• Jason Roelofs (unregistered)

    Isn't Step 1 to building a competing project not to use the competitor's proprietary technology (VB6 and thus Windows only)?

  • Anonymous (unregistered)

    If the old axiom "A fool and his money are soon parted" were really true, how is it that people like these always have all the money?

  • Martin (unregistered) in reply to Anonymous

    I thought step 1 was to steal your competitors proprietary technology.

  • codewolf (unregistered)

    I cringe as I hear the screaching brakes of the colliding trains.

    captcha - jiggles

     

  • djork (cs) in reply to Jason Roelofs
    Anonymous:

    Isn't Step 1 to building a competing project not to use the competitor's proprietary technology (VB6 and thus Windows only)?

    Interestingly, the EULA for Visual Studio (and other development tools from MS) explicitly forbids making word processors, spreadsheets, or presentation applications (among other Office components). I can't wait for the rest of this series :)

  • Chris (unregistered) in reply to Jason Roelofs

    Actually, I believe the EULA for the Visual Studio prevents the software from being used to create any application that would compete with Office.

  • Trevor (unregistered)

    I got it!, this one was sooooo easy!

     

    The real WTF is that they were using VB.  Everyone knows that VB is for kids.

     

    Silly rabbit, VB is for kids. 

  • Monday (unregistered)

    Helps to read this post in that movie trailer voice.

    "IN A LAND, WHERE COMMON SENSE TOOK THE LAST TRAIN OUT...."

     Regardless, captcha: Enterprisey. This is promising.
     

  • oggiejnr (cs) in reply to djork

    I though the EULA was to stop you using the MSDE (or Sql Server Express) to create a competitor to Access.  That said IANAL and it was a while ago I read it.

  • anonymous (unregistered) in reply to Trevor
    Anonymous:

    I got it!, this one was sooooo easy!

    The real WTF is that they were using VB.  Everyone knows that VB is for kids.

    Silly rabbit, VB is for kids. 

    BASIC is for begginers, is what the B on BASIC mean.

    But you can write very good applications with BASIC.  But then, basic sould be the "glue" betwen C++ coded widgets.

    <<An avid programmer himself, the CIO knew exactly how they could accomplish this. He convinced The Founder that, with a handful of programmers helping him, he could develop a client/server Microsoft Office Killer using Visual Basic 6. And with the latest hardware available, their application could easily scale to support twenty million users using one, maybe two servers. And best of all, it would all take only six months to create.>>

    Who in the correct mind will suggest VB for something everybody else will use C/C++?  Is not the correct level (as in assembler low level, C medium level, Basic high level).

    WTF#1  try to redone something big hard and withouth obvius problems that is a killer app and everybody love.

    WTF#2 "hire a boy for a men's work"

     

     

     

     

     

  • Rob Swafford (unregistered) in reply to djork
    djork:
    Anonymous:

    Isn't Step 1 to building a competing project not to use the competitor's proprietary technology (VB6 and thus Windows only)?

    Interestingly, the EULA for Visual Studio (and other development tools from MS) explicitly forbids making word processors, spreadsheets, or presentation applications (among other Office components). I can't wait for the rest of this series :)

    Unless I'm looking at the wrong EULA.txt for my installed Visual Studio 2005, it makes no mention of spreadsheets or word processing applications at all.  In fact, it makes no limitation of what type of software you can make with it.

     If I'm reading it wrong, I would love to see the section of the Eula you're referring to.
     

  • davefancher (cs) in reply to oggiejnr

    VS.NET (2003) EULA Section 3.2 (a):

    Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine (“MSDE”). If you redistribute MSDE you agree to comply with the following additional requirements: (a) Licensee Software shall not substantially duplicate the capabilities of Microsoft Access or, in the reasonable opinion of Microsoft, compete with same; and (b) unless Licensee Software requires your customers to license Microsoft Access in order to operate, you shall not reproduce or use MSDE for commercial distribution in conjunction with a general purpose word processing, spreadsheet or database management software product, or an integrated work or product suite whose components include a general purpose word processing, spreadsheet, or database management software product except for the exclusive use of importing data to the various formats supported by Microsoft Access. A product that includes limited word processing, spreadsheet or database components along with other components which provide significant and primary value, such as an accounting product with limited spreadsheet capability, is not considered to be a “general purpose” product.

