Wednesday, October 27, 2004
I had a thoroughly enjoyable but oh-too-brief time here. My third talk, this morning, went well like the others, and now I'm at the airport with about 27 hours between me and my own home -- and it's 4 hours since I walked out of the conference centre.
I'm going to put the code from my sessions on the SA Developer website when I get home.
My latest whitepaper is on MSDN now.
Summary: This article is for C++ programmers who are (at least for now) not targeting the Microsoft .NET Framework in new or existing applications. It provides some guidelines for moving to the .NET Framework without leaving behind the investment in existing code, and explains why you should consider moving to the .NET Framework not only for new development, but for existing applications as well. (9 printed pages)
As a presenter, I use the /fs switch on Visual Studio quite often. It makes the product come up with larger fonts in Solution Explorer and other “chrome” that you can't control with Tools, Options. If you present, do everyone a favour and use this switch yourself. Also change your highlighted text from white-on-darkish-blue to black-on-yellow and crank your editor fonts to at least 14 points.
Well, Scott Hanselman alerted us all that the /fs switch is gone in Whidbey and urges us to vote on the importance of this omission. It's not just about speakers, it's about accessibility. My firm has done quite a bit of accessibility work, and we're sensitive to it. How can one team be changing ASP.NET so it emits accessible HTML while another removes a working switch that wasn't hurting anyone and that made programming feasible for someone with low vision? It must just be an oversight, right? Well give the bug a vote and the oversight is more likely to be corrected.
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
It's still gorgeous, sunny, and HOT here. I did two talks today -- the C++ and the VSTO ones. I was really pleased with the C++ attendance, and people saying “I'm going to switch back” after seeing what Visual C++ 2005 is going to be like. And that was with no demos! VSTO is a very fun product, and easy to demonstrate too. So two pleasant sessions with very nice audiences and great logistics.
One more day, one more talk, but first I think I'm going to go for a swim...
Monday, October 25, 2004
This is an amazing place. The heat, the colour, the vibrancy. I am constantly being surprised by something. Then I go inside and I could almost forget where I am, because Tech Ed is Tech Ed everywhere. At the keynote this morning, they showed some language packs for Windows in Afrikaans and Zulu, reminding me of my old post on Windows in Inuktitut.
My sessions are tomorrow and the day after, so I'm just going to soak up some atmosphere and go to some talks. Several nice touches here: RFID cards for everyone so there's an accurate count of how many people went to each session, and so you can only evaluate sessions you went to. Staff everywhere who can answer not only Tech Ed related questions but “what is this fruit?“ (Hey, I'd never seen fresh guava before, what did I know? It looks a lot like a tomato, only firmer.)
I've already seen plenty of SADeveloper.net shirts and hats (I have my own set now) and a We Heart Our MVPs shirt. There's plenty of community here!
Thursday, October 14, 2004
I'm on vacation at the moment (travel blog entries to come if I get any free time) but had to take a minute to mention that I'll be speaking at Tech Ed South Africa at the end of the month. I'm doing three talks: better performance in VB, programming with Word or Excel as your user interface with VSTO, and Visual C++ 2005 and the C++/CLI features -- which the organizers were nice enough to add just because I asked them to. I'm really looking forward to the trip and the people!
Thursday, September 30, 2004
Thursday, September 23, 2004
The INETA Speakers bureau, divided into North American, European, and Latin American bureaus, is a wonderful thing. I'm honoured to be part of it, and to speak at user groups across North America. So far, I've spoken at as many Canadian groups through the bureau as at American ones, but that's a little unusual. Some Canadian groups are still looking for speakers, toplevel exciting great speakers, to come to their meetings. So MSDN Canada is setting up a Canadian equivalent. My Canadian group will now get to pull speakers from two pools -- and I will get invitations from two sets of audiences. That sounds like a great plan!
More details, speaker bios, and so on are at http://msdn.microsoft.com/canada/speakers/. For those old enough to remember Bob and Doug MacKenzie, a themed announcement is available. Most speakers are MVPs and RDs. If you're active in .NET in Canada, you should know these people -- it's like a crash course on the .NET Canadians. (And yes, I know a few Americans have snuck in there. But just the ones we like . )
Wednesday, September 15, 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, September 05, 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.
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