Service Pack Expert As usual, I get the latest Microsoft news from Mary-Jo Foley's blog. As a developer, there was a time when I would be rushing to check a new Service Pack's feature list to see if some bug or other was finally resolved. Since the SharePoint SP2 fiasco I'm exercising a little more restraint in applying SPs. I notice that Microsoft is going to push this out with automatic updates on May 30 - luckily SPs are not applied automatically in the SharePoint world. For everybody else, do the sensible thing and apply it to a VM before you hit your development or production machines with it :-)

SP2 Download Links:
* 32-bit
* 64-bit
* ISO

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The entire blogosphere is buzzing over this release. I got to try it out for the first time last week while working though some of the hands-on labs at TechEd 2009 in Los Angeles. I was so engrossed in the lab content that I didn't pay it a lot of attention. BTW, Scott Hanselmann gave a great session entitled "Whirlwind Tour around .NET 4 (and Visual Studio) Beta 1 - check it out.

I decided to try it out this evening on a Windows Server 2008 VM, which had SQL Server 2005 installed. Everything went smoothly until after the first reboot when it bombed out. Then I remembered that there is a new Windows 4.5 Installer out so I downloaded that and tried again. Success! It only took about thirty minutes on a fairly fast machine.

VS 2010 Beta 1

 

I'm using VMWare Workstation, but if you are using Microsoft VMs then there is a really helpful video on Channel 9 which describes the download and installation of VS 2010 in depth. Either way, be sure to grab the installer first.

  * Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4 Beta 1Downloads

  * Visual Studio 2010 Product Information

What's in the works for the SharePoint Development IDE

Many months ago, the MVPs were invited to Redmond and shown the next generation of SharePoint development tools. Needless to say they were bound to a secrecy agreement and ever since have remained as tight-lipped as a duck's arse and that's watertight. So I was really dying to check out what SharePoint project templates might appear - unfortunately all I got was a blank box. However, it looks like the red-suspendered marketing folks have revealed some information on this in a VS 2010 marketing "overview" brochure (link at end of post). SharePoint goodies include:

"Project templates for list definitions, list instances, site definitions, workflows, event receivers, Business Data Catalog models, and content types"

So, it looks like the extensions are finally baked in where they belong. This is good news considering the the latest CTP of VSeWSS 1.3 has some problems with the 64-bit architecture.

"The feature and package designers in Visual Studio 2010 allow you to determine how your SharePoint application packages are assembled and deployed... without having to manually write the XML for the .wsp deployment packages."

Some further research revealed that much of this info was already out there if you knew where to look. So why were the SharePoint presenters at TechEd acting like they held the secrets of the universe? There was an announcement on some aspects of this last February on Somesegar's Blog - here you will find a link to a video interview with Reza Chitsaz, Senior Program Manager working on Office and Sharepoint tooling - this came out last November!

VS 2010 Beta 1

 

All hype aside, the new WPF-based IDE is really slick and I'm really looking forward to trying out some of the new Ajax 4.0 client controls :-)

The new SharePoint 2007 Marketing Website

VisualStudio2010_ProductOverview.pdf (1.03 mb)

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JQuery Menu Project I'm one of those people who completely reverted to server-side programming when confronted with the cross-browser compatability minefield in the late nineties. As part of the delusion, I convinced myself that browsers would eventually become fully object-oriented and that somehow justified my inertia. But over the past two years I have been stockpiling the JavaScript textbooks and had even started in on the basics... but let's face it, the JavaScript syntax, although flexible, is not the sexiest of creatures.

I recently introduced a JQuery menu into a website I am working on. Getting it working along with Visual Studio intellisense was a snap. It was only when I looked at the markup and the way that JQuery was interacting with the document elements that I experienced that well known "light goes on" moment.

JQuery used CSS3 (for the most part) selectors to reference the various document elements and totally abstracts away the browser incompatabilities of old. Wow! Now I blogged about JQuery before but my excitement then was mainly based on the VS intellisense available. I did not quite "get it". This library was the brainchild of John Resig and I'm now convinced that lowering the barrier to entry to this extent will bring a lot of creative server-side developers into the the RIA arena just when they are needed the most.

To get started, look at some of the basic tutorials and work through them. If you are using VS 2008 (or the Web Express version), then follow Scott Guthrie's steps for getting intellisense working in VS 2008; I installed the KB hotfix he mentions and dropped the vsdocs file into my js folder along with the JQuery library files and had no problems - very easy to do :-)

JQuery Menu

 

I came across a really slick menu on the Queness website and have adapted it to work with a regular ASP.NET master page. A download link to a working Web Application Project for this is provided below. The only thing I don't like is that the tab graphic has both the hover and non-hover images stacked one over the other in the same image. I would opt to change this by separating them out into separate files and update the CSS accordingly - examples of these menus are everywhere so you shouldn't have a problem with that. You can have it so that each menu tab will accomodate a text link with a different hover version. The key with this sample is making sure that the selectors in the markup match those referenced in the CSS and in the script.

Notes: JQuery Menu Sample with Master Page

  * 2.0 Web Application Project Template

  * Based on Queness menu but with 1.3.2 version of library and vsdocs added

  * CSS and markup have been tweaked to work with master page

  * Rounded corners have been commented out in markup as they looked pixelated - fixable

  * Change the hover background color for vertical links by altering script default of #888 

Resources

   * Check the original menu along with demo here.

   * Be sure to check out the JQuery UI Website!

   * What every developer should know about JQuery 

   * JQueryMenu.zip (115.39 kb)

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