Well, I suppose I’d best admit it – otherwise there’ll be no more blog posts for a while. The current project I’m working on is still in MCMS – an issue with the clients deadline and us get the team up to speed with MOSS really – however we are using the latest versions of the framework – so that means ASP.NET 2.0 on the server, and taking advantage of the features in .Net 3.5 where appropriate.
Obviously, there's no problem with using Master Pages with MCMS SP2, so there's a big win right there, however now that Visual Studio 2008 supports Nested Master Pages we're on a real roll.
Wow, look at me entering the new web dawn already!
I've finally implemented some Web 2.0 goodness, there's now some tagging on this site - go check out the Albums if you don't believe me , clearly I've not finished tagging everything - and Zach's name is going to be the biggest thing on the page by the time I've finished - he's in nearly every picture we've taken since December 2004!
Everyday, It's a getting closer - I've been using the Early Access Program nightly builds of ReSharper 4.0 since they became available back in February - it's been great to see the features I've been using gain support in this tool.
This is I guess a prequel to the first post in the series "The joys of using .Net 2.0, .Net 3.0 and .Net 3.5 with MCMS", as after posting that, I receieved the following question:
"As I read the entry you seem to use Visual Studio 2008 with an MCMS enabled site. I've not been able to get that to work. How exactly did you do that?"
Ok, this one's pretty easy really, Initially we were just running with Stefan Großner's tips and code samples for using friendly URLs everywhere, and his hints on How to enable AJAX with MCMS and ASP.Net 2.0.
So, there are lots of exciting new changes in VS 2k8 SP1, two of which have already made me very happy, and one of which also helps:
The two that really me are in the Source Control Explorer window:
- Local Path is now blue and underlined - that's right it's now an explorer link that will open up Windows Explorer with your mapped path - no more "Select local path, Ctrl+C, Windows+R, Ctrl+V, Enter" for me, just "click".
- Add to source control - This dialog by default now lists the files you can add to source control from the currently mapped local path, with existing files hidden - hooray! That's one of my main issues with TFS fixed .
Well, these are only nearly three weeks late, but better that than not at all - and I've written most of them up now...
Having been organised, and registered on Sunday, I was able to take a leisurely commute in to Barcelona, check out my route, and then have some free time at the convention centre - which I put to good use by going to the Hands on Labs and doing the ASP.Net MVC lab - I've been playing around porting this site to the technology, so it was only once I got to exercise 4 that I really learnt anything new. My only real complaint with the lab was the "voodoo magic" of some of the set-ups - for example, why was the site in the forums exercise loading /Forum when it should have been loading the default controller first - checking the "default" default.aspx page I saw that had be changed to perform this redirect instead - it would have been nice to have that called out.
DAT203: Learning the Entity Framework
In light of the whole "LINQ to SQL is dead, long live LINQ to SQL" issues floating around at the moment, I'd taken a look at EF a few weeks ago, and found that it did address some of the limitations I'd started to come up against in LINQ to SQL - such as multiple references to the same table (E.g. an author field and an editor field, both referencing the Users table - in LINQ to SQL these came out with rather ambiguous, unhelpful names, but in EF I can edit the relationships and call them "Editor" and "Author" - handy).
PDC201: A Lap Around Cloud Services
AdgerAzure - a British Microsoftie who can actually pronounce Azure.
So, it's an OS for the cloud, it provides:
- Hardware abstraction across many servers.
- Storage: Distributed, scalable and durable.
- Monitoring and Maintenance: CPU, disk, memory, bandwidth, etc - basically anything that they might bill you for - and alerting via Live Alerts (SMS, Email, etc).
- Currently it's all .Net, but they are looking into other options such as PHP, unmanaged code, etc.
TLA322: Writing a 3D Game in 60 Minutes
A walkthrough using the Spacewar Starter Kit, and turning it into a Space Invaders clone - not very 3D, as it was all top down, but I did learn where I went wrong adding my background in my own game - blending is important.
TLA311: The Future of C#
The story for C# so far has been: Managed code (1.x), Generics (2.0) LINQ (3.0), however the trends in languages at the moment is towards:
- Declarative: Less how you want to do something, but more what you want to do - this is supported by LINQ and PLINQ.
- Dynamic: Not just dynamic languages, but objects whose type we don't know about at compile time.
- Concurrency: No one's got this completely right for the last 30 years or so, mainly because it means many things to many people. As computers gain more cores, we need to work out how to make our sequential processes run in parallel.
- Within Microsoft, there's a trend for VB.Net and C# to steal ideas: Going forward they are going to stop adding features separately to each language - many of the new things in C# 4.0 are already in VB, and the same goes for VB10.
- ASP.NET MVC
- Commerce Server
- Entity Framework
- Raspberry Pi
- Reporting Server
- Site Updates
- Sitecore Jobs
- Sitecore Workflow
- Windows 8