Visual Studio 2008 first impressions

Microsoft has released the second beta of Visual Studio 2008 and I’ve installed yesterday (the professional version). The first positive thing was that it can be installed without problems besides my current VS 2005 installation, both seem to work correctly. One of the most anticipated things of VS 2008 is the multi target building. Now it is possible to build for .Net 3.5 as well as for .Net 2.0 and 3.0. The nice thing is that it is a feature of the project properties (seemed natural), so mixed solutions are possible. .Net 3.5 brings no new CLR, which is the old, proven 2.0 one (an exception is Silverlight 1.1), so all new language extensions in C# are pure syntactical sugar. I thing everyone has read about the new possibilities but now the are integrated very well in the editor and the debugger of VS 2008. As example if you use LINQ to query a collection and return some object, with the possibility to create the new anonymous ones on the fly, the editor shows the correct runtime type of the return value if you hover your mouse  cursor about the val key word. IntelliSense is also full aware of the created type before it was compiled the first time. That is really a sophisticated feature not seen by any of other editors (Netbeans 6.0 with JRuby really needs something like this …). Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) is now fully integrated and the editor works flawless so finally it is possible to get rid of the silly WinForms constructs. Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) and Workflow Foundation is on the same integration state as in VS 2005, at least I’ve not found new things so far.

I have to admit VS2008 beta 2 is a very impressive release. It seems to be in a very stable state, it does not disturb existing installations and the new editor has awesome support of the new language features. The only thing that is missing is IronRuby 😉


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