March 11, 2008
This newsletter is part of the Developer.com, EarthWeb, and
--> Recently Published Books
--> New on CodeGuru:
- Animation in VB (Part 2)
- Programming with LINQ to SQL
- Fix Performance Problems Fast: Advanced VSTS Profiler Use
- A Visual Basic Programmer's Review of REALbasic 2008 Release 1
- Templated Visitor Base Class
--> Discussion Groups -- HOT
- Problem Creating a new Member Function (VC++)
- Reading a File (C++)
- VU Meter (VC++)
--> Highlighted new articles on
1. Screen Rotation in Qualcomm Brew
2. Consuming RSS Feeds with Ruby
3. Math for Java Game Programmers, Getting Started
Matching Crystal Reports with your needs
Explore the differences between Crystal Reports Basic
included with VS 2008 and the full Crystal Reports 2008,
so you can match your application requirements to the
right reporting solution. Access article now
Comments from the Editor
Last week, I was able to attend MIX 08 in Las Vegas. If you are doing web development with Microsoft technology, you likely would have found this conference very enjoyable. There were several announcements, a few releases, and a lot of sessions showing what can be done with Web applications going forward.
One thing that was different about MIX 08 is that nearly all of the good sessions were to be posted online within 24 hours. If you go to upt_www.VisitMix.com, you can find a number of videos, including they keynote sessions. At that site, you'll also find a lot of the items that were released, including:
- Silverlight 2 Beta 1
- Silverlight 2 Beta 1 SDK
- Silverlight 2 Tools Beta 1 for Visual Studio 2008
- ASP.NET MVC Preview 2
- ASP.NET server controls for Silverlight
- Internet Explorer 8 Beta
- Expression Studio Beta
- Expression Media 2 for MAC
- Internet Explorer Virtual Machines
- Expression Blend 2.5 Preview
- Deep Zoom Composer
You should note that most of these are Microsoft "betas" or previews. In the world that Microsoft lives in, the word beta seems to mean simply a pre-release of a product that is still being created. As such, beta 1 of Silverlight 2 does not contain all the features that will be in Silverlight 2. In fact, several things shown in the keynote and several things mentioned as being a part of Silverlight 2 are not in beta 1. This includes an Ad project that will be in the Visual Studio tools, many of the new controls, and most of the support for Silverlight on mobile. There are a number of the controls and some of the other new features, so beta 1 is definitely worthy of being reviewed. Be aware, however, that beta 1 of Silverlight 2 is only for non-commercial use. Beta 2, due out in the second quarter, should have a commercial license.
Although Silverlight Beta 1 was a big release, so was the beta of Microsoft Internet Explorer 8. This release of IE 8 is aimed at developers. A future beta will be aimed at the masses. As such, you should be able to use this beta to begin looking at your web sites to make sure they work. In fact, one of the things Microsoft has done in IE 8 is to step back and work to support the standards better. This is something that wasn't really done in IE 7, so some pages that were written to IE 7 might break.
There are two new features in IE 8 that are worth an early look. These are Activities and WebSlices. Activities seem like smart tags in that they are a little button that pops up and gives the user of a site links and access to services. The activities can relate to or use the text highlighted on a page. Examples of activities that you can launch from the activities control include Blogging the current item to Live Spaces, finding eBay items, finding sites that are about the highlighted term, finding news about the highlighted term, mapping an address that is highlighted, and more.
The other new big feature in IE 8 is WebSlices. WebSlices are small views of a web page or part of a web page. As a developer, you can set up a slice on a page on your site. People then can add this "slice" to their favorites bar to get easy access to this visual summary of a page.
I'm hardly scratching the surface of what was announced at MIX and what is coming. Stay tuned for more. One caution I would like to share. There are a number of books that are being released on Silverlight 2. If the publish date is this month or earlier, there is a good chance that the book doesn't contain many of the key new features of Silverlight 2. In the two book items I've looked at so far on Silverlight 2, they lacked coverage of the new controls (like the basic text control). Additionally, features will be added in Beta 2 that are not currently in beta 1, so what is published today is going to be out of date within a matter of a few months.
Until next week...
Bradley L. Jones
Recently Published Books
For those of you keeping up by reading books. The following are just a few of the new books that have been recently released. If you've read any of these, feel free to write a review to be posted on CodeGuru. See the submission guidelines at:
--> Essential Silverlight 2 Up-to-Date
By Christian Wenz for O'Reilly
212 pages for $34.99
This book has "2" in the title, but doesn't really cover the cool new features of Silverlight 2. It covers what was in an early 1.1 beta and thus lacks important new things such as any coverage of the new controls that were added.
--> Domain Specific
Enabling Full Code Generation
By Kelly and Tolvanen fro Wiley
428 pages for $84.95
--> Microsoft XNA Game Studio 2.0: Learn
By Rob Miles for Microsoft Press
320 pages for $29.99
New & Updated Articles on CodeGuru
Following are short descriptions of new articles on CodeGuru. If you are interested in submitting your own article for inclusion on the site, then you will find guidelines located at
This week's CodeGuru posts:
- Animation in VB (Part
By Richard Newcombe
This time, you look at animating bitmap images and write a simple platform game. You also find out how to load images directly into memory without setting up a picturebox in design time.
- Programming with LINQ to
By Paul Kimmel
You can use LINQ to SQL to define an Object Relational Mapping between SQL tables and then query those tables with LINQ.
- Fix Performance Problems Fast: Advanced VSTS
By Nick Wienholt
For large and complex applications, dealing with the amount of data collected can be difficult. See how the Visual Studio Team System (VSTS) Developer Edition Profiler can do an excellent job of finding performance problems by simply pointing it at an application and allowing it to collect data.
- A Visual Basic Programmer's Review of
REALbasic 2008 Release 1
Are you unhappy that Microsoft didn't upgrade Visual Basic to version 7? Learn about an alternative package that may make you smile again.
- Templated Visitor Base
Discover a templated visitor pattern base class designed to get around problems that some compilers that have with certain aspects of modern template techniques, particularly typelists and meta-programming.
Check out the CodeGuru discussion forums at:
Forums include Visual C++, General C++, Visual Basic, Java, General Technology, C#, ASP.NET, XML, Help Wanted, and much, much, more!
... HOT THREADS ...
Some of the current threads with the most activity are:
==> Problem Creating a new Member Function
==> Reading a File
==> VU Meter
New Articles on Developer.com
Below are some of the new articles that have been posted to Developer.com (http://www.developer.com).
1. Screen Rotation in Qualcomm
By Ray Rischpater -
Learn how to support screen rotation in your applications on handsets running Qualcomm Brew.
2. Consuming RSS Feeds with
By W. Jason Gilmore -
Integrate your favorite RSS feeds into your web site by using Ruby's powerful RSS module.
3. Math for Java Game Programmers, Getting
By Richard G. Baldwin -
Examine two sample programs and a sample game-programming math library intended to provide aspiring game programmers with the mathematical skills required for game programming.