Lotsa tools goodies released recently...

Jaime Rodriguez
On Windows Phone, Windows Presentation Foundation, Silverlight and Windows 7

Lotsa tools goodies released recently...

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Lots of tools released recently..  here are my lessons learned after not reading the manual :(

  • Expression Blend 2.0  December CTP was released last week..    I posted on Blend 2.0 before because the last CTP was full of new great features..  
    As far as I have seen from this 2.0 December CTP the big new feature is support for Visual Studio 2008 RTM {as well as a few bug minor fixes} ...  
    The one thing to note is that  Blend 2 December Preview requires the .NET Framework 3.5 and creates solutions for VS 2008...    [not for VS2005] ..   

A friend asked me if I would recommend installing 3.5 Framework on his box and Blend 2 (so he can  build prototypes using Blend 2 and then cut & paste to his Blend 1.0 projects)?   I have not tried running it side-by-side and I explained to him that there is implications of installing 3.5 on his box, this effectively upgrades your 3.0 framework so if you need to stick with a 3.0 framework for testing or debugging of existing apps -which was his case- I recommend using Blend2 on a VPC or a secondary box ... he is now happy getting the best of both worlds that way.

  • For those people that are developing .NET 3.0  applications, Expression Blend 1.0 SP1 was released last week too.. 
    Unfortunately you don't see all the Blend 2 goodness in the Service pack. From the release notes, it seem the big feature is support for VS 2008 as well as bug fixes..  The big difference here is that Blend 1.0 SP1 does open VS 2008 and VS 2005 projects...  
  • Another 'tools' update released last week was the ASP .NET 3.5 Extensions Preview..  ScottGu has the details on the extensions;  though there is lots of goodies, to me the most exciting feature is the ASP .NET MVC  implementation [which you can learn about via Scott's blog again] ..  
    The one thing to add [to my surprise] is that despite the similar name, the extensions are different from ASP .NET futures, so don't download it to get updates to the Managed JScript  my guess is that updates to managed JScript will come when Microsoft releases the CTP for Silverlight 2.0. ..
  • A belated note on Expression Design SP1, which was released last month...   
    The complete release notes are here; and Joanna has a good description of the new features at the expression team's blog; her post is a must read because some of the features she lists were missing from the release notes but are very important ( like gradient mid-points can now be exported).. 

That is it ... my machines are up-to-date on tools for now ...   I hope  this helps u decide what to download ..

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