# Friday, September 15, 2006

Jean-Luc David, newly minted Developer Advisor, returns to the East of Toronto .NET Users Group this month to talk about Atlas, or "Atlas" as the Microsoft guys used to call it, the quotes reminding us all that it's a code name, not a real true blessed-by-marketing-and-the-lawyers name. And now, it's going to be called, sort of, AJAX. Let me quote ScottGu here:

The client-side “Atlas” javascript library is going to be called the Microsoft AJAX Library. This will work with any browser, and also support any backend web server (read these blog posts to see how to run it on PHP and ColdFusion).

The server-side “Atlas” functionality that nicely integrates with ASP.NET will be called the ASP.NET 2.0 AJAX Extensions. As part of this change the tag prefix for the “Atlas” controls will change from <atlas:>to <asp:>. These controls will also be built-in to ASP.NET vNext.

The “Atlas” Control Toolkit today is a set of free, shared source controls and components that help you get the most value from the ASP.NET AJAX Extensions. Going forward, the name of the project will change to be the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit.

Well, whatever it's called (I seem to say that a lot) you can learn more about it at this month's user group meeting. September 26th, 6pm for pizza, 7pm for the presentation, Whitby Public Library. Please register!


Friday, September 15, 2006 3:43:32 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    
# Thursday, September 14, 2006

Larry blogs that improving your app's performance means concurrent programming. Not just OpenMP, which is very cool, as he points out elsewhere, but all the hard stuff: "disk contention, memory locks, cache corruption, etc". Still, here's a tempting paragraph from that DevX article:

It's perhaps surprising that C++, with its reputation for difficulty, actually provides one of the easiest ways to exploit multi-core and multiprocessor systems. OpenMP, a multiplatform API for C++ and Fortran, uses compiler instructions to automatically generate all of the support code needed to parallelize code sections. In the simplest case, which is what we're going to focus on for this article, simply wrapping a processor-intensive loop in a #pragma block can lead to about a 70 percent performance increase on a dual-core or dual-processor system and enjoy a similar "free lunch" on the quad-core systems that you build in the future.

That's right. Concurrency is vital, and C++ takes care of one kind of concurrency astonishingly easily. It's true. Later in the article he plops a #pragma just before each of two loops, and his app runs 70% faster. How's that for fun? Go on, read the article, try it yourself.


Thursday, September 14, 2006 3:26:23 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    
# Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Tomas Restrepo, a C++ MVP, has started a C++/CLI FAQ at http://www.winterdom.com/cppclifaq/. It's a start, and since some questions are starting to be frequently asked, it's a good idea for folks to read through this.

BTW, if you're looking for a more general Visual C++ FAQ, try the multi-MVP effort at http://vcfaq.mvps.org/.

Both recommended. Good work Tomas!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 3:06:07 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    
# Tuesday, September 12, 2006

According to a summer IT Business article, there is still a battle or maybe there isn't. The headline reads "Java vs .Net: The tug of war continues" while the first sentence of the article is "The religious war between Java and .Net seems to be over." You might be able to guess how I feel from these quotes: 

  • "It's .Net all the way," she said. "I hardly ever get e-mails (from students) asking [whether] they should learn C# or Java any more."
  • "I feel more productive on the .Net side," said Gregory, who also programs in Java. "When I made the jump, it was about the tools in Visual Studio, and the libraries."
  • "I think that every time we have a new batch of libraries and every time the products are improved, people will change (platforms)," said Gregory. "Others say they will stay. And they're both right. Maybe younger developers get caught up in a religious war, but older developers say, 'You go ahead and use whatever you like. I'll be over here getting some work done.'"

That's why I'm a VB.NET and C++ developer after all -- to get some work done.


Tuesday, September 12, 2006 2:47:25 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    
# Monday, September 11, 2006

Scott Meyers has been musing about the most important C++ books, non-book publications, software, and now people. He decides on:

  • Bjarne Stroustrup
  • Andrew Koenig
  • Scott Meyers
  • Herb Sutter
  • Andrei Alexandrescu

You know what? I agree with him. I think it takes some serious nerve to put yourself on a list like that, but his rationale works for me. I'm not sure if the list is in significance order -- if it is, I'd move Herb up a notch or two -- but these are the folks. And four of them were on the speakers list for C++ connections last year. I was honoured, truly, to be on that list with them and need no more than that.


Monday, September 11, 2006 1:03:13 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    
# Sunday, September 10, 2006

After a three-year gap, I return to Tech Ed Europe as it returns to Barcelona. Moving it to the late fall has made it much easier to fit into my life. (Not surprisingly, I'll be speaking in the Developers half of the two-week conference.)

My talk is DEV406, Extending Native Code C++ Applications with Managed Code

Managed code programming models and frameworks offer developers a great boost in productivity and code maintainability. This session demonstrates the use of the C++/Common Language Infrastructure (CLI) language binding to access .NET platform features. Rather than re-write applications from scratch to take advantage of managed code, Visual C++ gives developers the ability to enjoy the advantages of managed code whilst still leveraging their existing native code base.

This is the power of C++/CLI - don't port or rewrite, integrate! You're going to love it.


Sunday, September 10, 2006 12:54:01 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    
# Saturday, September 09, 2006

I'm thrilled to confirm that I will be speaking at Tech Ed in Sun City again this year!

I'm travelling on South African Airways this time (it's been Lufthansa before) and taking a different route, so there will be some novelty along with the familiarity. I just love the energy at this conference; I can't wait to get there!

My talks:

  • DEV 307: Delving into Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Developers
  • CLI 315: Windows Vista: Tips and Tricks for Targeting Key Native APIs from Managed Code
  • CLI 402: Modifying Applications to Run on Windows Vista


Saturday, September 09, 2006 12:46:05 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    
# Friday, September 08, 2006

The code camp concept keeps spreading. October 14th will see Code Camp Montreal: it's free, it's bilingual, it's in downtown Montreal. All you need to do is register! Attending will be a great way to meet other developers and to learn as much as you can cram into your brain in a single Saturday. I wish I could be there, I know it will be great.


Friday, September 08, 2006 12:37:35 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #