Thursday, 31 July 2008

Microsoft Visual Studio Middle School Power Toy 1.0

Power Toys have been something we expect to see from time-to-time, they often fill in the gaps of functionality the Microsoft development teams didn't get to finish in the release timeframe.

Earlier this week saw the release of a number of power toys for VS2005 and 2008 aimed at the school programmer.  The power toy download includes the following tools;

  • Visual creator for sort algorithms
  • Visually create search algorithms
  • A visual variable declaration
  • Class Designer
  • Function Flow chat

Obviously these tools will be aimed at the lowest common denominator for me the ability to produce a function flow chart showing which functions are called from one process could be very useful.

To download the power toys go to Microsoft Download

Thursday, 24 July 2008

.NET Terrarium 2.0

Back when .NET was first released (May 2002!) there where many marketing techniques that Microsoft used to get everyone involved in this new world of .NET.  Nearly six years later some of it must have worked as the majority of new code is in .NET.

One of these marketing ideas to get developers involved in .NET was a program called Terrarium, this application creates a virtual eco system into which you can introduce creatures which will live out their lives without any kind of intervention.  In reality the creatures are .NET classes with specific attributes identifying how they reproduce, fend off attackers, feed etc in the eco system.

Terrarium is a great way to learn .NET and also set developer against developer as they compete to create the creature to beat all.

You can run the eco system on any machine and leave it running as long as you like while your created creatures live their lives, you can use the graphical viewer to check out how the eco system is running and feel pride as you watch your creatures beat and eat the rest.

To get the whole story check out CodePlex

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

AJAX 4.0 - Preview

Like me I am sure you are waiting eagerly for service pack 1 for .NET 3.5, which I think has been slow to arrive in this RTM form or am I just too impatient?  The main reason I need the service pack is that there are some official releases of new AJAX features I want to take advantage of.

While I am still waiting for service pack 1 the Microsoft ASP.NET team are steaming ahead with development and have released a preview version of AJAX framework 4.0, this release includes many enhancements specifically;

  • Client-side template rendering
  • Declarative instantiation of behaviors and controls
  • DataView control
  • Markup extensions
  • Bindings
  • To get your hands in this preview visit the ASP.NET CodePlex site.

    Monday, 21 July 2008

    ASP.NET Security Videos

    Security is something we all need to know about but I am sure that like me its something you have read about but do not implement that often.

    If you need some quick videos on ASP.NET security features Joe Stanger (creator of may ASP.NET videos) has created 7 new videos covering aspects of security for ASP.NET.

    To watch the videos goto

    Tuesday, 8 July 2008

    P/Invoke Interop Assistant

    Are you one of the few who are so deep inside Windows that the Framework just does not provide you with the access you need or you have legacy code you are moving to .NET and you have yet to work out how to replace the API call with a .NET Framework method?

    The Microsoft Introp Team have released a tool which makes calling the Win32 API from .NET easy, type in the name of the API and it returns you the declarations to call it in you .NET code.

    To download this tool go to Codeplex

    To read the BCL team blog about this tool go here