Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Daily .NET Blog Update #1

One of my most useful blog RSS feeds was Mike Gunderloy's Larkware Daily Grind, which collected the most interesting .NET developer -oriented links and posted them daily.

Apparently Mike has been moving further and further away from .NET development over the last year, and on New Year's Eve announced there would be no more 'Daily Grind' updates.

Given that my own intermittently posted link listings were getting too unwieldy to publish on a weekly or monthly basis, I've decided to take up the slack a little and start the new year by publishing my own 'daily grind' link listing here on this blog.

This is NOT a replacement for Mike's more public service - hence the name change to The Daily .NET Blog Update - but will at least help ME (and hopefully others too?) in keeping track of the relatively few 'signal' items amongst all the 'noise' that emanates from so many of the so-called .Net focussed blogs. I make no excuse for only including links to the .NET stuff that's of interest to me personally.

Anyway, to kick things off here's the first set of links, for Wednesday, 2nd January 2008. If there's any important links I've missed please feel free to email me or send me a tweet via my twitter id of 'irascian'.

.NET 3.5: Visual Studio 2008 - Three free E-learning books from Microsoft Press - I already have the published copies of Introducing LINQ, Introducing ASP.NET AJAX and Introducing Silverlight 1.0 so free pdf versions are somewhat redundant for me, but given that the blogs are full of the link to the free version I guess it's worth posting it here too. To be honest, I think there are much better books around than these to cover the subject area but I guess beggars can't be choosers and at least these are now free.

.NET 3.5: How is the .NET Framework 3.5 different from .NET 2.0 and .NET 3.0? - If you're as confused as most are by the different versions, service packs and component version numbers (C#3.0 is part of .NET 3.5 - go figure!) then this handy guide from Zhiming Xue serves as a useful quick reference.

ASP.NET AJAX: Performing Asynchronous Postbacks from JavaScript - UpdatePanels have several drawbacks, one of which is that execution is normally synchronous. Here's a neat function that lets you execute asynchronously, written by Martijn Veken after poking around the Microsoft-supplied JavaScript framework.

Internet Explorer: Running multiple versions of IE at the same time - It's a pain in the arse trying to run multiple versions of Internet Explorer on the same PC so that you can test your web sites thoroughly, because Microsoft, for all their claims of 'previous release compatibility' are determined you should only run the latest version. Fortunately there are solutions available and here's a positive report on one of them from Dan Vega

TFS 2008: Power Tools for Team Foundation Server 2008 - Details were actually posted back on December 7th, but bloggers seem to only now be catching up on the details and providing this link to the original details from TFS guru bharry.

TFS 2008: Team Foundation Server 2008 Webcasts - There's a whole bunch of Team Foundation Server webcasts, covering 2008 and Rosario, scheduled for the next month, with the first two taking place tomorrow (3rd). The sign-up links are all here, courtesy of Microsoft Events.

TFS 2008: Reporting Code Analysis Defect Counts - You can hook up Excel to the Team Foundation Server data warehouse to show code analysis counts in a pivot table. The Visual Studio Code Analysis Team have all the details.

Visual Studio.NET: Change the RSS feed on the Visual Studio start page - If you're as annoyed as I am at how out-of-date the default RSS feed area on the Visual Studio start page is here's a handy tip on how to change the feed that's displayed, as part of the daily Visual Studio Tip series. If you're not subscribed to this daily tip blog from Sara Ford you should be because each day there's a new little gem you may have missed.

Visual Studio.NET Tools: Mole v4 Visualiser with Property Editing for Visual Studio.NET - Visual Studio ships with several simple visualisers but Mole, which is a free download, gives you unlimited drilling down into objects and sub-objects. And it's fast! Silverlight isn't yet supported but WPF and WCF are.It's been made available with source code, test benches and pdf manual by Karl Shifflett, Josh Smith and Andrew Smith.

WCF: How to get started with WCF - Windows Communication Foundation is a complex, if rather magnificent, beast to get to grips with and there are a plethora of books out there claiming to teach it, but most of them are, frankly, not very good (reviews of some coming to this blog soon!). If you want to avoid wasting money you can always try the free webcasts by the author of O'Reilly's Learning WCF, the links to which have been posted in one nice simple blog post from Daniel Walzenbach.

WCF: 'Learning WCF' updates for Visual Studio 2008 - If you've got the above-referenced O'Reilly book you should check out this blog from That Indigo Girl since it contains updates to the book and source code which make it applicable to Visual Studio 2008. Having got seriously burnt with an early book by a different author on WCF based on the beta which promised updates but then not only didn't deliver them but blocked comments to stop people complaining (you know who you are - I sent you email!) it's nice to see that not all authors just take your money and run, leaving you with something that's worthless even when you buy it on publication date!

Windows Server 2008: Developer Training Kit for Windows Server 2008 (Beta 3) - the latest beta version of the Longhorn Developer training kit including material for IIS7, Management, WCF, WF, Windows CardSpace, Windows PowerShell, Virtualization and the Transactional File System (TxF), has been made available via Microsoft Downloads.

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