Feb 6th Links: ASP.NET, ASP.NET AJAX, Visual Studio, .NET, WPF

Here is the latest in my link-listing series.  Also check out my ASP.NET Tips, Tricks and Tutorials page for links to popular articles I've done myself in the past.


  • .NET Debugging Demos Lab: Tess Ferrandez, who is an ASP.NET escalation engineer for Microsoft support and who also posts incredible articles on the art of debugging production ASP.NET applications, has started a new tutorial series that provides a sample "buggy" application and a series of questions/problems you can work through to learn how to debug problem applications in production environments.
  • 4 Alternative View Engines for ASP.NET MVC: The open source MvcContrib project has been adding lots of cool goodness on top of the ASP.NET MVC Framework.  Jeffrey Palermo posts about 4 alternative view rendering engines now in the project that you can use if you don't want to use the default .aspx based view engine.  BTW - I'll be doing a new post on ASP.NET MVC within the next week talking about some of the cool new features coming soon with the next refresh. 


  • Boost ASP.NET Performance with Deferred Content Loading: Dave Ward continues his great articles on ASP.NET AJAX.  This article talks about how you can improve the perceived load-time of a page by using an AJAX callback to retrieve HTML content once the page loads on the client.  This approach is similar to the one I wrote about in my tip/trick post here.

Visual Studio

  • Visual Studio 2008 Product Comparison: Several people have sent me email in the past asking for a page that describes the differences between the various Visual Studio 2008 editions (Standard, Professional, Visual Studio Team System, etc).  This link is useful to bookmark if you want to learn more about this.
  • Did you know...You can Shift+ESC to close a tool window: Sara Ford continues her excellent "Did you know..." VS 2008 tips and tricks series.  I confess I didn't know this one.  One productivity tip I always recommend is to really learn the keyboard shortcuts of your development tool environment well - since using them over time can yield significant productivity savings.  Click here to download a VB 2008 key bindings poster, or click here to download the C# 2008 key bindings poster equivalent.  Print them out and put them under your pillow to absorb them while you sleep.


  • The Power of Yield: Joshua Flanagan has a nice article on one of the coolest, yet underused, feature of C# in .NET 2.0 - which is the yield keyword.  This is a very powerful feature that enables you to efficiently work with IEnumerable scenarios and enable deferred iteration (LINQ leverages this heavily with .NET 3.5).  To master C# even more, I also highly recommend the new C# 3.0 In a Nutshell book (I posted a 5 star review of it on Amazon).


  • Making VS 2008 Open in XAML Mode By Default: Matthias Shapiro has a nice post that shows how you can configure VS 2008 to by default load WPF files in XAML mode instead of design-mode.  A very useful shortcut if your natural inclination is to work directly with XAML markup.
  • How can I debug WPF bindings? Beatriz Costa from the Microsoft WPF team has a great post that talks about tips/tricks you can use to better identify "what went wrong" when a databinding expression fails with WPF.
  • Programming WPF and Windows Presentation Foundation Unleashed: If you would like to learn WPF (especially now that there is project and designer support for it in VS 2008), I recommend these two books by Chris Sells and Adam Nathan.  Both are excellent resources to use to learn from.

Hope this helps,



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