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Thread: Which program should I use now: VB6 Enterprise/Professional ? Visual Basic Net ??

  1. #1

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    Which program should I use now: VB6 Enterprise/Professional ? Visual Basic Net ??

    I need to install VB onto my W10 PC, but what is the current best option?
    And is there a reliable sticky?

    I have a copy of: VB6 Enterprise Edition.
    I've found a downloaded copy of: VB6 Professional Edition.

    And then there's: Visual Basic Net

    In the past, I've made some programs using the VB6 Enterprise Edition.
    But it's been sometime since I last used it, primarily because I've had problems trying to install it.

    So which program should I use now?
    And is there a reliable sticky, eg: Info on the best way to install it on W10?

    I've read many post's explaining the install, but a comprehensive & UpToDate sticky would be much easier to follow.

    Many thanks
    Last edited by macmacmac; Apr 20th, 2024 at 12:33 PM.

  2. #2
    Angel of Code Niya's Avatar
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    Re: Which program should I use now: VB6 Enterprise/Professional ? Visual Basic Net ??

    You would probably save yourself a lot of trouble by just going with with the latest version of VB.Net. I say this under the assumption that you're not deeply invested in any version of Visual Basic. Getting the most out of VB6 requires a lot of technical expertise in everything from installing it to programming in it. VB.Net on the other hand, is modern, easy to install, easy to learn and use. The only price you pay for this is the IDE being a bit sluggish on start up but you get used to it and it's well worth it in my opinion.

    If you're somewhat invested in VB6 and want to go that route regardless then I suggest you start getting familiar with this site as we have the largest and most active collection of VB6 experts in the English speaking world as far as I know and they could help with any problem you may encounter, whether it's installing VB6 or writing programs in it. And you will need their help as the wheels started falling off VB6 since MS abandoned it over 2 decades ago and the few remaining devotees to VB6 have managed to keep it going. Some are even breathing some new life into it in the form of projects like TwinBASIC and the RichClient library.
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    C++ programmers will dismiss you as a cretinous simpleton for your inability to keep track of pointers chained 6 levels deep and Java programmers will pillory you for buying into the evils of Microsoft. Meanwhile C# programmers will get paid just a little bit more than you for writing exactly the same code and VB6 programmers will continue to whitter on about "footprints". - FunkyDexter

    There's just no reason to use garbage like InputBox. - jmcilhinney

    The threads I start are Niya and Olaf free zones. No arguing about the benefits of VB6 over .NET here please. Happiness must reign. - yereverluvinuncleber

  3. #3
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    Re: Which program should I use now: VB6 Enterprise/Professional ? Visual Basic Net ??

    What do you need to install it *for*?

    VB6 and VB.NET are so different you may as well be asking whether you should install VB6 or Java.

    If you want to work on your programs you made in VB6, you need VB6. VB.NET is an entirely different language and you'd be rewriting from scratch. Or one alternative, twinBASIC. It's a proper backwards-compatible successor; only caveats are it's in beta still so there's some bugs and it's still missing MDI form support, the Printer object, and some App object and Form/control properties/methods; but it runs all my VB6 apps including complex .ctls.

    Or, do you want to learn a new language? Then VB.NET. Otherwise VB6/twinBASIC.

    ETA: For installing it, I've had luck with creating a 0-byte msjava.dll in C:\Windows, running setup as administrator, then with the custom setup options, don't install Interdev or FoxPro at all, and from 'Data Access', uncheck 'ADO, RDS, and OLE DB providers', and under 'Enterprise tools', uncheck Visual Studio Analyzer.


    Other people swear by VS6Installer; the author passed away so we've been sharing it for free.
    Last edited by fafalone; Apr 20th, 2024 at 02:04 PM.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: Which program should I use now: VB6 Enterprise/Professional ? Visual Basic Net ??

    While I agree that VB.NET is a completely new language, the syntax is very similar to VB6. The structuring of the program is different, and there a lot of features such as generics, lambdas, LINQ, and threading, which can be useful, or may not be. You will always be using generics, you may be using lambdas, LINQ is kind of specialized to database work, and threading...well, that's always a question.

    Also, VB.NET is free as part of Visual Studio, which includes numerous languages, not all of which you have to get at the same time. The free version of Visual Studio is the Community Edition, which is really just the Professional edition with some cosmetic differences.

