Sunday, March 20, 2005

This week in developer news | CNET News.com

This week in developer news | CNET News.com: "More than 100 influential developers using Microsoft products signed a petition demanding the software company to reconsider plans to end support for Visual Basic in its 'classic' form.

The developers, members of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional program, claim that the move could kill development on millions of Visual Basic 6 (VB6) applications and 'strand' programmers who have not been trained in newer languages.

The problem, they say, is that when Microsoft made Visual Basic .Net (or Visual Basic 7), the successor to VB6, it actually killed one language and replaced it with a fundamentally different one. It is effectively impossible to migrate VB6 applications to Visual Basic .Net, they say. And for VB6 developers, they add, learning Visual Basic .Net is as complex as learning a completely new programming language.

'The .Net version of Visual Basic is Visual Basic in name only,' wrote developer and author Rich Levin in a recent blog. 'Any organization with an investment in Visual Basic code--consultants, ISVs, IT departments, businesses, schools, governments--are forced to freeze development of their existing VB code base or reinvest virtually all the time, effort, intellectual property and expense to rewrite their applications from scratch.'

Despite the outcry, Microsoft remains 'firm' in its plans to end free support for Visual Basic 6 at the end of the month, S. 'Soma' Somasegar, corporate vice president of Microsoft's tools division, told CNET News.com."

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