Microsoft plans to ship this week the second beta test releases of Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5, according to a blog post by the head of the project.
The company this week also began shipping an alpha test version of its IronRuby dynamic programming language, and said it plans to release the source code on the RubyForge open source site in August. Developers will be able to build products with IronRuby –- as well as to modify the language's code itself –- under Microsoft's Permissive License policy.
IronRuby takes advantage of Microsoft's Dynamic Language Runtime (DLR) library, which is built on top of .NET's Common Language Runtime (CLR), providing services for IronRuby and other dynamic languages like Microsoft's IronPython. The DLR was introduced in early May at the company's MIX07 Web developers conference in Las Vegas.
"Next month we will be moving the IronRuby source code repository to be hosted on RubyForge," Scott Guthrie, general manager in Microsoft's Developer Division, wrote in a blog post Monday. "As part of this move we are also opening up the project to enable non-Microsoft developers to enlist in the project and contribute source code."
During an online Q&A with developers following his post, however, Guthrie also revealed that the release of the next VS 2008 beta is imminent.
"VS 2008 and .NET 3.5 Beta 2 [which will be out later this week] are pretty much feature complete. We'll do some small features additions/changes based on new feedback on Beta 2, but 99 percent of the features are all there," Guthrie said.
The new release of Visual Studio will be launched on February 27, 2008 in Los Angeles, along with Visual Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008, the company announced earlier this month at its Worldwide Partner Conference.
Microsoft released Beta 1 of what was then still code-named Orcas in late April, and said at that time it was targeting this summer for the release of Beta 2. So the release cycle is right on schedule.
One key addition in VS 2008 is support for Language Integrated Query or LINQ, which provides the capability to handle query and set operations, such as SQL statements, directly within .NET languages like C# and Visual Basic.