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Thread: LET MS know you are using VB6

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    LET MS know you are using VB6

    Uservoice has moved. Let MS know if you are still using vb6:

    https://developercommunity.visualstu...grade-vb6.html

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    Re: LET MS know you are using VB6

    Why, I would say there is pretty much no chance that they will do anything with VB6. It has been 20 years already. If it works for you the way it is then use it the way it is and if not then the only option is to move to something else.

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    Re: LET MS know you are using VB6

    They updated VBA, it would be nice if they at least put out a service pack to bring those updates to VB6. Even better would be open sourcing it, but forget that... I bet they're furious VB6 is still used so much by so many people and businesses that rejected having the inferior VB.NET shoved down their throats.

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    Re: LET MS know you are using VB6

    Quote Originally Posted by DataMiser View Post
    Why, I would say there is pretty much no chance that they will do anything with VB6
    Yes, I'd say that OP might as well bang his head against a wall, it would achieve as much.

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    Re: LET MS know you are using VB6

    Quote Originally Posted by fafalone View Post
    They updated VBA, it would be nice if they at least put out a service pack to bring those updates to VB6. Even better would be open sourcing it, but forget that... I bet they're furious VB6 is still used so much by so many people and businesses that rejected having the inferior VB.NET shoved down their throats.
    Microsoft have claimed before
    "It is not feasible to open source VB6 tools chain and ecosystem."
    They never say why it isn't feasible.

    They also claim
    "It is not a viable option to create a next version of VB6."
    This time they have excuses
    "VB6 is a language, a runtime, a platform library, a tool/IDE, and an ecosystem tightly packaged together in a way that made all of them work well together."
    and
    "Even open sourcing the language/runtime wouldn’t solve the fact that VB6 was thought for a different set of problems, and the fact that its strength came from the end-to-end solution provided by all these five pieces working together. Take a change like 64bit, the complete runtime, tools and ecosystem chain would need to be retooled."
    Strange that the "set of problems" I face with Windows development seem very like those I faced 10 or 20 years ago, and very like those faced by VB.Net and C# developers too.

    I suspect you are right when you say "I bet they're furious VB6 is still used so much by so many people and businesses".

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    Re: LET MS know you are using VB6

    Lol they're so full of it.


    -I don't believe for one minute it's not technically feasible, and there's not a whole lot of 3rd party stuff... isn't it mostly OCX's ? They don't need to include the source for those.

    -'Not a viable option to create a next version of VB6'... except they did make a next version of the language, but only allowed VBA to have it.

    -Since the language, runtime, platform library, and tool/IDE parts are all just programs and libraries that could easily be open sourced, just what's in this "ecosystem" that's blocking open sourcing of those, since again all I can think of is the controls they could just skip.

    -And the problems VB6 was built for are still highly relevant, hence why so many people are still using it. We're not here developing on Win98 with legacy software, we're making modern apps on the latest platforms, and it's fine if they didn't expand it to cover all the new development scenarios like web and mobile, there's still .NET for that. And that retooling for 64-bit wouldn't be far less of a project than any of their newer programming tools doesn't pass the laugh test.

    Ugh it's like there's a competition for most evil tech company, and they're certainly leading the pack with lies like these and their malicious spyware/adware OS Win10. "The customer is always wrong. We say what they need."

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    Re: LET MS know you are using VB6

    It is not feasible because they already settled the dispute with sun micro systems over J++. That was one of two major reasons to abandon the vb6 path. They had to quit legally from what I've read about it.
    The other reason was that the internet was growing very quickly and strong web applications and client/server apps were needed. The only option was to go with Scott's Guthrie’s prototype, that he whipped up over the weekend in December of 1998.

    The original prototypes had vb6 abilities (open,edit, and compile) inside the vb.net IDE, but that idea was scrapped in December of 1999, because it was to difficult. This is the moment it all happened. Vb6 forms couldn't be fully integrated into net, and vb6 could not use all of the new features. Reference: Ms Press, Upgrading Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 to .NET, Page 9 by Ed Robinson, Michael Bond, and Robert Ian Oliver.

    To bad we can't get a hold of an early version, and make that open source.

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    Re: LET MS know you are using VB6

    I bet they're furious VB6 is still used so much by so many people and businesses
    On the contrary, I imagine they're absolutely chuffing delighted that so many developers continue to lock their clients into MS's primary cash cow, Windows. To MS you represent a wonderful, and free, marketing department.

    I personally think these petitions are flogging a dead horse but flog away. At best you'll get what you want, at worst you get to wile away a dull afternoon.
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    Re: LET MS know you are using VB6

    By now, I would expect that pretty nearly everybody who worked on the VB6 team has retired or otherwise moved on. VBA is pretty similar, but isn't quite the same. I have no idea how much difference there really would be in effort. You can be pretty certain that there is one fundamental difference, though: The business unit that advanced VBA exists (as part of the Office group), while the business unit that existed for VB6 does so no longer. The two people I knew from that group retired long ago, and I'd be surprised if any remained.

    So, how easy is it to pick up a sizable amount of source that you had no hand in writing, get up to speed with it enough to make a substantial change, then do so? I expect that the answer would be substantial. MS has to decide whether they would make enough sales from doing this to justify the cost of making the change. In that regard, I would guess that things like that link are actually counterproductive. They are well aware of a handful of people very vocally advocating for a return to VB6, but they can likely recognize that it is only a handful of the same people who are really beating that drum, with only a small constellation of occasional participants. I would guess that anybody who spent time at the UserVoice site pretty much knows the names of the most vocal people, and would expect to encounter them on any other petition. However, UserVoice had more chaff than wheat. There were bots on there (I assume it was a bot) copying and pasting posts, or copying and pasting while swapping VB6 for VB.NET and vice versa. Therefore, if there is a group in MS watching the threads on the site linked to, as at UserVoice, then I would expect that they'd just say, "oh, it's those folks again." and then proceed to ignore the thread.

