Mike Swanson

  • Mike Swanson's Blog

    Smart Paster for Visual Studio .NET

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    Alex Papadimoulis has created a plug-in for Visual Studio .NET called Smart Paster. From his description:

    I don't know about you guys (and gals), but I often find myself pasting large string literals (SQL queries or dialogs) into code. It started to become quite a hassle to fire up EditPlus, paste, replace line breaks with quote characters, copy, and paste it into Visual Studio. So, I put together an add-in to help with this task and called it Smart Paster.

    Download it here.

    Update: Alex informs me that version 1.1 is now available.

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    Designing Products for Offshore Development

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    A recent posting at Alan Cooper’s site talks about Designing Products for Offshore Development. It isn’t an in-depth article, but it does touch on some of the challenges that are faced when working with a disperse team whose culture, language, and time zone have a direct influence on the quality of communication within a project. The project I’ve been working on for the past year-and-a-half has leveraged offshore resources with some success. We’ve been very diligent about remaining in contact with the offshore team, and we’ve tried to be very explicit about our design and quality assurance requirements. That said, I would agree that communication has sometimes presented a challenge, and it’s something that needs to be closely watched.

    Martin Fowler has also posted some good advice on Using an Agile Software Process with Offshore Development. We’ve found automated continuous integration to be a huge benefit when working with an offshore development team (of course, it has huge payoffs for any development team). Knowing that your source is in a healthy and buildable state at any given time makes it easier to leave the office at 5:00pm EST knowing that your resources in India (or wherever) won’t have any integration challenges when they “get latest” to begin their work day. If you haven’t tried continuous integration yet, I’d encourage you to give it a spin. We’ve been using CruiseControl.NET, although Draco.NET is another tool that is often recommended.

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    .NET Show: Longhorn Avalon

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    There’s a new .NET Show on Longhorn Avalon:

    In this episode of the .NET Show David Ornstein and Pablo Fernicola discuss the purpose and benefits of the new graphical model for Longhorn. Later, Rob Relyea and Nathan Dunlap walk through some source code to show how the use of XAML in writing user interfaces for applications can create a better collaboration between designers and programmers. 

  • Mike Swanson's Blog

    P/Invoke Add-In for Visual Studio .NET 2003

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    From the must-read-blog of Chris Sells comes word about an add-in for Visual Studio .NET 2003 that allows you to insert P/Invoke signatures by right-clicking in your source code. If that isn’t cool enough, you can also contribute P/Invoke signatures and types to www.pinvoke.net, the interop wiki (great use of web services). The add-in also highlights possible alternative managed APIs that may help avoid a P/Invoke call altogether. Props to Adam Nathan for creating this useful tool.

  • Mike Swanson's Blog

    DotNet Spider

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    As many of you know, I’ve been working for quite some time on an application called NxOpinion. I’m privileged to work with a great development team at Sagestone (a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner), and one of our developers named Tony John has started a .NET online training site that I thought I’d point out. It’s called DotNet Spider, and it’s a collection of articles that have been submitted by other developers to help support the .NET community. And if you actually post an article, you might win something! Check it out when you have a moment.

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