VS2008, Silverlight and JScript.NET. What went wrong?

! Warning: this post hasn't been updated in over three years and so may contain out of date information.

VS2008Microsoft have been making much of the new JavaScript intellisence in VS2008 and have been promising it for the beta 2 release.

I am currently developing ActionScript apps, I have been very interested in Silverlight 1.1 with its .NET support and have been keeping a close eye on VS2008.

There is a reasonable chance that you will read the above two statements and not see the connection. The connection is a little publicised product: JScript.NET. Back in the days of .NET 1.0, Microsoft created a range of languages that could work with the Common Language Runtime (CLR): C#, J#, VB.NET, Managed C++ and JScript.NET. For reasons that I do not know, they decided to build support for all these languages, bar JScript.NET, into Visual Studio.NET. So JScript.NET suffered from little interest and fell by the wayside. The along came Silverlight 1.1, or so I feel the story should have gone…

Silverlight is designed to compete with Flash. I do not think that even Microsoft would deny the truth of that. Flash “movies” that do anything non-trivial contain ActionScript. Microsoft have an uphill struggle on their hands to get developers and designers to switch away from Flash in favour of Silverlight and anything they can do to ease the transition will be to their advantage. An obvious route is to promote JScript.NET as being similar to ActionScript. They did this with J# as a way of encouraging Java developers over to .NET. Converting from ActionScript to JScript.NET would be non-trivial, but would be by far the easiest route for porting existing libraries across.

So we come back to my interest in VS2008. With talk of JavaScript support in VS2008, I put 2 and 2 together: Microsoft are going to start supporting JScript.NET in VS2008.

Having downloaded VS2008 Beta2, it now looks like I put 2 and 2 together and got 5: there is no JScript.NET support to be seen. Hopefully I’m just missing the obvious; but I fear I’m not and that Microsoft are going to make it hard to migrate from Flash to SilverLight.

One thought on “VS2008, Silverlight and JScript.NET. What went wrong?

  1. Yeah, i know that JScript .NET would be nice coz we’re already know that javascript and action script was similar, so we dont have too much effort for further learning. It’s too bad knowing VS2008 didnt have support on JScript.

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