    I don't believe that approach will gain any traction. What might gain traction is more personal appeals. Axisdj has a real point, since he has a VB6 program that is his main source of income. That's a business position, which MS would be more likely to understand, but not via some mechanism that they have long since learned to ignore. Having said that, I'm not sure how one could make a more personal appeal. I had a means, but that was long ago. Still, somebody knows somebody who knows somebody, so it is likely that there is some avenue that is more likely to bear fruit than these petitions.
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    Re: LET MS know you are using VB6

    It may help if we can prove that VB6 can still make powerful desktop applications. Especially when the same VB.NET couter-part can be shown to be inferior in some ways. I've started to do that in my articles already. Planet source code has many examples that appear to upstage vb.net, so I don't think the future of vb6 is as dismal as some of the members here think.

    Let's face it though, there is no excuse to not have our own upgraded VB6 IDE with flexibility. The only feature that is really challenging to me right now is the debugger, however I am making progress on that as a peripheral feature, not as a primary tool for advanced developers.

    Does olaf have any progress on his IDE setup? Olaf? I know that you focused on the compiler part first, but I have been reading mixed things about your project and the projected path written online. Please write up a comprehensive status of your project here, so that we may work more cooperatively.

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    Re: LET MS know you are using VB6

    Quote Originally Posted by fafalone View Post
    Lol they're so full of it.
    -I don't believe for one minute it's not technically feasible, and there's not a whole lot of 3rd party stuff... isn't it mostly OCX's ? They don't need to include the source for those.
    You are assuming they own the code to all the OCXs and libraries that are used by VB6 and the IDE, plus if someone wants to use this to go forward with a 64Bit version then 32bit OCXs are most definitely going to be a problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by fafalone View Post
    -'Not a viable option to create a next version of VB6'... except they did make a next version of the language, but only allowed VBA to have it.
    As much as VBA and VB6 have a lot in common they are still different languages with different audiences, Office has continued to use VBA therefore Microsoft have had a valid business reason to maintain it and keep developers working on it, they obviously haven't seen the same business need to support VB6 and the associated ecosystem so they may no longer have any staff who understand the original product well enough to do any further development.

    Quote Originally Posted by fafalone View Post
    -Since the language, runtime, platform library, and tool/IDE parts are all just programs and libraries that could easily be open sourced, just what's in this "ecosystem" that's blocking open sourcing of those, since again all I can think of is the controls they could just skip.
    Again you are assuming they still own the rights to all the code and are in a position to open source it, VB6 without the controls is not the VB6 development environment most people would expect.

    Quote Originally Posted by fafalone View Post
    -And the problems VB6 was built for are still highly relevant, hence why so many people are still using it. We're not here developing on Win98 with legacy software, we're making modern apps on the latest platforms, and it's fine if they didn't expand it to cover all the new development scenarios like web and mobile, there's still .NET for that. And that retooling for 64-bit wouldn't be far less of a project than any of their newer programming tools doesn't pass the laugh test.

    Ugh it's like there's a competition for most evil tech company, and they're certainly leading the pack with lies like these and their malicious spyware/adware OS Win10. "The customer is always wrong. We say what they need."
    I am glad you seem to understand the complexity of taking a 32 bit codebase consisting of libraries, runtimes, an IDE and associated dependencies that evolved from a 16bit product and how easy it is to convert to a 64bit version without ever having seen the code. A 32bit to 64bit conversion is not a trivial undertaking, might not provide any real benefits and yet it is one thing that keeps being brought up time and time again.

    I must admit a company who gave away their latest OS, provides updates for free, open sourced their latest development framework (dotnet core) and made it cross platform, provides VS Community for free, provides the cross platform VS Code for free and the source code for free, gives access to a full ALM system (Azure Devops) for free (limited users when private, public projects don't have the limit), provides Xamarin for free and contributes to the Linux community sounds very evil. Oh wait, no it doesn't.

    If you don't like the some of the tracking things in Windows 10 then turn them off, if you don't want to receive updates then tough - people failing to update and patch software are a problem and they enable malware to proliferate. I am not entirely sure what lies specifically you are referring to but just because you think you know the truth doesn't make it so - I am sure they have a valid business reason and possibly technical reason for their decisions and that is their decision.

    Things change and evolve and eventually stop, it is the way of things. Even .Net code written today will look different to .Net code written 10 or 15 years ago. I would be shocked if C / C++ code from 15 years ago would compile on a modern compiler without numerous warnings and errors. Sooner or later things need to move on and we have to move with them or we end up in a smaller and smaller niche. If that niche is suitable then brilliant but being there or not is ultimately our choice and ours alone, we can't expect Microsoft or any other business to constantly bail us out.

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    Re: LET MS know you are using VB6

    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyDexter View Post
    On the contrary, I imagine they're absolutely chuffing delighted that so many developers continue to lock their clients into MS's primary cash cow, Windows. To MS you represent a wonderful, and free, marketing department.
    They should be "chuffing delighted" . But Microsoft are numpties. If they hadn't lost their marbles they would encourage VB6 programming. But they haven't even fettled a few minor irritations that have appeared over the years. Not even adding the same changes to VB6 that they put into VBA. Not even a 64 bit upgrade. Nowt.

    Instead they say
    We stand by our decision to make VB.NET and the .NET Framework.
    and
    ... as you incrementally move forward to .NET.
    Haven't they sussed out that VB6 developers aren't going to move to VB.Net now if they haven't done so in the last 15 years?

    Microsoft are just miffed that VB.Net was always a damp squib. Microsoft allus think they're reight. Time they asked us.

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    Re: LET MS know you are using VB6

    It doesn't matter.

    They'll never take an interest in this because far too many script kiddies have taken up VB6 as a tool for dropping malware payloads cobbled together from "recipes" they find on "little cracker" hangout forums.

    They'd get rid of VC++ if they could but that's not feasible yet. For everything else the future is sadly a bombed-out landscape of scripting languages such as .Net, Java, JavaScript, Python, etc. that can be more easily sandboxed to limit damage.

    The only thing keeping desktop and command line .Net from being sandboxed like WinRT is probably the perceived threat it still faces from Java.


