Oct 04


Great empires often fall from within. 

The death knell for Visual Basic is premature, but it’s true that VB has deviated from its original vision as an “Application Construction Kit” for the masses and has lost significant market share as a result.  

Tim Anderson summed it up best:

It sounds like perfection.  Microsoft had perhaps the largest number of developers in the world hooked on a language which in turn was hooked to Windows.  Yet Microsoft took this asset of incalculable value and apparently tossed it aside.  Back in 2002, Microsoft announced that the language was to be replaced by something new, different and incompatible.  That caused rumblings that continue today.  Developers expressed emotions ranging from frustration to anger.  They felt betrayed.

Much has been written lately about the fall of Visual Basic, triggered by an Evans Data survey indicating that VB use has dropped 35% in the past year, and other language surveys show VB falling behind its brother C# and market leader Java.

The problem is simply that when Visual Basic became VB.NET, it became a “real” programming language for trained developers, no longer the layman’s “Application Construction Kit” of its original vision.  As such, there’s little to positively distinguish VB from the other .NET programming languages, especially the superior and more popular C#.  The result is an expected drop in market share. 

Perhaps next-generation Web development environments like Popfly and Silverlight will fill the gap left by VB.  And there is a concerted effort including a web petition to convince Microsoft to support and upgrade the last “simple” version of Visual Basic, VB6.  This support is unlikely, however, and VB’s reign as “programming language for the masses” is over.

 

Humble Beginning

Alan Cooper is widely regarded as the father of Visual Basic.  In 1987, Cooper was a director at Coactive Computing Corporation where he developed ”Tripod,” an improved shell/desktop for the fledgling Windows operating system.  After initial testing, Cooper realized that “every user would need their own personal shell, configured to their own needs and skill levels.”  The idea of a “shell construction set” was born.  There would be a palette of tools and controls, which users could drag & drop onto forms to create their custom shell.

Cooper began shopping the product around Silicon Valley seeking a publisher.  There was little interest until March 1988 when Cooper showed a prototype to Microsoft CEO Bill Gates.  Visionary that he is, the 32-year-old billionaire immediately saw Tripod’s potential.  Gates declared that Tripod was “cool” and would have significant impact across Microsoft’s entire product line.  In a few months the deal was done, Tripod became Microsoft’s “Ruby,” and Cooper assembled a team of engineers to deliver a commercial product.

The original intention was to ship Ruby with Windows 3.0 as a more powerful shell, but Microsoft instead decided to use the OS/2 shell, which Microsoft owned at the time from its deal with IBM.  Microsoft decided to delay Ruby and convert it from a shell construction set for all users to a visual programming language for professional developers by adding QuickBasic.  At first, Cooper was upset with Microsoft’s decision and argued against it.  However, after seeing the power of the eventual product, Cooper soon became an “enthusiastic Visual Basic supporter.”

 

An Empire Rises

Visual Basic 1.0 for Windows was first released on May 20, 1991 at the Windows World convention in Atlanta where Gates described it as “awesome.”  InfoWorld Magazine described Visual Basic as a “stunning new miracle” that would “dramatically change the way people feel about and use Windows.”  Stewart Alsop wrote in the New York Times that Visual Basic is “the perfect programming environment for the 1990s.”

VB version 3 (1993) added database access tools and Object Linking and Embedding (OLE).  Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) was released in 1993 to replace the disparate macro features across Microsoft’s product line and has since become the de facto standard for application programming in Microsoft Office and other products. 

VB4 was released in 1995 to support the 32-bit Windows 95 operating system.  VB5 was released in 1997 with significant improvements to the user interface, ability to create true executables and custom controls, and support for Microsoft’s Active-X technology.  It also dropped support for the 16-bit Windows 3.x operating system.

VB6 was released in 1998 as part of Visual Studio 6.0 that also included Microsoft’s Visual C++ development environment.  VB6 improved database access, added Internet features, language improvements and wizards.  Many organizations still use VB6 today.

