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  • dotnet Cologne 2010

    - by WeigeltRo
    Am 28.5 findet in Köln die dotnet Cologne 2010 statt, eine von der .NET User Group Köln und der von mir geleiteten Gruppe Bonn-to-Code.Net gemeinsam organisierten Konferenz zum Launch von Visual Studio 2010 und .NET Framework 4. Die Registrierung ist seit Anfang März möglich, und obwohl es bisher kaum konkrete Details zu den Sprechern und Vorträgen gab, haben sich bereits über 250 Teilnehmer angemeldet. Das zeugt von hervorragender Mund-zu-Mund-Propaganda, nicht zuletzt ein klares Zeichen für den Erfolg der letztjährigen dotnet Cologne 2009. Hinter den Kulissen brach ein wahrer Sturm von Vortragsvorschlägen über das Orga-Team (bestehend aus Stefan Lange, Albert Weinert und mir) herein. In mehreren Runden versuchten wir, die richtige Mischung zwischen einführenden und tiefgehenden Themen zu finden. Dabei wurde schnell klar, dass wir nicht mit den ursprünglich geplanten drei Tracks auskommen würden. Deshalb haben wir nach reiflicher Überlegung einen vierten Track eingerichtet, darüber hinaus bieten wir - nach dem Vorbild anderer Konferenzen - dieses Jahr auch Lunch-Sessions an. Seit heute steht nun ein Großteil der Vorträge offiziell fest, nur noch einige wenige Slots sind noch frei. Wer bisher mit der Anmeldung gezögert hat, sollte schnell einen Blick hineinwerfen und sich entscheiden. Denn ab einer der Marke von 300 Teilnehmern wird eine Warteliste eingerichtet. Zwar werden erfahrungsgemäß später einige Plätze wieder frei, aber wer ganz sicher einen Platz bei der dotnet Cologne 2010 haben möchte, sollte sich bald anmelden. Denn: Ein ganzer Tag vollgepackt mit Informationen, viele bekannte Namen der deutschen .NET-Community nicht nur auf der Sprecherliste-, sondern auch unter den Teilnehmern – und am Abend dann noch die Grillfete des dotnet Forum. Wer da nicht dabei ist, der wird wird echt etwas verpassen…

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  • Html Agility Pack for Reading “Real World” HTML

    - by WeigeltRo
    In an ideal world, all data you need from the web would be available via well-designed services. In the real world you sometimes have to scrape the data off a web page. Ugly, dirty – but if you really want that data, you have no choice. Just don’t write (yet another) HTML parser. I stumbled across the Html Agility Pack (HAP) a long time ago, but just now had the need for a robust way to read HTML. A quote from the website: This is an agile HTML parser that builds a read/write DOM and supports plain XPATH or XSLT (you actually don't HAVE to understand XPATH nor XSLT to use it, don't worry...). It is a .NET code library that allows you to parse "out of the web" HTML files. The parser is very tolerant with "real world" malformed HTML. The object model is very similar to what proposes System.Xml, but for HTML documents (or streams). Using the HAP was a simple matter of getting the Nuget package, taking a look at the example and dusting off some of my XPath knowledge from years ago. The documentation on the Codeplex site is non-existing, but if you’ve queried a DOM or used XPath or XSLT before you shouldn’t have problems finding your way around using Intellisense (ReSharper tip: Press Ctrl+Shift+F1 on class members for reading the full doc comments).

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  • SonicFileFinder 2.2 Released

    - by WeigeltRo
    My colleague Jens Schaller has released a new version of his free Visual Studio add-in SonicFileFinder, adding support for Visual Studio 2010. Announcement on his blog Download on the SonicFileFinder website As far as I can tell, there are no new features compared to version 2.1, but good to know that this add-in is now available for VS2010. For those who a wondering what SonicFileFinder is about: SonicFileFinder implements a command for searching and opening files in a Visual Studio solution, which is very nice especially in large projects. This may sound familiar to users of JetBrain’s ReSharper, which has a “Go To File” feature. But in my opinion SonicFileFinder does a better job overall: While ReSharper (4.5) does a prefix search by default, SonicFileFinder searches for any occurrence of the entered text inside a file name. In a long list of file names (e.g. all starting with “Page…”), this allows me to focus on the part that makes the difference (e.g. “Render” in PageRenderBuffer.cs). In ReSharper I would have to type “*Render*”, which can be shortened to “*Render” (which isn’t even correct). Note that SonicFileFinder does support wildcards, of course.   SonicFileFinder remembers the last input (and thus the last result list) without a noticeable delay of the popup. If I want to search for something different, I can type right away, so this behavior doesn’t slow me down. But where it really shines is when I’m not even sure what file exactly I was looking for – I open one file, notice that it’s not the one I want, re-open the pop-up dialog and now I can choose another one from the result list without re-entering the search text. SonicFileFinder allows me to open multiple files at one (nice for service interfaces and implementations). SonicFileFinder lets me open either a Windows Explorer or Command Line window in the directory containing a specific file.

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  • Looking Back at MIX10

    - by WeigeltRo
    It’s the sad truth of my life that even though I’m fascinated by airplanes and flight in general since my childhood days, my body doesn’t like flying. Even the ridiculously short flights inside Germany are taking their toll on me each time. Now combine this with sitting in the cramped space of economy class for many hours on a transatlantic flight from Germany to Las Vegas and back, and factor in some heavy dose of jet lag (especially on my way eastwards), and you get an idea why after coming back home I had this question on my mind: Was it really worth it to attend MIX10? This of course is a question that will also be asked by my boss at Comma Soft (for other reasons, obviously), who decided to send me and my colleague Jens Schaller, to the MIX10 conference. (A note to my German readers: An dieser Stelle der Hinweis, dass Comma Soft noch Silverlight-Entwickler und/oder UI-Designer für den Standort Bonn sucht – aussagekräftige Bewerbungen bitte an [email protected]) Too keep things short: My answer is yes. Before I’ll go into detail, let me ask the heretical questions whether tech conferences in general still make sense. There was a time, where actually being at a tech conference gave you a head-start in regard to learning about new technologies. Nowadays this is no longer true, where every bit of information and every detail is immediately twittered, blogged and whatevered to death. In the case of MIX10 you even can download the video-taped sessions shortly after. So: Does visiting a conference still make sense? It depends on what you expect from a conference. It should be clear to everybody that you’ll neither get exclusive information, nor receive training in a small group. What a conference does offer that sitting in front of your computer does not can be summarized as follows: Focus Being away from work and home will help you to focus on the presented information. Of course there are always the poor guys who are haunted by their work (with mails and short text messages reporting the latest showstopper problem), but in general being out of your office makes a huge difference. Inspiration With the focus comes the emotional involvement. I find it much easier to absorb information if I feel that certain vibe when sitting in a session. This still means that I have put work into reviewing the information later, but it’s a better starting point. And all the impressions collected at a (good) conference combined lead to a higher motivation – be it by the buzz (“this is gonna be sooo cool!”) or by the fear to fall behind (“man, we’ll have work on this, or else…”). People At a conference it’s pretty easy to get into contact with other people during breakfast, lunch and other breaks. This is a good opportunity to get a feel for what other development teams are doing (on a very general level of course, nobody will tell you about their secret formula) and what they are thinking about specific technologies. So MIX10 did offer focus, inspiration and people, but that would have meant nothing without valuable content. When I (being a frontend developer with a strong interest in UI/UX) planned my visit to MIX10, I made the decision to focus on the "soft" topics of design, interaction and user experience. I figured that I would be bombarded with all the technical details about Silverlight 4 anyway in the weeks and months to come. Actually, I would have liked to catch a few technical sessions, but the agenda wasn’t exactly in favor of people interested in any kind of Silverlight and UI/UX/Design topics. That’s one of my few complaints about the conference – I would have liked one more day and/or more sessions per day. Overall, the quality of the workshops and sessions was pretty high. In fact, looking back at my collection of conferences I’ve visited in the past I’d say that MIX10 ranks somewhere near the top spot. Here’s an overview of the workshops/sessions I attended (I’ll leave out the keynotes): Day 0 (Workshops on Sunday) Design Fundamentals for Developers Robby Ingebretsen is the man! Great workshop in three parts with the perfect mix of examples, well-structured definition of terminology and the right dose of humor. Robby was part of the WPF team before founding his own company so he not only has a strong interest in design (and the skillz!) but also the technical background.   Design Tools and Techniques Originally announced to be held by Arturo Toledo, the Rosso brothers from ArcheType filled in for the first two parts, and Corrina Black had a pretty general part about the Windows Phone UI. The first two thirds were a mixed bag; the two guys definitely knew what they were talking about, and the demos were great, but the talk lacked the preparation and polish of a truly great presentation. Corrina was not allowed to go into too much detail before the keynote on Monday, but the session was still very interesting as it showed how much thought went into the Windows Phone UI (and there’s always a lot to learn when people talk about their thought process). Day 1 (Monday) Designing Rich Experiences for Data-Centric Applications I wonder whether there was ever a test-run for this session, but what Ken Azuma and Yoshihiro Saito delivered in the first 15 minutes of a 30-minutes-session made me walk out. A commercial for a product (just great: a video showing a SharePoint plug-in in an all-Japanese UI) combined with the most generic blah blah one could imagine. EPIC FAIL.   