -
    VB6 being on life-support currently - and 2024 not *that* far away anymore...

    As for your "react and overcome" battle-cry ... you mean to "take serious action" then, in 2024?
    How should a potential solution look like in your opinion?
    Not thought about it - not giving a damn?

    Well, I thought about it (already 10 years ago) - and I really try to provide a foundation which is able to carry
    (starting with new, modern runtime-classes).

    The fact that you dislike my efforts to get the VB6-community behind the idea "to help ourselves"
    (by saying things like "making it your RC5-forum") is baffling, really.

    God beware when VbForum-members start writing modern looking Apps today by using the free available Runtime-enhancements
    of a community member (outrageous, who has ever heard of such a thing) - and even worse - what if they all start to see,
    what the tool is really meant to be and possibly even manage to create a new VB-IDE and -compiler around that
    platform-independent stuff - that would be a horrible outcome, wouldn't it? (because "not invented here").

    Olaf

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    Re: Vb6 , the Future, and what I have discovered

    Question: MS does not pre-install VB5 runtime, whereas VB6 runtime is included. But it does not necessary mean VB5 won't run as you "just" need to include the missing stuff. This may also happen to VB6? If so it does not mean it's not runnable.
    Because the COM stuff might work forever I guess like written in stone.
    However, only when DEP (data execution prevention) might go against this will be the end for VB6. (?)
    And of course if 32 bit is dropped, which I see very unlikely as 64 is far before being reaching it's limit, so there is no need for higher bits and drop of 32 bit. (As happened with 16 bits by going to 64 bits)

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    Re: Vb6 , the Future, and what I have discovered

    Well, you can always start your own support forum site.

    https://youtu.be/oQLg3rcV-Is?t=4m35s

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    VB-aholic & Lovin' It LaVolpe's Avatar
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    Re: Vb6 , the Future, and what I have discovered

    Weasel? Wow, just because I won't try your tool. Hit a nerve? Go ahead and post your final comments. I won't be reading them. One of us needs to take the high road.
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    Re: Vb6 , the Future, and what I have discovered

    Quote Originally Posted by LaVolpe View Post
    Weasel? Wow, just because I won't try your tool.
    "Weasel" as in "avoiding all the serious questions I asked" (not really polite that).

    And no, the fact that you personally aren't "trying it" is of no consequence in the long run.

    Olaf

  19. #19
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    Re: Vb6 , the Future, and what I have discovered

    Quote Originally Posted by LaVolpe View Post
    I get that you are proud of your tool. I get that you push it to every newbie that posts any questions regarding graphics and databases. I get that this forum has become your personal "RC5 Forum" due to the number of members experimenting and using your tool. But there are also many that simply aren't interested with it in the way it is presented and you can't convert us all
    I should probably stay far away from this debate, but what the heck. LaVolpe, thank you for saying that.

    As we all must, I must admit that my primary project is largely based on closed source (primarily the VB6 IDE, and Windows). However, both of those are provided by the third most valued brand on the planet. Just because of the huge unknown factor, I wouldn't dream of incorporating any additional closed source software into my project. Olaf, clearly, you've done some fascinating work, but how do we know that you're not logging RC5 activity, minimally (or possibly even extensively) "snooping" on us?

    Also, just to say it, I too sometimes feel that this is the VBForums_RC5 forums. I've been shot down for providing links to DOC, OCX, KB updates, and other "binary" files I've placed on my website, but you seem to routinely "get away with it". That's always puzzled me.

    At times, I wonder why they don't just create you a separate RC5 forum, similar to the Xamarin, or Database Development, or ASP forums. Or, even more to the point, why don't you have your own forum on your website?

    @LaVolpe: Sorry to jump into your discussion. It was just too opportune a time to express a few thoughts I've had for some time.

    @Olaf: Again, I see you as a very talented programmer. IMHO, your personality is somewhat grumpy and defensive around the edges, and you're ready to pounce when someone makes the smallest of mistakes. But I do believe you provide a great deal of value to the VB6 community. And, truth be told, you're not hawking RC5 in every single post you make.

    I truly do wish you good health and happiness,
    Elroy
    Any software I post in these forums written by me is provided “AS IS” without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, and permission is hereby granted, free of charge and without restriction, to any person obtaining a copy. Please understand that I’ve been programming since the mid-1970s and still have some of that code. My contemporary VB6 project is approaching 1,000 modules. In addition, I have a “VB6 random code folder” that is overflowing. I’ve been at this long enough to truly not know with absolute certainty from whence every single line of my code has come, with much of it coming from programmers under my employ who signed intellectual property transfers. I have not deliberately attempted to remove any licenses and/or attributions from any software. If someone finds that I have inadvertently done so, I sincerely apologize, and, upon notice and reasonable proof, will re-attach those licenses and/or attributions. To all, peace and happiness.

  20. #20
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    Re: Vb6 , the Future, and what I have discovered

    Quote Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
    Well, you can always start your own support forum site.
    Why should I - when the community is right here? (at least what's left of it).

    "Two guys who don't care about the future of VB6" are of no consequence really.

    Olaf

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    Re: Vb6 , the Future, and what I have discovered

    Quote Originally Posted by Elroy View Post
    As we all must, I must admit that my primary project is largely based on closed source (primarily the VB6 IDE, and Windows).
    However, both of those are provided by the third most valued brand on the planet.
    A brand which has already proven "to not really care" about your code-investments -
    its remaining support for at least the VB6-runtimes is running out in 2014 (that along with "several code breaks" in the last years should give you pause).
    But I'm repeating myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elroy View Post
    ...how do we know that you're not logging RC5 activity, minimally (or possibly even extensively) "snooping" on us?
    You know that, because the RC5 is in use in thousands of App-Installations and on hundreds of developer-PCs at this moment.
    If I'd be doing any "phoning home", then I'd have to use sockets at some time - and there's enough "paranoid" devs or admins
    out there, who run packet-sniffers or "firewall-filters" who'd report such an attempt.
    The fact that in over a decade no such thing was reported from anywhere or anyone should give you a "warm and fuzzy feeling" I guess -
    and thanks for your trust into a fellow community-member BTW.

