VB6 and VBA Are Not Dead, Just Not Supported: Update

Microsoft did not stomp on VB6 and VBA, they just removed any more paid support for it. See the news here. In Redmond’s favor, they made good on a promise in 2005 to do this. However there are are numerous affected parties. On the VB6 side many users including some Microsoft designated Master Programmers, feel that they are being abandoned – see comments on Visual Fred (google it for a rich, lush landscape of views) for more details.

On the VBA side this means such major software as Adobe Photoshop, Corel WordPerfect and AutoDesk’s AutoCAD will all be looking yet again for a  macro language.  Not to worry there are some great tools not the least of which is JavaScript  – Trolltech has a pretty robust and cross platform version that is tightly tied in with its cfross platform C, C++ and Java technology.

Now what makes this most interesting is the fact that Microsoft is abandoning yet again a large block of users and replacing it Vista-like with some future-oriented but currently disappointing software that represents a great deal of work to users. Nothing really new here.

More interesting is that JavaScript faces the same crossroads with the upcoming switch to Javascript 2/ECMAScript 4. Getting from JavaScript 1.7 or 1.8 to JavaScript 2 is a) non-trivial and b)is currently being done with some degree of waer and tear by Adobe with the move of ActionScript 2(roughly based on JavaScript 1.6) to ActionScript 3 (based squarely on JavaScript 2). Meanwhile many JavaScript using software vendors are backing off (“tabling” is the current polite term) moving to Javascript 2.0. Stay tuned for more coverage on this. As for VBA  – its replacement, VSTA,  is currently going through major changes as well such that VSTA 1 is obsolete already.  This is all part of the agonizing growth pangs of the .NET framework and Visual Studio – so java Scripters you are not alone; just your tool works on so many more OS platforms than VBA/VSTA/VSTA2 and functionally is the equivalent if not better.

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