June 2004 - Posts
I'm kinda busy, so I haven't blogged about yesterday evening yet. But one thing that springs to mind is the following from Ingo.
He said, we used to feel really good if we could tell people we were developers. Then it wasn't that cool anymore and we called ourself senior developers. Now more and more people are senior developers so we found something new. Now we want to be architects, to look cool. I don't know about you, but when they take away my Visual Studio and reply it with Word, so I can create documents about architecture all day long, I go crazy. That's the day I quit my job and may become a farmer or something. I definitely want to develop applications. I don't have to be the one that develops the entire application, or finishes it, but I don't want to loose my VS.NET. I love to (think I am) creating an architecture, design components, tell other people how everything works (how to HST, for the people that were present yesterday) and then start developing and learning other (maybe less skilled) developers how all this cool stuff can be done. Just don't take away my VS.NET! Then it's okay if people call me architect.
And of course my boss wants me to tell him, that I want to be an architect, because else I won't have any goals left, nothing to work at and then I can't impress him anymore, won't get raises, etc, etc. ;-)
Anyway, Ingo Rammer is also working on a new book, it's about architecture. But my kind of architecture, the kind of how to implement this architecture that's already on paper, sort of speak. Taking decisions on how and what. I've read a sample chapter and it's looking real good! Should be released Q4 this year. He's already got one customer! ;)
I was at the dotNED meeting yesterday in Purmerend. dotNED organized this because the TechEd was about to happen with lots of great speakers and this was a great opportunity to have some of the bigger speakers at the meeting. I'll blog more details of the speakers and what they said later.
What was so great is that it was hosted by IS. They had this really nice marketeer telling us how great IS was and that was all fine, untill they brought in the pizzas! Men did they deliver. It doesn't happen often when there's that much on leftovers with all these geeks being there, including me! ;)
Anyway, I think this is one great way to promote your company. They get some time telling how great IS is, we get some great time being there, enjoying the drinks, chips and pizza. I hope we at our company can deliver something as equally cool, sometime. But we're planning something, so hold your breath!
Anyway, thanks IS for hosting this!
We had a great evening!
There's a nice article from the MSDN Mag put online on MSDN. It's about Whitehorse, which I'm very interested in. It explains what Whitehorse is, what it does and what you can do with it. I've already seen the web cast where they show the graphical designer for design and validation of your (enterprise) applications. What they didn't show, as far as I can remember, was the class designer that comes with it.
I had no idea a class designer was included in Whitehorse and now I'm even more eager to start testing it then before. With the class designer, you can create classes graphically and let the designer create your code, but this is also able the other way around. You can create code, drag the file onto the graphical designer and let Whitehorse create the graphical representation of your class. When you edit one of both representations, the other side immediately synchronises! As you can see in the picture below, inheritance (or generalisation) and everything else is included. Even the new friend and internal scopes from VB.NET and C# are included, which don't exist in former UML. I have no idea if it's included in UML 2.0, but it is in Whitehorse.
Currently I use Visio with the great Visio UML Stencils from Pavel Hruby to just sketch my UML and create the code myself. I really hope Whitehorse delivers the goods so I'll be able to use it, when released with Visual Studio 2005. I hope Microsoft will add functionality to create lots of other diagrams as well, like sequence and everything else, or create a stand-alone case modelling tool. I don't really like the current available ones! ;)
So what is Whitehorse in a few words?
Okay, for everyone who's interested or just doesn't know, I'll try to explain what Whitehorse is in a few words. You might want to call it Whitehorse for dummies, an introduction.
Normally, you create a really big app, multiple assemblies, web-services, asp.net and/or winforms, etc, etc. All the works. When deploying, lots of different problems occur. With Whitehorse, Microsoft tries to show and solve these problems, while developing or even before development starts. You can design projects/solutions within Whitehorse. The article takes an ASP.NET app, a web-service and a database as an example. They create these "logical nodes", bind them together and set properties for the nodes, like using Windows authentication, impersonation and SSL for the ASP.NET server and connectionstring and such for the connection to the database.
After this they create the actual server types for the database and the webservers (for the web-app and the webservices). After this, they map the logical nodes, the projects, onto the servers. Now you can just implement this all and create real projects in Visual Studio 2005. Then you can test your complete setup by pressing F5 and Whitehorse will report all (possible) problems that will occur when you deploy your complete app on real servers. The cool thing is, you can setup different servers. One for development and one for final deployment, etc.
Then, in the article, the class designer comes in and you get a good picture of what Whitehorse actually is. A solution to problems that may very well occur after you successfully delivered your entire product, but stumble across a lot of problems while testing integration.
Thanks to Dmitry, creator of BlogJet, after contacting Scott, creator of .Text, our blogs work flawless with BlogJet. There was a problem where .Text didn't like posts being updated and published again. I tested it, after consulting Dmitry, with another blog tool and it showed the same error, Specified cast not valid, or something like it.
