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

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:


Expressions:



 


Keywords:



 


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!


 

VariableNames.bmp