May 2003 - Posts
Here's a copy of my current "Resources" file for RegexSnippets. It contains many more links than the online version.
To use it simply replace your current Resources data file located at:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<Link name="BCL documentation" url="http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/cpref/html/frlrfSystemTextRegularExpressions.asp?frame=true" description="Documentation for System.Text.RegularExpressions" />
<Link name=".NET Regex documentation" url="http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/cpguide/html/cpconcomregularexpressions.asp?frame=true" description="The offical .NET Framework regex help documentation." />
<Link name="VBScript documentation" url="http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/script56/html/jsgrpRegExpSyntax.asp?frame=true" description="VBScript documentation" />
<Link name="JScript documentation" url="http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/script56/html/js56jsgrpregexpsyntax.asp?frame=true" description="JScript documentation" />
<Link name="RegExLib.com" url="http://www.regexlib.com" description="Useful repository of regular expressions." />
<Link name="Grouping Constructs" url="http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/cpgenref/html/cpcongroupingconstructs.asp" description="Grouping constructs allow you to capture groups of subexpressions and to increase the efficiency of regular expressions with noncapturing lookahead and lookbehind modifiers." />
<Link name="Regex Snippets" url="http://www.gotdotnet.com/Community/UserSamples/Details.aspx?SampleGuid=43d952b8-afc6-491b-8a5f-01ebd32f2a6c" description="Tool developed by Darren Neimke. Features the ability to save favourite regex patterns." />
<Link name="Eric Gunnerson's Regex Workbench" url="http://www.gotdotnet.com/Community/UserSamples/Details.aspx?SampleGuid=c712f2df-b026-4d58-8961-4ee2729d7322" description="Eric Gunnerson's Regex Workbench" />
<Link name="Sellsbrothers - Regex Designer .NET" url="http://www.sellsbrothers.com/tools/" description="Sellsbrothers - Regex Designer .NET" />
<Link name="Expresso" url="http://www.codeproject.com/dotnet/Expresso.asp" description="For learning, building, and debugging .NET Framework regular expressions." />
<Link name="RegexDebugger.NET" url="http://www.net-developer.info/products/" description="The utility was written to help you to understand syntax of regular expressions and to debug them in the easiest way." />
<Category name="Articles and Books">
<Link name="Understanding Regular Expressions" url="http://www.foo.be/docs/tpj/issues/vol1_2/tpj0102-0006.html" description="Jeffrey Friedl's classic article.. start here!" />
<Link name="Mastering Regular Expressions (2nd edition)" url="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?tag=forestlakewebser&path=ASIN/0596002890" description="Jeffrey Friedl's latest book. Very comprehensive, a must have." />
<Link name="ASP.NET.4GuysFromRolla.com: Regular Expressions in .NET" url="http://aspnet.4guysfromrolla.com/articles/022603-1.aspx" description="An introduction to regular expressions in the .NET Framework." />
<Category name="Forums and Lists">
<Link name="DotNetRegex" url="http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dotnetregex/" description="DotNetRegex" />
<Link name="ASPAlliance Lists" url="http://aspalliance.com/lists/" description="ASPAlliance Lists" />
<Link name="ASPMessageboard - Regular Expressions" url="http://www.aspmessageboard.com/forum/regularExpressions.asp" description="ASPMessageboard - Regular Expressions" />
Just logged in to Msn and noticed that one of my buddies has changed their name to:
The htmltextwriter is to carpal tunnel syndrome what free alcohol is to spending the night in the lock-up
That's pretty whacky if you ask me!
I've finally finished testing some new features that I've added to RegexSnippets and, with the assistance of Chad Osgood who has given me a great deal of feedback regarding features and useability issues. Thanks Chad :-)
The next version contains a complete re-write of the underlying architecture since the original version was only ever built as 3 textboxes and a button :-) and was simply extended from there. The main changes that I've integrated into this latest build are:
- Property Grid is now editable
- You can write and "build" C# modules to test code snippets (either from Tools menu or context menu in Pattern Textbox)
- You can hide and show the Property Grid (ctrl+H)
- I've added some accelerators - Toggle Property Grid visibility and set option values
- The font size is now configurable ( Options | Text Size )
- Moved "Online Resources" to Tools
- Added Cut/Copy/Paste to the pattern textbox context menu
Lastly, I completed a small tutorial/readme in the form of an .html file that will ship with this release of the tool that walks a user through using all of the new features. Here's the finished copy of that file:
The new version will be uploaded to GotDotNet user samples today and, hopefully available for download by the end of the week. I'm encouraging users to send me an e-mail via the email address on the Help|About form to be notified *explicitly* when updates are available.
The current version of the tool is available here:
Thanks so much to George from the Microsoft Windows Group who, after reading my blog entry the other day, e-mailed me and kindly offered to show me the RedWest part of the campus. That part of the campus is located across the highway from the main part of Microsoft Campus but, it's well worth the look and has an amazing "Ski Lodge" style cafeteria.
George took this photo while we were over there.
Thanks mate! ;-)
I feel as though I could write forever about my trip to the Microsoft campus and, as I sit here by the water fountain next to the cafeteria (by building 5) I kind of hope that some of this experience stays with me forever. It's not just the great people that I've met on this trip but the very place (campus) itself that leaves you with the belief that anything is possible.