    Consider it. The threat from miscreants may soon lead to your PC providing more of a broadcast television consume-only model of computing. I suspect the only code allowed full machine access down the road to be software provided by vendors who are vetted though a far more rigorous process of obtaining code-signing certificates.

    It is possible that Enterprise SKUs of Windows might offer a mechanism through Group Policy to relax the restriction. Everyone else will be a passive consumer of commercial software though.

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    Re: LET MS know you are using VB6

    Quote Originally Posted by TTn View Post
    It is not feasible because they already settled the dispute with sun micro systems over J++. That was one of two major reasons to abandon the vb6 path. They had to quit legally from what I've read about it.
    As far as I know the Sun/Microsoft court case didn't apply to VB6. J++ was Microsoft's licensed version of Java. But Microsoft broke the license agreement (by adding extra features to try to tie J++ to Windows only).
    Microsoft had to abandon J++ and so developed .Net as the nearest legal clone of Java they could.
    None of that affects VB6. Microsoft could have upgraded VB6 to a genuine VB7.

    They probably intended that VB.Net be more like VB6 but, as you say, 'found it too difficult'.

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    Re: LET MS know you are using VB6

    don't let MS know. they abandoned it for a reason and if they did a mistake by doing it, they would've done something by now.
    right now the future of VB6 is that we can still use it and at this right moment its working well and will do so many years to come as long we have pro guys like The trick, dilettante, Schmidt, DEXWERX, LaVolpe (to name a few) that helps expanding the language.
    and if Schmidt is serious about a new IDE, well, that would put VB6 in the lead.

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    Re: LET MS know you are using VB6

    Quote Originally Posted by VB6 Programming View Post
    As far as I know the Sun/Microsoft court case didn't apply to VB6. J++ was Microsoft's licensed version of Java. But Microsoft broke the license agreement (by adding extra features to try to tie J++ to Windows only).
    Microsoft had to abandon J++ and so developed .Net as the nearest legal clone of Java they could.
    None of that affects VB6. Microsoft could have upgraded VB6 to a genuine VB7.
    As I remember it was that VB6 was also included in the VS6 suites which had J++ linked in the license. They were forced to remove J++, although apparently early beta editions of VB.NET may have included J++ for some reason. Then eventually J# followed. If forget the source of the reading though, so the details are vague. I know that the developers were definitely borrowing hard from Java to emulate the object oriented features and modern web related stuff that java was good at.

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    Re: LET MS know you are using VB6

    Quote Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
    They'll never take an interest in this because far too many script kiddies have taken up VB6 as a tool for dropping malware payloads cobbled together from "recipes" they find on "little cracker" hangout forums.
    Recently PowerShell and C# have become more used by cyber criminals.

    https://it.slashdot.org/story/18/09/...rshell-attacks

    Does this mean Microsoft are about to drop C# and PowerShell?

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    Re: LET MS know you are using VB6

    Quote Originally Posted by PlausiblyDamp View Post
    As much as VBA and VB6 have a lot in common they are still different languages with different audiences, Office has continued to use VBA therefore Microsoft have had a valid business reason to maintain it and keep developers working on it, they obviously haven't seen the same business need to support VB6 and the associated ecosystem so they may no longer have any staff who understand the original product well enough to do any further development.
    Not as different as you might think.
    The core VBA language is basically the same in Office and in VB6. Yes, the language is named VBA even in VB6 (just look in the Project>References). VBA became the language used in Visual Basic in VB4.


    Again you are assuming they still own the rights to all the code and are in a position to open source it, VB6 without the controls is not the VB6 development environment most people would expect.
    Microsoft own the rights to most of the code and controls in VB6. Offhand I can only think of 1 (or 2?) Sheridan controls they don't.
    But any OCX's that Microsoft don't own could be excluded, they can be replaced with others.


    I am glad you seem to understand the complexity of taking a 32 bit codebase consisting of libraries, runtimes, an IDE and associated dependencies that evolved from a 16bit product and how easy it is to convert to a 64bit version without ever having seen the code. A 32bit to 64bit conversion is not a trivial undertaking, might not provide any real benefits and yet it is one thing that keeps being brought up time and time again.
    Remember, Microsoft have already updated VBA to include a handful of changes to support 64 bit (extra data types such as a 64bit integer 'LongLong' and a variable type alias 'LongPtr' which resolves to a Long in 32bit or a LongLong in 64bit).
    For VB6 they would also need a 64 bit compiler - but guess what, the C++ compiler (C2)used by VB6 has a 64 bit version too.
    I'm not suggesting it is trivial, but it could be done by Microsoft or the open-source community.


    I must admit a company who gave away their latest OS, provides updates for free, open sourced their latest development framework (dotnet core) and made it cross platform, provides VS Community for free, provides the cross platform VS Code for free and the source code for free, gives access to a full ALM system (Azure Devops) for free (limited users when private, public projects don't have the limit), provides Xamarin for free and contributes to the Linux community sounds very evil. Oh wait, no it doesn't.
    A company who did all that could also provide an update to VB6, or open source VB6.

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    Re: LET MS know you are using VB6

    Quote Originally Posted by TTn View Post
    As I remember it was that VB6 was also included in the VS6 suites which had J++ linked in the license. They were forced to remove J++, although apparently early beta editions of VB.NET may have included J++ for some reason. Then eventually J# followed. If forget the source of the reading though, so the details are vague. I know that the developers were definitely borrowing hard from Java to emulate the object oriented features and modern web related stuff that java was good at.
    This article describes the main issue in the Sun/MS lawsuit if you want to refresh your memory about it. It was written in 1997 and predicts that Microsoft would have to come up with their own clean-room implementation of Java if they didn't want to toe Sun's line. The author must have been amused to see .NET come out a few years later.
    Last edited by Grant Swinger; Oct 12th, 2018 at 11:47 AM.

