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The blogged wandering of Robert W. Anderson

Archive for .NET

And it is Windows 8!

Reading the news on an unplanned overnight in Houston, I see that Microsoft is sticking with “Windows 8” as the name of the next Windows client.

I can only imagine there was some heated debate on whether to give it an evocative name or stick with a sequence of numbers. I’m glad the sequence won out, even if just for now.

I much prefer the “8” and then, I hope “9”, etc. I don’t really care that these are names and not version numbers, but I do care that there they make sense to customers and partners alike.

Plus all the evocative names start sounding like brands of cars.

I just came back from Costa Rica, and I swear I saw someone driving a Windows Azule. 😉

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Not at Build née PDC

This if the first year I’ve missed the PDC (now Build) since 2003.  I originally dismissed going because it seemed all about Windows 8 (Client).   Once it became clear that it is a full PDC I thought “I should go”, but then decided “eh, last one wasn’t such a big deal.”

Anyway, I’m not there this year.  I think I will go next time, if only because it seems weird *not* to be there.

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One Windows to rule them all

Jason Hiner from ZDNet gives some credit to Microsoft for the new approach, but shares my opinion that the one-size fits all approach is a tried and failed:

I would have thought Microsoft learned its lesson here. It has already tried to take the full version of Windows 7 and run it on tablets. These “slates” — as Microsoft calls tablets — have gotten trounced by the iPad. Now, Microsoft has decided to take the full version of Windows and make sweeping UI changes so that it’s much more tablet-friendly and then apply all of those changes to the standard desktop/laptop version of Windows as well. Say what?

My comparison to the old Windows Mobile world, although not technically “One Windows to rule them all”, covers similar ground.

As a developer, I love the idea of write once and run everywhere, but in today’s world that applies to only one technology HTML5 and JavaScript.  It just doesn’t apply to the OS.

The users have already spoken on this.  And they are right on so many levels.

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Mudslinging at InsideHPC

Read the open letter to insideHPC readers.

Pure mudslinging about conflicts of interest based on things that don’t seem to be true. I won’t mention the mudslinger, but I can tell you that if I bothered to read that other blog — which I don’t — I would unsubscribe.

Build your brand on merit like InsideHPC did, not on publicity stunts.

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BizSpark Graduation Offer


Somesegar just announced that Microsoft is letting BizSpark Startups keep their production licenses after they graduate. 

The program is designed to get people hooked on the Microsoft platform.  They just removed a major hurdle for companies who were worried about what happens after they exit the program (not that the licensing issue goes away, mind you).  Anyway, BizSpark was already a great deal for startups with a Microsoft bent and now it is a lot better.

Great move by Microsoft.  The Microsoft developer story is truly a great one, and getting better all the time.

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New EF Features #PDC10

One thing lacking from EF 4 is code first.  They showed off a new CTP for Entity Framework that includes these features.

New API surface for simplifying EF:  DbContext, DbSet<T>, more. DbContext gives a vastly simplified view at an EntityContext.

Code first can created a database automatically.

Of course, makes all sorts of assumptions based on conventions.

  • Pluralization convention
  • Infers references between tables into keys and foreign keys
  • EdmMetaData table contains snapshot that is kept to keep code/database in sync.
  • Attributes can be used to override conventions (e.g., StringLengthAttribute overrides the default length of 4000 for strings).  In Microsoft.Data.Entity.Ctp System.ComponentModel.DataAnnotations.
  • StoreIgnore
  • DatabaseInitializer can force your code to be in sync.  Automatically?  Sounds dangerous, but they give you many options. Pretty cool, really.
  • Conventions for inferring many-to-many relationships.

They added an OData service on top.  OData is really cool.  May change my itinerary to go to an OData session.

Other things:

  • Enum support!
  • Spatial
  • Alternate keys
  • TVF support!
  • Migrations and deployment
  • Perf & scalability
  • Designer improvements (multiple models!)
  • Better SQL generation

Available now in a CTP, 5th CTP out in another month.  2011 Q1 will be the first full release.  Terrific that Microsoft is delivering on their out-of-band enhancements.

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#PDC10 Keynote Roundup

PDCs used to be something special, only reserved for big announcements or trends for Microsoft / Developers.  Of course, they used to be bigger too – regardless of Ballmer’s calling this the biggest PDC ever.  Holding it in Redmond, keeping it down to two days, limiting the attendees to 1000 (or so?) are all indicative of this PDC change. Will it be permanent?  Who knows, but I do wonder why they held it now.

Ray Ozzie was sorely missed in the keynote.  I can’t help but wonder if this PDC was put on just to show that Microsoft is still developer focused even with Mr. Ozzie’s departure.  Ballmer did a fine job this morning, but without Bill Gates and now no Ozzie, it doesn’t feel the same.

Anyway, in terms of the announcements (i.e., the “reveals”), not too much and nothing I would say is truly big.

There are lots of announcements though, but mostly they are incremental additions to existing products (e.g., all the new Azure enhancements) or the completion of initiatives that have been in process for years (e.g., Dallas).

All together the announcements show terrific strides for the Azure platform making it all the more compelling.

Windows Mobile 7 is also pretty cool.  I don’t know I’ll every use it, but I can see why a lot of people will.  I think they’ll have a homerun here.

Here is a live view on my PDC10 tweets:


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Going to PDC10?

RegisterPDC10 is coming up in late October. I signed up for it knowing it was Azure-centric, but I am glad to see that there is also a .NET track.  I hope this will include non-Azure server side technologies (e.g., EF, AppFabric for Windows Server and the like). Of course these other pieces all have their place (or counterparts) in Azure, but I don’t think I’ll be using Azure directly over the next year.

PDC’s are quite valuable to attend (access to Microsoft product teams, exposure to their roadmap, opportunity for light-bulb” moments, etc).  That said, I may decide not to go after the session list is released – a simple balancing of priorities.

Anyway, I’ll likely keep my registration – I would actually love it if Microsoft could change my plans about Azure this October.

Are you going? Or not? If so, please share your reasons.

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Digipede 2.4

deatle24We recently released the Digipede Network 2.4.  Among other things, this release provides  support for hosting .NET 4 applications, some new features to improve management and control, and enhanced server-side performance. The entire list and downloads are available on the community site.  You can read more about it on the Interwebs:

Those paying close attention might ask "what happened to 2.3?"  The answer is Digipede trivia.

  • Part of a failed experimental branch? No. 
  • Is 2.4 actually numbered 2.3.1 under the covers? No. (A minor dig at Windows 6 R2).

The actual reason dates back to the days when .NET 2 was released.  Back then, we were ready to release Digipede Network 1.1 with .NET 2 support.  To avoid naming confusion with .NET 1.1, we decided to skip the “.1” and went straight to “.2”.  Was it in fact less confusing?  Probably not materialy.

So, why no 2.3?  It is an ever so slight (and obscure) homage to those early days: for .NET 4 we decided to release something that ends in “.4”. 

Like I said: trivia.

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CA2204 is broken

CA2204: Literals should be spelled correctly (docs here).

I agree, but it doesn’t work.

At least not with compound words.  If you are authoring a reusable class library, you are bound to have compound words in literal strings.  Do yourself a favor and turn off the warning.

I had to search around to get this acknowledged, and finally found it on Microsoft Connect here

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