Hi Jim,
Yeah, the basic programming languages have evolved quite a lot over the years as has everything else. Microsoft's Visual Basic project was a smash hit with a lot of average people as it took most of the difficulty out of programming complex programs quickly and as simply as possible. When Microsoft began shipping VB 6 libraries with DirectX 7 and DirectX 8 a lot of average home users began using Visual Basic for creating their own games. Unfortunately, as the demands for higher specifications, features, etc were introduced Visual Basic 6 and even directX itself were not able to meet the demands of bleeding edge software development. For example, in 1995 when DirectX was released Microsoft had intended the API to be a simple interface for various sound cards, video cards, and handle various input devices through one single API. Well, as time went on and computers got better game development companies wanted to have the ability to draw better 3d graphics, produce realistic 3d audio environments, support more advanced controllers, etc. Microsoft made these upgrades to DirectX, but the primary design was for a Windows 95/98 era computer. As a result in 2005 when Microsoft was designing the XBox 360 and Windows Vista they realized the current DirectX architecture was far passed its prime, no longer could meet todays demands for high end video games, and so they started over with a completely new DirectX API called XNA that will replace DirectX eventually. In 2007 when the early releases of the XNA libraries were released they began dropping support for older libraries like DXVB8.dll, the Managed DirectX libraries, and moved their C++ versions to the legacy branch of the API. As a result their new libraries are much more advanced and a lot more high end than the old Windows 95/98 era of DirectX ever could hope to be. With XAudio2 it goes far beyond simple panning or the concept of using 3d buffers for audio. It now gives the developer the control to have a 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound setup. Improved dsp effects using audio graphs. The ability to split stereo sounds into separate channels and play each channel back differently. The ability to submix multiple sound sources in order to create a dynamic sound played in real time. I could go on and on, but the point is they've really been working on a totally new sound and video architecture for Windows Vista and Windows 7 that blows earlier releases of Windows and DirectX away. Anyway, during the same basic time period your beloved Visual Basic 6 was also being scrapped. Not because Visual Basic 6 was no good, but was becoming outdated. Businesses wanted all of the rich abilities and features of languages like Java that were quick to design, that were fully portable, and was something like the Visual Basic they knew and loved. Microsoft accordingly came out with Visual Basic .NET in 2002 and have got glowing praise from the business community for it. Once that happened Visual Basic 6 went into the trash heap a long with a lot of their older technologies when Vista and Windows 7 came out.


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