One of the cool projects I’ve worked on as part of working on C# Express is the “starter kit” that we added to the C# Express product. Dan and Shaykat have both blogged about the starter kit, but I’ll try to go into some more detail about what these starter kits are.
What is a starter kit?
This is a question we get all the time. The answer is that starter kits are like samples, but with better documentation and with clear ideas for extending the application to add new features. They can be used as just a cool application, as an example of how to use some new language features (generics) and .NET framework APIs (strongly typed resources), or as a starting point for playing around with a small application. They are also integrated closely into the environment by being added to the File->New->Project… dialog box.
What is the RSS Screensaver starter kit?
The starter kit we have in the C# Express beta is an RSS Screensaver. Dan has some great screenshots here. The documentation that’s included with the starter kit has lots of information about how it works. There is also a section at the end with some possible ways to extend the screensaver.
What is cool about the RSS Screensaver starter kit?
1) It’s a fully functional screensaver. You can set it to be your screen saver so you can always be up to date on the latest C# info!
2) You can use the source to learn about C#, the .NET frameworks and how to use the Visual Studio environment.
3) You can learn about lots of neat GDI+ tricks, like using transparency and writing formatted text to the screen.
3) It has a set of classes included that can parse RSS feeds. You can use these as a starting place for writing your own applications that use RSS feeds.
How do I get the RSS Screensaver starter kit?
Download the C# Express Beta from here, and look in the File->New->Projects… dialog box.
How do I report a bug or a suggestion for the starter kit?
You can use the MSDN Product Feedback Center to report any bugs or suggestions you have. You can also post your experiences here. And if you have extended the screen saver in a cool way, tell us about it.
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