As 2005 gets rolling in earnest, Visual Basic developers will turn attention to Visual Studio 2005, the second big step in the development of .NET. In the tool kit is .NET 2.0.
The VB world was shook up big time by the first big step to .NET. It wasn't always pretty, as critics charged that VB was relegated to second-class citizenship in the new .NET order. In fact, no developer group felt a greater impact as .NET came into view with its Common Language Runtime and its decided object orientation.
Technology never stands still; there is always more to learn. But there are elements in the next tools rev that could ease, rather than worsen, the VB developer's burden.
Matthew MacDonald, who is at work on a Visual Studio book for O'Reilly, outlines important new Visual Basic 2005 features on MSDN. These include partial classes, the continue statement, split property accessibility and generics.
Of course, refreshers on the new .NET environment are still welcome, and Microsoft has gone a long way to help there with a series known as VB at the movies.
With the new release, Microsoft has added a number of language features that seek to reduce the amount of code Visual Basic 2005 developers must write. For developers that had difficulty getting their arms around the rather robust .NET framework, there now exist My name spaces. These can act as a "speed-dial-up" into the .NET framework. Participants at this week's VBITS conference in San Francisco will get a closer view of what .NET 2.0 for VB might mean.
For Microsoft's outline of new features in the Visual Basic 2005 Application Framework go to A Sneak Preview of Visual Basic 2005.