3/14/2005

Developers slam Microsoft’s Visual Basic plan

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

More than 100 influential developers using Microsoft products have signed a petition demanding the software company reconsider plans to end support for Visual Basic in its “classic” form.

The developers, members of Microsoft’s Most Valuable Professional program which recognizes influential members of the developer community, claim the move could kill development on millions of Visual Basic 6 (VB6) applications and “strand” programmers that have not been trained in newer languages.

Microsoft said it will end standard support for Visual Basic 6 at the end of this month, ending free incident support and critical updates. Both services will be available for a fee for another three years.

But MVPs hope Microsoft will reconsider not just VB6’s support options, but will continue to develop the language alongside its newer Visual Basic.Net.

“By providing a new version of a COM-based Visual Basic within the Visual Studio IDE, Microsoft will help maintain the value of its clients’ existing code, demonstrate its ongoing commitment to the core Visual Basic language, and greatly simplify the adoption of VB.NET by those that wish to do so,” the petition says. “The decisions of if, how, and when to migrate code to .NET should lie with the customer.”

The problem, say the dissenting developers, is that when Microsoft made Visual Basic.Net (or Visual Basic 7) the successor to VB6, it actually killed one language and replaced it with a fundamentally different one. It’s effectively impossible to migrate VB6 applications to VB.Net, and for VB6 developers, learning VB.Net is as complex as learning a completely new programming language, critics say

Source: News.com

AOL: AIM Conversations Are Safe

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

America Online Inc. on Sunday moved to quell public criticism of the terms of service for its AIM service, insisting the controversial privacy clause does not pertain to user-to-user instant messaging communication.

A section of the controversial clause, which was first flagged by Weblogs and discussion forums, reads: “Although you or the owner of the Content retain ownership of all right, title and interest in Content that you post to any AIM Product, AOL owns all right, title and interest in any compilation, collective work or other derivative work created by AOL using or incorporating this Content.

“You waive any right to privacy. You waive any right to inspect or approve uses of the content or to be compensated for any such uses,” according to the AIM terms of service.

America Online spokesman Andrew Weinstein, however, maintained that AOL does not monitor, read or review any user-to-user communication through the AIM network, except in response to a valid legal process.

Weinstein told eWEEK.com the clause in question falls under the heading “Content You Post,” meaning it only relates to content a user posts in a public area of the AIM service. “If a user posts content in a public area of the service, like a chat room, message board or other public forum, that information may be used by AOL for other purposes,” he explained.

Source: eWeek

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