April 30, 2006
Expose as Property
When I'm building forms or user controls, I find myself wishing that I could right-click on one of the properties of a constituent control (for example, right-click on the Text property of the UserNameTextBox control), and select "Expose as property", and have VS generate the public property wrapper for me.
If you like the idea, feel free to vote for it.
April 24, 2006
Visual Studio 2005: Unstable and Highly Recommended
I recently sat down with some industry experts to get their opinion about the stability of Visual Studio 2005. Here's what they had to say:
What are your thoughts about the stability of Visual Studio 2005? Do you share the experts' recommendation that people use VS 2005?
April 11, 2006
VB, the magic (), and Bill Mccarthy has forgotten more than I'll ever know.
Did you know that if a funciton expects an argument ByRef, you can still pass it ByVal from VB?
Foo( (S) )
Because of the extra set of (), S will be passed ByVal, even if Foo is declared as
Sub Foo (ByRef S as String)
Who would have known? Well, Bill McCarthy. Bill goes on to point out how this could be used in conjunction with LINQ. When LINQ does ship, and you want to bone up on it, or do other deep language level thinking, I highly recommend Bills blog. Be warned though. If you're like me, you'll often stagger from your computer, uttering, "Mommy, my head hurts."
Wrap it Up
In this MSDN Magazine article, I show how to extend existing Visual Basic 6.0 applications by leveraging the vast .NET Framework class library.
April 10, 2006
Steve Lasker Blogson
Steve Lasker, who's working on a lot of stuff at Microsoft for data and occasionally connected apps, has started blogging. He's posted a bunch of good stuff about the upcoming SQL Everywhere.
April 07, 2006
Programming against XML...
"Programming against XML using the DOM API today
is a bitch."
Read the rest here.
April 06, 2006
SQL Server Everywhere: The Access Killer?
Are any developers really using Access any more? Absolutely. I would say it's the tool of choice for many ISV applications and Web sites because it doesn't require the installation of any "Server" product. It's a file based database, with an in-proc engine, making deployment very simple (you don't have to install the app as Admin), and performance is pertty good. But now, Microsoft is announcing a new version of SQL Server - SQL Server Everywhere.
What is SQL Server Everywhere? According to this blog, it's going to be a release of SQL Mobile.
Why should you care? Just looking at SQL Mobile today, there are a number of advantages over Access:
- There is no "Server" to install. The database engine is just a handful of .NET assemblies that you can easilly deploy with your application.
- The database is connected to using a file path, just like an Access database.
- System.Transactions supports SQL Mobile, but not Access. This gives you a super simple way to wrap operations in a transaction.
- It's fast. My testing is showing SQL Mobile to be faster than Access. Anywhere from 1.1x to 4x depending on the operation.
- It's better supported. Things like identity columns work with SQL Mobile. The don't really work with Access.
The only down side right now is the admin tools. Access makes it really easy to create tables, and set up relationships between tables. From right inside of Visual Studio 2005, you can create SQL Mobile databases, but there are a few limitations. The default database max size is 128MB, even though SQL Mobile is capable of having 4GB databases. It's also a pain to set up relationships between tables right now. We'll see what comes in the promised CTP.
April 05, 2006
Buy a PC Without an OS, get a visit from MSFT?
This article alleges that if you order a naked PC (one with no operating system installed) that you might get a visit from someone from Microsoft wondering why. The article goes on to insinuate that this is because Microsoft is afraid of Linux.
Um, probably not. It's far more likely that Microsoft is concerned because some people will buy a naked PC (for less) and install a pirated copy of Windows on it. Michala Alexander, Microsoft's head of anti-piracy tried to point this out, but to little avail. He also stated that Microsoft people will not be showing up at locations that purchase naked PCs.
"I can confirm that the... personnel are not participating in customer visits. This is an error in the copy and will be amended in future material on the subject," Alexander claimed.
"Claimed", as though he just invented and spewed forth a big fat lie. How can people write this level of drivel?
Slashdot then takes this article, and turns the reality distortion field up to 11.
April 04, 2006
Virtual Server 2005 gets it! (Now you can too)
If you've thought that Microsoft Virtual Server Enterprise Edition is expensive, you'll be interested in the new price: free!
George Ou has the scoop.