After writing my previous post in this Minimal March series, it was pointed out to me that my approach is still a little bit of ‘gatekeeping‘. I was using a very expensive machine with lots of memory and drive space in a virtual machine. What about those folks that don’t have access to these resources? Let’s knock down those doors and show that ANYONE ANYWHERE can be a .NET developer.
I set the following parameters for myself, to ensure that I was getting a computer that just about anyone could acquire:
Purchase a laptop at my local discount retail shop, a Walmart in my case.
Spend less than $200
It must be a Chromebook – this is now very common in high-schools here in the US
Configure it with .NET developer tools and work on productive software on my Twitch stream
I wrote this tweet roughly a week ago about the state of .NET development that I was seeing on Twitter:
I see ‘Minimal March’ as a developer challenge for me, I’m someone who has spent the majority of the last 15 years working in a version of Visual Studio and C#. Let’s take away those comfortable and productive tools and expose me to more operating systems and more ways that folks can write applications. In this post, I’m going to outline the parameters of this .NET development event and show my initial configuration on Linux. I built this configuration live on my Twitch stream on March 1, 2020.
I live for these types of conversations: “Hey, is there a way to upgrade my application to the new framework?” The answer is almost ALWAYS no, because the person asking me has already searched the web and is looking for some secret upgrade technique from me. This time, this conversation, well it was a bit more interesting.
“Hey Jeff, Blazor Server-Side and ASP.NET Web Forms are pretty similar in concepts. They both render code on the server and both have a component-based model. Is there a way we could somehow re-use markup between the two frameworks?” That question not only got my interest, but also started some interest with my colleague Dan Roth. We were planning to go on stage at Microsoft Ignite 2019 and talk about Blazor for Web Form developers… when Dan had the idea: “What if we had a shim, a component library that LOOKED and rendered HTML like the original ASP.NET controls? That could help with migration.”
When working with Docker, most folks are very familiar with deploying and building Linux-based containers. ASP.NET Core is a web framework that works great on both Windows and Linux, and can run on both the cross-platform .NET Core framework and the classic .NET Framework. Last week, I was asked about how to package that ASP.NET Core application such that it runs on .NET Framework on a Windows-based container with IIS. I took some time on my live-stream show and walked through the process.
Over the past week, I’ve been working on an extension for Visual Studio called EpicBuildMusic. If you’ve watched my live stream on Twitch or Mixer, or caught the video afterwards on my YouTube channel, you’ve seen some of the challenges that I have run into. In this post, I’m going to summarize some of those learnings. Continue reading →