May 2004 - Posts
Fawcette published my article
today as part of their TechEd coverage. The article surveys several important .NET Mobile technologies from 30,000 feet: ASP.NET 2.0, .NET CF 2.0, Visual studio 2005 and MapPoint. I did not have room for the Speech Server. Oh well, next time!
It seems that the .NET CF team is giving away Wei-Meng Lee's new book .NET Compact Framework Pocket Guide
(O'reilly 2004) together with the Windows Mobile Developer Resources DVD at TechEd. The DVD contains device SDKs (integrate with VS.Net 2003), articles and code examples. The book is very small (no bigger than the DVD jacket) and only has 100 pages. But I think it is very well written. If you are an experienced .NET developer, the book can get you started in device development in a matter of minutes. It has three application tutorials (database, web services, P/Invoke and bluetooth) that you can try out quickly with the SDKs on the DVD. The book also contains valuable information about how to build and customize CAB deployment files for various devices.
I wish other companies could provide developer marketing material this helpful to developers!
My wife, Ju Long, has just published her thoughts
on the academic Computing Curriculum Workshop at TechEd 2004. In summary:
1. C# is increasing adopted in college level computer science classes.
2. Tablet PC is a god-send for interactive classrooms.
Microsoft's MapPoint team has an internal location server that tracks the location of some its members. I developed a PocketPC client for the server a while back. Out of boredom and curiosity, I decide to check whether those guys are attending TechEd. As it turns out, out of the 7 persons located, none of them is currently in San Diego area. Most of them are still on the east coast. Talking about privacy implications of location based services!
I was invited to attend TechEd's Academic Computing Curriculum Workshop -- all expenses paid plus free pass to TechEd itself. But for some reason I thought I'd be too busy finishing up my PhD dissertation and declined to go. Now, I have to watch all the TechEd excitement from 1100 miles in Austin and I would not get much done in the next several days due to the distraction. I should have gone to enjoy the sea breeze in San Diego!!!!
But of course, I am still participating TechEd in some ways: Fawcette will run my ".Net mobile" article on Wednesday for their TechEd audience. My wife Ju, an assistant professor at Texas State Univ, will be at the academic workshop to discuss how to teach C# efficiently to university students.
Now, I am struggling whether to attend JavaOne this year. That is awfully close to my PhD defense date!
The Mono project has just released its first beta. Since the Mono runtime does support StrongARM processors (interpretator not JIT compiler though), a lot of people ask, what does it mean to .Net Compact Framework developers? Can I now deploy my CF apps to a Linux PDA now? The answer is "yes and no": You should be able to compile and deploy non-UI .Net CF libraries on Mono without much trouble. But for the UI applications, the water is muddy.
1. The GUI implementation in Mono is based on GTK# and Qt#. GNOME/GTK is not available on handhold devices -- so GTK# is out of the question. Qt is used by quite a few Linux PDAs. However, Qt# support for embedded devices is still not available.
2. Mono has limited support for Windows.Forms over the WINE emulation layer. Since WINE is not going to be ported to embedded Linux, I do not think that we can see Windows.Forms apps running on a Linux PDA anytime soon.
That means the vast majority of existing windows forms based .Net CF apps will not run on Linux PDAs. When Qt# support for embedded Qt finally becomes available, we might be able to rewrite the UI components of a .Net CF app and deploy it a Linux-Qt PDA.