Scott Hanselman

Visual Studio 2010 Released

April 12, '10 Comments [114] Posted in ASP.NET | ASP.NET MVC | Learning .NET | Microsoft | MSDN | Spotlight | VS2010 | Windows Client | WPF
Sponsored By

It's a big day at Microsoft today as Visual Studio 2010 officially releases. There's a lot going on with this release and I thought I'd do a big rollup post with lots of details and context to help you find your way to the information and downloads you're looking for.

Visual Studio 2010 and .NET 4

Download Visual Studio 2010

First, if you want it, go download Visual Studio 2010 now. If you're an MSDN Subscriber or WebSiteSpark/BizSpark member, you can download the final release now. If not, you can download a free trial or one of the free Express editions.

I'm running the free Visual Web Developer 2010 Express on my netbook. You can install ASP.NET 4, ASP.NET MVC 2, and Visual Web Developer 2010 Express really quickly with the Web Platform Installer.

There's an excellent page on MSDN that's cherry-picked and categorized the best VS2010 content, but I've included my own list below.

What's new in Visual Studio 2010 and .NET 4?

Buttloads. Here's the things I'm digging most.

Also, there's a FREE e-Book called "Moving to Visual Studio 2010" that you might want to check out. It's an excerpt of a larger book that'll be coming from MSPress later this summer. It takes a interesting approach as it has three parts, moving from VS2003, moving from VS2005, and moving from VS2008. It's clever, actually. You start in the book on the version that you're currently on. If you're not familiar with versions like VS2008, you start at the beginning. Otherwise, you jump ahead. When you're done, you're ready to move to VS2010.

MSDN and Visual Studio 2010

When a new product launches, MSDN launches with updates and new features of its own. Here's a few things the folks at MSDN have been doing to support the launch.

  • Better MSDN Search - Most people likely use a search engine to search MSDN, but if you do search from within MSDN, there are a number of new improvements. You can refine by source, saying only search blogs, or only search the library. There's also an OpenSearch provider so you can search the MSDN Library directly from within Windows itself.
    XDocument - Search Results in MSDN
    MSDN Search also includes Metadata from the results to help you find right thing. For example, if a search turns up a CodePlex project, I can see type-specific details within search results:
    MSDN Search
  • MSDN Subscriber Downloads Improvements - There's been lots of UX improvements including as-you-type filtering as well as filtering by platform (x64, etc) and language. I will very likely not need to download Quechua Windows, so now I don't need to see it.
  • MSDN Library in Lightweight and ScriptFree - You can choose between three flavors of MSDN Library, Classic (the one with the treeview on the side), Lightweight (what I use) or ScriptFree. ScriptFree is great for mobile devices, and it's lightning fast anywhere. Lightweight is the new default and I like it because it features community annotations made to the library prominently on the left side as well as a tabbed interface for code sample languages. I blogged a preview of this work last year and included some charts and graphs showing the improvements in speed worldwide.
    XmlNode Class (System.Xml) - Windows Internet Explorer
  • Integration of all VS sites - There were too many developer "centers" on MSDN and folks were getting lost. Many centers have been conflated into a clearer, more logical layout. The Visual Studio, Team System, and VS Extensibility Centers were merged into the single Visual Studio Center. There's a lot more focus on discoverability in the Visual Studio Center.
  • Video Improvements - There's thousands of How Do I? videos on MSDN and they tell me they are improving the backend, the player and the metadata around them. The player is larger now, you can share videos from MSDN on your favorite social networking site, rate them, leave comments, and explore related videos.
  • Profile Activities - User Profiles are integrated between sites and you can see your activity and points as you move through the system. For example, here's Arnie Rowland's profile. You can see his activity in the forums and galleries as well as his ranking and points as a community contributor.

Other Cool Stuff Happening Today

I'd hate to have this little nugget get buried in the deluge of VS2010 goodness.

  • Microsoft Surface Logo The Surface Toolkit for Windows Touch BETA goes out today. Check out http://www.surface.com under Technical Resources and the Surface Blog for more details. This toolkit is a set of controls and sample code that let WPF developers create cool multi-touch enabled experiences with the cool "Surfacey" controls that the only folks with Big Ass Tables have been able to use. This is exceedingly cool because it not only makes it WPF devs can make better multi-touch apps for Windows Touch PCs but it acts as a jump-start for the next version of Microsoft Surface. It will integrate with Visual Studi0 2010 and give you new project and item templates and a dozen new controls like the ScatterView and SurfaceInkCanvas. This is a cool thing, so I'll be talking about it soon, as will Pete Brown.

