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IUpdateable has moved to Please visit April 2009 Entries
The weekly SyncToBlog: #5
Development related: Persistence ignorance in the Entity Framework discussed with reference to the EFPocoAdapter Lots of Ruby and Rails stuff – and some good podcasts and video Scott Hanselman has listed his “must haves” on a machine rebuild. Always illuminating to see other techies “must have” lists EssWork 2.0 is a framework for software development integrated into VSTS. And its free. From Ivor Jacobson - who once cost me a lot of brandy on expenses :-) A video showing construction ......

Posted On Thursday, April 30, 2009 5:20 PM

UK MSDN Flash Poll: As a developer, what do you think of IE 8?
I don’t do much web development these days (with the exception of when I am thinking about Windows Azure) and I certainly haven’t battled with complex html+JavaScript across multiple browsers for a long, long while. On the other hand, my colleague Mike Ormond is pretty immersed in such things and only today (29th April 2009) published a video on an Introduction to the IE8 Developer Tools and yesterday announced a competition for IE8 developers (Win an Xbox Elite + fame!). I was curious (as was Mike) ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 29, 2009 3:22 PM

Windows XP Mode for Windows 7 is one part of the compatibility story for old applications
I recently posted about Windows 7 application compatibility which was aimed at giving developers a steer on what they need to consider to make sure applications originally built for Windows XP work great on Windows 7 and Windows Vista. However there is a completely different approach which is to run the Windows XP applications inside a virtual machine using something like Virtual PC. It works – but it is not seamless to the user and typically involves an additional license for XP. Which brings me ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 29, 2009 1:35 PM

FREE Windows 7 Application Compatibility training and drop-in clinic in the UK in May
I have been thinking about Windows 7 application compatibility this week and that included an interview with Dave Allen in the partner team which touched on the labs he is running in the UK. The next lab starts May 11th and is split into: Monday 11th May: Training Day on Windows 7 Application Compatibility – limited to 16 attendees with a maximum of 2 attendees per ISV Tuesday 12th May – Friday 15th May: Windows 7 Application Compatibility drop-in clinic – limited to 20 attendees with a maximum of ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 28, 2009 12:04 PM

What developers should be doing in readiness for Windows 7
[Update 29/04/2009: I recommend you also take a look at the supersite Windows 7 RC Review and Windows XP Mode for Windows 7 which allows Windows XP applications to run unchanged] I apologise. I’m sorry. I sympathise. I do, really. I completely understand that: Discovering an application is broken that previously used to work great is simply not fun and Fixing the application to work again is also simply not fun Especially if you didn’t originally write the application or if you did, it was many years ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 28, 2009 11:23 AM

Interview with Dave Allen on Windows 7 compatibility
Dave Allen works in Microsoft UK helping partners build solutions which take advantage of the latest technologies from Microsoft. He also happens to be a mate, a jolly nice chap and is leading our efforts in the UK to help partners get their applications working on Windows 7. I sat down with him on Thursday of last week (23rd April) and quizzed him on the thorny subject of compatibility. Check out this companion post I did on resources for getting ready for Windows 7. When did you first start looking ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 28, 2009 11:00 AM

Are you a UK startup interested in FREE software, FREE briefing (5th May, 9th June) + FREE interesting geeks?
Then I have a great offer for you. It includes: Two Microsoft UK geeks. Well used, odd scratch but still in good working order. Choice of two 10am to 4pm technical days in London in May and June presented by the above geeks Information on the day about the fabulous Bizspark offer for startups from Microsoft. :-) Let me explain. I bumped into my old buddies Keith Burns and David Gristwood yesterday. We got talking about the work they are doing around Bizspark in the UK. Turns out they have slots free ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 28, 2009 9:49 AM

Dependency Inversion Principle from SOLID – in a picture :-)
I started reading into the SOLID Principles in March but didn’t get very far before I moved on to do some other stuff (sound familiar?). Then today I stumble across a site with a bunch of motivational pictures based on the SOLID Principles and I have included my two favourites. SOLID is a collection of object-oriented design principles that you can apply to your design to achieve desirable goals like loose-coupling, maintainability etc. SOLID was defined by Robert “Uncle Bob” Martin (CEO of Object ......

