Wednesday, 21 November 2007

A Few Interesting Points From the Johannesburg Visual Studio 2008 Jumpstart DevChat, Part One

On Monday, 19 November 2007 Microsoft hosted the Johannesburg Visual Studio 2008 Jumpstart DevChat. I should be getting some of the slides that Louis de Klerk from Inobits used in his presentation so expect a more comprehensive summary at a later date. For now, here a few point that piqued my interest:

First of all, thanks to Loius for a great presentation. (You still owe me a WPF demo Louis ;-). Ahmed, I have no idea how you managed to not explode with the news of VS2k8's release. For those of you that did not attend, when asked about the release date of VS2k8 all Ahmed said was the it was "soon." Little did we know that it was a few hours away!

Now then, on to the content. Microsoft labels changes to it's new releases as either "red bits" or "green bits", where red bits are potentially disruptive changes to classes and green bits are supposed to be non-disruptive changes. What this means is that red bits might/will most probably break your existing code and green bit aren't supposed to.

For Windows Server 2008, a fresh installation will have .NET Framework 2 and SP1 installed on it. When one applies the Application Server Role, .NET Framework 3.0 and SP1 are installed. When one runs a Window Update on that box, .NET Framework 3.5 will be installed.

The design goals for the new Visual Studio appear to be very UI/developer orientated. Despite what Louis said about one of the main focus points of the VB team was for a better "design experience", from what I saw the "design experience" for all languages have been significantly advanced. There are now "design surfaces" for virtually every part and facet of a project, so that mean almost no more editing by hand! Hooray! There is also now support for Vista Common Control in the MFC (Microsoft Foundation Classes for unmanaged code/C++,) apparently a major update for the "old" MFC. There are also enhancements to Microsoft's ClickOnce Deployment, with it now working correctly with Firefox and it also working through proxy servers.

For web developers, Visual Studio has been massively improved with a split pane view for editing web pages. Not a great improvement compared to the rest of the world, but quite a step for Microsoft. There have also been enhancements for HTML and CSS editing, as well as Intellisense for AJAX and Javascript. Basically, the Visual Studio team apparently culled a lot of elements from Expression Web Designer and stuffed them into Visual Studio.

As far as language enhancements go, there a plenty: improved data and language integration in VB and C#, multiple .NET framework support from within the IDE - 2, 3.0 and 3.5 - smarter Intellisense and, of course, LINQ just to name a few.

For all you developers out there that use unit tests, you might be glad to hear that unit tests are now included in all versions of Visual Studio Professional Edition (sorry Express Edition users.) Code performance and analysis, however, are only available in Team Editions.

Sunday, 18 November 2007


Hi all, and welcome to my tech blog.

I'm going to the Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Jumpstart DevChat in Bryanston, Johannesburg on Monday (19 November 2007.) Who knows, maybe I'll see some of you there...