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Scott Dorman Microsoft MVP, Software Architect, Developer, Author Visual Studio There are 120 entries for the tag Visual Studio
Favorite Visual Studio 2010 Extensions, Update
With the release of the Visual Studio Pro Power Tools (and many other new extensions having been released), my list of favorite Visual Studio extensions has changed. All of these extensions are available in the Visual Studio Gallery. Here is the list of extensions that I currently have installed and find useful: Bing Start Page CodeCompare Collapse Selection In Solution Explorer Collapse Solution Color Picker Completion Extension Analyzer Find Results Highlighter Find Results Tweak (Available from ......

Posted On Friday, June 11, 2010 10:08 PM

Favorite Visual Studio 2010 Extensions
Now that Visual Studio 2010 has been released, there are a lot of extensions being written. In fact, as of today (May 1, 2010 at 15:40 UTC) there are 809 results for Visual Studio 2010 in the Visual Studio Gallery. If you filter this list to show just the free items, there are still 251 extensions available. Given that number (and it is currently increasing weekly) it can be difficult to find extensions that are useful. Here is the list of extensions that I currently have installed and find useful: ......

Posted On Saturday, May 1, 2010 11:04 AM

Visual Studio, .NET Framework, and language versions
Every so often a question comes up about how Visual Studio, the .NET Framework, and a .NET programming language relate to each other. Mostly, these questions have to do with versions. The reality is that these are actually three different “products” that are versioned independently of each other but are related. Looking at how Visual Studio, the .NET Framework version, and the CLR versions relate to each other results in the following: Visual Studio CLR .NET Framework Visual Studio .NET (Ranier) ......

Posted On Friday, April 23, 2010 4:03 PM

Visual Studio 2010 and Target Framework Version
Almost two years ago, I wrote about a Visual Studio macro that allows you to change the Target Framework version of all projects in a solution. If you don’t know, the Target Framework version is what tells the compiler which version of the .NET Framework to compile against (more information is available here) and can be set to one of the following values: .NET Framework 2.0 .NET Framework 3.0 .NET Framework 3.5 .NET Framework 3.5 Client Profile .NET Framework 4.0 .NET Framework 4.0 Client Profile ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 21, 2010 10:03 PM

Sams Teach Yourself Visual C# 2010 in 24 Hours
I am very happy to announce that the core content for my upcoming Sams Teach Yourself Visual C# 2010 in 24 Hours book is done! I still need to incorporate comments from Claudio and Eric (my technical editors) and then incorporate edits from the Sams editors, but all of the really hard work is now done. Even though I knew before starting that it would not be easy I don’t think I was really prepared for just how difficult it is to actually write a book. I started actually writing around mid-July 2009, ......

Posted On Thursday, February 25, 2010 5:15 PM

Sams Teach Yourself Visual C# 2010 in 24 Hours
I have previously mentioned that I’m working on the upcoming Sams Teach Yourself Visual C# 2010 in 24 Hours book. Things are progressing nicely, if a bit slower than I’d prefer. I have the draft for the cover art, which looks really good. I’m also very pleased to announce my technical editors – Claudio Lasaala and Eric Lippert. Claudio is a Senior Developer at EPS Software Corp. He has presented several lectures at Microsoft events such as PDC and various other Microsoft seminars, as well as several ......

Posted On Thursday, November 5, 2009 10:01 PM

Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2
Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 is now available for MSDN subscribers, and generally available on October 21. I haven’t had a chance yet to play around with it, but some of the CLR changes that are very exciting to hear about are: The new String.IsNullOrWhiteSpace method indicates whether a string is null, empty, or consists only of white-space characters. New overloads have been added to the String.Concat and String.Join methods that concatenate members of an IEnumerable<T> collections. The String.Concat<T> ......

Posted On Monday, October 19, 2009 1:09 PM

Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1
I’m still waiting for an “official” announcement, but if you are an MSDN subscriber you will be able to download Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1 later today (May 18), probably around 12:00 PM (PST). If you aren’t an MSDN subscriber, you will be able to download Beta 1 on May 20 through Microsoft Downloads. Technorati Tags: Visual Studio 2010 ......

Posted On Monday, May 18, 2009 9:55 AM

Code Contracts in .NET
I have previously talked about code contracts in .NET 4.0, and while .NET 4.0 isn’t out yet you can work with them now in Visual Studio 2008 through MSDN DevLabs. In case you aren’t familiar with code contracts in .NET, this is a feature that was actually built by the .NET CLR team to provide a language-agnostic way to express code assumptions in the form of pre-conditions, post-conditions, and object invariants. There are currently two tools provided: Runtime Checking, which uses a binary rewriter ......

Posted On Monday, March 2, 2009 6:44 PM

Tampa Bay IASA February 2009 Meeting Reminder
Just a quick reminder that the February 2009 meeting is tonight from 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM (ET) at the Microsoft office. Please be sure to register so we have a good idea of how much pizza to order. Code Generation with T4 and Visual Studio Why write repetitive code when you can generate it? Learn about Text Template Transformation Toolkit (T4) - one of the best-hidden new features of Visual Studio 2008. T4 allows you to use simple ASP.NET-like template syntax to generate application source code, configuration ......

Posted On Thursday, February 26, 2009 10:44 AM

Visual Studio 2008 Debugging – The Watch Window
The Watch window (actually there are four different Watch windows you can use) is easily the most powerful aspect of the Visual Studio debugger and the underlying technology it uses actually surfaces in several places: Watch Autos Locals Quick Watch “Data Tips” (the debugging tool tips that appear when you hover over a code element) The thing that most people might not realize is that you can actually call methods in the Watch window. This is useful because it allows you to see data structures that ......

Posted On Saturday, February 14, 2009 8:23 PM

Visual Studio 2008 Debugging – Advanced Tricks
We previously talked about the Location, Condition, Hit Count, Filter, and When Hit modifiers for breakpoints. These are great advanced breakpoints that will really make your debug sessions much more useful, but there are also some other advances in Visual Studio that go beyond these breakpoint modifiers. The first advance is the idea of advanced location breakpoints. How many times have you been debugging an issue and as you’re looking at the call stack you realize that you want to set a breakpoint ......

Posted On Saturday, February 14, 2009 6:45 PM

Visual Studio 2008 Debugging Tricks – Tracepoints
We have talked about the Location, Condition, Hit Count, and Filter modifiers for breakpoints which only leaves the When Hit modifier. Using the When Hit modifier allows you to change your breakpoint to a tracepoint. What is a tracepoint? Simply put, it is a breakpoint that continues execution. Why would this be interesting or even important? Tracepoints are great when you want to trace a particular path of execution, such as OnDeserialized events in your WCF DataContract classes. You are interested ......

Posted On Saturday, February 14, 2009 4:17 PM

Visual Studio 2008 Debugging Tricks – Multi-Threaded Debugging
We previously talked about the Location, Condition and Hit Count modifiers for advanced breakpoints. These are great for a lot of different debugging scenarios, but what about tricks specifically for debugging multi-threaded applications. If you have ever tried to debug a multi-threaded application you know that it isn’t always the easiest experience. Hopefully everyone is already familiar with the Treads window. If you aren’t, it is accessed through the Debug|Windows|Threads menu or the Ctrl+D, ......

