Click here to close now.

Welcome!

.NET Authors: Aria Blog, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Hovhannes Avoyan, Sanjeev Sharma

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) View Comments

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.


Most Recent Comments
isodoor 10/26/09 03:54:00 AM EDT

Professor Linda Shapiro is a great women with the following honors:
1. Pattern Recognition Society Best Paper, 1984
2. Pattern Recognition Society Honorable Mention, 1985
3. Pattern Recognition Society Honorable Mention, 1987
4. Pattern Recognition Society Best Paper, 1989
5. Pattern Recognition Society Best Paper, 1995
6. Fellow of the IEEE, 1996
7. Fellow of the IAPR, 2000
I like this site ;)
Good post thanks for sharing.

Peter Frost 01/28/08 06:21:14 AM EST

So it was the flaws in most major programming languages (e.g. C++, Java, Smalltalk, even Delphi) that drove the fundamentals of the CLR, which, in turn, drove the design of the C# programming language itself? Interesting...

David Totzke 03/14/05 12:27:22 PM EST

The mothers of C# invention wrote:

"Or you might actually look beyond the blinders and see that VB is Basic mutated beyond recognition. And Basic was the worlds only programming language for those who couldn't program. "

Thank god for that. Now all of the people who couldn't program won't be able to inflict their garbage on the world.

"The father of C#! Like calling the guys in Malasia and China running the illegal CD and DVD duplication operations the fathers of multi-media. "

Well, at least they're not bitter. Somebody get the mothers some Thorazine please.

Sheesh,
dave

The Mothers of C# Invention 03/12/05 09:59:57 PM EST

>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.

Or you might actually look beyond the blinders and see that VB is Basic mutated beyond recognition. And Basic was the worlds only programming language for those who couldn't program.

Or if you took the blinders off, you might see that C# is Java with Microsoft curb feelers.

J++ + MFC ??? What a joke! Microsoft never saw a standard they couldn't improve upon!

The father of C#! Like calling the guys in Malasia and China running the illegal CD and DVD duplication operations the fathers of multi-media.

Doug Ferguson 03/11/05 03:45:29 PM EST

What should the language/framework add in the future?

Managed Threading would be a great addition. Currently managed memory stops the wild pointer problems that we see in unmanaged C/C++. The GC manages the memory.

However, when programming with threads, it is so easy to make a mistake. What is worse is that you will not know that you have made a mistake until some random collision blows up your program.

Managed Threading would check for thread safety in addition to type safety.

With all the announcements about dual core processors, multi-threading issues will be more important than ever.

dotnetRajesh 02/18/05 09:31:57 AM EST

Fantastic interview.Thanks.

Mukul Gandhi 02/11/05 11:41:32 PM EST

Its indeed inspiring to read interview of Mr. Anders Hejlsberg.

I have heard that Microsoft has decided not to implement latest version of XSLT language(XSLT 2.0) and XPath (XPath 2.0) in the .NET Framework. But Microsoft wishes to implement XQuery 1.0 in .NET, but only after it becomes a W3C recommendation.

In this interview, Mr. Anders Hejlsberg has said.. "Another language that is difficult to learn, but very powerful, is XSLT". It therefore seems, XSLT is an important language for Microsoft!

I wish Microsoft implements XSLT 2.0, XPath 2.0 and XQuery 1.0 in .NET Framework(and other relevant products).

Also it seems, Microsoft has decided not to release next version of their freeware MSXML software(i.e. after MSXML4, which I think is MSXML5). MSXML5 is shipping only with MS Office 2003. I wish Microsoft release its latest MSXML5 software(or later versions like MSXML6..) as freeware just like MSXML4. And, latest MSXML (6 and beyond), should support XSLT 2.0 and XPath 2.0!

I have heard, that Microsoft is of the view, that they implement W3C specs only after they become recommendations(and not in draft form).. I do agree with this view.. But, if Microsoft starts work now(it might have already started!), to implement XSLT 2.0/XPath 2.0 in .NET and MSXML, the product would be delivered on time!

