Managed Extensibility Framework Introduced By Bart

by Damiaan Peeters 19. August 2009 17:54

I have been thinking several years about how to implement Extensibility in a decent manner for one of my applications.  The problem is that as a sole freelance developer, implementing extensibility is not something you NEED.  It is more a ‘nice to have’.  At the end of 2008, I found the MEF (Managed Extensibility Framework).  But due to a lack of time and lack of articles about it, never started investigating into it.  I admit, I do not always jump on the newest beta technologies right away.

Unfortunately, when you search for some information on the MEF CodePlex website on how it exactly works, it doesn’t really encourage you to read further…  Try to dive in the first to links on the topic “Where to go next”

  • First there is:  Learn more about MEF .  Completely correct, but a 100% cryptic message for dummies.  Telling someone you have to start with a container or a catalog without explaining what a catalog or container is, is not very convincing.
  • Or take the programming guide, just a few steps to do very complex things.  My problem was not “how to”, but I wanted to understand what I was doing.  Adding references adding class or method attributes can be done by my little sister, but would she know what she has done?  I Guess not, I even bet she doesn’t understand these terms.

So, I watch out for months about articles covering the Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF).  Articles explaining the basics. Telling me what it exactly is, or what the basics are.  Some sort of “Hello World” for advanced programmers, but “MEF dummies”.

Earlier this week I found the article an article, written by a Belgian fellow, now working in Microsoft Redmond.
His blog posts tend to be very technical material for advanced LINQ adepts or Expression Tree lovers. This time he covered “MEF for Dummies”, just what I needed.  I’ve written before about the mouse-hating code-lover called Bart De Smet. (See a previous post “Bart De Smet gone mad about extension methods”.) 

Bart proved his excellent writing capabilities in his blog post written earlier this month. If you are interested in MEF, then read  A Whirlwind Tour through the Managed Extensibility Framework.  I highly recommend it.

Congratulations Bart, it was easy to read, even humorous. And most of all it was very understandable.  Thank you very much!

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