Posted On Saturday, February 14, 2009 4:16 PM

Visual Studio 2008 Debugging Tricks – Advanced Breakpoints
The most basic aspect of any debugging session is the use of breakpoints, which allows you to specify a location in your application (a line of code) where program execution will stop (break) and allow you to inspect the internal state of the application at that exact moment. This is a pretty cool feature, but Visual Studio allows you to do even more with advanced breakpoints. Put simply, an advanced breakpoint is a breakpoint with one or more modifiers applied. A modifier allows you to change the ......

Posted On Saturday, February 14, 2009 4:16 PM

Migrating from NUnit to MSTest
I have been writing a lot of unit tests over the past month using the Microsoft Test (MSTest) unit testing framework that is now part of Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition (and higher SKUs). Currently I have about 223 unit tests covering 39 classes (about 18K lines of code, 325 methods and 176 properties) with a code coverage percent of 97%. The classes that I’m testing previously had NUnit tests (although not as many as I currently have) and used NCover and NCover Explorer for my code coverage ......

Posted On Saturday, January 31, 2009 12:39 PM

XML Comments: filterpriority
I am a big fan of using XML comments in code and actually have a few Visual Studio macros which allow me to “inherit” the documentation from an overridden member. Every once in a while, I end up pulling in a comment with a filterpriority XML tag. This tag is very prevalent in the BCL but I have never been able to find documentation on what it actually means. To see what I mean, let’s take a look at part of the definition for System.Object. In the XML comments, you will see that the class itself has ......

Posted On Thursday, January 8, 2009 8:55 PM

StyleCop – Some Constructive Criticism
It’s been a while since I last talked about StyleCop. I’ve been using it a lot recently on an internal project of mine and have come to really like the idea behind the tool. After using it extensively over the last few days, however, I think there are a few glaring omissions and features that need to be implemented before this tool can become truly useful. The first issue that I ran in to was the sheer volume of violations reported. In an effort to try and trim down the violations to a workable number, ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 31, 2008 7:29 PM

Silverlight 3
Silverlight 2 was just released a few short months ago, but ScottGu is already providing hints at what we will see in Silverlight 3 which is supposed to be out sometime next year and will be a major update. Some of the major enhancements and improvements are: media enhancements (including H.264 video support) graphics improvements (including 3D support and GPU hardware acceleration) application development improvements (including richer data-binding support and additional controls) To go along with ......

Posted On Sunday, November 23, 2008 12:51 PM

CodeRush Xpress for C#
Developer Express, the makers of CodeRush, have teamed up with Microsoft to make a scaled down version available for free called CodeRush Xpress. This is exclusively for C# developers working in Visual Studio 2008 and includes a selection of hand-picked features from CodeRush and Refactor! Pro. A few important things to point out are that CodeRush Xpress: does not support the Visual Studio Express Editions cannot be installed side-by-side with other CodeRush or Refactor! editions There are about ......

Posted On Sunday, November 23, 2008 11:07 AM

CLR 4.0: Debugging Improvements
Debugging in .NET 4.0 has become a bit easier as well thanks to better support for dump debugging through Visual Studio. This means that dump debugging now has support via ICorDebug, which is the same API that is used to enable live debugging and will also allow you to debug Windows Error Reporting mini-dumps in Visual Studio. If you develop 64-bit applications, 64-bit mixed-mode debugging now supports both live and dump debugging. There are also new APIs to do lock inspection, which allows you to ......

Posted On Friday, November 7, 2008 3:05 PM

New .NET Logos
Just in time for PDC, Microsoft has unveiled new logos for the .NET Framework. According to Chris Keonig’s blog post about the new logos, the change was made because We [Microsoft] needed a logo that was in sync with the key values that we want .NET to stand for: consistency, robustness and great user experiences. We also wanted a logo that conformed to the design principles that are driving Microsoft’s brand identity evolution and is reflected in newer brands such as Silverlight, Surface and more. ......

Posted On Friday, October 24, 2008 11:06 PM

Visual Studio Macro to Collapse Extra Vertical Space
A few days ago in one of the CodeProject disucssion forums someone was looking for a way to easily remove the extra vertical whitespace in a file. This is really handy if you copy and paste code from the web or otherwise have a file that has multiple consecutive blank lines that you want to consolidate to a single blank line. A solution was presented that used a Visual Studio macro, but that macro used pattern matching with find and replace, so it didn’t feel very stable. Taking the opportunity to ......

Posted On Thursday, September 18, 2008 12:06 PM

.NET Memory Management – Resources
I present at a lot of the local Florida code camps (and some out of state ones as well) and have a set of presentations that I do which focus on .NET memory management, specifically a "deep dive" on how the GC works and another presentation which talks about how to implement the Dispose pattern properly. I was doing some additional research today to update my list of resources in the presentations and decided to publish that list here as well. This is not an exhaustive list, but it is a subset of ......

Posted On Sunday, September 14, 2008 4:16 PM

Axialis IconWorkshop Lite
Axialis Software and Microsoft worked to create a free Visual Studio add-in to create an icon editing tool that allows you to create high-quality 256x256 PNG-compressed icons for Windows Vista. The editing experience, both inside and outside Visual Studio, is very easy to use and provides various tools, filters, and effects, as well as the ability to create icons from existing images or ready-to-use image objects. *IMPORTANT: Axialis IconWorkshop™ Lite installs ONLY if Visual Studio® 2008 Professional ......

Posted On Saturday, August 30, 2008 11:03 AM

Document Map Margin in Visual Studio
Earlier this month Charlie Calvert introduced a potential new feature called Document Map Margins (DMM). The idea behind DMM is to make it easier for you to find and track important features in your code by visualizing the entire file. Overall I like the idea of DMM as it can really provide you with good contextual information, particularly for really large files. While DMM isn’t here now, a very similar tool is. I came across this tool mentioned by ScottHa in this post. What RockScroll does is to ......

Posted On Saturday, August 30, 2008 10:51 AM

Visual Studio Optimizations
There are always a lot of posts about various add-ins, code snippets, macros, and other utilities that are designed to make you, the developer, more productive within Visual Studio as an editing environment. However, there seem to very few posts that talk about how to actually improve the performance of Visual Studio itself. Browsing through some of the questions on Stack Overflow, I came across a thread asking this very question. There were a lot of non-answers, but one that definitively listed ......

Posted On Thursday, August 28, 2008 3:04 PM

Reminder: August 2008 Tampa Bay IASA Meeting
Just a reminder that the Tampa Bay IASA August meeting is tonight starting at 6:30 PM. Web Service Software Factory Modeling Edition The Web Service Software Factory (WSSF) Modeling Edition focuses on building the server side of a web services infrastructure, using either ASMX or WCF services. The new release uses three Domain Specific Languages (DSLs) to model services: service contract, data contract and host models. Through use of these DSLs, WSSF helps developers construct a scalable, extensible ......

Posted On Thursday, August 28, 2008 11:08 AM

Visual Studio and Code Analysis
Even with the newest releases of StyleCop, FxCop, and Visual Studio 2008, there is still a lot of room for improvement in the suite of technologies and products that make up what should probably be termed “Microsoft Source Analysis”. I know that calling StyleCop that name caused a lot of confusion since it was being compared to the built-in source analysis features of Visual Studio (at least the Team Edition SKUs of Visual Studio). I think the real heart of the problem is that Visual Studio comes ......

