Life is hectic

Here’s what has been going on:

I co-wrote a book

It’s called Professional Visual Studio 2010 and it is being published by Wrox Press. It’s a great desktop reference for all things VS2010 starting with how to use the IDE itself (a lot has changed, more than you’d think) and providing overviews of a lot of the technologies and platforms that are available with the 2010 release. If you’re in Australia you can find the best price here: http://www.booko.com.au/books/isbn/9780470548653

I started a book club

Not related to writing a book but a bunch of people are getting together online to read and discuss The Pragmatic Programmer by Andrew Hunt and David Thomas. This is the book that I would recommend to every junior programmer I meet. It’s short, light and choc-full of concrete actionable advice. If you’d care to join in join the google group.

I changed employers

I can’t remember if I already said this but I am now working for Beacon Technology. The project I’m working on at the moment is an MVC2 app using AutoMapper and Unity in VS2010. If that sounds awesome to you, send me your resume and I’ll hook you up.

I wrote some software

I’ve been tinkering with a few projects but the two that are the most real are Kata and Task.

Kata is a simple tool for providing an exercise environment. When you type “kata <kata name>” at the command line it will:

  1. Generate a solution file in a temp location
  2. Generate a project file (that is contained by the solution) with a reference to xUnit (which it provides)
  3. Generate a class file (inside the project) with a class for you to fill out and unit test that creates an instance of the first class during setup
  4. Opens the solution in VS2010
  5. Monitors all files for changes, when detected it rebuilds the solution, runs the unit tests
  6. If you are running Growl for Windows then you’ll get a growl notification as well
  7. When VS2010 is closed all files are deleted

I have some ideas of where to take Kata (including some Win7 integration). You can get it here: http://github.com/wolfbyte/Kata

Task was born out of a desire for a Rake-like tool in .NET. Sure we have MSBuild and NAnt (if XML is your thing), Psake (if powershell is your thing), rake itself (if ruby is your thing), and so on. Well C# is my thing and I noticed that the way Rails uses Rake is that it acts like a container for tasks that often don’t really interact with each other. Task is a command-line tool that is designed to provide arbitrary automation tasks within your development environment. At the moment the functionality is pretty limited but you can see the basic idea. It’s composed with MEF which makes it ridiculously extensible. If it sounds interesting get it here: http://github.com/wolfbyte/task

P.S. What Task really needs is some actual tasks out of the box. If you want to write one or suggest one go for it.

Posted by: Mike Minutillo
Last revised: 27 May, 2011 02:42 PM History

Comments

17 May, 2010 04:48 AM @ version 0

Hey Rhys,

I agree except that it is harder to introduce those tools to an MS-obsessed environment. I have two ideas to make Task more relevant. 1) You should be able to write tasks in IronRuby and IronPython. 2) Task will have VS integration with intellisense support. Imagine Ctrl+T, "generate controller foo", Enter. Ctrl+T, "migrate up", Enter.

17 May, 2010 02:31 AM @ version 0

im going to have to play with kata, look interesting.

Re task: i believe the reason no one has done anything like that in c# is because it is too hard. C3 is just not a very good language for defining these sorts of things. its also a great opportunity to cut your teeth on ruby (rake) or powershell (psake). hell with these langauges (including python) you dont even need a tool, its all there in the lnaguage.
PSake is certianly my friend, i just get stuff done soooo much faster with it by my side, i encourage you to use it.

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