Monthly Archives: June 2004

Open Containing Folder and Whidbey Features

I was in Perth a few weeks back and whilst there I had the opportunity to watch a presentation by Charles Sterling on what he likes in ASP.NET 2.0. Chuck showed some great stuff – although in my case – he was preaching to the converted, I fell in love with ASP.NET 2.0 over a year ago.

Anyway, tonight whilst sitting in my hotel room I got to thinking about all the little features that the folks in Redmond have put in to Visual Studio 2005 for us. Over the past week or so I have posted up a few bits and pieces that I have found, I thought I might take the time to post a few more of these and associate them with this category in .Text. Kind of a living list of my little finds. If you have one feel free to send me an e-mail at and I will post it up.

I’m doing this for a couple of reasons, firstly, my blog is my long-term memory, and I don’t want to forget about these little things. Secondly, its a nod of appreciation to all the PM’s, SDE’s and SDE/T’s over there putting this all together for us.

So – what is the feature I am going to talk about in this post? Well, its one that I picked up from Josh Ledgard’s latest post on the “Open Containing Folder” item on the context menu for document tabs in the IDE.

Pretty neat I thought. And something that I typically have a command-prompt over for all the time. Now I don’t have to bother.

P.S. Hang on – I said command-prompt, that opens a folder in Windows Explorer. Yep – thats right, it ties in to some of the changes that I am trying to make in my working habits. Instead of using the command-prompt I am going to start learning how to navigate the shell itself via the keyboard. One my colleagues (Martin Granell) can use Windows very effectively with a keyboard – it is truly a sight to behold.

Bill On: Eloquence of language

Oh come on Bill! I can’t really take this post seriously. You can’t really draw an conclusions about the readability of a programming language by the tags that are used to give it form and structure. Function … End Function may be very readable to you and I, but what if I was a programmer from one of those cultures that makes a “clicking” sound to communicate – I’ve seen it on Discovery, so it must be true.

The point is – its not necessarily primitve, its just different.

The Message Is The Domain Model

For the last couple of days I have been trying to mentally bridge the gap between message-orientated/ocassionally connected systems and domain models which I think will come back in a big way for .NET developers with the release of Whidbey. I then remembered a discussion I had had with some of the other folks from Readify that I was working with and we arrived at the consensus was that when it comes to validation we “validate the message”. So does that then mean that “the message is the domain model”.

I’m going to think about this some more.

Greg On: VB Beginners And Productivity

Greg seems to be in a C# bashing mood today. Personally, I am genetically predisposed to { } brackets, and it really is a personal preference which alot of people seem to forget I think. I don’t think choosing between C# and VB.NET for any given project is a hanging offense. The point that Greg makes is that VB.NET suffers from bad PR. I think that is true, VB is every bit as capable, if not more than any of the managed languages, but I would point out that if you keep going around calling yourself Basic then sooner or later people are going to start believing you 😛

The point is that we should all be mature enough to accept that there are lots of different programming languages out there, and lots of different people to use them. Then again – its no uncommon for older children to be jealous of younger siblings 🙂

string.Format(“Just my {0:c} worth.”, 0.02);

P.S. Greg – I haven’t seen any performance difference between VB.NET and C# Windows Forms designers, do you have a sample of a form with equivalent configurations that you can send me that exhibits this behaviour? It would be really interesting to understand what the cause is – because under the covers they both using the same component designer – maybe it is something to do with what goes into InitializeComponent() in C# like the event-wireups (pure speculation).

Rob on Hotel Internet Access

Rob has just had an all too common experience at hotels. Hotels in Australia generally don’t provide Internet access (Rob’s definition), so I don’t get excited by that bullet point on their brochure when they do list it as a feature. What really cracks me up is that after saying this provide Internet access which is revealed to be a PSTN phone point, they don’t even provide a cable! I always end up unplugging the cable going into the room phone.

Clippy calls “developer tools” home . . .

I was mucking around this morning writing a few little educational games for my daughter when all of a sudden (whilst debugging!) bloody clippy appears with a message “Hello, it looks like your writing a state machine”. I could tell it was clippy the old clippy due to the incorrect use of “your” and that fact that I WAS NOT writing a state machine.

I’m not quite sure what this means for Visual Studio 2005, but apparently after getting sacked from the Office team Clippy hung around Redmond and ended up landing a job in the developer tools division. I suspect that after finalising the implementation of the callouts, the debugger tools team went down to the back entrace and let Clippy in as I am sure campus security had probably been instructed to shoot on sight.

As a Visual Studio customer I would like to register a protest at Clippy being used in the product. Not only did he cause me serious emotional trauma when he destroyed carefully laid out product documentation whilst using word – it also indicates that Microsoft doesn’t think very highly of me. State machine indeed!