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  • Fred Harris
    replied
    The question of how much VB6 code is really out there is one I raised earlier. It occurs to me there may be more than one would first think. I believe I read somewhere that Visual Basic was by a wide margin the most used programming language in the world. Also, programming languages never really die. There are still a fair number of QB45 programmers out there. In my particular case, as late as around 2005 or so I was doing major re-engineering work on a massive VB project I started in VB4, worked on heavily in VB5, and finally perfected in VB6. The thing requires me to have VB4 through 6 installed on the development computer because it uses OCX/ActiveX controls from all those versions. Imagine that! Everyone isn't always using the very latest software.

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  • Chris Holbrook
    replied
    Originally posted by Brian Chirgwin View Post
    In addition, I think this opens a great opportunity to those of us that know PowerBASIC to become consultants on these products.
    Agree 100%, also worth mentioning (re your comments in earlier post) that if the conversion involves VB work before the VB is palateble to the conversion process, it creates a potential problem for corporate clients whose due diligence would pick up that what is being converted is not their old bombproof code of many years standing, but a young untried scion of same, which could complicate the resolution of issues with the new code. I would certainly identify this as a weakness if I was investigating code migration options.

    Having said which, every journey starts with a single step, etc etc. But it's best to keep an eye on potential commercial issues as you go along.

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  • Brian Chirgwin
    replied
    Originally posted by John Spikowski View Post
    Keep in mind that we are creating a converter for a legacy version of VB that may have lost most of it's users to VB.NET. How many developers do you think are still using VB6? I see this utility as a means of converting old VB applications that need a second life and a way to use a huge library of code in PowerBASIC.

    John
    The earlier adopters of .NET would never have moved to PowerBASIC. The VB6 application that are still VB6 because the company/developers don't want to move to .NET. These hold outs are the ones that would use such a product to move to PowerBASIC. If these users knew about PowerBASIC and had a tool to help move the code (VB2PB), these users may jump at the chance to make the move.

    In addition, I think this opens a great opportunity to those of us that know PowerBASIC to become consultants on these products. I've also mentioned this opportunity is closing. It's closing because VB6 is a discontinued product and these hold outs will have to make a decision to move to an alternative. Since .NET does have a "VB 6 to .NET converter" upgrade path this is the most likely path at this time. Of course, I worked on a VB3 project not that many years ago (Vb6 was out at the time).

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  • Brian Chirgwin
    replied
    Originally posted by StanHelton View Post
    Bottom line is VB allows so many 'poor programming' practices that old code could get very problematic.

    A recent example was posted by John Petty:

    Stan
    Although it isn't easy to read, this can be handled.

    The PB code created can be created to test the VariantType (VariantVT function) and run the correct code based on the actual type. The PB code is ugly, but variants are ugly.

    The following is probably what VB 6 compiler does for you under the hood in its "compilation". You don't see the produced code.

    I'd also have as a Tips/Comments/Recommendation that Variants be removed.

    Could we remove the variant and define A as Double? Use Str$/Val where required and remove the variant definition completely? If A is local then yes. If A is a Global variable would need to stay a variant as we don't know the type it is (well if it is one type throughout the entire application, we do). Also if A were passed to a function BYREF, it could be changed in that function.

    One of the pre-process steps might be to force (or recommend) that the VB 6 have Option Explicit used. This would allow the user to indicate variable scope before conversion (Where the VB 6 compiler could help). DIM A as variant in this function and if the user gets another error, they can easily move the definition to a "Global A as variant". This would be a great help to producing easier to understand PB code, at least if the developer is diligent.

    Complicated, but possible for the computer to figure out. The resulting code is ugly, but so was the input

    Hope this all makes sense to someone else.

