Thursday, February 23, 2006

RSS feed has been fixed

An attempt to reorganize my server with Norton Partition Magic screwed my primary partition. I had to reinstall my machine. While doing that, I managed to fix the RSS feed for my blog, so don't forget to update your reader.

Ordina at the Microsoft Developer Days 2006

If you live in the Netherlands, don't forget to subscribe for the Microsoft Developer Days that will happen in Amsterdam on the 7th and 8th of March. Ordina is one of main sponsors and will have a dedicated location on the show. As far as it looks now, I'm going to give a short demonstration of Ordina's DaVinci UML-based code generation framework.

Murach's ASP.NET 2.0 Upgraders Guide

I've recently completed reading Murach's ASP.NET 2.0 Upgraders Guide. It's a fairly recent book that deals with the new features of ASP.NET 2.0 and targets an audience that has quite some experience with ASP.NET 1.0. As an experienced .NET developer I was looking for a book that would bring me up to speed with the latest and the greatest of ASP.NET 2.0. I tend to get bored easily, so I need a book that gets to the point immediately. This is where it failed for me.
It does cover all the important aspects such as Master Pages, DataGridView, DetailsView and Role and Membership Providers. And does do that well since I learned a lot of new stuff (even though I keep a tight lease on the MSDN site). It even explains how some solution was implemented in ASP.NET 1.0 and why the new solution is so much better. But what bothered me was that a majority of the book is explaining basic concepts that should already be imprinted in your mind. Moreover, the book is organized in way that on every few pages a new concept is explained in two different ways. The right page usually contains a large bullet list with an explanation and some examples, whereas the left page basically contains the same information but written out. For me, it was annoying to start reading the summary (because the text starts by referring to it) and then discover that the left page is not adding anything substantial. One of the two is sufficient for understanding the technology, so I wonder what the author had in mind.
Anyway, I would give the book three out of five stars. The content is really good, but should have been more compact.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Resharper 2.0 Early Access Program

If you have never heard of Resharper, then you should come out of your little cave right now! I have been using Resharper 1.5 for a long long while now, and it's incredible I have managed to work professionally without it. It's the best add-in I ever ran into (Visual Assist was my prior favorite).
Well, since a couple of months, I've been trying the Early Access Program for Resharper 2.0 for Visual Studio 2003. As of this writing, the latest build is 217. It is still rather unstable, but the productivity increase already outweighs the number of open issues. New builds are releases almost every week, so as soon as it gets stable, I'm sure I'm going to get myself a license.
Also, a couple of collegues have tried it with Visual Studio 2005 and were surprised how many productivity features Microsoft forgot to built-in. Even with the enhanced VS 2005 editor, Resharper is still a major improvement.

Enterprise Library for .NET Framework 2.0

Lost month, Microsoft released an updated version of the Enterprise Library. I haven't tried it yet, but from the documentation it does not seem te bring a lot of new features, other than compatibility with the 2.0 Framework. We have been using the May 2005 release for a long while now, and I can't ignore the many manual bugfixes we had to do to make it really work. Hopefully, Microsoft listened to the community.