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Well, I wish I was going to this event: ReMIX UK!  For one, it would be starting the day of my birthday and would be a great birthday treat!  Secondly, I would be able to meet up with my fellow escamoles chaps and maybe take in some local cuisine instead.

If you are in the UK, or for some reason really wanted to see the current value of the US dollar, make sure you head to ReMIX UK!  The lineup is pretty incredible when you look at it…here’s some Microsoft favorites:

I also saw on the agenda for the 2 day event that Tim Sneath and Jesse Liberty were listed, so it should be even richer (pun intented) content.  In addition it looks like some great stuff on the designer and creative strategy side of the business as well.  I’m sure there will be enough Silverlight stuff there to keep you going as well as WPF, ASP.NET and others!

By the way, I listed Dr. Neil above as one of my Microsoft favorites.  He’s actually one of our Regional Directors.  If you have never met Dr. Neil…do so.  He’s a great guy, very intelligent and fun to be around.  Ask him about how he manages developer teams and the ‘check-in’ metaphor for people, not just code.  Seriously, he would be a not miss either.

I wish I could travel across the pond for this one, but I’ll be hopefully approximately 25 meters under water in some area of Mexico celebrating with friends.  Have fun though!

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Stephen WaltherAre you poking around with the latest ASP.NET MVC (Model-View-Controller) bits?  If so, hopefully you are already aware of the resources available to you and the fact that Phil Haack is one of the program manager’s leading those efforts, and Scott Hanselman has been providing the community with some resources to jump start your learning.

Well, another member has just joined the ranks on the team I work for.  Stephen Walther, pictured here in his best book-cover pose ;-), has joined the team.  He actually joined earlier this month, but I’m just now getting around to welcoming him to our team and checking out the stuff he’s been doing.  He’s been on a great clip lately and I’ve been reading his latest 11 tips on ASP.NET MVC on his blog.  I’m really glad to have him on our team as I think we’ve got some great resources for ASP.NET, AJAX, MVC, Silverlight and Windows Client.

If you are messing around with the ASP.NET MVC framework, check out his site and subscribe.  We’ll be seeing a lot more of Stephen soon and I’m sure your ideas will be welcome to him as well!

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The first of my Silverlight videos have posted which cover some networking stuff that I’ve been blogging about already.  If you want to see a walk through of things you might have already read, please take a look at them:

There are more coming and I’m interested in hearing your comments so please give them.  If you have suggestions for things that need to be demonstrated to help others (or yourself), please let me know about them as well!

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If you are like me, you probably create a lot of projects in Visual Studio that end up getting thrown away and are intended just to test out a theory you have, double-check yourself when you are going mad because you can't find a bug, testing out something you read on a blog post, whatever.

Most of the projects I create are web projects.  I've started to adopt the "_Delete" mechanism to help me identify what I can truly delete in my folders later.  But is not the point here.  One thing that I do when creating web projects is use the Empty Web Site template:

I choose this template because it is the cleanest...it's actually what it says it is: empty.  It allows me to really isolate things as I'm the one adding things in, not the IDE.  So I usually follow that up with a new WebForm to get an ASP.NET page in there.  I write some code then CTRL+F5 it to run.  The first thing I hit is a build error.  Can you guess what it is?

Here's the thing.  When you choose the Empty Web Site template, you literally get nothing...no web.config, no default pages, no references, nada.  Like I said, it is what it is: empty.  But herein lies the problem.  The WebForm item template doesn't know that.  The WebForm item template is shared with all the web template types, which generally would be fine.  Let's do some digging to find out why I get a build error.

The WebForm item template is located in %ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Common7\IDE\ItemTemplates\CSharp\Web\1033\WebForm.zip.  This file contains the WebForm.aspx and code beside templates.  If you look at the CodeBeside.cs template within there you will see this line:

$if$ ($targetframeworkversion$ == 3.5)using System.Linq;

And there is the problem!  When I create a new web site, i'm using the .NET Framework 3.5 setting:

instead of any other target.  It makes sense because I'm doing 3.5 stuff anyway and I don't want to have to change it later.  But the problem is that the WebForm template now thinks that I already have web.config settings for LINQ, a reference, etc. and that is why I can't run...no references to System.Linq assemblies anywhere.

It's quite annoying for me, but I would imagine not most.  In talking with some product team folks, and I concur, people who choose the empty template are usually likely going to know what is up and make whatever changes needed.  Fair enough, but still slightly annoying only because I keep forgetting about it!

So since I find myself removing those using statements a lot, I decided to just change the template.  This, of course, is completely going to get overwritten any update in the future.  But for me, I think it made sense to remove them rather than to assume that I, the developer, will always be using LINQ in my web forms...which I'm not.  I'll choose to add it back in when I need!  So I simply removed the $if$ statements and I'm good to go.  I wish there was a way to say $if$ (3.5 && !empty)using System.Linq, but I'm okay with my minor change for me.

Anyhow, I thought I'd share this useless piece of knowledge as you might have come across it while checking out new development, tinkering with ASP.NET, creating shell web hosts, etc.  Hope it helps.

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I just saw two links that I simply have to promote as they are very helpful to people doing Silverlight development and one specifically with ASP.NET.

The first is a site on silverlight.net (you should bookmark this site as a resource and subscribe to all the feeds), there is now a Silverlight 2 Beta 1 control sample page, which hosts all the new Silverlight controls on the site.  It shows some different usage of all the controls:

Silverlight Controls Sample

Very cool to see all the controls implemented in one section, play around with them and see different styles in some as well.

The second link is awesome because when I read it I laughed out loud.  The reason wasn't because of the post, but because of a conversation I had with Pete Brown over email.  It is best described simply by showing you the email (privacy information blurred to protect the innocent):

Alas, Cameron Albert created an <asp:Silverlight> override control that enables using the control and supplying a splash screen XAML file and event handler.  This is great!  It enables you to still use the server control with ease but adds some customized functionality so that you can enhance the user load experience.  Essentially it boils down to:

<lg:Silverlight ID="silverlight1" runat="server" Source="~/ClientBin/Perenthia.xap" 
                Version="2.0" Width="800" Height="500" SplashScreenSource="~/Common/Xaml/Splash.xaml" 
                OnSourceDownloadProgressChanged="onSourceDownloadProgressChanged" />

Anyhow, I couldn't help but laugh when I saw that -- but it is a great post and control!  Great job Cameron!