    Well, there is a vendor (wasn't it the "third most valued brand on the planet") who takes your "privacy" very seriously
    (when you look at all the "Opt-Out-settings" MS stuff their Win10-OS with.

    As said further above already, that "grade of devotion" is just baffling.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elroy View Post
    Also, just to say it, I too sometimes feel that this is the VBForums_RC5 forums.
    Why is it a bad thing, to point out how things can be done with less coding-efforts?
    That's what I'd want to read in a developer-forum - new approaches to (often) old things or to "challenging things",
    which not only require less code - but are also unicode-aware, avoid DPI-issues and "look better".

    I'm quite astonished about the stance you take here, because we might have our differences in recent discussion -
    but when it comes to programming and efficient coding, I always judged you to be "eager to learn new things".

    Quote Originally Posted by Elroy View Post
    ...you're ready to pounce when someone makes the smallest of mistakes.
    Yep, because that what makes up a good forum (reliable information).
    I strongly encourage you, to "pounce hard on me", as soon as I post some nonsense.

    BTW, what about you trying to answer a few of the questions I've posted further above
    (since LaVolpe and dilettante are trying very hard, to avoid them).

    What's *your* longtime-plan with regards to the future?

    Olaf

  22. #22
    Fanatic Member wqweto's Avatar
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    Re: Vb6 , the Future, and what I have discovered

    @Olaf: If 2024 is end of VB6 how do you plan to support RC5 beyond that point?

    I'm interested to hear about this custom VB compiler in the making, closed source again?

    cheers,
    </wqw>

  23. #23
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    Re: Vb6 , the Future, and what I have discovered

    Quote Originally Posted by Schmidt View Post
    What's *your* longtime-plan with regards to the future?
    Well, okay, I'll admit it. It's definitely something that rattles around in the back of my head. I certainly "pay attention" to threads like this that might actually be proposing some viable alternatives.

    But, truth be told, I just don't see Microsoft as ever truly abandoning the 32-bit COM architecture. And, truth be told, they themselves are still selling a substantial amount of software that is dependent on it, most notably, the VBA macro engines of their 32-bit Office products.

    Worst case, I might have to quit updating some development machine to keep the VB6 IDE running. But I haven't even had to do that so far.

    With respect to "Microsoft support", I've never been one of those guys who listened to the music on the phone (both literally and metaphorically), trying to get support. I've always been a "beat my head against the wall until it crumbles" kind of guy, dealing with the associated headaches.

    But that's just speaking to me. And really, the better point is a discussion about the future of my primary project. It is used and highly valued by quite a few people, and I'd hate to see that blown out of the water, even after I possibly find a way out of the continuing support and development of it.

    However, this project has become so involved and comprehensive through the years, and I've done things that just soooo tightly tie it to VB6, I just don't see any way out of using the VB6 IDE. I can still get hot-under-the-collar about Microsoft not providing a more direct migration path to .NET. In fact, if they really wanted to do things correctly, they would have supported both the COM and managed code approaches in their more recent IDEs. Someone in their language department, with a large degree of power, got a GOD complex (thinking they'd "teach us to program"), and screwed us over.

    Actually, I suppose that's one of your points, and it's well taken. However, as already stated, I've just become way too tied to VB6's idiosyncrasies to contemplate trying to jump ships. It's truly an incredible RAD in my hands, and, at my age, it's assured that no other IDE will ever be as pliable and fruitful as VB6 to me.

    I think I'll leave it there.

    Best Regards,
    Elroy
    Any software I post in these forums written by me is provided “AS IS” without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, and permission is hereby granted, free of charge and without restriction, to any person obtaining a copy. Please understand that I’ve been programming since the mid-1970s and still have some of that code. My contemporary VB6 project is approaching 1,000 modules. In addition, I have a “VB6 random code folder” that is overflowing. I’ve been at this long enough to truly not know with absolute certainty from whence every single line of my code has come, with much of it coming from programmers under my employ who signed intellectual property transfers. I have not deliberately attempted to remove any licenses and/or attributions from any software. If someone finds that I have inadvertently done so, I sincerely apologize, and, upon notice and reasonable proof, will re-attach those licenses and/or attributions. To all, peace and happiness.

  24. #24
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    Re: Vb6 , the Future, and what I have discovered

    Quote Originally Posted by Krool View Post
    Question: MS does not pre-install VB5 runtime, whereas VB6 runtime is included. But it does not necessary mean VB5 won't run as you "just" need to include the missing stuff. This may also happen to VB6? If so it does not mean it's not runnable.
    Deploying msvbvm60.dll on your own would certainly be an option -
    but I think that until 2024, MS will in all likelihood keep it included with their OSes which support 32Bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Krool View Post
    Because the COM stuff might work forever I guess like written in stone.
    Yep, as long as MS-Office is nearly completely COM-based (as it is today), we have no reason to worry about its supporting libs (like Ole32 and OleAut).
    As soon as MS announces something like: "a new, leaner Office - now running completely JavaScript-based", we should probably start worrying on that front.
    (the "JS-basedness" is not that "far off" as one might think, because they already *have* a quite well-working Implementation, which runs Browser-based -
    and now that WebAssembly is supported throughout all larger Desktop- and Mobile-Browsers, we will see "new, speedier JS-versions" of all kind
    of so far "conventionally implemented" Javascript-frameworks soon).

    Quote Originally Posted by Krool View Post
    And of course if 32 bit is dropped, which I see very unlikely as 64 is far before being reaching it's limit, so there is no need for higher bits and drop of 32 bit. (As happened with 16 bits by going to 64 bits)
    In my opinion, that will be exactly the angle they will be pursuing (with regards to "getting rid of old legacy stuff").
    The newer versions of their Server-OSes already have the "32Bit-SYSWOW-layer" as an install-choice/option -
    the new "Nano-Server" image comes in 64Bit only.

    But such a change will have to be proposed with a longer "deprecation-period" I guess (when it comes to Desktop-OSes).
    But as said, IMO we are safe until 2024 - but I'd like it, when the VB-community has "something to show" already in 2022.

    What might happen in the "interim" is probably "another TypeLib-break here or there" - or another COM-lib which
    "falls out of support" (e.g. MS-XML3 being such a cadidate) - or a few "MessageFlow-changes" in the CommonControls,
    which might break things - and of course the "GUI-stuff" which in its modern incarnations (across the current dev-tool-chains),
    recommends to use the Direct2D-based rendering-engines.
    (e.g. .NET WinForms, which makes use of GDI+ and the CommonControls, is already considered "legacy stuff", so I guess
    we should keep an open ear, should they announce a: "re-implementation of the System.Drawing-namespaces behind the existing interfaces"
    (because that would mean, that they've thrown out GDI+ from .NET).

    Olaf

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    Re: Vb6 , the Future, and what I have discovered

    Nice said Elroy. I kind of agree with your statements.
    Well, VB6 is not so RAD anymore as it was before as you need quite some few extra stuff to keep rolling, but it works out so far.

  26. #26

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    Re: Vb6 , the Future, and what I have discovered

    AS THE SMOKE CLEARS LET ME SAY THIS.

    I am extremely thankful for what Olaf has done. The fact that he provides his framework for free has been amazing. Using vbrichclient has made me a better developer and olaf has been so helpful in a respects. If I can trust MS to keep the vb6 runtime working on windows I can trust Olaf will do his best as well.

    Even Lavolope and others on this forum also have been a great help and to all I am VERY thankful.

    I hope we all can find common ground to aid in the ultimate solution what ever it is.

    Please guys, you all are extremely intelligent and gifted people ( hence the clashing words )

    My initial post was just the next in my attempt to make a go of it. My love for vb6 has allowed me to make a living doing what I love. I am really just trying to find a solution to the inevitable death of vb6 and all the years of hard work I and all on this forum have done.

    Again I cannot thank Olaf enough for all he has done. please continue in the capacity you can.

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    Re: Vb6 , the Future, and what I have discovered

    I don't see Win32, or COM or GDI+ going anywhere for the foreseeable future. They would have to rewrite the entire shell, Office, and RPC.

    @Krool - Is VB6 vulnerable to DEP? If MS kills VB6 due to DEP, they would have to dump all ATL/WTL programs too.

    I'm not gonna lie - I don't use a lot of closed source simply because of gut feelings.
    Imagine what it would be like to set breakpoints in, or step through subclassing code;
    and then being able to hit stop/end/debug or continue, without crashing the IDE.

    VB6.tlb | Bulletproof Subclassing in the IDE (no thunks/assembly/DEP issues)

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    Re: Vb6 , the Future, and what I have discovered

    Quote Originally Posted by DEXWERX View Post
    @Krool - Is VB6 vulnerable to DEP? If MS kills VB6 due to DEP, they would have to dump all ATL/WTL programs too.
    No it's not, at least for now. It was just as an option that could happen in future to kill VB6.

  29. #29
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    Re: Vb6 , the Future, and what I have discovered

    Quote Originally Posted by Krool View Post
    No it's not, at least for now. It was just as an option that could happen in future to kill VB6.
    I think you answered my question, but I'll try and clarify.

    Do you know if VB6 uses thunks that DEP could break?
    (I believe ATL/WTL does use thunks that MS makes an exception for because they all have the same signature.)
    Imagine what it would be like to set breakpoints in, or step through subclassing code;
    and then being able to hit stop/end/debug or continue, without crashing the IDE.

    VB6.tlb | Bulletproof Subclassing in the IDE (no thunks/assembly/DEP issues)

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    Re: Vb6 , the Future, and what I have discovered

    I have some questions to Olaf:

    First, I see that you take any criticism as an attack, it seems that you never consider it could be well intentioned or that the counterpart has (or feels he does) valid reasons on his position.

    My questions:

    1) Why don't you open the sources.
    I can speculate of some reasons, that may include:
    a) You took some code from places or persons and that parts of code can be seen as "stolen".
    b) You have some parts like internal function's names, constants, comments or the like in German, and you are not willing to translate everything because it would be time consuming.
    c) You think that some parts of the code could be criticized as not well writen or well designed.

    None of those reasons seems too important from my point of view. It doesn't matter if people criticize. And nobody is perfect and code can almost always be improved. And we all have code that wrote time ago and we are not proud now, what's the matter? We are all learning everyday (and sometimes also forgetting, LOL).

    2) My other question, it is not really a question but a criticism: Every time I looked into code that uses your component I see things like Set Var = New_C... or Load mObj.Item (VarPtr(Var)) or Set Obj = New cWidgets...
    That's strange, not normal coding in VB6.
    VB is BASIC, B means Begginers. It must be easy for beginners, and still powerfull for advanced.
    I feel you are not following the VB philosophy in the interfaces.
    It have to be easy, simple and intuitive... and RAD. It means that adding a couple of controls with almost no code could do something useful automatically for the developer.