Posted On Monday, April 27, 2009 11:23 PM

4am UK time – and I just spotted Windows 7 Release Candidate should be with us for April 30th
The Windows team blog have news of the Windows 7 RC: “…..RC is on track for April 30th for download by MSDN and TechNet subscribers. Broader, public availability will begin on May 5th.” I though the beta was great. My dad thought the beta was great. My daughter thought the beta was great. And since that beta the team have been busy making it better and better. P.S. In case you were wondering, I’m awake at 4am because I just dropped firstborn off at his school. He has a 35 mile hike ahead of him. ......

Posted On Saturday, April 25, 2009 4:52 AM

A little MVC Humour – Controller Obesity
Of late I have been looking at Ruby which has the widely liked Model View Controller (MVC) framework Rails and I just posted on Open Source with reference to both IronRuby and our own MVC framework, the ASP.NET MVC. All serious stuff. However what follows is far from serious but is also about MVC and comes from the folks at Put on the headphones and enjoy :-) Rails Envy Ad: Controller Obesity from Jason Hawkins on Vimeo. and my fave line from the second video. Priceless. “I ......

Posted On Friday, April 24, 2009 2:33 PM

I see a rosy future ahead for Microsoft and Open Source
Before I joined Microsoft I worked at a software development company that focused on delivering large, mission critical systems on… Unix. My work environment included Gnu Emacs, Gnu C and C++ and Gnu Make, all products from the Free Software Foundation (FSF). My home environment was similar - a mix of PCs running early versions of Linux and BSD Unix. As a company and as individuals we were fans of the work of the FSF because not only were their products very good but as developers we also had unfettered ......

Posted On Friday, April 24, 2009 2:12 PM

FREE .NET eBook now online with Slideshare
I blogged on Monday about the new UK MSDN Flash eBook. It is now on Slideshare which IMHO does a really nice job of hosting pdf files. Enjoy. NB: you can view it full screen – bottom right icon. UK MSDN Flash eBook Best Technical Articles #1 View more documents from ukdpe ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 22, 2009 4:36 PM

MSDN Flash Podcast Pilot – April 22nd 2009
This is a pilot podcast to accompany the fortnightly MSDN Flash newsletter. I would appreciate feedback on what you liked and what you didn’t – and even whether you managed to make it through the 20minutes. Things I already plan to do: More formally split the podcast into sections (Fresh Discovery, User Group, Tip etc) Add music/sounds – especially to introduce the sections Host it “properly” :-) Make it podcast subscriber friendly – via Itunes etc Full show notes for each episode Include interviews ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 21, 2009 2:14 PM

FREE MSDN Flash eBook with 13 technical articles spanning dynamic languages to game development to cloud computing
[The official announcement is in this Wednesdays MSDN Flash – but why wait!] Every two weeks we send an email out to tens of thousands of UK based developers. This email is called the MSDN Flash. The Flash contains many useful sections including a 400 to 500 word technical article on a developer related topic either written by a member of the Microsoft UK technical team or a member of the broader UK developer community. We have had some great articles over the years which to some extent end up “hidden ......

Posted On Monday, April 20, 2009 5:06 PM

Is 2010 the year of C# and … BBC Basic?
I did a poll on the 8th of April which asked the question: What language would you choose to use 12 months from today if you were given the chance to develop a brand new application and you were allowed to choose the programming language? The result was rather interesting. Over 50% of you went with C#, three times more than Visual Basic (.NET), with C++ coming in a distant 3rd. BBC Basic scored rather well. I think this recognises that for many of us we miss the interactive environments that came ......

Posted On Monday, April 20, 2009 4:49 PM

UK MSDN Flash Poll: How good are your estimating skills?
A long, long time ago I used to take pride in my ability to estimate how long it would take to code something (which worked well!) and be pretty much spot on. With older eyes I suspect I used to overestimate how long it would take and then pad the time to fill it – but I digress :-) These days though, my ability to estimate time to code is pretty much shot. I blame a) a few years of playing with whiteboards as an application architect and b) I only ever code in alpha/beta technologies and all that ......