    Niya also mentioned that VS is slower to start up, which is true. The VB6 IDE starts instantly, whereas VS will take a few seconds. There's a reason for that. The VB6 IDE is archaic, while the VS IDE is...overwrought. With VB6, you can work with one file at a time, everything is expanded at all times, organization is rudimentary, intellisense is rudimentary, and breakpoints can be unreliable. Meanwhile, VS has so many features that you won't use them all, but they all impact the visual performance such that it has the characteristics of a game rather than a program (slow loading, loads of graphics). It would have been nice if they had allowed some of them to be opt in, rather than opt out, but...most of the features you will end up using all the time.

    So, it's a trade-off, but as others have said: If you are maintaining VB6 applications, then you need VB6. If you are doing new development, then go with VB.NET.

    Also, you can use it on a mac, macmacmac.
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  5. #5
    Angel of Code Niya's Avatar
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    Re: Which program should I use now: VB6 Enterprise/Professional ? Visual Basic Net ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaggy Hiker View Post
    While I agree that VB.NET is a completely new language, the syntax is very similar to VB6.
    Quote Originally Posted by fafalone View Post
    VB6 and VB.NET are so different you may as well be asking whether you should install VB6 or Java.
    Both VB6 and VB.Net have almost the same syntax. It is more accurate to say that VB6's syntax is a subset of VB.Net's syntax. That is to say that you can pop almost any piece of VB6 code into VB.Net and the compiler would accept it but it doesn't work the other way around, i.e. VB.Net to VB6.

    The vast difference between VB6 and VB.Net actually comes from the underlying architecture. VB.Net is built on top of a completely new type system and runtime environment and this is the reason many say that they are different languages. I don't disagree with people saying this as it better prepares people mentally for the differences but in practice, you would find that declaring variables, subs, functions, arrays are the same. Loops, conditionals statements, switch statements(Select Case) are also the same.

    Now there are some nuanced differences that are kind of the same but not exact. For example, UDT's. In VB.Net they are called Structures instead but the syntax for making them and their use cases remain the same.
    Treeview with NodeAdded/NodesRemoved events | BlinkLabel control | Calculate Permutations | Object Enums | ComboBox with centered items | .Net Internals article(not mine) | Wizard Control | Understanding Multi-Threading | Simple file compression | Demon Arena

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    C++ programmers will dismiss you as a cretinous simpleton for your inability to keep track of pointers chained 6 levels deep and Java programmers will pillory you for buying into the evils of Microsoft. Meanwhile C# programmers will get paid just a little bit more than you for writing exactly the same code and VB6 programmers will continue to whitter on about "footprints". - FunkyDexter

    There's just no reason to use garbage like InputBox. - jmcilhinney

    The threads I start are Niya and Olaf free zones. No arguing about the benefits of VB6 over .NET here please. Happiness must reign. - yereverluvinuncleber

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: Which program should I use now: VB6 Enterprise/Professional ? Visual Basic Net ??

    One other thing to note: People who use either love to discuss them.
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  7. #7
    Angel of Code Niya's Avatar
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    Re: Which program should I use now: VB6 Enterprise/Professional ? Visual Basic Net ??

    Yep. True dat.
    Treeview with NodeAdded/NodesRemoved events | BlinkLabel control | Calculate Permutations | Object Enums | ComboBox with centered items | .Net Internals article(not mine) | Wizard Control | Understanding Multi-Threading | Simple file compression | Demon Arena

    Copy/move files using Windows Shell | I'm not wanted

    C++ programmers will dismiss you as a cretinous simpleton for your inability to keep track of pointers chained 6 levels deep and Java programmers will pillory you for buying into the evils of Microsoft. Meanwhile C# programmers will get paid just a little bit more than you for writing exactly the same code and VB6 programmers will continue to whitter on about "footprints". - FunkyDexter

    There's just no reason to use garbage like InputBox. - jmcilhinney

    The threads I start are Niya and Olaf free zones. No arguing about the benefits of VB6 over .NET here please. Happiness must reign. - yereverluvinuncleber

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    Re: Which program should I use now: VB6 Enterprise/Professional ? Visual Basic Net ??

    Lol you're dreaming thinking there's substantial backwards compatibility in .NET. That's what was so infuriating... Old code needed such substantial changes it made more sense to write from scratch. Superficial syntax similarities don't count for much when the entire programming model is different.

  9. #9
    Angel of Code Niya's Avatar
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    Re: Which program should I use now: VB6 Enterprise/Professional ? Visual Basic Net ??

