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BOOK: JavaScript 24-Hour Trainer
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Old March 7th, 2012, 12:52 AM
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Default Use of MS Visual Web Developer Express

I'm familiar with JavaScript, but unfamiliar with the MS Visual Web Developer Express (MSVWDE) you use in your videos. I note in your videos that you always seem to start with the files already open. When I do a New File in MSVWDE, I'm presented with a variety of file types. The closest I come to JavaScript is Microsoft's flavor, JScript, and selecting that adds about 185 lines of SIGnature block at the top.

I'm going to be using this text for a hands-on class I'm teaching, and I'd like to have the students able to follow along easily. The students are all new to programming, and I don't want them to be overwhelmed. Is there a quick and easy way to add a JavaScript template that omits all of the SIG lines so it's closer to your sample code?

Also, have you used this in a classroom setting? If so, do you find the autocomplete functionality of MSVWDE aids in the learning process, or does it allow them to gloss over some of the important details because they need only select from a few choices?

I must say that I'm leaning towards using a simpler editor, like Notepad++, so they can focus more on the JavaScript aspect.


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Old March 7th, 2012, 10:45 AM
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Howdy, Grant.

First, that's awesome you're going to use it in the classroom. Thanks!

That's interesting. When I create a new .js file it's empty. It sounds like something has mucked up the templates and/or default documents.

I wanted to use WebMatrix when recording the book, but it was in beta (and I didn't want to use beta software). It has a built-in web server, which is great for Ajax stuff. Another excellent editor is Sublime Text 2, but it's not free. Notepad++ or Notepad2 are good editors.

Autocomplete can be a double-edged sword. It's nice to have, but it is also easy to get dependent on it. In JavaScript's case, I'd say it's more a hindrance than tool. Autocomplete is hard to get right in a language like JavaScript, and while support is better than it used to be, it still leaves a lot to be desired.
Old March 7th, 2012, 12:31 PM
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I only have 12 hours of classroom time, so I don't expect to be able to get into Ajax beyond a cursory description of it. Because of that, the server component of MSVWDE is probably overkill and I'll stick with Notepad++.

The //SIG lines have shown up on both fresh installs of MSVWDE we've done, so I don't think it's a corrupted template. This is when I select New File of type JScript.

I'll also probably move the chapter on common coding mistakes up towards the front, because they're more likely to encounter them when typing without autocomplete. If I can get the latest versions of either IE or FireFox installed, I'll show their built-in developer tools, including the ability to write to console.log instead of a bunch of alert()s.

Thanks, and I may have some followup questions!

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