So long Classic VB

Published on March 20, 2005

I feel I have to weigh in to the current debate regarding the end of support of VB6. Many people have stated that they see no reason to move working VB6 applications to the .Net framework. They feel because they are still using VB6 that Microsoft should still support and enhance it. As a vendor of an application that has more than half a million lines of VB6 code, you would think that I might feel the same way. Our application has matured enough at this point that we have found workarounds to the nasty parts of VB6. The last service pack was a major improvement in the stability of the IDE and at this point I don't want anything else to change in the VB6 environment. If people have stable running applications, why would they care if MS are providing support or not? It's not like MS are going rip out all of the knowledge base articles, recall old copies of the MSDN library and ban all further discussion of VB6. Hell, if you really want it bad, you can pay for extended support! We made the decision a few years ago that we were going to rewrite our application to take advantage of the .Net framework. That development is moving along quite nicely and we are really starting to see some major benefits from the new platform. If you have a VB6 application and you see more than a minor amount of modifications on your horizon, I think that you should seriously consider moving to .Net. From what we have seen, the reduction in lines of code to maintain and the increase in overall productivity when developing in .Net will quickly pay for the migration. That being said, you can write crappy software in both VB6 and in .Net, you can just blow a bigger hole in your foot with .Net if you don't know what you are doing! I think that the MVP's have a lot to answer for in a situation like this. They should be the ones embracing the change, recognizing that VB6 has lived a useful life, but the time has come to move on. They should realize that features like inheritance and garbage collection are major steps forward that could not have been bolted on to the existing VB runtime.