Great User Experiences: Seamlessly Blending Technology & Design I switched to this session from the one above but I guess I missed the interesting part – what I did catch was what looked like a “look at the cool stuff we did” without being helpful. Or maybe I was just in a bad mood after the other session.   The Art, Technology and Science of Reading This talk by Kevin Larson was very interesting, but was more a presentation of what Microsoft is doing in research (pretty impressive) and in the end lacked a bit the helpful advice one could have hoped for.   10 Ways to Attack a Design Problem and Come Out Winning Robby Ingebretsen again, and again a great mix of theory and practice. The clean and simple, yet effective, UI of the reader app resulted in a simultaneous “wow” of Jens and me. If you’d watch only one session video, this should be it. Microsoft has to bring Robby back next year! Day 2 (Tuesday) Touch in Public: Multi-touch Interaction Design for Kiosks & Architectural Experiences Very interesting session by Jason Brush, a great inspiration with many details to look out for in the examples. Exactly what I was hoping for – and then some!   Designing Bing: Heart and Science How hard can it be to design the UI for a search engine? An input field and a list of results, that should be it, right? Well, not so fast! The talk by Paul Ray showed the many iterations to finally get it right (up to the choice of a specific blue for the links). And yes, I want an eye-tracking device to play around with!   The Elephant in the Room When Nishant Kothary presented a long list of what his session was not about, I told to myself (not having the description text present) “Am I in the wrong talk? Should I leave?”. Boy, was I wrong. A great talk about human factors in the process of designing stuff.   An Hour with Bill Buxton Having seen Bill Buxton’s presentation in the keynote, I just had to see this man again – even though I didn’t know what to expect. Being more or less unplanned and intended to be more of a conversation, the session didn’t provide a wealth of immediately useful information. Nevertheless Bill Buxton was impressive with his huge knowledge of seemingly everything. But this could/should have been a session some when in the evening and not in parallel to at least two other interesting talks. Day 3 (Wednesday) Design the Ordinary, Like the Fixie This session by DL Byron and Kevin Tamura started really well and brought across the message to keep things simple. But towards the end the talk lost some of its steam. And, as a member of the audience pointed out, they kind of ignored their own advice when they used a fancy presentation software other then PowerPoint that sometimes got in the way of showing things.   Developing Natural User Interfaces Speaking of alternative presentation software, Joshua Blake definitely had the most remarkable alternative to PowerPoint, a self-written program called NaturalShow that was controlled using multi-touch on a touch screen. Not a PowerPoint-killer, but impressive nevertheless. The (excellent) talk itself was kind of eye-opening in regard to what “multi-touch support” on various platforms (WPF, Silverlight, Windows Phone) actually means.   Treat your Content Right The talk by Tiffani Jones Brown wasn’t even on my planned schedule, but somehow I ended up in that session – and it was great. And even for people who don’t necessarily have to write content for websites, some points made by Tiffani are valid in many places, notably wherever you put texts with more than a single word into your UI. Creating Effective Info Viz in Microsoft Silverlight The last session of MIX10 I attended was kind of disappointing. At first things were very promising, with Matthias Shapiro giving a brief but well-structured introduction to info graphics and interactive visualizations. Then the live-coding began and while the result was interesting, too much time was spend on wrestling to get the code working. Ending earlier than planned, the talk was a bit light on actual content, but at least it included a nice list of resources. Conclusion It could be felt all across MIX10, UIs will take a huge leap forward; in fact, there are enough examples that have already. People who both have the technical know-how and at least a basic understanding of design (“literacy” as Bill Buxton called it) are in high demand. The concept of the MIX conference and initiatives like design.toolbox shows that Microsoft understands very well that frontend developers have to acquire new knowledge besides knowing how to hack code and putting buttons on a form. There are extremely exciting times before us, with lots of opportunity for those who are eager to develop their skills, that is for sure.

