Letters from Readers
Readers Respond: Write Android Apps in C#, Visual Studio Keyboard Shortcuts
A skunkworks project by Xamarin, the developers of Mono for Android and Mono Touch, machine-translated millions of lines of Java in Android to C#. VSM Editor in Chief Keith Ward reported on the Xamarin XobotOS Research Project in a recent news story ("No Java Required: Write Android Apps in C#," May 11, 2012), and the technology piqued readers' interest.
It's good to hear about this achievement as I'm also a .NET developer and the market demands Android apps, but will it be that flexible and platform-independent? If so, I'll definitely want to work on this technology to further enhance it.
Although I think this project is a good development, Java shouldn't be the thing to complain about. If you're a C# developer, it's my experience that it's not a big deal to program in Java. The bad thing about current Android development -- based on my experience with Eclipse and the plug-ins for Android -- is that it all works buggy. Not only is working in Eclipse a big step back as a development environment compared to Visual Studio, but the Android emulator doesn't always behave as it should, which leaves you often wasting time in finding problems that are untraceable.
While this is a huge technical achievement, I don't see the practical value of what this gets you except the ability to program in C# rather than Java or Objective C. It's not "write once deploy on both platforms"; rather, you still need to worry about Layouts in Android and Storyboards in iOS.
Visual Studio Keyboard Shortcuts
In his May 31, 2012, .NET Tips and Tricks blog, VSM Tools Editor Peter Vogel offered some Visual Studio keyboard shortcuts ("4 Must-Know Visual Studio Keyboard Shortcuts"). Readers shared a few of their favorites.
As for keyboard shortcuts, my fav is "Ctrl+K+S" for "surround with." It's great for editing and adding a snippet around highlighted code. I also use DevExpress CodeRush.
My favorite is "Ctrl + , [comma]"; this brings up a dialog where you can type the name of a class or member and zoom right to it. For large projects this saves tons of time hunting for files.
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This story was written or compiled based on feedback from the readers of Visual Studio Magazine.