The Orcas January Community Technology Preview (CTP) has been publicly released as of Wednesday evening! This CTP is available as a Virtual PC image or as a self-extracting install. We advise against installing the self-extracting install on a production machine.
In this CTP we’re announcing a new numeric type that provides support for very large numbers (beyond the range of In64). The new type is: BigInteger.
All existing numeric types in the Framework have a limited range. This is the first type that supports an arbitrary range and will extend to accommodate any large number as needed. This type lives in the new System.Numeric namespace where all new numeric and arithmetic features are going to reside. It supports all the basic arithmetic operations including things like Pow, DivRem and GreatestCommonDivisor. It implements the following interfaces: IFormattable, IComparable, IComparable<BigInteger> and IEquatable<BigInteger>. It is serializable and immutable. It has implicit casts from all basic integral types and explicit casts to/from all numeric type.
We’ll blog more about BigInteger next week.
In related news, the CLR Add-In Team has started blogging! The Add-In team is a new feature team on the CLR tasked with making it easy for managed applications to host add-ins (also known as plug-ins, add-ons, extensions, etc.).
The team is tackling some interesting problems such as: loading/unloading, sandboxing, isolation, lifetime management, discovery, activation, backwards and forwards compatibility, isolation changes, and sharing.
The new add-in APIs they are providing in the Orcas release solves these so you don’t have to. Most of these new APIs are available today in the Orcas January CTP.