Moving my Videos to Channel9

Well, the migration is now complete – I’m posting my videos up at as well as on Vimeo for maximum coverage.  Here’s a list for those who are interested:

I encourage you to leave comments there, as well as here, and let me know what else you’d like to see from these How Do I video series!


Visual Studio 2010 Feature Pack and Power Tools

On Monday, June 7th Microsoft Released-to-Web (RTW) the first Visual Studio 2010 Feature Pack, Microsoft® Visual Studio® 2010 Visualization and Modeling Feature Pack, and the Visual Studio 2010 Productivity Powertools which provide Visual Studio 2010 customers with a bunch of new capabilities.

Here’s a summary of what these new features are:

Visual Studio 2010 Visualization and Modeling Feature Pack

Note: Visual Studio 2010 Feature Packs are limited to MSDN Subscribers and will be delivered via the MSDN Subscriber Downloads site. The Visualization and Modeling Feature Pack has a prerequisite for Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate.

  • Increased Visualization Support – In Visual Studio 2010, we have great visualization support for managed assemblies; however, we do not have any support for native developers, nor did we have first class support for Web projects or Web Sites developed inside Visual Studio. With this Feature Pack you now have some great functionality for both native and Web projects in Visual Studio 2010.
    • Visualize your native (C++) code
    • Visualize Web Application Projects, Web Sites, and ASP.NET MVC code
  • Increased UML Support – We received a lot of great feedback on the UML support that we have put in Visual Studio 2010. This Feature Pack delivers two frequently requested features: the ability to quickly populate the UML Model Store from code and the ability to generate code from the UML class diagram.
    • Code Generation from UML Class diagram
    • Rapid population of Modeling Store from Architecture Explorer
    • XMI 2.1 Import
    • Work Item to Model Element Back linking
  • Increased Support for Layer Diagram Extensibility – Extensibility for the layer diagram includes three major parts:
    • The ability to easily create command and gesture extensions for elements on a layer diagram, which mirrors the extension points for our UML diagrams
    • An API that allows you to work with layer model elements i.e. to read from and write to layer diagram models
    • An extension point and an API that supports the creation of custom layer validation rules, which enables you to
    • Hook into the layer validation engine invoked when the user clicks “Validate Architecture” (Note: this also works from the command line)
    • Read from and write to the graph that is used during validation analysis
    • Create validation errors that are logged to the error list

Visual Studio 2010 Productivity Power Tools (VS2010 Pro and above)

Note: Visual Studio 2010 Productivity Power Tools has a prerequisite for Visual Studio 2010 Professional or greater.

  • Document Tab Well – One of the key pieces of feedback that we have received over several versions of Visual Studio is that users want to be able to customize the behavior of their document tabs.  From the ordering of tabs to the position of the close buttons, user can now configure dozens of different options for their tabs. To configure this option, on the Tools menu, click Options -> Environment -> Document Tab Well to configure it as you prefer.
  • Extension Update – Provides a bubble tip when there are updated versions of the Pro Power Tools or any other extensions available on the Visual Studio Gallery. To try this experience, install this old version of the “Collapse Selection in Solution Explorer” extension and restart Visual Studio.
  • Highlight Current Line – As the resolution of monitors increases, it’s becoming more difficult to find the caret in the code editor. The Highlight Current Line extension makes it easy to find the caret by highlighting the line that the caret is on in the editor.  You can even configure the default color by changing the setting for “Current Line (Extension)” and “Current Line Inactive (Extension)” in Tools Options Fonts & Colors.
  • Add Reference Dialog – From the Solution Explorer or Navigator, right-click the References node, select Add Reference, and you will be presented with a fast, searchable and easy to understand Add Reference dialog.
  • HTML Copy – This extension provides support for the HTML Clipboard format when copying code from the editor. This means that you’ll no longer have to go fix up the formatting of your code when you paste it into a Team Foundation Server bug form or any other HTML based control.
  • Triple Click – It has never been easier to select a line of code from the mouse by simple triple-clicking anywhere on the line.
  • Fix Mixed Tabs – Some developers prefer tabs, others prefer spaces, and nobody likes mixing tabs & spaces. This extension promotes developer harmony by warning as they are open or save a file that has a mixture of tabs & spaces. The information bar also provides an easy way to fix the file to suit your preference.
  • Ctrl + Click Go To Definition – This extension gives the editor a web browser by adding clickable hyperlinks to symbols in your code as you hold down the Ctrl key.
  • Align Assignments – This extension improves code readability by aligning the assignments when you type Ctrl+Alt+] such that it takes this:

    And turns it into this:

Note: This may conflict with your formatting settings. For example, in C# you will need to disable the Ignore spaces in declaration statements option: Tools->Options->Text Editor->C#->Formatting->Spacing->”Ignore spaces in declaration statements”

  • Move Line Up/Down Commands – This extension maps the Alt+Up Arrow & Alt+Down Arrow keys such that they will move the current line of code or the selected lines up and down through the editor.
  • Column Guides – Since Visual Studio.NET 2002, an undocumented Registry key enables users to draw a vertical line in the code editor. This is very useful to remind developers that their full line of code or comments may not fit one a single screen. Thanks to this extension this feature has returned with UI configure it.
  • Colorized Parameter Help – This extension improves consistency with the editor by applying syntax highlighting to the contents of the Parameter Help window for C# & Visual Basic.NET.
Events, General

Silverlight 4 Launching at DevConnections

Annouced on MSDN this morning, Scott Guthrie will be announcing the release of Silverlight 4 to the web at the upcoming DevConnections event in Las Vegas!


