Python for VB6 programmers (was Re: Complexity of standard Python data structures)

Gerhard Häring gh at
Wed Apr 16 17:59:16 CEST 2003

Alex Martelli wrote:
> Steve Holden wrote:
>    ...
>>You'd do better to call it "Python for VB programmers", expecially since
>>the change to VB6 is so radical that migrating to a new and more sensible
>>language might be an attractive option to some!
> Changes from VB5 to VB6 weren't all that radical.

To put it sarcastically, VB6 is Service Pack 4 to VB5 that you have to 
pay for.

> It was the change
> from VB6 to VB.NET, aka VB7, that was the shocker (dozens of backwards
> incompatible changes -- mostly taking VB's semantics closer to Python's,
> btw, and therefore actually for the better, but still...).

It is technically equivalent to C#, but with a much more clumsier syntax 
and advantages over C# that I would know of.

And btw., just forget about the VB6-to-VB.NET source code converter 
thingie that's included. We tested it for a project once, and after it 
was finished after several hours you'd still have to fix half the code 
manually ;-)

> I thought
> the window of opportunity -- millions of VB6 programmers reluctant to
> move to dotNET -- had more or less closed by now, but Aahz apparently
> has identified that it's still open.

I really have no idea. All I can say is that the world turns slower when 
Big Corporations [tm] are involved: Our customer ($German_Chip_Producer) 
still hasn't .NET as approved technology and some people there still 
prefer VB6 as implementation language for new software (mostly boring 
Windoze GUI frontends to databases).

For databases, Oracle 8i is the latest and greatest, with still some 
Oracle 8 instances and I even had the pleasure of encountering Oracle 7 
clients, which pretty much restricted me to using DCOracle 1.x :-/

Oh, and they're now accelerating their Windows 2000 rollout :-)

You wouldn't even want to know what hardware you'll get as Windows 
terminal servers ...

Personally, I don't see much overlap in the area of application of 
Python and VB6.

VB6 isn't suitable for much more than as an environment to assemble 
pre-made COM components with an easy-to-use GUI designer. I don't see 
what Python solution would come closer than Qt Designer.

 From the Big Corporation viewpoint that I know a little about, one 
argument of some managers there is that they can squeeze hourly rates if 
VB6 is involved, in comparison to, say C++, Java, Centura or PL/SQL.

Of course then there are some stupid companies *cough* who demand the 
same hourly rate no matter how much qualification is needed :-/

-- Gerhard

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