Posted On Tuesday, August 19, 2008 1:04 PM

StyleCop 4.3 Released
A while ago I talked about a new tool from Microsoft called StyleCop. Since then, there was a lot of confusion surrounding the tool and it has undergone a lot of changes both internally and externally. Both Jason and Brian do an excellent job explaining the context behind some of the discussions and decisions leading up to these changes, but the biggest one is that the tool has been officially renamed as “StyleCop” to prevent any confusion with the built-in Visual Studio Code Analysis packages. I’m ......

Posted On Tuesday, August 19, 2008 10:25 AM

Tampa Bay IASA – August 2008 Meeting
Web Service Software Factory Modeling Edition The Web Service Software Factory (WSSF) Modeling Edition focuses on building the server side of a web services infrastructure, using either ASMX or WCF services. The new release uses three Domain Specific Languages (DSLs) to model services: service contract, data contract and host models. Through use of these DSLs, WSSF helps developers construct a scalable, extensible web service framework from the service interfaces to the translation of domain data ......

Posted On Sunday, August 10, 2008 11:20 AM

Windows Vista UX Guidelines and Visual Studio
Whether you like Vista or not, the user interface aspects of the operating system are here to stay. Overall, I think Microsoft did a good job with the core interface guidelines, as presented in the Windows Vista User Experience Guidelines. From the guidelines, The goals for these official Windows Vista® User Experience Guidelines (or "UX Guide" for short) are to: Establish a high quality and consistency baseline for all Windows Vista-based applications. Answer your specific user experience questions. ......

Posted On Friday, July 25, 2008 9:50 AM

Shared Projects and Solutions between Visual Studio 2008 and 2005
There are still a large number of developers that have both Visual Studio 2005 and 2008 installed on the same machine and probably an even larger number of development teams that use a mixture of VS 2008 and 2005. DJ Park, one of the PM's on the Visual Studio team has a great blog post that explains the possibilities and limitations of using solutions and projects between both versions of Visual Studio. To quickly summarize: Solutions created in Visual Studio 2008 cannot be opened in Visual Studio ......

Posted On Sunday, July 20, 2008 12:17 PM

Visual Studio 2008 and TargetFrameworkVersion
A question was asked yesterday in one of the CodeProject discussion forums by someone looking for a way to easily change the Target Framework version of all projects in a solution. If you don’t know, the Target Framework version is what tells the compiler which version of the .NET Framework to compile against (more information is available here) and can be set to one of the following values: .NET Framework 2.0 .NET Framework 3.0 .NET Framework 3.5 This can be easily accomplished by editing the project ......

Posted On Friday, July 18, 2008 12:36 PM

Developer Tools
I recently went through the exercise of reinstalling all of my developer tools on my home development system. This involved uninstalling everything, including Visual Studio and SQL and then reinstalling. While this wasn’t exactly a painless experience, it was good to get back to a relatively clean slate and re-evaluate all of the various tools and add-ins I’ve accumulated. I posted a similar list about 2 1/2 years ago, so it’s interesting to see what’s changed in that time. This time, I’m just listing ......

Posted On Thursday, July 17, 2008 12:05 AM

Microsoft and monetizing developer products
I’m catching up on blog posts and saw this one from Brian Harry about the TFS Power Tools and Software Assurance. In that post he asks “How are Power Tools monetized?” and goes on to mention that there is a possibility that the power tools will become a paid feature and part of the Software Assurance (SA) program. My response (which I tried to post as a comment, but since it didn’t save I’m turning it into this blog post instead) is this: Absolutely not! While I understand the desire to monetize ......

Posted On Sunday, July 13, 2008 9:38 AM

Visual Studio Feature Request – Statement Outlining
If you write .NET code using Visual Studio 2005 or 2008, you’ve probably noticed the automatic outlining the IDE makes available to you. This automatically creates collapsible sections in your code for comments, regions, functions, properties, namespaces, classes, and the using block. While this is a great feature and one that I use on a daily basis, it would be great if this extended to automatically outlining control structures, such as if/then, while loops, for/foreach loops, try/catch blocks, ......

Posted On Monday, June 16, 2008 11:32 PM

Source Analysis
As many of you know, I'm a big proponent of code styles and standards. As part of that, I'm always on the lookout for new tools that help enforce (or at least report) those standards. Some of you may have heard about a tool called StyleCop. In fact, there are references to StyleCop in some of the MSDN articles and other blogs. Since it was an internal tool, we could only imagine what features it provided and hope to find a copy of it somewhere. Well, imagine no longer. Earlier this week, Microsoft ......

Posted On Sunday, May 25, 2008 10:13 AM

New Lineup of SlickEdit Tools
I have talked about the SlickEdit Tools and Gadgets in the past (here and here) and have always been impressed with both of them. Previously, the SlickEdit Tools were only available for Visual Studio 2005. Now that Visual Studio 2008 is here, SlickEdit has released an update that works with both VS2005 and VS2008. The catch here is that this is much more than a simple update. The major difference is that the tools have been organized into two products: the Editing Toolbox (datasheet), which contains ......

Posted On Thursday, March 20, 2008 4:18 PM

Silverlight 2 Beta 1
More announcements from Mix came from Scott Guthrie, who announced the release of Silverlight 2 Beta 1. (In case you don't know, Silverlight 2 was previously called Silverlight 1.1) This release provides a lot of new features and controls, including layout containers such as a Grid and StackPanel, control skinning and templating. There are improvements in both networking and general performance as well. Better integration with Visual Studio 2008 is also provided as well as a new release of Expression ......

Posted On Thursday, March 6, 2008 8:42 PM

Team System Widgets
If you use Team System, Accentient has an excellent list of various Visual Studio Team System add-ins, add-ons, widgets, and extensibility solutions. This list is much more complete than the current Visual Studio Gallery, but it has also been around a lot longer. One benefit of the Visual Studio Gallery, however, is that you get a description of the add-in to decide if it's something that is important to you ......

Posted On Friday, February 29, 2008 9:23 PM

TFS Power Tools
With the release of TFS 2008, Team Build is getting closer to providing the same features as CruiseControl.NET. To help remove some of the shortcomings of Team Build, Microsoft has released the Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Foundation Server Power Tools, which is a set of enhancements, tools and command-line utilities that improve the Team Foundation Server user experience. Team Foundation Server Power Tools includes the following tools: Team Foundation Power Tool command-line tool (TFPT.EXE) ......

Posted On Friday, February 29, 2008 8:54 PM

Stop Visual Studio From Automatically Connecting to TFS
A while ago I came across this excellent tip from Colin Beales that explains how to stop Visual Studio from automatically connecting to a TFS server when it starts up. I didn't need it until this weekend, but it works great and shortens the startup time as well. The tip couldn't be simpler and works for both Visual Studio 2005 and Visual Studio 2008. In order to make this change, you will need to modify the registry so be sure to back it up first. After that, add a DWORD value named AutoLoadServer ......

Posted On Sunday, February 24, 2008 7:53 PM

Microsoft DreamSpark
Microsoft has always provided great deals for college students. I remember when I was still in school being able to purchase "Academic Editions" of Windows and Office at fractions of the retail price from the college bookstore. This time around, Microsoft is making it even better to be a student with the introduction of Microsoft DreamSpark. DreamSpark gives students access to the same Microsoft developer and design tools used by the industry professionals at no charge. DreamSpark currently offers ......

