Welcome!

.NET Authors: Lori MacVittie, Sandi Mappic, Ivan Antsipau, JP Morgenthal, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: .NET

.NET: Article

.NET Archives: Getting Reacquainted with the Father of C#

Derek Ferguson, Editor-in-Chief of .NET Developer's Journal, Talks to Hejlsberg In a Major Interview

In our premier issue, back in October 2002, we ran a full-length interview with Anders Hejlsberg, the Distinguished Engineer at Microsoft responsible for the creation of the C# programming language. Then, in March 2005, we presented a follow-up interview conducted by .NETDJ's editor-in-chief, Derek Ferguson, at Microsoft's Tech Ed 2004 conference in San Diego, California. Here it is again in full.

.NETDJ: Between now and the last time we spoke, Borland has entered the .NET space. As an ex-Borland employee who is now one of the most revered .NET icons, what are your thoughts on this?

AH:
I'm very excited that they are doing that! It is the right thing for the Delphi community and .NET is the logical next place for all Windows development tools to go. I think it is a win-win situation.

.NETDJ:
I didn't realize the last time we spoke that you started off at Microsoft building the Windows Foundation Classes for J++. I never had a chance to look at WFC during its day. If I looked at it today, would I see bits I'd recognize from the .NET Framework?


AH:
Some of the ideas from WFC were carried forward into Windows Forms, so you would see stuff there.

.NETDJ:
Where, if anywhere, do you see a need for "a language specializing in... <blank>" today? For example, I think there is a real need for a new entry-level programming language. What do you think?

AH: I think there is a healthy cross-pollination that occurs between all the programming languages. While you might see C# pioneer in one direction and VB pioneer another, ultimately there is a lot of crossing over of ideas over time. Certainly, anything we do on the C# team we let the VB folks participate in and vice versa.

.NETDJ:
I recently spoke with Soma Somasegar, Microsoft's Corporate VP of the Developer Division, and he mentioned that you were one of the people looking at how XML usage can be done better from a programmatic standpoint. Can you tell us a little about this work?


AH:
Well, I wasn't involved in X#, but two of the people who were on the X# team are now members of the C# team. Some of X#'s ideas are being carried forward in C#. These are not going to look the same way as they did in X#. However, I think that the core concepts will carry forward. I can't make any commitments, though.

Actually, the main thrust of X# was trying to deal with relational data. It also tried to deal with XML, but it did not deal with loosely typed XML, which is what most of the XML in the world is.

My feeling is that if XML is strongly typed, then it can very conveniently be represented as classes. So what we really need is syntax for creating "object literals" - objects with nested objects - all in a single expression. We are kind of calling these "object initializers."

I would not expect to see XML literals embedded in the C# programming language, however. There are two ways to think about integrating concepts. On one hand, you can just embed one language in another. Honestly, however, this approach just calls attention immediately to all of the differences between the two languages. Take Embedded SQL, for example. You still have to learn two languages, but you also have to learn how those two languages interact.

On the other hand, if you could just take the conceptual things that are in two languages and merge them into one, you could get a much more productive environment. This is the approach to data I want to take in future versions of C#.

.NETDJ:
The last time we spoke (at OOPSLA 2002), you had just announced that anonymous methods would be added to C#, but you couldn't give a timeline. Now we know that that will occur in Visual Studio 2005. What has happened between now and then to take this idea from a vision to reality?


AH:
The stuff we talked about at OOPSLA was the first glimpse we gave of the new C# language features that will be in Visual Studio 2005. There are many that are well-known: generics, anonymous methods, iterators, and partial classes. There are also many more - nullable types, which we just talked about today - and a whole bunch of smaller things that are not as well-known.

Nullable types basically represent the ability to have value types that can be set to null, which is something that people very much ask for. I recently asked a group of programmers, "How many of you access data in your applications?" Virtually everyone raised his hand.

People do a lot of database access, and yet there are some pretty notable impediments to interactions between databases and programming languages. One of these mismatches is the absence of nullable types from programming languages. SQL databases have always had nullable types, but programming languages have never had nullable types. One of the things that you are sort of seeing here is the beginning of us trying to think really deeply about this problem. Nullable types are a specific problem that we are solving as a part of .NET 2.0. In .NET 1.0, value types can't be null, but in 2.0 they can.

(continued on page 2)

More Stories By Derek Ferguson

Derek Ferguson, founding editor and editor-in-chief of .Net Developer's Journal, is a noted technology expert and former Microsoft MVP.

