February / March 2008 Recap - Jon Galloway

February / March 2008 Recap

Summarizing Two Months For The Price Of One!

At the end of January, I published a monthly recap and threatened to do it at the end of every month. I've generally avoided link blogging in favor of trying to write original content, but I think there's some value in compiling the major events I think developers - especially ASP.NET developers - would want to know about. I put some effort into selecting what I thought are the top stories, with a mind towards summarizing what's going on rather than just inundating you a bunch of links you won't have time to read. I included either excerpts, commentary, or both, so you can hopefully just skim the list if you like.

But wait - the last one came out at the end of January, why is this one coming out a week into April? Well, I was really busy in the last few weeks before MIX 08. I worked on a team which provided some content for the keynote, and ended up putting in some crazy hours to wrap everything up. After MIX was over, I figured I'd just wait until the end of the month so it wouldn't just be a MIX 08 recap post. But then, I had such a huge amount of information to sort through that I didn't get it done in the first week of the month. So, yes, this post is obnoxiously long. This kind of post really needs to be done monthly, lesson learned.

Got any feedback on the style, format, or content? Did I miss any big stories?

MIX 08 / Silverlight / New Toys for Microsoft Developers

Web 2.0 SP1 / Cloud Services / Ad Supported Free Gizmos

  • Google App Engine - Google Code

    Google App Engine - Google Code
    Run your web applications on Google's infrastructure. Google App Engine enables you to build web applications on the same scalable systems that power Google applications. This is a PREVIEW RELEASE of Google App Engine. For now, account registrations are limited to the first 10,000 developers, and applications are restricted to the free account limits.
    • 1_32 jongalloway
    • Apr 08, 2008 at 07:09 PM
    • Apr 08, 2008 at 07:09 PM
  • Why Google App Engine Will Be a Success : Scott Watermasysk

    Why Google App Engine Will Be a Success : Scott Watermasysk
    The cost of hosting is declining everyday, but what Google is now saying, if you build it on our stuff, we will completely host it for free until you hit about 5 million page views.
    • 1_32 jongalloway
    • Apr 09, 2008 at 11:40 PM
    • Apr 09, 2008 at 11:40 PM
  • SQL Server Data Services

    SQL Server Data Services
    SQL Server Data Services (SSDS) are highly scalable, on-demand data storage and query processing web services. Businesses use storage resources as needed transforming large upfront capital and operations expenditures into much smaller on-demand costs. "We are taking registrations for the first service beta release scheduled in March 2008. Please register at http://www.microsoft.com/sql/dataservices."
    • 1_32 jongalloway
    • Apr 09, 2008 at 11:44 PM
    • Apr 09, 2008 at 11:44 PM
  • Flickr Video Launches

    Flickr Video Launches
    Flickr users can now add video clips alongside their photos, a much requested and much anticipated feature that has been promised for over a year. The goal is not to have people upload long videos or clips of copyrighted material. To reinforce that, videos can be only 90 seconds in length and 150MB in size
    • 1_32 jongalloway
    • Apr 09, 2008 at 01:17 AM
    • Apr 09, 2008 at 01:17 AM

New Web Browsers (IE8, FF3)

  • Firefox 3 Beta: Make Your Extensions Work with the Firefox 3 Beta

    Firefox 3 Beta: Make Your Extensions Work with the Firefox 3 Beta
    * Type about:config into Firefox's address bar and click the "I'll be careful, I promise!" button. * Right-click anywhere. Choose New>Boolean. Make the name of your new config value extensions.checkCompatibility and set it to false. * Make another new boolean pair called extensions.checkUpdateSecurity and set the value to false. * Restart Firefox.
    • 1_32 jongalloway
    • Mar 25, 2008 at 12:34 PM
    • Mar 25, 2008 at 12:34 PM
  • Open bug in Firefox 3 Beta 5 - Closing tabs with Silverlight 2 objects crashes browser