Posted On Sunday, February 24, 2008 7:33 PM

Visual Studio user settings per project/solution
Last April I talked about the need to have the Visual Studio editor settings (like tab size, curly brace location, etc.) stored with each solution as well as globally. This was spurred by an email thread between some of the Subtext developers and myself. The end result was a feature request being submitted on Microsoft Connect. That feature request ended up being closed because it was submitted too late in the Orcas (Visual Studio 2008) cycle. I just received an update from the Connect site, and ......

Posted On Monday, February 18, 2008 10:47 PM

MSDN Code Gallery
Late last month, Soma announced the new MSDN Code Gallery site for sharing samples from both Microsoft and the community at large. When I saw this announcement, I was a little surprised that Microsoft was creating yet another community-type samples site so close on the heals of the GotDotNet (GDN) shutdown. Granted, MSDN Code Gallery isn't exactly what GDN was, but between Code Gallery, CodePlex and MSDN Downloads it starts to get confusing. Charlie Calvert posted a good explanation of the three ......

Posted On Saturday, February 9, 2008 2:20 PM

Visual Studio Gallery
I just came across the new Visual Studio Gallery site, which is a new showcase for products and extensions for Visual Studio. The gallery looks like it is mostly going to be focused on Visual Studio 2008, but there is a lot of content for VS2005 and earlier. The gallery is part of the Visual Studio Extensibility (VSX) Developer Center on MSDN. For those of you who don't know, VSX covers the Visual Studio Software Development Kit (SDK) including tools, documentation, and samples for developers to ......

Posted On Wednesday, February 6, 2008 7:37 PM

FxCop Rules
Earlier this month, the Code Analysis Team talked about which code analysis rules shipped in what version of Visual Studio and FxCop. There is a great spreadsheet that shows all of the rules and in which versions they are available. Here is the list of rules that are different or removed in Visual Studio 2008 and FxCop 1.36: Removed due to removal of data flow engine: CA1062 ValidateArgumentsOfPublicMe... CA1303 DoNotPassLiteralsAsLocalize... CA2100 ReviewSqlQueriesForSecurity... ......

Posted On Friday, January 18, 2008 1:16 AM

Debugging the .NET Framework Library Source Code
A while ago, I talked about Microsoft releasing the source code for the .NET Framework in order for you to debug it through Visual Studio 2008. Just a few days ago, it was finally released. Shawn Burke has an excellent and detailed post explaining how to set this up and also has a trouble shooting section. Currently, the following libraries have been released: NET Base Class Libraries (including System, System.CodeDom, System.Collections, System.ComponentModel, System.Diagnostics, System.Drawing, ......

Posted On Friday, January 18, 2008 12:06 AM

Windows Live Tools December 2007 CTP
I just noticed this announcement from last month, but if you are doing any Windows Live development you should check out the latest CTP release.The biggest improvement is that the CTP is now compatible with Visual Studio 2008 and the ASP.NET 3.5 Extension Preview. There are a lot of other changes in the CTP so be sure to check out the release notes ......

Posted On Sunday, January 6, 2008 2:39 PM

Statistics for 2007
Even though I've been blogging since June 2006, I really started consistently blogging in November of that year with it really picking up in 2007. Borrowing a concept from many of the bloggers that I read regularly, I wanted to review how my blog did over the last year. I only started tracking blog statistics through Google Analytics since the end of September 2007. My site usage for September 2007 through December 2007 was 36,371 visits from 146 different countries. The top 5 are: United States ......

Posted On Friday, January 4, 2008 12:54 AM

What Is a Build System?
A few days ago, I talked about my views on MSBuild and NAnt. In that post I mentioned the phrase "build system" several times. That, combined with catching up and re-reading some blog posts that I had flagged led me to Jeff Atwood's post "The F5 Key Is Not a Build Process". While some of Jeff's post is a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor, the points he makes are extremely valid. In order to understand what a "build system" is, you must first understand how you build code. This applies not just to individual ......

Posted On Thursday, December 27, 2007 3:58 PM

Visual Studio Color Schemes
There is always a lot of interest around my desk at work any time I change the color schemes in Visual Studio. I usually bounce between the default "light" color scheme and a "dark" scheme, mostly depending on much actual coding I'm doing at the moment, but sometimes just because I want a change. It isn't always easy to come up with a good color scheme and there isn't a good location online to collect the various color schemes people have created. Today, I came across a link on Charlie Calvert's ......

Posted On Monday, December 24, 2007 9:44 PM

MSBuild or NAnt?
For the last 4 years or so I have been involved, either directly or indirectly, with creating standardized build systems that run on the Microsoft platform. Before that I was actually a Unix admin and developer and was very proficient in writing makefiles. When I first got involved in build systems for the Microsoft platform, it seemed like there were very few build script technologies available that were worth using. The best one available was the combination of NAnt and NAntContrib. There are many ......

Posted On Monday, December 24, 2007 1:06 PM

Free Day of Patterns and Practices Tampa 2008 Roadshow
Tampa 2008 Roadshow January 31, 2008, 8:30am - 4:00pm Microsoft - Tampa, Florida Register Join new and experienced Microsoft WinForms and Web developers for a day long FREE Developer Event covering Enterprise Library, Software Factories, and proven practices from Microsoft Patterns and Practices. Learn to increase developer productivity and application quality using Enterprise Library building blocks, code generation, and proven practices for Smart Clients, Web Clients, and Web Services. Learn how ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 19, 2007 10:10 PM

Visual Studio 2008 Rhythm Training Kit
If you are doing any work with any of the following technologies: LINQ, .NET 3.5 (C# 3.0, VB 9) WCF WPF WF CardSpace Silverlight ASP.NET Ajax .NET Compact Framework 3.5 VSTO 3.5 Visual Studio Team System and Team Foundation Server You should download the free Visual Studio 2008 Rhythm Training Kit (125MB). The training kit contains 5-days of technical content including 20 hands-on labs, 28 presentations, and 20 scripted demos ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 19, 2007 9:20 PM

Visual Studio 2008 for Architects
Jeff Barnes has made his extended talk (think "deep dive") on the following topics available: NET 3.5, Visual Studio Enhancements Lifecycle tools ALM, C#, VB9, Interop, LINQ ParallelFX PLINQ Services (WCF, WF, CardSpace) Windows Applications Web Applications Office Applications Mobile Applications Synch Services for ADO.NET Orcas_For_Architects_Jbarnes - Part_1.zip - 3.6 MB Orcas_For_Architects_Jbarnes - Part_2.zip - 4.8 MB Orcas_For_Architects_Jbarnes - Part_3_Links And Resources.zip 188 KB ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 19, 2007 9:16 PM

OpenGauntlet Project
One of the new features that will be available as part of the Visual Studio "Rosario" release is called "Gated Checkin". This is based on an internal tool that Microsoft uses called Gauntlet. Gauntlet was originally created in 1996 by the IE team, but is now used fairly widely in a few different variations. The idea behind gated checkin is that it helps prevent build breaks by verifying the changes before the checkin occurs and rejecting them if something fails. Continuous integration also provides ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 19, 2007 9:12 PM