Posted On Monday, April 20, 2009 4:23 PM

Just back from holiday… and great “I’m a PC” adverts :-)
I spent last week enjoying the sun (and rain and wind and fog) in Yorkshire and managed to pretty much avoid email/work all week which was great. I did manage a little “evangelism” during the week though. My dad has an old compaq notebook which has been playing up for months. I decided to use Live Mesh to create a copy of his files and rebuild it using a Windows 7 Beta DVD I had handy. After sourcing just one driver from the hp site (for the wireless card) it is now running great and he is blown ......

Posted On Sunday, April 19, 2009 10:19 PM

A random but interesting bunch of Visual Basic .NET reads
Nothing special – just a list of good Visual Basic .NET articles I read over the last month. Enjoy: Visual Basic Lambdas are not quite the same as C# Lambdas. This article explains how to work around the differences. Visual Basic needs a hand with iterators as it has no specific syntax. Useful when you live in a world of LINQ and IEnumerable. This article shows you how to create iterators in VB. Combining XML Literals, WCF and LINQ to create temaplates. Interesting stuff. Add “Ruby like” MethodMissing ......

Posted On Thursday, April 9, 2009 4:22 PM

I need to let this sink in… but interesting stuff. try/catch and filters
Somebody posted a comment up my blog which contained something along the lines of “and VB .NET does the clever try catch stuff that C# can’t” . That got parked at the back of my brain and I finally went off looking for what this was. Turns out there was a great post on it back in February 2009 on the CLR team blog “Catch, Rethrow and Filters – Why should you care?” . Turns out VB allows us to inspect an exception without affecting state and conditionally decide whether or not to handle the exception. ......

Posted On Thursday, April 9, 2009 3:50 PM

Visual Basic books in the UK were top sellers in the lead into Christmas

I was looking at some statistics on developer book sales in the months leading up to Christmas 2008. Overall C# outsold VB (there are a lot of C# books to choose from!) BUT VB 2008 had three of the top five slots including the number one slot. Unfortunately I can’t share the data but I felt it was worth sharing the good news :-) Well done VB!

Posted On Thursday, April 9, 2009 3:19 PM

How much does Team Foundation Server REALLY cost vs SourceSafe?
I was discussing with one of our TFS specialists the costs of going down the route of Visual Studio Team System and Team Foundation Server – specifically in the context of comparing it with purchasing Visual SourceSafe (VSS). This conversation was kicked off by the poll I did in the UK MSDN Flash on source control system usage. The results were pretty interesting with 37% using Microsoft products (21% using SourceSafe, 16% Team System) and 32% Subversion. I wanted to explore the SourceSafe vs Team ......

Posted On Thursday, April 9, 2009 2:58 PM

Feedback wanted on the February Microsoft UK training offer with InnerWorkings
Back in February 2009 I worked with Sarah Roxburgh in my team and InnerWorkings to deliver a great free offer on .NET training to UK developers. The offer opened up a huge chunk of the InnerWorkings learning catalogue for free and for a limited time to UK developers. The InnerWorkings approach is unusual (unique?). It integrates into Visual Studio, sets you real programming challenges and then marks your attempts. All backed up with well written help and carefully selected links for when you get ......

Posted On Sunday, April 5, 2009 9:18 PM

UK MSDN Flash Poll April 8th 2009: What language would you like to be using in April 2010 for new applications?
I am busy assembling next Wednesdays MSDN Flash as the technical editor and general copy/paste monkey :-) I am also just back from delivering three sessions at Devweek 2009 where I fell in love with IronRuby. IronRuby is only at version 0.3 right now which made me wonder about what programming language I might be using 12 months from now and that thought in turn became the inspiration for next weeks poll. What language would you like to be using in April 2010 for new applications? Feel free to sneak ......

Posted On Thursday, April 2, 2009 7:54 PM

MSDN Library Low Bandwidth Option
While chatting with Tim Ewald last week at Devweek we got onto the topic of “ways to improve the MSDN experience” (Tim sits in that team). Part of that discussion was the “Low Bandwith” option for MSDN which has been around for many months. What I had not realised was that apparently very few folks know about it. Hence I thought I would do my little bit to raise awareness. You can add the magic text “(loband)” right before the “.aspx” part of a URL to get back a much lighter page containing the same ......

Posted On Thursday, April 2, 2009 3:37 PM

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