Programming - - By Wyatt Barnett

Visual Studio 2008 RTM Is Here!

In case you have been under a rock, shacking up or in jail or otherwise indisposed, Visual Studio 2008 RTM is here! For full details, see Scott Guthrie’s official announcement. Personally, I think the most compelling new features are:

  • Javascript intellisense & debugging. Quite frankly, I suck at javascript–even after reading the very awesome Simply Javascript cover to cover–mainly because it requires remembering more details about things than I am currently prepared to remember. Moreover, lack of good debuggers really hurts the cause. Alerting values out just does not cut it, especially with the level of complexity involved in modern javascript.
  • HashSets. Finally. The only thing that would have made me more happy is if they made native collections with event notification on adds, updates and deletes.

Note I did not really mention LINQ, and that is quite intentional. LINQ itself is really, really awesome. But LINQ2SQL has the potential to become the DataSet of the 2008 generation. Just like it’s predecessor, it is designed to be a RAD tool to let just about anyone drag-n-drop database objects on forms and make neat, functional apps. And it will work for simple things. But once one starts kicking in complex, real-world data scenarios and starts to think about long-term maintainability, it begins to fall flat. The other massive flaw is the very stateful DataContext object. If you use LINQ2SQL as your object layer, you end up being tied to the database as there is no way to handle things in a truly disconnected mode. More on this later once I get a chance to kick the tires a bit more.

Final note: something is a bit wonky in the download, at least for me. I had two utter failures last night, hopefully the third time is the charm.