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Posted Sunday, September 3, 2006 2:34 PM


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Wow. According to this survey on SearchVB.com, 64% of respondents code in VB6. Granted this is a VB site, so perhaps most of the people reading the site are stuck in VB 6 jobs and that's why they visit the site, but still that's a good sized number. With .Net having been out for 3 versions of the framework and 6 years you'd think that many companies, at least 1/2, would have moved to VB.NET fulltime.


Especially with the lack of support for VB 6 now.


I certainly understand the need to continue using VB 6 for legacy applications since rewrites are expensive. I also understand the steep learning curve and the desire to not move away from something you know so well. It's human nature to get comfortable in one area. As geeks I'd think most programmers are interested in moving to VB.NET and other languages, but it's a big change and I can believe that it slows the migration away from VB 6.


One interesting thing in the survey was that most people prferred working in smaller teams. That way they get to wear more hats, handle more roles, and have a bigger impact on the project. I know that's a big factor in whether you really give yourself to a project or not. If it's small you can help architect, work on different aspects of the lifecycle, and see the project through to completion.


In large projects you get stuck with one little part. Which can lead to a boring, mind numbing, and frustrating work day. We need large projects and need people to do their part, but we also need to remember that people need excitement. Giving them a small project they can control here and there definitely helps to keep people interested and happy.


And employed with you.


Steve Jones






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Post #305895
Posted Monday, September 4, 2006 3:10 AM
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I 2nd the "work in small teams" part.

It also helps gain a bigger picture of the project so you don't go down a blind alley.

When I develop I try and put the end user's hat on so I code for what they are likely to want to do. As the old saying goes, walk a mile in another man's shoes.

I was actually asked in an interview "What benefits does moving to VB.NET give"?

I was so shocked that it took me a few minutes to answer it.


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Post #305948
Posted Monday, September 4, 2006 5:58 AM
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Personally, as a fellow geek, I would embrace .NET (not just VB) with open arms.  Having been on a number of courses now for VB and SQL 2005, life has been made somewhat easier in certain respects for the humble developer (although beefier machines are now required to run the development environments ).  And yes, the small team building idea is excellent.

What is stopping the company I work for is "money" - the initial cost of licensing (as per usual) and the cost of the re-write (architecturally, hours to code/test/implement and also the training budget available). 

The philosophy used at the moment is "if it isn't broken, why fix it?"....... to a technology that is now nearly 10 years old.  As well as still supporting SQL 6.5




Post #305966
Posted Monday, September 4, 2006 7:23 AM
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We have been having the debate for the past 2 years about rewriting our applications in VB.Net and we still don't have a great answer for it. Effectively we can spend a year rewriting and testing our applications to give us....the same product as we have now but it is in .Net. There is no business case for this at all. The time spent on rewriting something that already exists would be better spent on enhancing what we have using VB6 as this generates sales.

We will be moving across to .Net but only when our application needs a major change, and that major change will in all probability be driven by sales, not by a need to move up to the latest programming language.




Post #305985
Posted Monday, September 4, 2006 7:40 AM


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That 64% who still code in VB6 doesn't surprise me.  I've been at the same company for 10 years, where we wrote an OK VB6 app 10 years ago, and then an excellent VB6 app 8 years ago.  I would love to get away from those VB6 apps.  I have developed a hatred for VB6; its IDE is so primative compared to VB.NET.  But, we have half the developers we did when we wrote those two apps, and I hate to say it but the caliber of developers now working for us is not what it was when we authored those apps all those years ago.  So, we're stuck in a developers' hell of maintenance of patches and just keeping our heads above water.  Fortunately, we've been able to convert portions of the oldest app to VB.NET and ASP.NET, and that has helped tremendously, but the original apps live on like Hydra as we struggle with herculean effort to kill them.

 




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Post #305990
Posted Monday, September 4, 2006 7:48 AM


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I understand that porting an application from mysql to sqlserver can take a huge amount of ressources.  But can someone explain me really how hard it is to port from vb6 to vb7???  I mean it's not like going from a self coded database to sql server 2005.  I imagine that there are some pitfalls but can there be that much work involved??
Post #305993
Posted Monday, September 4, 2006 8:03 AM


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RGR'us, for us the issue is that one of our developers has a very hard time with OOP concepts.  He just doesn't seem able to wrap his mind around them.  Because of that, it is hard to convert our older VB6 apps to VB.NET.  However, in his favor he does prefer the VB.NET IDE to that of VB6, so he might be won over by the developement environment.

 




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Post #306042
Posted Monday, September 4, 2006 8:12 AM


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Thanx for the info.  I was under the impression that the conversion tool was not doing a really good job of converting to .net.  I was wondering about those pitfalls but I see you have other problems .

 

However if your programmer has troubles with oop.  I suggest you turn him into a dba somehow.  Maybe he'll have a natural touch to work with set based operations .

Post #306043
Posted Monday, September 4, 2006 9:03 AM


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That is a good idea, RGR'us (about trying to make that one programmer into a DBA).  Set operations might really be more to his liking.

Thanks!

 




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Post #306061
Posted Monday, September 4, 2006 11:28 AM


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I also prefer VB 6 to .net. One reason is that because it is so old, it is fixed and unchanging; and it's not hard to find a 10-years-plus VB vet. The .net world is a moving target - first I bought 2002 Pro, then I needed 2003 C# for a project, then 2003 VB for something else, and now I've got the portion of VS 2005 that comes with SS2005.

One more advantage to VB 6 is that you don't have to wonder if they have the .net Framework installed (and the correct version, too) so deployment is far more involved than the originally-promised "xcopy deployment" that would end DLL hell. Now we're in the Framework hell, instead. Or you might say we're back to requiring the correct version of VBRUNxxx, yuck!

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