# Friday, 17 July 2009

It's been a while since I did a series of posts on debugging tips:

So here is not so much a tip as an announcement. You see , it's no coincidence that my examples for conditional breakpoints were numbers (some index into a structure is greater than 346, or Xid is 1234.) Until now, you couldn't really use strings in conditional breakpoint expressions. But the cool news is that, starting with Visual Studio 2010, you can!

You can't just call arbitrary functions including your own foo(whatever), but you can call a pretty impressive list of variants on strlen and strcmp. The details on are Habib Heydarian's blog. Just one more reason to want Visual Studio 2010!

Kate

Friday, 17 July 2009 12:27:15 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Wednesday, 15 July 2009
Finally, XP2Win7 is released! I've been watching this one for a long time. It's designed to show off both Windows 7 features and development good practices. The same binaries behave differently on XP and on 7 - on 7 it lights up and shows 7 features like the taskbar or libraries support, as well as Vista features that never got the attention they deserve like Restart and Recovery.

The application itself is a photo viewer and that makes it a natural fit for hooking into libraries, search and organize, and the preview system. It has an intuitive jump list on the taskbar:

It also uses the new Sensor support, Aero glass effects, trigger-started services for backing up images when a USB key is inserted, MMC and Powershell integration, the new Event Tracing for Windows (ETW) and so much more. This will be your roadmap to Windows 7 development. Of course all the code is available, as well as a simple MSI if you'd just like to play with the application a bit and understand what Windows 7 has to offer.

Get your copy and start learning and exploring!

Kate

Wednesday, 15 July 2009 09:32:56 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, 13 July 2009

A whole pile of really smart people, many of whom I am lucky enough to call my friends, have contributed to a new eBook on development topics. Check these titles:

  • Working with Brownfield Code by Donald Belcham (Microsoft MVP)
  • Beyond C# and VB by Ted Neward (Microsoft MVP)
  • Remaining Valuable to Employers featuring Barry Gervin, Billy Hollis, Bruce Johnson, Scott Howlett, Adam Cogan, and Jonathan Zuck
  • All I Wanted Was My Data by Barry Gervin (Microsoft Regional Director and MVP)
  • Efficiency Upgrade by Derek Hatchard (Microsoft Regional Director and MVP)
  • Getting Started with Continuous Integration by Sondre Bjellås (Microsoft Regional Director and MVP)
  • On Strike at the Software Factory by Daniel Crenna (Microsoft MVP)
  • C# Features You Should Be Using by Ted Neward (Microsoft MVP)
  • Accelerate Your Coding with Code Snippets by Brian Noyes (Microsoft Regional Director and MVP)
  • Is Silverlight 2 Ready for Business Applications? by Jonas Follesø (Microsoft Regional Director and MVP)
  • Innovate with Silverlight 2 by Daniel Crenna (Microsoft MVP)
  • Real World WPF: Rich UI + HD by Gill Cleeren (Microsoft Regional Director and MVP)
  • Hidden Talents by Peter Jones
  • Creating Useful Installers with Custom Actions by Christian Jacob
  • Banking with XML by Peter Jones
  • Sending Email by Derek Hatchard (Microsoft Regional Director and MVP)

Also, it has comics in it. Really. And if you prefer a printed copy, you can order one (black and white or colour) at a nominal cost. And these aren't little blog posts, they're decent length articles. All told the PDF is 132 pages. Each article conveys, on top of the technical information you'd expect, a glimpse into the personality and style of the author. A highly recommended download and read.

Update: This whole recommending thing works even better when you include a link: http://devshaped.com/book. Slow brain day today, I guess.

Kate

Monday, 13 July 2009 13:00:57 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [2]
# Saturday, 11 July 2009
Remember that post by Aaron Margolis I linked to about launching a non elevated app from an elevated one? I mentioned that he'd left the managed version of his code as an exercise for the reader. Well Sasha Goldshtein has taken up that challenge and written the managed code. Not only that, he's added it to his UAC Helpers project on CodePlex, a collection of code that helps you work with UAC. Nice!

Kate

Saturday, 11 July 2009 17:22:20 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Thursday, 09 July 2009

We have a long running Agile project underway. Every month or so we deliver a new release, then work with the customer to decide what will be in the next release. Unlike many Agile shops, this isn't our only project - we have other small software development projects, mentoring work, and so on that take up about two thirds of the team's time, leaving one third for this project. What's more, we do this as a little fixed bid project every month, and both my bottom line and the customer are happy with the cost of each release. The key to that, of course, is accurate estimation of the effort in each iteration.

In some ways we have it easy now. The client has working code, and each month all we need to estimate are the changes and additions to that code. But how would it be if we were starting from nothing and planning to build a whole big system over the course of a year or so, for someone who wanted a fixed cost up front and a reasonably complete list of features to be delivered for that cost? Stephen Forte gave a talk recently on just that topic. Plenty of good ideas and a fun listen.

Kate

Thursday, 09 July 2009 07:38:19 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Tuesday, 07 July 2009

I do a lot of work in VB, though I am a C++ MVP not a VB one. This year at the MVP Summit many of the VB MVPs did short interviews with Beth Massi about how they got started and what they do in VB. Get to know some of these folks a little better. I spotted Julie Lerman, Rob Windsor, Ken Getz, Deborah Kurata, Daron Yondem, Jackie Goldstein, and even a thirteen year old! It's a mix of video interviews and text ones, and a very small time committment.

Kate

Tuesday, 07 July 2009 07:31:52 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Sunday, 05 July 2009

Ian McKenzie has a funny list of 20 ways to tell you're Canadian. My only quibble is that for #4 I would say cottage instead of camp. Other than that, rock on!

Kate

Sunday, 05 July 2009 19:09:17 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Friday, 03 July 2009

At Tech Ed this year, a whole pile of my friends (and me too) were invited to pontificate a little on fairly light weight technical topics like "what technology have you enjoyed lately?" and "how do you keep up with everything that's changing all the time?". The result is a fun series featuring luminaries inside and outside Microsoft: Scott Hanselman, Billy Hollis, me, Richard Campbell, Stephen Forte, Clemens Vasters, Tim Huckaby, Michele Leroux Bustamente, Jim Wilt, Brian Noyes, Loke Uei Tan, Matt Hessinger, Don Box, Juval Lowy, Jeffrey Palermo, and Tim Heuer. They're being uploaded one a week or so - you can get started now and enjoy more later.

Here's a direct link to mine if you need it: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/dd776253.aspx

Kate

Friday, 03 July 2009 17:08:51 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0]