[This post is part of a series, "wish-list for future versions of VB"]


IDEA: Dictionary literals. You should be able to write a dictionary initializer with an easier syntax. Moreover, if the user didn't specify the type of the dictionary, then the compiler should infer the best type using its "Dominant Type" algorithm. For example,

        Dim x As Dictionary(Of Integer, String) = {1:"hello", 2:"there", 3:"world"}

        Dim y = {1:"hello", 2:"there", 3:"world"}


IDEA: Literals which take their type from their context (to allow list literals). When you write a collection-literal of some sort, it should take its type from its context. For example,

    Sub f(ByVal x As List(Of Double))


    f({1.2, 3})

    Dim a As List(Of String) = {1, "hello"}

    Dim b As ImmutableList(Of Integer) = {1, 2, 3}


As background to the second idea, note that array literals today will ALWAYS produce arrays. The thing is that sometimes you want lists or other user-defined data-structures. One way to do this with Dev10 is to pass the array as a constructor argument to your data-structure, but this won't work in the "a" case (because of type mismatch) and won't work in the "f" case (because you're not writing a constructor). Another way to do this in Dev10 is to write a user-defined-conversion from T() to List(Of T). This works in all cases above.


Provisional evaluation from VB team: A decent idea, but it needs a more concrete design and set of scenarios before we go anywhere with it.

In the case "a" above where we want a List, it would make sense to call Add(1) : Add("hello") like we already do with collection-initializers. But for the second one,