LINQ-enabled languages like Visual Basic give you a rich set of query operators that can be applied to various data sources, such as in-memory collections, databases, datasets, and XML. That alone is pretty cool, but Visual Basic 9.0 actually goes beyond that and makes XML a first-class data type directly in the language.
In the February issue of MSDN Magazine, in our Basic Instincts column, Jonathan Aneja explores the current XML programming experience, how LINQ improves the experience, and how Visual Basic provides even more support when working with XML.
Back in the January issue of MSDN Magazine, in our Advanced Basics column, Ken Getz investigates—and illustrates with a handy sample application—reflection features as they relate to generics.
The .NET Framework exposes information about generic types and methods differently than it does for those that are non-generic, and using reflection to investigate and fabricate or call generic types and methods isn't terribly difficult.
Don't forget to browse the code for Ken's sample app in our online code library.
For more information about Visual Basic development, check out the Basic Instincts and Advanced Basics archives on the MSDN Magazine web site or subscribe to the Basic Instincts and Advanced Basics RSS feeds.