    Open bug in Firefox 3 Beta 5 - Closing tabs with Silverlight 2 objects crashes browser
    Bug 421217 – NPRuntime object reference counting is violated by NPObjWrapperPluginDestroyedCallback causing Silverlight 2.0 beta: crashes when closing tab/window [@ JS_SetPrivate - NPObjWrapperPluginDestroyedCallback] Lots of arguing; looks like fixes are required on both sides to me.
    • 1_32 jongalloway
    • Apr 09, 2008 at 11:20 PM
    • Apr 09, 2008 at 11:20 PM
  • Firefox 3 for developers

    Firefox 3 for developers
    If you're a developer trying to get a handle on all the new features in Firefox 3, this is the perfect place to start. This article provides a list of the new articles covering features added to Firefox 3. While it doesn't necessarily cover every little change, it will help you learn about the major improvements.
    • 1_32 jongalloway
    • Apr 08, 2008 at 11:38 PM
    • Apr 08, 2008 at 11:38 PM
  • Joel Spolsky on the IE8 web standards decision

    Joel Spoelsky on the IE8 web standards decision
    "Almost every web site I visited with IE8 is broken in some way. Websites that use a lot of JavaScript are generally completely dead. [...] IE 8 can’t display most web pages correctly until you give up and press the “ACT LIKE IE7? button. The idealists don’t care: they want those pages changed. Some of those pages can’t be changed. They might be burned onto CD-ROMs. Some of them were created by people who are now dead. Most of them created by people who have no frigging idea what’s going on and why their web page, which they paid a designer to create 4 years ago, is now not working properly." I'm breaking with tradition and agreeing with Joel Spolsky. The IE team had it right the first time, but their horribly broken development/release cycle prompted the web dev community to campaign for the wrong thing.
    • 1_32 jongalloway
    • Apr 09, 2008 at 11:30 PM
    • Apr 09, 2008 at 11:30 PM
  • Internet Explorer 8 Beta: The Features

    Internet Explorer 8 Beta: The Features
    New features in Internet Explorer 8 Beta are made specifically for developers including the developer toolbar, improvement in AJAX performance, and improved interoperability with Quirks and Standards mode. Also, some info on Webslices and Activities.
    • 1_32 jongalloway
    • Apr 09, 2008 at 10:57 PM
    • Apr 09, 2008 at 10:57 PM
  • Acid2: The Guided Tour

    Acid2: The Guided Tour
    IE8 passes the Acid2 test. What does that mean for developers? Acid2 assumes basic support for HTML4, CSS1, PNG, and Data URLs. The first three items on the list are included for obvious reasons: they form the backbone of web content standards. Data URLs are described in HTML4 but is less used due to lack of support. We believe data URLs are convenient and useful for web designers, and easy to add in browsers.
    • 1_32 jongalloway
    • Apr 08, 2008 at 11:36 PM
    • Apr 08, 2008 at 11:36 PM

General Microsoft News

  • Scott Guthrie promoted to Corporate Vice President, .NET Developer Platform

    Scott Guthrie promoted to Corporate Vice President, .NET Developer Platform
    REDMOND, Wash. — Feb. 14, 2008 —Microsoft Corp. today announced a series of executive promotions — seven new senior vice presidents and seven new corporate vice presidents... Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president, .NET Developer Platform. Previously general manager, Guthrie will continue to oversee several development teams responsible for delivering Microsoft Visual Studio developer tools and Microsoft .NET Framework technologies for building client and Web applications.
    • 1_32 jongalloway
    • Apr 09, 2008 at 02:21 AM
    • Apr 09, 2008 at 02:21 AM
  • Microsoft Interoperability Announcements

    Microsoft Interoperability Announcements
    "As an immediate next step, starting today Microsoft will openly publish on MSDN over 30,000 pages of documentation for Windows client and server protocols that were previously available only under a trade secret license through the Microsoft Work Group Server Protocol Program (WSPP) and the Microsoft Communication Protocol Program (MCPP). Protocol documentation for additional products, such as Office 2007 and all of the other high-volume products covered by these principles, will be published in the upcoming months. Microsoft will indicate on its Web site which protocols are covered by Microsoft patents and will license all of these patents on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, at low royalty rates. Microsoft is providing a covenant not to sue open source developers for development or non-commercial distribution of implementations of these protocols." Probably groveling for OOXML support, but it's good stuff.
    • 1_32 jongalloway
    • Apr 09, 2008 at 02:11 AM
    • Apr 09, 2008 at 02:11 AM
  • Windows XP cut-off set for June 30

