Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




Build tool for VB6

I just started working for a software company that uses VB6 as its main development environment. I had some experience with VB in the past, but need a lot of work on it to get up to speed. As to the desirability of learning VB6 these days, with the proliferation of .Net in the dev world, I will leave that to a different thread :-).

I worked previously in a Java shop. So first of all, I’m looking for a good tool (like Ant) to automate the build process. At this point, I need to find something that is free as the budget for tools seems to be non-existent here. Are there any recommendations for a tool to use?

Also, I would be very happy to get recommendations for any good VB resource sites and/or mailing lists. There are so many sites out there, learning which ones are good would be a big help and time saver for me.

Thanks!

ICBW
Sunday, November 23, 2003

This site seems to be good for VB6 (and VB.Net) resources:

http://www.vbaccelerator.com/home/index.asp

Robert Jacobson
Sunday, November 23, 2003

http://www.positive-g.com/dailybuild/index.html

Phil
Sunday, November 23, 2003

As a VB Developer myself, I am most comfortable and have learnt a lot at http://www.vbforums.com

KayJay
Sunday, November 23, 2003

nant apparently has a VB6 build component. if you've used ant, this would seem the natural place to go.

http://nantcontrib.sourceforge.net/help/tasks/vb6task.html

mb
Sunday, November 23, 2003

>Also, I would be very happy to get recommendations for any good VB resource sites and/or mailing lists. There are so many sites out there, learning which ones are good would be a big help and time saver for me.

The first thing you could do is to get familiar with the development environment. Roam around the VB6 IDE, open a standard project, click on the blank form and hit the F4 key to bring up the properties window. Browse through the form properties in the properties window and read along the propery descriptions at the bottom of the window. Alongside, open the MSDN and look for their documentation. Do this for all the intrinsic controls. The intrinsic controls are those that are present in your toolbox by default, i.e. without adding any external controls from the Project -> Components dialog.

Having done so, after a few days, read the Karl Moore columns/articles for VB beginners on VBWorld (http://www.vbworld.com). He makes everything seem as easy as cakewalk. Then you can subscribe to InformIT (http://www.informit.com) and read from the library, a host of useful articles and book excerpts. Besides this, you will find the following sites extremely useful:

(1) Dave McCarter's Visual Basic Tips and Tricks (http://www.vbtt.com)
(2) Rod Stephen's VB Helper (http://vb-helper.com)
(3) http://www.vbexplorer.com
(4)  http://www.thescarms.com
(5)  http://www.codeguru.com/vb
(6)  http://www.vbip.com
(7)  http://www.winsockvb.com
(8)  http://www.vb2thmax.com
(9)  http://www.mvps.org
(10)  http://www.cgvb.com
(11)  http://www.freevbcode.com
(12)  http://www.codeoftheweek.com

I am sure I am forgetting many other interesting ones, but these are one of the few that come to mind and are extremely helpful for beginners.

One more good site is  http://www.vbworld.com. So is  the VB section of http://www.planetsourcecode.com.

Books:
==========
(1) If you're enrolled for a course, then your course book should be the first place to look.
(2) Mastering VB6 (BPB Publication)
(3) Visual Basic 6 Unleashed - by Rob Thayer - for COM, ActiveX control/DLL creation, and a host of other topics like TAPI, MAPI, SAPI, Winsock etc.
(4) A Visual Basic 6 Developer's Handbook/Toolkit (don't remember) - by Hank Marquis and Eric Smith
(5) Waite Group's Visual Basic Tips and Tricks
(6) Dave McCarter's VB Tips and Tricks (supplement to the site  http://www.vbtt.com)


Then you could move on to subjects such as Win32 API programming. A good site for API reference with VB is  http://www.allapi.net. Alongside, the following books will help you:
(1) Dan Appleman's "A Visual Basic programmer's guide to the Win32 API" (the last edition was written for VB5 but it will help you along with VB6 too)
(2) Steven Roman's "Win32 API Programming with Visual Basic" (One of the best sources I've found, very lightweight, you can read them at night like bedtime stories) This is O'reilly publication available from Shroff Publishers and Distributors.
(3) Later on, when you're about 2 years into VB, you will like to read Bruce McKinney's "Hardcore Visual Basic" onlineat  http://www.mvps.org. It was earlier published in the MSDN till April 2001. Its now been removed from MSDN and is only available at MVPS.ORG online. The hard copies are out of print although if you like one, you can get one from eBay at $300 (USD).
(4) Visual Basic Developer's Guide to COM and COM+ - by Wayne S Freeze (SAM's Techmedia publication)


Besides this, you'll want to buy some Bill Waughn's book on ADO. You can start learning quick if you participated in VB forum discussions. Here are the three best forums, IMHO:
(1) Extreme Visual Basic ( http://www.visualbasicforum.com)
(2) VBForums ( http://www.vbforums.com)
(3) Code Guru Forums ( http://www.codeguru.com/forum)

Other forums, that are not-so-good, IMHO:
(1)  http://www.tek-tips.com
(2) Open ITx vb mailing list ( http://www.vb.ittoolbox.com)
(3) QuickTechUSA (http://www.quicktechusa.com/msgboardvb/wwwboard.pl)
(4) Custom Code Factory ( http://www.custom-code-factory.com)

Hope that helps.

Sathyaish Chakravarthy
Sunday, November 23, 2003

Thanks for the pointers!

I should have realised that nAnt would have a task for VB6. It looks like it will be easy for me to ease into using it.

Thanks again.

ICBW
Monday, November 24, 2003

ICBW,

>> Also, I would be very happy to get recommendations for any good VB resource sites and/or mailing lists.

The best mailing list (IMHO) is http://peach.ease.lsoft.com/scripts/wa.exe?A0=visbas-l and the best resource site is http://www.codehound.com/vb/ .

Seeya

Matthew
Monday, November 24, 2003

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home