.NET Framework v2.0 and v3.0 SP1
Now that Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework v3.5 have shipped, you may have noticed that Service Pack 1 for .NET Framework 2.0 and Service Pack 1 for .NET Framework 3.0 also shipped at the same time. Both are automatically installed with .NET Framework v3.5, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista Service Pack 1. For Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 they are available as a standalone update. Daniel Moth has an excellent post that describes what is actually in the service packs. Here is the ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 19, 2007 8:38 PM

FxCop Spell Checking Rules
I just came across this post by Travis Illig, one of the Subtext developers, that brings up an interesting issue with FxCop 1.35. Apparently, FxCop 1.35 uses the Office 2003 spell checker for the spelling rules. If you don't have Office 2003 (and it must be Office 2003) installed, the spell check rules will fail. Travis isn't the first person to document this problem. This problem is known and will be fixed in newer versions of FxCop. Visual Studio 2008 code analysis tools have spelling rules built ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 19, 2007 8:22 PM

ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions Release
Now that Visual Studio 2008 and .NET 3.5 have officially shipped, it's time to start looking at the additional products and tools that build on top of that foundation. Scott Guthrie has an excellent post that details the roadmap for the Web related products. The biggest announcement is that the ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions will have it's first public preview available sometime next week. If you don't know what the ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions are, here is the list (taken from Scott's post): ASP.NET MVC: This ......

Posted On Friday, November 30, 2007 10:24 AM

Multi-component Installers
With the deluge of blog posts talking about the recently releases of Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5, Scott Guthrie talks about the steps to uninstall the Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2 release you should follow before installing the final release. It's great that Scott has put together this list since it not only tells you all of the components that are installed when you install Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2 but also tells you the order to uninstall them. This post also indirectly brings to ......

Posted On Thursday, November 22, 2007 12:18 AM

MIX08: The Next Web Now
March 5 - 7, 2008The VenetianResort Hotel CasinoLas Vegas, Nevada Now in its third year, MIX is an intimate opportunity for cutting-edge technical, creative and business strategists to engage Microsoft in a conversation about the future of the web. Come explore the latest wave of opportunities and help redefine the boundaries between: content and commerce, PC and TV, Windows and the Web. The conference focuses mostly on Web technologies, such as Silverlight, but will also cover some of the desktop ......

Posted On Thursday, November 8, 2007 8:44 PM

Microsoft Sync Framework
The first CTP of the Microsoft Sync Framework was announced during the keynote at Microsoft TechEd Developers 2007 in Barcelona. The Microsoft Sync Framework is a comprehensive synchronization platform enabling collaboration and offline for applications, services and devices with support for any data type, any data store, any transfer protocol, and network topology. Building on the synchronization functionality that is already available in Visual Studio 2008, the Sync Framework will allow developers ......

Posted On Tuesday, November 6, 2007 11:11 AM

Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5 November Release

During the keynote address at Microsoft TechEd Developers 2007 in Barcelona, Microsoft officially announced that Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5 will be released by the end of November 2007. The .NET Framework 3.5 will also be available separately from Microsoft Update. The global launch event is still scheduled for February 27, 2008.

Posted On Tuesday, November 6, 2007 11:02 AM

Hyperlink your source code
If you're diligent about putting meaningful comments in your source code (and if you're not, you should be!) you have probably wanted the ability to have a comment link to another method or another area of code. Using XML comments, it is relatively easy to link to other code elements using the <see> or <seealso> tags. However, if you want to have this same ability in normal comments, you were out of luck. However, a new Visual Studio Add In available on CodePlex is changing that. This ......

Posted On Sunday, October 28, 2007 2:08 PM

WPF Virtual Bootcamp
I just came across a post by Tim Sneath announcing the WPF Virtual Bootcamp. This is a three-day virtual training course that covers all aspects of WPF as part of MIX University. The best part about this bootcamp is that it's completely free. This was originally delivered on the Redmond campus earlier this year to a small invited audience and features: A keynote from Ian Ellison-Taylor, the general manager responsible for WPF, Silverlight and client platform tools. Introductory sessions on core WPF ......

Posted On Friday, October 26, 2007 10:01 PM

Debugging Finalizers
For the last few years, I've tried to make more .NET developers aware of the IDisposable interface, the Dispose pattern, and the importance of having at least a basic understanding of how the Garbage Collector works. I have one article on The Code Project and various blog posts (see here, here, here, or here) that talk about these topics. I have also presented an advanced Memory Management presentation at various Code Camps. In the November 2007 issue of MSDN Magazine, Stephen Toub presents a solution ......

Posted On Thursday, October 25, 2007 10:24 PM

FxCop 1.36 Beta
I just came across this post the other day by the Visual Studio Code Analysis Team talking about the latest beta release of FxCop. There are a lot of changes since the FxCop 1.35 release, which was a while ago. Some of the changes are: Over 200 bug fixes that reduce the amount of noise, missing analysis, and rule crashes. Support for analyzing anonymous methods and lambda expressions. New globalization, design, and usage rules. Better support for C++/CLI and the .NET Compact Framework. Performance ......

Posted On Friday, October 19, 2007 12:48 PM

Multi-Targeting FxCop Rules
Last month, I talked about multi-targeting, one of the new features in Visual Studio 2008. According to Krzysztof, the idea of Red and Green bits made this possible. Everything sounds good, so far. However, there is a very limited number of APIs that have been added to the Red bits that the multi-targeting system isn't able to detect. What this means is that if you set the target to the .NET Framework 2.0 and use one of these new changes, the compiler will not issue a warning or an error. The application ......

Posted On Friday, October 5, 2007 1:32 AM

.NET Framework Library Source Code
I'm sure most of you are familiar with Reflector. If you're not you should download it immediately and become familiar with it. It is an invaluable tool for looking at .NET assemblies and decompiling them to C#, Visual Basic or even IL. I have used both Reflector and Rotor extensively to investigate how the .NET runtime is actually doing things. I have done this for various reasons, including trying to track down bugs in my code. Why would I need to look at what the runtime is doing to find a bug ......

Posted On Friday, October 5, 2007 12:00 AM

Migrating from Visual Studio 2003 to 2008
For those of you who are still developing with Visual Studio 2003 and .NET 1.x and want to take advantage of the enhancements in Visual Studio 2008 may have thought they were out of luck. There are breaking changes between the versions of the CLR and the Framework itself. Daniel Moth provides an excellent post that describes some of the issues facing you and provides a list of resources to help with the migration, including some lists of breaking changes between .NET 1.1 and 2.0 ......

Posted On Monday, October 1, 2007 9:50 AM

Visual Studio 2008 Multi-targeting
One of the new features in Visual Studio 2008 is the ability to target a project to any version of the .NET Framework from 2.0 and up. This is an excellent feature as it allows the entire development team to work with the same version of the IDE. Since it's a project based setting, it also allows you to mix projects in the same solution. The interesting thing about multi-targeting is that it potentially allows developers to share projects across different versions of the IDE as well. Starting with ......

Posted On Sunday, September 30, 2007 11:24 AM

Ignore spaces in declaration statements
One of the new features coming up in Visual Studio 2008, is the ability to ignore spaces in declaration statements. This was a bug opened on the Microsoft Connect site a long time ago and it is finally getting some work done to fix it. Unfortunately, even in Visual Studio 2008, we won't have full alignment options like the ability to control how individual symbols are aligned in the editor, but there will be some help for aligning declaration statements. This isn't in the Beta 2 release, but it will ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 26, 2007 12:28 PM

Windows Live tools integration with Visual Studio

With the recent proliferation of the Windows Live services and APIs, Microsoft is taking steps to add the ability to develop Windows Live applications through additions to Visual Studio 2008.