    Also, it must be backwards compatible, if possible 100%. The enhancement must be in new properties or additional parameters, but the old code should work as it is writen (if possible).
    And I don't see that sentiment or goal in your examples.

    In my opinion, those are two main reasons why not more people use your framework.


    The important points that I wanted to say were above, but I'll add a couple of more thoughts (that can be ignored).

    The people that were easy to convince to go to a closed source, more complicated and not backward compatible platform are already gone: they already went to .NET.

    You have an advantage: your environment will work on any OS.
    But that may be not enough (at least at this time), because 99.9% of us currently only work in Windows.

    It would be good if we could develop webpages in VB instead of PHP (and Javascript).
    It would be good if we could develop applications for Android in VB too (I know there is some option out there, but also closed source).
    But I don't know if you are planning to address those fields.
    I consider you very capable, but a project this big can't be done by one only person, and less if he is not working full time on that.
    Last edited by Eduardo-; Jan 18th, 2018 at 04:13 PM. Reason: typo

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    Re: Vb6 , the Future, and what I have discovered

    Quote Originally Posted by Krool View Post
    Nice said Elroy. I kind of agree with your statements.
    Well, VB6 is not so RAD anymore as it was before as you need quite some few extra stuff to keep rolling, but it works out so far.
    Agree. I think one of the fields that the VB6 community need to work is on that: to make new tools that could render VB6 RAD again.

    I'm referring for example to a new "Package and Deployment Wizzard" that could automatically make one exe installers, may be based on InnoSetup, and that can handle properly and automatically the needed files to deploy. And very important: to be able to make an SxS installations, automatically adding the proper manifest into the app's exe.

  32. #32
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    Re: Vb6 , the Future, and what I have discovered

    Quote Originally Posted by wqweto View Post
    If 2024 is end of VB6 how do you plan to support RC5 beyond that point?
    As you already guessed, by a new compiler of course, which is fully VB6-compatible (though only recognizing
    *.bas and *.cls modules, but within these supporting the exact same "structs" as e.g. Variant and SafeArray,
    so that even the "old pointer-based hacks" which surround these types will work as before - Strings will remain
    BStrings (16Bit WChars with a "left-shifted" length-pointer, probably requiring some extra-efforts for Unix and
    other OSes, where WChars are 64Bit, should I rely on the builtin-C-compiler-magic).

    Since RC5 is based on "only *.bas and *.cls", the first thing I will stress the new compiler with,
    will be the recompilation of the vbRichClient5.vbp (still as a true COM-lib, but in 32 and 64Bit versions).

    If that works, the (hopefully already started and nearly completed new IDE ) should be
    recompilable as well (when we restrict ourselves, to only use RC5-Classes to implement its GUI, which
    is no hindrance at all in larger Apps, as this example here shows which has only an RC5-dependency in its project-settings):
    http://www.vbforums.com/showthread.p...ed-Icon-Editor

    But "that's the plan" (in "fast-forward", skipping a lot of details).

    Quote Originally Posted by wqweto View Post
    I'm interested to hear about this custom VB compiler in the making, closed source again?
    At the moment, yes of course - if you'd be willing to contribute (which I hope), then I would send you the sources,
    or a link to a private BitBucket-repo.

    What I want to avoid at this point (already quite far in the plan), is "scattering" - because as you see
    from the discussion here, there is quite a lot of "emotional" responses going on, especially from those
    who could have been of help in the project (the goddamn "not invented here" syndrome being in full swing).

    I don't know how many mailinglists and forums you follow (I read a lot of posts in C-based mailinglists as e.g.
    SQLite, also the tcc-mailinglist, the FreeBasic-forum, JavaScript-forums, SAP-forums (for their OpenUI5-stuff)
    and a few UseNet-groups as well (heck. for 5 years I followed even the Linux-Kernel- and Wine-Lists).

    I guess what I'm trying to say is, that I have a lot more "background" than I'm showing here currently -
    and a lot more experience with "what works" with OpenSource-Projects and what is "likely to fail"
    (also considered from the "psychological angle", because I've had to read all kinds of responses from a
    whole lot "passionately arguing people" in hundreds of thousands of postings over the last 20 years).

    What would fail is - for example, when I (or we) would release the Compiler too early.
    (to early, meaning: "before the IDE and the new Runtime is fully playing together as a presentable whole").

    Because what would happen then is, that "other devs who have the capabilities" would
    immediately "start to implement their own ideas" - and if that's not met with: "great, I include it",
    the "forking-war" would start (sometimes "out of spite", sometimes out of "hurt ego", you name it)...

    Since you read the tcc-list as well - do you remember the big "hubbub" in the tcc-list around the
    complaints of Rob Landley? The whole thing nearly torpedoed this nice project, until Grischka
    managed finally, to keep things going again: https://www.landley.net/code/tinycc/

    I have no mind at all, to "suffer such nonsense" in a project I've literally invested whole man-years into.
    And believe me, stuff like that would happen - especially seeing the recent reactions to my ongoing efforts here.

    Also FreeBasic (where I hang around often) - a nice compiler - but they "failed" with regards to
    "providing a complete runtime-lib, including advanced GUI-stuff and Widgets, maintained along with the compiler".

    What then happened was "re-inventing the wheel with regards to advanced GUI-stuff any two months" (or so it felt like).
    The result ... no real "standard-GUI" which one is able to refer to or rely on in FreeBasic-examples - dozens of
    abandoned "My new FreeBasci-GUI"-attempts to implement something nice - all failing so far (the one currently
    in the making has better chances, since former PowerBasic-guru Jose Roca recently joined forces with Paul Squires):
    http://www.planetsquires.com/protect...php?board=39.0

    But that new stuff (although well-implemented) is "Windows only" (CommonControl-based. like Krools) - and thus another
    failed attempt at providing the nice (platform-independent) FreeBasic-compiler with an equally platform-indepdendent
    GUI-framework (as the RC5 already is, underneath).

