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it's official.  at teched barcelona, soma (developer division executive) let the crowd know that microsoft will release visual studio 2008 and the .net framework v3.5 by the end of november!

this is really great news for early adopters and people wanting to get a jump start.  as to 'when can i get it' is a good question.  "RTM" or release-to-manufacturing is the process which software makers seal their bits, close out the version, whatever you want to call it and call the project milestone done.  as to when it gets into developers' hands depends on the distribution channel.  usually enterprise subscribers (msdn subscribers) will get first crack at it because they could download it usually < 2 weeks after the product RTMs.  manufacturing DVDs and product packs take a bit longer, so it isn't going to be in stores anytime in november i'm sure.  it is best to understand your personal licensing situation and contact your license representative, reseller, or other distribution channel to figure out when you can get your hands on it.  msdn is the easiest way...consider getting a subscription -- as an independent developer it was the best investment i could have ever made.

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okay, if you don't know justin-josef angel, that is a shame, the dude is smart.  he's an mvp for microsoft and has been active in the silverlight community now, trying to really start the community thinking different on extending silverlight.  lately he's done just that.

anyone who has ever had to develop a global application knows the challenges of ensuring localization.  it is perhaps one of my weakest spots as a developer and i'm sure a lot of others as well.  since justin-josef speaks arabic and hebrew he wanted to tackle this problem...rtl language display in .  thus enter the Silverlight Arabic and Hebrew languages support project (SAAHLSP; just kidding the acronym is mine, but there is a job for justin in microsoft product naming in his future).

Rendering Comparison

Normal Silverlight

Silverlight Hebrew and Arabic Support

RTL (Right-to-Left): Not Supported
Align-to-right: Not Supported
RTL: Supported
Alight-to-Right: Supported
  
  

way to go!  this project really shows the power of having the .net framework when silverlight 1.1 comes to light and the extensibility you can add to this platform, empowering the developer to makes these extensions.

the project has several learning points to it if you are interested...

great work!

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26-jaw-drop

yeah, me too.  the news of the day is that microsoft's developer group is releasing portions of the .net framework base class libraries (bcl) under the microsoft reference license (ms-rl).  in a nutshell the license enables the viewing of the source code, but no modification.  even so a step in the right direction in my opinion.  while it isn't an open source license, this is a part of microsoft's broader shared source initiatives to aid developers in the understanding of the innerworkings of the .net framework.

we'll also be introducing capabilities in visual studio 2008 to allow .net developers debugging their apps to not only step into their own source code, but also into the .net framework source code using visual studio!  aside from that functionality, anyone who accepts the license agreement will be able to download and view the source code.  the release will include the bcl, windows forms, asp.net, System.Data and .  this includes System, System.IO, System.Collections, System.Configuration, System.Threading, System.Net, System.Security, System.Runtime, System.Text, System.Data, System.Web, System.Windows.Forms, System.Windows.  you may not see or / or linq (linq is yet to be released anyway) but each library that is considered to be released under this initiative will go through a review process.  additional libraries are planned as time progresses.

you can see a demonstration and more details on scottgu's blog as well as listen to shawn burke discuss it on hanselminutes.  integration with the debug symbols is going to be as simple as:

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scottgu just announced microsoft is providing a ruby implementation for .net...nice.

before mix i had a chance to sit down with , a program manager at microsoft working on the dynamic language runtime that was announced at .  i went to seattle and carved off a moment to talk with him as they prepared for .  i've put the recording up on my *cast site for you to view/listen to.  some interesting things he talks about and how happy he is to finally break his silence.  in the middle, the small edit you'll see is when his office-mate, tomas matousek, comes in and joins us -- tomas is working on the ruby implementation on top of the dlr.

i've put it in my *cast feed link (note: there is an mp3-only feed as well) as well as on channel 9 for people to watch.