A public beta of the Visual Studio Toolkit for Windows Live is expected sometime in October or November.

Posted On Saturday, September 22, 2007 12:06 AM

New lead for the Visual Studio team
Jason Zander is moving from the .NET team to lead the Visual Studio team. This covers a lot of products: Mobile (VSD and NETCF) Phoenix C++, C#, VB, JavaScript DLR (including IronRuby and IronPython) Office Tools (VSTO/VSTA) the core VS IDE platform Popfly With the release of Visual Studio 2008 wrapping up, Jason will start looking at the next release of Visual Studio which will ship after Rosario ......

Posted On Friday, September 21, 2007 11:05 PM

Using vs. Using
"Deuces you say", there is no difference...right? Wrong! In the C# language, using is a keyword. Unfortunately, this is one of those times that a single keyword has multiple uses: As a preprocessor directive used to create an alias for a namespace or to import types defined in other namespaces. As a statement used to define a scope at the end of which an object will be disposed. It's unfortunate that Microsoft chose to attach multiple meanings to this keyword as it tends to cause a lot of confusion ......

Posted On Tuesday, August 28, 2007 6:59 PM

SlickEdit Gadgets for Visual Studio 2008
While I was getting the Code Project Add-in for Visual Studio working on Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2, I decided to see if I could get the SlickEdit Gadgets for Visual Studio 2005 working as well. It turns out, with a little bit of registry tweaking, they work under Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2 without any problems (so far). This is by no means a supported configuration from SlickEdit and requires modifying the registry, so you should do so only after making the necessary backups and any other precautions ......

Posted On Wednesday, August 15, 2007 9:43 PM

The Code Project Browser Add-in for Visual Studio
I received an email today through my blog from one of the developers at SlickEdit, who also happens to be a member of The Code Project community, letting me know about a new Visual Studio Add-in they have developed. You may remember I blogged about the free SlickEdit Gadgets, a really great set of Add-ins for Visual Studio. Since I am also a member of The Code Project community, I spend a lot of time on the web site answering forum questions and reading the articles posted. I also spend a lot of ......

Posted On Wednesday, August 15, 2007 8:29 PM

Visual Studio 2008 Code Editor Improvements
Scott Guthrie has a great blog post about some really cool editor improvements in Visual Studio 2008. As Scott points out, one of the big annoyances with VS2005 as the fact that the intellisense window obscures any code behind it. In VS2008, if you hold down the "Ctrl" while the Intellisense window is visible it will switch to a semi-transparent mode that allows you to see the code beneath it. When you release the "Ctrl" key, it switches back to normal. There are a lot of improvements for VB developers, ......

Posted On Wednesday, August 8, 2007 9:16 PM

Referenced on Wikipedia
I periodically look at my blog statistics, more out of idle curiosity than anything else. As part of that, I look at the referrers to the various blog posts. Today, as I was browsing my referrer list, I noticed that one of the referrers was Wikipedia. Intrigued, I took a look at the entry, and my blog post about the Visual Studio 2008 launch date was listed as a reference ......

Posted On Tuesday, August 7, 2007 7:48 PM

Visual Studio "Rosario" CTP is here
I blogged a few days ago about the upcoming release of the August CTP for Visual Studio "Rosario". It seems I was just a day too soon. The CTP was released on Saturday as a Virtual PC (VPC) image. The majority of new features that are part of the CTP are centered around improvements in Team System, most notably in the areas of quality and testing. From Brian Harry's blog, This CTP delivers a mix of features supporting both scenarios - including an update MSF CMMI template, user definable links types, ......

Posted On Tuesday, August 7, 2007 7:26 PM

Visual Studio "Rosario" CTP
Short on the heals of the Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2 release, we will soon have the first public Community Technology Preview (CTP) of Visual Studio "Rosario". According to Brian Harry, Microsoft product unit manager for Team Foundation Server, Microsoft has been working on Rosario since September of last year. The result should be a shorter time period between the 2008 release and the Rosario release. There aren't many details about what will be included in the Rosario release, but the CTP should ......

Posted On Friday, August 3, 2007 12:00 AM

MZ-Tools 6.0
In case you don't know about MZ-Tools, it is easily the best Visual Studio .NET add-in available. This started in 2000 as an add-in for the Visual Basic 6 IDE, which is where I was first introduced to it. Since then, I have followed it's evolution into a Visual Studio .NET add-in for all four VS.NET releases. MZ-Tools has just released version 6, which provides support for all of the VS.NET releases, including Visual Studio 2008, into a single add-in. There were a few minor bug fixes and enhancements ......

Posted On Thursday, August 2, 2007 11:42 PM

ASP.NET Futures and Silverlight
To go along with the release of Visual Studio 2008, Microsoft has also released the Release Candidate (RC) 1 of Silverlight 1.0 and a refresh for Silverlight 1.1. You can get more information about the releases on Tim Sneath's blog. If you install both Silverlight 1.1 and Visual Studio 2008, be sure to check out the Microsoft Silverlight Alpha Tools for Visual Studio 2008 Beta, which is an add-on for Visual Studio to provide a Silverlight project system for developing Silverlight applications in ......

Posted On Saturday, July 28, 2007 9:37 AM

Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2 - Now Available
Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2 has been officially released as both disc images and Virtual PC (VPC) images. After the installation has finished, you should run this script to ensure that the installation of .NET Framework 3.5 Beta 2 will not affect the development of ASP.NET AJAX 1.0 applications. To go along with this, the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Beta 2 is also available and includes a go-live license. The Framework is expected to be released near the end of 2007. It will be included in Visual ......

Posted On Saturday, July 28, 2007 9:19 AM

New Chief Architect for Visual Studio
While it probably won't have much real impact of Visual Studio 2008, Rico Marianai just recently announced that he is moving into the role of Chief Architect for Visual Studio. A lot of the performance improvements in VS 2008 are a result of Rico's involvement. It will be interesting to see how this impacts the next release ......

Posted On Sunday, July 15, 2007 10:31 AM

Visual Studio 2008 release date
At the Microsoft® Worldwide Partner Conference today, Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner announced that Windows Server® 2008, Visual Studio® 2008 and Microsoft SQL Server™ 2008 will launch together at an event in Los Angeles on Feb. 27, 2008, kicking off hundreds of launch events around the world. Also in the works is Beta 2 for Visual Studio 2008, which should be available as a free download in the next three weeks and will also support a go-live license ......

Posted On Tuesday, July 10, 2007 3:47 PM

Programming for the masses
Over the last year or so I have noticed a disturbing trend brought about by the idea of "brining programming to the masses". Last April, according to Microsoft, there was a "growing community of 18 million recreational and hobbyist developers." Even IBM was getting in to the mix, with a project called QEDwiki. I am a professional developer and have been a developer for over 14 years. I have a B.S. degree in Computer Science, did an internship at Martin Marietta (now Lockheed Martin) while in school, ......

