"Blog" on VB.NET Language Implementation

SyntaxEditor .NET Languages Add-on for Windows Forms Forum

Posted 12 years ago by Actipro Software Support - Cleveland, OH, USA
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We've been getting questions almost every day regarding the status of the VB.NET language implementation for the .NET Languages Add-on. Since there is so mcuh interest, we thought it would be a good idea to start posting a "blog"-like topic so you will know where things stand as far as its development.

Actipro Development Priorities
In terms of Actipro development priorities, the VB.NET implementation is at the top. This means that right now most of our development time is going towards the VB.NET implementation.

Why is it taking so long?
Well, it's really complicated stuff and for a language this size, takes hundreds of hours of work to implement it properly. A main reason v4.0 of SyntaxEditor took so long was that it was an enormous effort to get the C# language implementation working like it does. We're very happy with those results and hope to achive to the same thing with VB.NET.

What are we working on now?
We are still in the midst of defining how the semantic grammar builds AST nodes. This is what we are concentrating on until it is done. Currently we are probably over 70% through the grammar. After the grammar is complete, we may decide to start packaging the beta VB.NET language in the add-on, even though IntelliPrompt won't work yet. However at that point, document outlining, syntax error highlighting, the AST and several other things will be mostly ready. This would be a great time for customers to start using it to make sure that all our syntax parsing is correct.

What is the release date?
It will be finally released when it is done. Again we are working on it as our top priority since there is so much interest in it so rest assured that we are doing the best we can. And as mentioned above, a beta will be included probably once the grammar is complete.

Questions?
If you have any questions, feel free to ask them here.

Further Posts
We'll try and update this post every few days so that you can keep on top of the status.


Actipro Software Support

Comments (9)

Posted 12 years ago by Actipro Software Support - Cleveland, OH, USA
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We've been making more progress on the semantic grammar and have been optimizing some of the AST nodes along the way, such as combining ConstantDeclaration and FieldDeclaration. In that case they are both fields but the only difference is a Const modifier or lack thereof.

Probably about 80% through it at this point.


Actipro Software Support

Posted 12 years ago by Actipro Software Support - Cleveland, OH, USA
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More good progress the past couple days. The semantic grammar is probably over 90% complete at this point and most of the remaining items can wait for implementation. The next step is for us to start loading VB files and testing out where the grammar has bugs.

Once we try and sort out all the bugs that we find in the grammar and do a couple more minor things then perhaps we can start having some help from you for testing the language. Please contact us via e-mail if you are interested.

[Modified at 01/18/2007 03:26 PM]


Actipro Software Support

Posted 12 years ago by Actipro Software Support - Cleveland, OH, USA
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Made some more enhancements to the parser generator to better detect cases where there are first-set conflicts between calls to non-terminals from an alternation. Also improved error messages in the Grammar Designer so that errors should move the caret right to the error location if it is known.

The above enhancement located several minor cases in the C# language that weren't being handled properly so those are fixed now.

The enhancement identified numerous areas in the VB language semantic grammar with the same issue so we are resolving those ambiguities now and then will continue with fixing grammar flaws.


Actipro Software Support

Posted 12 years ago by Actipro Software Support - Cleveland, OH, USA
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Really great progress today. Now it can open all the VB files in the SyntaxEditor sample project without any syntax errors. The object model gets displayed in the treeview too and the type/member dropdown lists work.

Next thing is to improve error recovery since at the moment when a bad token is found, it can get a little out of whack.


Actipro Software Support

Posted 12 years ago by Actipro Software Support - Cleveland, OH, USA
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The VB.NET language will make its first appearance in the next maintenance release. No IntelliPrompt will be functional however the language will be available for use in the SDI Editor sample and at the bottom of the Grammar Designer when outputting a VB-based language.

The next maint release should hopefully occur in the next several days.


Actipro Software Support

Posted 12 years ago by Actipro Software Support - Cleveland, OH, USA
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The first beta of the VB.NET language is available in today's maintenance release. This beta doesn't have IntelliPrompt but other features like AST building, document outline display, type/member drop-down list, syntax checking, etc. are in there.

Work on IntelliPrompt has begun! :)


Actipro Software Support

Posted 12 years ago by Actipro Software Support - Cleveland, OH, USA
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Wow, it's getting very cool. A lot of the IntelliPrompt features are now functional in our private build.

We're looking for people to help beta test the VB language who will give the IntelliPrompt features a serious run-through. If you are interested, please e-mail us!


Actipro Software Support

Posted 12 years ago by Actipro Software Support - Cleveland, OH, USA
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In today's maintenance release, you now can see some VB IntelliPrompt features in action! It supports member lists, quick info, parameter info, XML documentation completion, case auto-correct, some smart indent, and more.

After trying it out, please e-mail us your feedback.


Actipro Software Support

Posted 12 years ago by Actipro Software Support - Cleveland, OH, USA
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The VB.NET language is now officially released.


Actipro Software Support

The latest build of this product (v2018.1 build 0341) was released 3 months ago, which was after the last post in this thread.

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