Wonder of wonders

You cannot imagine how good it feels to finally blog these words: the next generation of Smart Components are on MSDN!

These new dynamic modules expose Microsoft blog posts, MVP bios and blurbs, MVP-authored Knowledge Base articles. Next stop: Webcasts and events.

Where can I find them, you ask?
Well of course my beloved community home page.

Then there are these champion sites:

- Asp.net developer center home page and community page

Longhorn developer center (it doesn’t look different, but the code on the page is)

Office   (John Durant’s team working through great adversity)

Subscriptions (note the new blog of our very own MSDNer Mike Kinsman – not a smart component, just a smart cookie!)

Support   (this site manager went from newbie to component expert)
Windows Embedded  (Our MSDN site manager posted these through her own great adversity)

Big shout-out to the Community Platform team – George, Mike, Vikas, Kelly – who helped us get this show on the road. Big thank you to Duncan Mackenzie who helped me with the CSS issues.  

(Betsynote: sorry, had to re-edit the links here - some descriptions and locations got swapped)


Comments (6)
  1. Hi Betsy,

    Why is there nothing on this community page relating to Visual Basic? Everything here (included highlighted MVPs) seems to focus on C#?

    Thanks … bill

  2. Betsy says:

    Well if you want the literal truth, it’s because I was running around training and technically enabling every site manager in MSDN to use the smart components (including what launched on the VB developer center), working til 10 pm at night most weeks, and taking a Visual Basic class at a local college (which is probably going to turn into a number of blogs if not an article).

    I had perhaps 5 minutes to launch my own page, and C# happened to be the test code I had handy because we were short staffed for C# and I was doing my teammates a favor. Your VB developers tend not to go to the community page in droves – they go to the VB developer center.

    If you’d rather I’d never done all that work, nor selected taking a VB class over C#, you can of course refund me $500 and about a month of my life. Oh yes, and a large bottle of Sapphire. 😀

  3. Sorry, I did not mean my question to be at all a criticism of all your hard work. It just seemed strange to go the “the” MSDN Community Center and find it so focused on C#. It would seem that each product’s development site would be a more logical place to highlight a specific product and its MVPs. I may be way off base here but it would seem that the MSDN Community Center should highlight all the technologies and if it was exposing MVPs, then all the MVP community would be exposed, not just a subset.

    As background, you may not be aware of the current discussions within the developer community (see http://blogs.msdn.com/somasegar/archive/2004/08/01/204540.aspx) that MS has selected “C#” as its “favorite” language and developers who like other languages, especially Visual Basic, are kind of touchy. Again I apologize if my question was offensive – I was just interested in the rationale (policy, time pressure, etc.) and I understand the pressures you are under. BTW, how is the VB course going?

  4. Betsy says:

    Hi Bill,

    I finally can get back to your comment (Guess who is working late?!!! What else is new. 🙂 ) .

    The VB class is pretty nifty though exhausting- the full title is Introduction to Programming Using VB.NET and I’m taking it at a local community college. Yesterday’s class was about hooking your database and your app together which was very cool. I am still a VB newbie and any blogs/work I do for MSDN will be to get newbies started.

    My earlier reply to you was off the cuff but I hope honest enough (and teasing enough) so that you know I don’t intend any disrespect to the VB community. Regular readers of my blog know that the components have driven me (as I have driven other people) nuts in order to get them out. They also know that I don’t write serious analysis – I write humor and slice of life. At one point I waxed poetic about the MSDN carpet. You can question whether the VB community would actually want to share a page with this drivel. 🙂

    As to why isn’t everything on this one page, there are literally hundreds of components. The MSDN community home page can’t expose them all. (The page time load would be intense). And, I have to repeat, the community page isn’t actually where we see people on MSDN interact with their communities – they do so on the developer centers. MSDN community is more like a reference and a place to hear what I am doing, but people "hang out" on the dev centers with their posses. As is only right.

    I can rotate some VB components in the next time that page is updated but I think what worries me the most about this exchange is that underlying dialogue you are talking about. It seems like there is more to get done on Microsoft’s part to help the VB devs feel better. I don’t know if simply adding components to a page really gets at the heart of what you are concerned about.

  5. Hi Betsy,

    Let me know if you need any help on VB – always glad to help out (I also know a really good VB Text written by a great guy that you might find helpful).

  6. Hi Betsy,

    If you add some VB content to the page each time it is updated you will help fix part of the issue and will make VB devs feel a little better. 😉

    If you spot other MS situations where either language can be used but only C# is used, please make other MS folks aware of the issue; this will fix more of the problem and will make VB devs feel even better. 😉 For example, when a MSDN help topic about using the FCL is written with C# sample code and no VB sample code we feel left in the dark.

    FYI and not directed at you: One thing we really have come to dislike is MS folks who blog or otherwise communicate publically that C# is superior to VB. This devalues the VB devs, writers, tool makers – all of use making a living by using MS VB.NET. None of us likes to hear quotes from MS folks who say VB sucks, from our customers.

    Thanks for listening,


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