Microsoft "Roslyn" CTP Refresh Targets Visual Studio 2012 RC

The second hands-on look at Microsoft's upcoming compilers-as-a-service technology is now available to developers in a June 2012 Community Technology Preview.

Microsoft is re-architecting its C# and Visual Basic compilers as public APIs in a longstanding development project, codenamed "Roslyn." The first hands-on look at the compilers- as-a-service technology was available to developers as a Community Technology Preview (CTP) in October 2011.

On Tuesday, Microsoft released a "Roslyn" June 2012 CTP refresh that supports the Visual Studio 2012 Release Candidate and Visual Studio 2010 SP1. The Roslyn compiler and language services are not part of the Visual Studio 2012 release cycle, however. The purpose of the "Roslyn" June 2012 CTP is to get developer feedback.

Microsoft Corporate Vice President Jason Zander, who is in charge of Visual Studio, explained the timing of the release in his blog on Tuesday:

Replacing a compiler that is responsible for running a big chunk of the Internet and rich client applications is not something one does lightly. Our general approach for re-architecting the compilers is to complete them before entering a product cycle. That way, we can use them and ensure they have high quality throughout the cycle. Because of this, Roslyn is not shipping as part of Visual Studio 2012 and will ship in a future VS release instead. However, we want to enable anyone who has VS 2012 installed to explore the Roslyn APIs and use the C# Interactive Window. To allow this, the CTP refresh will install on both Visual Studio 2012 RC and Visual Studio 2010 SP1 (note that VS 11 Beta is not supported).

The "Roslyn" June 2012 CTP has breaking changes. CTP2 includes major API changes, additional language features and code samples, according to Microsoft. The first CTP previewed the new language object models (code generation, analysis and refactoring), an interactive C# Window and an upcoming Scripting API.

Anthony D. Green, Microsoft program manager for the Visual Basic and C# languages team, offered a detailed outline of what's new in CTP2. Work has been done on the Compiler, Service and Services Editor APIs. Microsoft has also implemented more language features, and the list this time is longer for Visual Basic than C#. Updates to both languages include support for Anonymous Types, Attributes, Generic Constraints and Query Expressions among other features.

"While the shape of the public API is complete, only a subset of the VB and C# languages have been implemented at this time," stated Green as a disclaimer in his What's New in the Roslyn June 2012 CTP post on the Microsoft "Roslyn" CTP Forum.Get the Roslyn June 2012 CTP download here.

About the Author

Kathleen Richards is the editor of and executive editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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