Microsoft surveys in the late 1990s showed that nearly two thirds of all business application programming on Windows PCs was done in Visual Basic.  VB’s overwhelming success was largely because it made Windows programming much easier.  Prior to VB, Windows programming required mastery of the massive and complex Win32 APIs and took hundreds of lines of code to create even simple screen elements.  VB eliminated the need to write lengthy code for the user interface, allowing developers to focus on business logic and produce usable Windows applications relatively quickly. 

World-renowned Windows programming expert Charles Petzold told the New York Times, “For those of us who make our living explaining the complexities of Windows programming to programmers, Visual Basic poses a real threat to our livelihood.”

 

.NET Pulls Out the Rug

In the late 1990′s as the Internet was exploding, Microsoft had just successfully fought off a full frontal assault on its market dominance by killing the Netscape Web browser with its free Internet Explorer.  But Microsoft was facing a host of new challenges, including serious problems with COM, C++, DLL hell, the Web as a platform, security, and strong competition from Java, which was emerging as the go-to language for Web development. 

Microsoft’s response was .NET, an object-oriented development environment and framework that provides a highly-functional abstraction layer between the operating system and programming language.  Microsoft announced .NET to the world in June 2000 and released version 1.0 of Visual Basic .NET and the .NET framework in January 2002.  Microsoft also labeled everything .NET including Office to demonstrate its commitment and dominance on this new thing called the Web. 

Unfortunately for VB6 developers, the .NET object-oriented platform is far different than the procedural VB6 programming language, and so there was no easy way for developers to migrate their legacy VB6 code to VB.NET.  Even though a few automated tools emerged to aid the conversion, due to the subtleties and intricacies of the languages, a significant amount of manual, error-prone labor was required.  For larger projects, one would be better off re-writing the application from scratch in .NET using object-oriented architecture and best practices, than performing a mechanical port of VB6 code to VB.NET.

But starting over from scratch means evaluating all options on the table.  And to most “Mom & Pop” developers, Visual Basic .NET appears to be an enterprise product with an enterprise price tag, with significant overhead required in terms of programming skills and computer resources.  So instead of trying to manage the complicated move from VB6 to VB.NET, many VB6 developers moved their applications to the Web, using Java, JavaScript, Perl and PHP.  As a result, millions of developers have left the Microsoft mothership and are unlikely to return.

 

Don’t worry, be happy, VB fans.  Programming languages never die, they just fade away.  My COBOL/RPG2 programming buddies were working hundred-hour weeks during Y2K!

 

VB is Not R.I.P.

Much of the negative press lately about VB derives from the Evans Data survey indicating that overall use of Visual Basic has dropped 35% in just one year, including a 26% drop for VB.NET specifically.  As a result, Java now leads with 45% market share(developers using Java some of the time), followed by C/C++ at 40%, C# at 32%, and Visual Basic at 21%.

Although a 35% drop in market share is significant, it’s too early to write the Visual Basic obituary.  Most companies would love to own 21% of a multi-billion-dollar market, though that may not be good enough for Microsoft.  But combined with C# and managed C++, the Microsoft .NET family still commands half the software development market.

What is clear is that Visual Basic is no longer the programming language for the masses of its original vision.  As a result, VB.NET will have to compete with the other .NET and Web languages on its own merits.  With its wordy syntax and second-class status relative to big brother C#, it’s unlikely the Visual Basic empire will rise once again.  But Visual Basic will continue to be an effective Windows development platform for many years to come.



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Article published on October 4, 2007




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34 Responses to “The Rise and Fall of Visual Basic”

  1. Irishman Says:

    Since my son just took his first programming class in freshman HS last year, there seems to be a pretty strong push among academia to include VB as the first level programming language to teach the basics of the craft. I think this is appropriate and would think that his experience is similar to other young high school kids that are just now exploring software development. BASIC was what I cut my teeth on several decades ago and I still think it is the most approachable first programming language (esp. since Apple has dropped its HyperScript product).

