Bill Blogs in C# -- Visual Studio 2013

Bill Blogs in C# -- Visual Studio 2013

Created: 3/3/2014 3:21:46 PM

I’m excited to be speaking at DevIntersection in Orlando next month. I’ve got three different talks at this conference.

One for the current wave of tools you already have:

Navigating large codebases using Visual Studio 2013

Visual Studio 2013 adds many new features that can help you learn and explore large codebases. That's important now because more of our time is spent integrating open source libraries and working on long-lived and large codebases. In this session, we'll explore a popular Open Source library using these new features. You'll learn techniques that will take you from confused n00b to experienced ninja in less time than ever before.

There’s one for the wave of technology that’s being released:

Getting Started with Visual Studio Online

The Visual Studio Online services provides a single point for managing source, project data, team collaboration, and deployment information about your project. This session provides an overview of how you can use these tools to manage personal projects with the same tools and processes you use for your professional work. Best of all, it's at a much lower price than many competitive tools.

And, there’s one that’s more forward looking:

An Introduction to the Roslyn APIs

The next version of C# and VB will be built on Roslyn, a new set of APIs that you can use to explore and modify the code in your applications. In this session, you'll learn about the Roslyn architecture and what you can do with Roslyn extensions. You'll learn the basics of a new world where you can explore and modify your code programmatically.

Overall, there are more than 200 great sessions from the industry leaders and experts you’ve come to rely on.

In addition to the regular sessions, there are pre-conference and post-conference workshops you can attend.  And, if you include at least one workshop in your registration, you get your choice of a free Surface 2, or XBOX ONE.


Created: 2/27/2014 5:15:32 PM

Yesterday, TypeScript 1.0 RC was released as part of the Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 CTP. This announcement is significant for several reasons.

It’s an important language milestone. A Release Candidate means the major development for the first version of the language is completed. Now, the remaining work is to ensure the first release of the language meets the necessary quality bars. For organizations that were watching TypeScript, but didn’t want to jump in too early and cope with the kinds of changes early adopters accept, this milestone removes a barrier. If that’s you, it’s time to leap in.

This new release marks the integration of TypeScript into the main Visual Studio toolset. It’s being delivered as part of a regular Visual Studio update. According to Soma, TypeScript will ship with VS 2013 Update 2. Yes, if you have Visual Studio 2013 (above express), you’ll have TypeScript soon. That’s another reason to consider TypeScript adoption: It’s going to be part of the standard, delivered toolset for .NET developers.

The more I learn TypeScript, the more impressed I am with the features and the design of the language. It extends JavaScript in several useful ways. I’m more productive in TypeScript than I am in plain old JavaScript. And being more productive means I get more done in less time. That’s always a good thing.

Created: 2/26/2014 4:12:27 PM

And, it’s really an improvement.

If you spend much time working with the .NET Framework, and you really want to know how the framework libraries do what they do, you probably spent some time with the reference source browser. The more time went on, the more you hated that experience. The site was quite dated, the source was out of date, and the experience was so last decade.

Most of us spent our time with some decompiler disassembling the libraries that were delivered to your machine.

Well, there’s now a much better experience again. The .NET Framework team has a released a new look for the reference source browser. It’s a *huge* improvement over the previous version. It’s easier to navigate. The browsing, searching, and navigation features are all improved. Since getting access to this tool, I’ve spent much less time in decompiler tools. This experience is just great.

You can learn more about the new reference source browser from this blog post, and this Channel 9 video.

To get the most out of this new experience, you should also install Ref12, an extension that redirects the F12 key to the reference source for symbols defined in the .NET Framework. Hat tip to Schabse Laks for this extension.

Addendum:  There is still some controversy over the license of the reference source for the .NET framework. I’m not a lawyer, and I don’t understand all the issues involved. However, I have read the updated license, and it is getting more open. That’s not to say perfect, but it is more open.

Current Projects

I create content for .NET Core. My work appears in the .NET Core documentation site. I'm primarily responsible for the section that will help you learn C#.

All of these projects are Open Source (using the Creative Commons license for content, and the MIT license for code). If you would like to contribute, visit our GitHub Repository. Or, if you have questions, comments, or ideas for improvement, please create an issue for us.

I'm also the president of Humanitarian Toolbox. We build Open Source software that supports Humanitarian Disaster Relief efforts. We'd appreciate any help you can give to our projects. Look at our GitHub home page to see a list of our current projects. See what interests you, and dive in.

Or, if you have a group of volunteers, talk to us about hosting a codeathon event.