We’ve released a second version of our Data Access Application Block which implements a lot of the common data access code that you’d normally need to write yourself. There are a lot of projects that depend on the first version of this application block, and if you’re one of them, you should check this out. There are some other great application blocks for developers that are worth investigating. Personally, I think anyone who writes ASP.NET code should check out the User Interface Process Application Block. Although it is usable in WinForm projects, most people I’ve talked to tend to use it for web sites.
Okay…this is interesting. Intel has posted its IT Manager Game. Play the role of a manager running a large IT department and see if you have what it takes for success. I’ll be interested to read some comments about this one.
For those of you who have yet to make the full transition to .NET, Visual Studio 6.0 Service Pack 6 is available at our Visual Studio Developer Center. It’s been a long while since I’ve fired up VS6, but I have fond memories of the stuff I wrote with that tool.
If you’ve been following the Longhorn technology discussions, you’ve no-doubt heard about XAML (some information here), an XML-based markup “language” that allows you to build up objects using a declarative syntax. It’s often demonstrated with user interface elements, but my understanding is that it will work with just about any class. Well, it seems that Joe Stegman has come up with a technology demonstration called Windows Forms Markup Language (WFML), an XML-based declarative syntax for instantiating WinForms and controls. There's even a sample you can download.
If you’re a MSDN Universal Subscriber, you can now download Visual Studio 2005 Community Technology Preview March 2004 from the MSDN Subscriber Downloads area. From the download site:
Technology Previews are not “alpha” or “beta” quality. They should only be installed on dedicated machines as no guarantees are made that the hard drive will not require reformatting once the customer’s evaluation is complete. Microsoft will still release alphas and betas of Visual Studio 2005 ("Whidbey"). Developers can look to these releases to provide increasing features, quality, and stability. Note: The Visual Studio 2005 Community Technology Preview is only available as a full DVD Image. The file size is approximately 2.6GB.
Michael Yuan's blog has some screenshots.