Stuff I do like

So Brad Wilson basically said on Twitter today that I was being too negative.  Since that’s like Debbie Downer asking you to be a little more upbeat, I thought I’d balance that with some stuff that I do like:

  • The new architectural guidance coming from Patterns and Practices.  I raised one huge objection and they quickly changed it . 
  • The general direction of xUnit.Net in regards to the no SetUp/TearDown thing, and that’s not just a sop to Brad
  • The new AAA syntax and mocking style in both Rhino Mocks and Moq
  • Nate Kohari’s approach to convention based setter injection in Ninject (I’m going to copy the idea into StructureMap)
  • Autofac’s extensibility model (also going to copy some of that)
  • I really, really like getting patches for StructureMap, and I’ve got a couple to incorporate this week
  • Love the new language features in .Net 3.5.  I bitch about generics a lot, but that comes from pushing the envelope on usage and banging into edge cases.  It’s really generics within Fluent Interface code that gives me the most heartburn, and that’s not typical usage.
  • The magic of expressions, and Daniel Cazzulino for blazing a trail on using Expressions
  • The jQuery ecosystem.  And I thought Microsoft’s official blessing and support for jQuery was huge
  • MassTransit (I think the new service bus tools like nServiceBus & MassTransit basically become a sort of a “Distributed IoC” tool
  • Linq to NHibernate and Linq in general of course
  • The more powerful auto mapping and convention support in Fluent NHibernate (I didn’t write that part)
  • Bellware’s SpecUnit assertion extensions
  • The fluent fixture stuff we stole from the Eleutian guys
  • The way P&P did the Prism project out in the open
  • The common service locator initiative
  • The way MS is doing the MVC project out in the open
  • The fact that MS does much more to acknowledge the value of Separated Presentation patterns and encourage their usage than they did just a few years ago
  • The fact that MEF is open sourced
  • The fact that MEF exists I think will help open up and decouple the BCL in some advantageous ways.  I think DI-friendly code will make it easier for us to use better composition based design instead of nasty inheritance structures
  • Yes, I gripe about some details of the MVC, but I made some huge, valuable customizations to our MVC pipeline in the past two days that were possible because the MVC classes are pretty cohesive and well structured
  • Basically any tool written by JetBrains
  • JP’s keyboard macro stuff for BDD
  • I do like the general concept behind StackOverflow, I’m just dubious about the veracity and wisdom of some of its content
  • Auto Mockers and InteractionContext base classes that make interaction style unit tests much easier than a few years ago
  • Rake as a build tool
  • Rob Conery’s MVC Storefront podcasts
  • The HerdingCode podcasts
  • Elegant Code and Los Techies as blogging communities
  • You have to look for it a bit, but the fact that many more .Net authors/INETA speakers/gurus from outside the little ALT.NET echo chamber are addressing design fundamentals and unit testing concerns in their writing and speaking.  Don’t read any sarcasm or anything negative into that, I really do think it’s a good thing because those folks have much more reach.  I’m thinking specifically about some recent MSDN articles
  • The fact that we’re finally getting some well supported alternative languages for .Net.  VB.Net and C# are essentially Country and Western.  F#, IronRuby, and IronPython gives us Jazz, Blues, and Opera.
  • I was surprisingly impressed with Dino Esposito’s latest book on .Net architecture
  • The DotNetRocks guest list.  Yes, I tend to grumble at some of things that get said on DNR a fair amount, but it’s astounding that they’ve gotten so many of my heros to come onto the show in the last couple months
  • Ben Scheirman’s new fluent API for testing routes in MVC

About Jeremy Miller

Jeremy is the Chief Software Architect at Dovetail Software, the coolest ISV in Austin. Jeremy began his IT career writing "Shadow IT" applications to automate his engineering documentation, then wandered into software development because it looked like more fun. Jeremy is the author of the open source StructureMap tool for Dependency Injection with .Net, StoryTeller for supercharged acceptance testing in .Net, and one of the principal developers behind FubuMVC. Jeremy's thoughts on all things software can be found at The Shade Tree Developer at
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  • Ray Vega

    >> I do like the general concept behind StackOverflow, I’m just dubious about the veracity and wisdom of some of its content

    It is strange that you would feel that way since the source of the content on that site is from the general programming community i.e. your fellow programmers. Does that imply that most programmers do not have valuable information to contribute to their peers? Would you rather have self-appointed “experts” doling out the answers to the programming questions?

    This is the same reasoning that folks have against open source projects. I’d recommend reading Eric Raymond’s The Cathedral and the Bazaar ( because you’d recognize that the concept behind open source projects is not that much different than with Stack Overflow. The difference is that programming *knowledge* and not working code is what is being open sourced on Stack Overflow.

    The sum of the knowledge of thousands of programmers from around the world is greater than a few select individuals. (“given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow” –> “given enough eyeballs, all programming questions are shallow”)

  • Vikas Kerni

    Excellent list.
    Thanks for recommending Dino Exposito’s Book.
    A very good read

  • Petar Petrov

    Hi Jeremy. I have posted a question on about Linq to NHibernate.
    Is it worth to invest time in NHibernate.Linq ? Is this project still active, deprecated, any news, roadmap or something ? Unfortunately I can’t find any information about it.
    The only available stuff is at and nothing more.

    Please give me an advice.

  • Bahador

    That was much needed after your last days’ tweets 😉

    And I must add something to the list:
    – I really like the fact that Anders Hejlsberg is still working at Microsoft and seems he’ll remain there for the foreseeable future!

  • dalager

    if you add some links to those bullets it would be even more cool.

  • Luke Venediger

    Hey Jeremy, thanks for this list. You mentioned Linq to Nhibernate: is there a stable release of this available?

    Also, for documentation, I seriously recommend Doc-o-matic ( over Sandcastle. It supports full output customisation including variable replacements and html template modifications (no XSLT – yay!). It also builds your help files in a tenth of the time it takes sandcastle.

    Luke Venediger

  • Karthik

    Good post…I’ll definitely be taking a look at some of the things on this list that I initially overlooked.

  • karl

    -The constant flow of amazing and diverse content coming out of CodeBetter. Over the past 6+ months it’s been post after post of highly valuable and technical information useful for every and any .NET developer with far less angst that we’ve been known for in the past. In my biased mind, CB and a few others are by far the best source of objective and advanced information.

    -The growing interest in ALT.NET beliefs by almost all types of programmers, including Microsoft. And that ALT.NETers are focusing more on teaching and helping rather than bragging and sounding intelligent.

    -Scott Guthrie’s continued excellence despite added responsibility.

  • Jeremy D. Miller

    Addendum: I found NDepend to be very helpful when I was overhauling StructureMap this past spring. And the Sandcastle Help File Builder GUI was a life saver.