  • rmr (cs)
    Alex Papadimoulis:

    It was simple: develop an internet/intranet based Office/Collaboration system that would deliver "90% of functionality that 90% of [Microsoft Office] users use."

     I've got it!  I'll just make a form with one big, multiline textbox, a save button and spellcheck.
     

  • lankester (cs)

    The WTF is the introduction

    Recalling his days as a Digital PDP-11 programmer, he knew that he could write financial software that would support fifty users, perform great, and run in 256-bytes of memory.

    and the conclusion

    He convinced The Founder that, with a handful of programmers helping him, he could develop a client/server Microsoft Office Killer using Visual Basic 6. And with the latest hardware available, their application could easily scale to support twenty million users using one, maybe two servers. And best of all, it would all take only six months to create.

  • Who wants to know (unregistered) in reply to djork
    djork:
    Anonymous:

    Isn't Step 1 to building a competing project not to use the competitor's proprietary technology (VB6 and thus Windows only)?

    Interestingly, the EULA for Visual Studio (and other development tools from MS) explicitly forbids making word processors, spreadsheets, or presentation applications (among other Office components). I can't wait for the rest of this series :)

     SHOOT!  You stole half my thunder!  I was going to say the SAME thing!  VB, however, is a LOUSY and WORTHLESS language to write an good editor in though!  It DOES come with tools to ADD prebuilt functionality but M/S FORBIDS its use to compete, and it is NOT generally as good as M/S word! 

    And 20,000,000????  With VB????  FORGET IT!  On 2 servers?  What were they smoking?

     BESIDES, who uses a competitors proprietary interpretive technology to compete against that competitors NATIVE technology?  Just THAT spells DISASTER!

     Steve

  • Xetra (unregistered)

    For all those who are quick to bash VB (including myself), I was surprized to read the following comment from Linus Torvalds:

    "...For example, I personally believe that Visual Basic did more for programming than Object-Oriented Languages did. Yet people laugh at VB and say it’s a bad language, and they’ve been talking about OO languages for decades.

    And no, Visual Basic wasn’t a great language, but I think the easy DB interfaces in VB were fundmantally more important than object orientation is, for example..."

    This is from an article posted on slash: http://sztywny.titaniumhosting.com/2006/07/23/stiff-asks-great-programmers-answers/ 

  • Not so sure about this (unregistered) in reply to lankester

    I need some DB software, AJAX and everything in between to count and track the WTF's that must be coming during the next three days.

    *is giddy with anticipation*

     

  • merreborn (cs) in reply to lankester

    their application could easily scale to support twenty million users using one, maybe two servers

    Then, there's  the opposite end of the spectrum -- the guys over at LindenLabs (Second Life) can only support 30 users per server.

  • GoatCheez (cs)

    Alex Papadimoulis:

    An avid programmer himself, the CIO knew exactly how they could accomplish this. He convinced The Founder that, with a handful of programmers helping him, he could develop a client/server Microsoft Office Killer using Visual Basic 6. And with the latest hardware available, their application could easily scale to support twenty million users using one, maybe two servers. And best of all, it would all take only six months to create.

    <sarcasm>Just like I'm creating the next Halo/Doom/Quake/UT killer in javascript... And because I'm using javascript, I won't have to worry about browser compatibility since all browsers support javascript...</sarcasm>

     
    ....

    lol... can't wait for the next installment!

    ;-P
     

  • Alexis de Torquemada (cs) in reply to djork

    djork:
    Anonymous:
    Isn't Step 1 to building a competing project not to use the competitor's proprietary technology (VB6 and thus Windows only)?

    Interestingly, the EULA for Visual Studio (and other development tools from MS) explicitly forbids making word processors, spreadsheets, or presentation applications (among other Office components). I can't wait for the rest of this series :)

    My personal favorite is the Ideas Happen contest, sponsored by Microsoft Corp.

    This is from the fine print:

    "By entering, each entrant forfeits to Sponsor all rights to content of his/her entry (including the essay) and the concepts embodied therein. Entrant unconditionally assigns and transfers to Sponsor all rights, title, interest and claim, which it now has or may in the future have to the entries or any element(s) thereafter including, without limitation, the copyright therein. Sponsor shall have right to use, alter, assign or dispose of such entries however it sees fit without approval of entrants."