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    Re: LET MS know you are using VB6

    Quote Originally Posted by TTn View Post
    It is not feasible because they already settled the dispute with sun micro systems over J++. That was one of two major reasons to abandon the vb6 path. They had to quit legally from what I've read about it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grant Swinger View Post
    This article describes the main issue in the Sun/MS lawsuit if you want to refresh your memory about it. It was written in 1997 and predicts that Microsoft would have to come up with their own clean-room implementation of Java if they didn't want to toe Sun's line. The author must have been amused to see .NET come out a few years later.
    And how is that Java problem supposed to have affected Visual Basic?
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    Re: LET MS know you are using VB6

    Quote Originally Posted by VB6 Programming View Post
    Not as different as you might think.
    The core VBA language is basically the same in Office and in VB6. Yes, the language is named VBA even in VB6 (just look in the Project>References). VBA became the language used in Visual Basic in VB4.
    They differ in one key regard: There is currently an Office team within MS. There is not currently a VB6 team within MS. The Office team has changed over the years, but has continuity for decades. The VB6 team...has moved on, so there is no continuity. I'm not sure there is a much higher hurdle than that one to get over.

    EDIT: By the way, I knew this thread was going multi-page as soon as I saw the topic. The cast was in place, the orchestra was well and truly warmed up, and the curtain was rising.
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    Re: LET MS know you are using VB6

    Looks like the usual suspects want to put their carts before their horses.

    VBA was not repurposed as VB, quite the opposite in fact. VB6 uses a library named VBA as a legacy of attempts to unify the codebase after VB technology was moved over to replace WordBasic and XLM.

    Even Jet was a technology developed from Microsoft Basic PDS 7 ISAM and later other sources such as FoxPro. MS Access just rides on top of it.

    Office and VBA are more parasites than parents here.

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    Fanatic Member TTn's Avatar
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    Re: LET MS know you are using VB6

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant Swinger View Post
    This article describes the main issue in the Sun/MS lawsuit if you want to refresh your memory about it. It was written in 1997 and predicts that Microsoft would have to come up with their own clean-room implementation of Java if they didn't want to toe Sun's line. The author must have been amused to see .NET come out a few years later.
    Oh yeah, thank you. It was the equivalent of Java bytecodes, and JNI/RMI. From a business perspective, it probably seemed like the only path they could take at the time. Again, my personal feelings is that they could have come up with another alternative, and it probably would have been better in the long run to slowly work on a .net platform inside the suite.

    I think they can't open source it now, because Sun has already put the stop to the licensing, making it more complicated with potential legal fees to analyze the details.
    The classes are altered as stated, and perhaps shared in a private space with VB stuff. In other words, the 50 or so object oriented features and fields they modified without permission from Sun/java were probably shared throughout the suite. Anyways, open sourcing it may not appear to be a money maker.

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    Re: LET MS know you are using VB6

    Quote Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
    Looks like the usual suspects want to put their carts before their horses.

    VBA was not repurposed as VB, quite the opposite in fact. VB6 uses a library named VBA as a legacy of attempts to unify the codebase after VB technology was moved over to replace WordBasic and XLM
    I don't think anyone is saying that VBA was 'repurposed as VB'.

    The point was that (Office) VBA and VB6 are not as different as some think. So claims that the changes that were added to VBA7 could not be added to VB6 simply aren't true.

    Similarly even if claims that there are few developers left in Microsoft who know VB6 are true (which they may well be), the Office VBA developers would still have the skills to update VB6.

    The reasons Microsoft don't update or open source VB6 are not 'technology' reasons, despite some posters (and Microsoft) trying to find such reasons.

    I guess fafalone's comment was as close to the real reason as any
    "I bet they're furious VB6 is still used so much by so many people and businesses".

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    Re: LET MS know you are using VB6

    Quote Originally Posted by TTn View Post
    Olaf?
    I know that you focused on the compiler part first, ...
    Nope, the compiler-part is (more or less) secondary... (and the comparably "trivial" part of the whole undertaking)

    Quote Originally Posted by TTn View Post
    ... I have been reading mixed things about your project and the projected path written online.
    Please write up a comprehensive status of your project here, so that we may work more cooperatively.
    I thought I've explained everything over and over already in other threads (here in this forum) -
    and in case there was something "incomprehensive" there - then please just point out the appropriate passage in one of my postings -
    and ask for an explanation specifically.

    As a hint (regarding you current efforts)...:
    It does not make any sense (to me), to develop a new IDE, when its codebase is targetting the .NET-framework...

    Instead a new Visual IDE should be created, based on:
    - VB6 code, developed in the VB6-IDE
    - but that VB6-code should be restricted to *.bas and *.cls modules only (no *.frm or *.ctl modules are allowed)
    - a platform-independent graphics- form- and usercontrol- replacement-engine should be used instead of the old (MS-based) VB6-GUI-stuff
    - there should be no Win32-API-declares anywhere in the VB6-source-code

    All of the above is possible to tackle "right now" - by using the RC5-framework (as the only "project-dependency").

    HTH

    Olaf

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    Re: LET MS know you are using VB6

    Quote Originally Posted by Schmidt View Post
    a new Visual IDE should be created, based on:
    [...]
    - but that VB6-code should be restricted to *.bas and *.cls modules only (no *.frm or *.ctl modules are allowed)
    - a platform-independent graphics- form- and usercontrol- replacement-engine should be used instead of the old (MS-based) VB6-GUI-stuff
    Do you have a reason for putting that restriction?

    You are talking about a very different programming tool, please don't call that "a VB6 replacement", that is very misleading for people that think that you are doing a "VB6 successor".
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    Re: LET MS know you are using VB6

    Quote Originally Posted by Eduardo- View Post
    Do you have a reason for putting that restriction?
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eduardo- View Post
    You are talking about a very different programming tool, please don't call that "a VB6 replacement",
    Actually, I was talking about how a new VB6-IDE should be written...
    (and not about, how a later User should implement code within that new environment - because that's an entirely different thing).

    And if the new Compiler+IDE environment is:
    - *fully* VB6-Code-compatible (in *.bas and *.cls Modules, which is absolutely possible)
    - and can create *fully* COM-compatible Dll-binaries (as one part of the possible project-types)
    - and supports platform-independent GUI-Widgets which are interface-calling-compatible to "the intrinsic VB-Controls and most of the known CommonControl-Wrappers"

    Then the result is of course a "full VB6-replacement" (much better than any of the current alternatives, because of the full code-compatibility in *.bas and *.cls).

