Saturday, October 15, 2005

VB6 May Live If...

I have just completed 2 projects recently using VB6. I know that using .NET is the IN thing but the client's required it. A programmer's best friend is Google, to search the net looking for an explanation for why a bug is occuring or trying to find out how to implement a certain feature or maybe find free code lying around on the net to directly embed into their own.

When working on these VB6 projects I realized that a lot of VB6 code is now available for free on the net compared to what was out there just a year back. So many sites are giving away complete VB6 code, its just plain crazy. Work that used to take me months can now be done within days as the code for most of the features that you can think of is available for free downloads.

Maybe I did not notice this because I was lost in the world of Java for a while now. But I believe that there are people out there who are trying to keep VB6 alive. Free code for it being available on so many sites definitely means that there is a demand for it.

I feel that if a company were to invest into creating a VB6 clone, it would definitely sell. Better yet, if it could be made to be cross-platform compatible, it would sell like hotcakes. Cross-platform compatibility would mean that old VB6 programs cannot be compiled for other platforms, but it would mean that VB6 programmers can use their coding skills to develop for other platforms. One Open Source project to note is GAMBAS which is "... a free development environment based on a Basic interpreter with object extensions, like Visual Basic™ (but it is NOT a clone !) ..."

I am not trying to ditch VB.NET. I use it and its a great language. But consider the VB6 programmers all around the world who are being forced to let go of their beloved language to move to a COMPLETELY NEW language. I was able to cope because of my strong background in OOP from Java.

Think about all the programmers who could not update their knowledge to VB.NET and lost their jobs. I can hear the smart remarks of some programmers "that means more money for us". I would simply like to say to them "your time will come as well".