Scoble notes the fact that the #1 download on MSDN is “Code Samples for Visual Basic 6.0” and comments that “there are still a lot of people coding on old Visual Basic.” This is undoubtedly true and something worth keeping in mind, but what’s interesting is that I’ve also seen this fact used by some of the VFred crowd as “proof” of our failure in getting people to move from Visual Basic 6.0. Given the sea change that was .NET, migration is undoubtedly going to be a long-term process but I noted with interest that all but one of the rest of the entries were .NET related and several of them were specifically about Visual Basic .NET. I think we’re near the tipping point, if we’re not already past it.
Of course, the reality is that the page doesn’t contain numbers, so it’s hard to know whether/how much all the .NET content combined overshadows the VB6 code samples, so take it for what it’s worth…
"Given the sea change that was .NET, migration is undoubtedly going to be a long-term process"
Long-term? How about forever? Languages never really die. We’ve got COBOL .Net, for goodness sakes. I’d suspect that statistically speaking, there’s an insignificant amout of existing VB6 apps that people will convert. They’ll go with .Net for new dev, but it’s gonna take awhile for the amount of new apps to snowball up to VB6 standards in raw deployment numbers. There’ll be tons of VB6 activity for years just supporting what we’ve already got running.
It’s not too hard to understand. VB.NET requires a bit more time and effort to master than previous versions. Add to the equation a bad IT economy and it’s pretty understandable. I think this next version of VB.NET (and a stronger economy) will be THE deciding factor in companies moving over.