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How To “Completely” Set-Up TypeScript in Visual Studio 2012

So for the past couple days, I’ve been deep into TypeScript, which is a¬†super-set¬†of the Javascript language that adds optional typing, classes, and module support in addition to standard Javascript. ¬†I’d recently been checking out Dart, from Google, as a way to write Javascript-intensive applications in a way that multiple humans can write code and eliminate a lot of the errors that come along with the dynamic typing. ¬†See, dynamic typing is powerful. ¬†You can do a whole lot of cool things when you can do anything you want. ¬†The issue comes when the app gets so big you can’t keep everything in your head, or you have someone else working with you. ¬†Then, you need a way to know what methods are accepting and returning without having to crack open that method and read the code (that’s why we HAVE classes so we can write something once, and then forget about the specifics of it and only care about the passed argument and return value). ¬†Typescript’s beauty is that it adds all this extra stuff, while still keeping the syntax of Javascript intact. ¬†In fact, Javascript is valid Typescript! ¬†That means you can add types, classes and coolness right alongside regular Javascript code! ¬†Don’t need type checking or anything? – Just use Javascript. ¬†Getting into some really hairy Javascript that you need to make sure what you’re passing around is a valid object? – Add in some classes, interfaces, and types. Once you’ve done that, Visual Studio or the command line compiler will check all the code for errors like it would a typed language, and spit out the plain Javascript for it. ¬†So, at it’s core, it’s not so much a new language as it is sugar for letting tools have something more concrete to check against. ¬†You can even create a definition file for libraries like jQuery to get checking from them as well. ¬†In future versions there’ll be a generator that you can point to an existing Javascript file and generate a definition file. ¬†Pretty sweet!

I tried setting it up in Visual Studio, but had a hard time getting it to compile on build.  I was still having to run the command line compiler (this was on an existing project, so that may have had something to do with it).

Here are the steps to get it working to compile your Typescript files on build in Visual Studio 2012:

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5 Ways To Build A Startup On the Microsoft Stack for FREE (make money before you spend any).

When you think about building a startup in your spare time, one of the biggest barriers to that, particularly if you’re a .NET developer is that you’re going to have to spend a lot of money to purchase Visual Studio, servers, subscriptions to payment gateways, and more. ¬†It’s easy to buy into the perception that it’s harder to build a startup company on the .NET stack than it is on something like Ruby on Rails or Java, that’s completely open source and free (including usable IDEs). ¬†When you come right down to it, though, I think this can easily be debunked. ¬† Here’s 5 specific ways and products you can use to build a Software as a Service based startup for free, where you’re guaranteed to not spend a penny until you’re making money.

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The Top 5 Best Visual Studio 2012 Features

I love Visual Studio releases. ¬†I remember when 2005 came out when I was in college, and while everyone else was writing their projects in C++, I was using C# and VS 2005. ¬†I asked my professor if I could write my programs in C# (this was an architecture class where the apps could be written in anything). ¬†I remember finishing my program way early, and with time to go back and add bells and whistles (yes, I did non-extra-credit extra-credit for fun…a nerd through and through). ¬†The thing was, though, is that Visual Studio was such a joy to program in compared to DevC++ and even Eclipse, that I actually WANTED to write more code because it was so much fun. ¬†I’ve been using the Visual Studio 2012 RC for a couple months now and have loved every minute of it. ¬†So, to celebrate its release, here are my top 5 awesome features for in VS2012.

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Why You Should Build Your Website Using Static .html Files

If you’ve got a website, then chances are it’s built using a CMS. ¬†You know, WordPress, Orchard, Joomla, DotNetNuke. ¬†Why wouldn’t you? ¬†They let you manage all your content on nice admin screens and PHP, ASP.NET, or whatever serverside technology your CMS is built on will magically and dynamically create your website pages every single time a user hits your page. ¬†It’s one of the many ways the web has become so powerful since the olden days when all websites were just a link or two and a flashing, seizure-inducing banner at the top.

What is a static .html site anyway?

Well, if you didn’t already guess, a static site is the opposite of dynamic. ¬†I’m not saying that nothing on your site moves or it’s bland in some way. ¬†Not at all. ¬†What I mean by static .html sites is that the .html has already been pre-generated and is just laying out on the web server as opposed to all your content being stored in a database to be dynamically mashed together when a request comes by a serverside technology like ASP.NET or PHP. ¬†When my friend, Brian Connatser, first told me about his project Hera, which uses Twitter Bootstrap, Jekyl, Rake, and a few other technologies to pre-generate a static site in seconds, it really got me thinking. ¬†Why would anyone want a static .html site with the options we have today in CMS products? ¬†Why would you go seemingly backwards to the old days of .html?¬† Here’s what I learned after doing the research:

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Automating Daily Status Reports with Project Server and Team Foundation Server

