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Web editor performance fix for Visual Studio 2008

After VS2008 was released, there were a lot of "buzz" from web developers, that complain about bad performance of new HTML editor, especially with large HTML and JavaScript pages.

Today Web Tools team of Visual Studio released patch, that fixes those issues

  1. Freezes while typing in page with custom controls
  2. Conversion between source code and designer view
  3. Very slow behavior, while opening large HTML document
  4. Visual Editor stops response with big HTML files
  5. And more performance oriented issues.

You can download and install this patch from here.

Hope it’ll help some of you.

Stop subclassing and using Helpers – start Extension Methods

How many classes, named Helper, you have on your hard disk? I counted, and I have 320. What is "Helper"? Helper – is static class, that consists of static methods, that provide simple services to your program. Good examples for such methods are

public static string FormatTime(TimeSpan time)
        {
            return time.Hours.ToString("00") + ":" + time.Minutes.ToString("00") + ":" + time.Seconds.ToString("00");
        }

or

public static byte[] ConvertObjectToByteArray(object obj)
        {
            byte[] _resp = null;
            BinaryFormatter formatter = new BinaryFormatter();
            using (MemoryStream ms = new MemoryStream())
            {
                formatter.Serialize(ms, obj);
                _resp = ms.ToArray();
            }

            return _resp;
        }

or, even

public static byte[] Compress(byte[] buffer)
       {
           MemoryStream ms = new MemoryStream();
           GZipStream zip = new GZipStream(ms, CompressionMode.Compress, true);
           zip.Write(buffer, 0, buffer.Length);
           zip.Close();
           ms.Position = 0;

           MemoryStream outStream = new MemoryStream();

           byte[] compressed = new byte[ms.Length];
           ms.Read(compressed, 0, compressed.Length);

           byte[] gzBuffer = new byte[compressed.Length + 4];
           Buffer.BlockCopy(compressed, 0, gzBuffer, 4, compressed.Length);
           Buffer.BlockCopy(BitConverter.GetBytes(buffer.Length), 0, gzBuffer, 0, 4);
           return gzBuffer;
       }

Those stand-alone methods are in use all over the application and provide small, frequent services.

What are disadvantages of such approach?

  • Another class = wider maintenance
  • You never know where it in use (even after searching)
  • You should remember all services provided
  • Sometimes, you have a number of overloads for those methods in order to make it’s using simpler.
  • If you are working on shared project, someone can harm all your project, by changing "something small" in Helper class.

Can we do something else? Yes, we can. We can subclass our objects and hide those methods inside it. This approach is even worse. In spite of easiness of intellisense, provided with this method, you’ll have large number of almost the same classes with little changes. Also, we cannot do anything with sealed classes.

What to do? In C# 3.0 (not only WPF), Extension Methods were introduced. What is it? The same "Helper", with only one difference – this keyword before the first argument. So, when changing our code to following:

public static string FormatTime(this TimeSpan time)
        {
            return time.Hours.ToString("00") + ":" + time.Minutes.ToString("00") + ":" + time.Seconds.ToString("00");
        }

or

public static object ConvertByteArrayToObject(this byte[] data)
        {
            object[] _resp = null;

            BinaryFormatter formatter = new BinaryFormatter();
            using (MemoryStream ms = new MemoryStream(data, 0, data.Length))
            {
                try
                {
                    object _tmp = formatter.Deserialize(ms);
                    _resp = _tmp as object[];
                }
                catch
                {
                    _resp = new object[1];
                }
            }

            return _resp;
        }

or, even

public static byte[] Decompress(this byte[] gzBuffer)
        {
            MemoryStream ms = new MemoryStream();
            int msgLength = BitConverter.ToInt32(gzBuffer, 0);
            ms.Write(gzBuffer, 4, gzBuffer.Length – 4);

            byte[] buffer = new byte[msgLength];

            ms.Position = 0;
            GZipStream zip = new GZipStream(ms, CompressionMode.Decompress);
            zip.Read(buffer, 0, buffer.Length);

            return buffer;
        }

We will able to use all those methods within regular classes of argument type. Full intellisense support and very easy syntax. Like this.

image

But, do not go to extreme with extension methods, ‘cos you likely face with the problem, exists now with arrays and Linq – too much extensions. You’ll never know what are the original class methods (except icons :) ). See yourself

image

Have a nice day. I had not time (as always) to review this post before publishing :)

How to merge help files to appear inside Visual Studio?

How many times after an installation of some SDK, you saw, that nothing has been merged into Visual Studio help. You press F1 and nothing happens? What to do? Actually, the answer is really stupid. You should go into Visual Studio Documentation (Programs->Visual Studio [number]->Visual Studio [number] documentation), go to Index and set filter by property to (unfiltered) and then look for collection manager->help

image

There you will find all help files installed in your system and now, you can merge (or unmerge) them manually by marking relevant checkboxes and clicking "Update VSCC" button.

