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VB Helper Newsletter  Rod Stephens
 Apr 01, 2011 08:05 PST 

[Not an April Fool's joke]

If you recently won a copy of my book, "Stephens' Visual Basic
Programming 24-Hour Trainer," please don't forget to reimburse me for
postage and most importantly, POST A REVIEW! (If you've already done so,


Just a quick newsletter this time with a couple of interesting tidbits.
I've been working on some articles for Windows Phone 7. It's kind of fun
but is keeping me pretty busy.

In related news, Microsoft has announced that XNA will soon be supported
for Visual Basic! This is big news if you like 3D graphics (which I do)
and game programming (who doesn't?).

XNA (which believe it or not stands rather oddly and recursively for
"XNA's Not Acronymed") is Microsoft's game development platform, and it
includes the latest incarnation of Direct3D. If you want to program in
3D, your options are Direct3D (which seems to change a lot in each
release and it fairly hard to use), WPF/Silverlight (which has its own
problems but does make 3D setup a lot easier than Direct3D itself), or

XNA doesn't make 3D programming trivial (you still need to understand
how to work in three dimensions, transform objects, respond to the game
event loop, etc.), but it does make things a lot easier. It also
supports programming for the desktop, phone, or Xbox 360.

And the performance is quite impressive. Microsoft requires that phones
running Windows Phone 7 be quite powerful so you get some really
impressive results.

Anyway, back to the headline. Until recently XNA has only been supported
for C#. The recent announcement means you will soon be able to use XNA
in Visual Basic (without any weird hacks). The details are still a bit
unclear. Will this enable you to make Xbox 360 games in VB? Time will

Here's the announcement:


Something that is probably more directly relevant to you:

Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1 is now available at:


Have a great weekend!


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