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Archives / 2006 / November
  • Still alive and kicking... in Edmonton

    Just wanted to let you know I haven't dropped off the face of the planet, it's just been a crazy couple of weeks after returning from DevConnections in Vegas. I'm on and offline so posts are spotty. I'm also up here in Edmonton, Alberta for the first Vista/Office 2007 launch event. This is the first launch event for Vista, Office 2007 (client and server) and Exchange 2007. Funny how the first event is Canadian (go Canada eh!) as the U.S. launch is in January.

    Anyways, I'm at the experts booth today at the event so if you're there, stop by and ask questions and make me work for my lunch. We'll also have some computers setup so we'll see if we can get a demo or two going. It should be a blast.

    Last night we had the VIP event at Brewsters here in Edmonton. A great turnout from the various UG leaders, local MVPs, and softies. I met up with local Access MVPs Tony Toews (and finally found out how to pronounce his last name) and Albert Kallal, a MVP that shares a last name with Superman and bears an uncanny physical resemblance to BillG.

    My fellow plumber John "The Pimp" Bristowe (sporting the latest cool swag, the Developer Night in Canada t-shirt) is giving most of the dev sessions today and is on the road with the event. He was there last night (along with my other Plumber/MVP James Kovacs). John was emcee for the night, handing out the usual t-shirt swag and other goodies from the MS Warehouse and telling us again how big the one he almost caught was. It's going to be a long day today with a full day of sessions, a reception tonight and a 3 hour drive home to Calgary in the snow.

    P1010003

    Catchup blogs in the queue:

    • Code and resource links from DevConnections. Just have to zip up the source and get it online, blog post is done.
    • SharePoint Forums and Knowledgebase web parts updates including 2007 (RTM) compatibility. Aiming to get this out in the next week
    • Scrum retrospectives from two iterations on a few projects, should be fun for some discussion and learning
    • Launch event (with pics) and last nights VIP event (with more pics). I'll also be at the launch event and VIP reception the night before in Calgary next week.
    • A couple of other small (new) SharePoint tools for developers

    So much time and so little to do. Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it.

  • SharePoint, RTW

    Joel Oleson, a senior product manager on Office SharePoint Server, announced on the SharePoint Team blog the RTW (Release to Web) version of WSS and Office SharePoint Server 2007 (Standard and Enteprise editions). These are available for download so you can start using WSS immediately in a production environment (this is the final version) and install eval versions of MOSS if you so desire. Joel even posted the product keys for installation if you need them and where to download the files. Check out his post here.

    Jeff Teper, Mr. BigWig himself (the corporate vice president of SharePoint Server), also has a post here describing the journey and how important MOSS is to the even bigger guy, BillG. Congrats guys, it's been a long and winding road but we're finally there (or here, depending on which way you're looking at it).

    Now back to my DevConnections post and other SharePoint-y stuff.

  • 21 flavors and nothing on

    Confused over Office 2007 capabilities and SharePoint? Some of us are, but hopefully we can make some things a little clearer with this.

    Okay, brace yourselves. Now that Office 2007 has RTM (released to manufacturing) and will be available for download for business customers on November 16th (some versions are now available on MSDN downloads) there's the question of what version does what (as it pertains to SharePoint).

    As of right now, there are 8 different SKUs for Office. They are:

    • Basic
    • Home & Student
    • Standard
    • Small Business
    • Professional
    • Ultimate
    • Professional Plus
    • Enterprise

    What's even more confusing is what can you do with each one (and more importantly what you can't do). Still even more confusing (I'll never understand Microsoft Marketing) is that Enterprise (the top of the line SKU) doesn't include Outlook with the Business Contact Manager (a pretty neat feature). You only get the standard Outlook client. The next version downscale from Enterprise that includes the contact manager is Ultimate (Professional Plus doesn't have it either). Rather strange as Pro Plus is like Enterprise but without OneNote or Groove, but doesn't include the contact manager. Again, I'll never understand the marketing guys.

    One of the cooler new features of Office 2007 is the Document Information Panel (DIP). This is the grown up version of the File Properties dialog box you get with 2003 but has so much more like workflow and customization. It basically presents whatever metadata your document contains in a nice InfoPath-like form at the top of document. The Document Information Panel helps address a major challenge facing organizations: ensuring that documents are tagged with the appropriate metadata to make them easy to find, discover, and manage over their entire lifecycle. 

