September 2003 - Posts
I just saw this article over at the Winformat web site. Exclusive: PDC Attendees to Get Aero Demo Only
Which states that according to "sources" that have spoken to Paul that Aero will be not included in the DVDs given out at the PDC. The main reason being to ensure that competitors are not able to copy Aero before it is launched. It is a curious statement to make when you consider the market shares of Apple and Linux in the desktop markets where Longhorn is targeted.
I would have thought what might be much more dangerous is someone providing a piece of freeware that runs on top of Windows XP and 2000 that provides say 80% of the look and feel of Aero as that would make Longhorn look old before it is launched and potential surpress sales of the os. Are Microsoft really scared that they could lose market share by it's competitors getting an Aero competitor to market earlier than them ?.
I would have thought a more plausible story must be that they have not reached the point in the code cycle where it is ready for more general distribution. I wonder what the true story is.
Yesterday, we had a presentation from a german firm who have written a CMS system in .Net. The salesman was so happy that we understood .Net so that he did not have to explain it to us. He said that normally he has to start the presentation by explaining .Net. He said that normally the big companies have some idea about .Net and the but medium sized and small firms have not idea.
It made we wonder how do you define .Net to someone who has no idea about it ? Especially if they are a manager. For me :
".Net is a set of building blocks that allow you to develop desktop, mobile and web applications that run on top of Microsoft Windows operating systems. These applications can easily intercommunicate with applications and systems running on different operating systems using industry agreed protocols. It provides the developer with flexibility in terms of the programming languages with which they develop the applications and costs nothing to install except for the cost of the operating system licence."
I know this is off topic and I am sure to non english readers this means nothing. But I grew up watching Dr Who, even though like many people I often had to watch from behind the sofa,
So this is big news, if you grew up during the 70's in England.
Via pdcbloggers.net I came across this interesting blog entry in Ole Eichhorn's blog He says that the success of a new technology is inversely related to the difficultly of learning and understanding the technology. In other words the simpler something is to grasp and learn the more likely it is to succeed. He relates this hypothesis directly to Microsoft Technologies saying that the more complex that .Net becomes the less likely it will succeed. A fear that he relates directly to look at the PDC session abstracts. In fact he states that problem that if you ask different people you get different definitions of .Net illustrates his point.
The problem I think is that in many ways what people really want is an "onion approach" to development. Very simple to start off with but one that provides immediate response and uses a simple syntax. However, one that grows with you, so that each time you remove another skin of the onion the complexity may increase but so does your flexibility.
VB.NET is meant to be the successor of VB but I feel, and I expressed this to the VB Project Management team at the Orlando PDC, it is too complex and looks too foreign to your average VB programmer. Really what is required is a simple .Net language that hides all the OOP stuff and is task driven.
As for the PDC, I hope that you do not need a masters in computer science just to understand the keynotes.
Just noticed this on Mark Fussell's blog
- "WinFS"- The digital aid meets meta data. Store all your "stuff" and find it seemlessly with hundreds of rules.
- "Indigo" - SOAP 1.2 + WS-*. The replacement for DCOM
- "Avalon" - Cool UI graphics, no Windows message pump and a declarative programming model.
- "Yukon" - SQL Server next with the beauty of an XML data type to store all those XML documents.
- "Whidbey" - VS.NET next with some great innovations in the XML programming model.
But then again as he says his description maybe biased as he "has worked on System.Xml for just over 3 years."
Just read in Clemens blog that the company where he is CTO, Newtelligence , are now using dasBlog as a content management system for their web site. In fact their homepage is simply a set of aggregated feeds. dasBlog is an extended and improved version of the BlogX and is similar in functionality to .Text. I find I blog more often than I update my web site so maybe when I redesign my site I might use the same approach. At least it will ensure that the content on the site will be fresher and I will be able to update it through sending an email, the web, a rich client or even a web service. I assume that you could do something similar with .Text. It is certainly an avenue I am thinking of taking and shows how powerful the rss subscription system can be. Have a look at the site http://www.newtelligence.com and see if you can see the same potential.
I have written a rich client application in C# and everything seems to working great apart from one big problem: if you change the screen resolution or the font size multiplier it looks bad. We all use notebooks that have a very high resolution display which means that in order to be able to work for a long time with the notebook you have to use large fonts and some people use 120%, others 140% and some even don't use any multiplier at all. The trouble is that the application looks bad when some one uses a multiplier higher than the one I have used to develop the application.
How do I change my application so that it knows the resolution of the screen and the font multiplier where it is being displayed and then programatically resize the form so it looks great with all resolutions and font mulipliers ?
If someone knows an answer this would really solve a big headache for me.
Just noticed this news article on Infoworld. I especially liked this piece of the article :
Officials at Borland and IBM both said momentum is growing for .Net.
"It's the rapid evolution of the Windows environment and Microsoft's growth into the enterprise, and we are there with [Microsoft]," said Jeff Jones, IBM director of strategy for IBM DB2 Information Management Software in San Jose, Calif.
News items like this certainly help when you are trying to convince management and customers that .Net is worth a look.
I have just started on a small project that will display information retrieved from SAP on a web page which means I got my first chance to play around with the SAP .Net Connector. I have to say I was amazed how simple it was and also it was interesting to see so many different technologies working together.
Once you have installed the prerequisites, you install the .Net Connector. N.B: There is a version for VS 2002 and VS 2003 so it is important you install the right one. The process is now similar to creating a web services : using a wizard you select the SAP functions you wish to call and then the wizard creates the proxy. Once the proxy code has been created then you just program against the relevant classes. Interestingly, in order to create proxy code you need to have a Java JVM installed on your machine. But this is only required for development and not for deployment.
It am amazed how fast I was able to write a web page that retrieved the customer table from SAP and display it in a datagrid. We are talking less than 30 minutes from start to finish. I found this forum really useful. For example, when I had made a mistake and giving the client number as -1 or learning how to create an SAP connection by hand rather than through the wizard.