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Microsoft Refreshes Visual C++, Ends VB 6 Support


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With the release of a new feature pack for Visual C++ 2008, developers can now write applications that feature the Office 2007 appearance, a Microsoft senior executive announced this week.

At the same time, the company also discontinued support for its aging Visual Basic 6 integrated development environment, or IDE -- to the dismay of some die-hard users.

"I am pleased to announce that the Visual C++ 2008 Feature Pack has shipped," S. Somasegar, senior vice president of Microsoft's developer division, said on his blog this week.

"The Feature Pack provides several exciting features for C++ developers, such as a major update to MFC [Microsoft Foundation Classes] and an implementation of TR1 [Technical Report 1]," the post said.

The MFC gives C++ users access to the Windows programming interfaces, while TR1 is a set of suggested additions to the International Organization for Standardization's C++ standard.

Using the newly added MFC components, "developers can create applications with the 'look and feel' of Microsoft’s most popular products -- Microsoft Office, Visual Studio and Internet Explorer," his posting continued.

The Feature Pack now supports Office 2007 Ribbon Bar, Visual Studio docking, and auto hide windows. In addition, the Feature Pack adds "on the fly" menu and toolbar customization, as well as Shell management classes. Developers can also take advantage of Vista theme support.

"Our implementation of TR1 contains a number of important features such as smart pointers, regular expression parsing, containers ... and sophisticated random number generators," he added.

Also this week, however, Microsoft as planned cut off extended support for the Visual Basic 6 IDE but will not completely leave users high and dry, according to another blog.

"Microsoft will continue to support the VB 6.0 runtime for all existing applications in all the next versions of the Windows OS, including Windows Server 2008 and Vista," read a blog posting by Jeff Nuckolls, a senior technologist in Microsoft's Application Platform and Development Tools group. "However, who knows how many years the runtime will be supported, so you might want to start considering a migration plan, if not for supportability concerns, then to take advantage of the performance, security, power of the .NET Framework and the productivity of Visual Studio 2008," he added.

Despite VB 6's age -- it first shipped in 1999 -- it retains a highly loyal user base, who in 2005 launched a petition drive to request an extension of support. Mainstream support ended March 31, 2005, and Visual Basic 6 has been under paid support since then.

And according to Microsoft's online product life cycle for VB 6, all support has ended after nine years of availability.

Source: InternetNews

Link: Lunarsoft Frontpage

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What sucks with VB and VB6 is that you need run-times for it. But oh well, that's life.

But with newer versions, I think you need .NET which is kinda big, so its annoying.

MFC seems pretty complex and bad.

I think wxWidgets, GTK+ and Qt are nicer to work with.

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Pidgin requires the GTK+ software to be installed which is much like requiring .NET to be installed. The difference is that .NET is common on computers now (especially Vista) so it's not so much of a requirement anymore. I agree that it's not that great having to install software just to make your software work.

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Pidgin requires the GTK+ software to be installed which is much like requiring .NET to be installed. The difference is that .NET is common on computers now (especially Vista) so it's not so much of a requirement anymore. I agree that it's not that great having to install software just to make your software work.

I agree. What si the point in run-times? Why not make software that doesn't need it?

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Pidgin requires the GTK+ software to be installed which is much like requiring .NET to be installed. The difference is that .NET is common on computers now (especially Vista) so it's not so much of a requirement anymore. I agree that it's not that great having to install software just to make your software work.

I agree. What si the point in run-times? Why not make software that doesn't need it?

Well, when you're programming something, you don't want to code EVERYTHING from scratch, so you use libraries that contains useful functions.

Example, you write a program in Ruby, Perl or Python. To run that program, you need a Ruby, Perl, or Python interpreter.

If the operating system does not come with that installed, you need to install that dependency.

Example, you want to code a software that works on Windows, Linux and Mac. Now you cant use MFC because it only exists for Windows, you cant use Cocoa because it only exists for Mac OS X. So you use GTK+ or Qt which exists for all.

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