TNWiki Article Spotlight - VB.NET: International Time & Currency converter

Good day and welcome to another edition of Tuesday - TNWiki Article Spotlight.

Global audience - different time zones, different currencies

Did you notice that I used the words "Good day" , whenever I welcome someone at the forums, at Facebook, at my online lectures, or at online webinar in general? Moreover, I do the same with my business clients! I work with clients from all around the world (Well… two thirds of the world maybe) and I got used to use general phrases that do not use specific time zone. In some cases I need to contact someone in Africa, and seconds after the call ends, I need to speak with someone in Australia or India.

Well… once our audience is global we cannot use phrases like "Good Morning" or "Good Evening", since each one might be in a different time zone. Saying "good morning" at evening time might be awkward, but using the wrong currency leads to real issues… It is really nice to have a separate presentation of time for each of our clients, and we always need a simple currency convert calculator.

The solution that I have seen in some places, which is very common, is to have several physical clocks on the wall. Each clock is adjusted to different time zone. But today I want to show you another option, which is simpler solution, much more flexible, and most importantly it is "Open Source" and Free. Therefore, you can adjust it to your needs, and learn from the code sample.

Our Article Spotlight for this week

Today's spotlight article is " VB.NET: International Time & Currency converter " by Paul. The article was published on the TechNet Wiki several days ago, and it is registered for the next TechNet Guru Awards competition, in the "Visual Basic" category. It brings us a short review and explanation regarding a free, small open source application, that you can download on the TechNet Code samples. This application is ready to use without any installation, and I recommend to check it! I have a good feeling that I will use it a lot in the future :-)

The application consists of three international timezone clocks, each of which has a ComboBox linked to it allowing changing Timezone (which also changes currency displayed).The clocks can display time for any timezone and also have a Daylight Saving Time indicator. These clocks are analog and show hour, minute, and second, and have an optional alarm which is also displayed in an analog fashion as a red alarm hand. There is a calculator for converting specific amounts from one currency unit to another.

The power of community – Synergy!

One of the things that I liked about this article is the synergy with other channels of the TechNet community! Paul developed a small application several years ago, and chose to contribute the code to the community at the TechNet Code Samples under the MIT License. The application is useful as it is, and publishing it as open source gives us the option to extend the code to our needs. Several days ago Paul published a TechNet WIKI article, which explains the code, and gives us a better starting point to adjust the code. Moreover, it gives us great learning opportunities. The article was published on our TechNet Facebook groups, and now it was chosen to be on the TechNet Blogs as our Article Spotlight for this week. A tweet will be sent soon from our TechNet twitter account announcing the new "Article Spotlight" blog, expanding the audience that comes to read the blog. Read the article, download and use the code! :-)

The code on Code Samples Gallery is the tool, the article is the tutorial for the tool, and the communities are the communication channels in place to publish these, after all "A post that no one reads, is the same as post that no one wrote".

This is a real Synergy and it is a great example on using the power of community!


Have fun :-)
Ronen Ariely (aka PITUACH)


p.s. Article Spotlight vs TechNet Guru Awards

In my previous blog I raised the question "how should we choose our Article Spotlight"...

On the Wiki FB Group , I had a feeling that people understood that the Article Spotlight is one of the articles that won the TechNet Guru Awards.

Well, a good article might be in both categories, but these are two unrelated selections. While the TechNet Guru Award is given by categories and by publishing each month, the Article Spotlight is chosen by Wiki Ninja bloggers to highlight an article from the entire TechNet Wiki.