The success of the first Future Focus post has made it easy for us to continue sharing our plans for the future of the C# language. The intelligent and thoughtful suggestions we received from the community about the Dynamic Lookup feature have had a significant impact on the C# team's plans for future releases of C#. The quality of your input was very impressive, and we sincerely thank you for your contributions.
Last month we looked at a C# language feature called Dynamic Lookup. This month we switch our focus to the Visual Studio IDE as we investigate a new feature named Call Hierarchy. This feature will be implemented the same way for both C# and VB developers. We will therefore ask for comments from both communities.
Your suggestions on Dynamic Lookup influenced not only the C# language, but also Microsoft's plans for how we share information on future releases with the community. The management here at Microsoft believes that other teams will benefit from feedback similar to what was garnered from the Dynamic Lookup post. As a result, we have decided to continue our Future Focus discussions on the MSDN Code Gallery.
The Code Gallery is a good place for these discussions because it is language and team agnostic. My blog is directly associated with the C# team, and hence it is not the right place to share a discussion of the Call Hierarchy feature, which will be of interest to both the C# and the VB teams. We hope that other feature teams will also share their plans for future releases, and we feel that the Code Gallery is appropriate neutral ground on which they can share their ideas.
The Code Gallery is a location where many types of resources can be shared. Most of the resources on Code Gallery are sample programs. But the Gallery can also be used to host general discussions such as the type that occurs when we ask for feedback on our future plans.
The Code Gallery has a number of useful tools inside it, but it may take you a moment to become familiar with its structure. From the main page of the Code Gallery you can access the various resources stored on the site. If you go to the C# and Visual Basic Futures resource page, you will be able to read about and comment on our plans for these languages.
The futures resource features a set of tags which you can use to navigate through the site.
The Home tab can be selected when you want to see an overview of all the discussions that will be hosted on the site. Right now you will be able to find two links, one to the Dynamic Lookup page on this blog, and one to the new page set up for a discussion of the Call Hierarchy on the Code Gallery:
DynamicLookup for C# (Jan 25, 2008)Call Hierarchy for C and VB (Jan 25, 2008)
After reading about the Call Hierarchy, you will find links inside the article that point you to the appropriate discussion area. You can also click on the Discussions tab. There you will find one or more discussions, each marked by an icon:
Click on the text next to the icon in the the Code Gallery in order to enter the discussion. There you can provide the team with your feedback. On occasion, we may break out a discussion into a sub-topic on the Issue Tracker tab. There you will be able to drill into a particular issue in more depth, and cast votes for features that you like or dislike.
We ask that you refrain from starting a separate discussion on a particular topic unless there is a real need to do so. If you discover such a need, please use the tagging system to associate your new discussion with a particular topic. For instance, if you are starting a new discussion on the Call Hierarchy feature, then associate the "Call Hiearchy" tag with that discussion. I will try to monitor the site so I can offer help to people if they need or want it.
I'm interested in hearing your feedback about both our plans for the future of C# and VB, and the way that we share this information with you. If you have comments on our plans for Call Hierarchy, please share them on Code Gallery. If you want to comment on the Future Focus project in general, and the recent move to Code Gallery in particular, please reply to this post. Thank you again for your suggestions, they are a valuable aid to the team as we work on the development of future versions of the C# language.