In defense of VBA

You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!

You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!

So the news that ESRI ArcGIS 9.4 will be the last version that includes VBA support has really stirred up some emotions. So sum up a couple comments in that post, “I can’t believe they are dropping VBA, I use it all the time”. Many of us have moved beyond VBA to other languages, but there seems to be a large percentage of ESRI developers that still rely on VBA to customize ArcGIS Desktop. geoGraphika has even written a blog post outlining 7 reasons why ESRI shouldn’t drop VBA.

Now before VBA devs get all worried that they have no time to prepare for the change. Take a look at the time between when ArcGIS 9.3 arrived and when 9.4 will come. ArcGIS 9.3 shipped June 26, 2008 and ArcGIS 9.4 earliest possible release date would be right before the ESRI UC which is July 12, 2010. That is almost 2 years between releases. Lets assume 9.5 takes that long to arrive (let alone the mythical 10.x release) it will be summer 2012. That is a lifetime to get ready to migrate off of VBA. Plus if VBA is mission critical, you can stick on ArcGIS 9.4.

Hey, don’t worry about VBA being depreciated. The future’s so bright, you gotta wear shades.


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