Microsoft's premier developer conference began today with several announcements that will affect all developers whether they are formally targeting Windows or not.
Probably the most common error type in .NET is the Null Reference Exception. The root cause of this error is C#’s inability to express the concept of non-nullable references, which in turn makes compiler-enforced null checking it too burdensome. To address this problem, there is a proposal for mandatory and explicitly nullable references.
Once again, Visual Basic has been brought back from the brink of deprecation. Reversing a previous decision, VB will be fully supported in ASP.NET 5 including cross-platform.
With C#6 nearing completion, plans are already being laid for C# 7. While nothing is definite yet, they are starting to categorize proposals in terms of “interest and estimated plausibility”. In this series, we’ll be looking at some of the proposals starting with language support for tuples.
PowerShell Tools for Visual Studio is a Visual Studio extension that brings the power of Visual Studio to PowerShell developers. Adam Driscoll, the original creator of this extension, got help from Microsoft over the past couple of months. The result is a new release, v3.0.108, offering 64-bit and remote session support, among other improvements.
A question that keeps coming up is whether or not Blend should be integrated into Visual Studio. The current thought is that it is still better to have separate tools, one focused on UI design tasks and one focused on application development. But that doesn’t mean both can’t be improved.
One of the limiting factors in WPF development is the fact that it is a core component. Since it is shipped with .NET itself, and often the OS, the compatibility requirements are extremely high. By moving to a NuGet distribution model, Microsoft is willing to ease the capability requirement and attempt riskier changes.
Building on its Unity game engine support, Microsoft has announced that it is broadening this support to include Unreal Engine and Cocos2D.
Despite rumors to the contrary, WPF development at Microsoft isn’t dead. There are four major areas of investment for WPF in .NET 4.6 and beyond: Performance, DirectX Integration, Supporting Modern Hardware, and Tooling.
The .NET Foundation has announced the release of a new project called LLILC (pronounced "lilac"). The project, initiallycontributed by Microsoft, aims to provide a new LLVM-based native code compiler for .NET Core which will make it possible to run .NET programs "on any platform that CoreCLR can be ported to and that LLVM will target."
Microsoft continues its push to adapt to the new realities brought about by the containers tsunami, having recently announced the Nano Server, a "minimal footprint" Windows Server, and Hyper-V containers, which provide virtual machine isolation capabilities to containers. The Nano Server has 92 percent fewer critical bulletins and requires 80 percent fewer reboots than a typical Windows Server.
As outlined in the NPAPI Deprecation Guide, Chrome 42, which was due this month and was recently released to the stable channel, has disabled support for the Netscape Plug-in API. The reason is that NPAPI “has become a leading cause of hangs, crashes, security incidents, and code complexity” and the intent was first announced in 2013.
Node Tools for Visual Studio (NTVS) has reached its 1.0 release. This extension is supported by all paid versions of Visual Studio 2012/2013 as well as VS Community and VS Express for Web.
A draft of the release notes for Mono 4.0 have been posted. Among other changes, they have started to adopt code from Microsoft’s CoreCLR project. At the same time, they are dropping support for .NET 4.0 and earlier. Mono will now only build .NET 4.5 compatible assemblies.
MS Open Tech has announced a Cordova plugin which allows developers to use Active Directory Authentication in their apps for Android, iOS, Windows Store, and Windows Phone platforms to access the APIs that it protects, such as Office 365, Azure, Graph API, etc.