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Visual Basic .NET Language Specification

Visual Studio .NET 2003

This document describes the Visual Basic .NET language. It is designed to be a complete language description, not a conceptual overview or a user's reference manual. For a conceptual overview, see Visual Basic Language Features. For language reference information, see Visual Basic Language Reference.

In This Section

1. Introduction
Describes the evolution of Visual Basic and its role within .NET.
2. Lexical Grammar
Discusses the syntax of characters, lines, identifiers, keywords, literals, and separators.
3. Preprocessing Directives
Summarizes the role of conditional compilation, external source directives, and region directives.
4. General Concepts
Provides an overview of the core concepts of object-oriented programming in Visual Basic: declaration spaces, inheritance, implementation, polymorphism, accessibility, scope, namespace and type names, and attributes.
5. Attributes
Summarizes the syntax of attributes, which modify entities when being declared.
6. Source Files and Namespaces
Explains compilation options, the Imports statement, and namespaces.
7. Types
Provides an overview of Visual Basic .NET as a type-safe system: the taxonomy of value and reference types.
8. Conversions
Discusses the grammar of changing value types: implicit and explicit conversions, widening and narrowing conversions, value and reference conversions, and cast expressions.
9. Type Members
Discusses methods, constructors, events, constants, variables, and properties.
10. Statements
Summarizes the syntax of executable code in Visual Basic .NET.
11. Expressions
Summarizes the syntax of computational processes in Visual Basic .NET.
12. Visual Basic .NET Grammar Summary
Provides an overview of the entire Visual Basic .NET grammar.

Related Sections

Visual Basic Language and Run-Time Reference

Visual Basic Language Features

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