Next Version of VB Dubbed 'VBx'
Hot on the heels of Microsoft's MIX07 conference in Las Vegas, Visual Basic
guru Paul Vick revealed this week on his blog that the company is working on
a reboot of Visual Basic, dubbed at this stage "VBx" (for Visual Basic
10, which would be the next numbered version.)
"VBx is the next version of Visual Basic, not a new version of Visual Basic,"
Vick discussed how VBx and Visual Basic fit into Silverlight, Microsoft's new
cross-platform runtime which works as a browser plug-in. At MIX07, the company
revealed new capabilities and intentions for Silverlight, including the fact
that it will include
a version of the Common Language Runtime, as well as a Dynamic Language Runtime.
Right now you can use Visual Basic in Silverlight, but to do so you must
compile the application on the desktop first, according to Vick.
Part of VBx, however, is to be a "hostable managed component" running atop
the DLR, Vick wrote. That will allow Silverlight to compile VB source code on
the fly -- even on browsers running on a Mac.
"The important thing to keep in mind is that there is still only one
Visual Basic language but once VBx arrives you'll have more than one way of
getting to it," Vick wrote. "You'll still be able to compile code into the traditional
.DLL or .EXE, but you'll also have the option of compiling and running the code
on the fly, within a running instance of the CLR. That's where things are likely
to get interesting."
Vick says a community preview will land this year and the company will
reveal more about the technology at this year's Professional Developers
Conference, scheduled for October in Los Angeles.
Read more about VBx, Visual Basic and Silverlight on Vick's blog: