Herding Code 77: Eric Hexter on MvcConf, C4MVC, and MvcContrib

This week on Herding Code, Jon, Kevin and Scott K discuss MvcConf, C4MVC and MvcContrib with, open source and community extraordinaire, Eric Hexter. 

  • Eric talks about his role as consultant and Director of Open Source at Headspring.
  • The guys walk through Hexter’s impressive resume.   Eric is the co-founder of MVCContrib, he established the Community for MVC (C4MVC) virtual user group and is currently coordinating MvcConf, the Virtual ASP.NET MVC Conference scheduled for July.  No wonder the most popular listener question for this week was “How is Hexter so awesome?”
  • Eric takes us through the general theme of MvcConf  – “interactive” presentations around extensibility, testability and building maintainable, high-volume, enterprise applications with a focus on best practices like database migrations. 
  • Eric issues a call for speakers. Who’s interested?
  • Jon asks about Portable Areas in MvcContrib and Eric digs into the embedded view engine and synchronous message bus.
  • Kevin asks a question.
  • The guys talk about Input Builders, Dynamic Scaffolding and Fluent Html Helpers.  Jon also asks about MvcContrib Grid’s popularity.
  • Scott K asks about extending ASP.NET MVC, “Are you fighting with the framework or at least fighting with the C# language?”  Have you gotten the feeling that Scott likes a good fight?  Scott considers how and why various frameworks are developed and Eric praises ASP.NET MVC for having all of the the right extension points in place. These leads to a group discussion about the ASP.NET MVC team releasing source drops and not working in a bubble.
  • Eric and Jon talk about the MVCContrib TestHelpers and the importance of testing routes.  Hexter tells us about the UI Test Helpers built around WatiN and the benefit of strongly type views. Jon oohs and ahhs.
  • Kevin asks another question.
  • Scott K comments on SubControllers.  Eric tell us if SubControllers smell and shares the general argument against RenderAction.
  • Jon talks about model validation via data annotations and how one might test.  Eric shares some of the patterns they have established (strongly-typed views, 1:1 mapping between view and viewmodel) and how he uses data annotations for data type validation and how complex validation is handled via a command processor’s rules engine.
  • The show wraps with Eric singing about a few of his favorite things – continuous integration and testing. He pimps the early access edition of ASP.NET MVC2 in Action and Tarantino Database Migrations and announces that the Virtual ALT.Net folks and he will be open sourcing their video recording management scripts.
  • Final question, “How does Eric get so much done?”  “Automate, automate, automate!”  Of course!

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Show notes compiled by Ben Griswold. Thanks!

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Herding Code 77: Eric Hexter on MvcConf, C4MVC, and MvcContrib