GavinB GavinB

Niner since 2004


  • Gavin Bierman - Microsoft Research in UK works on database query language

    Just to follow up on a couple of new questions:

    1. What's the relationship between C# and Cw? Everyone asks about this! Ernie Booth asked me this, and I posted the following to his Cw forum site ( - take a look!):

    Is Cω an early release of C#3.0? We get asked this all the time. Indeed a number of (non-MS) websites have stated this as a fact. The short answer is no! We are quite separate from the C# and Visual Studio teams. We are in Microsoft Research, and Cω is a purely research project. Our main research interest is in the design and implementation of advanced programming language features. We released the compiler so our colleagues, academic and non-academic, can play with the system and hopefully their feedback will drive our future research. Again, research not product development. That said we do have contacts on the development side, and they are aware of what we’re up to (we don’t work in a vacuum!). Here’s a quote from Scott Wiltamuth which hopefully clarifies matters:

    "The C# team is excited about Cω and other C#-based research projects that Microsoft Research Cambridge is working on. We have no current plans to extend the C# language in this direction, but will continue to observe the progress of Cω and other MSR-Cambridge projects.” -- Scott Wiltamuth, C# Product Unit Manager
    2. Cw as a commercial application language. We're in Microsoft Research, so our prototype compilers are simply prototypes. We think the Cw compiler is pretty solid, but it comes with no guarantees. If you want those, you should really use C#, VB.NET or one of our commercial compilers.

    3. I have a cool idea for a new language... That's great! Languages are a fascinating place to be doing research. Take a look at ACM Sigplan, ACM ToPLAS, POPL, PLDI, ECOOP, OOPSLA ... and see what people are up to. It's an exciting place. If you have ideas - these are the places to publish them.

  • Gavin Bierman - Microsoft Research in UK works on database query language

    To answer some of the questions/points:

    1. Why do you say "so" all the time? Didn't know I did. Think it was just nerves...

    2. Unsafe code? Cw doesn't support unsafe code. It supports everything else of C# though...

    3. What's svg? If you download the compiler then you get this demo. You'll see the file which contains the declaration for svg. It's a Cw class declaration, but you could read it as a type declaration in xsd etc.

    4. Stored procedures? It depends on what you're doing. Cw is really useful for middle-tier apps - you're freed from using the rather weakly-typed ADO.NET libraries. We're currently checking that Cw runs under Whidbey. Assuming that it does, then you'll be able to use Cw to create assemblies that can be called from SQL using SQL Server Yukon. How cool is that?!

    5. Bigger fonts. Something weird happened here. Just before Mike pressed record I increased the font size, but VS went wibble. Never seen anything like it - weird colours, bold, etc... Anyhow, Mike was on a tight time schedule, so we just went back to default settings. Sorry if it isn't very readable. All the demos are included with the compiler.

    6. This is awesome/it rocks/... Couldn't agree more. Let me go and tell my manager Smiley