Tuck this Snippet editor tool into your toolbelt and start tweaking/creating code snippets for VB.NET 2005 !!
If you are a C# kind of person look away now, we don't want yu getting an extreme case of VB envy ...
REFACTORING In VB.NET 2005
For some time now, the VS IDE team has been a bit in denial, but at last they've seen the light that size really does matter.
In VS.NET 2005 you can resize the add references dialog !!!!!!!!
That should put a smile on most folk's dial You can now see the name as well as the path without having to horizontally scroll !
Of course it's still all in how you use it
A new feature in Vb.NET 2005, requested by your's truely, is the ability to include the "0 To " in array declarations. Whe nI asked for this feature though, I aksed for it to be a project level switch, such that the "0 To " would always be included for you, and ideally be grey to symbolize you can't edit that part.
So the outcome would be code such as :
Dim myStrings(10) As String
would appear as:
Dim myStrings(0 To 10) As String
The beauty of this is folks automatically know the declaration is 0 to upper bound.
Now what got me blogging about this, is a recent article on migrating VBA to VB.NET on msdn. If you scroll down to the section on arrays, you'll see the author got it wrong and declared the array as if by count, not upperbound. Perhaps this visual helper would have helped them out a bit. it's sad to see people get such simple stuff wrong, and really does cry out that a fix is needed... Oh well, maybe in orcas ........
In case you haven't seen, REAL BASIC is offering their standard edition for free to VB6 developers.
Brendon Chase contacted me last week to get my opinion on this... You can see his write up here.
Personally I find REAL BASIC interesting, it has some "unique" approaches. There are also many things I don't like such as the IDE which provides only single method view, although somewhat mitigate by the fact you can have multiple code views open at once.. Still the sense of a code document seems lost. Their proprietary binary code format I also find a nuisance. But probably the biggest thing I dislike is their lack of true properties. (note some at RealBASIC will refer to fields as properties, but if you are form the VB6 world you know these are two different things)
The lack of true properties in REAL BASIC, means simple things such as having a component say a grid control with multiple columns just don't work nicely at design time, such as it can't display to you 3 columns when you set the column count to 3, because you can only set fields, not true properties, so no action can occur.
This lack of properties also means you are probably going to hate what happens when you try to upgrade any VB6 code to REAL BASIC. I know I certainly did.
So I think if you are looking at REAL BASIC, you need to view it as an alternative, NOT a replacement. If your goal is to upgrade existing VB6 code, upgrading to VB.NET is a lot easier and a lot closer to your original code than REAL BASIC provides.
What REAL BASIC does offer though is some unique approaches, some interesting flexibility in the way they allow types to be extended, the promise of greater cross platform compatibility, and possibly a greater commitment to not abandon their customers (although one can only assume there, that was a feeling I got from discussion I had with Geoff).
So if you are a VB6 developer, you may want to look at REAL BASIC, but do not expect it to be a upgrade path, rather view it as an alternative path. Personally, I think more developers will go with REAL BASIC purely because they are just so pissed with the way Microsoft has treated them, and I can fully understand that. Myself, well I'll be holding off to see what their next version brings .. Pretty safe to say it would have to have a lot of improvements for me to be "REAL"ly interested, especially the inclusion of true property's.
Today Microsoft has put up a web site devoted to VB6 developers !
Nice to see ... It's a small step in the right direction albeit years late
Does it address the issues VB6 users face ? No, of course not. All it does is consolidate information already out there. Vb6 users are still faced with a costly and time consuming upgrade process.
Anyway, this is a good step forward. Let's hope they don't stop at this though. Much much more needs to be done. Sadly, since Microsoft went .NET and stated some 3 years ago they were planning EOL for VB6, the VB developer community has shrunken by 25 % (according to Evans Data). When you are loosing developers at that rate, you really need to stop and admit there was a mistake made.
unfortuantely some people don't seem to understand rule #1
It is pretty simple. If you make changes or deploy to a live server, make sure you test those changes before deploying them.
So who didn't do this ? blogs.msdn.com, that's who...
If you look at their upgrade "mess", you'll see that existing posts now show comments as being anonymous and trackbacks are all broken. Seems someone forgot to test before they deployed... that'd be rule #1 (just in case you weren't payign attention )
<sigh> when data integrity is lost, alas, all is lost </sigh> Let's hope they at least followed rule #2, which of course is "make full backups before deploying changes"