Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Microsoft Launches DevLabs Site For Developers

Microsoft has launched a new product-research developer-oriented site called DevLabs.

Developer Division Senior Vice President Soma Somasegar

Somasegar blogged about the formation of DevLabs on October 23. From Somasegar’s post:
Today we are launching DevLabs - a site dedicated to these software innovations for the developer community. This is a portal where we can share not just some early thinking, but early bits, and let you play with them and help us determine the direction that these projects should eventually head. While many of these projects will come from teams within Developer Division, this is an outlet for all innovations coming from Microsoft focused on you, the developer.

The purpose of this site is not to get your feedback on the next release that we are working on – we already have opportunities to do that today through our CTP and Beta programs (and thank you for that feedback!). Most of these are projects that aren’t as solid in exact deliverables yet. Some of these projects will turn into features in our existing shipping products, some we will open-source for the community, others we will decide to not pursue. You are the ones that can help us determine what best suits your needs.

For those of you that are interested there are currently 4 projects that are available on the DevLabs site:
  • Small Basic: Small Basic is a simple and easy programming language with a friendly environment that provides a cool and fun way of learning programming. From making turtles animations to running a slide show on the desktop, Small Basic makes programming natural and effortless.
  • PEX: Pex (Program EXploration) is an intelligent assistant to the programmer. From a parameterized unit test, it automatically produces a traditional unit test suite with high code coverage. In addition, it suggests to the programmer how to fix the bugs.
  • PopFly: Microsoft Popfly is the fun, easy way to build and share mashups, gadgets, games, Web pages, and applications.
  • CHESS: CHESS is a concurrency testing tool for finding and reproducing concurrency Heisenbugs in your code. CHESS can find assertion violations, deadlocks, livelocks, data-races, and memory-model errors. CHESS works both for managed and for unmanaged code.
The newly formed DevLabs joins Microsoft’s growing list of incubators which includes Live Labs, Office Labs, adCenter Labs and Startup Labs.

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