    Please don't talk about things, you do not understand.

    Olaf
    Last edited by Schmidt; Oct 13th, 2018 at 07:24 AM.

  28. #28
    Fanatic Member TTn's Avatar
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    Re: LET MS know you are using VB6

    Ok, well I've done a lot of reading in the threads,which takes quite a bit of time, so I was just asking for an update without appearing to be confrontational. All good intentions, just so you know my disposition.
    The timeframe until "we" (I hope the community will not leave me alone with that) will achieve this
    final self-hosting state, will be (realistically seen) another 1.5-2 years or so.
    In the meantime, the community has at least a modern framework for VB6 available, which hopefully
    helps out with a lot of existing problems in current VB6-projects.
    Olaf Schmidt, April 2013
    Nope, the compiler-part is (more or less) secondary... (and the comparably "trivial" part of the whole undertaking)
    Are you past the challenging part that is the most time consuming?
    Are there any new screen shots or video clips to show the basic IDE layout?

    As a hint (regarding you current efforts)...:
    It does not make any sense (to me), to develop a new IDE, when its codebase is targetting the .NET-framework...
    It's not really targeting the .net framework, but it does provide backwards capability, and it uses the recommended coding standards when appropriate.
    So, do you think this kind of compatibility with .NET is practically useless and silly?

    Instead a new Visual IDE should be created, based on:
    - VB6 code, developed in the VB6-IDE
    - but that VB6-code should be restricted to *.bas and *.cls modules only (no *.frm or *.ctl modules are allowed)
    - a platform-independent graphics- form- and usercontrol- replacement-engine should be used instead of the old (MS-based) VB6-GUI-stuff
    - there should be no Win32-API-declares anywhere in the VB6-source-code
    I'm not sure I follow you here. I don't think it matters how we get there(unless time sensitive), for example I plan on back-porting the IDE that I created in net to a VB6, which is already started. Then it could be used as an actual proof of concept to get the community on board fully. Then perhaps optimized with your graphics routines to display the IDE.

    I don't think I could use your richclient dll to rapidly work on these things, without already being familiar with it. I worry about making modifications and updates etc. It may be slower to design with visually. I have taken a look at the richclient. Good clean work, although in my own personal experience not as intuitive as it could be. There is a ton of stuff in there that appears to lack higher-level organization, which violates the recommended standards. That doesn't mean you can't optimize that stuff over time, just saying.

  29. #29
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    Re: LET MS know you are using VB6

    Quote Originally Posted by Schmidt View Post
    Actually, I was talking about how a new VB6-IDE should be written...
    (and not about, how a later User should implement code within that new environment - because that's an entirely different thing).

    And if the new Compiler+IDE environment is:
    - *fully* VB6-Code-compatible (in *.bas and *.cls Modules, which is absolutely possible)
    - and can create *fully* COM-compatible Dll-binaries (as one part of the possible project-types)
    - and supports platform-independent GUI-Widgets which are interface-calling-compatible to "the intrinsic VB-Controls and most of the known CommonControl-Wrappers"

    Then the result is of course a "full VB6-replacement" (much better than any of the current alternatives, because of the full code-compatibility in *.bas and *.cls).

    Please don't talk about things, you do not understand.

    Olaf
    OK. I thought I've read (before) that you didn't intent to support Forms, UserControls and PropertyPages.

    If that restrictment is only while making the new IDE, that's OK; but if that is the plan for your future "VB.Next", please be clear.
    So far I had understood the second.

    Try to talk to me like I was a person, I'm not a code module.
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  30. #30
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    Re: LET MS know you are using VB6

    Quote Originally Posted by TTn View Post
    Are you past the challenging part that is the most time consuming?
    No, (and the most challenging part is the GUI-wise tight integration of Edit&Continue)...

    Quote Originally Posted by TTn View Post
    Are there any new screen shots or video clips to show the basic IDE layout?
    I guess I could post an (RC5-Widget-based) new (RC5-)Form-Designer into the CodeBank -
    but - given the unwillingness of the community to learn that new GUI-framework -
    it is questionable if these efforts on my part are worthwhile (when I'm the only one, who'll develop it further) ...

    Quote Originally Posted by TTn View Post
    It's not really targeting the .net framework,
    Judging from the Video you've posted - all your current development-efforts are based on .NET *.sln Files,
    and your GUI-framework of choice (Menu-System, Editor-Handling) is based on .NET-Winforms.

    And that's exactly the parts - which MS does *not* provide "opened sources" for.
    (and thus a "backporting" to VB6 - only of the Classes in the WinForms-Namespace - that's next to impossible in less than 3 years or so).

    Quote Originally Posted by TTn View Post
    So, do you think this kind of compatibility with .NET is practically useless and silly?
    Backporting a few of the .NET-framework-classes (excluding the monster-namespaces of e.g. System.Drawing or Winforms),
    so that they will be usable within VB6 (or later VBNew) - that's probably a thing that might be attractive to a few developers "in the other camp"
    (not that much to the majority of current VB6-Users).

    Quote Originally Posted by TTn View Post
    I'm not sure I follow you here.
    I don't think it matters how we get there(unless time sensitive), for example I plan on back-porting the IDE
    But "writing a new IDE" involves "GUI-stuff" (a whole lot of it) - and since that GUI-stuff would be extremely time-consuming to "backport"
    (especially in a platform-independent manner, by using a true platform-independent graphics-lib) -
    one shouldn't start a new IDE-development without such a platform-independent GUI-framework in the first place.

    So - yes, I'd consider writing a "new IDE" on top of .NET-Winforms (or even against the MS-CommonControls in VB6) one of the greatest mistakes one can make already in the beginning
    (with regards to a VB6-IDE-successor, which "by definition" has to be implemented by tightly integrating the compiler and the "visual IDE-components").

