Improve Visual Basic 6.0 support in ReactOS

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rizalmartin
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Improve Visual Basic 6.0 support in ReactOS

Post by rizalmartin » Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:34 am

Ease of developing apps are the main attraction for using the OS. Visual Basic 6.0 is one of the main attraction why using Windows OS is popular. Although it is unsupported by microsoft since 2008 it is still widely used since 1998. It is the main reason why many users does not change OS. Some of them are called it the "unkillable cockroach" according to these articles.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/jj133828.aspx
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/dn745870.aspx

There are is a petition on Visual Studio user voice where the developers are requesting to Bring Back the Visual Basic 6.0 or Open Source but the microsoft declines it. They say that the Visual Basic 6.0 lasted until 2024. Here is the official statement (source: http://visualstudio.uservoice.com/forum ... oved-versi):
We have read all of the comments on this thread and I’d like to thank you for providing your constructive feedback on this issue. Instead of merely repeating our support and migration guidance that has been laid out on http://msdn.com/vbrun, I’d like to address some of your specific comments here.

To play back the feedback themes we’re hearing:
- VB6 is awesome
- VB6 needs to be brought forward and maintained: in a new release or OSS

VB6 was and still is without a doubt awesome. VB6 made developers incredibly productive building a breadth of applications and as a result we have a wealth of applications and passionate developers to this day in 2014. One way I see our mission in developer tools is to empower developers to solve problems. This includes both today’s problems AND the problems of tomorrow. VB6, as you all have stated repeatedly in this thread, is an excellent tool for solving the problems of its day. We also stand behind our decision starting in 2002 to meet the current demands of our developers and the industry with .NET. For the scenarios VB6 set out to do, we see VB6 being “complete”. We feel good about VB6 being able to continue maintaining their applications for the past 15 years. Current needs ranging from distributed applications and services, to web applications and services, to devices, to new architectures and languages, required fundamental changes to the whole stack. We looked at how we could accommodate these needs through incremental changes to VB6 while maintaining its essence, and that was not possible.

To address the modern needs we would need to go far beyond updating the language. We have to remember that VB6 is not just a language. VB6 is a language, a runtime, a platform library, a tool/IDE, and an ecosystem tightly packaged together in a way that made all of them work well together. We’ve worked with many customers on migration from VB6 to .NET and found that while yes, there are language changes, the dominating factor in migration difficulties isn’t the language differences. Even open sourcing the language/runtime wouldn’t solve the fact that VB6 was thought for a different set of problems, and the fact that its strength came from the end-to-end solution provided by all these five pieces working together. Take a change like 64bit, the complete runtime, tools and ecosystem chain would need to be retooled.

So, moving forward what can we do? Where we have been able to help move forward is in our stance around support and interoperability. The VB6 runtime it is still a component of the Windows operating system and is a component shipped in Windows 8.1. It will be supported at least through 2024. This ensures your apps and components continue to run as you incrementally move forward to .NET. The support policy is here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/vstudio/ms788708. There are numerous interop strategies that we developed and evolved to enable incremental migration as you upgrade your skills, described here: http://msdn.com/vbrun.

In summary, VB6 was awesome. We agree. We don’t expect or demand anyone to throw away their code or rewrite from any of our technologies unless it makes business sense for them to do so. We have to innovate to enable our customers to innovate. It is not a viable option to create a next version of VB6. We stand by our decision to make VB.NET and the .NET Framework. We think they are awesome too. It is not feasible to open source VB6 tools chain and ecosystem. The VB6 runtime was last shipped in Windows 8.1 and will be supported for the lifetime of Windows 8.1. Support and interop are great tools to move forward incrementally.

I hope you feel we’ve listened to your feedback and that I’ve explained things well enough that you understand our decision.

Paul Yuknewicz
Group Program Manager
Microsoft Visual Studio Cloud Tools
This statement triggers a lot of dissappoinments and anger from VB6 developers. Even the posts regarding VB6 is shutdown by the microsoft admin. Now the developers are become orphans due to this situation.

