July 2006 - Posts
In case anyone else bangs their head against this – in SourceSafe, there seems to be a bug in recursive file handling using the command line tools. I tried performing a recursive checkout using a specific filename (AssemblyInfo.cs, in this case), but SourceSafe claimed to not find any matching files. However, if I specify a wildcard character (AssemblyInfo*.cs), it works as expected (although it wouldn’t be exactly the right behavior if I had an AssemblyInfo2.cs file). In other words, this:
ss checkout -R AssemblyInfo.cs
does not work, but this:
ss checkout -R AssemblyInfo*.cs
It appears that the recursive behavior requires a wildcard character to work correctly.
Wow, that was a record for me. I finally got around to installing Internet Explorer 7 (beta 3) to play around with it. It took me all of 45 seconds to determine that it won’t be unseating Firefox as my primary browser. What did I find in those 45 seconds?
- Closing the last open tab closes IE. I mean honestly, what other apps work that way? Certainly not Firefox, Word, Excel, Visual Studio, or any other app I use.
Actually, the behavior is even a little weirder than it sounds, because if you only use the mouse, there is no way to close the last tab. The little “X” in the tab doesn’t appear, and the Close context menu item is grayed out – you have to use the keyboard (Ctrl-F4 or Ctrl-W) to do it. So it’s possible that Microsoft’s intent is that “closing the last tab” isn’t supposed to be supported at all.
In Firefox, closing the last tab really means replace the current tab with a blank one. This behavior makes far more sense to me than IE’s.
- Opening a tab in the foreground or background is an all-or-nothing affair. That is, you can set IE to open new tabs (when clicking “Open Link in New Tab” or using the middle mouse button) either in the foreground or background, but it’s a global setting that is always in effect.
In Firefox, you can control this on a link-by-link basis – a feature that I use all the time.
UPDATE – I was wrong, there is in fact a way to control this per-link. What threw me off is that the middle mouse button handling is inconsistent. Ctrl-left click opens a new tab, using the default foreground/background setting. Shift-ctrl-left click opens a new tab using the opposite of the default (foreground if the default is background, or vice versa). The middle mouse button performs the equivalent of a Ctrl-left click, so you’d think that Shift-middle click would be equivalent to Shift-ctrl-left click, wouldn’t you? But it isn’t. I consider this a bug in IE (don’t know if the IE team would agree), and I hope it gets fixed for the release.
UPDATE 2 - I've reported this a bug to Microsoft. If you agree that this should be fixed, go here and vote for it.
Just those two things are enough to keep me on Firefox. Of course, even if those two features worked as I wanted, Firefox’s amazing extension system would keep me (and a lot of power users) from switching back to IE.
On the other hand, I’m guessing IE7 will be good enough to stem the tide of migration for the casual user, which I suspect is Microsoft’s primary goal anyway.
As a side note, MS still hasn’t fixed the bug which prevents you from controlling the order of items in subfolders of the Links folder. I’ve hated IEs entire bookmarking system almost since it’s inception, and that seems to have gone virtually unchanged in this release. Maybe in IE8.
Wow, talk about perfect timing. I was just about to complai…er…blog about this, and one of the Microsoft folks blogs the first definitive statement about it that I’ve found.
That’s right - when using Windows SharePoint Services 2007 with Firefox (and Mozilla and Safari), you get get a down-level browsing experience. In particular, the rich text editing features aren’t supported. I discovered this for myself recently while playing with the beta, and frankly was stunned. This isn’t rocket science folks, this is a solved problem.
The most ironic part of Troy’s post is the comment that “we knew that our new features such as wikis, blogs, and RSS would make us very attractive for Internet facing sites”. Um, not without decent Firefox support it won’t. Even internally, fuggetaboutit – I was hoping to replace our current internal Wiki software with WSS 2007, but now that plan is out the window.
I’m surprised more people in the community aren’t complaining about this yet. I suspect that they will soon enough. When is Microsoft going to realize that Firefox support isn’t some nit feature to get prioritized away, but rather just part of the cost of being web enabled?
Whoah. According to this
post, MSDE won’t be supported on Windows Vista. This is the first I’ve heard of this, and I have to say it’s pretty surprising. One of my company’s products depends on MSDE – it’s disappointing to think that it won’t be Vista compatible without a pretty major change.