    In the 2007 edition of Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, the properties in the DIP can be automatically synchronized with the backend system (SharePoint) so things list values are pulled down, synced, and kept up to date. And in Word the properties can sync with the document content itself. Additionally the Information Panel can also respect (and kickoff) workflows hooked up to its fields so it's a pretty powerful tool overall.

    The Document Information Panel is completely customizable and you can even build your own. You can check out this Channel 9 video on creating your own custom DIPs (don't you just love that acronym?) here.

    As the panel is pretty much an InfoPath form (behind the scenes) and a local InfoPath installation is required to see this gem as well as the right version of Office. Yup, you heard me right. You need either Ultimate, Professional Plus, or Enterprise to get this goody. The new run-of-the-mill Professional (which you think would be for oh, say, professionals) version just doesn't have it. Sucks to be a pro now eh? We all have to be Pro+ now.

    Of course, you always (in any flavor) have the Office "Jewel" (gak I really hate that term) which lets you access the "old-style" document properites like so:

    However there's no workflow here, dropdown lists are limited and some properties won't (read: can't) show up here. Values will make it back to SharePoint but it's as basic as it gets here and pretty much what you get in 2003.

    There's a matrix of what's what in each version here on Microsoft which should help muddle through the confusion. There's also an update of the "Good, Better, Best" whitepaper (2003 version here) on 2007 and integration features coming soon from Lawrence Liu (whose blog you should subscribe to as he has lots of great SharePoint goodies).

    You'll still be able to create new documents, open them, checkin/out, etc. with 2007 and SharePoint but as you slip down the scale in flavors (and regress back to the 2003 version) you'll continue to loose functionality and integration but the basics will always be there.

  • Back on Terra Firma

    Finally back in Calgary. What a horrible experience. Okay, I'm not a world traveler. I've been to a dozen or so cities in North America over the past few years speaking and presenting so I'm not a newb, but I'm also not a pro. However I do know when an airline service sucks. The last 24 hours has been just that. Suckage. Huge suckage with no hope of redemption. All courtesy of America West, the worst airline I've ever been on.

    Take off

    First off, the last week was great. Thanks to everyone that came out to DevConnections as it was a blast. I'm hoping to get out to Orlando for the Spring 2007 one (ping me if you're looking for a specific topic that interests you as I'm just putting together my abstracts now). Sorry for the lack of technical content blogs as I really didn't get too much time to see anyones presentations or spend much time at the conference itself (however I will post notes, resources, links, and code from my presentations in the next few days). Rather most of my time was soaking in Vegas and all the craziness it encompasses (like the Venetian below, absolutely spectacular)

    P1010060

    Oh yeah, the airline story.

    It started way back with the departure from Calgary, but that's so long ago now. However Sunday has been just reliving that experience ten-fold. First our flight out was to be at 11:59pm Sunday night. We did call them to try to rebook, and as God is my witness I've always been able to pay a $100 rebooking fee (or no fee for that matter) yet these bozos wanted $400 for each ticket to rebook for an earlier flight. No way. Yeah, midnight is a truly stupid time to fly but in retrospect when I booked the flight it was the only direct flight from Vegas to Calgary so I thought it would be okay. Red eye, empty airplane, lots of sleep, no big deal. That thought changed when we got to the airport at 9:30pm and saw a line longer than the exodus itself from Egypt. Apparently America West only has one line, for all flights. Nice.

    An hour in the ticketing line to check our bags in and then carry those bags over to another area with another line. Oh, this is efficiency at it's finest. Luckily that line was short (about 20 people) and we just dropped off our bags, hoping they would arrive with us in Canada. The security line however wasn't as short and that was another 45 minutes of listening to how they're short of bins so shoes have to go on the conveyer belt. Sure, since 9/11 security is hyped up and all that jazz but get a clue Vegans, having 8 different check-ins all merge into one line is just not cool.

    Finally we made it through the security checkpoint only to find out that they now wanted to "check our documentation" for all passengers on the flight. So another gigantic line with the clock ticking away at when our flight might actually take off. What was even more frustrating is that they said (finally) if you have a "DOCS OK" printed on your ticket (which we did back at the initial checkin) you didn't have to do the double-check. Thanks for telling us that 20 minutes after you make us line up for the check in the first place. And what the hell is with this extra doc check? I mean, we've been through ticketing, we've been through security. If you haven't got it right by then, an extra check isn't going to help much (other than make people peeved at the airlines, like I am).

