Archive for March, 2008

Easy Data-loading with LINQ-to-SQL and LINQ-to-XML

.Net 3.5 had some nice tricks in it. LINQ-to-XML was one of them. With the new "X"-types, you can make working with XML really easy.

VB.Net 9 takes it one step further, and lets you write XML in your code without strings.

"Hey Rich, that’s old news," I hear you say. "And who’s interested in VB today anyway?"

Well, apparently there are a lot of VB-er’s still out there. I am mainly a C# developer myself, but I found that VB was perfect for a problem I had recently -  loading of XML data into a SQL Server table.

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Silverlight 2 Poster Available

imageYou’re not a real Silverlight developer until you have the poster stuck up on your wall.

Apparently these were hot at Mix.

Thanks to Brad Abrams for posting it.

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Design Guidelines for LINQ

Have you wondered if and when you should use the new LINQ features in .Net 3.5?

Like, where should I put a new extension method? Should I use Func<T> or a custom delegate? How do I best implement a mix-in (extension methods on an interface)?

Well, Mircea Trofin has just published a new draft of some LINQ design guidelines. You might just find your answers there.

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Read Word Documents in a Web Browser

image I love this! Not because of the features, but because of the way it works.

Tim Sneath just blogged about TextGlow – an online Word docx file reader. The docx format is XML, and Silverlight 2 apps can use LINQ-to-XML to parse it and format it for display inside the browser.

Amazing!

You can read more about it on Tim’s blog.

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Mix 08 WPF Scheduling Application

imageMix 08 seems to be much more mature than ever before. In previous years there were a lot of ideas being spoken about; this year there are much more implementations of those ideas available to look at. It seems like a lot of people have been working on the new technologies over the past year or so. Hopefully that will lead to the ripening of many technologies (especially WPF) to a point where we can actually use them.

As an example, there is a scheduling application available for Mix. Unfortunately it only runs on Vista, but I captured a video and made a few screenshots for you.

This is the opening screen, with an agenda for the 4 days of the event:

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(Click the image to make it larger.)

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Silverlight for Nokia Phones

image BBC News has just released an article referring to a deal made between Microsoft and Nokia to put Silverlight on mobile phones.

Yet another reason to get polishing those WPF skills.

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Mix 08 Online Presentations

My favorite conference is about to start: MIX 08.

It’s a great conference for Microsoft developers with an interest in the web. Last year they had some great talks about user experience and architecture. There’s always something interesting to learn.

Unfortunately I can’t be there (as usual), but all the sessions will be online. Tim Sneath just posted details of where and when you can watch them:

  • The keynote with Ray Ozzie, Scott Guthrie will be available live at 9:30am Pacific / 5:30pm GMT on three streams: 750kbps, 300kbps, 100kbps.
  • The breakout sessions and panels will be online within 24 hours of each session at MIX08 sessions.

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ExtensionMethod.net – An Extension Methods Database

While surfing around tonight, I came across ExtensionMethod.net, a database of useful Extension Methods for C# 3.0 and VB 9. I thought it might be useful, so I added a few of my own extension methods.

There aren’t many there yet, but there are one or two on there from Scott Guthrie.

Have you got any code you could put up there? You could be one of the first if you go now.

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LINQ or DIE

I just read a fantastic quote about LINQ from the book Pro LINQ: Language Integrated Query in C# 2008 by Joseph C. Rattz, Jr.:

I prefer to think of LINQ as a data iteration engine, but perhaps Microsoft didn’t want a technology named DIE.

I think they already built the technology for such a product, and put it in Vista. 🙂

It’s a great book. The first LINQ book I’ve found with a really detailed explanation of LINQ-to-SQL and the SQLMetal generation tool.

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Remove and Sort Those Ugly “using-Statements”

Visual Studio 2008 has lots of goodies in it, like LINQ syntax, CSS editing, and testing tools. There’s a lesser-known feature which I really appreciate though – the “Remove and Sort Usings” command in the C# editor.

You activate the command by placing your cursor over the using statements and clicking on the right mouse-button.

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