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There was a semi-announcement as a part of the Silverlight 1.1 discussion at MIX07 yesterday that people might be wondering about.

If you check out the Silverlight poster that Brad posted a pointer to, you'll see that on the right hand side under the box that says Framework Languages, there are TWO listings for Visual Basic. First, there's "Visual Basic" and then down at the bottom there's a "VBx" with a little icon "Soon." Then, if you look at Jim Hugunin's blog entry on the Dynamic Language Runtime (DLR), you'll see that he says (emphasis mine):

We're initially building four languages on top of the DLR - Python, JavaScript (EcmaScript 3.0), Visual Basic and Ruby. We shipped today both Python and JavaScript as part of the Silverlight 1.1alpha1 release today. John Lam and I will be demoing all four languages, including VB and Ruby, working together during our talk tomorrow at 11:45.

And then if you go on to Jason Zander's blog entry on .NET Framework support in Silverlight, he says (again, emphasis mine):

With the new DLR, we have support for IronPython, IronRuby, Javascript, and the new dynamic VBx compiler.

And, finally, you can go to Amanda Silver's entry on what the MIX07 announcements mean for the VB developer to get a few more hints.

So, what does this all mean, exactly? What is this "VBx" thing? What are we up to?

Well, as I've been hinting at for a while now, there's been something I've been working on quite a lot in recent months that I couldn't talk about. With our announcements at MIX07, though, I can now take a bit of the wraps off. "VBx" is our current (subject to change) codename for the next major version of Visual Basic. (The "x" is supposed to signify the Roman numeral X, or 10, since the next major version of Visual Basic is going to be 10.0. The "x" really should be capitalized, but some people were worried there'd be confusion with the old VBX controls. Not that the search engines are really going to draw a distinction. Like VB itself, they're mostly case insensitive.)



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