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What’s Happening with C# Updates? What You Need To Know

Hey there everyone, Lafe here again. And once again, every month or so my fellow Visual Studio Live! blogger Rich Seeley will present a more technical approach to these blog posts. His latest post details some of the clamoring and confusion going on around C#, most notably that C# fans are being left out in the cold when it comes to AI.

What's up with C#?

In a word: Lots.

There's been plenty of news over on https://visualstudiomagazine.com/home.aspx.

Some of the news has been about new features for C#. But one of the big stories is about C# coders being left out of Microsoft’s Artificial Intelligence game. In .NET Coders Clamor for C# Support in Microsoft's CNTK AI Toolkit David Ramel, editor of Visual Studio Magazine, uncovered unrest in posts on the Issues section of the Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit (CNTK) GitHub repository for the open source toolkit for commercial-grade distributed deep learning.

While CNTK supports Python, the current AI darling, as well as BrainScript, .NET developers are wondering why more traditional .NET languages like C#, Visual Basic and F# are not included.

Here's some of what Ramel found in posts on the GitHub site where a developer with the handle nikosdim1 wrote a post titled "C# and .NET support barking," highlighting the lack of C# support: "Strangely, though, it seems that we have to abandon C#/VB/F# and learn python because CNTK is more supported in this language (OK C++ too but this is not a 'clean' .net language) maybe because other frameworks rely more on Python."

In the opinion of this poster it seems .NET developers are being told not to use C# or Visual Basic or F# because Microsoft doesn’t seem to fully support them.

Another developer posted: "I'm eager to finally work with deep learning on Windows with C# instead of on Linux with Python."

A poster who appeared to be with Microsoft tried to reassure the developers that support for C# and the other traditional languages is in the works but added there is no timeframe.

Microsoft is famously closed mouthed about these issues. But when news breaks, you’ll find it on VisualStudiomagazine.com.

Better news for C# developers is Microsoft’s commitment to speeding updates.

In Microsoft Quickens C# Release Cadence, Unveils v7.1, Ramel told readers: "Mads Torgersen, lead designer for C#, said the team is moving to 'point releases' to keep up with associated tooling -- like Visual Studio -- and the underlying .NET Framework itself that are shipped more frequently. This, he said, brings new features to developers in a trickle so they can take advantage of them sooner."

In January, Amazon Web Services also had good news for C# developers as reported in AWS Cloud Adds .NET Core 2.0 Support for C# Coding of Lambda Functions. AWS announced support for .NET developers using C# to write Lambda functions “while leveraging .NET Core 2.0 libraries.” Lambda is the foundation of Amazon's “serverless computing” service.

To learn more about the latest features in C#, read this Visual Studio magazine article about a presentation at a recent Visual Studio Live! conference with Microsoft's Adam Tuliper. C# developers with an interest in tuples will find a lot here. It's the next best thing to attending Visual Studio Live! where you would have actually had a chance to chat with Tuliper, as is the case with all of our presenters.

If you are really looking for a deep dive into C#, go to Analysing C# code on GitHub with BigQuery by London-based Microsoft MVP Matt Warren. As he explains: "...in this post I am going to be looking at all the C# source code on GitHub and what we can find out from it." He found answers to both controversial and more prosaic C# questions ranging from "Tabs or Spaces?" to "How many lines of code (LOC) are in a typical C# file?" If you're curious about all things C# this is a great read.

Want to keep up with C# happenings and do more than just read about it but possibly make suggestions for feature and bug fixes? Visit GitHub's C# Language Design page, "the official repo for C# language design." It welcomes visitors and explains: "This is where new C# language features are developed, adopted and specified. C# is designed by the C# Language Design Team (LDT) in close coordination with the Roslyn project, which implements the language." Among the things you'll find on the site are:

  • Active C# language feature proposals
  • C# language design meetings
  • C# language specifications
  • Summary of the language version history

For those who want to get involved, the Design Team suggests: "If you discover bugs or deficiencies in the above, please leave an issue to raise them, or even better: a pull request to fix them."

Finally, here's a question where there doesn't seem to be an answer. C# predates Twitter with its famous hashtags. But in the 21st century wouldn’t it be easier to rename the language Csharp since that's what you have to do when you post to Twitter or create a URL on the web?

Posted by Lafe Low on 02/15/2018 at 10:50 AM


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