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NetFXHarmonics Code Annotation Format

If you look at any of my open-source projects or even the Themelia source code, you will see that I use a special type of coding annotation.  The annotation format I designed (based on the designs of Sky Morey at Digital Evolution Group) is intended to maximize code readability and understandability.  The format is NOT a coding standard, but just what it says: an annotation format.

What’s that means?  Essentially when you are reading code you are constantly parsing all the symbols that you see.  Your brain can only work so fast, though, and some things have a higher parsing latency than others.  For example, VB code is incredibly verbose and uses long symbols to representing even the smallest things.  It will use the symbol “Then” where C# will use the symbol “}” (to some it may seem odd to think of a word as a symbol, but that’s all it is—you never read ever letter of a word you know.  If you know the word, your brain treats it as a symbol, not a series of symbols.)  It will also use two different character sets (what we call upper case and lower case) interchangeably, thus ever increasing the latency.  Though C# was designed with extremely low latency in mind, it, like all other languages, still has excess latency.

Thus, my code annotation format comes on the scene to make mental code parsing extremely fast.  It covers everything from how to case comments, when NOT to write comments, when to add metadata to class members, and how to deal with line breaks (the cardinal rule of the format!)  Most importantly, every annotation rule has an extensive commentary explaining why the rule exists and what value it provides in the long run.

Now, as with ALL THINGS EVERYWHERE, when you first start to apply it, it’s going to seem odd and it will slow you down at first.  After time, however, you will become extremely efficient at it and your code readability should dramatically improve.  When this is used in groups, it should seriously lower decrease the time it takes to read and understand the purpose of code.

You can view the NetFXHarmonics Code Annotation Format at http://www.netfxharmonics.com/document/code/format.

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New Silverlight 3 Features

Though I’m a member of the Silverlight 3 Early Adopter’s Program (and thus have been getting weekly builds of Silverlight long before the public beta), I’m probably not going to be writing anything about the new features.  This isn’t because Silverlight 3 is boring, but, rather, because I have a strict policy of never doing something that other’s are already doing.  So, I would like to direct your attention to a few web sites showing the awesome provided by Silverlight 3 (and you won’t find business-application boringness here).

First, Tim Huerer has a nice post giving a very quick rundown of the new features:

Second, Jeff Prosise’s blog shows some of the cooler features of Silverlight 3.  Maybe it’s just because I absolutely HATE business application development, but I find Jeff’s blog to be 100x more interesting than the “how to write use X to write your boring line-of-business application.”  His work is also not for the naive or faint of heart.  Instead, it’s for professional developers (i.e. the extremely rare people who aren’t afraid to do things the right way.)  If Jeff adds more stuff, I’ll add them to this list.

Finally, you can always head over to the Mix ‘09 web site and watch some Silverlight 3 (and 2) videos.  Most of them also have PowerPoint files associated with them.  Personally, I can’t stand the torture of listening to someone take 30 minutes to say something that I can ready in 3 minutes.  That’s one reason I turned Microsoft down when they asked me to turn my Understanding WCF Services in Silverlight 2 into a talk at Mix.  Boring.  Here’s the Mix link:


This post may be completely meaningless to most of the developers out there as it deals with my type of development: non-business application development.  More specifically, Jeff Prosise of Wintellect (the Navy SEALs of .NET) has posted a few really nice tips and tricks for Silverlight development.  These are really great tricks that serve as great examples of some of the more powerful things you can do with Silverlight:


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