    So - yeah - hopefully I didn't "bore you to death" so far... because there's more to read in the link below...

    Why I ruled out FreeBasic as a potential compiler, was (among other things) this failing discussion here
    (recommended reading, till the last of my replies there, if you want to get a rough impression about
    how I want to solve the problem of "Dlls compiled as COM-libs under Linux and other non-MS-OSes).
    https://www.freebasic.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=24901

    Olaf

  33. #33
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    Re: Vb6 , the Future, and what I have discovered

    Quote Originally Posted by Schmidt View Post

    Because what would happen then is, that "other devs who have the capabilities" would
    immediately "start to implement their own ideas" - and if that's not met with: "great, I include it",
    the "forking-war" would start (sometimes "out of spite", sometimes out of "hurt ego", you name it)...

    I have no mind at all, to "suffer such nonsense" in a project I've literally invested whole man-years into.
    And believe me, stuff like that would happen - especially seeing the recent reactions to my ongoing efforts here.

    Olaf
    I fully support this point of view. Furthermore, open source to some people means, "you work for me....for free." Everybody has to make their own decisions on this based on what is right for them.

    However, MS won't die as easily as a single person does. If you are proud of this work, do you release it in your will, or does it die with you?

    I would say that there is a fair amount of passion around RC5 and this subject. I'd have trimmed some sniping out of an earlier post had I not been elsewhere. Because of the many users of RC5, removing mention of it is absurd, but there is a limit that we do try to enforce when it comes to linking to external sites with compiled code, and uploading compiled binaries is not allowed.
    My usual boring signature: Nothing

  34. #34

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    Re: Vb6 , the Future, and what I have discovered

    Olaf,

    what is your take on PureBasic?

    WP

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    Re: Vb6 , the Future, and what I have discovered

    Quote Originally Posted by Eduardo- View Post
    I have some questions to Olaf:
    First, I see that you take any criticism as an attack,
    What kind of criticism do you mean (because I didn't encounter any in the recent discussion).
    Can you post a link or a citation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eduardo- View Post
    1) Why don't you open the sources.
    For several reason, which I've just explained (in part) in post #32 here in this thread.
    And in somewhat more detail for example here:
    http://www.vbforums.com/showthread.p...=1#post5233943

    Please ask, or point out, what you don't understand in my line of reasoning...


    Quote Originally Posted by Eduardo- View Post
    I can speculate of some reasons, that may include:
    Please don't speculate - try to take what I wrote already regarding that topic seriously, because I'm not in the habit of lying.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eduardo- View Post
    a) You took some code from places or persons and that parts of code can be seen as "stolen".
    Eduardo, judging from what I post and have posted here (also with regards to "non-RC5-related examples,
    and also with regards to the UseNet-group the two of us were participating in over the last decade),
    do you really think that I'd have the need, to resort to that kind of thing?

    And BTW - that's a serious allegation - you should not make without proof (that much with regards to your "you react angry to criticism" -
    I'm not angry at all - not even about "deliberate attempts to damage my reputation".

    Quote Originally Posted by Eduardo- View Post
    b) You have some parts like internal function's names, constants, comments or the like in German, and you are not willing to translate everything because it would be time consuming.
    Nah, comments are in english for the most part (though admittedly sparse).

    Quote Originally Posted by Eduardo- View Post
    c) You think that some parts of the code could be criticized as not well writen or well designed.
    Not at all, because my coding-style is not the best (too many statements on one line, for example)
    and I learned to live with that critizism over the last years.

    But before opening the RC5-sources up in a Private Repo (as promised to Tanner, JPBro, Carlos - as well as Colin and wqweto if they want to participate),
    I surely have to do some "beautifying first" (mainly because of "commented out former implementations of some things",
    but also comment and coding-style-wise - main-hindrance currently is the quite large VisualC-project for the Opensource-satellite-libs,
    which is difficult to compile on a different machine currently and still in a quite old VS-2008 version, which also needs to be "lifted up" to a newer MS-C-environment).

    Quote Originally Posted by Eduardo- View Post
    None of those reasons seems too important from my point of view.
    You are right - they aren't (because they are not the reasons).

    Quote Originally Posted by Eduardo- View Post
    And nobody is perfect and code can almost always be improved.
    Sure, there's no algorithm which cannot be improved in some way.
    But given the fact, that the the RC5 is currently setting the "perfomance-bar" in a whole lot of different areas,
    it's probably more the other way around (that other sources could be improved, by looking at RC5-code).

    There's other (quite complicated stuff) in the RC5, which would still be "highly sellable" (if ripped out) -
    e.g. the SVG-parser comes to mind - or the Alpha-supporting Widget-engine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eduardo- View Post
    2) My other question, it is not really a question but a criticism: Every time I looked into code that uses your component I see things like Set Var = New_C... or Load mObj.Item (VarPtr(Var)) or Set Obj = New cWidgets...
    That's strange, not normal coding in VB6.
    New_c is a constructor-object (which allows to hand out new Object-Instance "with Parameters").
    In the new compiler-environment, this will not be needed anymore, because:
    - the RC5-classes will be fixed part of the runtime
    - I plan to incorporate Constructors into the Class_Initialize-callback
    - dll-contained Classes will be instantiatable regfree by default (no registry needed, which is a nother reason why the New_c thingy exists)

    Other than that, New_c is just a replacement for VBs New keyword (hence the naming).
    And no, that's quite normal VB (for those who are familiar with classes)


    Quote Originally Posted by Eduardo- View Post
    I feel you are not following the VB philosophy in the interfaces.
    Now we talk about "feelings" again - not that I want to complain -
    but could it be, that the "awkwardness" you seem to feel, comes from the fact that you never really used the RC5 in a challenging, larger scenario?
    What I want to say is, that "feeling comfortable with something" comes with "using that something for some time".