Today is my second last day here in Redmond so I've decided to spend the time wandering around and trying to see as much of the campus as possible before I leave. So far I've had lunch over by building 42, watched extreme frisbee being played in the main playing fields and wandered through the forested surrounds of the walking tracks.
Depending upon which part of the campus you are in you get a completely different experience and feeling. Let me explain: during the week we've been in a building listening to lectures, being fed information about products and strategies - wherever you turned there was food and drinks. These - to me - were metaphors for the hungry mind and teaching. Moving from there to the busy engines of the precinct surrounding buildings 39-42 (I think) you can almost hear the sound of gears turning and pencils scratching as some of the smartest minds in the business turn their collective attentions to solving some of the hardest and most challenging problems that we face. Finally, the forests, waterfalls and walking paths over by buildings 3-8 are nurturing the creative minds that are challenged by the equally responsible task of ensuring that Microsoft remains ahead of its competition and marketing its products to the world.
To me, these areas abstractly represented the "Learn, Do, Act" that are required to produce quality products and meet customer demands/expectation.
One unusual quirk that remains with me occured on my arrival, heading from the airport to the Hotel. The cabbie said to me:
"That guy (Bill Gates) dropped out of University to do that"
What he failed to mention however, is that Bill Gates has created a place which ensures that he will remain in Uni for a great deal onger than his peers did; he will remain in Uni for the rest of his life!
Just in case I hadn't mentioned it previously ;-)... I'm in Redmond this week getting a look at some new ASP.NET bits. In a nutshell, the stuff that I've seen has not only blown me away but will likely answer most of the issues being faced when building current, real world apps today. Over the 2 days that we've been here the MS guys'n'gals have been demonstrating and explaining the bits to us and, I can safely say that they are just as excited by this stuff as we are.
Some key moments for me from yesterday were:
- We were given a wonderful overview of the new C# language features by Anders Hejlberg - including a peek at what Generics might look like (refer: http://research.microsoft.com/projects/clrgen )
- While sharing a room with James Avey, James was banging away on his keyboard like crazy when Scott Guthrie entered the room. Just at that moment James displayed to us a grid of data and explained that this was no ordinary grid of data. This was in fact a new Data control being bound to a collection that he had created using generics. Scott's immediate quote was... "Now that is very cool!". Way to go James :-)
- I managed to sit next to Doug Seven and Donny Mack (of DotNetJunkies fame) at dinner tonight. Those guys are a lot of fun - and just a little bit whacky too :-). Without going into too many details, I can safely say that there's never a shortage on entertainment while they're around!
The ASP.NET team are currently in-between feature milestones and are doing bug triage of this stuff so, occassionally we get some interesting results :-) Overall the week has been very slick and Scott, Rob and the rest of the team have done a great job in giving us something to play with. I should note that, things must be going pretty well because I didn't see anyone wearing an "I broke the build" shirt!
Tonight we went to dinner and I managed to sit next to one of the guys on the Data team. That is the team that are working with the Yukon guys to ensure things work nicely. It was great to hear parts of the Yukon story first hand given that there's been so much hype and (mis-)information about it. In short, even though I think that Yukon *could* totally change your life, I really think that - in the majority of cases - the database will be used in pretty much exactly the same manner as it is today. In fact, I'll bet that , if you see a lot of CLR code showing up in your database, you're probably working too hard. But, it will sure be interesting to see what happens there.
This week I'm spending time at Microsoft campus getting a heads-up on the future direction of ASP.NET. This is exciting to me for so many reasons, and I've long envisaged coming here for myself to see:- The Microsoft Machine!
There are many quirks that immediately hit you in the face when you arrive here and it's not difficult to perceive that this is an environment in which conversation and the ability to think creatively (and the ability to drink latte), flow freely. For starters employees here are given free-reign over the interior decoration of their offices, imagine this: each employee is housed within the same 10"x8", white, building block, from there random selections of the following items are applied liberally:
- Oversized birthing ball
- Bar fridge
- 6 stack CD|DVD player
- 'Hip' artwork
- Other misc. custom furniture
- wind chimes
- mirror ball
The first office that I visited looked somewhat like a forest as it had floor to ceiling plants inside it.
The refreshing thing for me (so far) is that the employees that I've met seem just as fascinated by what we're doing with their products as they are with the new ones that are being built. Good one guys!!
A couple of quickies...
I love this sort of stuff! This simple CompSci sort of stuff is why I love Dr GUI's writing/rambling's :-)
On a serious note, this Saturday I leave for Redmond to get a heads-up on ASP.NET V2. I'm really looking forward to it, and I have got stacks of questions lined up already :-) I'm really hoping to catch up with a few of the MS guys, so Duncan, if you're reading this, expect a call from me next Thursday or Friday ;-)
There's plenty of stuff that I'm aprehensive about though; such as: do you really have to "tip" in the U.S.? How will I know how much to tip? I changed some $A to $US today and got $US250 for my $A400. I made sure that the cashier gave me some $US1's for tipping though ;-)
My biggest "issue" with the $US money is that it all looks the same! They're all that dirty green-white color. Hopefully I'll remember to pick from George Washington's end when I'm tipping!
Speaking of US presidents, is it rude to say that the guy (whomever he is) on the $US20's looks like he was having a "big hair" day when they did his image! Also, who's the president on the $US50's?
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