Visual Basic "Orcas" Beta1 is in the wild! (Amanda Silver)

Visual Basic "Orcas" Beta1 is in the wild! (Amanda Silver)

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Woohoo! Its official, we finally got Orcas Beta1 out the door! We’re very excited to get this release out to you so we can finally talk about some of the stuff we’ve been working on in addition to the LINQ and XML feature-set. We believe that Orcas Beta1 displays all of the essential value in the Orcas product but it’s important to keep in mind that it’s not feature-complete. There are many features (for example: lambda expressions, support for nullable types, etc.) that will be coming online in a later milestone.  

That said, back to Beta1! Recently, there’s been a lot of discussion on this blog about the LINQ features, but I’d like to take the time to discuss some of the language and compiler related features in Orcas Beta1 that will radically improve your productivity even if you don’t give a hoot or holler about the revolution in programming that we fondly call LINQ.

The first thing that’s going to jazz you is Intellisense Everywhere. In short, this feature is about providing statement completion suggestions at new points in your editing experience. Some examples are best shown as screen shots:





Variable names:


I’ll save the rest so as not to steal the thunder from another blogger on our team….

Another great feature that you’ll notice in Beta1 is Relaxed Delegates. In short, relaxed delegates are a way to extend VB’s implicit conversions to delegate types. With relaxed delegates, you can write the following code:


Private Sub Button1_Click(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As EventArgs) _

  Handles Button1.Click, Button1.MouseClick

    MsgBox("Do Something")

End Sub


You can even omit *all* of the event arguments if your method body doesn’t need them. This improves readability without compromising type safety:


Option Strict On

Public Class Form1

  Private Sub Button1_Click() Handles Button1.Click, Button1.MouseClick

    MsgBox("Do Something")

  End Sub

End Class


Lastly, Multi-Targeting enables you to use Orcas Beta1 to write applications that target .NET 2.0, 3.0, or 3.5. This has been a long requested feature that is now in your hands. The idea is that by supporting multi-targeting, it’s a no-brainer to go out and pick up Orcas because it doesn’t necessarily require that you deploy a new runtime if you don’t use the features of .NET 3.5 – just your app. You can see this by going to FileàNew Project and changing the option in the dialog:

Hope these features find you well! Download the Beta and tell us what you think!


Attachment: VariableNames.bmp
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  • If you haven't heard, Orcas Beta 1 has been released! Amanda's got a great post on the Visual Basic Team

  • If you haven't heard, Orcas Beta 1 has been released! Amanda's got a great post on the Visual Basic Team

  • "Multi-Targeting" looks extreamly cool!

    And "Relaxed Delegates" ,  it is nice! - I don't neet to write "not-used" event arguments any more.

  • Amanda, Great job for you and your team. I was hoping beta 1 would include lambda's, nullables and joins since they were included in the VB9 documentation posted in February. FWIW, I was able to take a solution from March and upgrade it to Beta1 with no issues. Keep up the good work.

  • GREAT!!!  EXCITING!!!   CRAZY!!!

  • I think it's great the way Microsoft is releasing these as both ISOs and VPCs, but how about a bittorrent option?    Seems like this would be friendlier to MS bandwidth as well...

  • I downloaded and installed the Orcas Beta1. However, I almost can't find any dirrerence from the March CTP on it.

    And "Intellisense Everywhere" is still not perfect.

    Many very common OOP keywords, such as "Public, Private, Class, Inherits, Implements, NotInheritable. NotOverridable ... " still need MANUAL input :-(.

    Refactor still not appeared in VB :-(

    Perhaps Beta2 and the final version will not be too far off.

    If such a trend continues, I can not find any reason to continue to use the VB

    I am very disappointed, I meltdown!

  • I'm sure by now the news the Orcas beta 1 has been released is old news; but Amanda's got the scoop on

  • Hi renzhe --

    Yes, very little has changed for VB between the March CTP and Beta 1. The Visual Basic team has been busily working on Nullable Types, Lambda Expressions, and more intrinsic query operators for the Beta2 product.

    Your comments regarding Intellisense Everywhere were anticipated -- stay tuned for Beta2!

    "In the box" support for Refactoring will not appear in Orcas. However, we still believe that the DevExpress support for VB refactoring is very good and we're working closely with them to ensure that you get a great Refactoring experience as you did with the VB 2005 product. (BTW, you can download this for free at:

    I hope you'll be very pleased with the product when it's feature-complete!


  • Visual Studio vNext (aka Orcas) has a number of features that is set to make building occasionally connected

  • Yesterday I promised to post about the hidden gems in Visual Basic and Visual Studio 2008 that you haven’t

  • I hope this version implements CONTROL ARRAYS !

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