5 Great Visual Studio Keyboard Shortcuts

Here are five of my favorite keyboard shortcuts in Visual Studio. There's a good chance at least one of them will be new to you.

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Posted on 04/17/20150 comments


Remember the Parentheses on Your Knockout Observables

When you use KnockoutJS for data binding, you'll generally want to be binding to observable properties exposed from your ViewModel objects. An observable is an object declared with knockout:

{ customerName = ko.observable("");}

When you go to set that property, remember to call it as a function object with a call like:

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Posted by Brian Noyes on 04/16/20150 comments


Use CSS3 Features with Fallbacks for Older Browsers

Yes, it is possible to have your cake and eat it too. A good strategy is to use the latest CSS3 features in browsers that natively support them, but fallback to existing techniques like jQuery plug-ins or polyfills for older browsers. 

Modernizr is a great free JavaScript library that detects what HTML5 and CSS3 features a user agent supports. Opacity controls how transparent an element is. CSS3 now has an "opacity" property you can set from 0 (fully transparent) to 1 (fully opaque). Modernizr supports conditional loading, so if it detects the user agent doesn't support the new opacity property, it can download the jQuery core library, which offers cross-browser support for opacity. This provides the best performance for current devices, while ensuring all users have the same experience with the site. More

Posted by Robert Boedigheimer on 04/16/20150 comments


Click that Visual Studio Notification Flag

Visual Studio wants to keep you informed of important information, such as available Visual Studio updates, license expirations, or alerts. These notifications are now available directly from within Visual Studio. Just click on the flag icon in the Visual Studio 2013 title bar.

Prior versions of Visual Studio provided the notifications in a pop-up balloon that appeared in your Windows task bar. In Visual Studio 2012, the pop-up balloon appears and disappears so quickly, it's easy to miss. And it isn't obvious how to display it again. More

Posted by Deborah Kurata on 04/16/20150 comments


Disable Mobile Redirect on Your Public-Facing SharePoint Sites

Sometimes when you try to navigate to a site from a mobile device, you'll be redirected to the SharePoint mobile version of that site. The mobile view is a bit of a throwback to a bygone era. It gives you a restricted text view designed to work on older devices. Nowadays, mobile browsers are much better and you would much rather see the site rendered using responsive design.

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Posted by Bill Ayers on 04/16/20150 comments


Configure Custom Domain Names in 4 Easy Steps

Microsoft Azure Web sites provide a robust and easy-to-use container for hosting your Web applications. This doesn't just pertain to ASP.NET apps, but to several templates such as Drupal, WordPress, Orchard and so on. The service also provides first-class support for Node.js Web apps/APIs, PHP and Python. If you're new to Azure Web sites, you might think, "Big deal, this is just another Web host." You would be wrong. There's a ton of value you get with Azure Web sites that blows away your commodity Web hosters:

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Posted by Rick Garibay on 04/15/20150 comments


Friends Don't Let Friends Async Void

When writing asynchronous code using the Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5, it's tempting and easy to declare methods such as async void. Don't do this. You should only use async void on top-level event handlers. Instead, declare your methods as async Task. The async void methods wind up being fire-and-forget methods. That's the case even when awaited, because there's no task to actually await. Also, exceptions won't be properly propagated to your try/catch block.

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Posted by Brian Peek on 04/15/20150 comments


Change Datacenters for Your Microsoft Azure Web Site

If you've ever created a Microsoft Azure Web site, you know how easy it is to get up and running. Given this simplicity, it's easy to get ahead of yourself and create your site without giving much thought to the datacenter where it will be hosted. For example, if the majority of your Web traffic will originate on the West coast, but you set up your site on the East coast, you'd benefit significantly by the reduced latency of moving to a datacenter closer to your users.

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Posted by Rick Garibay on 04/15/20150 comments


Control the Scope of JavaScript Declarations with IIFEs

One of the most common mistakes people make with JavaScript is polluting the global namespace with too many low-level function and variable declarations and then running into subtle bugs when one declaration stomps on another.

For example, if you declare something like var foo = "value"; in a JavaScript file that gets pulled into your HTML page through a script tag, that foo variable is now in the global namespace. You could have some other JavaScript file that also gets pulled in that also declares a foo variable, puts a different value in it, and then your code could start doing unintended things because of the value supplied by that other JavaScript file. If your foo variable is only intended to be used by other code in the same JavaScript file, there's a simple and common structure to be aware of for controlling that scope: Immediately Invoked Function Expressions (IIFEs), also sometimes referred to as automatically invoked functions, or self-invoking functions.

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Posted by Brian Noyes on 02/23/20150 comments


Using HTML5 Microdata for Better Search Engine Results

Have you ever noticed when using search engines that some of the results look much better than others? Why do some of the results have pictures and other specific information and links?

A good way to provide this additional information to search engines is using microdata, which adds extra metadata to HTML to better describe the content. A repository of some common vocabularies (schemas) is available at schema.org. The "person" schema could be used to further describe information about a blog:

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Posted by Robert Boedigheimer on 02/23/20150 comments


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