A List of projects for .NET that are better than a poke in the eye.

I propose “would you rather use this API or have a poke in the eye” as the new selection criteria for 3rd party projects.

Here is what passes my poke in the eye test.


  • XML seemed to rub a lot of people the wrong way on its meteoric rise to “total serialisation format domination”
  • Json is like someone turned the list of bad things about XML into a design specification document.
  • Newtonsofts port to c# has been popular. here
  • There are some gotchas and a few inelegant areas, but overall its a very good option for serialisation
  • Boasts fast performance like a teenager with a play-station



  • Bridges many of the issues associated with using 3rd party libraries in your code.
  • You probably already know about it.
  • here



  • Plots, quick dirty reliable
  • Examples
  • here



  • Because “the software should output valid html” is a system requirement that makes you frown.
  • Because you often need to output something as “plain text or html”
  • Because its just plain awesome
  • Originally made for Perl  here
  • Ported to C# by different people. eg markdownsharp
  • There is also an editor,



  • A list view that you wish was part of c#
  • So pretty, you will blush at client presentations
  • Highly configurable
  • Well documented
  • here


This Ribbon thing on Code Project

  • “Is there a good free ribbon for c#”… YES
  • here



  • There are a lot of 2D graphics libraries So I recommend writing your own wrapper so you don’t get coded into a corner.
  • SFML.NET is the current hotness for me.
  • Up and going in one sitting
  • Minimal head scratching.
  • Well thought out.
  • See more here



  • It’s been around for a while, production seems to have stalle as of a year ago.
  • Plays nicely with the software development process.
  • Get it here.


Colin Greens Fast replacement for System.Random

  • There are lots of random number packages, but sometimes you Just want a drop in replacement for System.Random that’s faster.
  • This works and its all in one .cs file so you can just add it into your toolbox and forget about it.
  • Well documented, no license, no stress.
  • Get it here.