July2005July 2005

XML Comments: Document Your Code in No Time At All with Macros in Visual Studio

Starting in Visual Studio 2005, XML documentation support will become available in Visual Basic and C++ as it has been for C#. However, making full use of the many comment tags will take a little extra work In this article, the author shows how Visual Studio macros can be used to automate the creation of XML documentation and creates macros that write large sections of comments with just a keystroke. Tony Chow

Smart Tags: Simplify UI Development with Custom Designer Actions in Visual Studio

Windows Forms 2.0 components expose smart tags by utilizing Designer Actions. By taking advantage of this feature, you can add smart tags to your own custom components to make setting their properties and other actions much easier and developer-friendly. Michael Weinhardt

Reflection: Dodge Common Performance Pitfalls to Craft Speedy Applications

With reflection in .NET, you can load types, understand their members, make decisions about them, and execute, all within the safety of the managed runtime. But to use this power wisely, it's important to understand the associated costs and pitfalls to keep performance impact at a minimum. This article explains how. Joel Pobar

Visual Basic: Simplify Common Tasks by Customizing the My Namespace

Underlying the My namespace's APIs is a fully extensible architecture you can leverage to customize the behavior of My and to add new services to its hierarchy to adapt to specific application needs. the My namespace is optimized to provide simple solutions to common problems. But if your requirements are different, you can use the My namespace's customization model to modify the behavior of individual My namespace members to meet specific application requirements. Joe Binder

Behind the Scenes: Discover the Design Patterns You're Already Using in the .NET Framework

In this article, the author presents a basic overview of several common design patterns and how they are used in the .NET Base Class Library and other areas of the .NET Framework. You'll discover some of the motivation for why the Framework is designed the way it is, and come away with a better understanding of the abstract concepts of the patterns themselves. Rob Pierry

Debugging: Root Out Elusive Production Bugs with These Effective Techniques

Errors happen. But in production, error logs often provide little or no help in pinpointing the exact line of code in which the problem originates. You can't usually isolate the root cause by modifying code in a production environment because recreating the exact same environment is very difficult due to the large number of potential software and hardware configurations. This article provides some concrete steps you can take to get at the heart of the problems in your production code. Matt Adamson

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Editor's Note: Designing the PC of the Future
While spending some idle moments poking around on the Web between working on articles the other day, we ran across a design challenge that Microsoft is co-sponsoring. Along with the IDSA (Industrial Designers Society of America), Microsoft is inviting all you designers out there to draw up plans for the next-generation PC.
New Stuff: Resources for Your Developer Toolbox
r.a.d.controls by telerik gives you an impressive set of great looking interface components, Visual Studio® .NET design-time support, cross-browser compatibility, keyboard support, and data binding.Marnie Hutcheson
Web Q&A: Web Page Layout, Quirks Mode, and More
Edited by Nancy Michell
Advanced Basics: Creating A Breadcrumb Control
Hansel and Gretel had the right idea when "they followed the pebbles that glistened there like newly minted coins, showing them the way. " The deeper you get into the forest or into your data, the more likely you are going to need help to find your way back out again. Duncan Mackenzie
Cutting Edge: DHTML-Enabled ASP.NET Controls
In the past, I've covered some core aspects of the interaction between DHTML behaviors, the browser, and ASP. NET runtime (see Cutting Edge: Extend the ASP. NET DataGrid with Client-side Behaviors and Cutting Edge: Moving DataGrid Rows Up and Down). Dino Esposito
Data Points: The Enterprise Library Data Access Application Block, Part 1
A solid data access later (DAL) can benefit an application by hiding redundant tasks, helping handle exceptions more gracefully, helping clean up resources more efficiently, and providing a layer of abstraction from the database. John Papa
Bugslayer: Unhandled Exceptions and Tracing in the .NET Framework 2.0
By now, you've certainly heard about the big changes coming in Visual Studio® 2005, but when it's time to move your code over it will be the small things that trip you up. In this column, I want to cover two of the many excellent changes that you could easily overlook as you make the move to the new runtime and development tools. John Robbins
.NET Matters: StringStream, Methods with Timeouts
Stephen Toub
C++ at Work: Enum Declarations, Template Function Specialization
Paul DiLascia
{End Bracket}: Experimenting with F#
After five years of guiding generics for the Microsoft® . NET Framework into Visual Studio® 2005, I've turned my attention to attempting to achieve a synthesis between type-safe, scalable, math-oriented scripting and programming for . Don Syme