Programming news: Silverlight 3's Isolated Storage, AppStore's approval system, RubyMine IDE for Ruby

Justin James discusses how to easily turn REST services into strongly typed .NET objects, where to find a useful tutorial on VB.NET XML documentation, why Microsoft's Bill Buxton is asking engineers to work with usability pros, and more.

Maybe it is the waves of college students getting ready for (or already taking) their final exams, but this week is light on news. In my own personal news, it looks like I will be attending the TechRepublic community event this summer; I look forward to seeing some of you folks there!

A good write-up on Silverlight 3's Isolated Storage

Ashish Shetty has a good post about the fundamentals of the new Isolated Storage mechanism in Silverlight 3. He makes a solid case for using it, too. If you are interested in this or in Silverlight 3 in general, his post is a good place to start.

AppStore's baffling approval system

Yet another black eye in the news for the way Apple chooses which apps are allowed into AppStore, this time from Geeks are Sexy. In this case, a simple "lightening" of the UI, a few minor word changes, and a rename of the app took it from "too offensive" to "acceptable." Seriously folks, why developers continue to put up with this nonsense is far, far beyond me. I'd love it if someone could explain to me why trying to sell AppStore apps makes any sense at all. The boom is already over, people. Move on to the Android or the new BlackBerry market or something.

Easily turn REST services into strongly typed .NET objects

Folks consuming SOAP objects have an easy time of it because Visual Studio happily consumes WSDLs and creates the appropriate strongly typed classes to access the service. Now, .NET programmers utilizing REST services have the same options, thanks to the WCF REST Starter Kit (currently at Preview 2). This will go a long way in encouraging developers to use REST services.

JetBrains releases the RubyMine IDE for Ruby

JetBrains (yes, the ReSharper people) has released RubyMine as a final version. It is a Ruby and Ruby on Rails IDE, and the feature set looks pretty nice. If anyone has any experience with this product, please let us know.

Useful tutorial on VB.NET XML documentation

Documenting code in Visual Studio using XML comments is something that I sort of stumbled through by seeing code that other people wrote. You don't have to learn it this way. The May 2009 issue of MSDN Magazine has an excellent article on the topic.

Code profiling for ASP.NET AJAX applications?

One of the critical issues around AJAX applications is the performance angle. There is a project on CodePlex to help you address this in your work: the Visual Studio 2008 AJAX Profiling Extensions. Microsoft's S. Somasegar has the details. To summarize, it allows you to perform code profiling on AJAX in .NET projects from within Visual Studio 2008.

ASP.NET MVC is really taking off

Last week, I was given a demo of an application using the ASP.NET MVC system. This is not some rinky-dink little application; it is a full-size enterprise class application, and as of this week, it is actually shipping. I've been hearing more buzz about his framework than just about anything else in the .NET universe in recent memory. A lot of people are really excited, and from what I've seen of ASP.NET's MVC framework, I think it definitely deserves the attention.

A plea for engineers to work with usability pros

Microsoft's Bill Buxton has an interesting piece in BusinessWeek about usability. He makes the point that usability (aka user experience or UX) work is too in-depth to hand programmers, engineers, etc. a "Cliff Notes" version of "when to use what UI elements" and expect it to work. He suggests that instead of trying to give engineers a base level of UX information, it's much better to have a UX expert engaged throughout the project. I'm inclined to agree, particularly for projects with large amounts of interface or user interaction.


Disclosure of Justin's industry affiliations: Justin James has a working arrangement with Microsoft to write an article for MSDN Magazine. He also has a contract with Spiceworks to write product buying guides.


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Justin James is the Lead Architect for Conigent.

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