Visual Basic Communities
December 29, 2007 9:38 PM   Subscribe

Visual Basic communities. Where can I find a supportive community that will help me become a better VB .NET programmer?

I'm writing a rather complex .NET application, using Google to get answers to my (rather frequent) questions. In doing so I find helpful contributions in communities such as vbdotnetheaven, devcity and so on. I keep feeling I should pause a little, join up and start contributing.

I'm prepared to put in some effort, contribute, build a profile and hopefully become a better programmer as a result. My question is, where do I put in the time?

I'm not smart enough for MSDN. The stuff there makes my brain hurt. I need something a little clearer, simpler, without being completely - well, Basic.
posted by grahamwell to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Learn to program. That's different than learning VB.NET, but it's applicable to any programming you'll do, whether it's in VB or not.

Pick up the Design Patterns book from the "Gang of Four". Pick up a CS 201 book on algorithms and data structures. Apply functional decomposition to your work, so that rather than working on a complex application, you're working on lots of straightforward functions.

Learn to think like the function you're writing; think of yourself as the function, consider what you have (your inputs), what you need to do (your contract), how you'll do it (your algorithm). As long as any function does more than one obvious thing, decompose it into two or more simpler functions that only do one obvious thing.
posted by orthogonality at 11:07 PM on December 29, 2007

Sorry, I should be clearer. I've been programming for 20 years, so I know the basics. Actually I (try to) teach them to 15 year-olds. I don't, however, know how to intercept windows paint messages sent to all applications, so that I can capture and send only the updated part of the screen over UDP to all 25 of my clients (broadcasting my screen is part of what the application does - at the moment WAY too slowly). I'll spend a couple of hours on Google and I hope that I'll get that figured out today, it's got to be possible after all. It would be nice to have a sort of home base for those questions that are harder to express in a search string. Like here, but obviously not here.
posted by grahamwell at 3:04 AM on December 30, 2007

If you want a remote screen viewer, have you considered decoupling that functionality from your own app and using UltraVNC instead? It allows multiple connections, has a view-only mode, and if you enable the video hook driver on the machine whose screen is being viewed, works very snappily with low CPU load.
posted by flabdablet at 3:32 AM on December 30, 2007 is built for this kind of thing. You might want to look into CodePlex as well.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:18 AM on December 30, 2007

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