Lots of great stuff going on today. Have fun!

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

facebook twitter subscribe
About   Newsletter
Sponsored By
Hosting By
Dedicated Windows Server Hosting by SherWeb

Spring Speaking Rollup 2010: Recent Talks and Upcoming Talks at Microsoft WebCamps

April 9, '10 Comments [13] Posted in ASP.NET | ASP.NET Ajax | ASP.NET MVC | Channel9 | Microsoft | Programming | Speaking | Windows Client | WPF
Sponsored By

DevDays and TechDays

I've been travelling some, and I have a few more trips at Microsoft WebCamps before I take a much needed break and stop travelling until 2011.

I went to Munich, Cairo, and Dubai a few weeks back and presented on ASP.NET MVC (both Beginner and Advanced), .NET 4 in general, Making Your Blog Suck Less, and Information Overload. I presented at Mix 10 on Web Development and Security with Phil Haack.

Last week I was in Belgium and The Netherlands and gave some talks as well.

I thought it would be nice to put all my recent talks in one place. So, here's some video recordings of some of my recent talks. I hope you enjoy watching them as much as I did giving them.

ASP.NET MVC 2: Basics/Introduction

Join Scott Hanselman as he explains ASP.NET MVC from File -> New Project. We’ll dig into the details and try to put MVC into perspective. Is WebForms going away? What’s better about MVC vs. WebForms? How does MVC sit on top of ASP.NET and how was it written? We’ll play with call stacks, and avoid PowerPoint slides! This is an introduction to ASP.NET, but it’s not a “basic” session. We assume you have some web development concepts or perhaps you’re a professional ASP.NET WebForms developers who is just starting out with ASP.NET MVC.

ASP.NET MVC 2: Basics

Lap Around .NET 4

In this session, Scott Hanselman gives a deep and broad tour of the .NET 4 release, with a focus on making your development experience easier. See lots of demos (and very few slides) showcasing the key new features in the .NET Framework 4 including MEF, improvements in ASP.NET, threading, multi-core and parallel extensions, additions to the base classes, changes and additions to the CLR and DLR, what's new for the languages (Visual Basic and C#), and of course, what's new in Windows Presentation Foundation and System.Web. Come and see how all these new features and capabilities improve your overall .NET experience!

image 

Information Overload and Managing the Flow: Effectiveness and Efficiency

This talk is/was a mashup of the various techniques that I try to apply in my everyday life. There's a little GTD, a little Covey, a little Pomodoro, a little Jon Udell, a little 43 Folders, a little Merlin Mann, a little Gina Trapani, and a little Hanselman. I also show some of the tools I used to manage the flow of information in my life. I hope you enjoy it. I'm  pretty happy with the way it turned out, given that I was freaking out about it for a week.

image

Trip Montage - If this is Tuesday, this must be Cairo.

This isn't a talk as it's a "trip montage." I went to Munich, Cairo and Dubai. I presented in three keynotes and did a total of 10 sessions. I crossed 12 time zones and missed my kids. I talked to/with/at about 3000 people. 
I took some video while I was travelling with my Creative Vado HD and slapped it into Windows Live Movie Maker just now. Here's my trip montage. You could call this either "The Glamorous Life of a Technical Speaker" or "If this is Tuesday, this must be Cairo" or "Scott needs to learn to say No."

Web Deployment Made Awesome: If you're using XCopy, you're doing it wrong.

If you typically deploy your web applications using Windows Explorer and Aero Snap, please stop. Come see a practical session on the new deployment goodness in Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4. We dig into Web Deploy (a.k.a. MSDeploy) and deployment from within Visual Studio 2010. Is deployment a chore? I say, nay, nay. Let's learn how to package up web apps, deploy them, their settings and component parts easily. We start with the basics and ramp it up quickly, exploring custom database providers and advanced techniques.

    WEB DEPLOYMENT MADE AWESOME: IF YOU'RE USING XCOPY, YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG

    The Haaha Show: Microsoft ASP.NET MVC Security With Haack and Hanselman

    Join Phil Haack and Scott Hanselman for this dynamic and unusual security session. The HaaHa brothers take turns implementing features on an ASP.NET MVC website. Scott writes a feature, and Phil exploits it and hacks into the system. We analyze and discuss the exploits live on stage and then close them one by one. Learn about XSS, CSRF, JSON Hijacking and more. Is *your* site safe from the Haack?