    Okay, we're on board. Flight is full so no chance to upgrade to first class but then given the fact they wanted $400 each to change our fights, I would have hazard to guess they would probably want more for an upgrade (even though they advertise you can do it for $50). Then we wait.

    And wait.

    And wait even more.

    The crew is coming over from another flight so we have to wait for that now.

    15 minutes.

    20.

    The crew arrives but now there's some checklists they have to go through and it'll only be a "few more minutes".

    30.

    Now there's some ventilation thing that has to be checked by maintenance.

    40.

    The lights go out and the video starts playing telling how we're all going to die and when we do, make sure you use the seat cushion as a floatation device. Actually, at this point I'm going to use the pilot as a floatation device as I'm sure he has a big enough head.

    The flight finally took off and it seemed to go well. Until about 15 minutes this side of Calgary. Then we hit a bad spot of turbulence.

    You know when you're on a roller coaster and you take that first dip down the big hill towards the winding bend? Yeah, it was like that. Only worse.

    I'm sure the plane basically flipped 90 degrees on its side, the started to drop down. It only lasted a few seconds, but that was enough to warrant screams and gasps from the more awake people behind us. Yes, screams as in "We're all going to die" sounds. Not something that you want to hear on a plane. My heart was pumping and the adrenaline was churning but for me, until we slip into a flat spin and I see John Candy in a devil suit sitting next to me, I just shrug it off. The pilot came on immediately to tell us everything was fine and then proceeded to tell us that every 5 minutes until we landed. Close, but no cigar but still it was something to perk you up at 4 in the morning.

    Like I said, I'm not a world traveler but in the times I have traveled I've never see a more incompetent collection of buffoons running a circus like the ones at America West. Bottom line, I will never, ever, ever, never, ever fly with these morons again. You couldn't pay me to step on their planes again.

    Worst airline (and flight), ever.

    Anyways, goodbye Vegas. It's been fun. Next time I'll fly Canadian.

    End of the strip

    You can check out my Flickr set here to see all the pics I took down there. Enjoy!

  • DevConnections - Day 3 - Sessions, sessions, sessions

    Just a quick note as I'm trying to catch up on the blogging this week. My sessions are done as of yesterday and I'll have links to various resources as I get the blog entries done over the next few days.

    I just wanted to mention that the Community Technology Preview release for Visual Studio 2005 Extensions for Windows SharePoint Services is out. This is the grown-up version of the Web Part templates for 2003 that would create a Hello World Web Part, but it is so much more than that. This is a 1.0 release and there are some restrictions using it (for example you have to have a zone in order to have a data view web part rather than just plopping it on a page). You can download the CTP here. There is a bit of a chicken and egg problem in that the tool doesn't work quite right with Beta 2 or Beta 2 TR, but at least you can check out the Visual Studio interation.

    Mindsharp Guys

    Thanks for the great feedback on the session here in Vegas as the comments were much appreciated and help me shape better value for you guys in the future. The only thing with the feedback is that I got some negative feedback because I didn't have slides, and the feedback was that there was nowhere to take notes. Yell at me if you want, but there are blank pages in the book for notes. I don't believe that there's much value in having slides with regurgitated content from a demo. The value in the demo is from the demo itself and generally slides that have bullet points really need a lot of context behind them for them to make sense if you look at them days or weeks later. I'm not saying slides are no good and to each his own, but I'm just finding that in past presentations I've done, the slides had little value in actually being a reference. So I'm currently slideless in my presentations and probably need to rethink this to find a good balance between no slides and slides with gobs of text on them. Anyways, the whole presentations without slides is an entire blog entry that I'll think about as I'm sure everyone has an opinion about it.

    Also based on the feedback that some of you provided in my sessions I am going to be doing a series of blog entries on small bits and pieces of things that I would go over in the session. For example there may be a small thing that I demo'd for 10 minutes but it's worth a full blog entry that would go through it in-depth. This makes sense to me as you have to cram so much into an hour presentation, but a blog entry should provide a lot more value as a follow-up. So watch for these SharePoint 2007 entries in coming weeks.