    Quote Originally Posted by Eduardo- View Post
    The enhancement must be in new properties or additional parameters, but the old code should work as it is writen (if possible).
    And I don't see that sentiment or goal in your examples.
    You would see that "compatible old code" in Classes which are nearly compatible to the ones you know
    (e.g. cCollection-usage is identical, as is cRecordset-usage when compared to ADO or DAO-recordsets).

    The stuff you feel uncomfortable with, is most likely "stuff which does things, never before seen in an example"
    or "as such not available in the VB-Runtime".
    The RC5-classes allow you to do stuff in one line, which you priorily implemented in "a handful".

    Quote Originally Posted by Eduardo- View Post
    In my opinion, those are two main reasons why not more people use your framework.
    That opinion comes mostly from those people, who never really worked with it, or "just made a short test".
    Did you ever made your way through the Cairo-Tutorial (through the "numbered folders", which go from "easy" to "more complex", reading all the comments)?
    I guess not, because if you did, you would understand the whole "Heavily Class-based" philosophy of the RC5-examples far better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eduardo- View Post
    The people that were easy to convince to go to a closed source, more complicated and not backward compatible platform are already gone: they already went to .NET.
    I agree - but perhaps we will win back a few of them, when the new compiler is finished.

    I'm not sure, if you noticed that (since you are not as long "on board" here), but at the time I joined here, there was
    "quite an attitude" from the .NET-devs in this forum towards the VB6-devs (regarding ".NET is superior to VB6").

    This has changed quite a bit - and I'd like to think, that the RC5-examples (and the accompanying ScreenShots)
    played a role in that (though another reason might be, that more and more .NET-devs are tired about
    the frequency in which MS is "deprecating things", feeling a bit more sympathy with "the old dogs", since they
    realize that they are now in a quite similar situation).

    Quote Originally Posted by Eduardo- View Post
    You have an advantage: your environment will work on any OS.
    But that may be not enough (at least at this time), because 99.9% of us currently only work in Windows.
    It will play a role in the future - and as also said - learning e.g. SQLite (instead of ADO/Jet) will be a much
    better investment, when it comes to migrating to other languages or platforms.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eduardo- View Post
    It would be good if we could develop webpages in VB instead of PHP (and Javascript).
    We can do that already for more than a decade, using an IIS/ASP combination (even using/debugging VB-compiled COM-libs at the serverside).

    Quote Originally Posted by Eduardo- View Post
    It would be good if we could develop applications for Android in VB too (I know there is some option out there, but also closed source).
    But I don't know if you are planning to address those fields.
    The new compiler is producing C-Code, which would also compile to ARM-targets.
    Though nobody does that really (to deploy stuff onto Android-devices), because the existing examples, libs and frameworks are mostly Java.

    At work, we target Android and iOS-devices currently over the (responsive) Controls of a WebFramework (OpenUI5),
    which runs as Javascript in the mobile-Browsers - though the serverside (behind an IIS) runs with VB6-COM-dlls.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eduardo- View Post
    I consider you very capable, but a project this big can't be done by one only person, and less if he is not working full time on that.
    Let's see how it goes in the next months and years - it's still a bit of time till 2024...

    Olaf

  36. #36
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    Re: Vb6 , the Future, and what I have discovered

    Theres a couple reasons why I did not "convert" to RC5.

    - dependencies, i did have a bit of trouble to install/use it, in one computer i couldn't make it work
    - big, i feel its too big, i only need a couple of function but im presented with tons of functions that i have no clue what they do
    - i feel like a newbie < , well, its true, its hard to understand, its not intuitive. so i get the feeling, why should i spend time learning this if i could spend time learning dx9 as the difficulty seems the same. also, time i dont have, my project take all my time, so i decided to focus on that instead of learning new stuff.
    - closed source. well, i dont mind, but because its "big", i feel theres tons of stuff i dont need, i like my program to be optimized to just include what it needs. the same is LaVolpe's classes, i learn from it, but i only use parts of it. i would do the same with RC5 if it where open source.
    - if RC5 did have many smaller DLL's, that i could pick and use, then maybe i would have spent time learning. i would love to be able to use hardware accelerator instead of gdi.

  37. #37
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    Re: Vb6 , the Future, and what I have discovered

    I take one day off the forum and I miss all the fun!

    Looks like a lot of ground is being re-tread, so I won't get too involved (I'm also very busy over the next few days so I don't want to say anything too provocative and then be unable to converse).

    Anyway, it's no secret which camp I'm in re: the question of to RC5 or not to RC5, and there's a lot of re-treading here that I don't think we really need to go over again.

    Couple of things I would like to say in general that I hope might add to the conversation - whether or not 2024 or some other date is the end of the VB6 world or not is kind of irrelevant. The day is approaching whether we like it or not, and the primary (and only) maintainer of the language, runtime, VM, IDE, etc.. has long since left it behind. Eventually bits will rot in that scenario, and one day - by negligence if not malice - things that once worked will suddenly will not. We see this periodically with the various updates MS ships that break things like ADO, XML, etc... we see this with new COM interfaces that are hard/impossible? to support in VB6 (TOM2).

    The cynic in me thinks that maybe MS breaks something like this every once in a while just to see who's still out there relying VB6 stuff. If enough of their large enterprise customers kick up a stink, the say "Oops, sorry but don't forget VB6 is EOL soon!" and issue a patch. Enterprises slowly continue to move their legacy code to .Net or elsewhere, and eventually there are no be players left to complain (except us chumps at vbforums!). At that point they can stop issues patches to fix mistakes and start moving "forward" with whatever else they want to do (and then it will be the .Netters turn to complain that they are being forgotten).