  2. Timm Says:

    A recent poll on VisualStudioMagazine.com:

    Is Microsoft’s plan to eliminate Visual Basic 6 support in 2008 premature?

    58% – Yes, Microsoft is leaving me high & dry
    20% – This doesn’t affect me one way or another
    23% – No, the cutoff can’t come soon enough!

  3. Matt Says:

    Microsoft are idiots!

    VB and Visual C++ where the best solutions for producing native code, and now they are obsolete with no (backward compatible) upgrade a path.

    Good article, sad tale.

  4. Paul Longtin Says:

    Unfortunately, Microsoft is shooting themselves in the foot. They don’t remember why they had such a high percentage of the programming market with VB6 and earlier. If I need to change platforms, I have many choices. The Microsoft advantage is gone. NET programming is great but fast down and dirty it isn’t. Yes, it can be if exceptions to the rule are low and users can live with a little clumsiness but unfortunately, many companies’ business rules try to accommodate customers. The NET languages can be used to develop as long as you want to run a business around software. Like Oracle, Microsoft thinks business should follow the confinements of software. I believe software to be a tool to make a business run more efficiently and not be forced into new business practices to fit the software. I’m all for something better but don’t dump one environment to go to the other until it actually is better. …Don’t get me started on security.

  5. SoftMind Says:

    Hi,

    Microsoft is a smart player, when it comes to Languages.

    After the Ruby and Python hype, they have decided to bring all dynamic languages that works on DLR. IronRuby, IronPython are reaching the sky soon.

    VB community will gain more in terms of support. They will now have a new version of Dynamic Vb or VBx as know n currently. This VBx will be competing with Dynamic languages.

    PHP also comes under DLR, hence the .Net platform now offers many options.

    Cheers!

  6. XYZ Says:

    MS is looking like a sinking ship. Yes you cannot see it now, but I can see the rust that is forming on it. In essence let’s think about it why did MS get so popular. It’s simple it’s called the incrumental upgrade. Incrumental upgrades allow you to steer the market without disturbing it to much. People HATE change, they like using things they understand, and can predict. Look at the scorn vista is recieving. This is 7 years of pent up development released all at once. It used to be MS would wait no more than 3 years between upgrades. Yes they weren’t as monumnetal, but at least most your apps would work. Somthing has happened inside MS, they have to much money lost focus, maybe Steve Balmer has Attention Defficit Dissorder. However he is driving this company into the ground. Vista should be the result of 7 years of upgrades to the XP platform. VB is the same story, yes I do hate VB with a passion but it does have it’s place, and for many companies it’s literally the glue that holds them together. To just depricate VB and not update the worlds most popular language, instead of extending it is plain arrogance. I see MS loosing marketshare to Apple, Linux, and anyone else that wants to manufacture a OS. All to chase a perceived goal, of marketshare, they own 95% of the Computer market in the world, now they want to be a google to?? Oh well It is always fun to watch an empire decline, MS is one that will be on the decline in 2010-2020.

  7. XYZ Says:

    P.S. I bought a Mac Last week if you would have told me I would 5 years ago I would have laughed on the floor at you.

  8. Steve Barber Says:

    Good article – sadly, so true. I started with VB3 back in 1998 and progressed up to VB6, which is truly stellar. Then came VB.Net, a whole different animal. Not only is it a LOT different than classic VB, but you need the .Net framework on a User’s PC for it to work — oh,
    and be sure the framework version you are using will work with the VB.Net version you are using — what a nightmare. Now I’m not totally against .Net — it looks like it has some advantages, but it’s certainly not development software for the “rest of us”.

  9. FRANSHISE information. » FRANSHISE.US Says:

    [...] Construction Kit” for the masses and has lost significant market share as a result.read more | digg [...]