Comments (7)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, will describe how to revoluti...
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, will discuss how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money! Speaker Bio: Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, has spent 16 years as a marketing, product management, and busin...
Samsung VP Jacopo Lenzi, who headed the company's recent SmartThings acquisition under the auspices of Samsung's Open Innovaction Center (OIC), answered a few questions we had about the deal. This interview was in conjunction with our interview with SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson. IoT Journal: SmartThings was developed in an open, standards-agnostic platform, and will now be part of Samsung's Open Innovation Center. Can you elaborate on your commitment to keep the platform open? Jacopo Lenzi: Samsung recognizes that true, accelerated innovation cannot be driven from one source, but requires a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Red Hat, the world's leading provider of open source solutions, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Red Hat is the world's leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As the connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, a...
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash Inc., will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Matrix.org has been named “Silver Sponsor” of Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Matrix is an ambitious new open standard for open, distributed, real-time communication over IP. It defines a new approach for interoperable Instant Messaging and VoIP based on pragmatic HTTP APIs and WebRTC, and provides open source reference implementations to showcase and bootstrap the new standard. Our focus is on simplicity, security, and supporting the fullest feature set.
BSQUARE is a global leader of embedded software solutions. We enable smart connected systems at the device level and beyond that millions use every day and provide actionable data solutions for the growing Internet of Things (IoT) market. We empower our world-class customers with our products, services and solutions to achieve innovation and success. For more information, visit www.bsquare.com.
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic • Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it’s a mix of architectural style...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SOA Software, an API management leader, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SOA Software is a leading provider of API Management and SOA Governance products that equip business to deliver APIs and SOA together to drive their company to meet its business strategy quickly and effectively. SOA Software’s technology helps businesses to accelerate their digital channels with APIs, drive partner adoption, monetize their assets, and achieve a...
From a software development perspective IoT is about programming "things," about connecting them with each other or integrating them with existing applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Yakov Fain, co-founder of Farata Systems and SuranceBay, will show you how small IoT-enabled devices from multiple manufacturers can be integrated into the workflow of an enterprise application. This is a practical demo of building a framework and components in HTML/Java/Mobile technologies to serve as a platform that can integrate new devices as they become available on the market.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Utimaco will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Utimaco is a leading manufacturer of hardware based security solutions that provide the root of trust to keep cryptographic keys safe, secure critical digital infrastructures and protect high value data assets. Only Utimaco delivers a general-purpose hardware security module (HSM) as a customizable platform to easily integrate into existing software solutions, embed business logic and build s...
Connected devices are changing the way we go about our everyday life, from wearables to driverless cars, to smart grids and entire industries revolutionizing business opportunities through smart objects, capable of two-way communication. But what happens when objects are given an IP-address, and we rely on that connection, sometimes with our lives? How do we secure those vast data infrastructures and safe-keep the privacy of sensitive information? This session will outline how each and every connected device can uphold a core root of trust via a unique cryptographic signature – a “bir...
Internet of @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley announced on Thursday its first 12 all-star speakers and sessions for its upcoming event, which will take place November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California. @ThingsExpo, the first and largest IoT event in the world, debuted at the Javits Center in New York City in June 10-12, 2014 with over 6,000 delegates attending the conference. Among the first 12 announced world class speakers, IBM will present two highly popular IoT sessions, which will take place November 4-6, 2014 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, Calif...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, will discuss how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Oct. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Spansion Inc. (NYSE: CODE), a global leader in embedded systems, today added 96 new products to the Spansion® FM4 Family of flexible microcontrollers (MCUs). Based on the ARM® Cortex®-M4F core, the new MCUs boast a 200 MHz operating frequency and support a diverse set of on-chip peripherals for enhanced human machine interfaces (HMIs) and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. The rich set of periphera...

SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the recurring revenue expert, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Aria Systems helps leading businesses connect their customers with the products and services they love. Industry leaders like Pitney Bowes, Experian, AAA NCNU, VMware, HootSuite and many others choose Aria to power their recurring revenue business and deliver exceptional experiences to their customers.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce the value of the network in helping organizations to maximize their company’s cloud experience.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is making everything it touches smarter – smart devices, smart cars and smart cities. And lucky us, we’re just beginning to reap the benefits as we work toward a networked society. However, this technology-driven innovation is impacting more than just individuals. The IoT has an environmental impact as well, which brings us to the theme of this month’s #IoTuesday Twitter chat. The ability to remove inefficiencies through connected objects is driving change throughout every sector, including waste management. BigBelly Solar, located just outside of Boston, is trans...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Matrix.org has been named “Silver Sponsor” of Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Matrix is an ambitious new open standard for open, distributed, real-time communication over IP. It defines a new approach for interoperable Instant Messaging and VoIP based on pragmatic HTTP APIs and WebRTC, and provides open source reference implementations to showcase and bootstrap the new standard. Our focus is on simplicity, security, and supporting the fullest feature set.