Saturday, 26 September 2009

The latest news from .Net world (September 2009)

On the very last meeting of Poznan .Net User Group I had a great pleasure to give 15 minutes talk about the latest news from .Net world. Picking the most interesting news isn't a trivial task. In the end I've decided to mention about following three topics:


Visual Studio 2010 and .Net 4

This was quite straightforward choice, new versions of VS and .Net Framework affects everyone so it's good to know what new features will are about to arrive. Probably the best source of information from this field is ScootGu's blog. Recently he posted series of post about VS 2010 and .Net 4.

Just to quickly name a few the most notable:
  • .Net Framework 4 and VS 2010 can be installed side by side with older versions.
  • a bunch of language improvements (C#) like: dynamic keyword, named and optional parameters, covariance, better COM support. Named and optional parameters is a long awaited feature, unfortunately it has some limitations - basically you can't assign to a parameter default value which is not compile-time constant.
  • web.config files will be greatly simplified
  • VS 2010 will have much more project templates available. It will be possible to start with completely clean project but also with simple application having the most basic features included (master page, forms authentication pages, JQuery etc.). Interesting is that new sample project are already using
    • clean client side Id (no more Ids like: ctl00_topLevelNavigation_rptMenu_ctl02_rptNextLevelMenu_ctl02_liTag!)
    • build-in controls are using CSS based rendering
  • Improved Multi-targeting support - Problem with VS 2008 is that Intellisense always shows the types and members from .Net 3.5 (regardless of targeted version of .Net). This issue has been sorted with VS 2010.
  • ASP.Net, HTML and JS Snippet support - finally! :) For people working a lot with the view this is great news. I was writing tags and controls like Repeater from scratch so many times that I'm sick of it. With VS 2010 it can be automated.
  • Auto-Start ASP.Net Applications - Currently web applications are initialized with first request. This is a bit unfortunate because during the initialization sometimes it's required to perform number of heavy operations. That's why the first response is so delayed. There are of course number of ways to workaround this problem but with .Net 4 we will get dedicated means to auto-start our applications and perform initialization before the first request.


Git

Git is a distributed version control system which is getting more and more popular in .Net world. In outside world it is used by a big, very well-known projects like:
  • Linux Kernel,
  • Perl,
  • Ruby on Rails,
  • Gnome,
  • Andriod,
  • Fedora,
  • Debian,
  • X.org
I think the above list provides evidence that this system works well (especially for OSS projects).

Also in .Net world there are projects which decided to dump popular version control systems like SVN and are moving to Git:
Justification for those decision is worth reading:


CodePlex foundation (CodePlex.org)

And finally last topic which I want to mention about is CodePlex foundation. It has been created by Microsoft "to help commercial software developers use Open Source software" and which "ultimately aiming to bring open source and commercial software developers together in a place where they can collaborate".

It's well known that big commercial software development companies are not really keen to use OSS. I think that this approach is changing with time and CodePlex foundation's main goal to help with that. In general all of that sounds really good but for number of different reasons this initiative mostly wasn't well received by the community. Still I think it's worth keeping an eye on it :)

Here you can find a few related links:

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