    Quote Originally Posted by TTn View Post
    Then it could be used as an actual proof of concept to get the community on board fully.
    Showing a Syntax-Highlighting Code-Editor-Widgets in a TabStrip - that's trivial - and not convincing at all...

    So, there will be no "proof of concept", unless you demonstrate - for example - a new "Visual Form-Designer" (to start with something of the easier parts).
    And if such a Form-Designer is based on anything else - but an "already platform-independent" graphics-lib and widget-framework -
    then I'd not be interested (a few other VB6-devs might be - but the whole thing would then end up "Win-only" - and that's not attractive at all in the long run).

    Quote Originally Posted by TTn View Post
    I don't think I could use your richclient dll to rapidly work on these things, without already being familiar with it.
    Well, it is (currently) the only COM-based Class-framework (entirely written in VB6 - entirely based on *.bas and *.cls - and thus compilable with the new compiler),
    which fullfills the platform-independent-encapsulation requirement (at least for the GUI-parts).

    Quote Originally Posted by TTn View Post
    I worry about making modifications and updates etc. It may be slower to design with visually.
    You over-estimate the possible time-savings that come from a "Visual Designer" (in that kind of huge project - they will be in the range of 5-10% only).

    Quote Originally Posted by TTn View Post
    There is a ton of stuff in there that appears to lack higher-level organization, which violates the recommended standards.
    I'd like to know of course, which "ton of stuff" you mean exactly, which "lacks higher-level organization" and "violates recommended standards".

    Olaf

  31. #31
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    Re: LET MS know you are using VB6

    Quote Originally Posted by Eduardo- View Post
    OK. I thought I've read (before) that you didn't intent to support Forms, UserControls and PropertyPages.
    If that restrictment is only while making the new IDE, that's OK; but if that is the plan for your future "VB.Next", please be clear.
    That restriction (no *.frm, no *.ctl) will be fully in place in the new IDE-projects codebase,
    at least until its codebase will be compiled with the new compiler (which only supports *.bas and *.cls).

    After the new IDE was "bootstrapped" (now running from e.g. a new 64Bit-compiled binary) -
    then it'd be time to "talk about GUI-compatibility"...
    (how to map the existing platform-independent Widgets to "known Interfaces" of "old and common Controls").

    To write your own new App with the new IDE, you don't need any *.frm or *.ctl.
    But writing "an importer" for existing old projects (which come with *.frm and *.ctl files) -
    that's entirely possible (when compatible mappings to existing Widgets can be found - or "were written by somebody").

    As a reminder - a *.frm-file contains (basically):
    1) A definition-section for hierarchic Control-Construction (easily parsable and translatable to the new XML- or JSON-based Widget-Definition-ResourceDefs)
    2) Resource-relations (pointing into *.frx file-Offsets) - and frx are also easily parsable and convertable into explicitely named Resources
    3) the "Form-Class-Code" (no conversions needed here - this can land 1:1 in a normal Class-Module)

    So there's a lot what can be done in a second step with regards to "GUI-compatibility" (whilst the real GUI-implementation and -Widgets remain platform-independent).
    I've already posted a Demo-Project for that somwhere here in the Forum (parsing + translating a *.frm File to existing Widget-replacements), in case you're interested.

    Olaf

  32. #32
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    Re: LET MS know you are using VB6

    Quote Originally Posted by Schmidt View Post
    To write your own new App with the new IDE, you don't need any *.frm or *.ctl.
    But writing "an importer" for existing old projects (which come with *.frm and *.ctl files) -
    that's entirely possible (when compatible mappings to existing Widgets can be found - or "were written by somebody").
    That sounds familiar. The upgrade wizzard or migration tool.

    Talking of any project (not a particular one), IMO there would be a better perspective if the project is made by a community, where the decisions are discussed and decided by the community after exposing reasons and by votes and not by a single person.

    For example, for me it is very important to have backward compatibility, at least as much as possible, and if something "is not possible" I would like to investigate and agree (or disagree) that it is really not possible.
    Then, if it is found to be possible, let's see if it worths the effort to make it compatible. Then let's vote.

    Also IMO, to have support for Linux and Mac, is off course very much welcome, to have support for Android and iOS would be also welcome (and may be more), but the future of development, is (perhaps) in web Apps.
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  33. #33
    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: LET MS know you are using VB6

    Quote Originally Posted by VB6 Programming View Post
    The reasons Microsoft don't update or open source VB6 are not 'technology' reasons, despite some posters (and Microsoft) trying to find such reasons.
    Do you have any evidence to back up that claim? Aside from that, everybody has said that it was a business reason. Even if everybody who worked on the project has left, you COULD get people back up to speed on the project, unless the source code has been irretrievably lost, which it probably has not. The issue is that there isn't a business case to spend the money to get people back up to speed.

    That's what I was getting at with my earlier post: If all that MS is seeing is a few people yelling loudly, and not even in synch with one another, then they have no reason to do a thing. That's all the things like UserVoice were. Whenever anybody started a thread, the same cast of characters would reliably show up, and reliably re-hash whatever stats they can get their hands on, usually incorrectly. It's happened again in the thread that the first post links to, as an ambiguous study was put forward as proof, just as it has been in every other thread on the subject, including at least one or two on this forum.

    That's not going to convince MS of anything, at this point. They know the players, they know the roles those people play. People have been whining at MS since the days of DOS, perhaps even the early days of DOS. MS has long since learned to tune out THAT nonsense. What might move the needle would be a different approach. You need to have a business case for them to invest the time and money bringing the VB6 source out of mothballs. Singing petitions is not a business case, especially when they can be so readily discounted.

    So, what is the business case for VB6? Axisdj has one, and there are a few others in his position. Another case could be the original one, which is that VB6 brings people into the fold of writing for Windows, but I don't believe that case will fly so well anymore. MS seems like they would prefer that VB.NET fill that role, which it does, and it's free for those starting out. VB6 would have to be given away for free, and would have to be integrated into VS for that to make sense. That would piss off a portion of those who have already been disenfranchised, because some folks LOVED the VB6 IDE, which would be lost, in that case.