If you haven�t already signed up for DevConnections, here�s some additional incentive (from the website):

The first 100 to sign up between 3/23-3/29 will get a free Zune HD and a $25 discount on your registration! Make sure to enter "ZUNE" in the Coupon Code field when registering to be eligible for this promotion** Winners will be notified via email with instructions for pick up at the launch event.

Now, more than ever, is the time for you to make your investments in learning Silverlight.  The power of what Silverlight gives you over the web, plus the cross-over to WPF and recently announced inclusion in Windows Phone 7 Series platform makes Silverlight a very compelling technology.

Arkansas, Development, Events, Oklahoma, Texas, ugMIX

ugMIX 2010 Tour Started


Did you get to attend MIX 2010?  If so, I know you found it to be full of great information about our latest and greatest web technologies, and gave you some great insight into where some of our tools and technologies are headed.

But what if you didn�t get to go?  You could navigate your way through 141+ hours of content on the web site and try to pull out some of the more important nuggets (and I think you ultimately should) but that would take at least 90 hours (presuming you watch all the video on 1.5 speed in Windows Media Player having downloaded all the content the weekend before you started watching).

Another option is to attend a ugMIX event in your area.  Popular all across Microsoft�s Central Region, ugMIX is a highlight-reel of the top stories to come from MIX 2010 focusing on the key messages for developers.  Each district, and potentially each speaker, is doing something different, but all of us agree that MIX was a really important conference this year and one you should definitely catch up on.

For my part, I�ve just completed 2 of my 4 currently scheduled ugMIX talks, one at the Dallas ASP.NET user group and one at the Fort Worth .NET User Group.  I�ll be in Tulsa on Monday to bring MIX to them, and if you�re interested, we can make arrangements for me to bring it to you (see note at bottom of post).

Here�s the outline of what my version of ugMIX showcases:

  • OData � a uniform way for sharing your data across organizational boundaries, the OData is your data over REST.  We�ll show what OData is, how you use it, and write some code to consume it. WPhone_vr_rgb
  • Windows Phone 7 Series � A new phone, designed for a life in motion. Calling all Silverlight developers – we�ll look at the phone design, specs and philosophy while writing some code using the free development environment (which includes a FREE express version of the Blend 4 Beta with Windows Phone 7 Series support)!
  • Silverlight 4 � Overview of what�s new in the Silverlight 4 RC and show some cool code demos of those new features in action.
  • Internet Explorer 9 Platform Preview � interested in where IE9 is heading? I�ll show you the IE9 Platform Preview, released at MIX 2010, as we discuss the team�s plans for supporting HTML5, CSS3, in-line SVG graphics and hardware-acceleration in the browser.

I�ve shared a copy of my slide deck if you want to get a head start, but I can�t share all my demos at this time, unfortunately�  I can provide other links, though, to help you get started on this amazing new platform!

I look forward to seeing you at the next ugMIX!

Note: this offer good only in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, UK, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Japan. 😉

Arkansas, Development, Events

#ugPDC visits Northwest Arkansas

ugPDC Attention all you peeps in Ft. Smith, Fayetteville, Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale and surrounding areas!  Tonight and tomorrow night are the first parts of my 2010 #ugPDC tour.  Visiting the FSDNUG tonight and the NWADNUG tomorrow night, I�ll be talking about a bunch of the cool stuff announced at PDC09 including Azure, Silverlight 4, Visual Studio 2010, parallel programming features, dynamic language features, and more!  Here�s the info for each of these groups so you have absolutely no excuse to skip out!

January 11, 2010 – Fort Smith .NET User Group
EagleOne Headquarters
4001 Planters Rd. Fort Smith, AR 72908
Meeting starts at 6:00 pm.  Food will be provided

January 12, 2010 � Northwest Arkansas .NET User Group
Jones Center For Families
922 East Emma Avenue, Springdale, AR 72764
Meeting starts at 5:30 pm.  Food will be provided

There are more #ugPDC visits scheduled for next month, including the Fort Worth .NET User Group and the Dallas ASP.NET User Group.  If you�re interested in having one of our Developer Evangelists come out to your User Group during January, February or March to tell you about all the cool, new and exciting things announced at PDC, just drop me a line and let me know!