Chapter 2. The Visual Basic .NET Language

This chapter discusses the syntax of the Visual Basic .NET language, including basic concepts such as variables, operators, statements, classes, etc. Some material that you’d expect to find in this chapter will seem to be missing. For example, mathematical functions, file I/O, and form declarations are all very much a part of developing Visual Basic .NET applications, yet they are not introduced in this chapter because they are not intrinsic to the Visual Basic .NET language. They are provided by the .NET Framework and will be discussed in subsequent chapters. Additionally, Visual Basic .NET functions that exist merely for backward compatibility with Visual Basic 6 are not documented in this chapter.

Source Files

Visual Basic .NET source code is saved in files with a .vb extension. The exception to this rule is when Visual Basic .NET code is embedded in ASP.NET web page files. Such files have an .aspx extension.

Source files are plain-text files that can be created and edited with any text editor, including our old friend, Notepad. Source code can be broken into as many or as few files as desired. When you use Visual Studio .NET, source files are listed in the Solution Explorer window, and all source is included from these files when the solution is built. When you are compiling from the command line, all source files must appear as command-line arguments to the compile command. The location of declarations within source files is unimportant. ...

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