    THE HAAHA SHOW: MICROSOFT ASP.NET MVC SECURITY WITH HAACK AND HANSELMAN 

    Beyond File | New Company: From Cheesy Sample To Social Platform

    The web has changed and there's a new way of thinking about your applications. You can't just write some HTML and CSS anymore and expect to be the next Twitter. Hear how to make your site socially relevant in the new decade (the '10s?) This session includes everything from Microsoft ASP.NET MVC2, to Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) and OData, JSON services and blog flair, microformats, and leverage ASP.NET and Microsoft Silverlight to create rich user experiences. Let's stop messing around and start changing the world. Or at least giving Nerds a place to eat dinner.

    BEYOND FILE | NEW COMPANY: FROM CHEESY SAMPLE TO SOCIAL PLATFORM

    ASP.NET MVC 2: Ninjas Still on Fire Black Belt Tips

    Having the customer on your back to deliver features on time and under budget with tight deadlines can make you feel like you’re being chased by ninjas on fire. Join Scott Hanselman and he’ll walk through lots of tips and tricks to get the most out of the ASP.NET MVC 2 framework and deliver work quickly and with style. Come see ASP.NET MVC 2’s better productivity features as we make the most of several key features.

    image

    Also, next month I'll be in Beijing, Shanghai and Sydney speaking at a different kind of event, the Microsoft Web Camps. These are not 1 hour presentations where we talk at you, but two days of technical content and labs. It's slower paced and deeper than a conference presentation. There will be WebCamps all over the world:

    Toronto May 07-08 Moscow May 19-19
    Beijing May 21-22 Shanghai May 24-25
    Mountain View May 27-28 Sydney May 28-29
    Singapore June 04-05 London June 04-05
    Munich June 07-08 Chicago June 11-12
    Redmond, WA June 18-19 New York June 25-26

    Hope to see you there.

    Webcamps China

    Enjoy.

    About Scott

    Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

    facebook twitter subscribe
    About   Newsletter
    Sponsored By
    Hosting By
    Dedicated Windows Server Hosting by SherWeb

    Programmatically Detecting Screen Readers

    March 25, '10 Comments [4] Posted in Programming | Windows Client
    Sponsored By

    Tree View

    I was installing the RC of Visual Studio 2010 yesterday and while the setup program ran I noticed the words CHECKED and UNCHECKED appearing in the Tree View.

    I was thinking I'd found some cool bug, like I was peering into some background world where checkboxes announce their state with text or something. I dunno, it was late, don't judge! ;)

    I asked a few people and someone said to to see if I was running a Screen Reader. Screen Readers are what the visually impaired use to find their way around interfaces. It's no at bug at all, it's helping me.

    I ran a little program based on this chunk of code found here. I started using the structures found at PInvoke.NET but they were overkill. I didn't need six pages of constants.

    [DllImport("user32.dll")]
    static extern bool SystemParametersInfo(int iAction, int iParam, out bool bActive, int iUpdate);

    public static bool IsScreenReaderActive()
    {
    int iAction = 70; // SPI_GETSCREENREADER constant;
    int iParam = 0;
    int iUpdate = 0;
    bool bActive = false;
    bool bReturn = SystemParametersInfo(iAction, iParam, out bActive, iUpdate);
    return bReturn && bActive;
    }

    static void Main(string[] args)
    {
    bool retVal = IsScreenReaderActive();
    }

    Scandalously, the result was true. What? I am running a screen reader? Um, no.

    Well, actually, yes. I give lots of presentations, sometimes just to one person looking over my shoulder so I run the Windows 7 Magnifier via the WinKey and PLUS hotkey. When the Windows Magnifier is running, I'm running a Screen Reader in that I'm running an accessibility assistant.

    Interesting stuff. I like it when applications are paying attention and helping with accessibility.

    About Scott

    Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

    facebook twitter subscribe
    About   Newsletter
    Sponsored By
    Hosting By
    Dedicated Windows Server Hosting by SherWeb

    WPF and Text Blurriness, now with complete Clarity

    March 9, '10 Comments [25] Posted in VS2010 | Windows Client | WPF
    Sponsored By

    shanselman - Evernote The #1 complaint I hear about WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) is that many fonts end up looking "blurry." It's a darned shame because really great applications like Evernote get criticized because of this one issue*.

    The blurriness happens on .NET 3.5 and below because WPF's graphics system is "device independent" so rendering happens independent of resolution. It makes apps DPI-aware for free and scales them nicely. Unfortunately MOST people are running on 96dpi screens and that's where you'd expect clarity. You can get around this 90% of the time today using SnapsToDevicePixels when appropriate, but it wasn't automatic and it's subtle.

