# Monday, 19 October 2009

My download is underway right now. And while I wait for two gig of beta good stuff to reach my hard drive, I thought I'd share some of the announcements from Microsoft around Visual Studio 2010.

  • The launch will be March 22nd, 2010. I will have more details on that over the next few months.
  • The SKUs are being adjusted and simplified. I never met anyone who used just the Developer Edition, Architect Edition, Tester Edition or Database Edition of Visual Studio Team Systems. We all used Team Suite. So now we'll all use the Ultimate Edition. It has even more stuff than the old Team Suite did. People who don't want the source control and work item tracking and modelling and diagramming and schema/data management and all the other great things in Ultimate will get Professional. Some of them will get Premium, which sits in between the other two. Plus all the free Express SKUs will continue to get you what you need to just build an app right away without spending any money at all. (Already a subscriber? You'll get more without paying more, which is hard to argue with.)
  • MSDN has a whole new look (way more blue, lots of links to fresh blogs and announcements) and some cool new benefits like free Azure hours. If you're paid to make software, you should have an MSDN subscription. If you can't afford it and your company is new, take a look at BizSpark which makes it free. If you're not new or your company doesn't make software, look at the partner program. But for everyone else, this is what you need.

If you totally haven't been paying attention and have no idea what the excitement is about, start with this What's New document and these highlights (featuring screenshots and plenty of links).

And finally, after many years of Old Visual Studio logo,
get ready to start loving New Visual Studio logo and New Visual Studio logo

Kate

Monday, 19 October 2009 12:45:28 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Saturday, 17 October 2009
As C++ developers, we have a lot of options about how to link to libraries we use. We read sometimes that if we link statically, we will have more work to do if there's ever a security hole in the library, since we'll have to redeploy our app rather than just relying on the users to get the new library and use it dynamically. There's a great example of that in the ATL story that is now just wrapping up. A problem was discovered in July, and emergency updates were promptly released - just a day before the guys who discovered the problem spoke about it publicly. An article that same day pointed out that the error was almost a typo - an extra & in an expression - and warned that the patches "do not automatically fix software that was developed using the buggy ATL. Instead, vendors -- Microsoft as well as third-party firms -- must use the patched Visual Studio to recompile their code, then distribute the new, secure software to users." Well finally, Microsoft has finished their part of it with updates for the parts of Office that were using the old ATL. Have you done all of yours?

Kate

ps: love the "related twitters" at the bottom of the article - people may not tweet about the Active Template Library very often, but they sure do mention a certain airport / city that uses the same abbreviation :-)

Saturday, 17 October 2009 12:13:47 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Thursday, 15 October 2009
Inspired by the Visual Studio Documentary, Rico Mariani is writing his own history. So far he's up to 8 parts and they make for great reading. He goes into some of the technical challenges the teams faced, and talks about cancelled and sidelined projects along the way. He's made a category for it so you can read the whole thing start to finish ... but I'm reading as he goes and not waiting till it's done. Do read in order though, starting at Part 1.

Kate

Thursday, 15 October 2009 11:34:46 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Esther Schindler and I go way back. She's a great editor and I never quite have time to write for her, though I've come close a time or two. Recently, she wrote:

I decided to compile a list for developers, designers, and other techies of blogs-worth-reading whose authors just-so-happen-to-be (mostly) women. I'm a strong believer in women being more visible; we tend to fade into the background, too much, and to apologize for our achievements. (That's one reason why women earn less than men; I'll get into that discussion another time.) Enumerating women-to-admire felt like a good way to highlight smart people who have wisdom to share.

I am delighted to see my friends on this list, and to be introduced to new blogs as well. Esther was even nice enough to include me on her list. Take a look and see if you can make a new friend, or at least a new habit.

Kate

Tuesday, 13 October 2009 11:29:52 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Sunday, 11 October 2009

While rehearsing some talks recently I was playing around with my desktop background. I've used a shot from my Bermuda vacation for a long time, because it cheers me up if I am feeling stressed. But I enjoyed having some local "autumn colour" shots on there too. Windows 7 has a "desktop slideshow" feature that changes your background every 30 minutes and I'm going to use that for a while ... though I might add my pink beach image to the rotation.

Thing is, I don't want to rotate through iconic US pictures, lovely though they are. That's why I was pleased to read, on How-To Geek, how simple it is to activate themes for Canada, Australia, South Africa, and Great Britain. The Canadian wallpapers really are lovely:

I think there should really be a prairie one in there too, but I'm not complaining. Give them a try!

Kate

Sunday, 11 October 2009 09:32:07 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Friday, 09 October 2009

You have to see these. Roughly half an hour each, featuring an RD and at least one former RD, it’s a cast of luminaries and also has some funny-looking-back archival footage. I learned a few things, remembered a whole bunch more, and smiled and laughed a lot. Check them out. Apparently there’s a whole series to follow with the full interviews with all those folks. I like this chronologicallish approach with different interviews interwoven, but I’m sure I’ll watch the long ones too when they come out.

Here’s who’s in it:

  • Anders Hejlsberg
  • Soma Somasegar
  • Dan Fernandez
  • Alan Cooper
  • Bill (archive footage)
  • Tim Huckaby
  • Tony Goodhew
  • Dave Mendlen
  • Jeff Hadfield
  • Jason Zander
  • Mardi Brekke
  • Dee Dee Walsh
  • Scott Guthrie

They are both on Channel 9 (and read the comments too): Part 1 and Part 2.

Kate

Friday, 09 October 2009 09:23:24 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Wednesday, 07 October 2009

I've published a set of four articles on Code Project for those who might want to present to others on Visual Studio Extensions. Each is designed as a speaker kit - powerpoint presentation, speaker notes (what to say to each slide) and demo script. In addition I have recorded myself either doing the demos or the whole talk and put the videos on Silverlight Streaming. We wanted to embed the videos in the articles, but we've settled for putting links in. You can Open in New Tab to watch them, or right click to download.

The four articles are:

I had a great time doing this. You can use these talks to present at a user group or a code camp - I've done the last one at the Toronto Code Camp and it went really well. Give them a try. I have been given a lot of "other people's material" in my time and I have to say it's rarely this complete a package. Let me know if you like them and send me a link to the event if you do one.

Kate

PS: these are all for Visual Studio 2008. If you want Visual Studio 2010, stay tuned :)

Wednesday, 07 October 2009 08:53:58 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Monday, 05 October 2009

If you read Stephen Forte's blog regularly, you'll know that he's a really technical guy. He's all about SQL, SQL Azure, WCF, Silverlight and so on. He's also a guy who shows his personal side in his blog. Before we had ever met, he was described to me as a slightly crazy guy who likes to climb mountains - and he has categories in his blog not just for Climbing, but also for Kilimanjaro and Everest. But he's also a guy who likes to help - a lot of the crazy things he does have been to raise money for charities - check his .NET Celebrity Auction and Curing Cancer categories.

So I really enjoyed reading two posts recently - "we're leaving" and "we're back" - the latter with tons of pictures - that covered a trip to Nepal to build a library. Not by pressing Ctrl+Shift+B either - hammer and nails, baby.

The four of them manage to be 4 MVPs and 2 RDs between them :-) and made a big difference in a far away village that already meant a lot to them. He closes with a link for you to donate and I think I will do the same. 

Kate

Monday, 05 October 2009 08:32:10 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [1]