Friday, April 22, 2005
I was diverted today for some time by http://www.michaelbach.de/ot/index.html which is a trove of “visual illusions” and explanations for many of them. A lot require Flash, which I stubbornly refuse to install, but enough are presented as images alone that I was able to experience a lot of surprises.
You've seen the moving-without-moving blue and yellow wheel already perhaps, or the grid of white lines on a black background that seems to have black dots at the intersections, but only the intersections you aren't actually looking at. But have you seen the non animated image that starts out blurry and goes sharp, just because of what you were looking at before it? Or the instructions on how to draw impossible objects?
Look at this tiny animated gif from the main page. Think of it as flat. Now think of it as something that goes down into the page, like a crater or a bucket. Did you get a surprise?
I really must go do some work now.
Sunday, April 17, 2005
You snooze, you lose!
You can try getting on the waiting list at http://www.microsoft.com/events/teched2005/default.mspx but right now, write yourself a note to move a little more quickly next year. I'm looking forward to another terrific week. My talks have been scheduled now, and they are Monday and Tuesday. So it will be clear sailing through the rest of the week for me!
Wednesday, April 06, 2005
So, just how much do you know about the Base Class Libraries? About C# or VB? About moving to .NET from the unmanaged world? Think you know a lot? Wish you knew a lot? Well how about this for a contest: you answer questions about .NET development, and as long as you're getting every question right, you're in the running for TWENTY FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS. Canadian currency. Oh, and if you don't know that much... the learning modules will take care of it for you. You can learn the stuff as you work through the contest. Even after you've been knocked out of the running for the grand prize, you can still win module prizes. You want to be part of this. I'm not eligible, or I would have entered already. A fun chance to show off, to learn, and to win a book or an XBox or a whole whack of cash money. What's not to like? Go, enter!
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
In the last few days just about every Microsoft or Microsoft-friendly blog I read has changed its theme. I can't even remember how to change my theme, and suddenly the folks who were black on orange are blue on white, the folks who were blue on grey are orange on white, links that were on the left are on the right and vice versa. More than once this week I have thought I was on the wrong blog!
Let's see if I can get with the spirit and add some flare today or tomorrow...
Monday, March 28, 2005
What does it take to become a SharePoint developer? You should understand how SharePoint looks to a user, and the best way to learn that is by using it. You should know where to find the documentation for the object model and for CAML, and that means lots of Googling because it's not all in MSDN by any means. And then of course you need to be a developer. Mike Fitzmaurice makes it pretty clear that means an all-around good .NET developer. He's inspired by Gregory MacBeth's inaugural blog post that lists the steps to becoming a good SharePoint developer. Gregory sets the bar pretty high - step 0 is get your MCSD, and then the real learning can begin. My attention was caught by Mike's postscript that in addition to being an all-round .NET dev, in VB or C# as you prefer, and learning the SharePoint-specific material, you're also going to need C++:
Attention tool builders and other interested developers — in the next release, protocol handler development and IFilter development will still need to be in C++. Do not wait for the rules to change, because they won’t (at least not before “v4”). If you want to extend our search technology to new content sources and formats, you might as well get started now. Search gets a lot better in many ways, but the method for developing IFilters/protocol handlers isn’t one of them.
So, all round .NET dev, SharePoint object model, CAML etc, and while you're at it, C++. No wonder I'm finding good SharePoint devs rather hard to find!
Sunday, March 27, 2005
Sessions and abstracts, along with speaker names, are starting to appear on the Tech Ed sessions page. My C++ talks have been christened DEV 330 and DEV 331. You can search on the session code or my name to see the abstracts. Doesn't look like you can start to build your calendar yet, but watch for it.
Since the speaker dropdown is populated, I just had to check: I counted 8 Brians, and 11 obvious women, not counting the chances that an Alex, Chris, or Pat could be a woman. I also see some fellow RDs and some Speaker Bureau folks. Should be a fun week!
Friday, March 25, 2005
How's this for a party? A five-day C++ conference, C++ Connections, held in conjunction with Visual Studio Connections, ASP.NET Connections, and SQL Server Magazine Connections from Nov 7-11 2005 in fabulous Vegas at the marvelous Mandalay Bay resort. My standard introduction line on C++ matters is “I've been working in C++ since before Microsoft had a C++ compiler.“ It isn't 20 years for me (I never used cfront) but it sure is close.
Think you could speak there? The call for papers is on Herb Sutter's blog. Am I speaking there? I hope so, I will report back with details when I have them. This is going to be fun!
Saturday, March 19, 2005
I'm going to be travelling across Canada in April and May to deliver the next round of Deep Dives -- these ones on Smart Client development with VSTO 2005. Here's the abstract:
Recommended Audience: Developer.
Microsoft Office has established itself as the standard for office productivity applications. Knowledge workers use the Office tools (word and excel) to create and mine data. The experience and familiarity with these tools can be leveraged to build a new breed of applications to make working with important information easier using Word and Excel as application interfaces.
This session will explore the details of creating Smart Client Applications using Microsoft Office System and Visual Studio Tools for Office. This session will include data access techniques for online and offline work, security considerations and leveraging the .NET Framework and web services to interact with Line of Business applications. This session will also provide attendees with prescriptive guidance on choices for application development, comparing all the possibilities for smart client development, in the form of a decision matrix.
Here's the schedule and some links to register:
I am preparing the material right now, and it's all Visual Studio 2005 and VSTO 2005 -- if you've seen me do VSTO 2003 material before, you're going to be delighted with the new tool! It's much more designery and much less “now simply provide implementations for the following 20 functions with almost identical names.” That means there's time to show cooler stuff, and I fully intend to. See you there!
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