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  • dotnet Cologne 2011 : Anmeldung ab 14. März

    - by WeigeltRo
    Am 6.5.2011 findet in Köln die dotnet Cologne 2011 statt, eine von der .NET User Group Köln und der von mir geleiteten Gruppe Bonn-to-Code.Net gemeinsam organisierte Community-Konferenz rund um .NET. Die “dotnet Cologne” hat sich mittlerweile als die große .NET Community- Konferenz in Deutschland etabliert. So war die letztjährige dotnet Cologne 2010 mit 300 Teilnehmern bereits einen Monat im Voraus ausgebucht. Und heise online schrieb: “Inzwischen besitzt die dotnet Cologne ein weites Einzugsgebiet. Die Teilnehmer kommen nicht mehr ausschließlich aus dem Kölner Umfeld, sondern aus allen Teilen Deutschlands [...] Die gute Qualität des Vorjahres in Verbindung mit einem geringen Preis hat sich schnell herumgesprochen, sodass Teilnehmer aus Bayern oder Thüringen keine Ausnahme waren.” Auch in diesem Jahr erwartet die Teilnehmer ein ganzer Tag voll mit Themen rund um .NET. Auf der Website http://www.dotnet-cologne.de sind dazu jetzt die ersten Vorträge, Sprecher sowie Infos zur Anmeldung veröffentlicht. Die Anmeldung ist ab Montag, den 14.3.2011 um 14:00 freigeschaltet. Es empfiehlt sich, schnell zu handeln, denn für die 100 ersten Teilnehmer gilt der “Super-Early Bird” Preis von nur 25,- Euro; diese Plätze waren letztes Jahr in Nullkommanix weg. Die Teilnehmer 101 – 200 zahlen den “Early Bird” Preis von 40,- Euro, ab Platz 201 gilt der “Normalpreis” von 55,- Euro. Aber egal ob “Super-Early”, “Early” oder “Normal”: 25 Vorträge auf 5 Tracks, gehalten von bekannten Namen der .NET Community, dazu den ganzen Tag über Verpflegung und Getränke – das ist zu diesem Preis ein sehr attraktives Angebot. Wir haben damit eine Konferenz organisiert, die wir selbst gerne besuchen würden. Ganz im Sinne “von Entwicklern, für Entwickler”. Was ist neu? Das Feedback vom letzten Jahr war sehr positiv, den Leuten hat’s einfach gut gefallen. Gleichwohl haben wir Feedback-Bögen, Blog-Einträge und Tweets sehr aufmerksam ausgewertet und bei der Organisation berücksichtigt: Der neue Veranstaltungsort, das Komed im Mediapark Köln, ist zentral gelegen und verfügt über günstige Parkmöglichkeiten Die Räumlichkeiten bieten mehr Platz für Teilnehmer, Sponsoren und natürlich auch das Mittagessen Wir haben dieses Jahr einige etwas speziellere Vorträge auf Level 300 und 400 im Programm, um neben fundierten Einführungen in Themengebiete auch “Deep Dives” für Experten anbieten zu können. Längere Pausen zwischen den Vorträgen ermöglichen es den Teilnehmern besser, nach den Vorträgen mit den Sprechern verbleibende Fragen zu klären, sich an den Sponsorenständen Infos zu holen oder einfach Kontakte mit Gleichgesinnten zu knüpfen. Was das Fördern der Kommunikation unter den Teilnehmern angeht, haben wir schon die eine oder andere Idee im Kopf. Aber einiges davon hängt nicht zuletzt von finanziellen Faktoren ab – und damit sind wir schon beim Thema: Es gibt noch Sponsoring-Möglichkeiten! Die dotnet Cologne 2011 ist die Gelegenheit, Produkte vorzustellen, neue Mitarbeiter zu suchen oder generell den Namen einer Firma bei den richtigen Leuten zu platzieren. Nicht ohne Grund unterstützen uns viele Sponsoren dieses Jahr zum wiederholten Mal. Vom Software-Sponsor für die Verlosung bis hin zum Aussteller vor Ort – es gibt vielfältige Möglichkeiten und wir schicken auf Anfrage gerne unsere Sponsoreninfos zu.

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  • Fünf Jahre Bonn-to-Code.Net – das muss gefeiert werden!

    - by WeigeltRo
    Als ich am 1. Januar 2006 die .NET User Group “Bonn-to-Code.Net” gründete (den genialen Namen ließ sich mein Kollege Jens Schaller in Anlehnung an das Motto meines Blogs einfallen), ahnte ich nicht, wie schnell sich alles entwickeln würde. So konnte, nach ein wenig Werbung über diverse Kanäle, bereits am 14. Februar 2006 das erste Treffen stattfinden und wenige Tage später wurde Bonn-to-Code.Net offiziell in den Kreis der INETA User Groups aufgenommen. Das ist nun etwas über fünf Jahre her und soll am 22. März 2011 um 19:00 (Einlass ab 18:30) gebührend gefeiert werden, und zwar im Rahmen unseres März-Treffens. Der Abend bietet Vorträge zu “Flow Design und seine Umsetzung mit Event Based Components” sowie “WCF Services mal anders” (ausführlichere Infos zu den Vortragsinhalten gibt es hier). Anschließend gibt es bei einer großen Verlosung neben Büchern auch hochkarätige Software-Preise zu gewinnen. Zusätzlich zu Lizenzen für JetBrains ReSharper und Telerik Ultimate Collection warten dieses Mal (mit freundlicher Unterstützung durch Microsoft Deutschland) je ein Windows 7 Ultimate und ein Office 2010 Professional Plus auf ihre glücklichen Gewinner. Und wer nicht zu spät kommt, kann auch ganz ohne Losglück eines von vielen kleinen Goodies abgreifen. Eine Anmeldung ist nicht erforderlich, eine Anfahrtsbeschreibung gibt es auf der Bonn-to-Code.Net Website. Es freut mich dabei besonders, dass wir zu diesem Termin u.a. einen Sprecher an Bord haben, der bereits beim Gründungstreffen dabei war: Stefan Lieser. Mittlerweile z.B. durch die Clean Code Developer Initiative bekannt, ist Stefan nur ein Beispiel für eine ganze Reihe von Sprechern auf den diversen Entwicklerkonferenzen, die ihre ersten Erfahrungen u.a. bei Bonn-to-Code.Net gemacht haben. …und was ist in den fünf Jahren so passiert? Einiges! Ein Community Launch Event in 2007, zwei Microsoft TechTalks (2007,2008), Gastsprecher aus ganz Deutschland und dem Ausland (JP Boodhoo, Harry Pierson). Doch nichts hat die fünf Jahre so geprägt wie die Zusammenarbeit mit “den Nachbarn aus Köln”. Zum Zeitpunkt der Gründung von Bonn-to-Code.Net gab es im gesamten Köln/Bonner Raum keine .NET User Group. Und so war es nicht ungewöhnlich, dass der erste Interessent, der sich auf meinen Blog-Eintrag vom 4. Januar 2006 hin meldete, aus Köln stammte: Albert Weinert. Kurze Zeit nach der Bonner Gruppe wurde dann – initiiert durch Angelika Wöpking und Stefan Lange – schließlich die .NET User Group Köln gegründet. Wobei Stefan wiederum vor dem Kölner Gründungstreffen Ende April bereits Bonner Treffen besucht hatte; insgesamt also eine Menge personeller Überlapp zwischen Köln und Bonn. Als nach einem etwas holprigen Start der Kölner Gruppe schließlich Albert und Stefan die Leitung übernahmen, war klar dass Köln und Bonn in vielerlei Hinsicht eng zusammenarbeiten würden. Sei es durch die Koordination von Themen und Terminen oder auch durch Werbung für die Treffen der jeweils anderen Gruppe. Der nächste Schritt kam dann mit der Beteiligung der Kölner und Bonner Gruppen an der Organisation des “AfterLaunch” im April 2008. Der große Erfolg dieser Veranstaltung war der Ansporn, in Bezug auf die Zusammenarbeit ein neues Kapitel aufzuschlagen. Anfang 2009 wurde zunächst der dotnet Köln/Bonn e.V. gegründet, um für eigene Großveranstaltungen ein solides Fundament zu schaffen. Im Mai 2009 folgte dann die erste “dotnet Cologne” – ein voller Erfolg. Und mit der “dotnet Cologne 2010” etablierte sich diese Konferenz als das große .NET Community Event in Deutschland. Am 6. Mai 2011 findet nun die “dotnet Cologne 2011” statt; hinter den Kulissen laufen die Vorbereitungen dazu bereits seit Monaten auf Hochtouren. Alles in allem sehr aufregende fünf Jahre, in denen viel passiert ist. Mal schauen, wie die nächsten fünf Jahre werden…

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  • Welcome 2011

    - by WeigeltRo
    Things that happened in 2010 MIX10 was absolutely fantastic. Read my report of MIX10 to see why.   The dotnet Cologne 2010, the community conference organized by the .NET user group Köln and my own group Bonn-to-Code.Net became an even bigger success than I dared to dream of.   There was a huge discrepancy between the efforts by Microsoft to support .NET user groups to organize public live streaming events of the PDC keynote (the dotnet Cologne team joined forces with netug  Niederrhein to organize the PDCologne) and the actual content of the keynote. The reaction of the audience at our event was “meh” and even worse I seriously doubt we’ll ever get that number of people to such an event (which on top of that suffered from technical difficulties beyond our control).   What definitely would have deserved the public live streaming event treatment was the Silverlight Firestarter (aka “Silverlight Damage Control”) event. And maybe we would have thought about organizing something if it weren’t for the “burned earth” left by the PDC keynote. Anyway, the stuff shown at the firestarter keynote was the topic of conversations among colleagues days later (“did you see that? oh yeah, that was seriously cool”). Things that I have learned/observed/noticed in 2010 In the long run, there’s a huge difference between “It works pretty well” and “it just works and I never have to think about it”. I had to get rid of my USB graphics adapter powering the third monitor (read about it in this blog post). Various small issues (desktop icons sometimes moving their positions after a reboot for no apparent reasons, at least one game I couldn’t get run at all, all three monitors sometimes simply refusing to wake up after standby) finally made me buy a PCIe 1x graphics adapter. If you’re interested: The combination of a NVIDIA GTX 460 and a GT 220 is running in “don’t make me think” mode for a couple of months now.   PowerPoint 2010 is a seriously cool piece of software. Not only the new hardware-accelerated effects, but also features like built-in background removal and picture processing (which in many cases are simply “good enough” and save a lot of time) or the smart guides.   Outlook 2010 crashes on me a lot. I haven’t been successful in reproducing these crashes, they just happen when every couple of days on different occasions (only thing in common: I clicked something in the main window – yeah, very helpful observation)   Visual Studio 2010 reminds me of Visual Studio 2005 before SP1, which is actually not a good thing to say about a piece of software. I think it’s telling that Microsoft’s message regarding the beta of SP1 has been different from earlier service pack betas (promising an upgrade path for a beta to the RTM sounds to me like “please, please use it NOW!”).   I have a love/hate relationship with ReSharper. I don’t want to develop without it, but at the same time I can’t fail to notice that ReSharper is taking a heavy toll in terms of performance and sometimes stability. Things I’m looking forward to in 2011 Obviously, the dotnet Cologne 2011. We already have been able to score some big name sponsors (Microsoft, Intel), but we’re still looking for more sponsors. And be assured that we’ll make sure that our partners get the most out of their contribution, regardless of how big or small.   MIX11, period.    Silverlight 5 is going to be great. The only thing I’m a bit nervous about is that I still haven’t read anything official on whether C# next version’s async/await will be in it. Leaving that out would be really stupid considering the end-of-2011 release of SL5 (moving the next release way into the future).

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  • How to Reach German Developers: dotnet Cologne 2011

    - by WeigeltRo
    If you want to promote tools, technologies, libraries, trainings or anything else of interest to software developers, you want to reach the right audience. Not the 9-to-5 people, but those who have the knowledge and passion that make them important multipliers. A great way to reach these people are community conferences. They are not the kind of conference that the 9-to-5 folks are “sent to” by their company, but that the right people hear of via Twitter, Facebook, blogs or plain old word-of-mouth and choose to go to, often covering the costs for the day themselves (travel, entrance fee, hotel, taking the day off). If you want to reach German developers there is one conference that has emerged as the large .NET community conference in Germany, quickly growing beyond being just a local event: The dotnet Cologne, that will be held for the third time on May 6, 2011 and that I’m co-organizing (this interview gives you a good idea of the history). This year’s dotnet Cologne 2010 with its 300 attendees was a huge success. As in the year before, the conference was sold out weeks in advance, and feedback by attendees and sponsors was positive throughout. And the list of speakers and attendees sounded like a “who is who” of the German .NET community. Whether you‘d like to present a product, a service or your company: you will meet the right target audience at dotnet Cologne. We’re offering a broad variety of sponsorship opportunities, ranging from being a donor for the large raffle at the end of the day (software licenses, books, training vouchers, etc.) up to having a booth and/or giving a sponsored talk about your product (not necessarily in German, English is not a problem). Among the various sponsorship levels (bronze/silver/gold/platinum) there’s most likely a package that will suit your needs – and if not, we’re open for suggestions. We’re happy to announce that already at this point in time (with over five months to go) we have a steadily growing list of partners: Microsoft, Intel, IDesign, SubMain, Comma Soft AG, GFU Köln, and EC Software. If you want to become a sponsor for the dotnet Cologne 2011, drop me a line at Roland.Weigelt at dotnet-koelnbonn.de and I’ll send you our sponsor info.

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  • dotnet Cologne 2011 - Call for Papers

    - by WeigeltRo
    Am 6. Mai 2011 findet im MediaPark Köln die dotnet Cologne 2011 statt, die große .NET Community Konferenz in Deutschland. Bereits zum dritten Mal organisieren die .NET User Groups aus Köln und Bonn einen ganzen Tag voll mit Vorträgen rund um .NET. Damit diese Konferenz von Entwicklern für Entwickler wieder ein solcher Erfolg wie im letzten Jahr wird, suchen wir (Stefan Lange, Albert Weinert und ich) noch Sprecher mit interessanten Vorträgen – von der Einführung in neue Themen bis hin zur Level 400 “Hardcore” Session zu etablierten Technologien. Wer Interesse hat: Alle Infos zum Call for Papers gibt es hier.

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  • Sponsor the Hottest .NET Community Event in Germany: dotnet Cologne 2011

    - by WeigeltRo
    The “dotnet Cologne” conference organized by the NET usergroups Bonn and Cologne quickly has become the .NET community event in Germany. So when we opened the registration for dotnet Cologne 2011 on Monday, we expected some interest. But we didn’t expect the 200 “early bird” seats to be gone in less than three hours! And the registrations at normal price keep coming in, so it looks like this event will sell out even earlier than last year. In December I wrote about sponsorship opportunities at the dotnet Cologne 2011 – and why it’s a good idea to be a sponsor at this particular conference. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor: We still offer a wide variety of sponsorship packages in different sizes. At our new, larger, event location, we still have space for exhibition booths. Last year’s exhibitors were very happy and had many interesting conversations with the attendees. And this year we planned for longer breaks between sessions, which means event more time for presenting your products. And yes, German developers understand English demos. But maybe a booth is a bit too much for you. With the Bronze package, you can make sure the attendees receive promotional material of your company in their bags – for a fraction of what you’d pay at a commercial conference. Or you could sponsor a couple of licenses of your product for the raffle at the end of the day. If you want to learn more, just send an email to Roland.Weigelt at dotnet-koelnbonn.de and I’ll send you our sponsor information.

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  • Recommended: IntelliCommand for Visual Studio 2010/2012

    - by WeigeltRo
    The Morning Brew is a great news source for developers for many years now. In its most recent post it mentioned an extension for Visual Studio 2010 and 2012 called IntelliCommand that implements something that I had wanted for quite some time: Some kind of dynamic help for hotkeys. IntelliCommand shows a popup when you press and hold Ctrl, Shift or Alt (or combinations thereof) for a configurable amount of time, or after you press the first key combination of a chord shortcut key (e.g. Ctrl-E) and wait for an (independently configurable) amount of time. In the following screenshot I pressed and released Ctrl-E, and after a short delay the popup appeared: The extension is available in the Visual Studio Gallery, so finding, downloading and installing it via the Extension Manager is extremely simple: The default delays (2000 / 1600 milliseconds) are a bit long for my liking, but this can be changed in Tools – Options: So far things are working great on my machine. Some known issues do seem to exist, though (e.g. that the extension doesn’t work on non-EN versions of Visual Studio). See the author’s comments in the announcement blog post and in the Visual Studio Gallery for more information.

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  • dotnet Cologne 2013 – Vorträge gesucht!

    - by WeigeltRo
    Am 3. Mai 2013 findet im Mediapark Köln die dotnet Cologne 2013 statt. Damit die mittlerweile fünfte Ausgabe dieser Community-Konferenz wieder ein solcher Erfolg wie in den Vorjahren wird, suchen wir (Stefan Lange, Melanie Eibl, Albert Weinert und ich) Sprecher mit interessanten Vorträgen zu Technologien aus dem Microsoft-Umfeld. Dabei wünschen wir uns sowohl Einführungsvorträge in neue Themen als auch die eine oder andere “Level 400 Hardcore-Session” für Spezialisten. Für beides sind passende Räume im Komed vorhanden, das auch in diesem Jahr wieder Veranstaltungsort sein wird. Alle Infos zum Call for Papers gibt es hier. Über die dotnet Cologne Die dotnet Cologne, die 2009 zum ersten Mal stattfand, hat sich im Laufe der Jahre mit mittlerweile 350 Teilnehmern zur größten .NET Community-Konferenz in Deutschland entwickelt. Veranstaltet von den .NET User Groups Bonn-to-Code.Net und .net user group Köln, versteht sich die dotnet Cologne als Konferenz von Entwicklern für Entwickler.

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  • IntelliTrace Causing Slow WPF Debugging in Visual Studio 2010

    - by WeigeltRo
    Just a quick note to myself (and others that may stumble across this blog entry via a web search): If a WPF application is running slow inside the debugger of Visual Studio 2010, but perfectly fine without a debugger (e.g. by hitting Ctrl-F5), then the reason may be Intellitrace. In my case switching off Intellitrace (only available in the Ultimate Edition of Visual Studio 2010) helped gitting rid of the sluggish behavior of a DataGrid. In the “Tools” menu select “Options”, on the Options dialog click “Intellitrace” and then uncheck “Enable Intellitrace”. Note that I do not have access to Visual Studio 2012 at the time of this writing, thus I cannot make a statement about its debugging behavior.

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  • Emaroo 1.4.0 Released

    - by WeigeltRo
    Emaroo is a free utility for browsing most recently used (MRU) lists of various applications. Quickly open files, jump to their folder in Windows Explorer, copy their path - all with just a few keystrokes or mouse clicks. tl;dr: Emaroo 1.4.0 is out, go download it on www.roland-weigelt.de/emaroo   Why Emaroo? Let me give you a few examples. Let’s assume you have pinned Emaroo to the first spot on the task bar so you can start it by hitting Win+1. To start one of the most recently used Visual Studio solutions you type Win+1, [maybe arrow key down a few times], Enter This means that you can start the most recent solution simply by Win+1, Enter What else? If you want to open an Explorer window at the file location of the solution, you type Ctrl+E instead of Enter.   If you know that the solution contains “foo” in its name, you can type “foo” to filter the list. Because this is not a general purpose search like e.g. the Search charm, but instead operates only on the MRU list of a single application, you usually have to type only a few characters until you can press Enter or Ctrl+E.   Ctrl+C copies the file path of the selected MRU item, Ctrl+Shift+C copies the directory If you have several versions of Visual Studio installed, the context menu lets you open a solution in a higher version.   Using the context menu, you can open a Visual Studio solution in Blend. So far I have only mentioned Visual Studio, but Emaroo knows about other applications, too. It remembers the last application you used, you can change between applications with the left/right arrow or accelerator keys. Press F1 or click the Emaroo icon (the tab to the right) for a quick reference. Which applications does Emaroo know about? Emaroo knows the MRU lists of Visual Studio 2008/2010/2012/2013 Expression Blend 4, Blend for Visual Studio 2012, Blend for Visual Studio 2013 Microsoft Word 2007/2010/2013 Microsoft Excel 2007/2010/2013 Microsoft PowerPoint 2007/2010/2013 Photoshop CS6 IrfanView (most recently used directories) Windows Explorer (directories most recently typed into the address bar) Applications that are not installed aren’t shown, of course. Where can I download it? On the Emaroo website: www.roland-weigelt.de/emaroo Have fun!

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