April 2004 - Posts
Sean or Scott or someone at Early Adopter is rightfully worried that we will not see refactoring support for VB in Whidbey.
The story I heard at PDC was that the lack of refactoring is a direct trade-off with edit & continue. The VB team chose E&C, the C# team chose refactoring. I've sort of been assuming that C# will get E&C next time around and VB will get refactoring. Presumedly the C# team will benefit more from the VB team's E&C work than the VB team will benefit from the C# teams' refactoring work.
I have heard nothing to make me believe that VB refactoring will show up in Visual Studio 2005 on par with C#, but I'll still wait with bated breath because the majority of the code I've written in the past two years has been VB + ASPX. One feature that is in the March 2004 Community Preview is symbolic rename (i.e., right-click on a variable/method/etc and select Rename, supply a new name, click OK, and VS renames all uses of that identifier without screwing up other code).
To be honest, the lack of refactoring and the lack of E&C for ASP.NET makes VB8 only marginally better for Web development than VB7 (2003). Meanwhile, the new refactoring support in Whidbey makes C# more attractive to work with in general (I can feel my rightmost finger preparing itself already;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;). I really do not miss E&C style programming but I do yearn for good refactoring support. (Note: the real benefit in 2005 for Web developers is in the many new features in ASP.NET 2.0).
I have not done much research into alternative VB refactoring tools. I've heard of some under development but haven't seen any yet. If you know of one, please leave a comment.
This post is mostly a reminder to myself to go revisit this sample in a few weeks:
The 3 Leaf Early Adopter blog, formerly a Radio blog (Early & Adopter, aka Sean & Scott) with an ugly URL, is now at a nice URL for those days when you want to read something but don't dare open your aggregator for fear of the firehose. It's http://ea.3leaf.com - easy enough to even remember. Syndication at http://ea.3leaf.com/index.rdf.
If you have never heard of 3 Leaf before, poke around their Web site at http://www.3leaf.com. They are some of the best people I have ever worked with and very passionate about creating great technical content. Check out the Portfolio section of the site, especially the Resources by 3 Leaf.
Almost every program I use daily has a status bar - some I look at more than others. I am part of the throng that watches it when hovering over links in IE, which makes me curse __DoPostBack...
From Paul Vick's blog:
But what this really makes me think of is a usability test they did on Access one day to see how effective text placed in the status bar was. The test went like this: the user was given some task to do in Access. Unbeknownst to them, we'd stuck a message in the status bar that read “If you notice this message and tell the usability lead, we will give you $15.” Want to guess how many people got the $15? Zero. After that, we were careful not to put any important information down in the status bar, because it was 100% likely that no one would ever see it.
I am going to be in Toronto for some Regional Director stuff just before VS Live next week. I fly out around 5pm on Tuesday. I have a 12:30 meeting but otherwise I am free on Tuesday. If anyone is in the area for VS Live or just lives near Mississauga and wants to get together, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Maybe a dev/geek breakfast or something.
If anything gets planned, I'll post details here.
I'm going to miss VS Live in Toronto next week even though I will already be in Toronto Saturday to Tuesday. My company, Ardent Development, is one of two finalists for the New Brunswick Knowledge Industry Recognition Award (KIRA) for Most Promising Start-up. Very exciting for us but I'm also disappointed that the KIRA banquet is smack in the middle of VS Live. Oh well.
You can still use my priority code, 'DEREK', to get a 10% discount when you register. You can register online at www.vslive.com/to.
If you are interested in doing some basic HTML parsing to populate a database of products, send me a message via my blog contact page.
It would be an easy little side project or a good exercise for a programming student. Probably 12 hours of work total.
What is the proper name for the declarative language used in an ASPX file? I tend to refer to it simply as “markup.” Some people call it HTML but it is obviously much more than HTML. Is it “ASP.NET markup?”
It strikes me as odd that we have a well-known name for a declarative language still under development, XAML, but nothing commonplace for the heavily used declarative language in ASPX files.