So I decided to make an application I call WatchedIt to track where I left off watching shows. What a perfect opportunity to try out some new technologies! For this project I used the following fairly new technologies:
So what did I think of the experience? MVC3 is a promising improvement over MVC2 and Web Forms. Outside of a radical paradigm change (like being more dynamic like Ruby) I'd pick MVC3 for my next project without hesitating. It integrated nicely with jQuery by offering ways to produce and consume JSON.
HTML5 gets a big thumbs up! I've already begun using as many features as I can that are backward compatible with older browsers. If you want to know what you can and can't use now, I recommend HTML5 and CSS3 by Brian Hogan.
I really liked Razor! But the lack of intellisense (auto completion, etc) in Visual Studio was a bit painful. Hopefully this will get added soon and it will be my preferred View Engine hands down. It was a little hard to figure out when you don't have to use the @ symbol to prefix code but the error messages were very helpful.
UPDATE 11/9/2010: And 3 hours after posting this, Intellisense has been added in MVC 3 RC!
EF4 Code First didn't go nearly as smooth as the other new features even though I love the concept. The parts that worked are great but it still has a few too many limitations for me to pick it again without hesitation over other options. Some of the limitations:
- I couldn't find a simple, elegant way to do a cascading delete of all child objects when you delete a parent.
- You can't have more then one DbContext share the same database (not a major issue)
- Deploying to production didn't go very smoothly. I had to configure the connection string to use the "sa" account to get the DB created.
I've decided to give back to the community and put the source code on GitHub. I'm sure there are some things I could have done better or that didn't follow best practice so if you find something that would have been much easier to do another way let me know. I'd love to hear it.
Some 3rd party libraries that made this application possible:
Elmah - my favorite error logging library
tvdblib - they did an awesome job of wrapping the TVDB API!
TheTVDB - without this DB this application wouldn't be possible. Please consider contributing info and artwork.