Because of that there are 2 approaches must be act:
* Push up Visual Basic 6.0 to run and compile flawlessly on ReactOS
* Reverse engineer Visual Basic 6.0

If the Visual Basic 6.0 run effectively and smoothly on ReactOS or Release a reversed engineered VB6. This will attract more developers and contributors also. ReactOS will become more popular and gather attention to improve this OS.
Last edited by rizalmartin on Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

Konata
Posts: 391
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Re: Improve Visual Basic 6.0 support in ReactOS

Post by Konata » Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:56 am

>Visual Basic 6.0 is the main attraction why using windows OS is popular.
Yes VB6 is why everyone uses Windows. No other reason at all.

Anyway, whom is this post directed to? The devs are kinda busy making ReactOS itself usable right now, I don't think they're too focused on Visual Basic.
You must be a programmer if you're advocating the support of a programming language, why don't you help out and see how you could get VB6 running? Or even make a VB6 clone if you can.

middings
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Location: California, USA

Re: Improve Visual Basic 6.0 support in ReactOS

Post by middings » Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:35 am

rizalmartin wrote:Because of (Microsoft's discontinuance of support for VB6) there are 2 (opportunities for action):
* Push up Visual Basic 6.0 to run and compile flawlessly on ReactOS
* Reverse engineer Visual Basic 6.0
Your call to action is very ambitious.

Remember the story of Linus Torvalds's early announcement of what became Linux. In his 25 Aug 91 post to the comp.os.minix newsgroup, he announced that he already had written some working code and asked for suggestions. His initial code was incomplete and probably worked poorly. Still, the rest is history.

Someone in the Linux community has noticed that the story of Linus Torvalds's one-man effort to share "a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu)" resembled the folk-tale of the Stone Soup.

The lesson of Linus Torvalds's Linux is that to succeed as a volunteer community software project, the important beginning is the enthusiast's written and running code that accomplishes a portion of the intended goal. If the enthusiast only has a public call to action, the enthusiast is not a builder or project mobilizer but a beggar. Almost every project that began with begging ended with nothing. I wish you success as you work toward your goal of building an alternative to VB6.

"Talk is cheap. Show me the code."--Linus Torvalds

dizt3mp3r
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Re: Improve Visual Basic 6.0 support in ReactOS

Post by dizt3mp3r » Wed Jun 04, 2014 12:56 pm

This chap is making some 'real' progress toward a reverse engineered VB6(.5)

http://vbrichclient.com/#/en/About/

Like everyone, he has a life and limited time. He is aware of ReactOS.

If you want to continue coding in VB6, simply use XP and allow your programs to work on windows until 2024, during this time ReactOS will mature and VB6 will install and run more as it should, bugwilling.

Or look at the alternatives, list of some possibles here:
http://lightquick.co.uk/still-looking-f ... Itemid=252

VB5 does install on ReactOS (to an extent) as I believe does VB6, search this forum for details.

Before I leave I'd like to make this comment: If I interpret the OPs intentions, I feel that he is passionately calling upon ReactOS to step up to the challenge as an alternate platform for VB6 development. I don't think we should ignore his pleas as there are a lot of devs that really might love to work on ReactOS as their main platform (if only it were ready).

Think of it this way - this might be a future Indiegogo/kickstarter. Getting ReactOS fit for running VB6. There are sufficient VB6 devs out there and a defined target that might really respond to targetted marketing/advertising for such a project.


Webunny
Posts: 1201
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2012 1:30 pm

Re: Improve Visual Basic 6.0 support in ReactOS

Post by Webunny » Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:26 pm

dizt3mp3r wrote:This chap is making some 'real' progress toward a reverse engineered VB6(.5)

http://vbrichclient.com/#/en/About/

Like everyone, he has a life and limited time. He is aware of ReactOS.

If you want to continue coding in VB6, simply use XP and allow your programs to work on windows until 2024, during this time ReactOS will mature and VB6 will install and run more as it should, bugwilling.

Or look at the alternatives, list of some possibles here:
http://lightquick.co.uk/still-looking-f ... Itemid=252

VB5 does install on ReactOS (to an extent) as I believe does VB6, search this forum for details.

Before I leave I'd like to make this comment: If I interpret the OPs intentions, I feel that he is passionately calling upon ReactOS to step up to the challenge as an alternate platform for VB6 development. I don't think we should ignore his pleas as there are a lot of devs that really might love to work on ReactOS as their main platform (if only it were ready).