Posted On Friday, June 29, 2007 10:50 AM

Visual Studio 2008
Now that Visual Studio "Orcas" finally has an official name, it's time to clear up the new confusion surrounding the different versions of the .NET Framework that will be available. Daniel Moth has an excellent post describing what he calls the Visual Studio 2008 stack that includes this graphic. The important thing that can be seen from this slide is that the CLR engine is the same in v2.0, v3.0, and v3.5 of the Framework. The major difference is the language enhancements (C# 3.0 and VB9), while ......

Posted On Tuesday, June 12, 2007 10:16 PM

Back from Tech·Ed 2007
Going from one extreme to another can be just a bit disconcerting. After spending a week in Alaska where I was almost completely disconnected from the world, I went straight into Tech·Ed 2007. If you weren't able to attend, make sure to check out Virtual Tech·Ed. You will find the keynote and some podcasts relating to some of the sessions. Things are about a week behind and there are a lot of podcasts queued up to be made available on the site, so keep checking back. I can't say that there was a ......

Posted On Sunday, June 10, 2007 9:48 AM

PDC 2007 Rescheduled
Microsoft has just recently announced that PDC 2007 has been rescheduled in order to try to align it be in front of some of the major platform milestones. By this coming fall, upcoming platform technologies including Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, and Visual Studio 2008 will already be in the hands of developers and getting close to being released. Keep an eye on the event site for the new date ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 6, 2007 12:31 AM

Tampa Code Camp 2007
Tampa Code Camp for 2007 has just been announced. Registration just opened on June 4, 2007 so there is still plenty of room, but there is a maximum attendance of 400 people so space will fill up quickly. This year, the event has moved to the St. Petersburg College (ICOT Center) in Largo, Florida and will be held on July 14, 2007. The new location promises larger rooms and state of the art AV equipment. If you have never attended Code Camp or don't know what it is, Code Camp is a free one day event ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 6, 2007 12:18 AM

Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Shell
Microsoft announced a scaled down version of Visual Studio 2008 called the Visual Studio Shell. The Visual Studio Shell, which will be in beta sometime this summer, is designed to allow developers to bundle Visual Studio functionality into their own products and will integrate languages such as Fortran, Cobol, Ruby, and PHP. The Visual Studio Shell will be free and will ship with Visual Studio 2008. There are two different "modes" that can be used when integrating Visual Studio Shell: integrated ......

Posted On Tuesday, June 5, 2007 11:29 PM

"Acropolis" Community Technology Preview
One of the new technologies being announced at Tech·Ed is "Acropolis". If you have previously used the Microsoft Composite UI Application B lock (CAB) or the Smart Client Software Factory (SCSF), the announcement of the Acropolis should be very exciting news. Acropolis is a replacement technology for both CAB and SCSF and takes the things that were good about both of these and the lessons learned and adds the following: Full .NET support by being an integrated part of the .NET client framework and ......

Posted On Tuesday, June 5, 2007 11:21 PM

Tech·Ed Keynote
I finally have some free time tonight from all of the activities at Tech·Ed 2007, so I wanted to take some time to summarize what I've seen and done so far. To start with, I was able to get a front-row seat for the Keynote on Monday morning. The keynote started out with a short "movie" showing Bob Muglia going back in time with Christopher Lloyd reprising his role as "Doc" Brown from the "Back to the Future" movies. The theme to the video was to try and show how Microsoft has sometimes fallen short ......

Posted On Tuesday, June 5, 2007 11:00 PM

Debugging in Visual Studio 2005 with a Symbol Server
We have all had the experience of debugging an application in Visual Studio and run into the problem of not having the debugging symbols or having incorrect symbols. This is particularly true when you need to step into .NET CLR code to track down a problem. Microsoft maintains a public symbol server that provides symbols for the different Windows operating system versions, MDAC, IIS, ISA, and the .NET Framework. This server is for symbol downloads only and is not browseable. In addition to the Microsoft ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 23, 2007 4:21 PM

Do not initialize unnecessarily
If any one has ever run FxCop or Visual Studio Code Analysis (yes, I know they are basically the same thing, but there are some subtle differences) you have probably run into rule CA1805: Do not initialize unnecessarily. As I was cleaning up some FxCop errors on some inherited code today, I hit a few of these. These errors are probably one of the easiest to correct, but for some uknown reason I decided to actually look at the error help this time around. What I saw there surprised me. The help page ......

Posted On Monday, May 21, 2007 3:17 PM

Search Driven Development
A few months ago, Phil Haack wrote about a phenomena being referred to as Search Driven Development (SDD). If you don't know what Search Driven Development is, there is a great article on LinuxWorld by Ken Krugler and John D. Mitchell. According to them article About 25% of a developer's time is spend [sic] searching for information. It's well spent, though -- finding reusable code can get a project done on time and with high quality results. I don't know about you, but (like Phil) I find that Google ......

Posted On Sunday, May 20, 2007 3:05 PM

NDepend 2.2
A few months ago, I wrote about Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition and FxCop Integration and also the upcoming Visual Studio Code Metrics that will be available in the Visual Studio "Orcas" release. These are both great tools, but one is really only available if you purchase one of the Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition versions (at least, available without some extra work) and one isn't available yet except through a public beta. However, if you want the type of code analysis that you can get ......

Posted On Sunday, May 20, 2007 12:30 PM

Visual Studio user settings per project/solution - update
The other day, I posted about a feature request submitted to Microsoft Connect. Well, it ended up getting 21 votes before Microsoft closed it as "Closed (Won't Fix)". The comment they left was Thanks for reporting this suggestion. Unfortunately we will not be able to address this in time for the upcoming release of Visual Studio (codename Orcas) but we will track this suggestion in our future release feature request database. Now, I don't mind the fact that they said they won't be able to address ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 25, 2007 8:12 PM

Visual Studio user settings per project/solution
In a recent email discussion between a few of the Subtext developers and myself, we talked about the need to have the Visual Studio editor settings (like tab size, curly brace location, etc.) stored with each solution as well as globally. The problem here is that many of us use the same development machine for our "real work" and our personal or open source projects. For some people this might not be a problem, but for most of us, it is. The real issue comes about when one client mandates a certain ......

Posted On Monday, April 23, 2007 11:12 AM

Visual Studio "Orcas" Beta 1
Microsoft has just released Beta 1 of Visual Studio "Orcas". For those that don't know, "Orcas" is the next generation development tool for Windows Vista, the 2007 Office System, and the web. The Beta 1 release consists of multiple products including Visual Studio Professional Edition, Visual Studio Team Suite and Visual Studio Team Foundation Server, which are available as ISO images. You can also download VPC images with the software pre-installed. To download either the ISO images or the VPC images, ......

Posted On Friday, April 20, 2007 10:44 PM

Tech·Ed Technical Tracks Summary, Updated
There are 14 core tracks and 2 virtual tracks at Tech·Ed this year, which will cover more than 1,000 sessions. In case you're wondering, a virtual track is a collection of sessions or labs that share a common theme but span several tracks. Microsoft has revised the technical tracks slightly since my original post, so I have updated my summary. Architecture Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) Office Business Applications Software as a Service (SaaS) Business Capabilities Software+Services Industry ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 4, 2007 9:31 PM

Expression products now part of MSDN
When Microsoft announced the new Expression product line, a decision was made to keep these out of the MSDN subscriptions. The theory behind this was that these tools are designed for graphics designers and didn't have a place in the MSDN subscriptions. This decision was widely criticized by the development community and Microsoft has finally realized their mistake and announced that Expression Web and Expression Blend will now be available at no extra charge to all MSDN Premium Subscribers, including ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 4, 2007 8:19 AM

Tech·Ed 2007 Keynote
The Keynote speaker for Tech·Ed 2007 will be Bug Muglia, Senior Vice President of the Microsoft Server and Tools business. The Keynote will cover the evolution of IT from an organizational cost center (a group that is expected to cost a company money each year rather than earning revenue) to a strategic asset (one that is expected to earn revenue). He will also cover how to help your IT department embrace this new role and fuel growth and innovation. The Server and Tools business is responsible for ......

