Feeds

Linux breakthrough for Visual Basic developers

Mono choice

The essential guide to IT transformation

Windows developers can now port Visual Basic applications to Linux without modifying their code, using an open source project backed by Novell.

The Mono project has built a compiler that lets developers code using Visual Basic inside Visual Studio or other preferred tools environments and run the Visual Basic code on non-Windows platforms without the time and cost of modification.

The Mono Visual Basic compiler, written in Visual Basic 8.0, is available as a preview in the latest Mono release, version 1.2.3. The compiler is built for version 2.0 of Microsoft's .NET framework released by Microsoft in October 2005 in anticipation of Windows Vista, while the runtime supports version 2.0 and 1.0.

Visual Basic is one of the World's - and certainly one of Microsoft's - most widely used programming languages. Sixty two per cent of developers use Visual Basic, while 37 per cent of big businesses specifically use Visual Basic.NET - launched for Microsoft's .NET architecture. Visual Basic has a solid following that, over the years, has forced Microsoft to re-think aspects of the .NET roadmap.

Mono began life in 2001 as a project to replicate some of the architectural improvements introduced with the then new .NET Framework for Unix. Early milestones saw a version of Microsoft's Common Language Infrastructure (CLI) and C# language. Later this year, Mono plans a full Visual Basic compiler and improved ASP.NET 2.0 support.

Much hangs on the maturity of the Mono compiler, but the long-term concern for Microsoft will be if Visual Basic developers follow the example of many of their C/C++ colleagues and experiment with Linux platforms. That would mean Microsoft can no longer count on their default support for Windows or Microsoft's applications and tools.

Should this happen, Microsoft will have to decide how to work with Linux and open source vendors to ensure it remains relevant to Visual Basic developers. In recent years Microsoft signed a number of technology agreements with open source middleware and application vendors to keep developers on-side by ensuring Windows worked properly with open source. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV
Pureed-carrot-in-ice cream C++ surprise
China: You, Microsoft. Office-Windows 'compatibility'. You have 20 days to explain
Told to cough up more details as antitrust probe goes deeper
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.