  10. TLN Software Says:

    I know, I can’t stand the VB.NET blunder Microsoft has laid out for everyone so accustomed to running with VB6. It’s pure ignorance and a dissolution on the CEO.

  11. Drycola Says:

    Microsoft seems to be FIGHTING us!!
    We (Classic VB Programmers) have a powerful programming abilities all around the world, Microsoft wants to dominate the ability of making programs, They want to be the ONLY one source available for applications!

  12. Visual Goal Planning Software. | 7Wins.eu Says:

    [...] [...]

  13. Mike Says:

    Here’s what I hear in all this complaing: laziness. Are you a professional? Then you can learn a new language. Are you a kid programming in your bedroom? Then stick with vb6, cause that’s as far as you’re going to go.

    “Wahhhh, I don’t want to write my applications properly with solid object design and structure… Wahhhh, I like re-inventing the wheel like Lists, Arrays, etc”

    VB6 is simply terrible. How can you properly design an application without classes and objects? You can’t. Shut it babies.

  14. Bill Gates Says:

    Shut up Mike, your insensentive

  15. Mike Says:

    Yes I am. If we listened to everyone who bitched about change, then we’d still be riding horses everywhere yelling at those people who “drive them damn motorized noise contraptions”. If you become a a programmer expecting not to have to adapt to change, then you picked the wrong f***ing career!

  16. John Says:

    VB6 was a great language. I was angry when the .Net jump was made for years. With the .Net Framework 2 I made the jump though and now, I haven’t looked back. Even though VB feels like a second class citizen, it has all of the power of the framework behind it so I’m able to do things that were difficult in VB6 (they could all be done mind you, but much more difficult). In the end, I loved VB6, still do but I’ve made the jump and VB.Net is great. We develop ASP.Net sites with Vb code behinds, have a little c# floating around & still have nightly jobs that have been running for years without problems… written in VB6. We’ve still got the extended support period to upgrade them. ;P

  17. John Says:

    Also, I agree with the sentiments of many on this board. I’m a Microsoft fan, but they really dropped the ball in knowing what they had when VB6 was on it’s hay day. Vista runs great on my computer, and I’ve grown to like it but the drastic jump from XP to Vista after all those years was hard for many to overcome (especially when many tried to run it on old hardware).

  18. Microsoft Popfly Has Been Swatted Says:

    [...] The Rise and Fall of Visual Basic [...]

  19. Stevio54 Says:

    I agree with Mike, If you are a professional programmer, then change is part of the job. I have a buddy who had to change from vb.net to Java because the company he works for needed him to. This is 2 years after they switched from c++ to vb.net. He just accepted the change, and started taking night classes to get the basics of Java down.

    Change is part of the game, Microsoft will not die, even though I agree that this may not be the most terrible thing in the world to happen.

    Besides, I write in almost everything, vb.net, java, c#, c++, python, ruby, and php. Interoperability is awesome :D

  20. Tom Says:

    My programming experience started with C++ but shortly after that, I also started using VB. I believe it was VB3 but it could have been 4 as well. Either way, I enjoyed it quite a bit and it definitely helped me to learn programming. I also used every new version they released so I know for sure that I used 4, 5 and 6 (and possibly 3). Having said that, if there are any professional programmers that are upset about the death of VB6, then they need to find a new job in a different industry. New advancements are practically made on a daily basis in the computing field and only an idiot would assume that the entire industry will just come to a hault all so they can continue to use some archaic quasi programming language.

    The older versions of Visual Basic were fantastic for learning the fundamentals of programming but compared to other languages, it’s terribly outdated and lacks features. I made the switch to .NET as soon as it was available and I absolutely love it. The only reason for not updating to the new (FREE) version is laziness. Boo hoo, I work in a field that is constantly advancing but I don’t want to have to actually learn something new. Don’t worry, I’m sure fans of other old stuff like QBASIC will let you cry on their shoulders.