    I don't see how a true business case would make any sense, but it's the only route that could work, and the rest is just pointless complaining.
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  34. #34
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    Re: LET MS know you are using VB6

    Quote Originally Posted by Eduardo- View Post
    That sounds familiar. The upgrade wizzard or migration tool.
    No - if you load an older VB6-Project with *.frm and *.ctl and *.bas and *.cls modules,
    then it will work without any changes, when that old project had no external dependency-references (no OCXes
    and no AX-Dlls other than MS-COM-Dlls for which also 64Bit-versions exist - like e.g. for MS-ADO, MS-XML, MS-http-stuff -
    such projects will work further, without changing a single character in the original sources).

    So, that's quite a bit different from the old ".NET-wizzards".

    Quote Originally Posted by Eduardo- View Post
    Talking of any project (not a particular one), IMO there would be a better perspective if the project is made by a community,
    where the decisions are discussed and decided by the community after exposing reasons and by votes and not by a single person.
    Sorry, but that's utterly naive.

    Nobody holds you back, to contribute to an OpenSourced Project (like e.g. the RC5-based vbWidgets, which are hosted on GitHub).
    And whether your code-contributions are written "well enough" to be included in the official sources,
    then depends on a single person - the project-maintainer.

    Development (and contributions) on that scale (as e.g. a new IDE) are not coming along
    by "wishes made by the community" - they come along only, when people actually do something
    (when code was written - and then got included by finding approval from the project-maintainer).

    Nothing. Else. Will. Work.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eduardo- View Post
    For example, for me it is very important to have backward compatibility,..
    Then, if it is found to be possible, let's see if it worths the effort to make it compatible. Then let's vote.
    As I just wrote - that's not how it works...

    If you want something included that's currently missing - then start writing code for that new feature.
    Then try to get that new code into the official Repo of the Project (so that it will be compiled-along-with-everything-else in the next release)...

    And in case your new code was not officially included in the Project by the maintainer, then write it as a Plugin which you distribute yourself.
    And if there's no decent Plugin-Interface for the IDE-Project yet, then start writing *that* first - and so on...

    The current practice of "cheering on" a hand-ful of "skilled other devs" is not helping at all -
    I also do not see, where "voting" comes into it..., not at all...

    Quote Originally Posted by Eduardo- View Post
    Also IMO, to have support for Linux and Mac, is off course very much welcome, to have support for Android and iOS would be also welcome...
    I fully agree...

    But then you really should start learning the RC5, because a new Visual-IDE (with integrated Form- and Widget-Designer),
    has to be based on such a platform-independent GUI-Framework, to be able to run (as an IDE) on those "foreign" platforms without problems -
    and also to be able "to later compile and ship your own Visual-Apps" for these platforms ...
    (since there are no "CommonControls" and no Win32-API-calls available "over there").

    Olaf
    Last edited by Schmidt; Oct 13th, 2018 at 12:31 PM.

  35. #35
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    Re: LET MS know you are using VB6

    The reasons Microsoft don't update or open source VB6 are not 'technology' reasons...
    Quote Originally Posted by Shaggy Hiker View Post
    Do you have any evidence to back up that claim?
    There's no need to provide "back-up" for the claim of "no technological reasons" - that's simply obvious for
    anybody who has experience with VC++ (MFC + ATL) projects (which the original VB6-sources are based on).

    A team of 2-3 experienced VC++ devs could re-compile the (currently 32Bit) VB6-sources (IDE and Runtime)
    as a (fully Unicode-supporting) 64Bit version in only a week (or two) from the existing VB6 VC++ sources.

    Basically only two little changes would have to be made:
    - #define _UNICODE
    - and by switching to /arch=x64 as the compilation-target (in the VC-Project-Settings)

    The rest is "fixing a few warnings" + "re-routing a few parts to newer extensions of the VC(++)-runtimes or the MFC...

    Then maybe add a few "extra-weeks" for implementing (and testing) LongLong and LongPtr Types,
    so that one will have it a bit easier with Declaring calls into the (then 64Bit) Win32-API ...
    (but code for that is already contained in the newer VBAxxx-Dlls for MS-Office, nothing "to invent" there).

    Then add another few weeks, to upgrade C2.exe and Link.exe to a recent MS-compiler-engine, which support 64Bit-compile-targets.

    But that's it already - definitely not "rocket-science" - and definitely not "hindered by now missing stuff in the System" -
    (since there is nothing missing - OleAut and COM are alive and kicking also in 64Bit versions - COM still being the workhorse in MS's latest UWP-stuff).

    Olaf

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    Re: LET MS know you are using VB6

    ..........
    Last edited by quickbbbb; Oct 13th, 2018 at 12:02 PM.

  37. #37
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    Re: LET MS know you are using VB6

    Quote Originally Posted by quickbbbb View Post
    hi Schmidt

    what is RC5 ?
    It's a Class-Framework in an ActiveX-Dll (quite comparable to GTK+, QT, or the .NET-classes)
    (and thus providing the necessary and interface-wise constant abstraction-layer for platform-independent development of a new VB6-IDE).

    It contains convenient Class-Wrappers for two larger (platform-independent) OpenSource-libs (Cairo-graphics and SQLite-DB-access),
    as well as dozens of other Helper-Classes for "other categories of development", as e.g.:
    - FileSystem-Interaction
    - Serialization-stuff as XML-parsing, JSON-Parsing/Serialization
    - fast Container-Classes (cCollection, cSortedDictionary, cArrayList)
    - Communication-Classes (cTCPxxx, cUDP, cRPCxxxs-stuff, cWebServer)
    - Encryption, compression and other Codec-classes

    And (most important for the new IDE)
    - an Unicode-capable Form-Engine (independent from the one, built into VB6)
    - and an Unicode-capable Usercontrol-Engine (Widgets, which are also independent from VB6-UserControls and also the MS-CommonControls)
    though programming-wise, both are quite similar to the VB6-originals - just with more "power"...

