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Professional Visual Basic® 2008 by Bill Sheldon, Kent Sharkey, Bill Evjen, Billy Hollis

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Appendix A. The Visual Basic Compiler

When the .NET Framework was first introduced, one nice addition for the Visual Basic developer was the inclusion of a standalone language compiler. This meant you were not required to have the Visual Studio .NET 2002 IDE in order to build Visual Basic applications. In fact, you could take the .NET Framework from the Microsoft website (free of charge), and build Web applications, classes, modules, and more simply, using a text editor such as Notepad. You could then take the completed files and compile them using the Visual Basic compiler.

The Visual Basic compiler is included along with the default .NET Framework install. Each version of the framework has a new compiler. In fact, note that while the core of the .NET 3.5 release is still running on the .NET Framework 2.0, the .NET Framework 3.5 release includes new compilers for both the Visual Basic and C# languages. The compiler for the .NET Framework 2.0 is vbc.exe, and it can be found at

C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\vbc.exe

The compiler for the .NET Framework 3.5 is also called vbc.exe, and it can be found at

C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v3.5\vbc.exe

The vbc.exe.config File

In addition to the vbc.exe file, there is a vbc.exe.config file in the directory as well. This XML file is used to specify the versions of the .NET Framework for which the compiler should build applications. Now that there are three versions of the .NET Framework available for our applications to work with, ...

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