Thursday, December 09, 2004
Salon has an interesting interview with Joel Spolsky. (If you're not a subscriber, you'll have to sit through a Day Pass ad before you can read it, and I recommend you do.) Some real gems in it:
The key problem with the methodologies is that, implemented by smart people -- the kind of people who invent methodologies -- they work. Implemented by shlubs who will not do anything more than follow instructions they are given, they don't work.
[on intelligently sometimes-online apps for use on airplanes] ... airplanes are actually getting Internet connections. And Wi-Fi is spreading like crazy. What's kind of surprising is that it has turned out to be easier to rewire the entire world for high-bandwidth Internet than it is to make a good replication architecture so you can work disconnected!
There's also a nice link to the Joel test, sort of a lightning version of the CMM -- takes about 15 seconds to answer and then you know where you stand. (We're at ten-and-two-halves out of 12, which is pretty good, especially since with only 6 people finding someone in the hallways who isn't on your project is a bit of a challenge.)
But then he says:
Microsoft ... could ship a brown paper bag called Microsoft Brown Paper Bag 1.0 and hundreds of thousands of people would buy it. Or at least try it.
Please. What does he think I am, naive? I am a seasoned computer professional, paid to make code for over a quarter of a century, rich in Microsoft contacts and non disclosure agreements and summit invitations. I don't buy 1.0 of anything! I'll be waiting for 2.0 or at least 1.1, or at the very least a service pack!
ps: here's the first service pack for MS BPB 1.0:
(it's all about the patch management...)
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
My 2005 plan is starting to take shape a bit better now.
- VSLive Toronto April 13-16, downtown this year.
- Tech Ed June 5-10, Orlando (some info on the Tech Ed 2004 page for now)
- PDC September 13-16, Los Angeles
I'll be attending for sure. Will I also be speaking? Writing the Hands on Labs? Sitting on cool panel discussions? Time will tell... and so will I when the plans are firm.
Thursday, November 25, 2004
I'll be at the December 2nd meeting of the Canada's Technology Triangle .NET User Group to show everyone Smart Clients, VSTO, and Infopath. I did this session in Winnipeg and saw Derek Hatcher do it in Toronto so I know it has good content. Please register at http://www.cttdnug.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=68 and come out to the meeting. My only worry, based on the many years I spent living in that area, is that I'll have to drive in a blizzard. But we aren't going to let a little snow stop us, are we?
Monday, November 08, 2004
Over on Developer.com, Brad Jones has summarized the TIOBE Programming Community (TPC) Index for October 2004. This is a measure of how many web pages and newsgroup postings mentioned a programming language name in conjunction with the word programming. So if I say “For serious programming, C++ is way better than Java” then that is a hit for both C++ and Java. These hits are going to include people's resumes, job postings, ads for courses, how-to pages, book pages, and so on. It gives a rough indication of popularity that people are talking about a language. After all, I rarely compare C++ to Fortran or to PL/I. I certainly can't remember the last time MATLAB (to pick a name from the table) came up in conversation. Job seekers trim their resumes all the time to include only the “relevant” languages they know.
There's a table of results, and a sorting of languages into “A languages” and “B languages” but I was really intrigued by the graph. A first glance reveals a fairly steep Java fall this year. But the C++ line is more interesting because it falls too, though not as steeply or as far, and then climbs back up again starting in March of this year. Is this people talking about C++/CLI? I think it is.
Friday, November 05, 2004
Last night I spoke to Carl Franklin (my fellow RD) for Dot Net Rocks. Over the course of an hour and a quarter we talked about C++ (I think I'm converting him :) ) VSTO, VB, sockets, what I have for breakfast, Carl's Westminster Abbey experience, and assorted geeky things. It was a lot of fun. Here are some links stolen from the site:
Thursday, November 04, 2004
Long ago, before search engines added automatic spell checking to their bag of tricks (did you mean to search for MASSACHUSETTS?) I knew people who used Google (or before that, Altavista) as a spell checker. Just search for the word spelled one way, then another, and compare the number of hits. If you get 125 hits for one spelling and 13,456 for the other, you have a pretty good idea of which is right.
Today I found myself using Google News as a sort of voting fact checker to establish (forgive my ghoulishness) whether Yasser Arafat has or has not died. You can count votes from different news organizations. The main news.google.com (or .ca for me) gives you a handful of stories, but click a link under “In The News” and you see a lot more. For example, http://news.google.ca/news?num=30&hl=en&ned=ca&ie=utf-8&q=Yasser-Arafat. Perhaps not what they had in mind, but an intruiging thing to be able to do.
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
I'm going to kick off the Smart Client User Group Tour with a talk in Winnipeg. I'm expecting a slight contrast between South Africa in late October and Winnipeg in early November . The talk is November 10th, details on the Winnipeg UG site.
Friday, October 29, 2004
For November, the Toronto-area user groups are combining our meetings to participate in the MSDN User Group Tour.
Building Smart Client Application using Visual Studio Tools for Office Version 2003
This session provides an overview of how you can use the Visual Studio .NET 2003 project templates provided by Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for the Microsoft Office System to create Smart Client solutions that use Microsoft Office Excel 2003 and Microsoft Office Word 2003. This session will also show the value of InfoPath, how to build solutions and review many of the new features and managed code support. Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003 is a hybrid tool that combines the best of a traditional document editing experience, such as a word processor or e-mail application, with the rigorous data-capture capabilities of a forms package.
The speaker is Derek Hatchard, and the meeting is at 200 Bloor St East in downtown Toronto. For directions and to register, please visit http://www.metrotorontoug.com/User+Group+Events/116.aspx. This meeting is being held on the regular East of Toronto meeting date, November 16th. Doors open at 6 and presentation starts at 6:30. Please register in advance not only for the usual food reasons, but to simplify the job of the door security at this downtown building.
See you there!
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