Announcing the revised MZ-Tools Articles Series with C# samples and more

One of the initiatives that I want to accomplish this year 2009 is to revise and update all the more than 125 articles that I have written all these years since 2004 in the MZ-Tools Articles Series to include the following:
  • Samples in C#.  I have provided all the samples in the articles in VB.NET since it is my preferred development language and I assumed that every C# developer could understand the code. But I have noticed that:
    • To write add-ins in C# is somewhat more difficult due to the lack of optional parameters in C# (version 4.0 will support them, BTW) and other things.
    • Not every C# developer reading the articles bothers to try the VB.NET code to run the sample and then translates it to C#. Instead, they keep inventing code that it is not in the sample.
    So I have decided to make it easy for everybody and provide the samples of add-ins in VB.NET and C#. Macros will remain in VB.NET since C# is not supported as a macro language.
  • Revision of the Visual Studio version(s) that the articles apply to. Many articles were written when VS 2005 and VS 2008 were not released yet. So I am revising if each article still applies to new versions, such as if a bug has been fixed, etc.
  • “Copy” button to copy the code sample to the clipboard. Currently it works only with Internet Explorer. For FireFox it is more complicated and I haven’t found yet a satisfactory solution using the FireFox interfaces or the Flash approach. Security is a major concern in all browsers and operating systems such as Windows Vista and getting access to the clipboard of the client machine is increasingly more difficult. Nonetheless, FireFox is my preferred browser, so I will keep trying in the future.
  • Revision of the best practices in the sample code. For example using correctly the OnConnection method.
  • Revision of the nomenclature prefixes used in the sample code. I am now trying to use the Microsoft guidelines, avoiding prefixed for types.
  • Revision of the “Related Articles” section and the end of each article. Some articles will reference now other articles that were not written yet when they were written.
  • Hopefully less spelling and grammar mistakes :-). I am from Spain so I don’t speak English natively, and the editor that I use lacks a spell checker.

I have created a spreadsheet with all the articles that need modification and this happens to be a huge task that will take me months keeping a pace of one article per workable day, but I think it will be worth. This also means that this year will be less new content, but I have still some topics to write about.

Here you have a sample of a revised article:

HOWTO: Add a popup command bar to the context menu of a code window of Visual Studio .NET