Vulcan.NET Roadmap, June 2009

Vulcan.NET, the xBase language for the .NET Framework, continues to grow and evolve. Our goal is to enhance developer productivity, and support the latest features offered by the .NET Framework. This article summarises the current plans for the future of Vulcan.NET.

The items below have been split into two groups. The first group contains the items that are planned to be addressed in the shorter term. Some of these are already being made available to current VOPS subscribers. For more information about VOPS, please visit http://www.grafxsoft.com/2vosubscribe.htm.

Items in the second group are things that are expected to be delivered after those in the first group. Some of these things are currently under development. Others, such as Visual Studio 2010 support, have the preliminary work done but are dependent on the stabilisation of features by Microsoft.

Please be aware that the plan is under regular review, and that the priority of items may change over time.

Short Term Targets

Improvements

Bug fixes, refinement and faster compilation. Although the compiler speed is listed under “Short Term” targets it will remain under continues review to make sure that any potential speed increases are gained as soon as possible.

3rd Party Support

Continue to work closely with 3rd party vendors to ensure smooth transition to new versions as Vulcan.NET evolves.

Language Enhancements

Increased and added support for language features such as Events, Generics and Properties. Introduction of new constructs such as FOREACH, REPEAT, etc.

Familiar VO Tools

Consolidation of the Visual Studio versions of the VO entity editors. The inclusion of the FieldSpec and DBServer editors will be part of this.

Compatibility

Completion of the few remaining VO runtime functions. Support for OLE controls on windows/forms.

Productivity

Improved Visual Studio integration, more templates, examples and videos.

Long Term Targets

These targets show the intentions of the Dev Team but are not listed in any particular order.

Language Extensions

There are several features that we intend to introduce. The SWITCH statement, USING (as used in C#), The NEW keyword for methods/properties, EXTERNAL methods (_DLL ..), Extension Methods, Improved REF and OUT syntax, Nested Types, Creating Generics, Anonymous Functions/Lambda Expressions and Scoped Locals are all on the list of improvements that we feel should be included.

Productivity

Incremental compilation and Background compilation are planned to improve productivity as well as the ability to generate XML Documentation files.

Compact Framework

To support the Compact Framework there are three areas that we will be working on. A Special Runtime is required as well as adjustments to the RDD System and Macro Compiler.

Internationalisation

The inclusion of Unicode Source Code Support is considered to be essential for all non-English programmers.

RDD System

As mentioned above, the RDD System needs to be worked on to support the Compact Framework. There will also be changes to give better support for FoxPro files.

New Technology

The release of VS 2010 will bring an opportunity to include several new features. These include XBAP support, Class Browser/ Object Browser, full FileCodeModel support, improved Debugger support (Autos, GLOBALS, Static Locals, Workareas etc), LINQ, ASP.NET, .NET 4.0, new VS tools.

Into The Future

Vulcan.NET is compatible with the .NET 3.5 Framework, providing most of the language features needed to support it. Naturally .NET will continue to evolve and as such this list will be under continues review and update. It is likely that some items may be brought forward and some pushed back if the circumstances are appropriate. It is even possible that some may be removed. The only thing that we can be absolutely sure of is that new items will need to be added to the list to make sure that, as .NET advances, so will Vulcan.NET.

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