DevConnections Day 5 – C# with Lowy and meeting a fellow blogger

I know I’m a bit late in posting this, but I’ve been catching-up and spending time with my wife since I returned from Viva Las Vegas. Better late than never, here are some thoughts on my post-Con session: I had originally intended on attending Dino Esposito’s “A Crash Course in ASP.NET Control Development” session, but decided during the week to switch to Juval Lowy’s “C# 2.0 and Visual Studio IDE” session. I couldn’t resist having an opportunity to get some in-depth info on C# 2.0 from a man who has had a big hand in shaping this round of improvements to the language. He crammed a ton of information into one day, but somehow managed to get through everything by 4:00 PM. Here’s the agenda:

  • Visual Studio 2005 IDE
  • Delegate Interface
  • Generics
  • Anonymous Methods
  • Iterators
  • Partial Types
  • Misc Features
  • C# 2.0 Refactoring
  • ClickOnce Deployment

That’s a week’s worth of content! But somehow Juval managed to get through and not leave us all blindsided. Now I’m not going to lie and say I was on the bus the entire time, I did feel that Juval did a good job of gearing the materials towards someone who was already familiar and had developed in C#, but was attending in order to get the goods on the new language and IDE features. My favorite segment was the first, a great look at a number of new features in VS 2005. Some of my favorites were:

  • Improved “Go To Definition” – For .NET Framework types, this new feature includes a WinCV-like browser which actually takes you to a pseudo-header file for that type. Try it on System.Transaction and you’ll see what I mean.
  • Code formatting – For picky C# developers, you have full control over the format of your code under Tools | Options | Text Editor | C# | Formatting. You can also Export those settings into a vssettings file for import by another developer or even place the settings file on a share for use by an entire team. This I like!
  • Tab Options – This is tiny, but nice. The context menu for tabs includes some new options. Among them are “Close all but this,” “Open containing folder” and “Copy full path.” All very handy.
  • Debugger Visualizers – This is probably my favorite new feature. In debug mode, you can now visualize complex types, rather than digging through the objects in a Watch window. One example is the DataSet Visualizer, which looks great! Even better, you can create your own custom Visualizer for any type in the Framework. Juval showed a custom bitmap Visualizer and a wav file audiolyzer as examples.

Another great thing about the post-con session was that I had the privilege of meeting a fellow developer and blogger whose site I had been reading all week. His name is Adnan Masood and I highly recommend his site. I’ve added his blog to my reader and plan to keep reading his site. Adnan actually commented on my last post and asked me a great question. When am I going to post my MindMaps? As you probably know, I used MindManager for all of my note-taking last week and even evangelized the tool to a couple of people I met at the con. (Adnan’s friend Jeremy included!) I had intended on “cleaning up and organizing” the maps before I posted them, but I realized that I’m too much of a perfectionist and would take forever cleaning my 16+ maps up. So I’ll bear my soul and just throw them out there… tomorrow. I’ll post the raw MindManager format and a PDF format for each. When you read them, don’t hold any spelling of grammatical mistakes against me… It’s all very fast-paced at these cons. :) That’s all for now. I know I still owe you a couple of in-depth reviews of two of my favorite sessions. Don’t worry, they’re coming.

  • Adnan Masood

    Mindmaps Brandon, still waiting for tomorrow :)