    Windows XP cut-off set for June 30
    Microsoft officials said the current June 30, 2008 cut-off date for Windows XP would remain in place for the vast majority of machines.
    • 1_32 jongalloway
    • Apr 08, 2008 at 10:09 PM
    • Apr 08, 2008 at 10:09 PM
  • OOXML: The Wins - Miguel de Icaza

    OOXML: The Wins - Miguel de Icaza
    Regardless of where you stand on the outcome of OOXML becoming an ISO standard, it is worth pointing out that the opposition to OOXML pushed Microsoft into more open directions.
    • 1_32 jongalloway
    • Apr 08, 2008 at 10:09 PM
    • Apr 08, 2008 at 10:09 PM
  • Windows Vista Service Pack 1

    Windows Vista Service Pack 1
    Published: March 18, 2008 - Windows Vista Service Pack 1 is an update to Windows Vista that addresses feedback from our customers. In addition to previously released updates, SP1 contains changes focused on addressing specific reliability and performance issues, supporting new types of hardware, and adding support for several emerging standards. Windows Vista SP1 also addresses some management, deployment, and support challenges.
    • 1_32 jongalloway
    • Apr 08, 2008 at 10:07 PM
    • Apr 08, 2008 at 10:07 PM
  • Singularity RDK - Release: Singularity RDK 1.1

    Singularity RDK - Release: Singularity RDK 1.1
    This is the initial public release of the Singularity Research Development Kit (RDK) based on the Microsoft Research Singularity project.
    • 1_32 jongalloway
    • Apr 08, 2008 at 08:22 PM
    • Apr 08, 2008 at 08:22 PM
  • Microsoft announces XNA for Zune

    Microsoft announces XNA for Zune
    I'm really surprised it's taken so long, but it's good to see that Microsoft has plans to put the Zune hardware to use. I wrote about this a while ago.
    • 1_32 jongalloway
    • Mar 25, 2008 at 12:32 PM
    • Mar 25, 2008 at 12:32 PM
  • Windows Server 2008 is called SP1

    Windows Server 2008 is called SP1
    This means the that the Service Packs are shared, that patches get released at the same time, etc etc. I believe it is incredibly simplified for customers. The other thing is the servicing stack is now smart enough to not download stuff you don't need. This means if you have a Vista system & the service pack has fixes to Active directory, the Vista system does not get the directory update downloaded to them. Vice versa - if there was ever the need for a fix to media player (shock horror, who ever heard of the need to fix security issues there), you don't get it on server unless you install the Desktop Experience pack. So, it's called SP1 - in retrospect i should just say its called that so you don't have to wait for SP1 for it to be right like people have before. The first Service Pack for WS08 will be called SP2.
    • 1_32 jongalloway
    • Feb 22, 2008 at 12:22 AM
    • Feb 22, 2008 at 12:22 AM

Windows Mobile getting Flashlight, iPhone Not

  • Microsoft licenses Adobe’s FlashLite for Win Mobile phones

    Microsoft licenses Adobe’s FlashLite for Win Mobile phones
    On March 17, Adobe announced that Microsoft had licensed Adobe’s FlashLite technology, enabling Windows Mobile phones to run Flash. Microsoft quietly noted last week that it would release Version 1.0 of its own Flash-competitive technology, Silverlight, running on Windows Mobile 6 phones in the second quarter of 2008.
    • 1_32 jongalloway
    • Apr 08, 2008 at 10:06 PM
    • Apr 08, 2008 at 10:06 PM
  • Microsoft Adopts Flash Lite For Windows Mobile As a Stopgap Measure

