Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 11th Jun 2012 00:38 UTC, submitted by judgen
Windows "Microsoft recently extended 'It Just Works' compatibility for Visual Basic 6 applications through the full lifetime of Windows 8. Visual Basic 6 first shipped in 1998, so its apps will have at least 24 years of supported lifetime. Contrast that with the Microsoft .NET Framework 1.0 (2002), which is incompatible with Windows 7 (2009)."
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RE[4]: VB6.....
by galvanash on Tue 12th Jun 2012 00:18 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: VB6....."
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"There was Delphi though - and a few others. You can't blame VBs popularity on lack of alternatives - it was simply targeted at a very particular demographic - people who wanted to write programs but didn't want to learn how to write programs. It sold immensely well to that market...

Yeah, and it also worked well for that purpose too ;)


Well, I think anybody who wrote VB programs understands basic programming, but maybe not ADVANCED programming. And that was the beauty of VB... I wrote some VB apps for myself back in the early 2000's that are still working great and do exactly what I need them to do, and I didn't have to learn a 'real' language to get that done.

That is where we do not agree. I don't think you really understand basic programming, I think you understand how to use Visual Basic. To be clear there is nothing at all wrong with that - I just think you are oversimplifying what an understanding of basic programming actually involves...

The knowledge acquired in learning "classic" VB doesn't lend itself to pursuing a career in programming. My main gripe against VB was that it was promoted as a teaching language for such a long time, not that it was a bad tool for non-programmers. It was great for that, as long as you didn't have plans on actually becoming a programmer...

The stuff most VB programmers consider "advanced" really is basic stuff (like proper scoping and OOP concepts) and the language does nothing to teach good habits - defaulting to variants for everything in what is actually a statically typed language is unforgivable stupid on Microsoft's part. It promotes poor organization and you end up decomposing problems in ways that don't map to other languages well at all.

Also, it starts way too far up the food chain - GUI development isn't hard, but it also has next to nothing to do with actual programming. I'd much rather give a beginner a few months with Ruby or Python doing command line stuff - a drag and drop GUI for wiring up event handlers is not programming and in fact has virtually nothing to do with learning the craft. Skipping straight to that without an understanding of basic terminal I/O ignores how we all got from there to here...

Anyway, it gets the job done for you - nothing wrong with that. I don't want to sound like an ass or anything - I just have strong feelings about it.

As for moving on, as sad as it is, there really hasn't been a solution (language + IDE + GUI creation tools) to move to since MS killed VB6. Sure, there are languages and frameworks that are much more capable, but also take much longer to learn and are complete overkill for what many of us were doing with VB. Nothing in .NET really fills the 'niche' that VB6 did. Even Dan Appleman (one of the most well-known of VB/Windows gurus) lamented this fact.

I have converted many VB users to Delphi over the years... It is no longer around in the same form (the current versions are expensive and overblown - they suck for beginners) but Lazarus is free and accessible. Not as easy to get going with as Delphi 7 was unfortunately, but it might be worth the trouble if you are really looking for something similar in concept to VB with a bit more headroom.

I would highly recommend giving it a try if RAD/GUI development is what you are after. Pascal isn't the best language in the world either, but when you get down to the nitty gritty it is just C with a more verbose "englishy" syntax that goes to great lengths to try and keep you from shooting your own foot off. If you learn Pascal moving on to C/C++/Java/C# is fairly straightforward.

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