Monday, December 11, 2006


How weird to be back in the world of WinForms and ASP.NET control development, after so long in the realms of WPF betas and CTPs. Working on Windows and Web controls and components has a familiar and old-fashioned feel - like I know how to do everything that the spec requires, but that the results will be rather plain and rigid in appearance and behaviour.

Still there are compensations - not feeling that every surface will inevitably end up with a gradient fill; not having animations just because you can; having an infinitely higher level of confidence in the dev tools and the base class libraries which allows you to know that if things are going wrong it's definitely your own fault and not a buggy set of fundamental building blocks.

But it is also amazing how rusty you can get - leaving a branch of dev technology for a 12-18 month period brings on, for me at least, a Homer Simpson like phenomenon of the newer stuff pushing the old stuff out of the brain to make room; the shelf above my desk is currently groaning under the weight of tech books that I have had to bring to work as reference material.

And this is before taking into account the newer VS2005/CLR 2.0 stuff that I didn't really get to grips with as it was released - ASP.NET 2.0 is so different from 1.0/1.1 and because of the timing of its release, I never got the chance to enjoy the delights of Master Pages, Personalisation, the Provider model etc., etc.

The worry of course is that I will use older techniques or approaches to implement features and miss the opportunity to do things better by exploiting newer aspects of the technology - so rather than just using the tech books as reference material, I am carting them back and forth to and from work and trying to read them a bit more sequentially in order to get coverage of more than just the stuff I think of and go look up. So it's 'back to the classroom' so I can push all that WPF/XAML out of my brain again...ho hum.