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April 2008 - Posts

Twitter and more disconnection

It's weird how bloggers, gossip types and "Web 2.0" company founders and execs have developed into this strange pseudo-celebrity sphere, where many of them are constantly stroking each other. What's unfortunate about it is that the podcasts, blogs and other media I've consumed from the tech world are becoming hopelessly out of touch.

I know I've previously blogged about this with regards to Leo Laporte and the This Week in Tech gang's comments about how "nobody uses .NET," but reverse awareness is also getting out of hand. This post from Scoble is one of countless about Twitter, and it's hopelessly out of touch. The comments on the post seem to concur. Twitter has become something of a flagship for attention whoring, especially in that pseudo-celebrity community. Seriously, I'm so tired of hearing about it, about how great it is and it's changing the world.

I'm not generally one to be a poopy pants about new technology, but I agree with the comments about how this thing is a niche feature for something else, not a business. VC's keep sinking money into it, and for what? It feels like 2000 all over again.

And it wouldn't be so damn annoying if it weren't for the constant, "This is our attention whoring party and we're so awesome," kinds of posts and comments. Seriously, take it to your average high school, and they'll be like, "Yeah, I can send text messages, what do I need this for?" Even kids who live for attention don't see the value in this.

The pseudo-celebrities are living unbalanced lives, as far as I'm concerned, which probably contributes to their lack of perspective on Twitter's true impact. I don't think it's an over-generalization to say that most people outside the valley don't feel any need to share when they take a dump to their followers, or know when the followers are taking a dump. There are so many more important things going on at all times, and this constant connection noise is, in my opinion, a waste of time.

Do any of these people turn off the electronic devices and spend time with their kids, pets, a book or a movie or whatever? Is this "knowledge" about what everyone else does really that important?

"Gonna go ahead and..." Please, stop!

For the love of God, please, if you do screen casts or live demos, please try to let go of the "gonna go ahead and" verbal crutch. I've noticed countless people who otherwise do amazing demos in person and in video screen casts say this over and over and over and over and over and over (see, it's annoying!). Aside from being Lumburghian and said to be made fun of, it's a huge distraction. It's much, much worse than saying "um" over and over.

So I'm gonna go ahead and push publish now, then I'm gonna go ahead and get a glass of water, then go ahead and get back to writing code.
 

Observations on VS2008, .NET v3.5 after four months

Wow, can you believe the new versions have been with us already for one-third of a year? Time flies! I launched a site using the new versions shortly after release, so I'm happy to say that my experience in production has been mostly positive. Here are some loosely coupled thoughts...

First off, the IDE is a leap in the right direction. Compiling stuff in particular feels much faster. The only real performance complaint I can find involves the rare case where I need to switch from code view to WYSIWYG when dealing with HTML. And heck, that might be caused by ReSharper for some unknown reason. Ditto for the crashes I get frequently when editing CSS. I don't find the CSS features that useful, so I don't encounter those problems very often.

On one hand, I like that the framework now ships with all of the right goodies together, including the AJAX framework. What I don't like is the mess of a default web.config you need to get it all to work. It has not grown gracefully, and it's a pain to manage as you migrate older stuff to v3.5. The further distinctions using IIS7, which I haven't had to use yet, are also annoying.

I feel to a certain degree that VS isn't "done" without ReSharper, and I'm anxiously awaiting JetBrains to v4 moving forward. The most recent nightly builds are actually pretty sweet and mostly work, but every once in awhile it dies and brings down VS with it. That's the price you pay for being an uber-early adopter, I suppose.

While the AJAX framework has actually been out for about a year, I find that I'm just now getting deep into using it, especially the client side of things. I still have a strong distaste for JavaScript, but the framework does make it less painful to use. The challenge is thinking the way the authors want you to think, and once you make that leap, it's not nearly as hard to get functional code quickly.

The client-side debugging in IE is hit or miss. Sometimes it doesn't work, and I'm not even sure why. More often than not, I find myself ending up in Firebug and debugging that way. I think the biggest complaint I have is that it's still meant to work around the F5-and-run model, which is still not ideal in the Web world, where the URL's you use may frankly not even map to actual files, or you want to run off some current form state or user session data.

Beyond those minor issues, I'm enjoying the tools, and when I actually manage to buckle down and get something done, it's fun to write code.

Posted: Apr 03 2008, 01:39 PM by Jeff | with 6 comment(s)
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