December 2006 - Posts

I've Been Tagged: Five Things You Didn't Know About Me

I've been tagged by Brendon, so here are 5 things that you don't know about me:

  1. While I was born in Mobile (AL), and went to school there from 3rd grade until I graduated high school, I actually started school in Italy.
  2. I was 3rd place in 4th grade 50 yard dash -- the 1st and 2nd place finishers went on to be my high school running back and quarterback.
  3. My high school chess team won 3 Mobile county and 3 Alabama state championships -- we had no star, but were all equally pretty good.
  4. I was goofing around on a piano and singing when I first met my wife Jenny -- then we went to a Chinese group at the University of Alabama.
  5. I started programming professionally when I was laid off from teaching college math during a budget crisis that laid off everyone not tenured. 

And now I return the favor and tag Jerry Dennany, Paul Lockwood, Greg Young, Kirk Evans, and Scott Guthrie.

Posted by PaulWilson | 3 comment(s)
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VS 2005 Service Pack 1 Available -- Go Get It Now

If you haven't heard it already, VS 2005 Service Pack 1 is out and can be downloaded here.  It contains over 2200 bug fixes according to Scott Guthrie, as well as making Web Application Projects standard once again.  Also according to Scott, the install time can vary significantly depending on what you have installed, and is especially very long if you have C++ installed.  My own experience was that it took about an hour to install on my system, although that actually involved what I can only describe as two 1/2 hour installs.  Yes, maybe it was a fluke due to something on my system, but it installed once and said it was done, and then kept going with another install, including the exact same couple of dialogs, before finally asking to reboot.  Maybe your experience will be different, but in the end I suppose what matters the most is that our VS 2005 experience will now be improved every day.
Posted by PaulWilson | 6 comment(s)
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IronPython and Dynamic Languages in ASP.NET

We got to see an IronPython demo in ASP.NET today at the ASPInsiders Summit; some things are NDA, but some things are available now in a CTP. Let me just say that its fantastic to see ASP.NET in this space. Why? I'm not a user of dynamic languages myself yet, but I hear the train coming loudly. I've looked at Ruby, and now I've seen Python, and even though I still prefer C#, there's also an undeniable ease of use that is winning converts everyday. I've seen Rails, and for ASP.NET we already have SubSonic and MonoRails, as well as BLinq, and I saw some cool demos today with IronPython that were just incredible. Anyhow, to get to my point, I think its important that Microsoft is in this space so that we can know that the future of ASP.NET will be safe. Like it or not, technologies and languages come and go, and it would be foolish for MS to believe that C# and VB.NET will always be enough. Just like the IE team discovered that they had to regroup, at some point dynamic languages may very well be the norm. Maybe they won't, but either way ASP.NET should be prepared to be a thought leader, and that is what I saw today, and I just want to say "thank you" to the teams at Microsoft that are making this happen.
Posted by PaulWilson | 2 comment(s)
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Note to Self: MySpace runs ASP.NET

I've heard this before, but I'd long since forgotten: MySpace runs ASP.NET.  Its easy to miss this since it looks like they are running coldfusion, but the cfm's are in most cases remnants of their older system and are now mapped to ASP.NET.
Posted by PaulWilson | 7 comment(s)
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ASPInsider Public Overview via Scott Guthrie

The ASPInsiders Summit began today with Scott Guthrie's overview of what's happening. Steve Smith already has a good summary of his presentation, so I won't try to repeat it. Instead, let me just say that working with .NET just keeps getting more and more exciting. Its truly amazing to see how agile some of the teams at Microsoft have become recently. We've already seen Web Application and Deployment Projects and CSS Control Adapters, and now we see Expression Web Designer, PowerShell, and VS 2005 for Data Professionals. But expect to see more very soon, like ASP.NET Ajax, Data Publishing, and VS 2005 SP1, and later on the things still in CTP, like Orcas, IronPython, WPF/E, and IIS 7.0 Server.

I've already installed some things, including the final release version of .NET v3.0, but I really need to go install Expression Web, PowerShell, and VS 2005 Data Pro too. Expression Web will give you today the CSS friendly design surface that Orcas will have, and VS 2005 Data Pro will give you Schema Compare, Data Compare, Data Generator, and more. Speaking of data, the Data Publishing Tool that is coming very soon will not only generate the sql to build your database schema, but it will also finally build sql to populate it. And note that VS 2005 SP1 will not only include bug fixes (and there are more than 2200), but it will also automatically finally include Web Application Projects (no addin needed).

Of course no matter how much we get today, we also are still very much wanting Orcas. I have no clue what the target release date is, but I'm guessing very late 2007 or early 2008. But it will be cool when it does come, and it will support all of v2.0, v3.0, and vNext. That means it will finally add Linq, and make AJAX built-in as opposed to being an addin, but it will also include the Expression Web Designer and JavaScript Intellisense/Debugging. I'm assuming it will also include full support for WPF/E, which is looking really cool. But don't wait until then to start getting the various pieces that are out now or soon. And that was really what I got out of Scott's talk the most -- a lot of this is available today or is coming soon.
Posted by PaulWilson | with no comments
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