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Microsoft delivers developer preview of Roslyn compiler as a service

Microsoft has made available a test build of its "Roslyn" compiler as a service technology. The final release will be some time after Visual Studio 2012, officials are now confirming.

Microsoft officials said at the Build conference that Microsoft would release a Community Technology Preview (CTP) test build of its "Roslyn" compiler as a service technology in October.

On October 19, Microsoft made good on that promise, and posted the Roslyn bits on its Download Center.

Microsoft officials wouldn't provide a tentative ship timeframe for Roslyn at the Build show, but after viewing the slides from a presentation there, I predicted Roslyn wouldn't be part of the next release of Visual Studio, which is coming in 2012.

Microsoft confirmed today that Roslyn is a post-Visual Studio '11 (Visual Studio 2012) deliverable. From a note on the download:

"'Roslyn' CTP installs as an extension to Visual Studio 2010 SP1. 'Roslyn' is a long lead project which we are considering for the post-Visual Studio 11 timeframe. The CTP includes an early preview of the APIs exposed by the C# and Visual Basic compilers, and the Interactive window experience."

A quick Roslyn refresher: The Roslyn effort is about re-architecting the C# and VB compilers to support “compiler as a service” (CaaS) scenarios. Currently, a compiler is a black box; with Roslyn, Microsoft is working on opening it up so that all of the information processed via a compiler is available in application programming interface (API) form.