Code Samples and VS.NET


blogged about the IDE

the other day… since I am a writer for MSDN and
other places, this a topic that I’ve thought about quite a bit… sadly,
the only real solution seems to be posting code that works with both
situations (VS.NET and non-VS.NET) because posting code that doesn’t work well
in the Windows Forms designer is a bad-experience for people using VS.NET and
designer-generated code produces a bad experience for those who are not using

Web Matrix makes this even more
interesting as now there are multiple IDEs from Microsoft that might require
different code samples/downloads to illustrate the same topic…

To me this is very similar to the idea
of posting code in both C# and VB.NET for every article… it is a good idea,
but I don’t always have the time to produce two versions, so I pick one. Same
with the IDE vs. no-IDE, I pick one… and actually I don’t always pick the same
one. It generally depends on what I am building and who it is for. VB.NET
programmers, in general, use the IDE, especially for Windows Forms, so I will
provide them with a project file and all that generated code.

On the other hand, the code I wrote for
the Dr.
GUI .NET columns
(I’m not Dr. GUI, I just write code for him sometimes) was
aimed at people trying to understand the framework, so it was written targetting
someone with a text editor and csc/vbc. I wish there were more times when it was
easy to do both, but that generally only happens when I do console or library
apps; I wrote some
MSMQ articles
for MSDN that had the vbc and csc command lines as a comment
in the first line of each code file, but also included a project file… and I
think that would have worked well for both “types” of people. I wrote lots of
code in my book
that was aimed at the command line compiler, in an attempt to keep it simple and
avoid confusing the beginning programmer with the IDE, but I think it was a
mistake; command line compiling just isn’t a good experience for a new developer
who isn’t used to it already.

What do you think I should do about
these issues (IDE and language, go ahead and fire away) for my
writing? And, while we are on a IDE-related topic, what about the visual
tools for building database code? I never use them, I never drag and drop a
connection, a data-adapter, or anything like it onto my Forms. So I never use
them in my articles. They seem cool enough though, and lots of people like
them… I’ve just had something against wizard-generated code ever since my Fox
Pro 2.6 days, and I think my internal “control-freak” is appeased by writing all
my data access code by hand… am I crazy? Should I use the tools, do you use

Author: Duncan Mackenzie

I'm the Developer Lead for the Channel 9 team, formerly worked on MSDN as a developer, content strategist and author.

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