An Early Christmas from Redmond

They’re here! Today Microsoft released Visual Studio 2008 RTM. If you have an MSDN subscription you can download today and start producing all those new .Net 3.5 applications.

Also released today via the site is CTP 5 of SQL Server 2008. It’s my understanding in this CTP most of the features are working, except for clustering.

I can see I won’t be getting any sleep tonight.


Microsoft to Release Source Code to .Net Framework Libraries

Holy Frameworks Batman! The news is spreading quick, Microsoft has announced that they will be releasing the source code, complete with comments and debugger support. Now you and I will be able to step into those framework classes in an effort to debug our apps and maybe even learn something. This will be part of the VS2008 Orcas release.

Check out the announcement on the ScottGu blog at

Shawn Burke has details on his blog:

Channel 9 video at:

Scott Hanselman also has the scoop on his podcast:

This ranks in the uber-cool category.

Arcane Fun Fridays

WHEW! All of this WPF / XAML sure has been a lot of fun. But I think it’s time to come up for air and see what else is happing out there in Dot Net land.

Alabama Code Camp is coming up in just a little over a week, Saturday October 6th to be exact. Still plenty of time to register and even just a bit of time if you want to get in on the Silverlight programming contest. First prize for that is a Zune!

devLink, the large conference for a cheap price comes up right afterward in Nashville, Friday and Saturday October 12th and 13th. . You can tell I’ll be there, my name’s on the front page as a winner of a Barnes and Nobel gift card (look for the dude from AL !)

(By the way, anyone know of a good dog repellent? My nephew is coming to house sit and is bringing Marshmallow and Buttercup, his twin Dobermans along because I have a big back yard they can play in. Last time though they ate the garden hose, chewed the handle off my shovel, and bit through one of my lawnmower tires.)

There’s a new add-on for SQL Server Management Studio I’m eager to try out. It’s still in Beta but looks promising. It was blogged about at—an-add-in-for-SQL-Management-Studio.aspx or you can download it directly at .

If you are a fan of NUnit, you’ll appreciate the new xUnit. Read James’ announcement at .

In a recent Dot Net Rocks episode, Carl Franklin announced they would be taking over Shrinkster has been down due to spam abuse, as soon as Carl gets everything setup we’ll be able to go back to using short links again!

Speaking of Dot Net Rocks, I especially enjoyed show 274, where the new features of VB.Net and C# for the 2008 release were discussed. Entertaining and lots of good tidbits. I think my favorite feature so far has got to be C#’s extension methods.

During my long drive to the Tallahassee Code Camp last week, I put together a podcast theme session, and copied a bunch of related podcasts onto my cheapo SanDisk mp3 player. This time I went with a “Millenator” theme and got all the episodes of Dot Net Rocks that Mark Miller appeared on. Good stuff, lots of thoughtful material combined with some humor. Next time you go on a trip, copy a bunch of past episodes of your favorite podcast that are in the same theme and make that long drive go much quicker.

There have been several updates to the world’s greatest Visual Studio Add-In, CodeRush, over the last few weeks ( ). Apparently Mark Miller and the boys have been busy! If you’re not on 2.5.4 go update yours today.

Speaking of Mark Miller, I love his intro slide for his VSLive session coming up in LasVegas. Take a look, pure genius.

A final note, between getting ready for Alabama Code Camp and going to devLink my blogging may get spotty for the next few weeks, bear with me and I’ll have full reports from both code camps and lots of fun new stuff to share.

Orcas and SQL Server Compact Edition

The new beta of Orcas (the next version of Visual Studio) is now out. You can download it either as an installer or as a Virtual PC image. I opted to download the VPC image (I would have put it in a VPC anyway, so why not save some work?).

The main info page for Orcas is at or From there you can pick the download type you want. As I mentioned before, there’s an installer version and the VPC version. If you have a spare machine lying around, you can use the installer, otherwise I highly recommend the Virtual PC version. (I grabbed the Visual Studio Team Suite Only – VPC).

It’s very very VERY important you completely read the instructions. Did I mention it was important to read the instructions? Well in case I didn’t, be sure to read the instructions.

There’s actual two VPC images you have to download. The first is named Orcas, the second though is called BASE (it’s in an exe). When you run the Orcas VPC the first time, it will ask you to point to the base VPC. In addition, you will need to know the user id and password to login, both available on the download page and buried in the instructions. (See, I told you it was important to read the instructions!)

Like most people playing with Orcas, the first thing I did was tested what I already knew. In this case, I loaded in some of the SQL Server Compact Edition samples I’ve published here in the past few weeks. Most notably the code in my post on April 13th (

In some ways I wish I had a lot of new technical content to share with you. Harrowing tales of how I was able to fight the bugs and to conquer the evil things lurking in Orcas. But I can’t. It just worked. And, I’m happy to say worked without any flaws. I didn’t have to install any special add-ins (Orcas comes with SSCE assemblies preinstalled) or make special references.

I’ll keep playing with it, but for now I’m quite happy to report that while I don’t see any radical changes with SSCE in Orcas, I don’t see any issues so far either.