VB6+

Okay, that’s a rather silly name however Bill McCarthy has an article called “It’s Time for VB6+” over at FTPOnline. In the article he says Microsoft’s loyal customers (Corporate America) deserve better. They deserve another version of VB6.

I can sympathize somewhat with the words being said here because at work, we’re in a pretty bad place. Tons of VB6 code all over the place running mission critical apps and the corporation being somewhat forced into moving to .NET isn’t the best way to migrate smartly. I don’t think a VB6+ is the answer though because it becomes just another ugly compatibility bridge between VB6 and .NET.

There are a few things that Microsoft did to bridge that gap already. They have several documents/white papers/etc. on how to migrate from VB6 to .NET. There is an upsizing wizard that will analyze a VB6 app and suggest ways to move it to .NET. Additionally they created a Microsoft.VisualBasic namespace that provides compatible functions to VB6 apps which map to their .NET equivalents.

The thing is that it’s wrong in so many ways to just “wizard” an app from one language to another (and VB.NET is not VB6 upgraded). The way things are done is different and thus requires some rethinking. It’s not like just grabbing the house and moving to a new foundation. The foundation has changed and doesn’t necessarily support the same way the walls fit together. True, there is some glue here that will help those old walls hold together but don’t expect them to weather any kind of a storm. Without doing some re-engineering it’s like writing C style code in a C++ world. It’s not OO, it’s anti-OO.