Regards,
Mukul

@ThingsExpo Stories
Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, had reached 30,000 page views on his home page - http://RobertoMedrano.SYS-CON.com/ - on the SYS-CON family of online magazines, which includes Cloud Computing Journal, Internet of Things Journal, Big Data Journal, and SOA World Magazine. He is a recognized executive in the information technology fields of SOA, internet security, governance, and compliance. He has extensive experience with both start-ups and large companies, having been involved at the beginning of four IT industries: EDA, Open Systems, Computer Security and now SOA.
The industrial software market has treated data with the mentality of “collect everything now, worry about how to use it later.” We now find ourselves buried in data, with the pervasive connectivity of the (Industrial) Internet of Things only piling on more numbers. There’s too much data and not enough information. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Bob Gates, Global Marketing Director, GE’s Intelligent Platforms business, to discuss how realizing the power of IoT, software developers are now focused on understanding how industrial data can create intelligence for industrial operations. Imagine ...
Operational Hadoop and the Lambda Architecture for Streaming Data Apache Hadoop is emerging as a distributed platform for handling large and fast incoming streams of data. Predictive maintenance, supply chain optimization, and Internet-of-Things analysis are examples where Hadoop provides the scalable storage, processing, and analytics platform to gain meaningful insights from granular data that is typically only valuable from a large-scale, aggregate view. One architecture useful for capturing and analyzing streaming data is the Lambda Architecture, representing a model of how to analyze rea...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Vitria Technology, Inc. will exhibit at SYS-CON’s @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Vitria will showcase the company’s new IoT Analytics Platform through live demonstrations at booth #330. Vitria’s IoT Analytics Platform, fully integrated and powered by an operational intelligence engine, enables customers to rapidly build and operationalize advanced analytics to deliver timely business outcomes for use cases across the industrial, enterprise, and consumer segments.
The explosion of connected devices / sensors is creating an ever-expanding set of new and valuable data. In parallel the emerging capability of Big Data technologies to store, access, analyze, and react to this data is producing changes in business models under the umbrella of the Internet of Things (IoT). In particular within the Insurance industry, IoT appears positioned to enable deep changes by altering relationships between insurers, distributors, and the insured. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Sick, a Senior Manager and Big Data Architect within Ernst and Young's Financial Servi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Open Data Centers (ODC), a carrier-neutral colocation provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Open Data Centers is a carrier-neutral data center operator in New Jersey and New York City offering alternative connectivity options for carriers, service providers and enterprise customers.
The explosion of connected devices / sensors is creating an ever-expanding set of new and valuable data. In parallel the emerging capability of Big Data technologies to store, access, analyze, and react to this data is producing changes in business models under the umbrella of the Internet of Things (IoT). In particular within the Insurance industry, IoT appears positioned to enable deep changes by altering relationships between insurers, distributors, and the insured. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Sick, a Senior Manager and Big Data Architect within Ernst and Young's Financial Servi...
PubNub on Monday has announced that it is partnering with IBM to bring its sophisticated real-time data streaming and messaging capabilities to Bluemix, IBM’s cloud development platform. “Today’s app and connected devices require an always-on connection, but building a secure, scalable solution from the ground up is time consuming, resource intensive, and error-prone,” said Todd Greene, CEO of PubNub. “PubNub enables web, mobile and IoT developers building apps on IBM Bluemix to quickly add scalable realtime functionality with minimal effort and cost.”
Sensor-enabled things are becoming more commonplace, precursors to a larger and more complex framework that most consider the ultimate promise of the IoT: things connecting, interacting, sharing, storing, and over time perhaps learning and predicting based on habits, behaviors, location, preferences, purchases and more. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tom Wesselman, Director of Communications Ecosystem Architecture at Plantronics, will examine the still nascent IoT as it is coalescing, including what it is today, what it might ultimately be, the role of wearable tech, and technology gaps stil...
With several hundred implementations of IoT-enabled solutions in the past 12 months alone, this session will focus on experience over the art of the possible. Many can only imagine the most advanced telematics platform ever deployed, supporting millions of customers, producing tens of thousands events or GBs per trip, and hundreds of TBs per month. With the ability to support a billion sensor events per second, over 30PB of warm data for analytics, and hundreds of PBs for an data analytics archive, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Kaskade, Vice President and General Manager, Big Data & Ana...