    More realistically, there are probably just fewer and fewer people at MS who even know what VB6 is, and when they break something it is truly accidental ...eventually these accidents will become more and more common since they probably don't even do much testing against VB6 stuff there anymore (sometimes it seem like they don't even do much testing at all anymore!). This is the end of life of forgotten software - a slow decline into failure with no one left with the skills or the drive to keep it running.

    So what's the alternative? If we stick with MS, then we go to .Net. Well we didn't do that before, so we probably aren't going to do that now. We eschew MS and move to something else - what? Linux? Apple? Well MS still owns the business computer market, so if your business is there then good luck going elsewhere. The cloud? No matter what you choose from the above though, it means a full re-write of whatever code you have now.

    So there's RC5 and Olaf's plan to make an new "VB6" compiler. If it can compile all .cls and .bas modules as-is, and you just have to re-write the front end UI stuff then you are a lot better off compared to rewriting everything.

    My only concern is how long it is going to take. TBH I wish we had gotten started a few years ago on a private repo and maybe by now we would have something to show off. But "coulda, "woulda", "shoulda" as they say.

    What would fail is - for example, when I (or we) would release the Compiler too early.
    (to early, meaning: "before the IDE and the new Runtime is fully playing together as a presentable whole").

    Because what would happen then is, that "other devs who have the capabilities" would
    immediately "start to implement their own ideas" - and if that's not met with: "great, I include it",
    the "forking-war" would start (sometimes "out of spite", sometimes out of "hurt ego", you name it)...
    I'm thankful for that statement because it finally helps me understand some of the "delay" from Olaf's perspective - releasing something too early can be poison to the project. I might suggest that releasing something too late can be equally dangerous to a project though - it might miss the boat. This is why I want to get started on the private repo "yesterday"...there's still a lot of work to be done before it goes public, and I think I can help with that.

    In particular:

    I surely have to do some "beautifying first" (mainly because of "commented out former implementations of some things",
    but also comment and coding-style-wise
    Olaf - for the private repo, this is absolutely not something you should be doing! Your skills are much more valuable elsewhere, and I'd be happy to spend time clearing out dead comments and breaking single-line multi-statement code into multi-line single-statement code. That's "code monkey" stuff that should be outsourced so you can get on with more important bits.

    Anyway, I hope I added a bit to the conversation without being too controversial or biased. As I mentioned I may not be able to visit over the next few days so if you want to debate the above, don't be offended if I don't get back to you (at least right away).
    Last edited by jpbro; Jan 19th, 2018 at 10:02 AM. Reason: Meant "cynic" instead of "pessimist"

  38. #38
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    Re: Vb6 , the Future, and what I have discovered

    Quote Originally Posted by axisdj View Post
    Olaf,

    what is your take on PureBasic?
    Never used it - looked at it a few years ago - and just now again (a bit) - it still seems a lot like FreeBasic (which is free and OpenSource).
    GUI- and IDE-wise there's an advantage with PureBasic (although the EventHandling of GUI-controls seems a bit "old-fashioned").

    Classes don't support Events as available in VB6 (CallBack-Objects or -Functions have to be passed).
    The runtime is not really Class-based - instead there's "more than 1000 functions" built into the language itself as it seems
    (not really to my taste that - and quite the same as with FreeBasic, which has a similar volume of "Flat language functions").

    The Class-support (somewhat easier now, due to the pre-processor you mentioned),
    will (due to its nature - but correct me if I'm wrong) probably not allow any step-by-step
    debugging through the Methods of a given Class (probably not even allow breakpoints in the ClassCode of SimpleOOP).

    For me the most important thing in a good (RAD-like) IDE is advanced debugging-support (followed by IntelliSense).
    I'd test PureBasic in that regard thoroughly.

    I'd consider Delphi (as well as Lazarus) as being "more capable" - did you not make an attempt with these as well, some time ago?

    If you abandoned them for some "good reason", I guess you will abandon PureBasic for basically
    the same one - as soon as you start porting some "really serious stuff" over from your current VB6-App.

    Would like to know, how well a serious porting-effort went (and also if it didn't work out as well as you thought of course)...

    Olaf

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    Re: Vb6 , the Future, and what I have discovered

    Thank for responding.
    (I have to be very polite because you are ready to go to war every time, and now I'm a bit tired for that).

    Quote Originally Posted by Schmidt View Post
    What kind of criticism do you mean (because I didn't encounter any in the recent discussion).
    Can you post a link or a citation?
    Yes, they are more or less the same that were posted here: closed source, you can... I won't say die, but you could meet a miss world and decide to go sailing around the world.


    Quote Originally Posted by Schmidt View Post
    For several reason, which I've just explained (in part) in post #32 here in this thread.
    And in somewhat more detail for example here:
    http://www.vbforums.com/showthread.p...=1#post5233943

    Please ask, or point out, what you don't understand in my line of reasoning...
    They seem valid. In short: to open the sources in an early stage create chaos.

    Quote Originally Posted by Schmidt View Post
    Eduardo, judging from what I post and have posted here (also with regards to "non-RC5-related examples,
    and also with regards to the UseNet-group the two of us were participating in over the last decade),
    do you really think that I'd have the need, to resort to that kind of thing?

    And BTW - that's a serious allegation - you should not make without proof (that much with regards to your "you react angry to criticism" -
    I'm not angry at all - not even about "deliberate attempts to damage my reputation".
    Yes, I think so. Not because you are not capable of writing the code yourself, but because of practicity.
    If you need to do something, and you find something already done, are you going to spend for example one month or two doing the same thing that you found that it is already done?

