Aug 25

This is part 19 in a series of articles on obscure programming languages.

What is Script.NET?

Powered by Script.NET. Copyright © Microsoft Corp.

Script.NET (also known as S#) is an open-source metaprogramming language that adds scripting capabilities to Microsoft .NET applications, similar to VBA in Microsoft Office applications.

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Aug 16

Wow, I nearly fell out of my chair when I read this little gem on TechCrunch:

Android chief Andy Rubin wrote in a 2005 email, “If Sun doesn’t want to work with us, we have two options: 1) Abandon our work and adopt MSFT CLR VM and C# language – or – 2) Do Java anyway and defend our decision, perhaps making enemies along the way.”

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Jul 14

Titanic. Copyright © Paramount Pictures.

I saw the James Cameron movie Titanic again the other night.  In the scene shown above, the band plays on with grace and dignity, while the ship slowly sinks, and all hell breaks loose around them.

That’s when it hit me: .NET developers face a similar fate.  Do we ride Microsoft .NET to the bottom of the icy Atlantic, or try to jump on one of the HTML5+JavaScript lifeboats?  Or perhaps more likely, .NET isn’t really sinking after all, and this controversy is just another molehill made into a mountain by the frenzied blogosphere.

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Apr 13

Qink has assembled a comprehensive list of freely-available libraries for the Microsoft .NET platform.

Free .NET Libraries

Mar 14

Microsoft Visual Studio. Copyright © Microsoft Corp.

Microsoft has released Service Pack 1 for its Visual Studio 2010 flagship integrated development environment (IDE).  Visual Studio SP1 provides many new features, performance improvements, and bug fixes including:

  • Stand-alone Help Viewer 1.1
  • Silverlight 4 support
  • Basic Unit Testing support for .NET 3.5
  • .NET Framework 4 improvements
  • Performance Wizard for Silverlight
  • Visual Basic Runtime embedding
  • IntelliTrace for 64-bit and SharePoint
  • Fix for partial or mixed Visual Studio installations
  • IIS 7.5 Express support
  • SQL Server CE 4 support
  • Razor support for ASP.NET Web Pages and MVC 3
  • Web Platform Installer integration
  • HTML5 and CSS3 preliminary support
  • WCF RIA Services localized and supported
  • XAML Editor/Designer improvements
  • XAML Style IntelliSense
  • C++ MFC-based GPU-accelerated graphics and animations
  • New AMD and Intel instruction set support

Download Visual Studio 2010 SP1
Full Description of VS 2010 SP1
Tips on Installing VS 2010 SP1

Sep 03

Ron Burk wrote a terrific, funny article “A Brief History of Windows Programming Revolutions” that describes the internal back-and-forth struggle between programming groups at Microsoft in their endless pursuit to eliminate DLL Hell.  First there was DDE, then OLE, COM, ActiveX, MFC, ATL, and eventually .NET:

“And that brings us up to date with .NET (pronounced like ‘doughnut’, only different), which is like the Internet, only with more press releases.  Let’s be very, very clear about one thing: .NET will eliminate DLL Hell.  .NET includes a new programming language called C# (turns out there was a fatal flaw in Active++ Jspresso, so just as well it died).  .NET includes a virtual runtime machine that all languages will use (turns out there’s a fatal flaw in relying on Intel CPUs).”

The Simpsons, Copyright © Fox, All Rights Reserved.The serious point behind this funny article is how each of these Microsoft “revolutions” were supposed to be the panacea of Windows development, only to be replaced in a few short years by the next-best-thing. 

At least Microsoft has stuck with .NET Framework for 8 years, but the churn continues within the .NET development ecosystem.  Remember how WindowsForms was supposed to provide a rich client GUI that ran across all hardware platforms?  Turns out it didn’t work so well in a web browser, so Microsoft invented WebForms.  And MVC.  WinForms also didn’t render well on Linux, so open-source geeks use Gtk# instead.  And WinForms is too heavy to run on mobile devices, so Microsoft ejected it from the .NET Compact Framework.  But .NET CF is too “old school” for smartphones, so now there’s Silverlight.  Are you following me?

In the tech industry, the only constant is change.

Jun 08

.NET Framework 4 and Extensions Poster (PDF)

Click the image above to download a .NET Framework 4 and Extensions poster from Microsoft.

Want more .NET posters?  Devcurry has published a collection of .NET Framework and Visual Studio posters including keyboard shortcut, namespace and type posters.

.NET and Visual Studio Poster Collection

Apr 12

Microsoft is releasing Visual Studio 2010, .NET Framework 4.0, and Silverlight 4 at the Visual Studio Developer Conference in Las Vegas.  VS 2010 and .NET 4 are available today, and Silverlight 4 will be available to download later this week.


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Feb 16

The Release Candidate (RC) for Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4.0 is now available to the public.  The biggest change from Beta 2 is a major improvement to Visual Studio performance, specifically as it relates to loading solutions, typing, building and debugging.  The RC includes a “go-live license” for companies that wish to deploy Visual Studio 2010 in their production environment.

Download VS 2010 and .NET 4.0 RC

Jan 14

Do you need help convincing your boss that your company needs to upgrade to Visual Studio 2010?  Or perhaps you are looking for additional ammo in your .NET vs. Java religious wars with your programming colleagues?

Microsoft has produced a Silverlight-based “Myth Busting Matrix” for Visual Studio.  This nifty web tool details the benefits of upgrading to Visual Studio 2010 and helps dispel some widely-held myths about Visual Studio and the Microsoft .NET Framework.  You can browse all three supported versions of Visual Studio (2005, 2008 and 2010) by your areas of interest and click on the myths for more information.

Visual Studio Myth Buster

Visual Studio Myth Buster