# Monday, May 30, 2005

It starts with Chris Sells, who says he wants “the power and performance of C++ and the simplicity of C#.” He links to a grumpy programmer blog that says lovely things about the new C++/CLI, including this in the first sentence:

C++ becomes a fully fledged, first class .NET language, throwing off the clumsy ‘managed extensions’ and gaining a full set of designers, code verification and mixed mode (managed and embedded) capability. It is thus the only .NET language that offers true backward compatibility with legacy code bases and delivers genuine performance benefits over C# or VB.NET.

He then goes on to say something that many people close to me say regularly: what the heck is C# for? I don't say this myself, I think lots of people love C# and more power to them, there's nothing wrong with it at all. It has a place. It's just not the only way to use semicolons and brace brackets while targeting the CLR, that's all.

The comments section of Chris' post is full of entries from people who don't know what C++/CLI is. I'm not being rude or dismissive, it's just that someone who complains about the double underscore keywords is complaining about the old syntax, and that is gone now. Read my lips: no more double underscores! Let's keep saying it till everybody hears it! ... er, sorry, got a little carried away there. If you haven't seen the new syntax, try Stan's “Hello, C++/CLI” column.

Next up is Sam, who confessed to me privately that he liked C++/CLI and has now come out on his blog: “I was expecting all sorts of horrors and errors but the code came out perfect in first try and naturally, the way C# flows for me.”

Craig Andera basically says “but people like C#” and you know? I'm not arguing with that. But why is it a win-lose game with C++ and C#? Why can't they both soar and do well?

A nice start to what will probably be a long hard week for me.


Monday, May 30, 2005 9:57:41 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    
# Friday, May 27, 2005

Yesterday my Ascend day started with a lab, not lecture, so I was pleasantly surprised to arrive half an hour before it started to discover three or four people settled into the room already. I told them I was glad to have a few keeners in the class and got nothing but puzzled looks for my trouble. It seems it's a Canadian slang that hasn't spread very far. Tonight I Googled a little - it's hard, because it's a commonish last name, plus people insist on taking “a keener look” or having “a keener focus” and the like. But the only sites I could find that used it to mean “someone who studies way harder than everyone else, does all their homework, and always puts schoolwork above leisure, socializing or sleep” were Canadian ones.

Who knew?

Was I a keener as an undergrad? Oh yes. But I was in Engineering, rich in keeners depite the hard-partying image. I wasn't the keenest of them all or anything like that. :-) It's served me in good stead, though. You would be amazed what you can do with your brain if you're just determined to do it.


Friday, May 27, 2005 10:46:24 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    
# Thursday, May 26, 2005

Because he's just had something small but important explained to him in a very concise and useful way, of course.

It starts at Tech Ed, but it's more than that. Check out www.groktalk.net for details.

Thursday, May 26, 2005 2:48:12 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    
# Tuesday, May 17, 2005

With the seven-city Smart Client Deep Dive tour done, I thought it would be appropriate to summarize my upcoming speaking and training schedule.

  • May 23-26. Ascend Training (Smart Client Track) Redmond, WA. Teaching Microsoft people and special guests (MVPs, RDs, partners) all about Smart Clients (VSTO, WinForms, and more) in Whidbey.
  • June 3. Ascend Training (one day ultra condensed) Orlando, FL. This is a pre-conference event for Academic Days at Tech Ed.
  • June 6-10. Tech Ed USA,  Orlando FL. Two talks (Monday morning and Tuesday morning - both are C++ talks and who would go to only one of them? See the new syntax, new optimizations, new power for an old friend - search for DEV330 and DEV331), one panel lunch (women in technology), and helping out with the way cool thing the RDs are doing that I can't quite discuss yet.
  • June 18-19. DevTeach, Montreal Quebec. A Canadian User Group Leader get-together, and my two C++ talks glued into one “What's New in C++“ presentation.
  • October 23-26, Tech Ed Africa, Sun City South Africa. OK, I'm not officially accepted as a speaker yet but I'm pretty sure I'll be there, topics TBD.
  • Nov 7-10. C++ Connections, Las Vegas, NV. How real customers are moving to the new C++.

This is just the stuff I'm on stage for. I'm planning to be in the audience at either or both of the PDC and the MVP Summit, both in September.  And oh yeah, I have a company to run and some projects to finish. Gotta dash!


Tuesday, May 17, 2005 10:39:50 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    
# Sunday, May 15, 2005

The government of Ontario simplifies procurement by using Vendor of Record lists. If a Ministry or Agency is planning a certain kind of work, they use these lists rather than “the entire world” to locate a vendor. It's pretty fine company to be in: only 78 vendors qualified for our other VOR list, for Electronic Service Delivery.

This list, VOR-1005-04, is for “Task Based IT Consulting Services” and you can see all the vendors at http://www.ppitpb.gov.on.ca/mbs/psb/psb.nsf/english/vorlist-e.html#VOR-1005-04 - 137 in all, and some pretty big names (Microsoft Canada, say, or IBM Canada for that matter) mixed in with ours.


Sunday, May 15, 2005 8:49:04 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    
# Monday, May 09, 2005

This weekend was a rarity in that I did very little work-work, as in “for the business”. It was, however, action-packed, featuring:

  • Three overnight guests
  • One continental breakfast in bed
  • Two brunches
  • One putting up of the large screened tent that covers my back deck (summer mornings in the screened tent with coffee and a laptop... deleting overnight spam becomes almost pleasant)
  • One pool installation
  • One barbeque-themed dinner (is there anything nicer than hot grilled vegetables?)
  • One two-hour bike ride

Never mind what the calendar says, that was clearly a summer weekend. It was shorts weather, more than hot enough to be messing around getting wet as part of readying the pool, and that two hour ride could fit in after dinner thanks to longer days and warmer afternoons. Very nice. Now, back to work for me!


Monday, May 09, 2005 7:13:39 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    
# 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.


Friday, April 22, 2005 1:57:11 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    
# 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!


Sunday, April 17, 2005 12:16:50 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #