There will be an hour long public chat on LINQ to SQL and related technologies held Tuesday, Dec 12 at 1 PM Pacific time. Follow this link to see your local time for this chat. LINQ is a set of extensions to the .NET Framework that provides native C# language support for querying data. LINQ to SQL is a component of LINQ which allows access to data stored in relational databases. The C# team is actively designing and developing this technology; show up and join the LINQ to SQL team to participate in that process or just to get a better understanding of the technology! (Enter chat room.)

For a little bit of fun with the Vista desktop follow Dave Northey's tip. Open up a command prompty and type the following:

cd c:\windows\system32
ribbons.scr /p65552

Open the window that is created and then take a look at your animated desktop.

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MSDN Wiki Integrated into C# Help Files

The MSDN Wiki is now more tightly integrated into the C# help system. If you go to the MSDN2 help sites, you should now find a section at the bottom of each page where users can add comments, additional information, and sample code. For instance, you will see a number of community contributed sources at the bottom of the Visual C# Samples page.

At this time, you cannot edit the MSDN help files directly, as you can on the Wikipedia. You are, however, free to add content at the bottom of each each. This gives community members a chance to add sample code to methods that are not thoroughly documented, or to add clarifying comments.

Readers of the MSDN help files need to remember to keep the out-of-date http://msdn.microsoft.com/library web site separated from the current http://msdn2.microsoft.com/library web site. The former site does not always have the latest information on the Whidbey Visual Studio 2005 release.

Visual Studio Guided Tour

The Visual Studio 2005 Guided Tour provides an overview of IDE features such as refactoring. New language features such as generics, partial types and anonymous methods are covered briefly.  

"Smart-client" features such as Windows Forms and Visual Studio Tools for Office are also introduced. For instance, you might want to watch this handy 10 minute video. It seems to handle everything you need to know except for pressing Ctrl-K, Ctrl-D to reformat your code!

There is also a 9 minute video that provides an intro to Visual Studio Tools for Office (VST0). You pronounce this visto, as in Vista with an Oh. This video probably goes a bit fast for most people to be able to comprehend in its entirety in one sitting, but some of the features are called out in the accompanying text.

Web developers and those interested in Team System features such as unit testing or application design can find tutorials that explain and explore these subjects. Some of the topics very lightly touched on in the overview are shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Click on this image to see full size.

Some Important C# and SQL Server Web Sites

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