Think of it this way - this might be a future Indiegogo/kickstarter. Getting ReactOS fit for running VB6. There are sufficient VB6 devs out there and a defined target that might really respond to targetted marketing/advertising for such a project.
Not as a main kickstarter/IGG. I mean, as replacement for next time. To be honest, I don't doubt some are very enthusiastic about VB6 and making ROS the main platform for it, but it is and remains a niche. Most ordinary people never even heard of VB6. And I doubt there is such a huge pool of enthusiast coders out there that desperately want this so much, that we would get 25000-30000 dollar out of it. If one denies that, let's just see for the facts, and try out a little extra 'side' project, for, say, 10000 dollar. If one doesn't even get that much, it's useless to go for it as a replacement of the current kind of project. And with Thorium, we already had a failure.

Really; I'm not sure you guys have thought this true, from the standpoint of the ordinary user. I mean, even I, while I think VB6 running well on ROS would be a good thing, I'm not really all that hot for it. So how would an ordinary, non-IT'er think about it? Less then lukewarm, I would say. There is always a danger we take our own wishes as desirable, as IT'ers, but that doesn't mean it will be a success in reality, when ordinary people have to sponsor it.

dizt3mp3r
Posts: 1439
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Re: Improve Visual Basic 6.0 support in ReactOS

Post by dizt3mp3r » Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:48 pm

To be honest you may want to rethink your thoughts about VB6 and what other people think of it. Still Microsoft's most popular language even though it has been officially dead for years. It won't die. I'd do some research here if I were you you.

There is a head of steam behind VB6 and some form of resurrection as there really was no better RAD tool (for many). Many companies stepping into fill the gap but none quite the same with the same level of penetration.

Regardless of what you nor I think (I am not a VB6 programmer) the amount of people (and remember that reads DEVs) that want VB6 on a stable platform is considerable. Before I raised my point I did some research and I think the OP is raising a real direction for ReactOS. I am pretty sure that it is actually a better direction for ReactOS than as a general purpose o/s as you'd have thousands of loyal Devs on board with an o/s that was more or less built with them in mind...

Imagine this, ReactOS being the platform of choice for thousands of developers, running an IDE of a major Microsoft product that Microsoft's own platform won't support. Despite this, the target platform is guaranteed until 2024 by MS itself.

Not getting the importance of this?

Webunny
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Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2012 1:30 pm

Re: Improve Visual Basic 6.0 support in ReactOS

Post by Webunny » Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:15 am

dizt3mp3r wrote:To be honest you may want to rethink your thoughts about VB6 and what other people think of it. Still Microsoft's most popular language even though it has been officially dead for years. It won't die. I'd do some research here if I were you you.

There is a head of steam behind VB6 and some form of resurrection as there really was no better RAD tool (for many). Many companies stepping into fill the gap but none quite the same with the same level of penetration.

Regardless of what you nor I think (I am not a VB6 programmer) the amount of people (and remember that reads DEVs) that want VB6 on a stable platform is considerable. Before I raised my point I did some research and I think the OP is raising a real direction for ReactOS. I am pretty sure that it is actually a better direction for ReactOS than as a general purpose o/s as you'd have thousands of loyal Devs on board with an o/s that was more or less built with them in mind...

Imagine this, ReactOS being the platform of choice for thousands of developers, running an IDE of a major Microsoft product that Microsoft's own platform won't support. Despite this, the target platform is guaranteed until 2024 by MS itself.

Not getting the importance of this?
You're missing the point at most parts of your post. The question was not whether it would die or not. Or whether I 'get' the importance.

The only part where you actually went into the argument itself is, where you say "the amount of people that want VB6 on a platform like ROS is considerable". This is the crux of the matter, and I think this is faulty. Well, that's to say: you could as well be right, depending on your definition of 'considerable'. But frankly, 'thousands' of devs on a world-population of 8 billion, isn't exactly 'considerable' in my book. Thus, there are many more ordinary users and non-IT guys out there, than there are devs interested in VB6, however you want to turn it. Furthermore, on any given populace, you only reach a very small percentage (look at IGG now, even with all the campaign behind it, we still didn't gather enough to reach the goal of 50000 dollar).

One can hypothesise that every dev in the world who use(d) VB6 would flock to it and spend hundreds of dollars on it, but I'm just too realistic to believe that. At best, you'd only reach a fraction of those thousands to begin with, and even of those only a fraction would consider giving substantial amounts to ROS for it.

