Codeguru Update eNewsletter - April 22nd, 2008

CodeGuru Newsletter
April 22, 2008

This newsletter is part of the Developer.com, EarthWeb, and internet.com networks.
Jupitermedia Corporation

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--> Editorial
--> Recently Published Books

--> New on CodeGuru: 
        ==> Controls
                - Handy List Selection Control that We Use Every Day
        ==> Misc.
                - Increment File and Product Version Number: Multiple IDE
        ==> .NET Tip 
                - Sort Your Objects by Implementing the IComparable Interface
        ==> Templates
                - Polymorphism and Template-Based Designs

--> Discussion Groups -- HOT Threads 
        - Where do you place your Reference and Derefence's? (C++)
        - Array Usage (C++)
        - Problem with module and form load slow (VB)

--> Highlighted new articles on Developer.com
        1. Working With Design Patterns: Builder
        2. Implementing AJAX Components in the JWL Framework
        3. Good Java Style, Revisited

Crystal Reports Sample Code Search Tool
A new search tool and sample code database allow you to
publish and share sample code in a single repository as well
as find the SDK and samples that relate to Crystal Reports(R)
and other Business Objects products you use.

Comments from the Editor

I'm back from the Microsoft MVP summit. Last week was a chance to learn great new things, to give feedback directly to the Visual C++ and other teams at Microsoft, and to meet with other people from around the globe, including lots of people from Codeguru. In fact, nine of us went to dinner on Thursday night and enjoyed some great conversations about all things geeky.

You might expect that I'd have a lot to talk about after being at Microsoft for a week. Unfortunately, a lot of the conversations were covered with a non-disclosure agreement, so I can't talk to you about them. Over the coming months and year, however, a lot of the information will become public. What I can say is that the Visual C++ team seems to have a focus and is definitely moving forward with the language, with MFC, and with making sure it continues to be the hardcore tool for developers writing native code. I wish to give kudos to the Visual C++ team for taking the time to share their thoughts and for listening to our feedback.

Independent of the MVP Summit, one interesting, albeit slightly religious, conversation has come up that centered on Visual Basic developers. The topic centers on the presumption of the poor treatment that Visual Basic developers seem to get. This included lower pay than C# developers, less sample code from Microsoft, and less support in Microsoft products such as XNA Studio and such. The question centered on why Visual Basic developers were treated like second-class citizens.

I found this to be interesting because I disagreed with the premise of the discussion. I contend that the Visual Basic language should be just a syntax for writing code. The C# language is an alternate syntax for doing code. The syntaxes are not that different. If you are using the core .NET Framework to create applications, a majority of what you are doing is identical except for those syntax differences. As such, a Visual Basic developer is worth equal to that of a C# developer, if they are focused on the Framework.

What is interesting, however, is that many Visual Basic .NET developers have continued to carry forward the Visual Basic 6 legacy features and mind set. Microsoft has given in and provided support for features that are Visual Basic specific to help the transition to .NET. If these features are being used (think Visual Basic namespace), there is a good chance that a Visual Basic program isn't completely compatible with a C# program. It also means that the bridge from Visual Basic to C# is a bit farther that you had thought. If you are using the Visual Basic classes and objects, you are giving yourself a disadvantage if you want to move to the upper echelons of .NET developers. Thus, any C# job should be yours for the taking.

In my town of Indianapolis, there are more than a half dozen companies looking for .NET developers each month. This is dozens if not a hundred or more positions that are open. Most say they are looking for C# developers, but nearly all would likely take a developer who is knowledgeable in the .NET Framework.

So the question remains -- is a Visual Basic developer worth less than a C# developer? My answer is maybe. If a Visual Basic developer is holding onto the old ideals and features, then yes, they are worth less in most cases. If they are focused on the .NET Framework and the modern features, the language is just a syntax and thus they are equal to any other developer using a .NET programming language including C#.

Of course it goes without saying that a C++ developer is worth more than either a Visual Basic or a C# developer!

Disagree? Let me know in the feedback forum or feel free to email me!

Until next week...

Bradley L. Jones

IBM Webcast. Calling all IBM ClearCase Power Users
- and those that would like to be. On April 24th, IBM
Rational experts Paul Boustany and Mark Krasovich
"Talk to You" about becoming a Rational ClearCase
power user. It's all about you; get a full hour to ask
your questions and learn tips and tricks for using
ClearCase in Agile development. Sign up today for
this limited seat event!

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:


--> Web 2.0 Heroes: Interviews with 20 Web 2.0 Influencers
      By Bradley L. Jones for Wiley
      288 pages for $24.99 (Hardbound)
      I am the author on this, so I'd be interested in any feedback you might have on the book!


--> From Program to Product
      Turning your code into a saleable product
      By Rocky Smolin for Apress
      200 pages for $29.99

--> Inside the Index and Search Engines:
      Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007
      By Patrick Tisseghem and Lars Fastrup for Microsoft Press
      640 pages for $49.99

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:

==> Controls

- Handy List Selection Control that We Use Every Day
    By Nagavardhan Ponnada
A custom control that is useful for selecting/deselecting a sub set of list items. Also learn how simple it is to create custom controls using C#.

==> Misc.

- Increment File and Product Version Number: Multiple IDE
    By Jordan Walters
An add-in to automatically increment the FileVersion and ProductVersion fields in your application's files.

==> .NET Tip

- Sort Your Objects by Implementing the IComparable Interface
    By Jay Miller
Allow your classes to easily be sorted they way you would like by implementing the IComparable interface.

==> Templates

- Polymorphism and Template-Based Designs
    By Akshay Saidulu
Learn how to use templates as an alternative design choice for designing polymorphic-based applications in C++.

Discussion Groups

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!


Some of the current threads with the most activity are:

==> Where do you place your Reference and Derefence's? (C++)

==> Array Usage (C++)

==> Problem with module and form load slow (VB)

New Articles on Developer.com

Below are some of the new articles that have been posted to Developer.com (http://www.developer.com).

1. Working With Design Patterns: Builder
    By Jeff Langr -
A common theme in design patterns is organizing things so as to separate high-level policy from low-level underlying details. The builder pattern does just that, by allowing a single construction policy to be realized by many different implementations.

2. Implementing AJAX Components in the JWL Framework
    By Aleksey Shevchenko -
Learn how to implement all types of JWL AJAX Components into your projects. (JWL is IBM's JavaScript-based Widget Library.)

3. Good Java Style, Revisited
    By Rob Lybarger -
Learn the elements of good Java code style and why they are important.


This article was originally published on April 24th, 2008

About the Author

Bradley L. Jones


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