    The good news is that with .NET 4 this is totally fixed. You can see with with the .NET 4 RC (Release Candidate) and VS2010, which uses WPF for much of its own rendering. Additionally, a check-in in a recent milestone makes things even clearer with light text on a dark background.

    From the WPF Text Blog:

    "With this fixed, WPF is not technically pixel perfect with GDI text rendering, but the difference is indiscernible to the naked eye."

    So how indiscernible?

    UPDATE: A little confusion about this in the comments. Folks feel very strongly about this stuff, understandably. Just like color blindness, some people are sensitive to this stuff and others "can't see it." One person in the blogs didn't like go for "indiscernible" and showed a screenshot. Here's the deal. If you are running VS2010 RC, you don't have this fix. This will be in the RTM. Here's a 100% screenshot, followed by the zoomed in version. The takeaway is this. If you didn't like the rendering before, you will now. This is/was some subtle stuff, but it's indiscernible in the RTM, so be happy! I took the screenshot from a daily build, not the actual RTM, which hasn't happened yet.

    image

    Blown up:

    image

    Click on these side-by-side images from the WPF Text Blog to enlarge and compare. VS2008 with GDI rendering is on the left and VS2010 (a post RC-build) with this fix is on the right. Of course, the release of .NET 4 will have this fix.

    White Background Dark Background

    In the comments on the WPF Text Blog, Rick Brewster, the author of Paint.NET suggests that we can really analyze these images using an XOR in Paint.NET.

    I've done just that here, taking the dark text on a white background and XORing it. Then, for visibility, I've inverted the result. This shows just the differences in pixels between the two rendering paths. Can't see much? That's the point.

    XOR and Inverted Text between the GDI and WPF rendering paths in VS2010 and .NET 4 WPF

    To quote from the WPF Blog comments: "If you can’t tell a difference between the screenshots of VS2008 and VS2010, then you should not be able to tell the difference between GDI and another WPF app."

    Also, note that this applies to all WPF apps on .NET 4. It's a general fix that's not VS2010 specific. Enjoy. I'll be happy when this is out and everyone's using it, including my favorite WPF app, Evernote.

    * I don't know anyone at Evernote, I'm just a fan and I read the comments on their blog. I speak only for me on this issue.

    About Scott

    Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

    facebook twitter subscribe
    About   Newsletter
    Sponsored By
    Hosting By
    Dedicated Windows Server Hosting by SherWeb

    Video Trip Report: If this is Tuesday, this must be Cairo

    March 6, '10 Comments [11] Posted in ASP.NET | ASP.NET Ajax | ASP.NET MVC | Channel9 | Screencasts | Speaking | TechEd | Windows Client
    Sponsored By

    image

    This last week over a 7 day period, I went to Munich, Cairo and Dubai. I presented in three keynotes and did a total of 10 sessions. I crossed 12 time zones and missed my kids. I talked to/with/at about 3000 people.

    I'm utterly shattered.

    I took some video while I was travelling with my Creative Vado HD and slapped it into Windows Live Movie Maker just now. Here's my trip montage.

    You could call this either "The Glamourous Life of a Technical Speaker" or "If this is Tuesday, this must be Cairo" or "Scott needs to learn to say No."

    It was great fun, I spoke at VSOne in Munich. I talked about .NET 4 and ASP.NET MVC. We also had a nice Nerd Dinnner. Then I headed over to Cairo Code Camp and the turnout was HUGE. Something like 700-800 folks showed up at the German University in Cairo. I also recorded a great podcast on Women in Technology in the Muslim World. Then I headed to Dubai for TechEd Middle East where I presented in three sessions and did the keynote demo for Soma. It's always a challenge for me to travel because of my diabetes, particularly because of the time zones but also sitting for 16 hours at a time in a plane and eating plane food is a problematic. However, I must say that everyone on this trip was incredibly kind and accommodating.

    If you have the chance to go to Munich, Cairo, and/or Dubai, I highly recommend it. The people, the places and the technologists are all top-notch.

    Enjoy.

    P.S. Thanks to http://blog.bloggingitloud.com/ for the guerilla footage of the TechEdME Keynote.

    About Scott

    Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

    facebook twitter subscribe
    About   Newsletter
    Sponsored By
    Hosting By
    Dedicated Windows Server Hosting by SherWeb
    Previous Page Page 2 of 14 in the Windows Client category Next Page

    Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.