Mind you, I'm not dishing VB6 or saying it hasn't got its use, or a dedicated group of people aren't fond of it. Maybe it's a worthwhile goal to a push-your-app vote (though I didn't see it getting many votes on my contest ;) ) I'm just saying it won't be enough to gather anywhere near 25000 dollar. To think it would amass enough to replace the current kind of IGG project is an illusion.

Of course, you could always prove me wrong. As said, start something like that and see how much it brings in. If you get above 10000 dollar, I'll even chip in with 100 bucks.
Last edited by Webunny on Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

dizt3mp3r
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Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 5:54 pm

Re: Improve Visual Basic 6.0 support in ReactOS

Post by dizt3mp3r » Thu Jun 05, 2014 3:10 am

The main reason why it is a good idea is two/threefold :

1. To have a target audience (it always helps to have a target audience to market towards, no scatter-gun approach required)
2. To get devs on your side (the more the merrier, as VB6 or not, devs may be able to assist with ReactOS)
3. The market is fragmenting and consumers may want Windows less and less whereas devs may want it more as their development base. Lots of older apps, lots of comnmercial apps. See? the argument returns back to ReactOS roots.

OK, less of a VB6 platform but perhaps more of a 'devs' platform. The thing is - VB6-ers are crying out for a platform whereas other devs aren't quite as vocal - as they are still catered for by MS. That is why the VB6 platform appeals, ReactOS would have a solid group of users that would probably never leave.

The thing is that it would be a marketing coup to get the whole VB6 world on ReactOS side.

oldman
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Re: Improve Visual Basic 6.0 support in ReactOS

Post by oldman » Fri Jun 06, 2014 5:05 pm

by dizt3mp3r » 04 Jun 2014 10:56
Or look at the alternatives, list of some possibles here:
http://lightquick.co.uk/still-looking-f ... Itemid=252
I have down-loaded and done a little testing of some progs from here http://www.freebasic.net/ which is linked from the site quoted above.

I do not know how to meaningfully use these progs, so if someone reads this that does, then would you care to test them in Ros and post your findings here. In the meantime, here are some screenshots.

FreeBASIC
Image

FbEdit an IDE.
Image

FBIde another IDE.
Image
Please keep the Windows classic (9x/2000) look and feel.
The layman's guides to - debugging - bug reporting - compiling - with some complementary scripts.
They may help you with a problem, so do have a look at them.

rizalmartin
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2014 5:40 am

Re: Improve Visual Basic 6.0 support in ReactOS

Post by rizalmartin » Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:34 pm


MadWolf
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Re: Improve Visual Basic 6.0 support in ReactOS

Post by MadWolf » Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:08 pm

on a windows pc copy the code in to a bat file and run it then mount the HD and copy the files to the HD
Installing VB5 runtime on reactos

Code: Select all

msvbvm50.exe /c /q /t:F:\Test\VisualBasic5Runtime
cd F:\Test\VisualBasic5Runtime
copy OLEAUT32.DLL C:\Test\ReactOS\ReactOS\system32 /y /v
copy OLEAUT32.DLL C:\Test\ReactOS\VisualBasic5Runtime /y /v
copy OLEPRO32.DLL C:\Test\ReactOS\ReactOS\system32 /y /v
copy OLEPRO32.DLL C:\Test\ReactOS\VisualBasic5Runtime /y /v
copy STDOLE2.TLB C:\Test\ReactOS\ReactOS\system32 /y /v
copy STDOLE2.TLB C:\Test\ReactOS\VisualBasic5Runtime /y /v
rename ADVPACK.DLL ADVPACK.DLL.vb5
copy ADVPACK.DLL.vb5 C:\Test\ReactOS\ReactOS\system32 /y /v
copy ADVPACK.DLL.vb5 C:\Test\ReactOS\VisualBasic5Runtime /y /v
copy ASYCFILT.DLL C:\Test\ReactOS\ReactOS\system32 /y /v
copy ASYCFILT.DLL C:\Test\ReactOS\VisualBasic5Runtime /y /v
copy COMCAT.DLL C:\Test\ReactOS\ReactOS\system32 /y /v
copy COMCAT.DLL C:\Test\ReactOS\VisualBasic5Runtime /y /v
copy MSVBVM50.DLL C:\Test\ReactOS\ReactOS\system32 /y /v
copy MSVBVM50.DLL C:\TestReactOS\VisualBasic5Runtime /y /v
Installing VB6 runtime on reactos

