Alum6 T4TM -- the new IDE for MS VB6 and upward to multi-platform 64 bit compilers
Modern, lightweight, compatible, upgraded, future proofed, supported, consistent RAD
VB6, VBA and VBS alike Alum Syntax
use with the Microsoft Visual Basic 6 compiler and OTHER Compilers.
Nothing can replace VB6 with full VB6 compatibility except for a fully supported substantial IDE add-on to upgrade VB6 itself. By introducing a new IDE, MS VB6 code compatibility can be maintained whilst being expanded.
In addition to providing a much-needed update for VB6, the Alum6 T4 IDE also provides a TransCompiler interface to other languages and other operating systems. Whilst using the TransCompiler for other languages can never be fully VB6 compatible, it will benefit from the much loved anglicised symbolic construction code originating with Dartmouth Basic in 1964. VB6 simply becomes one of the IDE's supported TransCompiler languages.
The Alum6 Syntax(*) is an amalgamation of Dartmouth Basic, Java and C that has been designed to support VB6 syntax compatibility.
Take your VB6 (Classic Visual Basic 6) and VBA skills to your client as
a branded, supported modern coding solution.
See previous section''VB64(Alum6 T4 IDE)'' for acknowledgements and abbreviations, see footer for more.
1 What is the Alum6 T4 IDE?
1 input language, 1 IDE, 1 skill, many platforms, many operating systems, many compilers
from tiny PIC MPUs to 64 bit processors on Windows or Linux
T4 is a modern IDE that employs one style of coding that uses TransCompiling (translating) for other compilers, for example for the VB6 compiler, or for Python which can be compiled to C++ code for 64 bit machines across different operating systems.
The input syntax is a Dartmouth Basic derivative that will be very familiar to VB6 programmers.
Using plug in ActiveX controls, one can "Translate For" (T4) any other compiler.
The main advantage of the T4 IDE is its strict syntax checking (and VB6, Option Explicit), its transparent insertion of debug code, its extensibility and adaptability.
It specifically lends itself to replacing and upgrading the VB6 IDE deploying the same highly stable and proven compiler (that you obtain separately from Microsoft) but with an improved IDE.
It is easily installed alongside your existing MS VB6 installation (necessary to provide the compiler -- see last section this page on obtaining MS VB6). We are also looking at a version that uses the "under the hood VB6" components in Microsoft Office(which you will need to own of course)... we will post updates on our research into the legality and viability as it comes in!
It provides tight integration with variable checking as did VB6 original IDE and using the MS VB6 can compile to P-Code, safe or tight executables.
The new VB64 IDE parser will do a similar level of tight code checking (strict syntax checking) to the MS VB6 IDE and then pass the code to the original VB6 compiler (itself able to further check), which you must own or obtain from MS. The roadmap to the future for VB64 is it's ability to pass code to totally different compilers after further translation, thus having no dependence on VB6 and reaching other OS platforms (and yet allow you to leverage your same VB6 style coding skills to other platforms).
2 What is VB64?
VB64 is the name of the project to modernise and rejuvenate the style of true RAD (Rapid Application Development) that VB6 represented along with the COM model approach to plug-in management.
3 Why would you want a new VB IDE?
To benefit from from a raft of helpful new features.
To help you maintain existing VB6 code.
To port your VB RAD skills to other operating systems and 64-bit applications.
To give commercial traction to your existing VB6 skills.
To legitimise your use of VB6 as a modern supported language to your client base.
For RAD work with a modern toolkit using your existing skills within the ultra-rapid VB6 paradigms.
For future proofing or VB6 code by supporting a TransCompiler interface to any other language and thus other operating system platforms.
To be protected by a limited guarantee of lifetime consistency offered by a company of 25 years (unlike other coding solutions that vanish or dramatically change leaving your code base and skills permanently orphaned).
The full contents of this guarantee is carefully described separately in ''Guarantee of Policy'', but in summary paid-up users of the T4 IDE will have a right to the entire project proprietary source code, released as GNU LGPL (see ''Terminology''), in the event the software publisher can no longer support this solution.
This guarantee can be enforced in two ways... the current company directors or any appointed administrators must release the code under the full contents of the guarantee, or in the event of a default that this guarantee guards against, and in the event that all avenues seeking release (including written, electronic and verbal at least twice in each case) have been explored without success over six months, as someone with a proven record of payment for the product in question, you have full permission to decompile, reconstruct, modify, and use your modifications commercially under the LGPL agreement (including resale of the IDE and other components previously owned by QSL).
What is a TransCompiler?
A TransCompiler is a compiler that first converts your code to another language before it is fully compiled to machine language. It therefore allows you to choose a preferred second language that better suits the target platform, without having to learn that language. See ''Lazarus Transcompiler Example'' next page for an example.
4 New Features & Improvements:
Regarding areas where the original VB6 IDE should be compared, or became deficient due to incompatibility with operating systems advancement or etc...
Scalable Syntax Expansion:
User defined code macros with Overlay providing additional syntax etc.. Eg: Inc() and Dec().
Syntax abreviations (eg: optionally leaves off "Then", compounds "Or Error Resume Next" , shrinks "As Boolean" )
Widget Translate (auto converts some controls to more modern equivalents, thereby updating your app's "skin").
Hugely improved Menu Builder
far easier to navigate
embed icons with ease
For details, See .
Icon from Bitmap importer
Converts 128sq BMPs to VB6 compatible design time. Also 256sq which are VB6 compatible run-time (load dynamically).
Menu icons (in VB6, this is via added code)
Improved Code Management
Tabbed code panes
Auto list of Recent Code locations (like recent files)
Customisable Key stroke table
Improved commenting and documentation management
Commenting labels with assisted cross reference look up
Automatic popup of variable descriptions based on comments in declarations
Support for Internet Help resources, including a feature for annotations, not requiring MSDN to be installed
Option to aid variable type declaration (offers declaration of integer, long, variant, boolean etc upon striking an undeclared variable)
Rolling History of changes maintained
Structured COM layer access for zipping and unzipping, system information.
Useful functions derived from wrapped APIs
including high speed file listing
last file look up
instant simple variable store (using INI style data files) for preferences and more
Improved Error Trapping Management: (still using fully VB6 compatible error trapping).
Improved watch and variable inspection features .
Improved GUI creator:
Compatible with later versions of Windows
Simplified grid alignment and layout management
Auto layout resizing by proportion to resized form at runtime.
Supports OCX-free controls rewritten by third parties that don't require OCXs to be distributed with the final product
External Module Change Monitoring: to support other IDEs including the original VB6 IDE working on the same code base
Cross Links in Comments: simple URL style links to Comment topics for thorough documentation.
Folder Lock: By setting a host folder with attribute read-only, all files therein are treated as read-only.
Syntax Error Details: No more having to count the number of number of brackets or looking for missing commas in long lines that simply saty "Syntax Error".
5 Other features:
Lightweight IDE and tool suite for quick installation on target platforms enabling debugging on tablets etc.
Compatibility support for Inno Setup.
Continued MS Office and MSIE (MS Internet Explorer) integration support via MS VB6.
Alum6 T4 to continue backward compatibility with VB6 by putting any extra flags in comments.
Please note -- Any inventions and innovations initiated by QSL are hereby released herein as "prior art" under the principles of Defensive Publication( &(*)).