What is the best way to save the state of a program. Maybe that is not the right way to describe it but, what I mean is almost any application you can input a whole bunch of data make selections and choices and then save these in files unique to the application your working with.
For the time being I will ask my question in term of VB.NET since it is what I am currently working with. I understand the use of the stream writer to write data to a file (any file extension can be used even your own made up one) and then you can later open the file with the stream reader and load the saved application state. At least that is what I know how to do.
Are there other ways to approach saving the state? In my case I have a dictionary that is defined through user input to store a lot of data and I am trying to find the best way to save the dictionary so I can load it again.
I would suggest the best way to save state is the way that makes sense to you (and presumably fits in with your architectural style).
There are various locations and methods of encoding state into a file but, with the exception of a few extreme cases, there's unlikely to be any (user) perceivable performance differences between the techniques.
If one was feeling especially concerned about such things, it might be worth hiving off the reading or writing of state onto a background worker thread but I'd probably hold off on that if / until you actually start running into any disk bound perf issues.
You can actually do this using vs.net IDE and click your way to happiness. Click a control where you want to save the state, then expand the ApplicationSettings in properties. Then click the ... (box) by PropertyBinding. Now choose the property you want to store the setting for and click New. Now name your setting and select whether it is a per user setting or a application setting in the scope.
OMG, THAT IS IT, AMAZING!
Now, when you want to save the state of a windows form, just put in your code: