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Learning Visual Studio.NET from online docs = pain

Maybe there's no other way they could have done the docs given the complexity of VS.NET, but wow.  Learning anything through the links is horrible because you have to go through some long polemic about Solution Build Configurations or Items, or god-knows-what-else, and half the time after reading all this crap, you STILL haven't actually gotten to the thing you want.

So you click another link.

Then repeat the first paragraph.  This is tripply horrible when trying to import a project from somewhere else.

Crimson
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Try the walkthroughs. They seemed straight forward to me.

ICBW
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

I am also having a wonderful time learning .NET.

My approach of learning is different from...<brain_fart/>

Let me put it this way.

Two approaches of learning a new language:
---------------------------------------------------------


FIRST APPROACH:
============
(1) Start with downloading code snippets and full samples from the Web
(2) Read them. Try editing them, run them and see the differences.
(3) Refer to documentation for the _arcane_ functions used. For the most part, rely on Intellisense.
(4) Keep doing steps (1) through (3)


SECOND APPROACH: (I favour this approach ardently)
===============
(1) Remove fear of the IDE first. Open every window in the IDE. See the toolbars, menus, dialogs. Take notes of the keyboard short cuts. Relate every command with previous versions of the language - in my case VB 6.

(2) Take notes. Keep taking notes.

(3) Object Browser + MSDN. I spend most of the time in the Object Browser and the MSDN. Drill down the heirarchy for every object and one realizes, there are only a few _heavy_ objects that account for most of the aggregation in the derived types.

(4) Lick the BCL. Lick again.

(5) Once in a while, download a code snippet only for reading and checking the functions in the MSDN.

(6) Start writing some trivial programs.

(7) Repeat from (2). Becoming _IDE friendly_ removes a lot of the fear one has initially.

Your mileage may vary.

Sathyaish Chakravarthy
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

MSDN?? Hahaha, that really is a last resort for me - it's bloated and complicated, even as a language/platform reference...

Try to find other online guides and references, they usually are better and simpler.

MediocreDev
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

You could always consult some of the myriad crappy books on the subject.

Bill Brown
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

MSDN was very painful to me until I created a shortcut (keyword?) in FireFox called msdn that expanded out to "http://www.google.com/search?&q=site:msdn.microsoft.com%20%s"

Now I can jump into FireFox, put in a keyword or two (or class name from the FCL), press Enter, and get really good results.

Bill Brown
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

I've done the same, but with Google Groups, specifically pointing to the microsoft.public.dotnet.framework.* groups... being able to type "dotnet whatever" into the address bar has minimized the hassle of troubleshooting problems I *know* someone else has run into before.

Greg Hurlman
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

> Lick the BCL

BCL?

Bloody Cowardly Lump?

Boss' Creaming Limpet?

Wha'?


Wednesday, July 28, 2004

BCL = the Base Class Library.

http://www.gotdotnet.com/team/clr/bcl/default.aspx

Sathyaish Chakravarthy
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Well, I'm using SharpDevelop, not VS.NET, but I'm learning the same way I learn every other language and/or IDE:  start coding a project I *need* to get done using it.  Just dive in and accomplish something.  Use Google and/or the .Net SDK docs when you can't figure something out.

If anything, it's been a lot easier than, say, ASP with InterDev.  It's been comparable to Java/Eclipse, and a lot harder than learning to handcode PHP in a text editor.

jburka
Thursday, July 29, 2004

MSDN is not for beginners at all, it's a developer's reference guide.

Matt B
Friday, July 30, 2004

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