Monthly Archives: October 2008

An embarrassment of riches on VB 10.0 and Oslo

Now that we’re past the PDC, there are a bunch of video resources coming out on VB 10.0 and Oslo. Here’s a roundup of what’s available so far:

The Pearson folks also recorded some vidcasts they call OnMicrosoft. If you go to the previous link, you can see all the videos posted, but the ones of interest to this blog are:

There are other Oslo vidcasts on the site, so check them out as well.

Future Directions for Visual Basic

Yesterday I gave my valedictory address on Visual Basic at the PDC. I think the talk went well and it was a lot of fun, if not a little sad that it’s one of the last times I’ll be giving a talk about Visual Basic. We covered a lot of exciting stuff, some of which should be familiar to readers of the blog. I’ll let people know when the video is up on the Channel9 page for the talk, should be some time today. For those of you who don’t want to sit through the talk it went something like this:

  • First, we talked a bit about the role of Visual Basic at Microsoft as the language that makes Microsoft platforms really accessible to programmers.
  • Then we segued into talking about the increased commitment that the languages groups are making to ensure that Visual Basic and C# coordinate language features so that users of one language aren’t left out in the cold when the other language adds some useful feature. This isn’t to say that we’re going to do things in exactly the same way, or even that the languages will have exactly the same feature set, but that we’re committing to ensuring that the fundamental capabilities in the languages stay in better sync than they have over the previous eight years.
  • Then Lucian did a really wonderful demo of VB 10.0, which is shipping in Visual Studio 2010. He showed (IIRC) the following features that should be familiar to the readers of this blog: array literals, collection initializers, automatic properties, implicit line continuations, statement lambdas, generic variance, and a feature that embeds primary interop assembly types in your assembly so you don’t have to deploy the PIA. I may have missed some, so check out the video when it’s posted!
  • Finally, we talked about some of the trends that we see affecting Visual Basic going forward and talked about some of the work we’re starting to do for post-VS 2010 to move the Visual Basic compiler to managed code and open it up to the world so that you can take advantage of the services that it provides.

If you attended the talk, please evaluate the session! It helps me become a better speaker and helps us give a better PDC. And feel free to stop by the tools lounge today, I’ll be hanging out there most of the day!

Scored some updated Addison-Wesley books

While I was hanging out at the Addison-Wesley booth, I picked up a copy of two updated editions that I’d been eyeing. One is the updated C# Programming Language specification that includes a lot of hard work by Mads:

Book Cover

And the other is the updated Framework Design Guidelines:

Book Cover

Both look just awesome. I think they’re also supposed to be giving out this sooner or later:

Book Cover

So I can hopefully pick up one of those too!

Let’s get small…

I just wanted to give a shout out to my fellow Oslo employee Vijaye Raji whose Small BASIC project just launched on the new DevLabs site. It’s a version of BASIC targeted at truly beginning programmers, and I think it’s a great example of how BASIC can be utilized to make things very simple and easy to use. I got the chance to see Small BASIC in action being taught to high schoolers and it was wonderful to see the kids start to make the connection between what they were doing and what they could do. It’s a great project, and I hope it goes far!

Where to Find Me at PDC2008

I didn’t realize I’ve been so silent about the PDC! I’ve been struggling to get off of .Text and on to Subtext for my blogging engine, and so I’ve been avoiding posting because “I’ll wait until I get moved over to the new engine.” Pffffft! Anyway, I’m going to be doing a number of things at the PDC, so if you’re going to be in LA next week, stop by and say hi!

  • I am co-presenting “Future Directions for Visual Basic” with Lucian on Tuesday at 5:15pm in room 406A. Do stop by and let’s chat about where Visual Basic is going! Also, feel free to go to the Channel9 page and add comments about what you’d like to see and if there are questions you’d like addressed. If you’re not going to the PDC, check the page after the talk for video and discussion.
  • I’ll be at the “Ask the Experts” dinner on Wednesday night in Hall G. I’ll be sitting with Visual Basic, although I might wander over to wherever Oslo is at some point.
  • I’ll be trying to attend the various Oslo talks.
  • I’ll be at the Tools and Languages lounge on Wednesday from 2-5pm for sure, and I’ll probably be hanging around there a lot otherwise.

I’ll be trying to keep up with my Twitter feed (my username is paulvick) so feel free to ping me if you are around. And I’ll blog some more after my talk.

Hope to see you all there!

Please welcome Lucian Wischik!

Hi all, I wanted to take a moment to introduce the new specification lead for Visual Basic, Lucian Wischik. Lucian has been getting to know the user community over the past few months, and now you’ll have even more contact with him as he’ll be taking over my responsibilities in terms of owning the language spec! He’s already been an enormous help in ironing out some of the trickier aspects of the Dev10 spec, and I feel very confident that the specification will be in good hands. Here’s a short bio:

Lucian Wischik is the Visual Basic specification lead. Since joining the VB compiler team a year ago he has worked on new features for Visual Studio 2010 relating to type inference, lambdas and generic covariance. In his four years at Microsoft he has also worked on the Robotics SDK and concurrency, and has published several academic papers on the subject. Before coming to Microsoft he took a PhD in concurrency theory at the University of Cambridge and worked as a researcher at Bologna University in Italy. Despite this theoretical slant, he’s most at home when writing practical code. He’s a keen sailor and long-distance swimmer. His blog can be found at

Please welcome Lucian!