I’ve been using Outlook as an IMAP client for a long time (I know, I know, there are better IMAP clients out there, but I work in an Outlook/Exchange shop, so I’m not particularly inclined to use a different tool). One of the things that has driven me crazy for ages is that periodically Outlook would stop being able to access the IMAP server. Doing a “Send/Receive” would display the wonderfully helpful error:
“Task 'Checking for new mail in subscribed folders on <servername>.' reported error (0x8004DF0B) : 'Outlook is unable to download folder (null) from the IMAP e-mail server for account <account>. Error: The connection to the server is unavailable. “
Also, the “Connect to <account>” menu, though enabled, would have no effect. Only restarting Outlook would fix the problem – no fun if you’ve got 20 message windows open. I googled like crazy, but could never find a solution to the problem.
Finally one day I noticed something about the computer right before the problem occurred – it had momentarily lost and then restored it’s wireless network connection. Could this be the trigger that I’d been looking for? After a little more experimentation, I’m pretty convinced that it is.There are two common times when a network connection is momentarily unavailable on a laptop – during a wireless dropout, and while coming out of sleep mode. By avoiding doing a send/receive in Outlook at those moments, I’ve pretty much eliminated the folder (null) problem.
The moral of the story? Make sure you have a network connection before doing a Send/Receive to an IMAP server.
Hopefully this problem will be fixed in Outlook 2007.
Here’s a tip for those poor suckers (like me) who are still stuck using Visual SourceSafe. With SourceSafe 2005 Microsoft tried to clean up some of the ugly UI aspects that carried over from previous versions. In particular, a couple of the old, non-resizeable dialogs were totally replaced with shiny new models.
Unfortunately, at least two of the new dialogs – the “Add Files” dialog and the “Set Working Folder” – have actually lost useful features in their new incarnation. Specifically:
- The original “Add Files” dialog included the ability to only show files that weren’t already checked in. This feature is actually quite useful when adding files to an existing project.
- The original “Set Working Folder” dialog included the ability to clear the working folder specified for a particular project. This is useful when you have a sub-project set to a specific working folder, and you want it instead to inherit its root working directory from a parent project.
Fortunately, the SourceSafe team left the original dialogs accessible, they’re just hidden away. To get at them, simply hold down the shift key while selecting the corresponding menu item.
Name: Mira Lynn Dente
Ship date: July 1, 2006
Weight: 7 lb 13oz
Length: 20 1/4 inches
- Highly portable – weighs < 8 lbs (at ship date – weight subject to change)
- Built in alerting system to notify operator of system problems
- Sophisticated neural network that actually learns additional behavior over time
- Advanced power-saving sleep mode
- 115% greater adorability than previous version
Dente 2.0 is not compatible with Life 1.0 or Sleep 1.5. Hopefully compatibility with Sleep 1.5 will be restored in the future.
As with many new products, this one was delivered a little late - but product quality is top notch.
As I suspect happens with many husbands, I have a whole new level of respect for my wife after witnessing labor – I think I would have been mainlining heroin after only a couple hours of that.
Today Jamie Cansdale announced big news - TestDriven.NET is now a commercial product. Although not a huge surprise (signs have been there for a while), this change may very well have some serious repercussions. I know a lot of developers (including me) have TD.NET deeply embedded in their development process. Being suddenly asked to pay for this tool is kind of like - well, kind of like being asked to suddenly pay for NUnit.
I don't begrudge Jamie's right to try to turn what has obviously become a major time investment for him into a money-making venture. I do, however, think this change is going to complicate a lot of people's lives. Anyone who lives in budget-constrained enterprise where ordering software is like pulling teeth (a lot of people, I suspect) is now going to have to justify a new purchase.
My big question about the change is this - what about people already using it? Are they now suddenly software pirates? I know that Jamie still has a free "personal" license, but that only supports "trial users, students and open source developers" - not your average joe professional developer.
I do wish Jamie luck in his new venture. But in the end I wonder if he's already been too successful - he may have gotten so many people hooked on integrated unit testing that an open-source competitor may soon spring up. Anyone from the NUnit team out there? :)
Update - Jamie chimed in in the comments and pointed out that the personal license is very permissive. Doesn't sound like he'll have the BSA beating down our doors any time soon. :) Thanks Jamie.