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X# is the name that has been given to a "data-centric" programming language that Microsoft is said to be developing in order to make it easier for a programmer to specify XML-defined data and how it should be handled by the program. Sometimes referred to as functional programming, a language like X# might allow a programmer who identified an XML document to write a language statement to address a particular data item by symbolic name and specify what to do with it.
Reacting to the idea of such a data-centric language, some programmers believe that it would tend to undercut the value of object-oriented programming in which data is seen as an inherent characteristic of an object. In another view, the ability to address XML data fields directly could be done with special data-handling classes in C#, Microsoft's relatively new object-oriented language.

X# is also likened to Microsoft's Visual FoxPro, a well-known relational database (table-oriented) language. However, X# would apparently allow a programmer not to have to map data to either an object or a database but to address and manipulate it directly as a named field in a given XML file.

Read more about it:

>>'s Eric Parizo writes that "Users say an X# language could ease XML handling."
>> Sean McGrath, an expert on XML integration, explains why a language like X# is needed.
>> January 6, 2003 Microsoft Boosts Focus on XML-Based Services

Ken Levy on the UT had the following to say in MessageID 847512 on 2003/11/7:

There is no such language called X# at Microsoft. There was an exterimental language developed that was data-centric, but it is gone and no longer developed and our team VS Data is responsible for helping get the good things from that research project into VB, C#, and the .NET Framework classes. You or someone should feel free to post my comments here on that Wiki page so those who read it in the future know that there is no such project at Microsoft and that the focus is on enhancing the VB and C# langauges for data as well as the .NET Framework classes.
Ken Levy
VS Data Product Manager
( Topic last updated: 2003.11.10 09:24:45 PM )