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WebDev, UX & a Pinch of Fantasy

Epic Articles Week 11 2013: This Time About Web Development.

Welcome stranger, sit down by the fire and let us hear the epic deeds, the tales of joy, of woe and of note that occurred these past seven days.

These past two weeks I have been doing 100% front-end web development, loads of JavaScript, Knockout, HTML and CSS both at work and at home. And so, I have been reading a bunch of books and articles on the matter. Below you can see the best of them:

Epic Articles



HTML5 Mobile Development


I am going through one of those hibernation periods in which, not matter what I do, I cannot wake up at 5 am as usual and thus, my side-project development hurts xD. Anyhow, I have managed to start a new Knockout project called iPomodoro, and although it is very, very green still, it is meant to become some sort of Pomodoro technique web-based application. More on that soon :)


Barbaric Tip of the Week: Improve Your Productivity in Visual Studio with Quick Launch/Quick Access

Barbaric Tip of the Week is a weekly series whose main purpose is to share tiny bits of knowledge that I find specially useful and interesting.

Ever since I read focus (Leo Babauta 2010) and found out about application launchers - little utility applications whose sole purpose is to launch other applications with mininum effort - I have been unable to live without them.

An application to launch other applications? What? You may wonder. What do I need that for? Ok. Imagine this scenario: You are typing some code in your favorite editor, or writing an article of some sort, and suddenly you want to download some images from the internetz to use in your app/article, so you go grab your mouse, move it around, click, click, click, until you get to open your browser and search for the images.

With a launcher (like launchy), you would type ALT+SPACE to open launchy and type Chrome or Google TAB I can has cheezburger, press enter and boom there you are, within Chrome. If you extend this to any application or file within your computer (not taking into account launcher extensions, which we could XD), you can easily appreciate its immense usefulness.

Launchy seach screenshot

Ok, now that you know what a launcher is, imagine that you could have the same functionality for Visual Studio. Imagine that, from one place, you could reach all menus, windows, tasks and commands within Visual Studio. That’s what Quick Launch (and Quick Access in Visual Studio 2010) brings you. Everything that you usually need to use the mouse for (evil mouse ⌐⌐) can now be reached from Quick Launch.

Let’s see some examples to illustrate the advantages of Quick Launch. In Visual Studio 2012, click CTLR+Q to access Quick Launch,type recent and open a recent solution.

How to open a recent solution with Quick Launch screenshot

Once you have opened a solution (what you can access via Quick Launch depends on context), type some of the options below or write whatever you want to your heart’s content:

  • close all: Close all documents
  • package manager: Open NuGet Package Manager
  • output: Open output window
  • new project: File -> New -> Project
  • team explorer: Open Team Explorer
  • add class: Add a class
  • run test: Run all tests in solution
  • line numbers off: Turn off line numbers in the text editor
  • sql server: Open Sql Server Object Explorer

You can event use it with ReSharper whenever you forget any shorcuts or as a learning helper tool. For instance, I always forget the shortcut for Surround with Template, so CTRL+Q, type resharper surround and TaDa! it’s CTRL+E, U:

Quick Launch help you learn resharper screenshot

A Note About Quick Access for Visual Studio 2010

If you are using Visual Studio 2010 and not VS2012 fear not, Quick Launch was released as Quick Access as part of the Power Productivity Tools extension. You just need to install it as you would with any other extension and you are pretty much done. One last thing though, by default, Visual Studio 2010 and Power Productivity Tools assign CTRL+3 to Quick Access, if you are using ReSharper you will know that CTRL+<number> is assigned to bookmarking, so you might consider changing the shortcut to CTRL+Q instead.

Ok, comrades, that’s all for today.


New Beginnings

Looks like I was not able to start building anything this past month after all :). I have been suuuuuper busy trying to catch up in terms of web dev skills for my new job at Medius. I started just two days ago and I am in the midst of the hardships/enjoyment of a new codebase and having lots and lots to learn xD. I am really looking forward to the next 6 months :).

Here are some interesting resources I looked at this past month and I wholeheartedly recommend:

Also, Microsoft awarded me with the Microsoft Active Professional 2013 award… which was cool and unexpected XD.

Professionals who are most current in Microsoft technologies receive their distinction as Microsoft Active Professional.

This distinction is given to less than 5% of the population of professionals, with the aim of recognizing their active participation in the community and commitment to stay in touch with the progress of Microsoft technologies.

From MSDN, we are convinced that the success of any project depends not only technological product. It is good people who make the difference.

Microsoft Active Professional 2013 Award screenshot

Cheers and tons of hugs for my colleagues at IFS for being freaking awesome during this past year and a half! :)

How to Win Friends and Influence People

Sunday! :) I used to hate Sundays when I was a kid… last precious minutes of the weekend before going back to school on Monday, trying to avoid going to church… then I grew and Sunday unequivocally equalled hang-over :) Today however, Sunday means the day I close open loops and get things done to wrap up the week nicely (yeah, for real, it has finally come to this XDDD).

Anyhow, here goes a little of weekend sunshine for everyone. This time through a book that should be mandatory reading in every school, university and shrine of education: How to Win Friends and Influence People, written in 1936 by Dale Carnegie and that remains, nonchalantly, fresh as the very day it was written. Read below…

Your smile is a messenger of your good will. Your smile brightens the lives of all who see it. To someone who has seen a dozen people frown, scowl or turn their faces away, your smile is like the sun breaking through the clouds. Especially when that someone is under pressure from his bosses, his customers, his teachers or parents or children, a smile can help him realize that all is not hopeless — that there is joy in the world.

and smile.

P.S. I have started refreshing ASP.NET MVC by doing some coding creating a new entry in my wiki, with a little bit or Razor and IoC. Yey!