I haven’t normally taken a lot of stock for ‘online template’ repositories. In Office, what promised to be a great feature introduced in the 2007 iteration on Office Online faded into a small collection of meager ‘I could have done that in 5 seconds’ templates and never any fresh new content. In Visual Studio 2008, I think there was a feature for this but never saw anything of interest in there. With the release of VS2010, however, I may have found a new friend!
Open up VS 2010 and go to File/New/Project. At the bottom of the list of types is the Online Templates category. Clicking into that retrieves a nice little collection of very useful templates that I hope continue to be expanded on and refined. Here’s my favorites so far:
- An MVC OpenID web site starter
- An IE 8 Accelerator starter
- A Silverlight based Windows Gadget
- A WCF REST Template
- A Twitter screensaver
- A notification area sample app for WPF
None of these are earth shattering, but if you look at some of these as stubs for new ideas, as I tend to dream things up before they are actually needed, quite a bit of fun could be had. Here’s a challenge for me – I’d like to pair some of these with my new found love for Windows Azure. A great example – the Windows Azure / FaceBook SDK I tweeted about yesterday could be recreated with both an Accelerator (MS already made one) and a Windows Gadget. Or, something more unique – use the same SDK and build up a new WCF REST service for FaceBook (they probably already have one though).
Anyways – good mental exercise if you are interested.