During the Microsoft Build Conference 2014, CEO Satya Nadella has announced to developers that the code they write would soon be portable to many devices and platforms. The support for cross platforms has started with the recent release of Office 365 to iPad users. Now Microsoft is taking the .NET platform to the open source and the Open Source VB and C# compiler “Roslyn” is a big step in this regard. Microsoft has announced “Roslyn” more than two years ago and with Roslyn Microsoft intends to take .NET to the open source world.
Microsoft is re-architecting the C# and VB compilers to support “compiler as service (CaaS) scenarios” and as per a Dec 2013 blog post by Microsoft, Roslyn is “a replacement for our VB & C# compilers”. as per Microsoft Roslyn would introduce “a far more open model for compilation” which is expected to allow developers to “reach inside the compiler itself and see the world”.
Traditionally compilers have been a black box to the developers; one end takes source code as input and emits object files on the other end as output. The magic that the compilers did was unknown to developers. There has been an increasing demand for productivity tools for developers and the more effective tool we want to develop, the need to understand the “black-box” was becoming essential. As Microsoft states, “Instead of being opaque source-code-in and object-code-out translators, through the .NET Compiler Platform (“Roslyn”), compilers become platforms—APIs that you can use for code related tasks in your tools and applications.”
Microsoft Developer Division chief Soma Somasegar has said during the Build Conference 2014 that Microsoft has decided of creating a separate and completely .Net-focused foundation which they view would be the quickest and most impactful way to get open-source process for .Net moving. Microsoft is collaborating with Mobile-tool maker Xamarin to make its .NET platform open source centric.
Among the 24 current and future technologies Microsoft will be contributing to the .Net Foundation are ASP.Net, the Entity Framework .Net Compiler Platform (codenamed “Roslyn, the .Net Micro Framework, and .Net Rx. Xamarin would build Xamarin.Mobile, Xamarin.Mailkit, Xamarin.Mimekit etc…
Below slide deck from Build Conference 2014 shows Microsoft’s vision to the future of .NET