    BTW, if you're in Vegas you just have to drop by the Bellagio and see the fountain show. It runs fairly frequently and is set to music (different music each time it seems) and really impressive. Check it out but here's a pic of it from last night:

    P1010060

    Todays Gambling Debt: -$200. Bad luck at the machines.

  • DevConnections - Day 2 - The Twelve Days of Vegas

    Okay, there are only 4 days for the conference but if were around for another 8 this is what it might be like:

    On the twelfth day of Vegas,
    my vendor gave to me
    Twelve ugly mouse pads,
    Eleven tins of breath mints,
    Ten Windows stress toys,
    Nine network cables, 
    Eight USB hubs,
    Seven drinking vessels,
    Six CD holders,
    Five Channel 9 guys,
    Four crappy t-shirts,
    Three DVDs,
    Two laser pointers,
    And a stylish new laptop bag!

    Taking a break

    Enjoy the conference while you're here.

  • DevConnections - Day 1 - Brush with greatness

    A funny thing happend on the way from the speakers room today. Julie Lerman said "Oh Bil, you're the perfect person". Well, I never really considered myself perfect but who am I to argue. What she meant was that I was perfect for some interview hooligans that was going on at the entrance to DevConnections. Greg Proops is a comedian who's claim to fame is the very funny show Whose Line is it Anyway? Greg and crew were on-site at DevConnections interviewing geeks and nerds and asking questions like "What would you do to fix Microsoft". Oh god. Let's sit down and go get some more video tape. I interviewed with Greg (well he was doing the interviewing but I wasn't being the adle-minded geek so I had to just go off on whatever tangent came to me, this was being caught on film you know).

    I have no idea what they're doing with the tape or where it will show up (and if they respect ratings they won't put my mug online anytime soon) but it was a fun gig. I would post the picture I got of me and Greg standing and looking silly but they took a polariod and for the likes of me I can't find a scanner around this place, so that will have to wait. I had my digital there with me but for whatever reason they wouldn't take the shot with my camera. The nerve of some high-priced actor eh? Last time I'm watching his show (feel free to boycot the show as well and tell him I told you so, that'll teach him from not taking a picture with my camera).

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    As for the conference, I have to admit I didn't spend much time around the floor today. I was trying to get out to the exhibitor booths and say hi to a few people (Bamboo, CorasWorks, Quest, etc.) and I will do that over the next day or so (promise guys!) but it was a lazy-try-to-enjoy-sin-city day for us. I'm just finishing up my code for tommorows session on Events with SharePoint and will post the code samples after the morning session. No slides as I think they're silly so a few notes written in Notepad that I'll flash on the screen and code, code, code. Sorry for anyone who's looking to buff out their powerpoint deck collection as you won't get any from me this week. 

    Tonight a walk along the strip to the Bellagio where we caught some of the fountain show, did some more gambling, and watched the street dealers hand out portable porn to people where you can get an hour with Jody and Buffy for $99. Wonder if that includes a shiatsu massage? I guess anything is possible in Vegas. No pictures as I was too dazed from yesterdays late night to remember it but I'll catch a bunch for you later and create a new Flickr set called "Las Vegas" for those that need it. 

    And what's up with Vegas? Two quirks for the day. I can't seem to get a lime. Anywhere. Ever. Lemons are plentiful, but limes seem to be an alien organism that doesn't exist here. At least everywhere I try to eat. The other thing is everything is so damn big here so if you order, order less or else you'll just be wasting most of your meal.

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    So last of the non-technical content, tommorow it's presentations and techno-babble for everyone!

    Todays Gambling Debt: -$5.00: Lost $80 on slots but then won $75 back again.

  • DevConnections - Day 0 - Viva Rock Vegas!

    Hey kids, what time is it? Why it's "Live vicariously through Bil's Blog in Vegas" time. Yes, Fear and Loathing finally hits the Vegas trail and we're here in DevConnections at Mandalay Bay for a week of fun, frolicking, gambling our life away, jumping out of planes wearing flashing-Elvis suits, and giving a presentation or two at the conference.