    If you are a true programmer, then you should have no problem learning a new language. Once you understand your fundamentals, it should be obvious that the only significant difference is the syntax. All the other subtleties can be picked up as you go along. The three languages I am the most familiar with are C++, VB.NET and C# but I have used quite a few other languages (including QBASIC). I haven’t read books or articles for most of these languages either. All I did was find out the keywords and look at an example program or two to check out the structure. (C#, one of my most familiar languages, is one such language that I initially learned this way). Even if I don’t have a list of keywords nearby, I can simply read code in a new language and have a fairly good idea of whats going on.

    IMO, knowing VB6 is about as impressive as being proficient at FPS Creator or RPG Maker. If you want to be a programmer, then learn an actual programming language. If you just want to click buttons, then don’t try to fool yourself into thinking that your a real programmer.

  21. TommyRay Says:

    The college here is just now phasing out VB.Net altogether. Fall is the last time it will be offered as a class, so I’m taking intermediate VB.Net before it’s gone altogether as part of my cirriculum as a Web Programmer. Java, Javasript, MySQL and such shall be the mainstay it seems. No flash is taught whatsoever. I’d like to have more knowledge of it personally, and it seems it isn’t dead or dying, just fading back, right? Myself, I’d like to learn it ALL! Ajax, Soap, whatever acronymical language there is that’s a significant potential player in the game of web development.

  22. Paul Me Says:

    Visual Basic 6 is still the giant of programming languages, we have done most of software implementations in it and has, by far, the most huge software implementations of all time, in all programming languages, and still has.

    Is someone who can contradict me? I think not !

  23. VB6 Guru Says:

    Something that proponents of the “Just Learn a New Language” viewpoint, seem to have missed.

    Economics 101

    Suppose you have a huge investment in a set of programs written in a specific language. Overnight that language becomes obsolete/abandoned. Whoops there goes all of your huge $$$ investment in a skillset and a code base.

    What is a company to do about the hundreds of thousands or perhaps millions of dollars that they have spent on programs written in what is now a dead language?

    Joke all you like, but this is why COBOL !!! after all these years is still around.

    It takes 3 or more years to become *good* at a programming language. The idea of a disposable computer language is absurd. Been there, done that, have lost count of the number of different computer languages that I have had to learn. Am pretty tired of it actually. And no, making arbitrary syntax changes is not *progress*, they do not increase productivity. In fact a good case can be made that VB.NET makes you *less* productive.

    To quote from the “Popfly Swatted” article also on this website:

    “The lesson here is that proprietary development environments are a risky bet, even when backed by a major company such as Microsoft.”

    So there you have it, ONCE AGAIN, Microsoft abandons a product at a total whim.

    ————
    As someone above also pointed out… just which dot net framework was that again?? you want version 1 or version 2 or version ????

    Incompatible you say??? no problem, just force the customer to install a complex and somewhat risky upgrade — risky because that fancy new version 2 framework is potentially going to break the customers existing version 1 software. I’ve seen this happen!

    What about in a couple more years, once DOT NET compatibility is fully supported by Linux MONO, what do you think will happen then? IMHO, Say Bye Bye to DOT NET and all of your code investment; say Hello to the “next big thing” from Microsoft that you can bet will be deliberately incompatible. History has a way of repeating itself.

    ————

    This is why after seeing two years of my VB6 programming effort go down the drain, I will never ever be dependent upon a Microsoft product again. In reaching this decision I observed that it was not the first time that Microsoft has abandoned something and I predicted that it would happen again. Now, Popfly is the proof of the validity of that prediction.

    CIO’s are you paying attention? What is your fiscally responsible strategy?

    By the way, Microsoft also did the same thing with their word processor. Companies have millions of dollars invested in the creation of documents. Then one day Microsoft decides that it would be to *their* advantage to force everybody to upgrade to a word processor with an incompatible format — IMHO, I suspect it was a way to put some distance between them and the increasingly popular http://www.OpenOffice.org — but whatever the reason, what they did is to abandon document compatibility.

