25 August 2010

Efficient Use of Nullable Types

I saw a brief post about nullable types, today, and realized (not by fault of the post itself, rather through my own experiences) that a surprising number of .NET developers either don't know they exist, don't use them correctly, or don't use them efficiently.  Furthermore, nullable types were a topic of the C# class I just finished conducting.

23 August 2010

Joining SQL Server Tables on Composite Column Values

I am working with a database server that hearkens from the not-too-distant past, where disk space was extremely costly.  It made sense to combine several fields (columns), to make the file (table) more compact.  The values were split and evaluated by mainframe code, which was less costly, because the logic and database were on the same machine.  These are the fiery brimstone of relational database hell.

20 August 2010

Extensions: Watch Your Step

I had one of those moments where I wonder if I'm really an expert-level C# programmer, and thought I'd share my embarrassing moment, to help other programmers who are new to extensions, are having the same problem, or for a good laugh.

I created the following C# extension, to safely handle conversion of an object that may contain DBNull to a string; because System.Object.ToString() throws an exception when the object is DBNull.

Frustrations with Visual Studio 2010 Extensions

I have become frustrated with the two most popular extensions for Visual Studio 2010.  These are great tools, but also have their issues.  If you, too, are frustrated by these or other issues, please post a comment.

Oh, great creators of VS extensions, hear my rants and fix your code!

09 August 2010

Mouse Scroll Wheel Issues With Visual Studio and Office

I encountered an old foe, on the workstation of my day job, after installing Visual Studio 2010 Premium.  Moving the mouse scroll wheel normally causes my C# code window to scroll vertically.  However, this particular computer randomly decides vertical scrolling is simply too mundane, and starts scrolling tool windows, instead.  I have experienced this problem in the past, after installing Visual Studio 2003 on a HP workstation.  The issue was resolved after I updated the mouse drivers to use the standard Microsoft Windows mouse driver.  The mouse worked beautifully!  But, what was the cause of the problem?

05 August 2010

Practical Uses of Visual Studio 2010 Productivity Power Tool Extensions

This is an unbiased review of practical uses for the new Visual Studio 2010 Productivity Power Tool Extensions.  I waited to post this for a good reason; there are numerous posts reviewing and highlighting the functions of the extension, but none about how they are really useful and actually used to increase your productivity.  Most users will figure these things out in time; however, for those who are unfamiliar with this extension, or extensions in general, it's great to get an idea of what what the Power Tool extension do for you.