[mono-vb] VB6 and the future

Rob Conley robertsconley at gmail.com
Wed Aug 23 14:37:57 EDT 2006

Congradulations on getting vbnc to be self hosting.

While I know there a lot of work to be done on meeting the standards of VB
8.0 there is a urgent need among people who use classic vb 6 code to be able
to move their code base forward.

The issue isn't one where we want to remain stuck in time or believe that
somehow that vb6 version of basic is superior. The issue is that we can't
transfer our code without a total rewrite. Unlike the history of C/C++ and
other mainstream langauges Microsoft totally broke backwards compatibility
to the point where we can't realisticly even do a staged upgrade of a older
code base.

I am 20+ year programming vetern who brought my company's code base forward
from a HP Workstation, to DOS, to Windows 16-bit, and finally to Windows
32-bit. (http://www.plasma-automation.com). The reason our project was
written in Basic in the first place was that we deal with CAD/CAM machine
controls. In the middle 80s when the first version of the software was
written the HP had the 300 series workstation that had the right price and
feature to build a graphical CAD/CAM controller for a cutting machine. The
language avaliable was Rocky Mountain Basic.

At its core our software has many code only modules that ported unchanged
through the years. The biggest transition is when we jumped from Rocky
Mountain BASIC to Visual Basic in the early 90s. One of the reasons we
choose Visual BASIC was we were impressed that Microsoft retained a high
degree of compatibility with their DOS BASICs. Windows may change but we
were confident that the core langauge will be stable and allow us to focus
on the new APIs advanced versions of Windows may bring.

But VB.NET blew that all out of the water. Not only our GUI have to be
re-written but with several changes in the fundemental data types we have to
rewrite our core routines. Suddenly
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