    Quote Originally Posted by fafalone View Post
    Lol you're dreaming thinking there's substantial backwards compatibility in .NET.
    I never made such a claim. I said the VB.Net compiler would accept just about any piece of VB6 code as valid. For example:-
    Code:
        Public Sub BubbleSort(numbers() As Long)
            Dim i As Long, j As Long
            Dim n As Long
            Dim temp As Long
    
            n = UBound(numbers) ' Get the upper bound of the array
    
            ' Main loop to control the number of passes
            For i = 0 To n - 1
                ' Nested loop to control the number of comparisons per pass
                For j = 0 To n - i - 1
                    ' Compare adjacent elements and swap them if they are in the wrong order
                    If numbers(j) > numbers(j + 1) Then
                        temp = numbers(j)
                        numbers(j) = numbers(j + 1)
                        numbers(j + 1) = temp
                    End If
                Next j
            Next i
        End Sub
    
    You could drop the above VB6 code right into VB.Net and it would compile and work without any changes and that is no trivial thing. TwinBASIC is probably the only other compiler on the planet that would compile that with no changes. I don't expect even other BASIC variants to compile that. There is much more than just a passing resemblance between the syntax of VB6 and VB.Net.

    Quote Originally Posted by fafalone View Post
    Superficial syntax similarities don't count for much when the entire programming model is different.
    It means a LOT more than you think. Syntax is a huge part of any programming language and when moving from VB6 to VB.Net, it's one less thing you have to learn. I can personally testify that it makes the move from VB6 to VB.Net a whole lot easier.

    I'm not trying to say that you're wrong, I'm just trying to put this into proper context. You will have to rewrite VB6 code from scratch if you intend on migrating it to VB.Net. You're not wrong about that but should you commit to that you will find it a whole lot less painful re-writing it in a syntax you already know. You won't be fumbling around trying to figure out how to declare an array or write a Do...While loop.
    Treeview with NodeAdded/NodesRemoved events | BlinkLabel control | Calculate Permutations | Object Enums | ComboBox with centered items | .Net Internals article(not mine) | Wizard Control | Understanding Multi-Threading | Simple file compression | Demon Arena

    Copy/move files using Windows Shell | I'm not wanted

    C++ programmers will dismiss you as a cretinous simpleton for your inability to keep track of pointers chained 6 levels deep and Java programmers will pillory you for buying into the evils of Microsoft. Meanwhile C# programmers will get paid just a little bit more than you for writing exactly the same code and VB6 programmers will continue to whitter on about "footprints". - FunkyDexter

    There's just no reason to use garbage like InputBox. - jmcilhinney

    The threads I start are Niya and Olaf free zones. No arguing about the benefits of VB6 over .NET here please. Happiness must reign. - yereverluvinuncleber

  10. #10
    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: Which program should I use now: VB6 Enterprise/Professional ? Visual Basic Net ??

    I agree with both of you. I certainly found the move to VB.NET easier because I could copy whole functions from VB6 programs into a VB.NET program with minimal changes. On the other hand, I also found the move to VB.NET a bit harder because it was so similar to VB6, and yet not the same, that I was trying to think about VB.NET in terms of VB6 rather than coming up with a different mental model for the new language. Had I moved to C# directly from VB6, I wouldn't have had any expectation that my existing mental models were still relevant, so the similarity resulted in some frustration.

    Still, I feel that the benefits of the similarity outweighed the frustrations of the similarity.
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    Re: Which program should I use now: VB6 Enterprise/Professional ? Visual Basic Net ??

    Thanks everyone so far for you input, it's very aluminating.
    I think I will try using VB.net at some point.
    In the past, I have looked at some code in VB.net, and it did look similar to VB, but as you say, there will be differences.

    But for now, I'd like to have another stab at getting VB6 working.
    As I said earlier, in the past I've installed from a CD: VB6 Enterprise Edition.

    But I've recently downloaded ISO file of: VB6 Professional Edition.
    I dont know what the differences or benifits of the latter are?

    To install from this ISO:
    Is it OK to just right-click this ISO file (in Windows Explorer) and then click on Mount, and then double-click its Setup.exe

    Also: Afterwards, do I still need to paste the VB6_IDE_Shims.sdb & the Install_Shims.cmd files
    into folder: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio\VB98 folder.
    Then do I simply drag the sdb-file onto the cmd-file ?

