[mono-vb] Future of Mono's VB.NET

Miguel de Icaza miguel at novell.com
Thu Apr 20 09:52:09 EDT 2006


    Yesterday I met with Rafael and we discussed a bit what we wanted to
do with Mono's VB compiler.   

    The situation is that today's VB compiler is based on a fork of mcs
circa 2002.  And although some of the improvements to mcs made it into
mbas, they were not all incorporated.

    To make things worse, the new VB.NET supports generics.   So we are
wondering whether it would not be a better idea to start a fresh fork
from gmcs (along the same proposal that Jambunathan had a year or so
ago) and implement VB that way.  Lets call this effort "mbas2".

    The idea would be to go in chunks: we could integrate individual
commits that were done to the old mbas tree, and determine one by one
whether it applies to mbas2.

    Maybe not all of the code can be salvaged, but if we can get even
40% of the old code migrated into the new tree it would be a big plus.

    Now, this might be insane, because once I was talking to someone on
the VB.NET team and when I told them how mbas was written he said "I did
not think that VB.NET could be implemented that way".   Maybe our
approach is completely busted, but I do not know enough about VB.NET to
know.  I just know that if the original mbas idea made sense, we should
probably start from scratch.

    Now, since we are already too close to 1.2, we should probably
develop this on a separate tree, to avoid breaking the build of
"mono/mcs", so it should be another top level module in the Mono
repository.  And we should probably also kill "mcs/bmcs" (at least we
could retrieve the few patches that were done there).


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