    Now I can see why they want contestants to patent their innovations. If they didn't, Microsoft would obtain the copyright, but no patent rights, and they couldn't patent the thing themselves because it's not their invention. The only way for them to get a patent is for the inventor to patent the invention, then transfer the patent rights to M$ - really clever. If they wanted, they could then disallow the contestant to use his own invention. Talking about theft of intellectual property...

    Steve B.: I got four words for you: I... LOVE... THIS... COMPANY - YEAAAAAH!

  • GrandmasterB (unregistered) in reply to davefancher

    davefancher:
    VS.NET (2003) EULA Section 3.2 (a):

    Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine (“MSDE”). If you redistribute MSDE you agree to comply with the following additional requirements: (a) Licensee Software shall not substantially duplicate the capabilities of Microsoft Access

    Thats the re-distributable database engine, not the C++ compiler.  Which, while restrictive, is somewhat understandable.  They basically dont want you using their own database engine to compete with them. 

    Captcha: tps

    I'll have those cover sheets for the reports this afternoon.

  • jimlangrunner (cs)

    Augh.  Bash away.  I use VB6.  Primary job.  Pays the bills.  But it's not suited to such an app.  Sorry. 

     It is, however, a very good tool for a handful of business Basic programmers who are afraid (yes, afraid) to tackle anything so hard as C or Java.  And the apps it produces can be very good. 

    To the point, however, I believe that _anyone_ who believes that a major app (like office) can be feature-complete and relatively bug-free in 6 months, regardless of the language, has not spent enough time actually trying to produce such an app.

     

  • DBAs suck (unregistered)

    Alex Papadimoulis:
    develop an internet/intranet based Office/Collaboration system that would deliver "90% of functionality that 90% of [Microsoft Office] users use.

    Oh!  So they're the ones that wrote MS Works?  Cool!

     

  • anonymous (unregistered) in reply to djork
    djork:
    Anonymous:

    Isn't Step 1 to building a competing project not to use the competitor's proprietary technology (VB6 and thus Windows only)?

    Interestingly, the EULA for Visual Studio (and other development tools from MS) explicitly forbids making word processors, spreadsheets, or presentation applications (among other Office components). I can't wait for the rest of this series :)

     That depends on what version of VS you've paid for.

  • its me (cs) in reply to djork

    djork:
    Interestingly, the EULA for Visual Studio (and other development tools from MS) explicitly forbids making word processors, spreadsheets, or presentation applications (among other Office components). I can't wait for the rest of this series :)

    No, that's not true. The EULA for MSDE (client-side database) prohibits creating Office-like tools, but that's it. I can create the next great word processor using C# without a problem, as long as if I need a database I don't use MSDE....

    Of course the idea of creating an "Office Killer" with VB6 scalable to millions of user on a couple of servers (scan someone say 8-thread COM limit?) is so ridiculous you might as well say you're creating the next internet with string and tin cans....

    -Me 

  • codemoose (unregistered) in reply to Who wants to know
    Anonymous:

     SHOOT!  You stole half my thunder!  I was going to say the SAME thing!  VB, however, is a LOUSY and WORTHLESS language to write an good editor in though!  It DOES come with tools to ADD prebuilt functionality but M/S FORBIDS its use to compete, and it is NOT generally as good as M/S word! 

    And 20,000,000????  With VB????  FORGET IT!  On 2 servers?  What were they smoking?

     BESIDES, who uses a competitors proprietary interpretive technology to compete against that competitors NATIVE technology?  Just THAT spells DISASTER!

     Steve

     The QUESTION is, DID Virtudyne's product have AutoEMPHASIS(TM) ?

     

    captcha: batman
     

  • IRRePRESSible (unregistered) in reply to its me

    First WTF using VB.

    Second WTF VB 6

    Third WTF hiring a CIO that encouraged VB

     

     

  • Anon (unregistered) in reply to Anonymous

    Anonymous:
    If the old axiom "A fool and his money are soon parted" were really true, how is it that people like these always have all the money?

    Every cliche has a counter: "You have to spend money to make money". So for every 5 disasters they have one huge success that compensates for it. It's not a bad method if you can stomach it.