    Code:
    FUNCTION PBMAIN () AS LONG
        LOCAL s AS STRING
        LOCAL a AS VARIANT
        LOCAL b AS VARIANT
    
        s = "3.5"
        a = s 
    
        b = 2
    
        SELECT CASE VARIANTVT(A)
        CASE %VT_BSTR
            MSGBOX "String"
            a = VAL(VARIANT$(a)) * VARIANT#(b)
        CASE %VT_R8
            MSGBOX "Double"
            a = VARIANT#(a) * VARIANT#(b)
        END SELECT
        
        SELECT CASE VARIANTVT(A)
        CASE %VT_BSTR
            MSGBOX "String"
            a = VARIANT$(a) + " text"
        CASE %VT_R8
            MSGBOX "Double"
            a = STR$(VARIANT#(a)) + " text"
        END SELECT
            
        MSGBOX VARIANT$(a)
        MSGBOX STR$(VARIANT#(b)) 
    
    ' B is optimized since we know its type throughout the function and it can't be changed. B is locally defined (in my example) and not passed to a function BYREF that can change its value/type. In fact, in this case b could be defined as LONG and provide the Str$/Val functions where required. No need to use a variant. 
                                  
    END FUNCTION

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  • StanHelton
    replied
    Originally posted by Chris Holbrook View Post
    ...
    I think I would need examples to understand his point, as a)the structure and syntax of the language don't seem very unusual, b) I'm almost a VB virgin (working on it, legal copy arriving shortly)
    Bottom line is VB allows so many 'poor programming' practices that old code could get very problematic.

    A recent example was posted by John Petty:

    Take the following (bad but legal) simple bit of VB code
    Private Sub Command1_Click()
    Dim s As String
    s = "3.5"
    a = s
    b = 2
    a = a * b
    a = a & " text"
    Print a
    Print b
    End Sub
    After the first assignment “a” will be type 8 (wide b string), after the multiplication it will be a type 5 (double) and return to an 8 by adding the text. “b” will remain as a type 2 (integer) even though it participated in a floating point multiplication and then was printed as a string without the use of STR$ or FORMAT$. If the multiplication had been b = a * b then “b” would have changed to type 5 even though the result was an integer.
    During the conversion “a” would need to become 2 totally different variables one a string and one a double. PB does not allow any variant math operations etc
    John
    Stan

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  • StanHelton
    replied
    Originally posted by John Spikowski View Post
    When are you planning to post something to the public side about the new site/forum?

    Let me know if there is anything I can do to help.


    John

    Just did it! Take a look at the Status thread in the Cafe.

    Stan

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  • John Spikowski
    replied
    When are you planning to post something to the public side about the new site/forum?

    Let me know if there is anything I can do to help.


    John

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  • StanHelton
    replied
    Originally posted by John Spikowski View Post
    I added a few new boards (forum sub-sections) to the www.vb2pb.org forum. Nothing is cast in stone and this is just a beginning draft format.

    John
    I spent some time on the site this morning. Added some things to the calendar and created a new board for calendar updates. Let me know if you think what I did will work.

    On the Other Hand -- GREAT WORK ! I'm on-board completely with www.vb2pb.org now.

    Stan

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  • John Spikowski
    replied
    I added a few new boards (forum sub-sections) to the www.vb2pb.org forum. Nothing is cast in stone and this is just a beginning draft format.

    John
    Last edited by John Spikowski; 6 Jun 2008, 01:10 AM.

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  • John Spikowski
    replied
    The SMF software allow multiple 'boards' and sub-forums. Each with their own moderator. (team leader)

    I think the www.vb2pb.org site might work out better then chasing a thread in the Cafe.

    John

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  • John Spikowski
    replied
    Calendar

    Stan,

    It seems the the SMF software offers a calendar feature as part of the forum package. I enabled it with moderators only allowed to add/edit the events. (all can view them) I sent you the keys to the city so you should be able to configure the calendar options as you wish.

    John

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  • John Spikowski
    replied
    Just give me a tree structure (with descriptions if possible) how you want it setup and I'll put it together for you. SMF has a great sub-forum feature. (see online docs) If you join, I will make you the admin so you can tweak the forum to the way you want.

    CMS Front End, ToDo Lists, Calendars, Bug Tracking and Wiki are all features I can add to the site when you say the word.

    John

    SMF Online Help
    Last edited by John Spikowski; 5 Jun 2008, 06:44 PM.

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  • StanHelton
    replied
    Originally posted by John Spikowski View Post
    ...
    BTW: I turned the http://www.vb2pb.org site back on for the team here to evaluate if it's a good fit for the public side of the project.

