Why This Blog?

I encountered Visual Basic 6 in 1998. It was familiar to me because of my use of BASIC on GE timesharing as far back as 1967 (see the ‘About’ tab). I began using it to do things I could not do easily in a script. I found I could do some neat things with Class Modules and the information in Dan Appleman’s “Visual Basic Programmer’s Guide to the Win32 API”. Leveraging off my assembler experience of the ’70’s and ’80’s, I authored some utilities for the Microsoft OS world.

I had been doing this for a while when Microsoft came out with VB .NET in 2002. I didn’t think it was a big deal and just kept using VB6. I first tried using VB .Net with the 2005 version (Maybe dropping the ‘.NET’ threw me off) and quickly realized that this was VERY different from the world I had been using. Not wanting to learn a new language, I just kept using VB6.

As Microsoft support for VB6 began to sunset, I did, or more accurately attempted, converting some of my code to VB 2005 (8.0). Conversion, I found, was difficult, as it remains today, even with very good tools. I continued this with VB 2008 as extended support for the IDE ended. It almost seemed it is easier to rewrite than convert existing VB6 code.

I began to develop new things in either VB .NET or PowerShell but converted no existing VB6 code (actually I did convert one utility successfully but the client is still using the VB6 version!). I did notice that my VB6 programs kept running on newer versions of Windows so I put off any more conversion attempts.

Then a miracle occurred or at least it was one to me. Microsoft announced “It Just Works” support for VB6 runtime on Windows Server versions through 2016 and Windows 10. Suddenly, there was no pressure to convert\rewrite. Then they included newly released Server 2019. That takes runtime support to at least 2025. The specifics.

So, why this blog? At this point, although I develop nothing ‘new’ in VB6,
because I know it will likely run for the foreseeable future, I change\extend anything written in VB6 in VB6. The fact is that there is demising support for VB6 code, techniques etc. If you look for VB support on the internet, it will likely be for .NET code. I hope through this blog to share, and hopefully help other people still maintaining VB6 code.

I hope it helps.