October 2005 - Posts

The PDC keynotes are now available for viewing.  Free advice, the Bob Muglia one isn't very exciting.  I am not sure if the Bill Gates one included the Napoleon Dynamite crap in it or not.
Some of you already have this information, but for those of you that weren't on the E-mail, here it is.  The guys on the migration team have provided us with a new build to test migration on.  This is a non-public pre-release build.  I am currently downloading it.  If you are interested in getting a copy of it, just let me know.  Thanks.
These can be kind of cool.  Extension methods are methods that act like they belong to a particular type.  Ok if that wasn't confusing enough.  Basically it allows you to add a method to a particular type even though that type doesn't have that method.  For example, you can create a Write method on an ArrayList.  You can do this without having to create a new custom type by inheriting.
The way extension methods compile and work seems to be like magic.  You define an extension method just like a static method, but you add the keyword this in front of the type that is getting passed in.
In the example below, this is used before an IEnumerable type.
public static void Write(this IEnumerable source)
    foreach (var item in source)
You can then use this method on any type that implements IEnumber, for example an ArrayList or whatever.
So then you can access it like this:
ArrayList myList = new ArrayList();
// assume it already has some values
That would then execute the extension method as if it were part of the class originally.
I am impressed Microsoft actually acknowledged that AJAX.NET is out there and on top of that they actually have an article on the use of it.  For those of you that don't know, AJAX.NET is a class library written by some German guy that makes it easier to do asynchronous callbacks.
I haven't talked a whole bunch about Atlas yet but I will.  The good news is that the VSIs containing Atlas are now available for the RC1 version of Visual Studio 2005. 
You can get the files you need here.
Atlas Blank Web Site Template
Atlas Hand-On-Lab Template
I'll talk more about how this technology works soon.
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