# Sunday, 26 October 2008

What can I tell you about Day 0? Well I am not allowed to tell you much, the RD side meetings on Day 0 are always strictly NDA. But I can tell you I am getting excited, I'm really glad I came, and I'm changing my IM display picture for the week to this:

LA is warm, the convention centre is as huge as I remembered, and I am pumped up!

Kate

Sunday, 26 October 2008 12:25:31 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Saturday, 25 October 2008

My Tech Ed Europe sessions are confirmed (have been for a while actually) so I had better tell you about them:

See you there!

Kate

Saturday, 25 October 2008 13:18:39 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Friday, 24 October 2008

Here's a brand new blog, written by someone I work with from time to time at Microsoft. Well, that's who's name is in the URL, but the first post has talk of "we" so perhaps it's a team effort. The mission is

...this blog will be a “one stop shop” on the road to get yourself familiar with what Windows 7 has to offer for developers and how you can “Light-Up” using Windows 7 features in your application.

Nice. I'm reading!

Kate

Friday, 24 October 2008 19:36:37 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Thursday, 23 October 2008

Actually I know what it is ... it's a large code base, fully available, very graphical, and with reasonable performance demands. So many years ago, Vertigo ported Quake II to managed C++ to show how performant the app was and how easy it was to integrate something that is quick to do in managed code - a partially transparent bad-guy locator if I remember correctly. That was five years ago, before C++/CLI, so it was a thicket of underscores and general hard-to-read misery.

About a year ago, Greg Dolley did it to C++/CLI. And then in January of this year he did Quake III Arena.

Well, now Julien Frelat has done it in Silverlight! He was apparently inspired by someone who did it in Flash. This is Quake I, but he has plans for II. Adam Kinney has an interview and video.

What else can Quake be ported to?

Kate

Thursday, 23 October 2008 19:29:20 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Rico, who like me wonders from time to time "am I old?", muses about how things tend to come on around again. Is C++ too old to bother learning now? Rico says no. But he also says:

...the real need facing C++ programmers is somewhat the same as what faced COBOL programmers say 25 years ago.  It's not that the language is out of joint -- it isn't.  I mean, ok maybe you like or don't like COBOL syntax but that doesn't doom a language and surely C++ syntax is not the zenith of wonderfulness.  But that isn't what's holding C++ programmers back.  The biggest problem, at least in my opinion, is one of accessing new/modern runtime features that may have a different programming environment from the context of an existing environment.

Now, what does that translate to in terms of action items for you? Good question.

Kate

Wednesday, 22 October 2008 19:01:38 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Tuesday, 21 October 2008

As you know if you attended the talks at Tech Ed USA and Tech Ed Europe, or listened to me on DotNetRocks, MFC now supports a Ribbon user interface. You can take some MFC application you haven't touched for a decade or more, add a few lines of code, leave all your command handlers and such untouched and -tada!- you can have a user interface from this century.

But it's one thing for me to demo for you what a tiny amount of code it takes to add a ribbon, and another for you to design a sensible ribbon that will lead your users effortlessly through your UI. Some guidance has now been released. For example, they are very clear that this is a bad ribbon:

There are tons of images and annotations to help you devise something your users will enjoy using. Please read it before doing any Ribbon work, whether in MFC or not.

Kate

Tuesday, 21 October 2008 17:09:44 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, 20 October 2008

WPF lets you build truly beautiful user interfaces and user experiences. To do a good job, you need to think differently than a typical "grey boxes on a grey background" form based UI. Once you do that some ideas may come to you - wouldn't it be nice if you didn't have to write a lot of code to achieve the things you think up? Using effects is one way to jazz things up without doing it all yourself. Jaime Rodriguez blogged about the release of a library of effects on Codeplex. His blog includes still pictures, but really you need to see these on video. There's also a Channel 9 interview. Take a look and start to think about how users process information from your applications.

Kate

Monday, 20 October 2008 15:11:36 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Sunday, 19 October 2008

Word is starting to spread about the Vista Bridge. Greg Duncan's blog entry on it links to the SDK blog entry and includes a screenshot of the demo. Nice to see awareness growing on this. Interesting link on the side to a buzzword bingo game for Zune. I really need to take a few minutes and get some games onto my Zune to make those plane rides go a little faster...

Kate

Sunday, 19 October 2008 14:53:29 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0]