25. March 2010 19:00
Thanks to a tweet from @scottgu I found out that a number of extra seats were available at Guathon 2010 in Glasgow. With a registered place and a list minute flight I was looking forward to finding out more about some of the new stuff in VS 2010, .Net 4.0 and Silverlight.
Overall it was an excellent day and well worth the flight over. There are so many new IDE enhancements designed to improve developer productivity – here are a few that stood out for me:
- Vastly improved intellisense (for the correct version of the .Net framework that you are using)
- Loads of new code snippets – especially useful on the web to save you typing in all the text required for a web control (e.g. typing button will intellisense to a code snippet for all the code required for an ASP.Net button)
- When debugging you can now pin ‘watches’ so that you don’t have to keep hovering over a variable to see its value
- ALT selecting of text – allows you to select an area of text much the same way as the ‘mark’ feature works in a command window.
Some other notable things:
- ASP.Net 4 gives you full control of a web control’s client id via the ClientIDMode property (thank you!)
- The markup emitted by web controls is much cleaner (i.e. no tables). But note that any upgraded web projects will not do this by default for backwards compatibility reasons (there is a setting in the web.config to change this)
- If you work on public facing web sites then you will love the IIS SEO Toolkit
- I was very impressed with the new DataAnnotation validation features. Read more about it here. This is not just for MVC 2 apps, but can be used in any type of app. By defining validation rules in the model we can have more consistent validation. Changes to validation rules only have to be made in one place reducing the risk of a rule change causing problems.
- Deployment is much better – if you deploy to development or staging environments then web.config transforms will make your life easier and save you from manually editing the configs after deployment. There is support for publishing SQL databases (as a script with or without data). But best of all VS 2010 allows you to package a full web application as a zip file which can be imported into IIS. This package can contain the application settings, ACLs, SQL database and the application itself. I think this will be very useful.
Scott spent time talking about MVC 2 and Silverlight 4 and gave some impressive demos on both. The Windows 7 Phone demo stood out for me – I really want to spend more time with Silverlight 4 – it looks fantastic for developing phone apps.