Save for the Future

A reader calls for VSM to concentrate on the here and now, and save discussions of future technologies for special issues only.

Letters to Visual Studio Magazine are welcome. Letters must include your name, address, and daytime phone number to be considered for publication. Letters might be edited for form, fit, and style. Please send them to Letters to the Editor, c/o Visual Studio Magazine, 2600 El Camino Real, Suite 300, San Mateo, CA 94403; fax them to 650-570-6307; or e-mail them to

Save for the Future
Rarely do I read an article about future technologies. I need information that will help me today. Getting an in-depth understanding of .NET has been a challenge; the time that I have to read is spent on the here and now. I'm not one of the elite who knows about everything offered today and cannot wait to get ahead of the curve. I'd like to see you devote your writing about the future to "special editions" and not your monthly publication. I need stuff I can read about tonight and implement tomorrow.

Robert Hill, Winston-Salem, N.C.

Where Were Other Options?
I'm writing in response to Doug Thews' column on printable ASP.NET pages [ASP.NET, "Build Printable ASP.NET Pages," October 2004]. Doug should have at least mentioned the option of using Web standards, including CSS, for printing the pages. You could create a style for print media that would format the HTML (including hiding unwanted objects), and you could apply this style to the HTML when it's printed. Doug's solution is complicated and hard to maintain. Web standards decouple content (XHTML) from presentation (CSS).

John Chynoweth, Arlington, Va.

While HTML and CSS were viable topics for the article, I wanted to provide more ASP.NET-specific solutions. In fact, there are quite a few other solutions that I could have included, but the amount of article space that I'm granted each month prohibits me from writing about every single approach to a problem. Therefore, I decided to talk about several solutions that don't receive much attention (articles on HTML/CSS can be found anywhere, but how many articles have you seen that cover the Crystal Reports print engine or writing printable content to hidden HTML controls?). I also decided to write about how MSDN delivers its printable pages, because that has been a common question in the ASP.NET newsgroups lately.

These solutions might seem complex, but these types of solutions do deserve discussion and merit when choosing your ASP.NET application design. I hope I introduced readers to some techniques that they might not have considered before (like the use of the Crystal Reports engine or the dynamic loading of hidden HTML controls to handle printable content), so that they can add them to their tool belt (along with HTML/CSS) for future projects. —D.T.

DataDirect Code is Fully Managed
I would like to clarify something I inadvertently implied in my print review of DataDirect Connect for .NET 2.1 [First Looks, "Use Native Database Providers," November 2004]. In choosing that headline, I wanted readers to understand that DataDirect provides connection classes tailored specifically to the native capabilities of Oracle, SQL Server, DB2, and Sybase. The DataDirect connection classes are optimized for specific databases, in contrast to the standard ADO.NET/OLE DB connection classes that work with any OLE DB provider. However, the headline has an unfortunate connotation that didn't cross my mind when I was writing the review: VSM readers could look at the headline and come to the unfortunate conclusion that DataDirect uses insecure native VS.NET code. That is not the case. The DataDirect code is fully managed code that does not suffer from the security vulnerabilities of managed code.

Andy Clark, MCSD

About the Author

This story was written or compiled based on feedback from the readers of Visual Studio Magazine.

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