    This means that overnight, millions of dollars of assets became unusable. It took a Class-Action Lawsuit to force Microsoft to release a converter to go between the two versions of their Office file format.

    The bottom line is that IMHO, Microsoft will stab their customers and partners in the back any time that they perceive it as profitable. I am not the only one who has observed/commented on this.

    ———–

    I am not against progress when the replacement is genuinely better, but I suspect there are few people who will argue that VB.NET is significantly better than VB6, and it certainly is not better enough to justify trashing millions of dollars of software investment. On the other hand I have come to the conclusion that for many purposes LAMP is better.

    I suspect that the biggest winner in the shift away from Microsoft has been PHP which is now the #4 most popular language. Perhaps that is why Microsoft has been investing in PHP — Good ‘ol Embrace and Extend? (see: Java, Sun vs Microsoft).

    Beware.

    P.S. The Mac is equally proprietary. Welcome to the Brave New World of Linux Based Cross-Platform Development…. It’s the only sane strategy. Ubuntu Rocks!

    ——

    Disclaimer: The above comments are opinions based on publicly known facts and personal conjecture. In no way can these “Personal Opinions” be construed as slander.

    LAMP = Linux, Apache, mySQL, PHP

    IMHO = “Personal Opinion” literally In My Humble Opinion

    Other names mentioned are registered trademarks of their respective owners.

  24. jjordan Says:

    you know VB6 guru, i have gotta agree with you on microsoft’s idiocy. if you want to upgrade something, don’t make a huge change that makes everyone pissed off. if you want to change something, just do it in some small incremental pieces. if you will go to a new format, make a compiler without a damn law suit. if you want to make something obsolete, make sure it is obsolete before you just dump it.

    that is why to me windows is a dead company.

    bing, vista, office., and .NET are just some of the things microsoft has screwed up with radical changes and dumbass alterations. and now, they just threw vista underneath the bus.

    what about all the people with vista that DOESN’T WORK that think they should get a refund?

    when i first got my vista pc, windows EXPLORER crashed on a daily basis. and even after all the problems in it have been “fixed” it still crashes. sometimes all i can do is reboot until it works again. my antivirus program says nothing is wrong (norton internet security 2010) so it must be this failed example of too much change too fast

    if vista would’ve had the visual changes as an OPTION along with XP *AND* CLASSIC, more people would have liked it.

    but, having this OS as long as i have, i see a giant thats about to fall.

    after all the bigger you are, the harder you fall. and windows is falling HARD to linux and mac.

  25. Visual Studio LightSwitch: My Thoughts | Machinadei.com Says:

    [...] and hobbyist to build applications against the Windows OS. Up until VB went “.NET” in 2001 it was one of the largest programming communities. It was used to build lots of applications and many are still used today. [...]

  26. OpenSourceMaster Says:

    Microsoft has betrayed many with the sudden change from VB6 to .NET, though I quite support change a lot. But change must be a positive one averagely on all sides.

    Even though .NET might be better addressing some programming issues compared to VB6, it would have killed many supports for it; due to the fact that many will be afraid of such betrayal in the future.
    As a result, lots of people are now switching from Microsoft’s to an Open Source’s. This is too dangerous for Microsoft.

    My conclusion is that even though you invest in a proprietary platform, ensure you work along with an open-source as compliments to your investment, so that your loss will not be too much when the proprietor fails.

  27. Anhar Says:

    I remember when I had to move from VB6 to the ‘.NET’ world. In between that time I learned C++.

    I’ve work commercially in VB.NET and C# (I’m fluent in both), and I’m learning Haskell & F#, among others.

    I can personally say that Microsoft has done the right thing, looking back, I can chart my personal growth as a developer.

    If your are not willing to learn, and learn constantly then you are simply not a real programmer or programming is not for you.

