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What is Roslyn?
Traditionally, compilers are black boxes – source code goes in one end and object files or assemblies come out the other end. The Roslyn project changes that model by opening up the Visual Basic and C# compilers as APIs. These APIs allow tools and end-users to share in the wealth of information the compilers have about code.
The Roslyn CTP previews the "next generation of language object models for code generation, analysis, and refactoring, and the upcoming support for scripting and interactive use of VB and C#."
Here, we meet the Roslyn Project design team (and the authors of the The Roslyn Project technical paper), Anders Hejlsberg, Karen Ng, Matt Warren, and Peter Golde. We discuss why Roslyn matters, how it works (briefly - we'll go deeper in the future), what it affords, and what it doesn't enable. This is a very interesting project and Roslyn promises to make Visual Studio code refactoring tools easier to build and potentially more powerful than they are today, but at a deeper level—Roslyn provides programmable access to a world class compiler infrastructure - language parser, semantic analyzer,etc - to managed developers (C#/VB).
It's an open question as to what you may actually end up doing with Roslyn if you are not, say, a visual tools developer, but that's the point of this random interlude (aka a Charles interview...though we do talk extensively about what Roslyn can be used for). With Roslyn, you have a lot of power and information at your disposal. How are you going to use it? What will you build?
Download the CTP, play around with Roslyn and provide feedback to the team. They want to hear from you!
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