    Also, in many cases they just crooks that appear rich. Most of their apparent wealth is either given to them by investors or taken out as loans. The appearence of wealth gives others confidence in their ability to manage money and it kind of snowballs from there (and eventually crashes). These people tend to live in cycles of being extremely rich and extremely poor.

  • qbolec (cs)

    Usually after such a preface like this, you put something like "And so, things went pretty downhill from there..".

    So I don't believe, this party of VB-Office-Killaz can survive three more parts, before the inevitable total annihilation, that's quite apparent.

  • Unklegwar (unregistered)
    Alex Papadimoulis:

    And not because he possessed extensive database administration skills, but because he was willing to admit to The Truth: with the GUI-tools and automagic processes that modern databases offer, all those extensive database administration skills are meaningless.

    Funny. That's very close to what my last boss said to HIS DBA. It went something like "those SQL servers pretty much run themselves".

    He's now putting that theory to the test, as I've managed to get that DBA hired at my CURRENT place of work (someplace that appreciatespeople's talents). I can still make out the faint red handmark on our new DBA's face from that slap.

     

     

  • autark (cs)

    This WTF reads like a teaser/trailer for a horror flick. The sentence...

    He convinced The Founder that, with a handful of programmers helping him, he could develop a client/server Microsoft Office Killer using...

    ... was like the scene in "The Grudge" where Sarah Michelle Gellar is washing her hair in the shower and suddenly

    ...Visual Basic 6

    ... that extra gray hand pokes out of her hair! I almost fell out of my chair.

     I'm pretty sure the rest of this series will be rated R, for retarded.

  • javascript jan (unregistered) in reply to Who wants to know
    Anonymous:

     SHOOT!  You stole half my thunder!  I was going to say the SAME thing!  VB, however, is a LOUSY and WORTHLESS language to write an good editor in though!  It DOES come with tools to ADD prebuilt functionality but M/S FORBIDS its use to compete, and it is NOT generally as good as M/S word! 

    And 20,000,000????  With VB????  FORGET IT!  On 2 servers?  What were they smoking?

     BESIDES, who uses a competitors proprietary interpretive technology to compete against that competitors NATIVE technology?  Just THAT spells DISASTER!

     Steve

     
    Steve, on my keyboard I have something of great use between the "," and the "/" and under the ">". It looks like this: "."

    It's easier to type than shift-"1" and works just as well. You should have a look on your keyboard to see if you can find the same thing. Note, if you are from a strange and funny country it may be in a different place.

    I must confess I would love to see you talk in person. I have an image of Magnus Pike in my head.

  • Grauenwolf (cs) in reply to oggiejnr

    oggiejnr:
    I though the EULA was to stop you using the MSDE (or Sql Server Express) to create a competitor to Access.  That said IANAL and it was a while ago I read it.

     

    Well actually back then the EULA said you couldn't use JET or MDAC to write an competitor to Access, but the idea is the same.

  • Runtime Error (unregistered) in reply to Alexis de Torquemada
    Alexis de Torquemada:

    djork:
    Anonymous:
    Isn't Step 1 to building a competing project not to use the competitor's proprietary technology (VB6 and thus Windows only)?

    Interestingly, the EULA for Visual Studio (and other development tools from MS) explicitly forbids making word processors, spreadsheets, or presentation applications (among other Office components). I can't wait for the rest of this series :)

    My personal favorite is the Ideas Happen contest, sponsored by Microsoft Corp.

    This is from the fine print:

    "By entering, each entrant forfeits to Sponsor all rights to content of his/her entry (including the essay) and the concepts embodied therein. Entrant unconditionally assigns and transfers to Sponsor all rights, title, interest and claim, which it now has or may in the future have to the entries or any element(s) thereafter including, without limitation, the copyright therein. Sponsor shall have right to use, alter, assign or dispose of such entries however it sees fit without approval of entrants."

    Now I can see why they want contestants to patent their innovations. If they didn't, Microsoft would obtain the copyright, but no patent rights, and they couldn't patent the thing themselves because it's not their invention. The only way for them to get a patent is for the inventor to patent the invention, then transfer the patent rights to M$ - really clever. If they wanted, they could then disallow the contestant to use his own invention. Talking about theft of intellectual property...

