Visual Studio Achievements

A software engineer’s glory so often goes unnoticed. Attention seems to come either when there are bugs or when the final project ships. But rarely is a developer appreciated for all the nuances and subtleties of a piece of code–and all the heroics it took to write it.  With Visual Studio Achievements Beta, your talents are recognized as you perform various coding feats, unlock achievements and earn badges.

link ] [ link2 ]

EF Code First change the default generated database name

I’m playing around with ASP.NET MVC 3 + EF Code First. At a testing stage my models change often. To always have some clean content when building and running the project I have overridden the Seed method in my custom database initializer class (inherit from DropCreateDatabaseIfModelChanges<T>).

using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Data.Entity;
using System.Linq;
using Test.Models;

namespace Test.DAL
public class TestInitializer : DropCreateDatabaseIfModelChanges<TestContext>
protected override void Seed(TestContext context)
var categories = new List<ProductCat>
new ProductCat { Name = "Wood" },
new ProductCat { Name = "Metal" },
new ProductCat { Name = "Plastic" }

var products = new List<Product>
new Product { Name = "Bench", ProductCat = categories.Single(c => c.Name == "Wood")},
new Product { Name = "Bottle", ProductCat = categories.Single(c => c.Name == "Plastic")},
new Product { Name = "Electric cable", ProductCat = categories.Single(c => c.Name == "Metal")}

products.ForEach(p => context.Products.Add(p));


Now if you have SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) open, you will see that your generated database is something like Project.Namespace.Class, which is actually not a good name. To change that EF Code First generated name you can do something like this in your DbContext class:

using System.Data.Entity;
using System.Data.Entity.ModelConfiguration.Conventions;

namespace Test.Models
public class TestContext : DbContext
public TestContext()
: base("MyNewDBName") // <-- database name
{ }

public DbSet<Product> Products { get; set; }
public DbSet<ProductCat> Categories { get; set; }

protected override void OnModelCreating(DbModelBuilder modelBuilder)

Keep in mind that this is only one of the places where you can change the default database name.

Now your database will be called MyNewDBName in SSMS.
Have fun ;-)

TouchStudio – TouchStudioApp

Script your phone! Write code for your phone, on your phone! TouchStudio is
radically new software development environment on the Windows Phone, bringing
the excitement of the first programmable personal computers to the phone.
TouchStudio is an app available on the Windows Phone Marketplace.

[ source ]

Remove and sort using statements

A lot of people don’t know this but you can actually clean up your using statements in your Visual Studio projects almost automatically.

In case you didn’t know, here is how to do it:

You have a big list of using statements in your class. It might look like this by default:

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Text;
using System.Windows;
using System.Windows.Controls;
using System.Windows.Data;
using System.Windows.Documents;
using System.Windows.Input;
using System.Windows.Media;
using System.Windows.Media.Imaging;
using System.Windows.Navigation;
using System.Windows.Shapes;

Just do a right-mouse click on the using statements and select:
[Organize Usings] > [Remove and Sort].

This will remove all the unnecessary and unused usings. The result might look as clean as this:

using System.Windows.Controls;

Sometimes, nothing could be removed or sorted but in most new class files there are a lot of default usings. It might be good to clean them once in a while, especially if you wrote and removed lots of (test) code in a class.

Happy programming ;)

Expression SuperPreview

Just found out about SuperPreview:

What is SuperPreview?

SuperPreview speeds browser compatibility testing

Expression Web speeds the essential task of browser compatibility testing. With SuperPreview, you can debug your pages on the same machine that you use for development. You can view your pages in multiple browsers simultaneously or view how a page renders in a browser and compare it to a comp or mock-up image of a page. SuperPreview includes a local client as well as a Web service.

SuperPreview not only shows a high-fidelity rendering of how pages will look on different browsers, but it also identifies the element’s tag, size and position, applied styles, and location in the DOM (Document Object Model) tree so you can quickly fix the error.

SuperPreview installs with Expression Web. You can easily test pages at any stage in the design process, and launch SuperPreview from directly from Expression Web.

[ source ]