    BTW: A Mac's to rich (and restricting) for me ;>)

    Many thanks
    Last edited by macmacmac; Apr 22nd, 2024 at 11:38 AM.

  12. #12
    Angel of Code Niya's Avatar
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    Re: Which program should I use now: VB6 Enterprise/Professional ? Visual Basic Net ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaggy Hiker View Post
    I agree with both of you. I certainly found the move to VB.NET easier because I could copy whole functions from VB6 programs into a VB.NET program with minimal changes. On the other hand, I also found the move to VB.NET a bit harder because it was so similar to VB6, and yet not the same, that I was trying to think about VB.NET in terms of VB6 rather than coming up with a different mental model for the new language. Had I moved to C# directly from VB6, I wouldn't have had any expectation that my existing mental models were still relevant, so the similarity resulted in some frustration.

    Still, I feel that the benefits of the similarity outweighed the frustrations of the similarity.
    This is the EXACT experience I had moving as well. I could start writing code right away because my reflexes were all correct from the very beginning. However this was both a good and bad thing because when I bumped up against the architectural differences, I had to re-train myself somewhat. For example, I had to drop little habits and pick up new ones like using .Length instead of UBound and using AndAlso instead of And. It's not that these habits were bad per se but they were suboptimal given how different the underlying architecture is.
    Treeview with NodeAdded/NodesRemoved events | BlinkLabel control | Calculate Permutations | Object Enums | ComboBox with centered items | .Net Internals article(not mine) | Wizard Control | Understanding Multi-Threading | Simple file compression | Demon Arena

    Copy/move files using Windows Shell | I'm not wanted

    C++ programmers will dismiss you as a cretinous simpleton for your inability to keep track of pointers chained 6 levels deep and Java programmers will pillory you for buying into the evils of Microsoft. Meanwhile C# programmers will get paid just a little bit more than you for writing exactly the same code and VB6 programmers will continue to whitter on about "footprints". - FunkyDexter

    There's just no reason to use garbage like InputBox. - jmcilhinney

    The threads I start are Niya and Olaf free zones. No arguing about the benefits of VB6 over .NET here please. Happiness must reign. - yereverluvinuncleber

  13. #13
    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: Which program should I use now: VB6 Enterprise/Professional ? Visual Basic Net ??

    Quote Originally Posted by macmacmac View Post
    Thanks everyone so far for you input, it's very aluminating.
    Curses! Foiled again.

    In general with MS, Enterprise > Professional. I don't remember that ever being different, but with VB6, there were some patches, so a later Professional might well be better than an earlier Enterprise.
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    Re: Which program should I use now: VB6 Enterprise/Professional ? Visual Basic Net ??

    Thanks everyone, so re my last post 11...

    Q1: To install from this ISO:
    Is it OK to just right-click this ISO file (in Windows Explorer) and then click on Mount, and then double-click its Setup.exe

    Q2: Also: Afterwards, do I still need to paste the VB6_IDE_Shims.sdb & the Install_Shims.cmd files
    into folder: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio\VB98 folder.
    Then do I simply drag the sdb-file onto the cmd-file ?

    Many thanks

  15. #15
    PowerPoster yereverluvinuncleber's Avatar
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    Re: Which program should I use now: VB6 Enterprise/Professional ? Visual Basic Net ??

    There are multiple threads about installing VB6, go find one! Make sure you follow all the suggestions, in the end it WILL work.
    https://github.com/yereverluvinunclebert

    Skillset: VMS,DOS,Windows Sysadmin from 1985, fault-tolerance, VaxCluster, Alpha,Sparc. DCL,QB,VBDOS- VB6,.NET, PHP,NODE.JS, Graphic Design, Project Manager, CMS, Quad Electronics. classic cars & m'bikes. Artist in water & oils. Historian.

    By the power invested in me, all the threads I start are battle free zones - no arguing about the benefits of VB6 over .NET here please. Happiness must reign.

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    Re: Which program should I use now: VB6 Enterprise/Professional ? Visual Basic Net ??

    Quote Originally Posted by yereverluvinuncleber View Post
    There are multiple threads about installing VB6, go find one! Make sure you follow all the suggestions, in the end it WILL work.
    Thanks for your reply:
    I have read quite a few posts, hense my query.

  17. #17
    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: Which program should I use now: VB6 Enterprise/Professional ? Visual Basic Net ??

    A sticky for this is a good idea. Is there a tutorial worth sticking?
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