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MS Visual Basic Professional Edition 6.0

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      30.03.2010 16:01

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      good for begineers but not limited as a result

      This is the first programming language I used for enjoyment. At school we used a boring command driven thing which could not make GUI designs or anything modern. At the time VB6 felt modern and useful. Obviously, in the last decade things have moved on but this is not to say VB6 is not both productive and educational.

      There is better languages out there and better implementations of languages but I know there is many large scale commercial and profitable applications in the market today which are still written in VB6. The benefits are that you get a visual GUI builder to quickly create the GUI's you need. This leaves ample time to develop the core workings of the application and get the design and build just right. There is nothing more boring than building interfaces by hand in code. The look and feel of the auto generated interface is very boring and mundane but this can be solved with add-ons to the package.

      In short then, easy language to learn, cheap to buy now, quick to get completed applications done if they look a little boring

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      13.11.2007 20:09
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      A great way to start developing software, but .NET is the only next step.

      VB6 is the last version before .NET took over. It's a great language to get to grips with software development with but it's not so easy to do it well. VB is a language that can be written very sloppily and requires a lot of self discipline if you are going to write professional applications.

      The reason that Microsoft made the leap to .NET was that they recognised that limiting themselves to the Windows environment was a short sighted view and so they made that great leap to web based applications. Some of us couldn't make the leap with them and so stuck with VB6.

      Personally, I like VB6 a lot. It's pretty stable, provided that you get all the updates. It's still got a lot of third party support and there are a large number of support forums still going strong.

      It lacks the visual skills to create great looking apps and without some sort of face lift from third party skins you'll only ever create drab and boring looking apps. This shouldn't be an insolvable problem, but it is something that you'll need to overcome before you can really get VB flying.

      The development environment is very good. Windows are put together graphically and the code can be syntax checked as you write it. For known objects the IDE will supply you with pop up lists of allowed properties and events, so using early binding is a doddle.

      The run time support requirement is still pretty big too. You can't expect to just deliver an EXE. There'll be a huge compliment of dlls and the like, but the supplied installer software can handle that.

      Of course VB6 can do a whole lot more than just create applications. You can create a whole range of components for use in other applications and of course this package comes with good old Crystal Reports built in. Not that I recommend using it.

      The language its self is easy to learn, but please, no matter how good you are at building apps that work, please, get a naming convention, formatting standards and comment the damn code. Even if you don't ever plan looking at it again, do it right.

      If you want to develop software, do it well. :-)

      When considering the ratings, I have taken into account the third party facilities that are available, many now for free.

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