# Friday, 30 June 2006

Those of you who were interested in my loader lock topic at Tech Ed this year should probably get this whitepaper from Windows Hardware Developer Central (not actually a place I hang out regularly.) It's a downloadable Word document (8 pages) that tackles things like "what you should not do from DllMain" (this list is a page long), deadlocks, and threading considerations (and remember, we are all going to have to tackle threading considerations eventually). While it doesn't say it's C++-specific advice, in what other language could you "Use the memory management function from the dynamic C Run-Time (CRT)" or "Set global pointers to NULL, putting off the initialization of dynamic members"? It even has Vista-specific advice.

Kate

Friday, 30 June 2006 07:14:35 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Thursday, 29 June 2006

Catherine Heller, Windows Vista Technical Evangelist, is now blogging. She started during TechEd just before her session (one of the very few I attended) and so far has covered tips for interop to native APIs and some Search material. I'm looking forward to more as the summer progresses.

Kate

Thursday, 29 June 2006 07:03:23 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Wednesday, 28 June 2006

Recently the French government launched a geo-portal (GeoPortail en francais) with satellite pictures and maps of France and France-associated places around the world. The detail is pretty cool. Here's Le Château de Chenonceau:

Here's the smaller of the two formal gardens, to the left in the arial shot, as seen from inside the Château:

That one's not from the website, but from my own camera. It gives you a good idea of the scale the satellites can achieve. The building itself is amazing -- it actually spans the river. Worth a detour to experience if you find yourself on The Continent.

Kate

Wednesday, 28 June 2006 15:22:21 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Tuesday, 27 June 2006

The seventh monthly DemoCamp in Toronto will be July 4th at No Regrets in Toronto. It's a pretty simple concept: no-powerpoint-allowed demos of working product, time limit 15 minutes, followed by socializing. And they do this every month! There's room for 150 people, and according to the wiki 90 people are signed up already, so there's probably room for you, too. Watch other people demo (so you can learn how to construct your own super cool 10 minute presentation, and believe me, ten minutes is HARD), see what else is going on in your world, tap into some of Toronto's energy... I can't make this one but I will watch for the August one for sure!

Kate

Tuesday, 27 June 2006 14:43:45 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, 26 June 2006

Hugh (hughtrain, cartoons on a business card) MacLeod has written an interesting set of "instructions" on how to be more creative. Many of these directly contradict each other... that's because there's more than one way to be creative. I actually found the summary points more helpful than the more detailed explanations further down the page. But either way, it's a good way to get yourself thinking about thinking. Then later you can relax and not think, and good ideas will come to you. Or at least that's how it works for me.

Kate

Monday, 26 June 2006 14:25:57 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Sunday, 25 June 2006

Jan Tielens points out a big relief in the next version of SharePoint: setting up alerts for someone other than yourself. I faced this need many times and adapted one of the many web part samples available online to allow administrators to set up alerts for other users.

Little things like this are going to dramatically reduce the number of web parts I have to write. And I like that!

Kate

Sunday, 25 June 2006 14:15:12 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Saturday, 24 June 2006

The Visual C++ team all gathered together over the last week to hold a "slow chat" with the CodeGuru community. Users posted questions, the team answered them, and conversations ensued. Some of the interesting questions I spotted (it's all still there for you to read through at your leisure):

  • Why have the keyword abstract? Isn't the presence/absence of a pure virtual function enough? Or a private virtual destructor, that would force someone to implement a derived class?
  • What do I gain and lose by compiling my old native app with VC 2005?
  • Will MFC gain classes that wrap Vista-specific functionality?
  • What language does Microsoft use most?

Lots of straight talk from Brandon, Ayman, Tarek, Jon, Steve, and others from the Visual C++ team. Take your time and read it all.

Kate

 

Saturday, 24 June 2006 14:07:07 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Friday, 23 June 2006

Visual Studio Tools for Office (VSTO) is a bit of a funny creature. It needs to adapt with each release of Office, and also with each release of Visual Studio. The next version is code named Cypress and it works with either Visual Studio 2005 or with Orcas, and with Office 2007. Charles Sterling blogged the announcement just before TechEd:

Cypress will include the following functionality and release at about the same time as Office 2007:

 

·    Application-level add-ins for the most popular Office applications including Outlook, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, InfoPath and Visio.  This is currently the #1 most requested feature for VSTO – safe loading, unloading, and management of managed add-ins.  I’m thrilled that we’re going to be able to provide this functionality to developers much earlier than anticipated.

·    Office key feature support: programming model and runtime support for Ribbon, Custom Task Panes, and Outlook forms regions.  Office’s new UI contains exciting extensibility opportunities and Cypress will enable VSTO’s simple coding experiences like IntelliSense. 

·   Maintainability and compatibility are core principles for the VSTO team and Cypress will also ensure that your applications built on Office 2003 with VSTO 2005 continue to run with Office 2007. 

 

Cypress is an add-on and is incremental.  It is not, itself a complete Visual Studio product release.  Anyone who has a licensed version of Visual Studio 2005 will be eligible to download Cypress for free.  However, I want to be clear that Cypress is not a super-set of all the VSTO 2005 functionality that was made available for Office 2003 replicated for Office 2007.  As promised, Excel Workbook and Word Document project support for Office 2007 will come on-line in VSTO “Orcas”, and be made available in upcoming “Orcas” CTPs.   Also look for the exciting new VSTO “Orcas” functionality, such as the visual designers for the Ribbon and Custom Task Panes, and Outlook in these “Orcas” CTPs.

There's a Channel 9 video in which KD Hallman and Eric Carter discuss features and goals of Cypress and beyond that's a pretty good starting point.

If you can stand the endless rounds of public betas, CTPs, and trying to work out which versions need each other or conflict with each other, you can have a lot of fun this summer!

Friday, 23 June 2006 13:33:06 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0]