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Thread: Theoretically, could VB6 be a development platform well into the future?

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    Theoretically, could VB6 be a development platform well into the future?

    There are a lot of very smart programmers here that are well versed in VB6.

    I'd really like to know your thoughts and opinions on continuing to use VB6 for future apps with the consideration of the future of Windows, etc.

    In the past few weeks, I've had to dig really deep into VB6 far more than I did back when VB6 was supported by MS.

    I'm honestly curious as to the WHY one would use VB6 (other than my reasons...supporting existing applications and super-fast small app productions) for applications to use well into the future.



    While I dabble in C#, Python and other languages, WHAT I LIKE about VB6 is that when I need to just throw together a quick small app (usually some calculator for taxes or other utility) it is quicker for me to do this in VB6 than say with C# and VS2019.

    I'm not a professional programmer (no surprise there) and so am really curious as to what well-versed VB6 programmers (past and present) think TODAY...NOW as to the continued use of VB6.

    Is the consensus to migrate as fast as you can away from it or has others found ways to make it robust to tackle apps into the future?

    What say you all?

    ;-)

  2. #2
    Hyperactive Member Episcopal's Avatar
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    Re: Theoretically, could VB6 be a development platform well into the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by webbiz View Post
    While I dabble in C#, Python and other languages, WHAT I LIKE about VB6 is that when I need to just throw together a quick small app (usually some calculator for taxes or other utility) it is quicker for me to do this in VB6 than say with C# and VS2019.
    Well, as far as I know VB6 was designed for this.

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    Re: Theoretically, could VB6 be a development platform well into the future?

    The short story is VB6 best fits my needs and desires still. I use other languages for other things and mix in other languages to VB6 when I am doing something out of its core strength zone.

    As I see it, python is about the same niche as vb was, but it is still the "cool kid" on the block. Down side it doesnt have the performance or built in forms engine that makes vb amazing, you need 3rd party IDEs to get debugging, and its a pure mess with dependencies for third party libs.

    .NET never won me over. If i wanted to be a java programmer, I would have been. I just dont want managed code and every new IDE is so bloated and slow compared to what I am used to. I still prefer VS2008 for my C++ development.

    I dont create commercial apps, just tooling for my own tasks so there is no push away from vb6 for me.

    If MS ever breaks VB6, I will probably convert to a linux desktop and just run windows XP in vmware as my primary desktop. Vista and Win8 super sucked. Win7/10 is manageable but I really dont trust them and its bloated as hell. The other other dev environment I might goto if i really had to is lazarus or QT

    The longer story is here: http://sandsprite.com/CodeStuff/Why_I_Still_Use_VB6/

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    PowerPoster wqweto's Avatar
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    Re: Theoretically, could VB6 be a development platform well into the future?

    You might as well try another die-hard poll: "Theoretically, could *COBOL* be a development platform well into the future?"

    Only honest answers accepted :-))

    In the meantime: Announcing Flutter for Windows

    cheers,
    </wqw>

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    Re: Theoretically, could VB6 be a development platform well into the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by dz32 View Post
    The short story is VB6 best fits my needs and desires still. I use other languages for other things and mix in other languages to VB6 when I am doing something out of its core strength zone.

    As I see it, python is about the same niche as vb was, but it is still the "cool kid" on the block. Down side it doesnt have the performance or built in forms engine that makes vb amazing, you need 3rd party IDEs to get debugging, and its a pure mess with dependencies for third party libs.

    .NET never won me over. If i wanted to be a java programmer, I would have been. I just dont want managed code and every new IDE is so bloated and slow compared to what I am used to. I still prefer VS2008 for my C++ development.

    I dont create commercial apps, just tooling for my own tasks so there is no push away from vb6 for me.

    If MS ever breaks VB6, I will probably convert to a linux desktop and just run windows XP in vmware as my primary desktop. Vista and Win8 super sucked. Win7/10 is manageable but I really dont trust them and its bloated as hell. The other other dev environment I might goto if i really had to is lazarus or QT

    The longer story is here: http://sandsprite.com/CodeStuff/Why_I_Still_Use_VB6/
    Totally enjoyable comment. Love reading what others think. :-)

    I struggle in trying to decide what roads to travel. In the back of my mind, I don't want to be left any further behind than I am.