    John
    How much trouble would it be to include R/O threads or subForums? I'd like to be able to post a ToDoList style task list I've set up and a project calendar, something the admin could update based on user input.

    Stan

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  • John Spikowski
    replied
    Originally posted by Chris
    does ScriptBasic do OOP? - couldn't find any reference to it when skimming ScripBasic homepage
    ScriptBasic is a general purpose Basic interpreter that comes in three flavors currently.

    1. Console mode
    2. Multi-threaded Basic HTTP server (with memory based session supportl)
    3. Embeddable as a DLL or compiled in lib. (I know of a router company that uses it in this manor)

    I think ScriptBasic is pretty much in the same boat as Gambas as far as the language goes and they added the VB OOP on top of the interpreter. I'm going the GTK route with ScriptBasic using the www.gtk-server.org interface.

    BTW: I turned the http://www.vb2pb.org site back on for the team here to evaluate if it's a good fit for the public side of the project.

    John
    Last edited by John Spikowski; 5 Jun 2008, 05:41 PM.

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  • Chris Holbrook
    replied
    Question for John Spikowski - does ScriptBasic do OOP? - couldn't find any reference to it when skimming ScripBasic homepage.

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  • John Spikowski
    replied
    The www.vb2pb.org site was just turned off and is still intact. I'm willing to donate the resources to this project and let other manage the site. The dedicated server is running at a data center with less then 1-2% being used. (hosts ScriptBasic.org and a real estate search engine and a few clients)

    We could quickly add services to the site as they are needed. (wiki, bug tracker, file repository, ...)

    The reason I turned it off is I didn't want to give the impression that I was derailing the PowerBASIC sponsored effort in any way. If the site is to be successful, the project managers would have to make an announcement that the public side of the project reside there.

    Let me know. It only takes a minute to re-enable the site.

    John

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  • Chris Holbrook
    replied
    Originally posted by StanHelton View Post
    Do we really want to risk airing 'dirty laundry' in public?
    That will happen anyway, as today's little spat illustrates. The main thing is to get results flowing. Today has been a good day for alternative architectures, hasn't it? At first reading Chris Boss's and Daniel Corbier's ideas are the opposite ends of the spectrum. In fact we don't know what is in the uCalc box (could be a midget with a PhD?), so comparisons may be dangerous. However, Daniel is assuming that the form of VB code is wel-behaved enough to be re-engineered using a compactly-expressed set of rules, whereas Chris argues from the opposite point of view. I think I would need examples to understand his point, as a)the structure and syntax of the language don't seem very unusual, b) I'm almost a VB virgin (working on it, legal copy arriving shortly)

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  • StanHelton
    replied
    Originally posted by Chris Holbrook View Post
    Why not give everybody R/O access to the project forum and let each one of them opt in/out of the project (rather than be signed in by an administrator) on the basis that they think they have something to contribute at the time. ...
    I like the idea of R/O access. OTOH, Friction is inevitable in any group project. Do we really want to risk airing 'dirty laundry' in public?

    ...
    Note to Stan have you considered doing a press release - ideally jointly with PB who will no doubt have a contact list?
    An inspired idea! I'll speak to PB about it today.

    Stan

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  • Chris Holbrook
    replied
    Originally posted by John Spikowski View Post
    My vote is to open this forum segment up to all that want to contribute.
    That is close to what I was getting at, but it needs to be directed effort, danger is that it will go off into sub-projects which will end up not communicating. That could happen anyway I suppose. The question is, can the project organise itself quickly enough to start showing results before V2PC-lites start emerging? I'm not saying this to knock Fred Harris's effort, BTW, which is more of a "step on the way".

    ATEOD it will be better all round to have one product, preferably with endorsement, or at least a kind word, from PB Inc. This can only raise the profile of PB, in a way which will benefit existing PB developers. The alternative is a nest of tools supported by rival factions, which will not look good from anywhere.

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  • John Spikowski
    replied
    Originally posted by Chris
    Agreed, except for PB Inc.
    I don't think PowerBASIC has anything to worry about being the compiler for the project.

    Most of the active posters have been a member for a long time. My vote is to open this forum segment up to all that want to contribute.

    John

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