I just update .Text with a minor patch from Scott and tested it with my "user experience" post, where one picture was missing. It worked like a charm. Let's test it with this fresh post!
This is being added after first submitting the post, getting history and editting the post.
So if you can read this, it works!
Now playing: Europe - The Final Countdown
A new example application by Microsoft has been released on MSDN. I haven't looked at it yet, but it looks very promising.
PhotoVision is the name of the application, or set of applications. There's a website on which you can release photos to be viewed by a public audience. The cool thing is, there's also a Windows Forms application with which you manage and can even manipulate photos, set metadate before releasing them on the web. And then webservices come in. You can publish your photos from the WinForms app, through webservices, onto your ASP.NET webserver.
Here's a the overview or simple deployment model of the app:
You can find the pages to PhotoVision here:
Note that the url on the main page is broken, but the links placed here do work.
I'm constantly looking for ways to enhance user experience on the applications I build. One way is by adding a really cool user interface. I try to achieve this by looking at Windows. Windows itself could have severy flaws in user interface design, but it's what everyone is used to, so that's always the best thing!
I also try to add some really cool icons and pictures. Recently I got a set of really cool pictures from someone I'm definitly able to use in applications. But I'm looking to add some more to my collection. Here are some examples on the kind of pictures I'm talking about.
If you have anything that's like these pictures, I'd really like to share some of them! Ofcourse, our versions have to be a little bigger so I can scale them some, so they still look good when used.
So if you're into sharing, post a reply or contact me directly...
|On secretGeek you can find a picture of the VB.NET context menu for refactoring in VB.NET. As it seems, the menu differs a lot from the C# version. As secretGeek puts it, the menu options are greatly simplified to cater for the less rigorous intellect of the VB developer.
From Paschal L I got the link to another CodeProject article about HTML color coding for various languages. I haven't used on yet, but I'm about to, for my own website which I'm developing.
Most of the color coding helpers don't do the languages I want to, or have other things I don't like. This one even includes full sourcecode. I haven't tried it out yet, but I will soon. If I can find the time! ;)
You can find the CodeProject article here and the full source here.
I'm about to embark an adventure called Developing a .NET Windows Forms application with a collegue of mine. Untill now, I only embarked web applications, so this is a new one.
My collegue included a class he found on CodeProject, to handle WinXP theme support very easily. With every form load, you just add the following code and it supports WinXP themes. When activated ofcourse, which I never do! But the support in our application is nice nevertheless.
You can find the class here.private void MainForm_Load(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
WinXpStyle.FormLoad(sender, e, this);
Now playing: Jessica Simpson - Sweetest Skin
BlogJet 1.1 has been released. I've just this program in beta and since using my 1.0 version, my 30 day trial has almost been expired. I'm really thinking about registering this program, which I almost never do. But BlogJet is really something really great, as an application but with support as well!
If you're into blogging, you should really give it a try.
"Computers are useless. They can only give you answers." -- Pablo Picasso
Now playing: Ugly Kid Joe - Panhandlin' Prince
I've read it first here, but this guy claims to be the first. He claims that if you do anything with SQL Server, you should subscribe.
So I subscribed. First time for me with a woman ;-)
Jan Tielens released RC1 of his workflow engine for SharePoint. Workflow was a feature that was in older versions of SharePoint, but in the latest, Microsoft removed it. The short period of time I was working with it, it was definitly one thing I missed.
Jan has a video on what it can do and you can download it from GotDotNet.
Although so very offtopic, it's extremely important news. At least to me it is!
Het haring seizoen is begonnen!!!
In English, it's "Herring season has started!!!"
I have no idea if you know what herring is, but it's raw fish. It's internals are torn out, the skin is removed, you grab it by the tail, put it in your mouth and from their on I can't describe the enjoyment you receive. And the good thing about herring is, you taste it in your mouth all day long! For your collegues, especially the ones that despise herring, it's not that nice, because they can smell you ate herring from 20 meters away! ;-)
Anyway, I just ate three and they were delicious!!!
Saterday is herring day at my inlaws. That's one of the reasons I married my wife! ;-)
It seems Scott Hanselman was a little ticked off by seeing too many connectionstrings in the code. :)
He wrote a very short, but very clear article/post about the different layers and what they should and shouldn't do. If you think you know everything about architecture and their layers, it's always nice to just copy-n-paste his story in some technical document, so the n00bs that have to read your document are clear on these as well! :)
It's quite funny to read about how most users browse your website or web application. I'm talking about usability tests and what information they can provide to you, as a (web) developer.
At my company, some graphical designers are trying to teach us how our end users are reacting to what we've build. Carolyn Snyder wrote an article on some common mistakes developers use when building their website. Quit a funny read.
Go see it here.
(By clicking this link, a window opens, which is one of the mistakes I often make, because a lot of users will totally get lost. Their back button is grayed-out, they can't find my website anymore, etc, etc. Ofcourse, I also might want to totally get rid of these people. Especially those that use the back button in my web applications! Microsoft should make it optional to turn this thing off!!! ;)