.NET Framework++: Moving Forward and Staying Compatible with the Past

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You've recently learned a good deal about the next version of the CLR here on Channel 9. One of the things that is top of mind for engineers who create and consume the .NET framework (CLR + BCL) is compatibility with previous versions. In fact, much like security, compatibility is something that is front and center during feature design meetings: "Will this break an application that depends on the version we're updating?". The question is easy to understand, but extremely difficult to answer without extensive testing, implementation refinements, extensive testing, implementation refinements... In some cases, due to impossible compatibility requirements, new features do not see the light of day. It's just part of the business, part of the dance of software evolution in the context of real world customers who depend on current iterations of .NET.

Here, we meet some of the folks who spend a great deal of time ensuring that the compatibility bar is met, breaking changes are isolated and communicated and bridging the gap between dreaming up new features and not breaking old ones. This is a very hard job and often does not receive the credit it deserves (well, at least from the outside looking in). Principal Test Manager Alain Raitt, Program Manager Preeti Kurup, and Program Manager Lead Mike Downen share with us the challenges and opportunities of compatibilty, the advances in the state of the art of compat testing and future directions. Much thanks to you three and the legions of engineers who ensure that the next versions of .NET remain as compatible as possible with older versions.



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The Discussion

  • User profile image

    good stuff Smiley

    crazy idea on my part, maybe you could vaccum codeplex and download a bunch of projects from there and do a compilation to see if there is a diffrence between 3.5 and 4.0 Smiley tools might be able to catch all compilation errors though..

    but maybe you could lookup tests [in the codeplex projects] and run the tests and see if you get diffrent results from 3.5 and 4.0 Big Smile a tool to do that automatically would make a really awsome intern project Smiley

  • User profile image

    WF is radically different how do you guys address that?

  • User profile image

    I actually used to work for a company that, after spending months trying and failing to solve compatibility and deployment issues, eventually gave up and started shipping their software only in the form of entire preconfigured desktop computers.

  • User profile image

    Seriously, WTF is WF, or should I say WTFWF?

  • User profile image

    workflow foundation=wf

  • User profile image

    One thing that I would love if Microsoft did is create an APIs in .NET that enabled you to CRUD Excel, Word, or PowerPoint documents without the need for PIA.  A managed and thread-safe library, that would be amazing!  There are a few libraries which do that, but to have that brough into the fold would be nice.

  • User profile image

    Have you been following the No-PIA information on Channel 9? See this and this.


  • User profile image

    @aL_:like a filter ?

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