Browsing Posts in Screencast

Sand Zen Garden A few months back, I announced that I was doing a series of articles for MSDN Magazine on improving a “classic” ASP.NET application with modern tooling and frameworks. As an application, I chose ScrewTurn Wiki 3.0 to use as my example throughout. The first article, Extreme ASP.NET Makeover – Getting Your House in Order, went live a few days ago. The article is purposefully a different format for MSDN Magazine than “traditional” articles in that it incorporates short screencasts where appropriate rather than just code snippets and pictures. (Code snippets and pictures are included too, though!) I tried to make the screencasts an integral part of the narrative where actually showing something was easier than text, pictures, or code. I would love to hear your feedback on the format and content.

Nitpickers Corner: In the series, I use MSBuild as the build tool. Yes, I wrote my own PowerShell-based build tool, psake. Yes, I use NAnt on many of my projects for clients. (They’re already using NAnt and PowerShell is a new skillset for them.) So why MSBuild for the series? Because it is installed by default with .NET 2.0 and above. Not my first choice, but a pragmatic choice for a series focused on improving what you have.

My third episode of Becoming a Jedi is live. In this episode, I start looking at ReSharper’s refactoring capabilities.

Episode Listing

Part 1 of N: Code Browsing streaming download
Part 2 of N: Code Cleanup streaming download
Part 3 of N: Refactoring I streaming download

Streaming requires Silverlight 1.0 or higher. Download is via Microsoft Skydrive.

After finishing the episode, I realized that I committed a huge refactoring faux pas. I neglected to run unit tests after each refactoring. I was feeling cocky and just doing simple refactorings such as renames and similar. When I tried to run the application later, it failed because it could no longer find PetShop.SqlServerDAL.Category, which had been renamed to PetShop.Repositories.CategorySqlRepository. So even on simple refactorings, you need the safety net of a good suite of unit tests. Lesson learnt.

The next episode of Becoming a Jedi is now live and covers code cleanup. Specifically I look at quick fixes, context actions, safe delete, and reformat code. You can find it here:

Streaming: Becoming a Jedi – Part 2: Code Cleanup (requires Silverlight 1.0 or higher)*

Download: Becoming a Jedi – Part 2: Code Cleanup (via Live SkyDrive)


…a ReSharper Jedi, that is. I am making no claims about my own ReSharper Jedi abilities. JP and Oren are known ReSharper Jedi Masters. I feel more like Luke Skywalker when he first landed on Dagobah in comparison. Back to the point of this post…

Many developers don’t see the value of JetBrains’ ReSharper until they’ve seen it in action. So I’m putting together this screencast series to show off my favourite ReSharper features. My goal is to keep each screencast to 5 to 10 minutes and focus on a related set of capabilities. In the first episode, I look at ReSharper’s Code Browsing – CTRL-N, CTRL-B, CTRL-ALT-B, ALT-F7, and related.

Streaming: Becoming a Jedi – Part 1: Code Browsing (requires Silverlight 1.0 or higher)*

Download: Becoming a Jedi – Part 1: Code Browsing (via Live SkyDrive)

Before someone makes a snarky comment about my coding speed, I’m intentionally taking the time to explain the features. That and I’m not as adept as some at coding and talking at the same time. Hopefully I’ll improve with practice as this screencast series progresses. Any constructive feedback on the content or presentation style is appreciated. Enjoy!

* I am encoding the series using Silverlight 1.0 for two reasons:

  1. In my tests with Camtasia, the Silverlight version scaled better than the Flash version. Text in Visual Studio remained clearer as the video was resized. The original recording is at 1024×768, but is still legible when scaled to 640×480 or smaller.
  2. I can host the content on Silverlight Streaming for free. When you sign up for an account, you get 10 GB of storage and 5 TB of bandwidth per month. The videos are distributed by Microsoft’s content delivery network and streamed from a server close to the viewer. As an author you simply upload your videos to Silverlight Streaming and Microsoft does the rest. I also don’t run the risk of blowing the bandwidth allotment at my hosting provider and incurring charges for bandwidth overages.