.NET Compiler Platform ("Roslyn") for the Rest of Us

.NET Compiler Platform ("Roslyn") for the Rest of Us

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WOW! It’s been a while -- almost exactly 4 years since yours truly, Beth Massi, last posted on the VB Team blog (although it’s cool to see I’m still in the tag cloud ;-)).  I’m honored to be a special guest post today.

If you’ve been reading this team blog I’m sure you know by now that the .NET Compiler Platform (code named "Roslyn") is the next generation of the Visual Basic and C# .NET compilers. But what does that mean? I was up in Redmond a couple weeks ago and I caught up with Dustin Campbell (Program Manager on the Managed Languages Team) and sat him down to explain Roslyn to me, a .NET developer. I mean, let’s face it folks, I’m not a compiler geek. I’m a busy, practical, programmer who trusts their compiler will just work. So what’s in it for me?

It turns out that Roslyn brings a ton of value to anyone writing VB or C# code. By making it much easier for partners to build amazing tools and for language and IDE features to get implemented much faster, developers everywhere will benefit from the faster innovation. Dustin also shows off some of the new IDE features like quick fixes and new refactorings for both VB and C# that are available in the Visual Studio "14" CTP.  

Watch: .NET Compiler Platform ("Roslyn") for the Rest of Us


Thanks, Dustin, for setting me straight!

For more information on Roslyn and to try it out, see "Installing the Preview" section of the Codeplex site at https://roslyn.codeplex.com/

-Beth Massi, Visual Studio Community

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  • With Roslyn Microsoft effectively open source C# and VB.NET.

    Yet they still say it isn't feasible to open source the VB6 programming language.

    Microsoft just choose to abandon developers when it suits them. They are clearly no longer interested in .NET, now the future is JavaScript and C++.

    Even the first phone they bring out having taken over Nokia is an Android phone. It looks like Microsoft no longer believe in themselves.

  • @Anonymouse  - Roslyn was built from the ground up with open source as it's goal from the start. We are VERY MUCH dedicated to our millions of .NET developers. Open sourcing does not mean abandoning, it means the opposite. Roslyn, ASP.NET vNext, etc. These are very active projects being worked on by people here with the community. And there is indeed a ton of innovation happening on the .NET team, with .NET Native, RyuJIT, and cross platform. Learn more about .NET OSS projects here: www.dotnetfoundation.org and check out the dotnet team blog for innovations happening in that space. blogs.msdn.com/.../dotnet

  • And yet we all know this is what is going to happen ...


    The only way forward for developers is with non-proprietary languages like JavaScript or C++.

    .NET is just too big a risk.

  • Are Microsoft fixing the ugly and bad UI, icons, colors, contrasts, all caps menu in Visual Studio 14?

    If not, is it posible to install these compilers in Visual Studio 2010?

  • Hi,

    This is about VB.Net not VB6

    I don't see a certification track for VB.net in the Microsoft Learning site. When I contacted Leo a few minutes ago and asked, he said there are no known plans to introduce a VB.net certification. I asked him if they are planning to drop VB.Net from the learning site and he disconnected.

    Any insight on the status of VB.Net going forward, please?

    I always thought MS was focused on offering C# & VB.Net in it's core and most tools seem to support that. Just not seeing it on their cert site or their communications and that is disturbing.



  • Hey AJ,

    In answer to your question on the status of VB.NET going forward it’s the same as it’s always been, unwavering, since the dawn of .NET – we’re investing heavily in it. In fact “Roslyn” is, unarguably, the largest single investment in the future of Visual Basic since the advent of .NET. The sheer volume of code we’ve re-architected and rewritten in the last 5 years (and are still rewriting) for VB.NET is just staggering. So, not only is VB.NET still around but it’s been completely rebuilt with a new shiny engine and tons of new stuff too.

    As for Windows Store apps, VB has had full support since Day 1 and if you look at the content on the Windows Dev Center: msdn.microsoft.com/.../hh974581.aspx you can see that VB is a first-class citizen on that platform with tutorials and samples.

    Moreover we've heard loud and clear that VB users are passionate about the platform (visualstudio.uservoice.com/.../5729640-provide-vb-net-templates-for-developing-universal) and have been working with the learning group to share our expertise in producing more content for VB. For example, we recently recorded a video series on Windows Store development with VB for the Microsoft Virtual Academy blogs.msdn.com/.../new-video-series-on-windows-store-app-development-using-visual-basic-on-microsoft-virtual-academy.aspx. Still, it’s critical that we continue to hear from you! It’s very important that the VB community continue to drive our priorities based on engaging us when you feel we’ve overlooked something and I would encourage you to consider opening a UserVoice suggestion about this (visualstudio.uservoice.com/.../30933-languages-visual-basic) so that others can add their voices to yours.

    As for the Learning group, historically they’ve focused developer certifications on technologies and platforms rather than on programming languages specifically. For example, I hold several certs including three MCTS certs in Windows, Distributed, and Web Applications for .NET 2.0 and the MCPD for both Windows and Enterprise Applications (yeah, I know – I’m way out of date). For all of those certs I took the VB specific flavors of the exams but the certifications themselves pivot around technology rather than language and there’s no indication in the cert itself which language the holder tested in. I'm not sure what's changed but I’ve reached out to the learning group for more info on the topic of languages and certifications (we actually don’t work with them on the C# stuff either) and will share with them your interest - as well as mine, since I’d like to update my certs too :)


    Anthony D. Green, Program Manager, Visual Basic & C# Languages Team

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