    Downloads for the BaseDlls are on vbRichClient.com

    Olaf

  38. #38
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    Re: LET MS know you are using VB6

    Quote Originally Posted by Schmidt View Post
    I guess I could post an (RC5-Widget-based) new (RC5-)Form-Designer into the CodeBank -
    but - given the unwillingness of the community to learn that new GUI-framework -
    it is questionable if these efforts on my part are worthwhile (when I'm the only one, who'll develop it further) ...
    That's something I know I'd be interested in seeing, and helping develop. I think I have some skills that could be useful to help develop an RC5 form designer, whereas I'd be afraid to touch the "hardcore" compiler related stuff, especially in the early stages before I really understood what it was doing at a deep level.

    I think it would be a good real-world demonstration of the full power of the vbRichClient5 form/window engine, which in turn might entice some new coders over. I wouldn't hold my breath on that based on the "impressive" reluctance of many around here, but you never know. A lot of VB6 coders are very "visually" minded, so being able to see and touch something that isn't just a wall of code might be just what they need to be convinced of the utility of vbRichClient5.

  39. #39
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    Re: LET MS know you are using VB6

    Before VB6 I programmed mostly in C

    When VB5/6 came along it was great - In VB6 I could knock out new apps so quick I was sneaking off home an lunch time.

    I resisted the change to .NET for as long as I could and was still making new apps in VB6 as late as 2011/2012 when I finally bit the bullet and started a new application in C#

    Now I'm still kicking myself that I didn't drop VB6 sooner. Much sooner!

    Apart from the pain that is maintaining a couple of old vb6 apps that I just hate I really can't see any benefit in sticking with VB6.

    and you guys talking about VBA haven't had the pleasure of deploying VBA to different users who have 64bit versions of Windows where lots of microsoft's own 32bit components don't work. Don't even get me started on 32/64bit compatibility of ACE

    When I build an application in .Net I just send the EXE, nothing else, to the user and it works right out of the box.

    Going home at lunch time? Heck. Nowadays I sometimes don't even go into the office.

  40. #40
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    Re: LET MS know you are using VB6

    Quote Originally Posted by PlausiblyDamp View Post
    You are assuming they own the code to all the OCXs and libraries that are used by VB6 and the IDE, plus if someone wants to use this to go forward with a 64Bit version then 32bit OCXs are most definitely going to be a problem.
    I wasn't assuming that, I was specifically saying that might be a problem and they could then skip it. There are no OCX controls in VB6 that don't have superior FOSS alternatives already, and they don't need to open source every ocx anyway.


    As much as VBA and VB6 have a lot in common they are still different languages with different audiences, Office has continued to use VBA therefore Microsoft have had a valid business reason to maintain it and keep developers working on it, they obviously haven't seen the same business need to support VB6 and the associated ecosystem so they may no longer have any staff who understand the original product well enough to do any further development.
    It's the same language, it just has some different functionality. Very little adjustment is needed to run code in one or the other. VB.NET is an entirely different language.

    Again you are assuming they still own the rights to all the code and are in a position to open source it, VB6 without the controls is not the VB6 development environment most people would expect.
    Still not assuming that. Closed source controls and their FOSS alternatives still ok.


    I am glad you seem to understand the complexity of taking a 32 bit codebase consisting of libraries, runtimes, an IDE and associated dependencies that evolved from a 16bit product and how easy it is to convert to a 64bit version without ever having seen the code. A 32bit to 64bit conversion is not a trivial undertaking, might not provide any real benefits and yet it is one thing that keeps being brought up time and time again.
    Knowing comparative complexity <> knowing base complexity. Saying that adding x64 support could be equal or greater in complexity to designing a new language/IDE/etc does not seem like a reasonable assessment.

    I must admit a company who gave away their latest OS, provides updates for free, open sourced their latest development framework (dotnet core) and made it cross platform, provides VS Community for free, provides the cross platform VS Code for free and the source code for free, gives access to a full ALM system (Azure Devops) for free (limited users when private, public projects don't have the limit), provides Xamarin for free and contributes to the Linux community sounds very evil. Oh wait, no it doesn't.
    So it doesn't matter how much bad stuff you do as long as you do good stuff too? Even the way they gave it away (for a limited time) was problematic; it was basically forced too. Hitting the red x meaning 'Ok start update'? There were numerous shenanigans to trick people into an unwanted update.
    And free tiers promote paid tiers; it's neutral, not good nor evil.
    If you don't like the some of the tracking things in Windows 10 then turn them off, if you don't want to receive updates then tough - people failing to update and patch software are a problem and they enable malware to proliferate. I am not entirely sure what lies specifically you are referring to but just because you think you know the truth doesn't make it so - I am sure they have a valid business reason and possibly technical reason for their decisions and that is their decision.
    Even the lowest level of telemetry, something home users cannot even purchase, still sends a lot of data, and settings you make to limit some of this are routinely reversed. Updates are practically forced, with high complexity to get around. It ignores HOSTS, it ignores Windows Firewall, if you block it with another firewall it has a long list of hosts/ports to try to evade.
    Normal users not updating is a problem, making updating the default and leaving the controls to disable non-obvious is a good policy; taking control to block advanced users from having the ability, reversing config settings, and evading firewalls is malicious.
    Things change and evolve and eventually stop, it is the way of things. Even .Net code written today will look different to .Net code written 10 or 15 years ago. I would be shocked if C / C++ code from 15 years ago would compile on a modern compiler without numerous warnings and errors. Sooner or later things need to move on and we have to move with them or we end up in a smaller and smaller niche. If that niche is suitable then brilliant but being there or not is ultimately our choice and ours alone, we can't expect Microsoft or any other business to constantly bail us out.
    It's also unreasonable to expect people not to let the company know how we feel about what they're doing and what direction they should take it. Edit: And the entire point of this thread is we *do* want MS to move on. But that it should be replaced by a new language instead of updating? Do you think C should be tossed for being too old as well? Maybe toss asm too? Ancient languages them. Moving on doesn't mean throwing out good languages and development tools and replacing it with an inferior solution (inferior for the specific type of apps targeted; this isn't to imply new tools for new areas are bad; for most of the types of apps VB6 was designed to make, .NET is worse).

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