Andrew's Blog

Random Thoughts of an ASP.Net Code Monkey

Code Snippets

December 11, 2006 21:13 by Andrew Westgarth

I was talking to a colleague the other day and introduced him to Code Snippets. This is one of many features which are in Visual Studio 2005 and I'm sure that there are many other I don't know about but would find useful. My colleague was amazed at the simplicity but also the potential of this feature. I have developed my own snippets and they are very easy to do. To use code snippets, from within VS2005, go to Edit -> Intellisense -> Insert Snippet and this displays the snippet manager for you to select a snippet from. Snippets are great for removing the repetitiveness of entering the same structures many times, i.e. property constructs, if statements and try catch loops. Take a look at them and let me know what you think.

Also let me know your favourite tip/treat for Visual Studio 2005.

VBUG North East - December Drinks

December 7, 2006 00:57 by Andrew Westgarth

As many of you will know, I am the North East Regional Coordinator for VBUG, and last night we had a get together in Newcastle to discuss the year ahead. A small group of us met to discuss the developments expected in the next year, new events, new developments but primarily we had a very fruitful discussion about topics which members would like to see covered in the support meetings next year.

From such a small group (There were seven of us), we managed to come up with enough topics to cover a meeting a month where possible. This is something I am actively working on and I am planning next year's events now.

The topics that were discussed were

Phew! Thats quite a lot of interest and sessions to plan, I'm going to have a busy few weeks!

If you are a VBUG member and attend the Support Meetings, and have any requests for topics, contact either me directly or VBUG and let them know and I'll do my best to source a speaker and see if we can fulfill the request. Also if you've never been to a Support Meeting, Member or Non Member keep an eye out for the next event in your region on the VBUG website and register and come along.

Microsoft Expression Products

December 7, 2006 00:38 by Andrew Westgarth

Yesterday Microsoft announced that Expression Web has started shipping. This is the first in a collection of products with the aim of helping integrate Designers into the full development team. The aim of the Expression products is to enable Designers to work on the same solution as Developers, use Source Control etc, all the while enabling the designer to do their bit then the developer can do their work and remove the need for Designers to have to rework their designs once the development work has been done. The ultimate goal is have seamless integration of this role in the whol SDLC.

Expression Web is the first of five products - Expression Web, Expression Blend (Formerly Interactive Designer), Expression Design (Formerly Graphic Designer) and Expression Media which is a new tool which aids asset management and aids workflow across the suite. There is also an Expression Studio planned and this will include all of the collection.

Expression Web is shipping now and the other products in the collection are due to ship in Q2 2007. Check out the Microsoft Expression website for more information.

This is an exciting set of tools and will give Teams more cohesion and should aid production environments immensely

Podcasts - 4 Chaps from Blighty and NextGenUG

December 6, 2006 00:51 by Andrew Westgarth

The Four Chaps From Blighty have started publishing a Podcast. The Four Chaps in question are Guy Smith-Ferrier, Steve Scott, Brian Long and Steve Tudor. They are the latest to produce a Podcast and very entertaining it is too. Their first Podcast covers how to give great presentations and in the latest one they discuss the recent Developer Day.

Another great series of Podcasts are produced by Richard Costall and Dave McMahon of NxtGenUG. Their Podcasts usually include a number of interviews and views on all that is happening in the community. The series has become compelling listening and well worth a listen, I have even had the pleasure in receiving a number of mentions and have been interviewed on a couple of occasions too.

Go and look them both up!


December 4, 2006 21:30 by Andrew Westgarth

At DDD4 on Saturday it was announced that there is to be a Web Developer Day held at Microsoft UK, Reading on Saturday 3rd February! This is going to be a days event for all Web Developers and Designers and will cover topics such as CSS, AJAX and User Experience. This should be a great event and I am really looking forward to it! As a web devloper personally, I'm really looking forward to mixing with the community and learning from their new experiences. Phil Winstanley is organising it and from what he's told me it is really shaping up to be great. More news will be released and I'll post the registration details as soon as I hear about them. In the meantime why not subscribe to the rss feed - to keep up to date with announcements.

How To Add RSS Notification For Internet Explorer 7 to Your Website

November 30, 2006 01:52 by Andrew Westgarth

I have recently enabled a feature on my Blog which activates Internet Explorer 7's RSS Icon. This line of HTML:

<link rel='alternate' type='application/rss+xml' title='' href=''/>

alerts IE7 to the fact that this site has a RSS feed. I currently have this in my Master Page and therefore it is included on all pages in my Blog. You can put this line of code in multiple times in the of your page for each feed that you publish, remembering to give each a different title and href, either on individual pages or across your site as a whole. Users of IE7 can then use the feature to add my Blog RSS Feed to their IE RSS Feeds Syndicator.

An ASP.Net Code Monkey Goes To Tech Ed 2006

November 6, 2006 22:05 by Andrew Westgarth

What a way to start my Blog! Live from Microsoft Tech Ed 2006 in Barcelona, Spain!

I'm just settling down now after flying via Amsterdam from Newcastle to Barcelona. It's been a long day but I'm really looking forward to attending Tech Ed 2006.

This is my first Tech Ed and I'm really buzzing about having the opportunity to be here. It's going to be a long week but hopefully it will be very rewarding.

I'm intending to post live from Tech Ed and give some indication as to what I'm up to and what the event is like. I have earmarked a number of sessions I'd like to attend and along with my colleagues, who are also attending, think we'll return with some really useful knowledge.

Keep watching this Blog for more updates coming soon.......

Welcome to my Blog!

November 6, 2006 22:00 by Administrator

Welcome to my Blog! Finally I have put something up. I've been promising to do this for well over a year. Finally thanks to the ASP.NET 2.0 package I have with 1 and 1 Internet I have finally started blogging!

This Blog will be a constant work in progress and keep checking into see what I'm talking about and how the Blog's shaping up. Coming soon will be Archives, Search and Rich Text Comment Input.

Please feel free to leave comments, indeed I welcome them, be they comments on the post or the Blog, the more feedback I get hopefully the more useful this Blog will become.

Enjoy reading, add the RSS Feed to your aggregator!

Thanks for reading.



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