What a fun night at the Vermont .NET Users Group tonight! And it was very informative, too. Seven of us featured our favorite developer tools, with presentations covering XMLSpy (very slick xpath auto-generation), Code Charge Studio (creating complete web sites), CodeSmith 4.0, ReSharper (great navigation enhancements to the VS2005 IDE), sophisticated free tools like NotePad++ and XmlNotepad, and more.
I did 20 minutes on CodeSmith 4.0. You learn from every presentation, regardless of length or audience. For my own assessment, I spent too much of the precious 20 minutes talking about CodeSmith features instead of demonstrating them. There were other great working examples of CodeSmith that I wanted to demo, but time ran out. We didn’t even get to .netTiers. That was doubly frustrating because there was so much good stuff not shown. I prepared quite a bit for the 20 minute presentation over the last week, but somehow during my presentation prep I forgot that 20 minutes spent talking about something you think is a wonderful tool passes extremely quickly.
The presentations followed one another efficiently and the time allotted each presenter was strictly enforced with a witty-sounding .WAV file on Julie’s laptop. The 3 hour meeting was interesting from start to finish and each presenter did a great job, I think. What was I most impressed with? I think I’m going to have to give NotePad++ a look, I think (I’m a long-term, dedicated TextPad man), and I’m seriously going to look into ReSharper.
Lots of great swag after the show, too. Two lucksters scored a license of ReSharper. I’m not complaining, cause I got a great T-shirt that I traded with my pal Robert Holmes for an even cooler baseball cap. Altova is the maker of XMLSpy. I appreciate a nice baseball cap and the Altova caps were top shelf. Thank you Altova. First and foremost, however, and as always, thank you Julie Lerman for organizing a wonderful meeting. You’re top shelf, too, girlfriend!