    I get what you are saying about Python. It's the "cool kid" at the moment. And to write GUI stuff for Windows, you need things like TKinter from what I've found while looking for "how to write Windows GUI apps" with Python after taking a course (partway) and thinking that console apps really suck. (Note: I know it has its place. I go way back to the old DOS days when you had to install it first before you could run Windows OS. Not a big fan of console applications.).

    And boy, do I get what you mean about .NET being bloated.

    As to moving to Linux if Windows breaks VB6, I'm not there yet. Every time I install Linux onto a system and play for a bit, I always go back to Windows. I'm just weird that way.

    Skipped right over Vista and Windows 8. Working on other people's systems with those OS's turned me off from bothering. Windows 7 was perhaps the best Windows in my personal opinion leading up to it and shortly after, but I have grown to love Windows 10...perhaps more.

    What I wonder most about though which prompted my original post is whether VB6 is up to the task to handle the majority of things you might need on today's modern machines and in the near future. Hmmm?

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    Re: Theoretically, could VB6 be a development platform well into the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by wqweto View Post
    You might as well try another die-hard poll: "Theoretically, could *COBOL* be a development platform well into the future?"

    Only honest answers accepted :-))

    In the meantime: Announcing Flutter for Windows

    cheers,
    </wqw>
    So hard to keep up with all these new fandangoed things coming out.

    Anyone remember MATRIX? This was way back in the late 80's if I recall, back when Delphi was RAD (pun intended).

    Even joined a MATRIX programming club that met once a week or two.

    In MATRIX, you took 'blocks' that represented some machine action and connected them to generate a program. Much like putting together a 'flowchart' although those boxes and triangles actually created code!

    So now I'm looking at this *Flutter* thing. Gotta love it all.

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    Re: Theoretically, could VB6 be a development platform well into the future?

    I wouldn’t write commercial software in it, but I find it perfect for tooling and personal projects. Vb6 will never die as long as there are virtual machines to run it in. Vb6 should be fine for the foreseeable future for windows development because it is really based on pretty low level building blocks of the os itself. If windows went to a complete win8 app model we would be screwed but I think that threat is over. Next threat would be a complete web based os with your pc as only a thin terminal but that will be a ways away like after I retire

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    Re: Theoretically, could VB6 be a development platform well into the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by dz32 View Post
    I'm going to guess this was written back around 2016.

    "I do not feel like VB6 limits me in any way. I have achieved everything
    I have wanted with it and it is brilliant at what it does."

    Funny thing is that for me personally, VB6 has in fact handled everything I've had to throw at it. In my limited sphere of need, there was never a time where it was said "sorry, you can't do that with VB6. You're going to have to use (fill in the blanks)."

    That's not saying VB6 can do anything. I leave that to you experts who I hope all chime in on this. And yes, I know there has been debates and polls several times before. But I'm looking at 2022 and beyond!

    With Olaf's vbRichClient and Cairo dll's, I have something new to play with. It's a challenge though since I don't have a direct line to the master himself. But there is upside here.

    And I have gone back to the old Win32 API book and the VB6 Language Reference to find that I haven't even scratched the surface of all that VB6 can do.

    In another reading, there was something about using ASM code that VB6 can take advantage of. Didn't know that. I used to write ASM (70's) and 10 years later did a bunch of C++ coding. But I have never explored writing code in those languages and having VB6 be able to tap into it. In fact, I've never done any DLL work. I would think these would be cool to learn and see what could be accomplished.

    With all the new languages, I sometimes wonder if I should have just kept up with C++. It appears to still be quite viable and likely for probably longer than VB. Brush up on my pointers? ;-0

    Interesting write-up. Did you write it?

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    Hyperactive Member Episcopal's Avatar
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    Re: Theoretically, could VB6 be a development platform well into the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by dz32 View Post
    If windows went to a complete win8 app model we would be screwed but I think that threat is over.
    As well? Can you explain? thank

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    Re: Theoretically, could VB6 be a development platform well into the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by dz32 View Post
    I wouldn’t write commercial software in it, but I find it perfect for tooling and personal projects. Vb6 will never die as long as there are virtual machines to run it in. Vb6 should be fine for the foreseeable future for windows development because it is really based on pretty low level building blocks of the os itself. If windows went to a complete win8 app model we would be screwed but I think that threat is over. Next threat would be a complete web based os with your pc as only a thin terminal but that will be a ways away like after I retire
    It does appear everything is moving to the cloud and home systems becoming dumb terminals.

