Category - LInks of the Week

  1. Links of the Week

    The first link I have this week is Future Visions by Microsoft. It is a collection of original science fiction stories based on projects currently being researched in Microsoft Research. It isn’t  available until November 17th, 2015, but it promises to be really good. I’ll be sure to add this to my reading list.

    The second link I have is Small Basic from Microsoft. My daughter came to me earlier this week and said she wanted to learn how to program. I showed her Scratch, but I think she was unimpressed with the drag and drop style of it. So then I showed her Small Basic which is a project that I’ve read about before and see quite often mentioned on Twitter. It is a lot like the BASIC that I learned when I was her age and she seems to be enjoying it.

    The third link for this week is a discussion of Project Westminster. Project Westminster is a programming method to turn your web site into a Windows 10 app.

    The next link that I have today is “Using JavaScript frameworks from your C#/UWP application.” This is utilizing Edge’s JavaScript engine, called Chakra, inside your C# application. The idea is that every week thousands of new frameworks become available for JavaScript. Many of them are really good and should be used inside applications. A C# developer can now route code through the Chakra engine to run these frameworks. The author does a simple example and it is fairly straight forward to get this component running in your C# Application.

    As I mentioned in my previous blog entry, I got a new keyboard for my Surface Pro 3 that includes a fingerprint reader for use with Windows Hello. I couldn’t get it working right away because I didn’t have the updated firmware on my Surface Pro 3. Before I figured that out though I had a read through this page on “Troubleshooting problems with Windows Hello on Surface.” It is very informative and well worth the read if you are going to use Windows Hello on your Surface. Keep in mind that using Windows Hello may reduce your battery life.

    That’s it for this week. Just five links. I will write again soon.

  2. Links of the Week

    I don’t have thousands of tabs open in my browser like some people do, but I do tend to save things I want to read for later. I then like to spend some time on Saturday going through the tabs and see what there is to learn.

    This week I thought I’d share the experience with you my dear readers.

    My first tab is a blog post titled, “Mastering the Arcane Art of JavaScript-mancy for C# Developers.” This particular post is the first chapter in what looks to be a very large series of posts. The post does a great job of introducing the series of posts that I have yet to read. I’m excited to read this series because I am a C# developer currently living in a JavaScript codebase. Expect to hear more about this in the future.

    The second tab is a blog post by a developer named Khalid Abuhakmeh titled “The ASP.NET Apocalypse is Coming.” In this post he makes a fair point about the future of ASP.NET. ASP.NET 5 will be a split personality of sorts. On the one side is the traditional close source .NET Framework that ASP.NET developers have come to know and love. On the other side is the shiny new open source .NET Core Framework. Khalid is worried that the current group of Open Source projects supporting ASP.NET won’t make the leap to the new open source ASP.NET 5 and the CoreCLR. It is an interesting problem, but I think that as we get closer to shipping (currently slated for January 2016) we’ll see these developers update their code for the new open source .NET platform.

    Speaking of ASP.NET 5, the third tab I have is a video of David Fowler showing off ASP.NET 5. Check it out, it is an hour and two minutes long though, but well worth the view. It is called, “David Fowler – ASP.NET 5 Deconstructed.”

    The fourth tab I have open this morning is a post on “The open/closed principle applied to CSS.” The Open/Closed Principle of software design states that software should be open for extension, but closed for modification. This post describes how to apply this principle to CSS. This post makes heavy use of previous blog posts on the Object Oriented CSS pattern. It seems pretty good, but honestly for me it is a little heavy. At work we are using the BEM pattern and it is nice and lightweight enough to be used for small and large projects. BEM stands for Block Element Modifier and is a fairly simple naming convention. I’m sure as I learn more about OOCSS I’ll find that it is just a simple naming convention too, but I think this article is a good place to start.

    The fifth tab is an article by Scott Hanselman titled “Integrating Visual Studio Code with dnx-watch to develop ASP.NET 5 applications.” Visual Studio Code is a light weight code editor from Microsoft that runs across the three major platforms. (Linux, Mac and Windows). These three platforms are also the major targets for ASP.NET 5. Integrating dnx-watch into Visual Studio Code will make developing apps that much simpler and make Visual Studio Code a little closer to a full IDE. Anyway, dnx-watch is a wrapper around dnx that will watch your source directory  for changes and will automatically restart dnx. This way all you have to do is press F5 in the browser to see your changes.

    Managing git in a large team with continuous integration processes can be a pain in the butt. My team at work has started using GitFlow to manage the process. GitFlow, as I understand it, is a naming convention for branches in git. The CI server doesn’t have to listen to all branches and start a build every time someone commits, but instead it listens to a single branch or set of branches and kicks off a built when people merge into that branch. Confused yet? Here is an overview of GitFlow. My sixth tab is, “Integrating GitVersion and GitFlow in your vNext Build.” It talks about setting up Visual Studio Online’s build to automatically publish a Nuget package. I’m not currently building any Nuget packages, but I’m interested in the topic and will adapt it to my own software.

    My seventh tab is “Windows 10 UWP app templates for Adobe Photoshop.” This post links to the design templates needed for Windows 10 UWP apps. Simple as that.

    The 8th and final tab is “Debugging Mocha Unit Tests in Visual Studio Code.” NPM has the ability to store scripts to be run at the command line. A default script is “test” and in this post it is used to run “mocha –debug-brk”. Then it is integrated into the writer’s Visual Studio Code workflow. It is a good read and with it you can start to see how Visual Studio Code can be used for more than traditional Microsoft stack tasks.

    Phew, all done with my open tabs. Like I said I’m not one to keep a thousand tabs open. You should see a little pattern in my open tabs. First is ASP.NET 5. I haven’t worked in the ASP.NET world in a couple years and I’m anxious to get back into it. I figure the coming ASP.NET 5 will be a good time to dive back into it. I might rewrite my blog engine that I wrote in the .NET Framework 2 time period. Other ideas are certainly welcome. The second pattern you should see here is the talk of Visual Studio Code. Code is an amazing tool that is currently in beta from Microsoft. As I get back into writing web sites I’ll be using this as my tool of choice.

    Let me know what you think of this post. I might do more of them in the near future.