    Yesterday started off with a bit of a cough and a snort. We woke up around 3AM to catch a 7AM flight out of Calgary. This was a huge mistake, not only because I live an hour from the airport but because of how airport time works in Canada. At 5:30 they open up customs and security area, so until then there's no way to check in as we have to be strip searched and all our water confiscated before entering the evil United States of America (bad, bad, naughty Canadian water!). However there's also another rule (or more of a guideline) that you should be at the airport 2 hours ahead of your flight for checkin. This proves to be a set of business rules that conflict with each other, something I thought I would avoid on a trip like this. The solution, as far as the Calgary Airport Authority is concerned, is to not check people in at the flight counters until after 5:30. Great. The backup was huge and we spent the better part of Sunday morning in lines waiting to be processed. In any case we basically walked right onto the plane as we shuffled through checkin (US Airways, get some freakin' computer checkin consoles), customs, and security. Mental note to self: Don't fly at 7 in the morning again. Ever.

    We hopped onto the flight and after sitting through an excruciating 3 hours of playing Cranium Trivia on the overhead projector we made it to Arizona for a stop over. Two things with the flight to Phoenix. First was a Katherine Hepburn clone in the seat behind us. All through the flight as they played Cranium on board (which was a cool thing) she would bark out the question, along with an answer (usually wrong, or rather always wrong) then some silly story about how old she was and that her brain didn't work so well. You think? Nice try Grandma Dynamite, but please keep the comments to yourself. Second was the connecting flight. We were trying to see where the flight was at and was greeted by this:

    BSOD at Arizona airport

    How appropriate. Julie Lerman commented a few days ago how they had to "re-boot" the airplane, now we're getting error dialogs at the airports. Luckily our flight was on another monitor, but too bad for the poor schmucks on the flights were you couldn't get information. And this was on every monitor (rightly so as it was a server problem). Well I am going to a Microsoft-centric conference. Wonder if the airline departure screen would have done this if it was SharePoint (don't answer that, it could be worse). So another 45 minute flight and we were in Sin City.

    Las Vegas airport. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. And slot machines! At the airport! OMFG. That was just weird with a capital "W". Rather than taking a cab or shuttle we opted for a limo. When in Vegas, do like the Vegans. So after a 10 minute wait it was a 10 minute ride for $60. Not bad considering I'll probably blow that much in 10 minutes on the casino floor. What was weird (with a small "w") was that as the luggage was coming off the rack, Jenn commented that it was vibrating. Yeah, probably somewhere between Calgary and Barstowe my electric toothbrush had gone off and was vibrating ever since. Time for a new battery.

    I was completely horrified and devastated to learn that CSI (the original cool Vegas one, not one of the crappy rip-off ones) isn't actually filmed in Vegas. Most of the filming takes place in California with 2nd unit shooting in Vegas (sometimes). So no Gus Grissom for me. That alone was almost enough to send me packing, good thing they have 24 hour buffets here to tide me over.

    The room at Mandalay Bay is great except we're not looking down the strip, which I had hoped for, and no amount of screaming or complaining or flashing my MVP badge would help. Instead it's a beautiful view of the Nevada mountains and the airport. It's quiet though except for when the fighter jets take off for Area 51, but you don't notice it much (probably all the ding-ding coming from the casino drowns it out). As for the conference, well, it's huge (I'm worn out just walking to pick up my speaker stuff) so that's another blog.

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    Todays Gambling Debt: +$300 (Thanks to the slot machines!)

    P.S. Sorry for the poor quality of the pics, I'm missing my image software and working with a new camera so trying to get used to it.

  • Picture Perfect and Ready for Vegas

    We're just finishing up the packing and all that jazz to leave for Vegas and DevConnections. As is my tradition, I'll be snapping 1.65 billion photos (1 for every dollar Google paid for YouTube) of people there, silly conferences, concealed lizards, logging chains, and various keynotes with Bil generally making a fool out of himself as he pretends to know what he's doing. All while exposing myself on the wub-wub-web. Watch for 2-3 entries a day over the next week wtih lots of pictures of Elvis, Mort, and Celine (and maybe a few Guthries and Hanselmans thrown in for good measure).

    Its funny as I don't consider myself a good photographer at all. Yeah, I think I have some idea of what constitutes good design (otherwise all those years in Art College was a waste) and I did take some photography courses back in my day so I can drop a few f-stops of my own in a conversation. Yet I don't consider my pictures that good, compared to ones that take my breath away from most people on Flickr.

