How long will my program last in the Windows world?

mrd777

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Hi guys,

I've developed a pretty big app with vb.net using visual studio 2010 express, and I have a few concerns.

With windows 8, and windows 10 now coming out, how long can I expect before I have to reprogram my whole app? There are a lot of lines of code... Should I consider using Visual Studio 2013 express? I'm afraid that newer Windows will create compatibility issues with my app. It works perfect on Win 7, btw.

Also, I've heard VB is NOT a dying language, but every time I go online to find .NET help, the examples are in C#, and not in VB.NET. Also, companies like Amazon, for example, are offering sample codes in C# for their APIs instead of VB.NET so that worries me a bit.

I'm curious to know what direction I need to take, if any. Maybe I'm fine with VS 2010 exp and vb.net?

Thanks!
Mr D
 

jmcilhinney

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Firstly, I would suggest that you upgrade to VS 2013 anyway, unless you have a specific reason to do otherwise. It can target anything from .NET 4.5 back to 2.0 and it can also round-trip projects created in VS 2010 or VS 2012, so you can also still work with other developers using older versions. That said, projects you create in VS 2013 cannot be opened in older versions of VS.

With regards to VB's future, the situation with favouritism toward C# in sample code is basically as it always was. Microsoft have committed to VB for the foreseeable future so that should be enough for you if VB is what you like. If Microsoft ever do can VB then, by then, you'll be experienced enough that switching to C# would be pretty easy. There's very little difference between VB and C# other than the syntax and the syntax is not as different as it first seems. I have often accidentally posted the wrong language in a forum and find that almost all I need to do is add or remove a few braces and semicolons and change some keywords or even just their case. Don't ignore C# examples because you think you don't know C#. Reading the vast majority of C# code is relatively easy if you have a decent grasp of VB and .NET.

As for your app, if it's useful and well-presented then it will last for some time. The Windows desktop is not going anywhere any time soon, as evidenced by the outcry at its relegation in Windows 8. The problem for desktop applications is that they can be tedious to use on a touchscreen so, as more and more people move from PC to tablet, you may find that your application loses some utility. Depending on what it does though, even those people may well only use your application with their tablet attached to a keyboard and mouse.

Even so, it may not be a bad idea to look at migrating it to the Windows Store if doing so is practical. That doesn't mean rewriting it from scratch though. The first thing to do is to refactor your existing code to separate it into layers, most obviously presentation, business logic and data access. By doing so, you create components that become reusable, e.g. you can use the same business logic and data access with multiple UIs, which might include ASP.NET web applications (Web Forms or MVC), Windows desktop applications (Windows Forms, WPF or Console) and Windows Store apps. That means that you then have to make minimal changes to the app and they can be isolated to a single layer, reducing the possibility of breaking the app when making those changes.

In short though, look to the future but don't panic.
 

mrd777

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Hi Jmc,

Thanks for the reply. What I meant by, how long will it last, is... How long will it be compatible with newer versions of windows. My app works great in Win 7, and even Win 8. I'm worried when Windows 10 comes out, it might break my app? How long, how many years will apps in vb.net for Win7 work is my concern.

Thanks!
 

jmcilhinney

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Hi Jmc,

Thanks for the reply. What I meant by, how long will it last, is... How long will it be compatible with newer versions of windows. My app works great in Win 7, and even Win 8. I'm worried when Windows 10 comes out, it might break my app? How long, how many years will apps in vb.net for Win7 work is my concern.

Thanks!

Why would Windows 10 break your application? If you target .NET 4.0 and Windows 10 supports .NET 4.0, why would there be an issue? VB6 apps still run on Windows 8.1. Unless you're doing something unusual and specific, it's going to be a good while before any applications written today will refuse to run.
 

mrd777

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Why would Windows 10 break your application? If you target .NET 4.0 and Windows 10 supports .NET 4.0, why would there be an issue? VB6 apps still run on Windows 8.1. Unless you're doing something unusual and specific, it's going to be a good while before any applications written today will refuse to run.

That sounds good. And no, I'm not doing anything crazy complicated or specific. I'm using .NET 4.0. I just didn't want Microsoft to release a version of the OS that makes me rewrite a bunch of stuff, cuz at this point, the app I wrote is pretty big.

I really appreciate the help. Puts my mind @ rest :)

Thanks!
Dave
 
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