I’m a big fan of anything that makes my daily grind easier.  Some time ago I was turned on to a cool VS2005 add-in for C#/ASP.Net developers:  ReSharper.  There are so many great features packed in to this tool.  Check out the complete list of features on the JetBrains site.


Here are a couple of the features that stand out to me:


Quick Fixes – When ReSharper detects a problem in your code, it suggests a solution.


Status Indicator and Marker Bar – ReSharper keeps track of whether or not your code will compile and reports the answer with the Status Indicator located at the top of the Marker Bar.  Within the Marker Bar are color coded stripes that link to all of the errors or warnings ReSharper finds in your code.


Refactoring - ReSharper includes a list of cool refactoring functions to help the coding process.


Navigation and Search- Ctrl-Click any symbol in your code to go to its definition.  Or Alt-F7 to find all usages of a variable.


Unit Testing and NUnit integration – If your project includes NUnit tests, ReSharper will put some icons in the left gutter of the VS editor.  Clicking on these icons will give a few options to run the tests.


Using Directives - ReSharper tells you when you need to add a using directive.  It also tells you when you can remove using directives that you included but no longer need.


Many, Many More – I could go on and on here.  There are so many great features.  I don’t know how I ever worked without this.  Check it out for yourself.  Then convince your boss to buy it for you.  But it isn’t too expensive.

Time for all of us to confess.  I know that don’t do a good job of it.  Once in a while I copy a bunch of files from the hard drive on my PC to a portable USB drive.  I try to do a better job with photos so when I push them to my PC I also put them on the portable drive.  But it is easy to get out of sync.  Well, that is hardly a “backup plan”.  I really need to come up with a better strategy.  Scott Hanselman had a post about this topic and it got me thinking.  


I am planning to install Vista in the next few weeks.  Vista seems to have some cool backup features built in so maybe that will help.  Once it is set up I will blog about it again to tell how well it is working.


Isn’t it odd that we put a lot of thought into this for our clients and employers yet for our own data we are pretty lazy?  Good luck to us all.

The other night after the Philly.Net meeting I was talking to Peter Laudati about my new blog.  He suggested I check out Windows Live Writer (Beta).  Basically, it is a Windows application that lets you edit/save your blog posts on your PC and publish them too.  It has some pretty cool features that I am pretty sure will make my blogging easier too.


For instance, I added this picture of the Colosseum very easily (yes, I took the photo).  OK, that’s no big deal.  But this made it VERY easy to adjust the appearance including the size, border, margins and add the water mark.  Plus, it was easy for me to wrap the text on the side of the picture.  I couldn’t do that with my web interface.


 






Another cool feature is that you can add maps and aerial photos in!  This is all done with Live.com. So I added this map.  I tried to do an aerial photo of my house but each time I inserted it, it changed to a picture of someone else’s house!  So I guess that is why this is called Beta software.  But otherwise this is a really nice tool.


 


So if you are blogging, check out Windows Live Writer (Beta)

We had a another great Philly.Net meeting on March 21, 2007, packing several great speakers into one night. 


 


Presenter:  Rob Keiser, Row 5


Topic:  SharePoint 2007 Web Parts


We started off the night with Rob Keiser creating Sharepoint Webparts with ASP.Net 2.0.  Thanks to this new feature of ASP.Net 2.0, you don’t need to use Sharepoint to create your webparts.  As a bonus, he demonstrated how you can programmatically change MasterPages from inside Sharepoint.


 


Presenter:  Peter Laudati, Microsoft


As a special presentation, Peter Laudati, the Microsoft Developer Evangelist from NJ presented our own Bill Wolff with a plaque from Microsoft to thank him for 5 years of service as leader of Philly.Net


 


Presenter:  Bill Wolff, Agility Systems


Topic:  Windows Presentation Foundation


Bill showed us WPF:  Windows Presentation Foundation, XAML, Microsoft Expression Designer, Microsoft Expression Blend, and some demo’s courtesy of Channel9.  Bill demonstrated how to create a quick and easy application to show videos using Blend.  This demo also included how to use mouse events and formatting.  Lots of “Oohs and Ahhs” in this demo.  Like Bill said, this stuff is the future of programming.


 


Presenter:  Scott Ocamb, Knowledge InfoTech


Topic:  Workflow Foundation


After two presentations that were all about user interface, Scott showed us technology that doesn’t present a UI at all.  He used Visual Studio to show how to create sequential workflows, handle workflow events, and work with state diagrams.


He suggests the following links for more information:  http://odetocode.com/articles/465.aspx and http://www.netfx3.com


 


 


Our Sponsor:  Knowledge InfoTech


With about 90 attendees, the meeting was great thanks to the sponsorship of Knowledge Infotech who provided excellent sandwiches for dinner. 


Other swag was provided by Diamond Technologies, Microsoft and Wrox Press.