Code: Select all

VC6RedistSetup_deu.exe /c /q /t:F:\Test\VisualCPlusPlus6
cd F:\Test\VisualCPlusPlus6
vcredist.exe /c /q /t:F:\Test\VisualCPlusPlus6

copy stdole2.tlb C:\Test\ReactOS\ReactOS\system32 /y /v
copy msvcp60.dll C:\Test\ReactOS\ReactOS\system32 /y /v
rename msvcrt.dll msvcrt.dll.VCP6
copy msvcrt.dll.old C:\Test\ReactOS\ReactOS\system32 /y /v
copy comcat.dll C:\Test\ReactOS\ReactOS\system32 /y /v
copy oleaut32.dll C:\Test\ReactOS\ReactOS\system32 /y /v
copy olepro32.dll C:\Test\ReactOS\ReactOS\system32 /y /v
copy mfc42.dll C:\Test\ReactOS\ReactOS\system32 /y /v
copy mfc42u.dll C:\Test\ReactOS\ReactOS\system32 /y /v
copy msvcirt.dll C:\Test\ReactOS\ReactOS\system32 /y /v
copy asycfilt.dll C:\Test\ReactOS\ReactOS\system32 /y /v
rename ADVPACK.DLL ADVPACK.DLL.VCP6
copy ADVPACK.DLL.VCP6 C:\Test\ReactOS\ReactOS\system32 /y /v
edit
for the best compatibility copy the run time in to the root folder of the program

manuel
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Re: Improve Visual Basic 6.0 support in ReactOS

Post by manuel » Thu Jun 12, 2014 3:35 pm

oldman wrote:
by dizt3mp3r » 04 Jun 2014 10:56
Or look at the alternatives, list of some possibles here:
http://lightquick.co.uk/still-looking-f ... Itemid=252
I have down-loaded and done a little testing of some progs from here http://www.freebasic.net/ which is linked from the site quoted above.

I do not know how to meaningfully use these progs, so if someone reads this that does, then would you care to test them in Ros and post your findings here. In the meantime, here are some screenshots.

FreeBASIC
Image

FbEdit an IDE.
Image

FBIde another IDE.
Image
not bad, the truth not bad, but is BASIC and not VB, truth?, I use windows and work with sharpdevelop + VB.Net, that it would be better have this development environment?, greetings.

milon
Posts: 969
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 9:26 pm

Re: Improve Visual Basic 6.0 support in ReactOS

Post by milon » Thu Jun 12, 2014 5:07 pm

manuel wrote:not bad, the truth not bad, but is BASIC and not VB, truth?, I use windows and work with sharpdevelop + VB.Net, that it would be better have this development environment?, greetings.
If you haven't tried this yet, try running SharpDevelop on Windows using Mono instead of .NET and if that works, try it on ROS. You might be able to do Mono + SharpDevelop, which would be pretty cool if it worked. And if not, you could snag a debug log. :)

dizt3mp3r
Posts: 1439
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 5:54 pm

Re: Improve Visual Basic 6.0 support in ReactOS

Post by dizt3mp3r » Thu Jun 12, 2014 6:27 pm

It would be nice if all environments would work. It is also nice that other basic language compilers, IDE function but the reason for VB6 should be pretty obvious. There are thousands and thousands if not tens of thousands of VB6 apps and at least the same number of devs. These apps work in commercial environments and they need a future base that runs the IDE, compiles links and runs. If you've worked in a commercial or manufacturing environment then you'll know about it as you will have come across them
.
There is a good chance that ReactOS will be this platform in the future when MS has the guts to pull the plug on VB6 support. The IDE is difficult to get to work on later versions of Windows and although the runtime is guaranteed for the near future, MS abandonment of VB6 devs has always rankled them.

VB6 has a great IDE, is a massively used language, is very easy to create RAD apps and if it worked on ReactOS from installation to runtime it would be proof that ReactOS is a professional envrionment with a competitive future. No other platform can run Vb6 apps except for those from MS.

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