    I do not mean to offend any one, but you need to stop and think really hard for a moment.

  28. David Says:

    @Mike VB6 has both classes and objects thank you very much. As did VB5 and VB4 before it.

    VB6 will never die. There are a trillion lines of VB6 code in the world. Someone is going to need to maintain that. The Terminals at Person International Airport are run on PASCAL and the half dozen programmers that still know that language are paid extremely well.

    VB.not was a bad idea. It took the single largest programming language in the world and destroyed it. Period.

  29. esam Says:

    @Anhar : you are right , but wait : we have zillion lines of code of investment that micro$oft destroyed. how can you ignore that so easily ?

  30. Anhar Says:

    @esam

    Yes I agree, there is a lot of legacy code out there. There will always be legacy code, look at COBOL.

    Those legacy programs (if built well) will continue to serve well.

    Legacy programs will continue to work even without Microsoft’s official support. So I don’t see the issue. Its a natural progression, the old will co-exist with the new until the old die out.

    So I’m not ignoring this concern (as it does exist as you have rightly pointed out), I feel that its not much of an issue.

  31. Yash Says:

    Microsoft mis-leaded my decade of programming life.

  32. VB6 User Says:

    If I recall correctly, VB’s claim to fame wasn’t being a professional programming language, it was being a point and click interface paired with a very English-like language that made the entire RAD process very easy. It was VB6 that was, and still is, the platinum standard for that… look at how many also-rans have sprung up and hover at the edges, just out of reach of the Microsoft scorpion’s legal stinger.

    The real reason VB6 was destroyed was that Microsoft management wanted to be able to “justify” the price of the Enterprise Edition of their visual studio, and it was easier with more languages. They had become so big and so lost in their corporate-think and wealth-blindness that they didn’t (and let’s face it, never really have) care what their customers wanted, need or thought.

    Microsoft is the poster child of what’s bad about Big Business. And yes, just as did the kings and emperors and czars of old, someday they too will fall before the serfs they currently abuse and ignore.

    VB6 produces programs that can do plenty of useful things. Whether it’s a “real programming language” or not, doesn’t matter. What matters is that Microsoft chose what was good for themselves over what was good for their customers, and that violates the primary rule of business: don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

    For those of you who claim “real programmers just deal”, I pity you. The BS you guys an gals put up with in every direction (from MS, from each other and from employers and customers) is why I ended up not getting a degree in programming. But taking up the flag of the enemy isn’t going to help you. It just perpetuates the BS that’s making you get ulcers and lose your hair faster.

    If you want a real programming language, learn and use Assembler. VB was never supposed to be a “professional” programming language. MS made it one because the market responded by hiring people who didn’t know programming otherwise to code cheaper than someone who knew C++, for instance. Now that VB had been “brought up to professional standards”, what’s the point? It’s not as good as almost any other Visual Studio language. And what are we, who write programs for personal use, left with?

    I learned VB as a hobby in my spare time a long time ago. Now I run a business, and if you think I have time to learn a new language, you’re sadly mistaken. But learn I must, and I have decided to learn a cross compiler that runs on Linux and compiles for Linux, Windows and Mac.

    Microsoft can kiss my butt. Watch what happens to them between 2016 and 2019. They’ll get theirs. You’re never too big to suffer when you bite the hand that feeds you. Business 101.

  33. Microsoft refuses to comment as .NET developers fret about Windows 8 Says:

    [...] its decade-long investment in the .NET Framework.  On the other hand, Microsoft is famous for killing off the lucrative and developer-friendly Visual Basic in its move to the .NET [...]

  34. Sten Says:

    And now in 2014 classic Visual Basic (VB6) is still more popular (according to the Tiobe index) than VB.NET.
    http://visualstudio.uservoice.com/forums/121579-visual-studio/suggestions/3440221-bring-back-classic-visual-basic-an-improved-versi

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