Posted On Wednesday, March 21, 2007 9:32 PM

CI Factory
As you know, I'm working with the Subtext project. Subtext uses CruiseControl.NET (CC.NET) as it's continuous integration (CI) build system. One of the nice features of CC.NET is the web dashboard that provides the visibility in to the builds. Over the last month, I have been upgrading the Subtext dashboard with a new look and feel as well as some additional features. As a result, the dashboard caught the attention of Jay Flowers, who owns the CI Factory project. For those of you who don't know about ......

Posted On Saturday, March 17, 2007 9:36 AM

FoxPro Retiring
It seems this is the year for Microsoft to announce product retirements. First GotDotNet, then Visual J#, and now eWeek just announced that FoxPro is being retired as well. According to Microsoft, they will not be releasing any new versions of Visual FoxPro past version 9.0, but they will continue to support it through 2015. The FoxPro development team, which is actually part of the Microsoft Visual Studio team, will be spread out across different groups in the Microsoft Developer Division, including ......

Posted On Thursday, March 15, 2007 10:27 PM

Visual J# Retiring
I'm sure there's a clearer explanation somewhere, but reading the announcement on the J# home page is just a bit confusing. So far, what I've been able to piece together is that Visual J# 2.0 Redistributable will still be released sometime in Q2 of 2007 and support for English locales will continue through 20017. Along with this, the Visual J# 2.0 Redistributable Second Edition will also be released that will enable Visual J# code to run natively on 64-bit versions of Windows and the .NET Framework, ......

Posted On Sunday, March 4, 2007 12:24 PM

Visual Studio Code Metrics
Visual Studio will finally get built-in support for generating code metrics for project and solutions. Unfortunately, we'll have to wait until Orcas officially ships, but it is part of the latest March CTP release (Virtual PC image or self-extracting install). Again, as with the integrated FxCop analysis, this will only be available with the Visual Studio Team Developer and Team Suite editions. I still think Microsoft is doing the development community a huge injustice with this decision, but I'm ......

Posted On Thursday, March 1, 2007 9:47 PM

Daylight Savings Time for Developers
I know several other people who received an email from Microsoft late last week titled "Important Daylight Savings Time Update for Developers". As far as I know, none of us are exaclty sure why we recieved these emails but we all figured that at some point we signed up for something .NET and developer related with Microsoft. Just in case you didn't "get the memo", here are the relevant parts: Developers who use the .NET Framework may find their applications affected if the application uses the time ......

Posted On Tuesday, February 27, 2007 11:08 PM

SlickEdit Gadgets
Since I've been looking into writing a custom Visual Studio package, I came across a nice set of free "gadgets" from SlickEdit. These can only be described as a set of very cool power toys for Visual Studio. These gadgets will only work with Visual Studio 2005, but should work with any of the Visual Studio 2005 editions except the Express Editions. I think these gadgets are aimed at creating more business for the Tools v1.1 for Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 product, which also has some very nice features ......

Posted On Sunday, February 18, 2007 6:04 PM

Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition and FxCop Integration
I don't know about you, but I have always felt that Microsoft did a huge injustice to the development community by leaving the Static Code Analysis capability out of Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition. Just in case you don't know what this is, it is an integrated version of FxCop that allows you to configure Code Analysis and view the results from within Visual Studio. I'm not going to go into details about why Code Analysis is beneficial (perhaps I'll save that for another post), but having ......

Posted On Sunday, February 18, 2007 3:28 PM

Tech·Ed Technical Tracks - Where's WPF?
I was scanning through the list of technical tracks for Tech·Ed this morning and noticed an odd omission. Windows Presentation Found (WPF) is only listed once, under the "Connected Systems" track: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 programming model for Windows that offers new technologies for building applications for seamless communication across technology boundaries and for composing services. These new technologies are Windows Presentation Foundation, Windows Communication Foundation, Windows Workflow ......

Posted On Saturday, February 17, 2007 12:17 PM

Tech·Ed Technical Tracks Summary
There are 14 core tracks and 2 virtual tracks at Tech·Ed this year, which will cover more than 1,000 sessions. In case you're wondering, a virtual track is a collection of sessions or labs that share a common theme but span several tracks. The Session Scheduler launches in April and we will get our first real look at the actual sessions available in each track. Until then, we have to be content to speculate. Looking at the technical tracks page, it became clear to me that there is a lot of information ......

Posted On Saturday, February 17, 2007 12:15 PM

WPF Reflection control
One of the cooler "eye-candy" type effects possible with WPF is the ability to create reflections. Reflections can be made of pretty much anything and are relatively simple to create. There is a good tutorial on creating reflections using Visual Studio and Microsoft Expression Blend. The drawback to creating reflections is that you have to repeat the steps for every reflection. Fortunately, one of the developers at Infragistics has created a custom control that allows you to easily create reflections. ......

Posted On Tuesday, February 6, 2007 9:59 PM

Developer Tools
As a developer I use a lot of additional tools to get my work done in the most efficient and accurate way possible. That involves a lot of things, such as unit testing, code analysis and additional productivity inside the Visual Studio 2005 IDE. I have seen a lot of blog posts extolling the virtues of one tool or another, but there were not many (at least that I could find) that provided a semi-comprehensive list. (I say "semi-comprehensive" because there is always going to be a new tool available ......

Posted On Sunday, December 3, 2006 9:48 AM

.NET Framework 3.0 is here
Earlier today Microsoft released the newest version of the .NET Framework. If you have any previous beta versions installed, you must uninstall them before installing the final release. Make sure to install the Visual Studio 2005 extensions for .NET Framework 3.0 (WCF & WPF), November 2006 CTP as well. The earlier builds will not recognize the release version of the framework ......

Posted On Tuesday, November 7, 2006 3:22 PM

Tampa Code Camp
If you want to improve your skills unlike this poor soul get to Code Camp we will even supply the food for lunch. Mark your calendars for July 15. I can't attend this one since I already have plans for the weekend that take me out of town, but if you are in Florida and want to go you should check it out. Just incase you forgot Code Camp is FREE, and its the only place you can learn from the best out there under one roof. If you program in Visual Studio.NET you need Code Camp. If you use ASP.NET you ......

Posted On Friday, July 14, 2006 7:41 AM

Performance in .NET managed applications
Building managed applications is generally a lot different than building non-managed applications. The problems faced by .NET developers are different than those faced by C++ (or even VB) developers. Since .NET is a garbage-collected language and the development process seems to be generally more intuitive (at least in C#) than many other programming languages and environments it is very easy to build applications rapidly. Visual Stduio 2005 definately takes the concept of rapid application development ......

Posted On Sunday, June 18, 2006 8:02 PM

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