    Steve B.: I got four words for you: I... LOVE... THIS... COMPANY - YEAAAAAH!

     Not one mention of first born children.  Man, Microsoft did go soft after those anti-trust hearings.
     

  • Shadowman (unregistered) in reply to davefancher

    davefancher:
    VS.NET (2003) EULA Section 3.2 (a):

    Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine (“MSDE”). If you redistribute MSDE you agree to comply with the following additional requirements: (a) Licensee Software shall not substantially duplicate the capabilities of Microsoft Access or, in the reasonable opinion of Microsoft, compete with same; and (b) unless Licensee Software requires your customers to license Microsoft Access in order to operate, you shall not reproduce or use MSDE for commercial distribution in conjunction with a general purpose word processing, spreadsheet or database management software product, or an integrated work or product suite whose components include a general purpose word processing, spreadsheet, or database management software product except for the exclusive use of importing data to the various formats supported by Microsoft Access. A product that includes limited word processing, spreadsheet or database components along with other components which provide significant and primary value, such as an accounting product with limited spreadsheet capability, is not considered to be a “general purpose” product.

    This only applies "If I redistribure MSDE" with my app.

  • rbriem (cs) in reply to autark
    autark:

    This WTF reads like a teaser/trailer for a horror flick. The sentence...

    He convinced The Founder that, with a handful of programmers helping him, he could develop a client/server Microsoft Office Killer using...

    ... was like the scene in "The Grudge" where Sarah Michelle Gellar is washing her hair in the shower and suddenly

    ...Visual Basic 6

    ... that extra gray hand pokes out of her hair! I almost fell out of my chair.

    Okay, now THAT was an awesome analogy. Almost better than the WTF.

    Good job ... take the rest of the day off.

  • ParkinT (cs)
    Alex Papadimoulis:

    develop a client/server Microsoft Office Killer using Visual Basic 6

    Let me guess.  VB6 is the killer part?

  • Ghost Ware Wizard (cs)

    The truth is out there: whenever a "programmer" starts to say he's a guru, self-proclaimed God, expert or all around know-it-all watch out he's probably behind the curve on what's going on with all the technospeak and the Suits and the actual experts.  I'd say that DBA who turned down the job was correct - you smell a fish it's fishy...

  • rbriem (cs) in reply to Runtime Error
    Anonymous:

     Not one mention of first born children.  Man, Microsoft did go soft after those anti-trust hearings.

    They only go after the first-borns when they need support staff ...

  • Unklegwar (unregistered) in reply to Shadowman
    Anonymous:

    davefancher:
    VS.NET (2003) EULA Section 3.2 (a):

    Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine (“MSDE”). If you redistribute MSDE you agree to comply with the following additional requirements: (a) Licensee Software shall not substantially duplicate the capabilities of Microsoft Access or, in the reasonable opinion of Microsoft, compete with same; and (b) unless Licensee Software requires your customers to license Microsoft Access in order to operate, you shall not reproduce or use MSDE for commercial distribution in conjunction with a general purpose word processing, spreadsheet or database management software product, or an integrated work or product suite whose components include a general purpose word processing, spreadsheet, or database management software product except for the exclusive use of importing data to the various formats supported by Microsoft Access. A product that includes limited word processing, spreadsheet or database components along with other components which provide significant and primary value, such as an accounting product with limited spreadsheet capability, is not considered to be a “general purpose” product.

    This only applies "If I redistribure MSDE" with my app.

     

    But VB6 isn't subject to the vs2003 EULA.

     

     

     

  • Not so sure about this (unregistered) in reply to jimlangrunner
    jimlangrunner:

    Augh.  Bash away.  I use VB6.  Primary job.  Pays the bills.  But it's not suited to such an app.  Sorry. 

     It is, however, a very good tool for a handful of business Basic programmers who are afraid (yes, afraid) to tackle anything so hard as C or Java.  And the apps it produces can be very good. 

    To the point, however, I believe that _anyone_ who believes that a major app (like office) can be feature-complete and relatively bug-free in 6 months, regardless of the language, has not spent enough time actually trying to produce such an app.