In the past, I’ve had managers who have asked me for a daily status report of all of the items I’ve worked on during the day…every single one. ¬†They essentially said if it’s not documented that it didn’t happen. ¬†With all the tools we have available to us as developers, there should never actually be a case where what we code isn’t documented. ¬†I’ve heard many people say that 10 minutes is about the amount of time you should have between source control commits, which means there should be a TON of paper trail to show for what you’re working on. ¬†The problem is how do you show this to non-technical managers? ¬†Do you give them access to source control to see commits? ¬† What if even printing out the commit log is too technical for them? ¬†At bare minimum, they’re likely using some sort of project management tool. ¬†Luckily, today we can connect source control, bug/task trackers, and project management tools together to automate “daily status reports” away forever. ¬†In this video I talk about Microsoft’s Project Server and Team Foundation Server connector that lets you do just that. ¬†Take a look.

 

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ShoelaceMVC, My Newest Open Source Project – ASP.NET MVC 3 Starter Project for Building Fast AND Production Quality Webapps.

I recently came to the conclusion that I needed a MUCH better starter project for building ASP.NET MVC applications. ¬†You see, I’m not a designer. ¬†I just don’t have those skills. ¬†I can make things look good in my head, but I can’t translate that to Photoshop and then to CSS attributes. ¬†Then one day I stumbled upon Twitter’s Bootstrap project, which is a free, open source CSS/JS framework/library that has literally everything you need to build a quality, production ready application (from a design perspective). ¬†It’s by far the most exciting project for me in a long time, as it fills the huge void and weakness that I have in building good-looking stylesheets from scratch. ¬†Then, this past week I found CodeFirstMembership¬†– an open source membership provider, similar to the ASP.NET .mdf file in the default starter projects, but that is written using EntityFramework Code First. ¬†This…this was huge. ¬†So I decided to begin to curate all these technologies in to an ASP.NET MVC starter project to end all starter projects (ya know, if you plan to go live very soon after you start and expect folks to not throw up when they see your site).

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Will XNA be available in Windows 8 Metro Apps?

One of the big things I’ve seen flying around Twitter lately is the question of whether or not XNA is being depricated or faded off into the sunset or whatever.¬† I can understand how if you base your entire career on a single technology this might be scary, but remember that XNA isn’t available in METRO UI apps only, and that’s because Metro UI uses DirectX 11, and the current XNA implementation uses DirectX 9, which is still supported by the standard desktop view.¬† This means that XNA is still very much alive and well in the Desktop, and I would say thriving.¬† XNA isn’t going away anytime soon, and here’s why:

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How to get some of Visual Studio 11's new tools TODAY in Visual Studio 2010

So much has come out this week at //Build/ that it’s hard to keep track of everything. For developers, the big thing is the first preview of Visual Studio 11 and the new SDKs and tools that go along with it. As you download the tools from dev.windows.com or your MSDN subscription, you may or may not have noticed that some of the new features come straight out of the Productivity Power Tools that are available TODAY from the Visual Studio Plugin Gallery. ¬†So, if you’re trying out the new Windows 8 dev build and like what you see, you may want to also check out the power tools. ¬†It’s no ReSharper, but it does have some cool features that’ll help you navigate your solutions!

 

Download: Visual Studio Productivity Power Tools

Dowload: Windows 8 and Visual Studio 2011 Developer Preview

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A first look at Codename: Windows 8 OR "Will there be Silverlight in Windows 8?"

Today at D9, Microsoft opened up about Windows 8 with a bang.¬† Not only does does Microsoft FINALLY have a viable operating system for tablets/slates, but they also announced that the gorgeous new Windows Phone 7/Xbox 360 UI will heavily leverage HTML 5 and Javascript.¬† This really comes as no surprise since IE9 has hardware acceleration and can push beatuful HTML 5 graphics just like a desktop application.¬† To coincide with this, Microsoft has also announced that their wildly popular¬†Professional Developer’s Conference (PDC) will now be rebranded to Build.¬† The new UI looks absolutely gorgeous and I can’t wait to play with it live on a tablet.¬† Take a look at the video to see it in action:

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"Conversion to Dalvik format failed with error 2" with Android and the Team Foundation Server 2010 Eclipse Plugin

Recently I’ve been working on an big Android application where I work set for release later this year. ¬†It’s going to be a great help to employees and distributors in the field letting them do all sorts of things they normally need to be at a computer for. ¬†I’m using my Macbook Pro to do development as it’s easier to not have to switch back and forth from OSX to windows as I’m building application features in parallel in an effort to release simultaneously (which may or may not be smart). ¬†One thing, though is that we use Microsoft’s Team Foundation Server at work, which is, of course, a Microsoft product. ¬†Luckily they bought TeamPrise somewhere along the line and now there’s a great Eclipse plugin (unfortunately and frustratingly, only available to Bizspark or MSDN Ultimate subscribers – license key required upon install) to let you check in/out right from within Eclipse. ¬†However, I had one problem that I couldn’t seem to figure out until I accidentally seemed to find something that works…