Archives / 2004 / January
  • Win32 to .NET API Map

    Those of us coming from a background in ASP and Visual Basic have been hamstrung a bit with the .NET Framework because most of us don't have much experience with the Win32 API, and therefore didnt understand what functions each class or namespace was wrapping within the OS. Its one of the reasons I believe that many C++ programmers (esp. MFC) have seemed to have a leg-up on the rest of us.

    Based upon their latest MSDN article, Microsoft must have finally recognized this. The latest MSDN posting "Microsoft Win32 to Microsoft .NET Framework API Map" is a much appreciated contribution, that I only wish was available a year or two ago.


  • Rant: Patents on Software

    This SlashDot article "Parens on Patents" really struck a chord with me, and brought back alot of anger I have repressed for some time.  (yes, I am seeking professional help now  :p )

    Basically, it discusses the fad of patenting software or its various features, and the subsequent stifling affect it has upon development. Many of the comments about this article really cover the main points, so I won't rehash, but I will give you an anecdote of how this affected me once:

    So, I'm working on a project at my company where we want to help our customers organize their business by automating the sending of E-Cards as a meeting invitation. We started developing this application, but were forced to abandon it because some company has patented the concept of “Sending an Email with a Link back to a web-page that contains an invitation“ and were requiring a royalty of 25-cents per email. Since we wanted to offer this for Free to our customers, and didnt like paying people for their “Concept-Patent“, we asked our legal department to research the claim.  They spent months researching ways around it, but basically told us to we were screwed, and that we must either "come up with a different implimentation", or pay the royalty.

    Now, its bad enough having management try to dictate code & functionality, but when Legal starts changing programs I get really upset.

    So, the moral of this story is: If you are a fan of Open Source, then Patents should be the bane of your existance. Even if you are just an average developer with no care of open-source, you should at least be concerned about how this affects your future employment.

    Write to your congressmen & congresswomen about the current abuse of Patents with software!


  • "VisualStudio.NET 2003 Build Here" Explorer Extension

    Have you ever wanted to build a project or solution without opening up Visual Studio.NET?

    There are plenty of command-line utilities (including “devenv.exe /build“) to do this, but I couldnt find anything that worked from within Windows Explorer.

    Lastnight, I finally whipped-up a new utility much like the “Command Prompt Here“ Power Toy that Microsoft created.  It gives you a “VS.NET 2003 Build Here“ Prompt which invokes the command-line call to build.  It is associated with the following file-extensions: .csproj, .csdproj, vbproj, vbdproj, jsproj, and .sln.

    (added screenshot)

    To setup this functionality,  download and Save my new “VS.NET 2003 Build Here” installer, Right-Click the file and choose “Install”.

    NOTE: The utility expects Visual Studio.NET 2003 to be installed on drive “C” using the “Program Files” folder and using the default directory names.




  • The return of "Archon"!!

    Although this isnt new, I just discovered that one of my all-time favorite games for the Commodore 64 (C64), Archon, is being Re-released with new graphics, audio, and Network play!! Woohoo!


  • Bill Gates @ CES

    Bill Gates' Keynote address at the 2004 International Consumer Electronics Show(CES) is now available.

    Much of the comments refer to previously-announced products such as SPOT, but the Media Center Extenders for the XBox, TV's, and other devices sound like a step in the right direction.


  • Request for Whibey Team

    I occasionally add code to my projects for testing purposes only. In most cases, I just bracket such code with preprocessor directives such as #if DEBUG .... #endif


  • Another MS PM Blog...

    I recently started reading Srinath Vasireddy's blog after seeing him respond a few times on a GDN messageboard.

    As with many of the Microsoft P&P Program Managers, his blog resembles much of the content he produces, but in this case, its a good thing. Especially if you are working on Performance analysis or Load testing in Windows and .NET.

    One post I reference frequently is his rough diagram of the authentication flow during an ASP.NET request...check it out.