    For example, if one project (now abandoned) I needed to parse JSON.
    I found the Json Bag witten by dilettante. Do you think that I would spend time doing that for myself when I've found that already done? Of course I used it.
    It doesn't mean that I'm not "capable".

    And when I speculated that you may have some things like that, I'm not accusing you of stealing code, but you could not be willing people to see that you used somebody else's open source code.

    It was a shot in the dark, if you say that you didn't use anybody else's code I'll believe you.
    (You may not to care what I speculate and I don't care if you used others code, so who cares?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Schmidt View Post
    Not at all, because my coding-style is not the best (too many statements on one line, for example)
    and I learned to live with that critizism over the last years.
    It is your code and you do it as you like or want.
    Having said that, if my opinion worth anything, I don't like your coding style too much either.
    You don't use meanful variable names (Eg. For k = i to m), it is sometimes hard to follow.
    You tend to abbreviate too much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Schmidt View Post
    Sure, there's no algorithm which cannot be improved in some way.
    But given the fact, that the the RC5 is currently setting the "perfomance-bar" in a whole lot of different areas,
    In my opinion, you don't need help improving performance, but improving interfaces.

    It seems to me that you are always only corcerned about performance and forgetting other things.

    In some things performance is the key and more important thing, in other things it is not.

    Being able to drop a control from the VB toolbar into a form, double clicking and writting two lines of code and having something done in two minutes, sometimes is more important than performance.
    Computers nowadays are really fast for the most of the tasks.


    Quote Originally Posted by Schmidt View Post
    New_c is a constructor-object (which allows to hand out new Object-Instance "with Parameters").
    In the new compiler-environment, this will not be needed anymore,
    I was talking about a button that replaces the VB.CommandButton directly, but with new properties and features.

    A PictureBox that replaces the "old" PictureBox directly and internally uses Cairo, with a PaintPicture method that is fully backward compatible with the original, but with more image formats support and with some new optional parameters to do things not available in the old one.

    That's the kind of new VB that I would like to embrace.

    But if you are not even planning to support UserControls we won't have anything in the toolbar to work on.
    Everything will have to be done in code. That's not RAD. That's not the VB philosophy.

    Not to mention that none of our existing projects will be able to compile, because they use UserControls and PropertyPages. So don't ask why LaVolpe and others are not interested in working with RC5. Don't ask for more reasons, just not supporting UserControls is a very strong reason for not being interested. Don't you think?

    Quote Originally Posted by Schmidt View Post
    Now we talk about "feelings" again - not that I want to complain -
    but could it be, that the "awkwardness" you seem to feel, comes from the fact that you never really used the RC5 in a challenging, larger scenario?
    I've never used it in any scenario. I've only ran some sample projects that you provided (some time ago).

    When I see things like SomeObj.SomeProperty (VarPtr(SomeVariable)) in the sample code I run away.
    Why don't you do the VarPtr inside the component and ask just for a variable as the parameter?
    VB6 philosophy is to hide the weird stuff from the developer, you doesn't seem to be folowing that idiosyncrasy in RC5.

    Quote Originally Posted by Schmidt View Post
    What I want to say is, that "feeling comfortable with something" comes with "using that something for some time".
    With that idea I could become confortable with C++ or whatever. I currently don't like curly braces, but if I used them for several years may be I could get used to it, and being "confortable", who knows.

    But I'll concede that sometimes we reject things because of a first impression.

    Quote Originally Posted by Schmidt View Post
    You would see that "compatible old code" in Classes which are nearly compatible to the ones you know
    (e.g. cCollection-usage is identical, as is cRecordset-usage when compared to ADO or DAO-recordsets).
    And what about controls?

    Quote Originally Posted by Schmidt View Post
    The stuff you feel uncomfortable with, is most likely "stuff which does things, never before seen in an example"
    or "as such not available in the VB-Runtime".
    The RC5-classes allow you to do stuff in one line, which you priorily implemented in "a handful".
    For example, let's suppose that there is a new button that does new things not available in the VB.CommandButton, like gradients and the like.

    I don't want to learn how to use this new button because it has a property called Img instead of one called Picture to do the same thing that the CommmandButton already does.
    I would like it to be fully compatible with the old CommandButton, but to have new properties for the new features.


    Quote Originally Posted by Schmidt View Post
    We can do that already for more than a decade, using an IIS/ASP combination (even using/debugging VB-compiled COM-libs at the serverside).
    Of course I don't mean that. I don't mean an obsolete, deprecated and not currently in use platform like that.
    And it is from MS.

    I mean something that could be used to make new websites with all the new stuff now available, instead of having to use PHP, Python, Ruby or whatever.


    Quote Originally Posted by Schmidt View Post
    Let's see how it goes in the next months and years - it's still a bit of time till 2024...

    Olaf
    2024 may be too late. You'll have to go to find interested developers to use it from zero.
    And if you are planning to release the first version of your compiler in 2024, then we could expect to have a mature environment at more or less 2040.

  40. #40
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    Re: Vb6 , the Future, and what I have discovered

    Quote Originally Posted by Eduardo- View Post
    Thank for responding.
    Of course I don't mean that. I don't mean an obsolete, deprecated and not currently in use platform like that.
    And it is from MS.

    I mean something that could be used to make new websites with all the new stuff now available, instead of having to use PHP, Python, Ruby or whatever.
    I'm curious about what you mean by this because I have a project that let's you code in VB and output to the browser easily using the FastCGI protocol. It's even open source which seems to be the big requirement around here... LINK: https://github.com/jpbro/VbFcgi

    What it doesn't do is get your usercontrols and forms onto the web though, so if that's what you are looking for then I can't help. But if it's just to be able to code in VB6 and deliver data to a browser, then maybe?

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