Today, March 31st 2005, marks the final day of free support for VB 6 by Microsoft. It’s caused quite a stir in some circles, most notably the petition for Microsoft to re-align “it’s long-term strategies with those of its customers.” Signatories would rather have Microsoft invest money in keeping a parallel VB6 compiler and IDE current (this is part of what the petition suggests) instead of pursuing innovation and improvement in the .Net direction — and don’t give me the “Microsoft should do both” talk because you, too, can do both: keep your VB6 CDs and service packs around and you’ll be able to continue to do VB6 stuff until all the DLLs rot away sometime in 2030. They run side-by-side with the newer toys, at least it works on my machine. A company the size of Microsoft can do what the petition proposes, but I’d rather have them looking forward and sort out performance in .Net and improve on SQL Server and enhance the Web Service architecture. It’s a zero-sum game folks: energy spent on VB6 stuff is energy not spent on all the other products.
We’ve already seen Java saddled with backward compatibility woes (just one example here but there are myriad) and .Net already has some of it’s own (DataGrid replaced by GridView and . . . maybe someday in .Net 3.0 we’ll get the DataGridView that combines the two — the point being a cluttering of the object model and controls). Let’s not bring VB 6 back from the dead and into the .Net IDE equation.
I just saw where Schiavo was declared dead a few hours ago . . . that’s a ghastly situation that’s now behind us [hopefully]. In the same spirit, hasn’t VB6 been through enough? Yes, that’s an insensitive comparison — but a bizarre coincidence — just send your comments to Brendan because he lets me keep this blog around. Yes, I’ve drank the .Net kool-aid but why haven’t you? I’m much more productive with .Net and my apps are more professionally developed, tested, deployed, and maintained thanks to the .Net family. Any new development I do is almost always in .Net unless the customer is extending an existing legacy app and even then I’m always looking for ways of strangling the old app with .Net. As a last resort, I fire up the VB6 IDE and take a trip down memory lane.