SilverLight 2.0, Parallel FX and ASP.NET MVC

November 30, 2007

Blizzard of great new stuff for today, summarized nicely by ScottGu.

The new Parallel FX stuff is really quite cool. It’s a cliche to say that the number of CPUs in a typical machine is increasing while each individual CPU is not actually faster. But it’s great to see Joe Duffy release Parallel FX and PLINQ to to actually address the challenge.

All very cool can’t wait till next week for ASP.NET MVC.


Why are big files a big pain in the …

October 1, 2007

So I’m trying to more the 3.2 GB Orcas IMG file from my desktop to my laptop. Why the application has to be so large is a rant for another day.

So 3.2GB exceeds the size of my key-ring USB stick (portability over size means its only 2GB). So I try copying it over my home network. Which is unacceptable slow (3 hours +) because windows seems to be bouncing it off my wireless router (which is completely stupid) not to mention its not restartable. Unless you use copy /Z at the cmd line, but at this stage I don’t believe Microsoft.

So I try putting it on my iPod (40 GB behemoth) and it fits a treat but I don’t have a Firewire port on my Dell Laptop. Ee Gad! Frustration mounting.

Since I can’t remember the syntax to split a file with the copy command and I don’t feel like installing a warez program on my Trojan free machine to split my big file I decide to set up a point-to-point network connection. However my hopes of Gigabit Ethernet rescue are dashes as my XP Desktop and my Vista Laptop both have apoplexies trying to see each other.

At which point I’ve lost the plot and had to go make myself a cup of tea.

I dunno if its the hype, but somehow I don’t think this kind soul destroying meta-crap happens to Mac users…

Thoughts on Mix:UK

September 18, 2007

I went to Mix:UK last week and have waited a while to let my impressions gel. I find that live blogging this type of thing just makes you a part of the echo chamber.

A number things stick in my mind from Mix:UK

  • ScottGu is a great presenter (slides); he’s super tech-savy, a great speaker and engages the audience brilliantly.
  • WPF is an excellent development platform
  • ASP.NET vNext is looking very crisp
  • Silverlight 1.1 is cool but not ready
  • The DLR is very cool but still not ready
  • Expression Blend is ready and can produce epic results
  • And last but not least: Software Transactional Memory

I must say that Software Transactional Memory (STM) is the thing that sticks in my mind. WPF was very cool, VS2008 had excellent new improvements and the sneak peeks (including a WPF MRI visualizer) were excellent but STM lingers in my mind.

STM has a great appeal because it is a truly revolutionary idea that cuts to the root of a problem. Just as the call stack revolutionised modern programing; I’m sure STM will be the first step into a new concurrent software revolution.

Haskell already has an implementation so I’d love one for the CLR from Simon at MS Cambridge 🙂

Microsoft eScrum

June 16, 2007

Just spotted the release of Microsoft eScrum. A web-based scrum extension for their Team Foundation Server. This comes hot on the heals of their announcement of SVN support for TFS. I always felt that TFS was a very heavy weight offering that I would never work with because it cost too much. I wonder what the plan is behind adding these lighter-weight Agile components.

Could this be the precursor of Team Foundation Express?

Acropolis on InformationWeek

June 8, 2007

Spotted this article on Acropolis in InformationWeek while looking into Composite UI App Block (Acropolis’ Neanderthal ancestor). The article is pretty mindless stuff except for this prescient paragraph.

Acropolis may end up being a catalyst toward the development of more graphically rich business apps because it takes advantage of .NET Framework 3.0 and therefore Windows Presentation Foundation, the user interface technology found in Windows Vista.

Which is a very valid point. Acropolis is a way of getting .Net 3.0 in via the back door. Also I guess if InformationWeek are saying it then it must be the party line from Microsoft. It’s nice to see that the boys from Redmond haven’t forgotten about the ‘upgrade path’ that us poor developers have to tread.

Visual Studio Shell is a positive step

June 6, 2007

Finally Microsoft have come around and opened up the Visual Studio Add-In Market by creating Visual Studio Shell. This can only be a good move. Microsoft have previously been criticized for their half-hearted support for their ‘partner eco-system’. The APIs were also cryptic or completely undocumented make the eco-system a pretty hostile place to do business.

So it’s good to see Microsoft making amends. I wonder if this will mean a proliferation of Visual Studio based specialist IDEs like Eclipse has spawned. Can’t wait to see…

VSX Team Blog; subscribed.

Visual Studio Shell