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An apology to Jon Skeet

25 June 2013

Mr. Skeet doesn't know me and no one that knows me has ever heard me say anything negative about him, so it may seem odd that I'm writing this apology.

But sometimes, when no one is around, and I'm watching a video from tekpub (like one of these), I find myself drumming my fingers and eventually I yell something like this:

"GET TO THE POINT!  I don't care about every last little nuance of the CLR!  Who cares if Ildasm looks different for this or that, just tell me about Lambdas!  Great Caesar's Ghost!  Just stop it already, quit bringing up Noda-Time and get to point!".

Well, I'm trying to make some screen casts of my own and in addition to trying to get the sound to...sound right, I'm realizing that many times you have to go deep into the details or you aren't explaining things properly.

Take my first stab, Getting Started With Dapper.  Dapper has been out for a while (most howto posts regarding Dapper are from 2011) so I thought it would be fairly easy to do a screen cast on it.  I've used it a lot.  I know my way around it.  Piece of cake, right?

Everything was going fine until I realized that I didn't really explain why I put a ToList() on the end of my Dapper.Query<T> calls.  The reason, of course, is that I like working with generic lists and .Query<T> returns IEnumerable<T>.  So I throw on a .ToList() to get things like I want them.  But that brings up the question, why does Dapper do that?  If I don't explain why IEnumerable is used instead of other collection types, then I'm really doing a screen cast on how I use Dapper rather than what Dapper does.

So I started writing text for an aside on IEnumerable.  I quickly realized this needed to be it's own separate screen cast because when you hit the period after typing .Query<T>("") there are a kah-jillion other Linq extension methods that pop up:

I didn't go crazy and spend time on each one, but there are several that need to be discussed.  And they behave differently with value types vs. references types and reference types behave differently than nullable reference types and...sheesh. I just wanted to make a screen cast about Dapper and expand the brand a little bit and now I'm looking through the C# specifications!

I'm taking my time and hopefully making good choices about what needs to be discussed and what can be left out.  But, there's more to it than I originally thought.

And while I can't claim to have walked a mile in Jon Skeet's shoes (his SO score is 576,875 while mine is...6), I can say that I've walked, maybe an metaphorical inch in his shoes.  After travelling even such a short distance as this, I feel compelled to say to Mr. Skeet, "I'm sorry I yelled at your tekpub video late at night when no one could hear me.  I just didn't know."

Just before I scheduled this post, I went to Mr. Skeet's twitter page and saw this exchange:

Pretty good advice.

By Jon Wear

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