    Microsoft Adopts Flash Lite For Windows Mobile As a Stopgap Measure
    Flash Lite for mobile phones might not be good enough for Steve Jobs, but Microsoft is less picky. It is licensing Flash Lite for Windows Mobile. This is an acknowledgment of two things: there are a lot of developers and existing Websites out there that work with Flash, and the mobile version of Microsoft’s own competing Silverlight software is nowhere near ready to be deployed.
    • 1_32 jongalloway
    • Apr 08, 2008 at 11:38 PM
    • Apr 08, 2008 at 11:38 PM
  • Apple stabs Adobe in the back (no Flashlight on iPhone) - Robert Scoble

    Apple stabs Adobe in the back (no Flashlight on iPhone) - Robert Scoble
    On a week when Microsoft landed a big deal to put Silverlight on Nokia phones, Apple’s CEO, Steve Jobs, tells Adobe that there won’t be Flash on the iPhone. This is a real bummer for Adobe and many users and developers, because most of the world’s casual games are written for Flash. Just go over to game site Kongregate. Or, look at the world’s video like that on YouTube (or any other video site like the Qik one that I use on my cell phone). Almost all of it is done in Flash. Now developers at those sites will need to find some other method to get those games and videos onto the iPhone.
    • 1_32 jongalloway
    • Apr 10, 2008 at 12:33 AM
    • Apr 10, 2008 at 12:33 AM

Software Updates / Releases

  • Featured Download: Updated FolderShare Offers Vista Support, Better Interface

    Featured Download: Updated FolderShare Offers Vista Support, Better Interface
    Windows and Mac OS X: Free data-syncing utility FolderShare has released an updated Windows client with better Windows Vista support and performance, as well as a redesign of the web site where you can easily share and grab files from another computer, whether it's Mac or PC. As with the first time we mentioned it, FolderShare only limits individual file sizes (up to 2 GB) and the number of files per shared library (10,000)—other than that, it's whatever you want to share. I was sure these guys were dead. Nice to see something from them, even though there's no change to the 10K file limit.
    • 1_32 jongalloway
    • Apr 09, 2008 at 11:03 PM
    • Apr 09, 2008 at 11:03 PM
  • Telligent released Graffiti CMS

    Telligent released Graffiti CMS
    Graffiti is a new product from Telligent that makes publishing simple and easy. Graffiti marries powerful content management capabilities with modern publishing tools found in social media applications (like blogs). Whether it's your personal blog, your family Web site, or a presence for your small business, Graffiti is the best solution for simple content management. Free Express Edition, Full editions range from $399 to $7500. Runs on Mono, which is pretty neat.
    • 1_32 jongalloway
    • Apr 09, 2008 at 01:59 AM
    • Apr 09, 2008 at 01:59 AM
  • ReSharper 4.0 Nightly Builds - JetBrains.net

    ReSharper 4.0 Nightly Builds - JetBrains.net
    Fans of ReSharper (a popular refactoring and code editing add-in for Visual Studio .NET) will be interested in the progress of ReSharper 4.0, which adds support for Visual Studio 2008.
    • 1_32 jongalloway
    • Feb 22, 2008 at 12:21 AM
    • Feb 22, 2008 at 12:21 AM
  • Inkscape 0.46 released, includes XAML support

    Inkscape 0.46 released, includes XAML support
    In addition to a bunch of other cool features, Inkscape 0.46 can import vector graphics portions of XAML documents, as well as export its documents to XAML.
    • 1_32 jongalloway
    • Apr 09, 2008 at 11:37 PM
    • Apr 09, 2008 at 11:37 PM

Digital Identity (OpenId, Information Card, etc.)

I continue to be amazed how little interest has been shown in digital identiy solutions. It seems like this is finally starting to pick up.

Published Thursday, April 10, 2008 2:06 AM by Jon Galloway
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Comments

# re: February / March 2008 Recap

Hey Jon, have you looked into the Acid 3 test yet? en.wikipedia.org/.../Acid3

Thursday, April 10, 2008 9:08 AM by adam.kahtava