    In any case, twice now my pics have been gobbled up by a group called Schmap. Schmap makes interactive guides that let you virtually move around cities, looking at attractions and sites. They grab pictures from lunks like me who offer them up via a Creative Commons license. That's what CC is all about, sharing for sharing sake and not for profit. They don't charge for the guides (but I'm sure they might make money from advertising) and they don't pay the people for their photographs, but I don't care. It's fun to see my pics published and I'm glad it might help people so they can see what I thought was interesting wherever I went. The previous time they included a picture of mine was for their Calgary guide so now it's the Orlando one. Sure, Schmap isn't National Geographic but hey, it's fun and free. You can see my pics from Orlando and the last DevConnections that are being included in their Florida guide here (sorry, just touristy pictures as I guess they didn't consider images of geeks to be Schmap-worthy).

    So it's off to Vegas tommorow and snapshots galore. Who knows, maybe I'll see a note from them when they publish a Vegas guide.

  • Tag Cloud for WSS 2007

    Found an interesting article over at a fairly new site, Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) V3 Search (WSSSearch.com). It has a free solution that allows you to add tag clouds to WSS.

    This blog (Community Server) uses a tag cloud. It's the big glob of text that shows how popular different tags are. Each "tag" is given a weight, based on some value. For this blog, it's the number of posts I tag with that subject so looking at the blog you can see I post mostly about "SharePoint" and the least number of posts are tagged "Website". It's very common these days and helps you hone in on the most popular stuff (whether it's blog entries, news items, whatever).

    The guys on WSSSearch.com have put together a nice little package for 2007. It's a tag cloud and a web part so you can get a tag cloud setup on your site. My only wish is that they package it up as a solution file so you can just deploy it, rather than doing everything manually. In any case, check it out and see how you might use it. Hook it up to your WSS blog? Tie it into a document library? Or attach it to a Links list so people can see the most popular links.

    You can find the web part here. It's released under a Creative Commons License and free to use.

  • Refactoring to Anti-Patterns

    We all know the idea of refactoring to patterns is good. In fact that's generally how I refactor. I see a code smell (say you have a loop that is doing too many things) and refactor to a pattern like Split Loop in order to fix the smell. How about refactoring to Anti-patterns? Or just plain detecting Anti-patterns in unit tests. That's what James Carr is up to here.

    Patterns are everywhere and people have been putting togther catalogs of patterns and making them available to everyone (usually through something like a Wiki). Examples can be found here, here, and here. As an off-shoot of pattern catalogs, there are also Anti-Patterns. These are the alternate universe evil version of patterns (yes, just like the evil Spock) and I'm sure you've written them (I know I have). There's a category of Anti-Patterns here and a great site about Anti-Patterns here (including information about Anti-Pattern books).

    TDD has patterns, or rather we refactor our code (an exercise in TDD) to patterns. Much like how I described the Split Loop pattern. You see something that smells bad, and think of a way to make it better. Applying a pattern to it is like taking a template idea (one that's been proven time and time again) and adjust it for the situation. Think of patterns as recipes as in baking. They're not rules but rather guidelines as to how to do something. Like baking you might add a dash of this or a hint of that to spice things up. With patterns it's the same thing and you adapt and make small corrections in applying a pattern to your style.

    However we can also look at code and see Anti-Patterns. The evil under-doings of things done poorly. Things like the cut and past programming (how many times do you see this?) or the Golden Hammer pattern (where everything is a nail even if it looks like something else and you apply one technology to make it work, can someone say DataSets everywhere?) are examples of development Anti-Patterns.

    In TDD there are also Anti-Patterns that crop up. This might be the result of getting to deep into trying to write a piece of code to test and forgetting about what you're really accomplishing. The Mockery or Excessive Setup Anti-Pattern touches on this. Imagine mocking a factory that mocks several calls to each of several factory methods, which returns several mocks, each with several exceptions... Even reading that makes my head spin. And the end goal? Assert.AreEqual(true, businessObject.Value). Craziness!

    James has put together a collection of his own (and others) TDD Anti-Patterns. The discussion has been going on in the TDD mailing list for awhile so here's the collection of them. James is looking for some feedback on this so please look at contributing. It might become another catalog resource that we can all use. It'll be great to see this expand as examples are produced complete with refactorings to get yourself out of this TDD Hell.