In the consumer IoT, everything is new, and the IT world of bits and bytes holds sway. But industrial and commercial realms encompass operational technology (OT) that has been around for 25 or 50 years. This grittier, pre-IP, more hands-on world has much to gain from Industrial IoT (IIoT) applications and principles. But adding sensors and wireless connectivity won’t work in environments that demand unwavering reliability and performance. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ron Sege, CEO of Echelon, will discuss how as enterprise IT embraces other IoT-related technology trends, enterprises with i...
When it comes to the Internet of Things, hooking up will get you only so far. If you want customers to commit, you need to go beyond simply connecting products. You need to use the devices themselves to transform how you engage with every customer and how you manage the entire product lifecycle. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sean Lorenz, Technical Product Manager for Xively at LogMeIn, will show how “product relationship management” can help you leverage your connected devices and the data they generate about customer usage and product performance to deliver extremely compelling and reliabl...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is causing data centers to become radically decentralized and atomized within a new paradigm known as “fog computing.” To support IoT applications, such as connected cars and smart grids, data centers' core functions will be decentralized out to the network's edges and endpoints (aka “fogs”). As this trend takes hold, Big Data analytics platforms will focus on high-volume log analysis (aka “logs”) and rely heavily on cognitive-computing algorithms (aka “cogs”) to make sense of it all.
One of the biggest impacts of the Internet of Things is and will continue to be on data; specifically data volume, management and usage. Companies are scrambling to adapt to this new and unpredictable data reality with legacy infrastructure that cannot handle the speed and volume of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and president of Infobright, will discuss how companies need to rethink their data infrastructure to participate in the IoT, including: Data storage: Understanding the kinds of data: structured, unstructured, big/small? Analytics: What kinds and how responsiv...
Since 2008 and for the first time in history, more than half of humans live in urban areas, urging cities to become “smart.” Today, cities can leverage the wide availability of smartphones combined with new technologies such as Beacons or NFC to connect their urban furniture and environment to create citizen-first services that improve transportation, way-finding and information delivery. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Laetitia Gazel-Anthoine, CEO of Connecthings, will focus on successful use cases.
Sensor-enabled things are becoming more commonplace, precursors to a larger and more complex framework that most consider the ultimate promise of the IoT: things connecting, interacting, sharing, storing, and over time perhaps learning and predicting based on habits, behaviors, location, preferences, purchases and more. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tom Wesselman, Director of Communications Ecosystem Architecture at Plantronics, will examine the still nascent IoT as it is coalescing, including what it is today, what it might ultimately be, the role of wearable tech, and technology gaps stil...
The true value of the Internet of Things (IoT) lies not just in the data, but through the services that protect the data, perform the analysis and present findings in a usable way. With many IoT elements rooted in traditional IT components, Big Data and IoT isn’t just a play for enterprise. In fact, the IoT presents SMBs with the prospect of launching entirely new activities and exploring innovative areas. CompTIA research identifies several areas where IoT is expected to have the greatest impact.
Wearable devices have come of age. The primary applications of wearables so far have been "the Quantified Self" or the tracking of one's fitness and health status. We propose the evolution of wearables into social and emotional communication devices. Our BE(tm) sensor uses light to visualize the skin conductance response. Our sensors are very inexpensive and can be massively distributed to audiences or groups of any size, in order to gauge reactions to performances, video, or any kind of presentation. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Jocelyn Scheirer, CEO & Founder of Bionolux, will discuss ho...
SYS-CON Events announced today that GENBAND, a leading developer of real time communications software solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's WebRTC Summit, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The GENBAND team will be on hand to demonstrate their newest product, Kandy. Kandy is a communications Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that enables companies to seamlessly integrate more human communications into their Web and mobile applications - creating more engaging experiences for their customers and boosting collaboration and productiv...
From telemedicine to smart cars, digital homes and industrial monitoring, the explosive growth of IoT has created exciting new business opportunities for real time calls and messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ivelin Ivanov, CEO and Co-Founder of Telestax, shared some of the new revenue sources that IoT created for Restcomm – the open source telephony platform from Telestax. Ivelin Ivanov is a technology entrepreneur who founded Mobicents, an Open Source VoIP Platform, to help create, deploy, and manage applications integrating voice, video and data. He is the co-founder of TeleStax, a...