Rants, rambles, news and notes from another geek

Visual Basic 6.0 Source Code

Ever since I ran across this group of MVPs who are petitioning Microsoft to re-establish development and support of VB6, I’ve been thinking about what the right answer is to their request.

For the record, I don’t think what they want is a good move for the Microsoft development community at large. Here is some of the text of the petition:

We ask that Microsoft further develop VB6 and VBA, in order to meet these objectives (in order of perceived importance):

  1. Preservation of assets

Future versions of VB6/VBA should:

  • Use existing VB6/VBA projects without extensive conversion;
  • Support the core VB6/VBA Visual Basic language and syntax;
  • Compile existing projects and produce identical results.
  1. Continued support for the Visual Basic language

Microsoft should demonstrate a commitment to the core Visual Basic language. This core should be enhanced and extended, and changes should follow a documented deprecation process.

  1. Ease of migration of unmanaged VB/VBA code to VB.NET

The decisions of if, how, and when to migrate code to .NET should lie with the customer. Some may choose to remain with unmanaged VB, especially for legacy code bases. Some will use only VB.NET, others a mix. A future version of VB6/VBA should treat all these options as valid, while making it easy to move among them.

Now, while this may feel like&nbsp_place_holder;good idea to developers who just want to draw forms and drag and drop databases, my first response is, you can do that in .NET and my second response is, you shouldn’t be doing it anyway.

But that isn’t really what I want to propose. Rather than asking Microsoft to release and support unmanaged VB.x into the future, how about thisΓǪ

Petition Microsoft to release the source to VB6. Why not? We (MS) are done with it. And there have been discussions of releasing the WinForms code, so why not?

There is one significant problem with this idea, of course. I’m guessing that the VB6 source was written in C/C++, so they will have to find some other group of people to maintain the source for them.


Maybe that wouldn’t work after all.

DISCLAIMER: I do not work for the Visual Basic team. As far as I know, there are no current plans to release the source code for VB6 to the public. Sorry.