NxtGenUG Cambridge: Creating extendable applications using MEF slides and code

Tonight I gave a slightly modified version of my MEF presentation at NxtGenUG in Cambridge. Thank you to everyone who attended. Slides and code available below. I’ll be repeating the same session, or at least based on feedback, at DDD South West on Saturday.

Download code: Code.zip

The MVC Sample application which I mentioned but didn’t show was taken from http://blogs.msdn.com/hammett/archive/2009/04/23/mef-and-asp-net-mvc-sample.aspx

NxtGenUG Oxford – It’s all dynamic with the DLR!


Last night I present my a new session for me, ‘It’s all dynamic with the DLR!’, at NxtGenUG Oxford. The session was an introduction into the DLR, where I covered how languages are implemented (with the example of ToyScript) and how to embed the DLR within your own applications.

Personally, I was really happy with how the session went. I was a little worried about Barry being in the audience, but actually it was really good fun having him there and I think it helped the session with his ‘insightful’ questions.

A big thank you to the the Oxford group (Organised by Barry Dorrans and Chris Seary) for having me and the group for listening.


Slides: http://blog.benhall.me.uk/downloads/NxtGenUG/DLR/DLR.zip

Demos: http://blog.benhall.me.uk/downloads/NxtGenUG/DLR/Demos.zip

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NxtGenUG Fest08

Today, I attend the NxtGenUG Fest08 conference at TVP. This is a conference for all the members (plus people who paid) from the different regions to meet up and have a great conference at Microsoft UK. It was a great day! An excellent atmosphere, very good sessions – especially “whose session is it anyway?”.

NxtGenUG also do awards for the best speakers over the past year, not heard any other user group doing this before and I think its a nice touch. As it happens, my Coventry Sandcastle nugget had the best feedback for the nuggets in Coventry (well, after the organisers nuggets were ruled out because they are organisers) so I was awarded a nice little trophy. Also turns out my recent Windows Clippings nugget in Cambridge had the best feedback, so I got an trophy for that too. I was pleased after receiving them.

2573362631_bca2f2ebf2 SDC10230

Right, how do you sell stuff on ebay? 🙂

Plus I got Halo 3 for the 360 as my leaving swag! Great day, can’t wait for Fest09!

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NxtGenUG Coventry – Red, Green, Refactor

imageTonight, I gave my Red, Green, Refactor session to NxtGenUG Coventry. It was great to return to my ‘home’ user group and give the presentation. The session was similar to the one I had presented at DDD Ireland and DDD Scotland with a few minor tweaks in places.

There where some great questions being asked afterwards and while waiting for the Pizza, there was a problem at the pizza place so I had to ‘fill’ for a while but then just moved on with slides. I would like to say thank you to everyone who attended. The attendance was really impressive (40 people?) and I hope everyone had a great time – I really enjoyed myself. I look forward to reading your feedback…

Below, please find my code and slides.

Code: BenHall_RedGreenRefactor_CompletedSolution.zip

Slides: BenHall_RedGreenRefactor_Slides.zip

If you have any more questions, then please email me. For now, this session will go onto the back burner, but if any user groups fancy a test driven development session then please give me a shout!

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NxtGenUG Coventry: Red, Green, Refactor!

Just an early heads up, I will be doing a Test Driven Development talk at NxtGenUG Coventry on Monday May 19th.

My plan for the talk is to start with nothing, and build up a application using a test driven development approach.  Unlikely it will be a feature complete SubText level application, but my aim is to demonstrate how to get started with TDD with some real application features, how to take advantage of mocking and of course some of the excellent MbUnit features…

Talk Abstract

Red, Green, Refactor!

Starting to unit test your first project is difficult, where to start? What to test? How do you even get started? In this session, Ben starts from scratch and implements an ASP.net 2.0 application using test driven development techniques. The application will have to deal with real world situations such as databases, web services and even some users! Ben will demonstrate how to design the application for testability and how unit testing and mock frameworks can make your life easier and your tests less fragile. At the end, will the tests go green?

Register:  http://www.nxtgenug.net/ViewEvent.aspx?EventID=112

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NxtGenUG Session – MbUnit

Last night I did my MbUnit session at NxtGenUG, Cambridge. Big thank you to everyone who turned up, I hope you all found it useful.

Here are the code and slide deck I used:

Demo Code: http://blog.benhall.me.uk/downloads/NxtGenUG/mbunitdemo.zip

Presentation deck: http://blog.benhall.me.uk/downloads/NxtGenUG/mbunit.pptx

Most of my MbUnit blog posts have been labelled with MbUnit, some of the older ones might have been missed so you might want to use the Google search on the sidebar to search for MbUnit – http://blog.benhall.me.uk/labels/MbUnit.html

Resource Links



Everyone who attended, please fill out the feedback on the NxtGen site – http://www.nxtgenug.net/ViewEvent.aspx?EventID=90

NxtGenUG Cambridge

NxtGenUG have just announced that they have expanded into another region – Cambridge with the meetings being held at Microsoft Research! 

“The ‘Launch’ meeting will be held at Microsoft Research on Tuesday 18th September 2007 and will feature Mike Ormond from Microsoft DPE speaking on Silverlight Microsoft’s new Rich Web Application Development Platform. We’ll also have a speaker from Microsoft Research covering a fanscinating new subject such as F#, watch out for details! Finally Rich, Dave and John will be there to do something or other, probably involving ‘swag’ (tut). Anybody is welcome to attend the meeting whether they are a NxtGenUG member or not. Just go to the NxtGenUG site at http://www.nxtgenug.net, register for FREE and book your place! The evening starts at 6:30pm and ends at 9pm.”

NxtGenUG meetings are always fun, so if your in the area come along and see what you think.

Details of how to get to MSR can be found at http://research.microsoft.com/aboutmsr/visitmsr/cambridge/default.aspx

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NxtGenUG – Mind your TABLE manners!

Tonight I attended a NxtGenUG meeting with Dave Sussman giving his talk on CSS 101, focusing on using CSS instead of tables for your layout.  Personally, I trend to use tables for layout and CSS for everything else, however Dave’s talk definitely opened my eyes on how CSS, I wasn’t even aware that it improved your bandwidth usage.  Seeing the CSS adapters was good as I haven’t looked at these before and some of his points on CSS and Forms was interesting as this is my major bug-bear with CSS.

I still have some issues with CSS where it seems to produce some unexplainable actions (unexplainable to me anyway, but i’m really not a CSS guru). 

The talk was really interesting and Dave is a good speaker so was an enjoyable session.

Rich gave a nugget on the Hawkeye tool which is a cool app for your toolkit.  Really pleased Rich showed it’s real power of enabling buttons which shouldn’t be enabled.

image I also gave “The Sandcastle Nugget” about Sandcastle, DocProject and GhostDoc.  I think it kinda went alright. Nothing went wrong, but there where one or two things which I wanted to mention but forgot – any maybe went a bit quick. I really need to record myself and play it back and maybe some ‘expert’ coaching.

Download the slides here

A good night all round, there was also new chairs/sofas which were really comfortable!  Cheers guys.

Related Sandcastle posts

Sandcastle, DocProject and creating custom topics

SandCastle and DocProject

SandCastle – Creating a website

SandCastle – What you need to know

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