Friday, 2 November 2007

Information Overload!

Sod's Law says that just 2 days after blogging about and hoping for a Silverlight training course they add one! It's only four hours long (although with the speed at which Mike Harsh talks it's probably equivalent to 8 hours from anybody else), only covers Silverlight 1.0 (which is fine as 1.1 is an ALPHA, not even a beta yet) and is fairly basic (which is good in that Mike assumes you know absolutely nothing), but it's a good start.

I'm suffering serious information overload with a pile of unread new books and the links below all being important, and all appearing just over the last couple of days. Trying to keep track of all the 'required' Microsoft technologies is a complete nightmare for anybody holding down a full-time job AND wanting to have any kind of life as well. I think it's much tougher starting out in the industry now than it was when I started, or even as recently as 5-10 years ago.

Recently Discovered Useful Links

ADO.NET: The Entity Data Model Designer Video A videotaped early look at the Entity Data Model Designer that's currently in CTP from the ADO.NET Team blog.

Architecture: Patterns and Practices 'Reference Implementation' of the Web Client Bundles - Microsoft's Patterns and Practices have been working on Web Client best practices for some time and now there's a reference implementation available. Brad Abrams has all the details.

Architecture: Performance Testing Guidelines for Web Applications - it's a horribly dry read, but an important new document from Microsoft's Patterns and Practices group. J.D. Meiers has the list of contents and the appropriate download link.

ASP.NET: ASP.NET Futures - Scott Guthrie's been dropping hints about what will be in a bundle called 'ASP.NET Futures', shipping after Visual Studio 2008 has released. Chris Koenig announces his upcoming series on what exactly will be in that bundle.

ASP.NET: TIP: Hard Drive Speed and Visual Studio Performance - Scott Guthrie has some good advice on where best to spend your money on new hardware when you want the best possible ASP.NET performance.

ASP.NET: Tip: How to grab bulk data from a GridView on Postback - all it takes is a few simple lines of code. Kevin Isom talks you through those few lines.

ASP.NET: Cachine in 10 minutes - essentials about the options available for caching under ASP.NET in an easily digestible article by Todd.

ASP.NET: Expresso - a .NET Regular Expression Development Tool You Should Not Be Without - I hate writing regular expressions, so any tool which helps is 'a good thing'. Joseph Guadagno has all the info on his blog.

ASP.NET: How to Write a Web Service that returns a DataSet - a nice code walkthrough from Naga Satish.

ASP.NET: Two ASP.NET Features that are usually missed or misunderstood - Ryan Ternier talks about the tilde character and use of the ALT-SHIFT keys in Visual Studio.

ASP.NET AJAX: Are you making these 3 common ASP.NET AJAX mistakes? - Dave Ward asks the awkward questions on his Encosia (it's another word for quality) blog. The UpdatePanel has a lot to answer for if you don't understand what it's doing (quelle suprise!)

ASP.NET AJAX: In Depth Performance - Omar Al Zabit walks us through analysis of an ASP.NET AJAX performance issue.

ASP.NET AJAX: Delayed Content Loading using the ASP.NET AJAX Timer and UpdatePanel - A tutorial for loading sections of a page after the main page has loaded using ASP.NET AJAX controls, written by Joshua Stengel.

ASP.NET AJAX: Under the Hood Secrets - Tips and tricks for ASP.NET AJAX developes but, as author Omar Al Xabir says, 'not for the faint-hearted'!

ASP.NET AJAX: Everything has its place: Tread lightly with UpdatePanels - Well you can't say I didn't warn you (former work colleagues please take note!). Peter Laudati explains why the UpdatePanel may be a quickfix too far for many developers.

Expression: Expression Blend and Design training. - Microsoft have been on the road giving 2 days free training on Expression Blend and Expression Design. Now they've made all the code and the self-paced training kit availabe for free. Very generous, and the material is excellent and pretty idiot-proof. You will however need a color printer and a good broadband connection as the download material is over 1GB in size.

IIS 7: Modules for IIS 7 and ASP.NET - Mike Volodarsky has written quite a few modules for IIS 7 and ASP.NET. Here he provides links for them, and solicits requests for new modules that might be of use.

IIS 7: How to set up remote logging between workgroup computers - A frequently asked question gets answered by Steve Schofield walks you through the process step-by-step.

LINQ: LINQ to SQL: Some of the best blogs - a useful set of links from Wriju Ghosh.

.NET: .NET '4' - I don't know whether to laugh, cry or just shout 'I need a life goddamit'. Allan has some links you should probably try and find the time to follow through.

Powershell: Automated Web Site Deployment using Windows Powershell - title says it all really. Omar Al Zabir (he's responsible for a LOT of today's links, split across different sites!) has all the details.

SandcastleSandcastle October CTP - Sheesh! Just when you've finished spending several hours installing the September CTP of Microsoft's auto-documentation product, they go and release another one. Please it's been month after month of CTPs. Just give us an RTM version already!

Silverlight: Silverlight doesn't require any JavaScript - OK, so hands up who thought you had to write JavaScript to at least load the Silverlight plug-in. Jon Galloway explains why this assumption that JavaScript is needed is a misconception.

Silverlight: Optimise your Silverlight Install experience - UX guidelines for Silverlight installation are now available for download from Microsoft. Laurence Moroney has the download link and thinks it's essential reading for anyone having to deploy a Silverlight application.

Silverlight: Treeview and Animated Panel Wrap Controls for Silverlight - details and source code from Pete Brown.

SQL Server: Audit Trail Generator - A discussion of audit trail techniques and a script to automate audit trail generation on a SQL Server databse from Cedric Baelemans.

SQL Server: My take on why SQL Server 2008 is interesting - Eric Nelson has a couple of slides with the highlights of the forthcoming SQL Server 8, just to give developers a quick heads up.

Visual Studio 2008: Get up to speed on Visual Studio 2008 - Videotaped versions of Scott Guthrie's current presentation deck on what's new in Visual Studio 2008, as given internally to Microsoft employees, but seemingly identical to the presentation given at MIX07 UK.

Windows Live: Professional Windows Live - Windows Live APIs are starting to shape up very nicely and now there's a Wrox Press book available. Angus Logan has the details.

Windows Server 2008: Microsoft Development Centre for Windows Server 2008 - The MSDN Development Centre has just been launched - Check it out!

Windows Server 2008: Training Kit for Windows Server 2008 (Beta 3) - the new operating system will soon be upon us, and Microsoft have made available 'Beta 3' of their developer training kit, which includes hands-on labs and presentations on IIS 7, WCF, CardSpace, Powershell and a whole lot more!

WPF: Future of WPF Guidance - there are lots of changes coming with regard to WPF, CAB and Acropolis. Michael Puleio has pulled together the relevant links.

WPF: WPF Control Development: 3 ways to build an ImageButton - WPF is complicated and can get real confusing really quickly. Knom looks at three different ways for the control developer to develop the same 'simple' control, and then picks 'the best'.

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