Wednesday, 15 September 2004
The September 21st meeting of the East of Toronto .NET Users Group features an appearance by the MSDN USer Group tour.
Come and hear about building Mobile applications using the .NET Compact Framework and SQL CE. Please register at http://gtaeast.torontoug.net/ug_events/702.aspx -- there's even more great Microsoft giveaways this month than usual but I'm going to use the registration numbers as a guide for how much of it to lug to the meeting. If you haven't been to an East of Toronto meeting before, now's a great time. We'll be in our new room, upstairs in the UA1 building on the Durham College / UOIT campus in Oshawa. There's a map on the page where you register. See you there!
Sunday, 05 September 2004
Here is a terrific collection of “new C++” material that's well worth reading, all from Stan lately:
- http://msdn.microsoft.com/visualc/default.aspx?pull=/library/en-us/dnvs05/html/TransGuide.asp is a translation guide from Managed Extensions for C++ (that would be the “all those underscores“ version of the language) to C++/CLI (the new, beautiful version.) If you went to the trouble of learning the __gc, __property etc way of doing everything, this guide will show you how to translate your programs. If you never got around to learning it, move straight to C++/CLI.
- http://msdn.microsoft.com/visualc/?pull=/library/en-us/dnvs05/html/stl-netprimer.asp is a guide to STL.NET. You won't find STL.NET in the current CTP release, but it's coming. C++ is the only managed language that supports both templates and generics, and they each have their place. With STL.NET you can get the best performance, you can use idioms that are familiar and comfortable, and you give up nothing when it comes to interop with other managed languages. This article is part I; I'm watching for more parts.
- Finally, this blog entry (http://blogs.msdn.com/slippman/archive/2004/08/27/221373.aspx) is on interior pointers. I've read explanations of how to code interior pointers before, but hadn't really seen what they are for. (The same can be said of anonymous methods; lots of folks will show you how to do them but Don Box showed the other night what they can be used for, and now I get it. But that's Don for you.)
What a great time to be a C++ person, watching the new language take shape.
Friday, 27 August 2004
Like a lot of RDs (about half of us worldwide) I'm in Redmond this week for some training. Most of it is NDA but I have to share this quote from Don Box (who rocked) tonight:
Visual Studio rocks; I have not used Emacs since the PDC.
Wow! If you need context, he was discussing XML editing and Visual Studio “Whidbey“.
Wednesday, 25 August 2004
Wednesday, 18 August 2004
For a long time now, I've been using mapquest.com for maps of places I am going to. I have no real complaints with it, so I haven't been looking to see what else there is. Sure, it's a little annoying that I have to click Maps when I first get there if I want a Canadian map, and then there's a really annoying refresh when you choose Canada and it changes State to Province, which can wipe out everything you typed if you're on a slow line, but those are pretty minor, really.
Last night Dwayne was talking about Mappoint Location Server, which is an enterprise-focused technology for seeing where your people or deliveries or whatnot are, using a map, but of course he showed a lot of Mappoint maps along the way. And you know what? They're nice-looking. Really nice-looking.
So tonight someone phoned me to ask where a particular building was, and said Mapquest couldn't find the address she gave it. (Turned out she was spelling the street incorrectly so no marks off to Mapquest on that.) I tried Mappoint and -wow! These are beautiful maps that get more beautiful as you drill in.
It felt a little more dial-up friendly, too. The printable map is especially nice. Mapquest reduces the amount of chrome when you go for a printable map, but not to zero. At least for now the printable Mappoint map is pretty much chrome-free. I tried a few places where the streets are denser (downtown Toronto) and liked that, too.
For now it seems to be North America only, so I'll use MapQuest for my Europe planning. Up to now I've been using a 40 year old atlas for that, which is working fine really since London, Paris, Venice etc tend not to move around and I only need to know things like how far apart they are. Sooner or later I'll want a touch more detail, and Internet maps are perfect for that.
[Update Sept 23rd: Europe is in there. I'm a 100% Mappoint girl now...]
Monday, 16 August 2004
The East of Toronto .NET Users Group is meeting tomorrow night, Tuesday the 17th. Come and hear Dwayne Lamb and discover all the wonders of adding location information to a mobile application. Please register at gtaeast.torontoug.net so we know how many to expect.
Come out and get a look inside Microsoft's latest addition to the MapPoint family of products - Microsoft MapPoint Location Server. With MLS's SOAP interface, developers can easily integrate the real-time location of a mobile phone into their applications. Fleet management, Mobile CRM, asset tracking, buddy finding and much more are now possible. MLS's Plugin architecture allows for integration with a number of sources of real-time location information from Wireless operator networks to Wi-Fi hotspots and GPS devices. Come out and hear about the new location services that mobile operators are offering and find out how .NET programmers can integrate them into their solutions.
Dwayne Lamb, Visual Byte Inc. is a 15-year veteran of the computer industry and an experienced technology instructor, writer, presenter and developer. Through his work at Visual Byte, and his active involvement in the developer and user communities, he has become a leader and industry specialist in the area of mobile application development and design and has been recognized by Microsoft as a Mobile Device MVP.
In other exciting user group news, I have a room through the fall for the group -- in the same building, but a different room. Starting with the September meeting (which will feature a presentation on building applications for mobile devices from the MSDN Canada team) we will be in UA 2120. But tomorrow it's still UA 1350. See you there!
Friday, 06 August 2004
Clearly some sort of internal milestone has been reached by the C++ product team, because Stan and Herb are blogging again. Stan has quite a long entry on why C++/CLI supports both templates and generics, from an insider/designer point of view. It's not a skim-through-while-you-eat-your-breakfast post, but if you care about C++ you'll be glad you read it.
Admit it, you'd like a Tablet PC, wouldn't you? Then you could know what Julie Lerman and other ink-lovers are talking about all the time. Or if you already have one, with a second one you could give it away and get someone else hooked on tablet development. Well, Carl Franklin of .NET Rocks (and my fellow RD) wants some insight into what developers care about, and he's willing to give away this lovely Toshiba M200 to get it. Fill out a quick and confidential survey and you're all set. Contest ends August 26th, so don't dilly-dally.
Wednesday, 04 August 2004
I get a lot of fake bounce messages these days, either because mail that was spoofed as being from me has bounced or because viruses are pretending to be bounce messages. I also get a fair number of OOF and vacation messages from strangers, for much the same reasons I suppose. I ignore them, and usually delete them unread. But this one I read, because it had no attachment and I didn't know what the subject (Congés) meant. What I found is worthy of mention:
Je serais de retour de congés le 23 août 2004.
En mon absence, je vous invite à contacter Steve xxxxxxxxx (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Coordonnées du standard : 01 41 97 xx xx
Je me tiens à votre disposition à mon retour.
(I elided the name and email of the standin, Steve, and the phone number.) Just look at the phrasing! He invites me to contact Steve. He's going to put himself at my disposition on his return. He even signs it Cordially! Is it just that the French language lends itself to that kind of phrasing, or is didier a truly gracious person? I'll never know. But if I ever get a vacation, I think I will be wording my message a little differently now...
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