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  Discussion: VB6 or VB .NET?  

Several people have lately asked: Shall I start learning VB6 or Visual Basic .Net?

Whether you should learn VB 6 or VB .NET depends on your goal. VB6 is easier to learn so if you want to learn any programming language, it will be easier to learn VB 6. Many people also work for companies that have a large embedded base of VB 5 and VB 6 code, and they need people to support that code indefinitely. If you are learning to program so you can help support this code, you need to learn VB 6.

Note that Microsoft Office XP uses VBA (a large subset of VB 6) for its backend macro programming language so learning VB 6 is useful if you work with Office extensively. There are indications that the next version of Office will use .NET, however.

Many of the concepts in VB .NET are different from VB 6, however. VB .NET is more object-oriented and follows a model closer to the one used by C++ and C# (no coincidence). Learning VB 6 first won't help you too much with those concepts and you may be better off learning them first so you are a "native" object-oriented programmer. If you later plan to learn other languages such as C++ or C#, you may want to start with VB .NET. One obvious drawbnack is that VB .NET is a newer technology so there aren't as many resources, books, Web sites, and so forth to help you.

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