November 2003 - Posts

Port80 Surveys the Top 1000 Corporations' Web Servers versus Netcraft Web Server Survey. So who's winning?

Vasanth Dharmaraj presents Comparator - a slick tool (written in .NET, source code available) to preview a web site in IE and Mozilla at the same time.

John Morris from CNET recently reviewed Microsoft Windows Longhorn. Its more of a non-developers point-of-view but a good read. John also mentions that the retail market cost of Longhorn will be the same as that of XP (according to Bill Gates). I feel that the cost & the delivery time are two sensitive issues which are by far speculative. What's intriguing is that, of the 300+ people who voted on the site only 50% recommended Longhorn (as of now - ie: Alpha build).  Some have even posted their comments (positive or negative). But again, the actual product is atleast 3-4 years away.
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Rob Davis has put together an extensive and very insightful Glossary and Technical FAQs section on Software QA/Testing. [via Siva Rama Krishna]

Today, I also came across this control (for Avalon) called UltraGrid. UltraGrid for Avalon is a functional grid control that supports hierarchical data, column sizing, multi-column sorting and ‘Outlook Group-by’. It was written by Infragistics, at the request of Microsoft, to showcase at the PDC what could be done in a very short period of time by leveraging the Avalon framework. The control was written from scratch in less than 1 month’s time by 2 Infragistic’s developers who had no prior exposure to Avalon. However, the control has no keyboard support or editing capability. Also note that the design of the control makes use of nested listboxes to display hierarchical or group-by levels. Hence, the grid will not be very performant when dealing with even a modestly sized data source. UltraGrid application and source code is available for download.

FYI, the entire audio/visual content from PDC 2003 is available online (via Microsoft).

Also, Sean Gerety has an interesting idea for a multi-direction treeview control (mockup below):

iText# (iTextSharp) is a port of the iText open source java library written entirely in C# for the .NET platform. iText# is a library that allows you to generate PDF files on the fly. It is implemented as an assembly. [via Jay R]

BTW, the buzz is that upto 60K lines of code written in .NET will/can/should/would/may be reduced to just 1 line of code in Indigo (the Web services subsystem in Longhorn). Please tell me if I've read that right.

“Leaked” image of the VB.NET context menu or is it?!?! (via secretGeek)

Have you tried the beta release of SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services yet? If so, please leave a comment on what you think of it. How does it compare to Crystal Reports 9?

By the way, the Crystal Reports .NET enterprise reporting solution videos (WMV) present a good overview - both in terms of .NET reporting and VS.NET integration.

Anyone using MySQL as a primary or secondary database system must checkout the MySQL Gotchas (a list of features or functions which work as advertised - but not as expected).

MySQL can be accessed from VB.NET using some managed class libs like MySQL Connexion, dotData or ADO.NET ODBC itself. I've also used the MyVbQL API component for accessing MySQL from VB 6.0. Its thin, efficient and works well with unmanaged code. MyODBC on the other hand seems a little bulky (IMO) and slower, specially for distributed applications.

Before designing the data access layer (over MySQL), be sure to read Exploring MySQL in the Microsoft .NET Environment.

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A friend from work sent me this list of Companion Tools for .NET development.

For anyone into BizTalk (2002 or 2004b), you must checkout the BizTalk User Group. Its a growing community with lots of technical articles, whitepapers, tools and jobs. I had some training on BizTalk about 1.5 years back (in anticipation that BizTalk-driven EAI will take off) but lost touch with it as I never actually got to design a complete EAI solution. But finally, I'll be doing some work next week using BizTalk orchestration on a project at work.

Dino Esposito provides an overview of Longhorn, focusing on the build-once, deploy n-times application model. In addition, he discusses XAML, that's used to create UI elements, then presents some working samples.

A First Look at Writing and Deploying Apps in the Next Generation of Windows.

  

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