Real Software moves on VB6 developers

Real Software moves on VB6 developers

Summary: Real Software has extended a software product giveaway designed to exploit Microsoft's decision to end free support for Visual Basic 6 (VB6). Real -- a rival developer tools maker to Microsoft -- today extended by a week its offer to VB6 developers of a free upgrade to its Realbasic software.

TOPICS: Software
Real Software has extended a software product giveaway designed to exploit Microsoft's decision to end free support for Visual Basic 6 (VB6).

Real -- a rival developer tools maker to Microsoft -- today extended by a week its offer to VB6 developers of a free upgrade to its Realbasic software. Originally made on 21 March, the offer deadline has been pushed out from 1 to 8 April.

To date, Real claims to have signed up 10,000 VB6 users.

Developers and Microsoft are at odds over the software heavyweight's plans for VB6. The support move has sparked an outcry among supporters of VB6, who claim Microsoft is leaving them "stranded" as it focusses its efforts on the .NET tools and platform.

More than 4,500 developers worldwide -- including 200-plus of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professionals(MVPs) -- have signed a petition asking the company to continue its support of classic VB, help preserve investment in existing applications and deliver easier migration to Visual Basic .NET.

However, Microsoft has refused to budge.

Real Software's move has not won wholehearted support within the developer community. Nick Wienholt, consultant and Microsoft MVP who signed the petition, said moving to Realbasic was not the solution he was hoping for.

"One of the main points of the VB petition was the request for the ability not to have to port VB6 code that is working anywhere," Wienholt said. "The only 100 percent compatible VB6 product will continue to be VB6, so I don't see this as much of a fix".

Bill McCarthy, chief executive officer at Total Environment and also a Microsoft MVP, agreed.

"Personally, I do not see any advantage to going with Realbasic -- instead just a lot of pains," he said. "Without the support for properties as such, and interface you inherit in VB6 will not upgrade and there really is no replacement.

"For people who are incredibly angry at Microsoft, Realbasic might be an alternative, but it will do little or nothing for their current code assets.

"In fact, I think they'd generally find the conversion to VB.NET is a lot easier than a conversion to Realbasic.

However, McCarthy was not totally negative about Real Software's offering. "Realbasic does have some potential for cross platform development, and it does have some interesting 'extender' kind of inheritance abilities," he added.

Topic: Software

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  • I'm one of those frustrated VB6 users who have signed the petition and decided to download and evaluate RealBasic.

    I do believe that RealBasic represents a valid alternative to VB.NET for those who, like me, don't want to program in byte-code and depend on a framework which is so cumbersome that it would be foolish to distribute it together with your app.

    Decompiling an application developed with VB.NET is as easy as pie. Microsoft itself provides a reverse-engineering tool in VS.NET 2003. If you don't use a good obfuscator, you could soon see your software published by some other programmers who just decompiled your exe, removed your signature and logo from it and compiled it again.

    Another thing that makes me prefer RealBasic to VB.NET is that Microsoft's development tool is not cross-platform, since you cannot create executables for Mac or Linux. The Linux Mono project is just a hopeless attempt.

    RealBasic IS cross-platform and allows you to program for Win32, Linux and Mac with little or no modifications to your code.

    Dear Microsoft, the programmers' world still needs something like VB6 and, if you are determined to consider any future versions of VB.COM not feasible, I'm afraid you are digging your own grave.

    How could programmers trust you again and rely on your products?

    You can consider RealBasic as a sort of divine punishment that paves the way for a new era in which programmers will realize that there are software houses much more reliable than Microsoft.
  • Sorry, but "realbasic" is no solution. Some of us hard core VB users who make in depth use of the Win32 API would have more pains than not with this "alternative", and that's not even mentioning the fact that Real Software frequently spams the MS newsgroups. There are another few bits that are not mentioned either, the most important one being that cross platform compatibility is only supported if you are not using the Win32 API. I know, I have tried in an effort to back up my claims. Another bit is that the "free" version they offer is an older version with less features than their current version which must be paid for. Offering an older less feature-rich version as an alternative is no solution, it just creates more problems when MS should be the ones supporting us who have supported them for so long.

    I have also signed the petition but have little hope that it will do any good. MS is all about profit, and apparently there is no profit in supporting what us developers find useful (VB6) versus what MS dictates what we think should be useful(.NET).
  • Honestly, we need to move on. VB6 is ancient in computer terms, doesn't have full OOP support and compared to VB.NET, it is really poor. Sure, it looks hard and bad, but once you start programming in it, you'd wonder why you wasted time with VB6. It is a much better environment and language than VB6 is, and it hasn't changed all that much. There are the few people who cry that it is like learning a new language, but it's not. It's just that it's full OOP compared to VB6's dodgy support.

    This has been a long time comming. Microsoft announced this many years ago, so it's not like it's a sudden thing. Also, like all pieces of software, it needs to be laid to rest. You don't still hear people crying for Microsoft to support 16-bit programming and Windows 3.11 do you?
  • VB IDE Open Source

    I have developed a basic open source IDE for VB6 using VB6. I am not sure how long i can go but here is link if you are interested
  • VB programming still means VB6

    Now, in April 2014 the VB6 programming language is still the most popular version of Visual Basic.