Letters to the Editor

A group of MVPs recently initiated a petition for Microsoft to extend support of Classic VB. VSM readers encourage this group to drop the crusade and let the .NET river run its course.

Letters to Visual Studio Magazine are welcome. Letters must include your name, address, and daytime phone number to be considered for publication. Letters might be edited for form, fit, and style. Please send them to Letters to the Editor, c/o Visual Studio Magazine, 2600 El Camino Real, Suite 300, San Mateo, CA 94403; fax them to 650-570-6307; or e-mail them to editor@visualstudiomagazine.com.

Getting a Move on .NET
In a way, I admire the efforts of Karl E. Peterson and others who helped launch the petition to urge Microsoft to extend support for Visual Basic 6 [Guest Opinion, "Support Classic VB," May 2005]. This group of developers has demonstrated truly extraordinary patience and persistence in pursuing its agenda of longer-term support for VB6.

For example, who'd have thought, five years later, that we'd all still be discussing this issue in the first place? It's a minor miracle that Karl & Co. have managed to keep the issue alive at all, given the obvious pressures everywhere to just move on. No doubt, the significant number of developers who use VB6 to this day and have yet to move on to .NET appreciate Karl's efforts on their behalf.

Unfortunately, moving on is exactly what is required.

For as well meaning as I suspect Karl is, he is only delaying the inevitable, and it will cost companies time and resources that would have been better spent migrating now rather than delaying the inevitable. Sticking with the past has its own costs in terms of diminishing support and the eventual irrelevance of a dead language in the modern programming sphere.

So, while I applaud Karl's efforts and the efforts of those like him, I also urge him to drop the crusade and let the .NET river run its course. It will be better for everyone—especially those still using VB6—in the long run.

Max Dietrich, Amarillo, Texas

After reading Karl E. Peterson's editorial advocating that Microsoft support Classic VB in a future edition of Visual Studio .NET, I have one question for the editors of VSM: Are you on crack? Why do you continue to give such outlandish proposals space in a magazine that is allegedly devoted to covering .NET?

The time to complain about VB.NET was before it launched, not more than four years later. If Microsoft didn't listen to the critics then, why is it going to listen to them now, all these years later, when it would be another three to four years, if not more, before anyone would have any hope of seeing the fruits of an effort to port Classic VB to the .NET IDE?

This is a horse so dead, kicking it just stirs up the sand where its bones used to be.

I won't argue that Microsoft changed VB significantly when it brought the language onto the .NET platform. Of course it did. And code that worked for 10 or 15 years in previous versions of VB no longer worked in .NET. I get that. But you know what? That code still works; it just doesn't work in .NET. So what?

The transition from Classic VB to VB.NET ranges from trivial to genuinely difficult, depending on your past coding history and level of expertise. But in exchange, you get a modern programming language that helps you solve today's business problems, rather than a tool that enables you to solve the problems of 15 years ago.

Eleanor Johanssen, Cleveland

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This story was written or compiled based on feedback from the readers of Visual Studio Magazine.

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