Monday, December 22, 2008

Top 10 .NET News Stories of 2008

It’s that time of the year to reflect, analyze and compile our lives into a series of Top 10 lists. As with every other Top 10 list, the items on this list and their order are highly subjective. For example, some companies may not care about future versions of .NET — version 2.0 works just fine, thank you. Other companies may need to develop a web application, so Silverlight 2.0 is their top story of the year. So please comment below with your Top 10 List.

Following are the Top 10 stories in 2008 about software development with the Microsoft .NET Framework:

1. Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4.0 Announced

The biggest .NET buzz of 2008 came from the announcement of the next generation of the .NET Framework, C#, Visual Basic and Visual Studio, all to be released in 2009. New features include modeling tools integrated into the Visual Studio IDE, support for UML and Domain Specific Languages, improved testing tools, substantial improvements in collaboration capabilities, ability to link work items with code and models, and workflow-based builds. There are also significant improvements in C# 4.0 including co-variance and contra-variance, named and optional parameters, dynamic variables and programming features, and improved COM Interoperability.

2. Global Economic Recession

This news story will likely appear in most Top 10 News lists for 2008. The global economic recession touches just about everything in our lives. For software developers and most workers, this deep and lengthy recession may result in company closings, layoffs, stagnant or reduced salaries, reduced company spending on equipment and developer training, and a significant drop in venture capital. This means more stress on developers and software entrepreneurs. And perhaps more opportunity for innovation.

3. .NET Framework Source Code Available

Microsoft released the source code for the .NET Framework under its Reference License. This makes it much easier to debug .NET framework issues since you can dive down into the .NET code. The “read-only” license enables developers to inspect the source code for reference and debugging, but not modify or distribute the code.

4. Visual Studio 2008 and .NET 3.5 Service Pack 1 Released

Microsoft released Service Pack 1 for Visual Studio 2008 and .NET 3.5. This update patched numerous bugs, improved performance, and even added a few new features. One of the best new features was a new .NET Framework installation optimized for client applications. The optimized download is less than 28 MB, compared to the original 200 MB download.

5. ASP.NET MVC Framework Introduced

MVC is a design methodology that divides an application’s implementation into three component roles: models, views, and controllers. ASP.NET MVC enables developers to build Model View Controller (MVC) applications with the ASP.NET framework and is an alternative, not a replacement, for ASP.NET Web Forms. ASP.NET MVC offers the following benefits: clear separation of concerns, support for Test-Driven Development (TDD), fine-grained control over HTML and JavaScript, and intuitive URLs. ASP.NET MVC is in the public preview stage and will be released to production next year.

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