Sun, Jul 17 2005 8:12 PM
Erwyn van der Meer
The .NET Language Integrated Query Framework
Microsoft's Luca Bolognese has a nice overview of PDC sessions related to the .NET Language Integrated Query Framework.
Luca says he has been working on this for over a year. In October 2003 I went to his PDC 2003 talk on ObjectSpaces. ObjectSpaces was a O/R-mapper framework related to Yukon and WinFS. ObjectSpaces was originally scheduled to be released with Whidbey and WinFS with Longhorn. Both were postponed and will not ship in the form presented at PDC 2003. Robert McLaws published an article in May 2004 that gives some inside into Microsoft's decision to put off ObjectSpaces.
ObjectSpaces was meant to be the unified model for accessing data across different data stores and to be used by several Microsoft products. In the 2003 incarnation the query language was OPath. OPath was inspired on XPath. But like using XPath from C#, OPath didn't really give you a statically typed programming model. Look at some of the complaints in the comments of this blog entry on OPath by Matt Warren. Because of the importance of ObjectSpaces as an underlying technology for several other technologies, it was very import to get right at V1. And not at V3 as is rumored to be common for Microsoft products.
So, the spirit of ObjectSpaces is back, albeit in a completely different form in C# 3.0 and VB.NET 3.0. We'll have to wait till September to see the new form, but it is bound to be better than the OPath syntax (which was already very nice).
The marriage of objects, XML and relational data has been long in the making at Microsoft. When googling for X# (later to be called Cω) I found a Microsoft Watch article from December 2002 that contains:
Box went on to call the development of a "data-oriented language" one of the "most interesting areas for innovation in the next five years." He said that Microsoft and other software development houses were beginning to explore this area.
Since C# 2.0 is yet to be released, it may very well take until 2007 before C# 3.0 is released. So Don Box's prediction is accurate: 2002 + 5 = 2007.
[Update: Microsoft Watch published a very interesting interview with Anders Hejlsberg last Friday]
Filed under: .NET, Architecture and Design, PDC 2005