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What's New in Visual Studio .NET "Whidbey"

  • By Bradley L. Jones
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Changes in Visual C++

For those using Visual C++ and wanting to continue its use into .NET, there are some serious changes that may not be overly obvious. With Whidbey, Microsoft stepped back and made the decision to start over with the .NET implementation of managed extensions. There was a desire to make sure what was being delivered to C++ developers would be enterprise-ready as well as solid for the future.

In the Whidbey release, you will find a number of additions as well. This includes Profile-Guided Optimization (POGO), the updated managed extensions, and enhancements to the Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC). More importantly, Microsoft is showing in this release that they are continuing to support MFC. Microsoft has added to MFC with one of the more notable additions to MFC being full support for Windows XP themes.

For more information on some of the changes to Visual C++ Whidbey, you'll want to check out Kate Gregory's article "What's in Visual C++ Whidbey," here on Developer.com. This article will publish October 28th.

Changes in J#

The "other language" in Visual Studio .NET, J#, also sees a few changes in Whidbey. Among the changes to J# is the push to make it more compatible with Java. This includes the addition of Swing functionality as well as more key words for the Java language.

Changes in ASP.NET

ASP is not a programming language; however, it is also going through some changes. Rather than detail many of the changes here—such as Master pages, themes, new security features, and new data controls—there is an entire article focused on these changes. Check out What's in Visual C++ Whidbey to see the details on changes coming with ASP.NET 2.0.

It Is Just a Preview...

This article barely scratches the surface of the new stuff in Whidbey. There are also changes to the .NET Framework (currently planned as version 2.0) as well as a number of changes elsewhere. Over the next few days—as well as on an ongoing basis—you'll find a number of articles with many more details to the changes coming. This includes articles that go into more depth on the changes to ASP.NET, Visual Basic .NET, Visual C++ .NET, and more. You'll also learn about some of the new classes that have been added to the next release of the .NET Framework.

There are lots of changes coming and so far most of them seem to deliver on the objectives of the Microsoft's Visual Studio Whidbey team—easier, faster, more consistent, application development with improved performance. This is a "pre-beta" product at this time, so if you find something you don't like, it is possible it may be changed before the actual release.

About the Author

Bradley L. Jones is the Executive Editor for the EarthWeb Software Development channel. In addition to overseeing sites such as CodeGuru.com, Gamelan, and Developer.com, he has also published a number of books, including Sams Teach Yourself the C# Language in 21 Days.

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This article was originally published on October 27, 2003

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