    But I'd argue that since dumb terminals do not require powerful CPUs that AMD and Intel aren't ready to throw out their money-makers and thus will keep it going.

    In addition, since the cloud is nothing more than a server at one or more locations, we'll just end up with lot of personal 'server' users setting up nodes within their premises. This in itself is nothing more than a computer at home.

    And while I have smart phones and tablets (love my MS Surface Pro 3), I still have to have a PC to do the heavy work. So yeah, there will be more cloud applications as time goes by, but guys like me who do a lot of video and photo-editing, there is no way we're going to do that over the net. Performance (and hefty graphics cards) are a must there.

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    Re: Theoretically, could VB6 be a development platform well into the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by Episcopal View Post
    As well? Can you explain? thank
    the win8 app model requires app be written to certain specific formulations and work with a new api. its basically phone apps running on the pc
    as far as I know vb6 can not be compatible with that environment. I think they were experimenting with it trying to make PCs more virus free
    where each app runs in its own sandbox and has limitations on what OS services it can interact with etc. apps having to be vetted and downloaded
    only from the windows store. Seems like the winds have changed again and it didnt pan out to be as useful or accepted as they hoped.

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    Lively Member -Corso->'s Avatar
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    Re: Theoretically, could VB6 be a development platform well into the future?

    Vb6 vs other languages in space ship form.
    VB6, a bit old fashioned looking, but under the hood, it's rock solid and dependable. Quick to learn, enjoyable to fly, pleasure to see the planets with. Tutorials, samples are numerous and on point. Other spacefarers are eager to help when you don't know what that part does or need rescuing past Pluto.

    Other language, sure, really, really flashy looking spaceships. But engine gets weird and difficult the deeper you look. Regular updates may require entire rewiring until you're up to spec. Spectacular crashes, awful language construction designed for misreading and bugs. Tutorials are made by e-celebs who are functionally out of date, and don't talk about anything you really need after all.

    Oh, look at that, VB6 spaceships, solid as they are, still work on the latest runways. And now they have a new, modern, specialized framework and paint colour choice. (Cairo)

    VB6 is solid, insanely quick to build and test anything reasonable, and now a brand new graphics engine to boot thanks to Olaf from Star Trek. Best of all worlds. Keep on truckin'

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    Re: Theoretically, could VB6 be a development platform well into the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by -Corso-> View Post
    Vb6 vs other languages in space ship form.
    VB6, a bit old fashioned looking, but under the hood, it's rock solid and dependable. Quick to learn, enjoyable to fly, pleasure to see the planets with. Tutorials, samples are numerous and on point. Other spacefarers are eager to help when you don't know what that part does or need rescuing past Pluto.

    Other language, sure, really, really flashy looking spaceships. But engine gets weird and difficult the deeper you look. Regular updates may require entire rewiring until you're up to spec. Spectacular crashes, awful language construction designed for misreading and bugs. Tutorials are made by e-celebs who are functionally out of date, and don't talk about anything you really need after all.

    Oh, look at that, VB6 spaceships, solid as they are, still work on the latest runways. And now they have a new, modern, specialized framework and paint colour choice. (Cairo)

    VB6 is solid, insanely quick to build and test anything reasonable, and now a brand new graphics engine to boot thanks to Olaf from Star Trek. Best of all worlds. Keep on truckin'
    As a trekkie (from watching in the 60's through all the iterations...) I loved the analogy.

    Writing a ground-up version of one of my old VB6 apps using Cairo, so yeah there is that!

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    Re: Theoretically, could VB6 be a development platform well into the future?

    I have been involved with computers and programming languages for ages. To emphasize that point, the first computer I worked on used tubes. I have spent time with machine language, assembler, C, Fortran, Basic on mainframes, and basic on PCs. I have worked with VB since version 1, and as far as I am concerned, it is still the top of the pack. I can put together a simple program in VB6 faster than any other language.

    Recently I have diversed into JavaScript out of necessity. It is a powerful language, but suffers from the same problem as most languages. The programmer must compile the application, run it, and then attempt to troubleshoot it. That is far too much overhead. Visual Basic shortens that path.

    Because it is a complete programming system, VB restricts the development environment to a single operating platform (Windows). If (and I say IF), we could somehow extend that environment to encompass other operating systems, it would be a programmers delight.

    J.A. Coutts

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