.NET Obfuscation - A Waste of Time?

Obfuscation, aside from being a tongue-twister to pronounce, is an important topic within the realm of .NET development. While some folks around the inter-webs might have you believing that obfuscation is a useless, needless or worse - a complete joke and waste of your time - they couldn't be any further from the truth. [More]

Are Code Comments Really Necessary?

There are generally two camps of thought when it comes to comments: (1) some people stress that they be used often and fairly heavily, and (2) others will advise that they are best not to be used at all except in very complex situations where some object, method or algorithm simply needs to be explained. In practice however, the use of comments typically falls somewhere in between. In the end, experience is the best determinant when it comes to using and managing code comments. The following are my recommendations regarding the use and management of code comments based upon my experiences in a wide variety of projects both large and small. Generally speaking, I tend to discourage the use of comments, primarily because I've found that programmers often do not update them when code changes later in a project. Without proper maintenance, the end result is a bunch of comments that no lo... [More]

What is Silverlight? - Part 2: A Custom Control Using Silverlight

Silverlight and Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) provide an outstanding architecture on which to design and implement custom user interfaces and controls. Through the use of the XAML specification, the creation of UI's and custom controls has never been easier or more rewarding. In this post I'll be showcasing a very useful and completely custom new control built within Silverlight, the InetSolution File Uploader control. Below is a screenshot of the InetSolution File Uploader control, this is a brand new uploader control built from scratch within Silverlight. While I'm not a designer, putting together the visual look of the control wasn't difficult at all. The XAML designer in Visual Studio 2008 or Expression Blend allows you to edit the XML and immediately see the results of your changes in a split editing pane, basically eliminating the need to build and test. Other than logic... [More]

What is Microsoft Silverlight? (and what it is not)- Part 1

Microsoft Silverlight is a brand new technology built on the heels of Windows Vista's GUI, or more specifically, the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF). Silverlight currently exists in two versions: version 1.1, which is the only stable release out right now, and version 2.0, which is still in beta, though its expected to be released to the public in stable form sometime in August 2008. Background Microsoft Silverlight is based heavily on WPF, so background on WPF is important to understanding what Silverlight is really all about. WPF is the new architecture driving the next generation of user interfaces on Windows. The first major public release of WPF came with the release of Vista, it was marketed quite a bit from a visual aspect showing off transparency effects, blurring, animation and interactive text effects etc. WPF is a complete re-design of how the developer will design ... [More]

SQL Formatting & Guidelines

I've never really seen a decent standard on writing SQL statements, that may be because I haven't looked for any standards or I didn't like what I have seen. For the most part when reading SQL statements written in stored procedures, SQL text files, embedded in data access layers etc, I cringe most times realizing the smashed blob of characters is actually a SQL statement.   I have designed my own personal formatting guidelines that have worked really well in writing, maintaining and most importantly understanding SQL statements well into the future. All it honestly takes is a little discipline and extra care when writing them in the first place (no matter what dialect of SQL you happen to be using). Typical Bad Example: select p.*, t.Name, s.Title as MyTitle from Product p, join Producttype t on t.productID = p.ProductID join sales s on s.productid = p.productid where s.qty... [More]

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