    No, I don't suggest you refactor "to" Anti-Patterns. That was just a title for this blog entry. Rather check out the list and either see if you can contribute to it or maybe use it to find your own code smells in TDD code you've written. You can check out his list here.

  • My Sessions for next weeks SharePoint Connections in Vegas

    Next week I'm presenting at SharePoint Connections, part of the DevConnections group of conferences going on in Vegas. This is a 4 day conference that includes SharePoint, ASP.NET, SQL, .NET Development, etc. Here are my sessions I'm doing:

    HDV206: The Main Event: What Wonderful Things We Can Do with Events
    Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 provides developers with an enormous amount of flexibility when it comes to responding to events. The new system has events into everything, far surpassing what is currently available in 2003. Events now can be hooked into lists and there are many more events that can be programmed against. In this session, we’ll take a look across most of them and demonstrate how you can leverage them to provide the best bang for your development time.

    HDV407: The Secret of My Success: Inside the Business Data Catalog
    The Business Data Catalog (BDC) feature of Microsoft Office SharePoint Servers 2007 provides an easy way to integrate business data from backend applications, such as SAP or Siebel, with your corporate portal to provide rich solutions for end users without writing any code. We’ll dissect what makes the BDC tick, how to hook it into things like workflow, leverage new features like the timer functions and work distribution model, and then tie the whole thing into backend systems with little effort.

    HDV208: Toys: An In-depth Look at the Best Tools You Can Have in Your Developer Toolkit for SharePoint
    Give us the tools, and we will finish the job. There are many tools available for developers when it comes to SharePoint but what should you have in your toolkit? This session explores and demos not only what’s available and how to install them, but how to incorporate them in your day-to-day work with SharePoint. You’ll build your own personalized toolkit that works for you and understand what tool to use for the right job. This covers mostly free and open source tools but also touches on some commercial solutions where needed.

    Hope to see you there!

  • A funny thing happend on the way to the upgrade...

    Yesterday I got some message about needing an update through Windows Update so I did. Then I noticed it kindly re-installed IE7 for me. I had already installed it, but maybe I grabbed it too soon so was running a beta or something. Whatever. Go ahead.

    Today I cannot click on links in any application other than my browsers (IE7/FF). Nice.

    Links that previously worked (previously as in yesterday) in Outlook or Omea Reader now create a crazy dialog to appear. For example I get an email and hover over the link in Outlook. The link looks fine, but when I click on it I get a dialog telling me it doesn't know how to open XXXXX.aspx... where XXXXX.aspx is the name of the link but without the protocol or server prefix. In other words, all links are now showing up as the filename, but nothing else. So of course it has no idea how to open an aspx page.

    What's even more baffling is that I can right click on the link and copy it to the clipboard and everything is there. Pastes fine into a browser. I just can't click on them anymore.

    This is a royal PITA as I have to shuffle off to DevConnections next week with a few presentations and don't have time to re-pave. Luckily all my demos are in VMs so I won't need my desktop, but bumer anyways. And I just repaved this machine about a month ago. I'll probably try uninstalling IE7 and going back to IE6 or something (I never really liked IE7 anyways) but who knows what else that will break. How's that for an upgrade?

    Sigh.

    Update: Someone else has the same problem so at least I know I'm not alone in the universe. I did uninstall IE7 and went back to IE6 but I'm still having the problem so there must be some setting somewhere in the glob of binary goo called the registry that I can change. Sucks to be me.

  • Tyler Butler... SharePoint Style!

    Tyler Butler isn't a mythical enigma created by The Narrator and played by Brad Pitt in Fight Club. He's a program manager on the Web Content Management team. These are the guys who are bringing all the CMS stuff into SharePoint and making it an ECM that plays well with in our 2007 SharePoint world.

    Tyler's own personal site, tylerbutler.com, is powered by GeekLog. This is a PHP based content management system (much like Drupal, Wordpress and others) and quite nice to work with. Tyler has done a great job with his site but now is dipping his feet into SharePoint with his own pet project. Converting tylerbutler.com into a SharePoint site. This is going to be done via master pages, some clever code, and a lot of time.

    So if you're looking to see how you might move from one web site platform (DotNetNuke, Drupal, RYO-ASP.NET, whatever) to SharePoint, follow Tyler on his journey. You can read his first entry here on planning and basic branding is up and there are many more to come.