# Andrew Stopford's Weblog

poobah

## March 2006 - Posts

Check out this post from the Vertigo software team (who were at Mix but I never made the connection). Jamie has something very special in mind, watch this space.

I posed this question to a few folks at Microsoft earlier this week

Also some questions have been raised about the Vista timeframe. With 8 months or so to launch what is Microsofts advice for making the most effective productive use of that timeframe [for folks developing software for Vista], can we go through design reviews, QA reviews with Microsoft to make sure we effectively target WinFx, Vista, meet Vista UX guidelines etc?

I know Eric has replied on his blog to questions like this. However 8 months is a long time and its impact on a project can be huge, would be good to see more advice.

Check out these Expression Interactive Designer (its easier to say EID) training videos.

Last night just before bed emma read out from her magazine an article on Google and how great it is to work there (all the perks etc). She mentioned the Google billboard job ad and its now famous puzzle.

{first 10-digit prime found in consecutive digits of e}.com

I had fun thinking about this and while Joel has appeared to solve half the puzzle (and if you click its a dead link) I approached it from a different angle. So what are we looking at here a counting up sequence or just a sequence. A prime number is anything greater than 0 (so anything above that) and as the article mentioned E is the value 2.7. Heres a few fun things, when we round the number to its highest power its 3. Now how we count from that point can vary and the puzzle gives nothing away, you could use the assumption of keep counting from 3 until you reach 10 digits. However consecutive digits could also be digits in sequence

34567891011

Thats 11 digits I hear you say, yes so the 10th digit is 1, when we spell that number

One

It has 3 digits, so theres that number again. While this was fun it turns out to be wrong, it was fun to think about this though :)

While looking around the web at other blog posts I chanced upon this post about Google hiring, Amazon and Microsoft. I am never sure what to take from the hiring pratices of these companies, got a brain the size of Jupiter and you can write great software?  Got membership in mensa and have done a PhD for fun, you can write great software? Software companies it seems are coming up with new ways of testing your brain size rather than your ability and more importantly your approach and attuide. White boarding code sessions are a famous example of how Microsoft does things, I am not sure that everyone on the spot can write software in the blink of an eye like that, some need to think very carefully about it before they do it, some can just churn out the code. I am not never sure what Microsoft are looking for in these but if I was doing this I would looking for the thinkers not the doers (and that could very well be what Microsoft want). Not someone that churn out code and worry about it later, not someone that can answer questions on it as after thought (how would you test your code? - oh I would write unit tests, regression tests etc) but whos approach is to think first and act later. You don't need a PhD brain for that.

Lost track of your WinFx CTPs? Well I have come up with a way of knowing what the Feb CTP is at least. Go to the install log (dd_winfxinstall80.txt) which should live in

C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\WinFX Runtime Components 3.0 - Beta 2\Logs

Then look for a line along the lines of

ProductVersion: 8.0.50727.134_WAP_X86_IXP

I could be wrong and several CTP's have the same version number but its worked for me to track several Feb CTP installs.

Marc Holmes who wrote one of the best books on CCNet around has joined Micrsoft UK as an Architect Evangelist (same job as Tim Sneath and Erine Booth but from the UK side of things), congrats Marc ! His new blog is here, as a UK WinFx developer I look foward to hopefully working more with Marc.
I have heard about Ruby.Net but I did'nt know it was one of John Gough's babies, John wrote the Pascal compiler for the JVM and CLR, was one of the members of the orginal CLR compiler team and wrote this great book on compiling for the CLR.  Using the same compiler parser as the Pascal compiler they are well under way with the project and hope to have alpha release by mid 2006. I will be really interested to see how this turns out for speed, the IronPython project has proved that dyanmic languages can work very well on the CLR and I think proving that Ruby can run well will push that bar further.
Here's a wacky idea I cooked up on the train this morning, the WebBus (ok my name :) its the Lotus\Sun InfoBus concept but for the browser rather than just a Java container. So for the every increasing number of browser components like SWT's, Applets, WPF\E, DHTML, HTML, JavaScript and AJAX etc it allows some components be data providers (like AJAX but also say a WPF\E data provider that hooks into WCF remoting or a SWT that hooks into Flash remoting channel, all of which expose data to the bus) and some to be data consumers that consume data off the bus for display. It would allow different components to consume different data sources and to share data on a single common bus.
If your coding a WPF app as a windows app and thinking about allowing it to work in the browser then be aware of the sandbox, this limits certain chunks of functionality for security reasons. This whitepaper is worth printing out and keeping to one side when planning your application in the first instance or considering a browser move. Some chunks of functionality I am not sure why they are limited, bitmap effects for example, things will change I am sure.
Posted: Mar 28 2006, 09:30 PM by astopford | with no comments
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Microsofts Michael Harsh has the details.
Posted: Mar 28 2006, 09:25 PM by astopford | with no comments
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