    Wait a minute - MS has been trying to debug Office for - what, 20 years now? and they're still at it. Why would anyone think they, or any army of programmers could do it a mere six months?

  • musigenesis (cs) in reply to IRRePRESSible
    Anonymous:

    Second WTF VB 6

    Oh, you think VB 3 would have been a better choice?
     

  • kuroshin (cs)

    An avid programmer himself, the CIO knew exactly how they could accomplish this. He convinced The Founder that, with a handful of programmers helping him, he could develop a client/server Microsoft Office Killer using Visual Basic 6. And with the latest hardware available, their application could easily scale to support twenty million users using one, maybe two servers. And best of all, it would all take only six months to create.

     

    I bet the Founder was convinced about the Visual Basic 6 part, just looking at how easy it was to drag and drop buttons, menus, and multiline textboxes. (I've not recovered from my previous gig where I had to endure opinions about software development being all about drag and drop).

     

    Twenty million users using one , or two servers ? 

     

    This must be how the entire thing worked out -

    Da Founder : Ok, so can you show me how twenty users can use this at the same time ?

    CIO : Yo man, look over here. Dis window can create one extra window for each user to work on. Man, you wanted 20 users, right? You have them right away, buddy.

  • JAL (unregistered)

    Well, it could have been worse... They could have tried to do it in Java!

  • brandon (unregistered) in reply to its me

    Of course the idea of creating an "Office Killer" with VB6 scalable to millions of user on a couple of servers (scan someone say 8-thread COM limit?) is so ridiculous you might as well say you're creating the next internet with string and tin cans....

     

    We all know the internet is made of tubes.... duh. 

  • 1337 (unregistered) in reply to musigenesis

    i'd use VBA and office automation.

  • musigenesis (cs) in reply to Xetra
    Anonymous:

    For all those who are quick to bash VB (including myself), I was surprized to read the following comment from Linus Torvalds:

    "...For example, I personally believe that Visual Basic did more for programming than Object-Oriented Languages did. Yet people laugh at VB and say it’s a bad language, and they’ve been talking about OO languages for decades.

    And no, Visual Basic wasn’t a great language, but I think the easy DB interfaces in VB were fundmantally more important than object orientation is, for example..."

    This is from an article posted on slash: http://sztywny.titaniumhosting.com/2006/07/23/stiff-asks-great-programmers-answers/ 

    I find it funny that VB is so often referred to as not being an object-oriented language.  In fact, since version 4 VB has supported the Encapsulation and Polymorphism aspects of the OO Holy Trinity.  Before .NET, VB did not support True Inheritance, but as we used to say at a previous job, "Inheritance is a great way of ensuring that the bad decisions you make at the start of a project stay with you forever." 

  • davefancher (cs) in reply to Shadowman
    Anonymous:

    davefancher:
    VS.NET (2003) EULA Section 3.2 (a):

    Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine (“MSDE”). If you redistribute MSDE you agree to comply with the following additional requirements: (a) Licensee Software shall not substantially duplicate the capabilities of Microsoft Access or, in the reasonable opinion of Microsoft, compete with same; and (b) unless Licensee Software requires your customers to license Microsoft Access in order to operate, you shall not reproduce or use MSDE for commercial distribution in conjunction with a general purpose word processing, spreadsheet or database management software product, or an integrated work or product suite whose components include a general purpose word processing, spreadsheet, or database management software product except for the exclusive use of importing data to the various formats supported by Microsoft Access. A product that includes limited word processing, spreadsheet or database components along with other components which provide significant and primary value, such as an accounting product with limited spreadsheet capability, is not considered to be a “general purpose” product.

    This only applies "If I redistribure MSDE" with my app.



    I understand that!  Oggiejnr made the comment that it only applied to MSDE and I copied the section of the EULA that proved that statement to be correct.  In no place in my post did I claim anything otherwise.  I guess that'll teach me for not using the "Quote" button...
  • WIldpeaks (cs)

    The Real WTF (tm) is that the story's in 4 parts awwww

  • GoatCheez (cs) in reply to JAL

    Anonymous:
    Well, it could have been worse... They could have tried to do it in Java!

    Ever hear of OpenOffice? 

Leave a comment on “Virtudyne: The Founding”

Log In or post as a guest

Replying to comment #:

« Return to Article