This is really simple, but for me it looks a bit strange, that in order to do it, you should not go to any of options, but search into help context. However, this is the real live :)

Declaimer: this is not internal or private information of Microsoft Corporation. You can reference to online MSDN library to find small information pieces about this issue. Here one of such pieces (look for note section)

A couple of updates – mega update post

Today, only updates

Yahoo finally releases Yahoo! Messenger for Vista – this was one of very first prototypes, shown in Mix last year. I did not install it, however, here a couple of review Erik Burke, Tim Sneath and Ryan Stewart. As for me, they lost "wow effect" last year

image Microsoft Expression Blend 2 – December Preview. What’s new? VS2008 integration, inheritance, no SL2.0 support (strange, maybe, because of breaking changes toward near beta)

 

 

 

Vista SP1 RC1 available for MSDN subscribers (via Nick Whites). Nothing special, 40 minutes of installation, profile information loss and performance fixes

 

Office 2007 SP1 is expected to ship 10-December week. This time it is not RC or Beta, but final product (via Mary Jo Foley). Great work.

 

Windows XP SP3 is very close to RC1, but nothing about public beta yet.

 

Starting today, you can configure Messenger presence.  Some cool features become available (via Angus Logan). Here is how.

 

PDC 2008 (canceled last year) will be on October 27-30 in LA (hello, Peter). It promised to be great event about the company’s emerging services platform efforts, .NET, Windows and Mobile technologies.

 

imageA little about mobile devices, while waiting for my new mega-device (more information soon): Dell is about to enter mobile phone industry in 2008, Opera compiled their browser for Brew platform (hello, Pelephone), while Google create their mobile version for IPhone.  Windows Mobile 6.1 is going to be cool. Here screenshorts. Meanwhile, you can update your Mobile Office to version 6.1 for free or your Nokia (N-series) with Internet Radio application. As for me, 8 hours speak time and 30 days standby, quad-band. Those are features, that you need from your handy.

 

Well, that’s it for now. Have a nice weekend.

 

Now I have a question for you. What do you think, about such format of posts? Should ?I go on with it or continue to write post-per-event?

 

Thank you

Silverlight 2.0 it’s time to GoLive

Great news for web developers. Silverlight 2.0 beta will be released with Go-Live licence within a couple of months. Other words, in Q1 2008.

What is Go-Live?

This means, that you can begin to build your production Silverlight applications without being worry about feature capabilities and hard rewrites and integrations. Another news is, that in the same time (or even earlier) we’ll get CTP of ASP.NET 3.5 extensions, which will be added to ASP.NET next year.

What is Silverlight 2.0?

It’s, actually, Silverlight 1.1, that you know. But due to new “managed” concept the product was renamed to 2.0. Other words, too much changed for 0.1 mark :)

What is ASP.NET 3.5 extensions?

Actually, those are extensions for ASP.NET 3.5, released last month. It will include:

  • MVC (model-view-controller) for ASP.NET
  • Entity Framework – kind of Linq, data modeling framework
  • Data Services – access any data by URL
  • Dynamic Data – access dynamic and rapidly changing data without special code to write
  • AJAX – need to explain?
  • Silverlight Controls for ASP.NET – easy integration of Silverlight and ASP.NET server code.

What SL 2.0 will include?

Layout management (Stack and Grid panels), a lot of networking (mostly POX and REST) and controls: Button, CheckBox, DataGrid, Hyperlink, ListBox, Modal Window, Popup, ProgressBar, RadioButton, ScrollViewer, Slider, TabControl, Canvas, FileOpenDialog, Grid, Image, ItemsControl, StackPanel, TextBlock, TextBox, MediaElement and MultiScaleImageElement.

When the final release?

Soon, but we can not tell you yet.

And the last, but not least – Silverlight will be available for mobile devices as well. It, probably, will not happen in current version, but in really near future. Additionaly, Silverlight 1.0 applications will be fully supported by Silverlight 2.0 runtime.

Silverlight tools for Visual Studio 2008 RTM

After upgrade to Visual Studio 2008 RTM from Beta 2, you, probably, will need Silverlight tools for VS2008. Download and install it from here. Please note, before installation, you should completely uninstall previouse version of Silverlight tools for Visual Studio 2008 beta 2.

Visual Studio 2008 new test features

Referring my disappointment from the topics on 70-552, I start looking on new test features, provider by Visual Studio 2008. I worked with performance analyzer in VS2005 (which is looked much more like debug tools for .NET CLR developers in MS) and today, after public release of VS2008, I can show you my research.

From the first sight, it looks like nothing changed

 

image

But when we’re digging deeper, we discover new interesting features.

image

Look in this. My application decodes jpegs most of the time. And this is very right.

image

Another great feature, that makes our live easier is Set Root method and Hot Path marking. Now, once, you found the root of your application, you’re able to "hide" unnecessary nodes (in most cases, those are system calls) and then mark the critical path (from performance point of view) in your call tree. You also can find all modules and functions, called selected method.

image

Another feature of new performance analysis tool is ability to compare your test run samples.

image

Very very cool tool, however it still too complicated for average user to understand what all those numbers mean, even with handy new Noise Reduction filters :)

image

Now you, probably, know what the problem with CarKiosk.exe application. You do not know what is it? Come and see at Developer Academy II at DEV 411.

VS2008 RTM is available for MSDN subscribers

After long wait, Visual Studio 2008 (code name Orcas) become available for MSDN subscribers. Download it now >>

Visual Studio Windows Live Tools – November CTP

For all those, who want to incorporate Windows Live into their applications, new Windows Live Tools from Visual Studio will be great place to begin. Download November CTP on Microsoft Connect.

via LiveSide

Windows Live Tools

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