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Developers Petition Microsoft to Rename .NET Framework 3.0

A group of developers are petitioning Microsoft to change the name of the announced ".NET Framework 3.0" back to "WinFX" or another less-confusing name.  The source of the confusion is that the .NET Framework 3.0 will still run on version 2.0 of the Common Language Runtime (CLR), which many consider to be "the .NET framework."  The first three CLR, .NET framework, and Visual Studio .NET releases have all gone in lockstep, making this proposed release the first break in their chain of dependence.  Mailing list members are already asking whether this new .NET Framework 3.0 release, expected late in 2006, will include new features promised for C# 3.0, such as LINQ, and what they will need to do to make their .NET 2.0 applications compliant with 3.0.  The petition, with 210 signatures at the time of this writing, notes that:

.NET has defined a very solid convention for version numbers: Major version increments indicate structural changes; minor version changes indicate breaking changes. .NET 3.0 is neither a major or minor version change – it’s not even the same product.

Jason Zander addresses some of these concerns from the Microsoft perspective in detail on his blog, noting that the team has always thought of WinFX as being the same thing as the .NET Framework.  Jason also elaborates in a Channel 9 video interview that the .NET Framework 3.0 will install both a 2.0 CLR and a 3.0 folder in the Microsoft .NET framework directory.  Also, LINQ will be incluced in approximately .NET Framework 3.5 (version number again subject to change), but it does not require changes to the CLR itself, which is why the LINQ CTP can run against the 2.0 version of the CLR.

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