.NET at 9.400 ft above sea level

Programming in Quito, 2.860 m above sea level

  • F#, the ACM, and the SEC

    It all started with a twit from @mulambda: “Phil Wadler lists #fsharp as a candidate for SEC regulation spec language: http://tinyurl.com/2edfxka” I downloaded the, nonetheless, Association for Computer Machinery answer to the Securities and Exchange Commission proposal (and ask for comments) on requiring Python programs to be provided to explain contractual cash flow provisions. I quickly skimmed the ACM document and twitted “Java, C#, and F# recommended by the #ACM for SEC regulation spec language http://is.gd/e49Vt #fsharp /via @mulambda”. Later, I read with more care the ACM answer and I found that I really should clarify my twit:

  • A quick and dirty implementation of Excel NORMINV function in C#

    We are piloting the implementation of some financial risk models in F#, it so happens that the models are already implemented in Excel, so I was slowly digging out the formulas in the cells and translating them to F#. Everything was going fine until I found out that some formulas used the NORMINV function which doesn't exist in the .NET libraries. I started to look for F#, and then C#, implementations without luck (as we are just in the lets-see-if-this-have-any-chance-of-flying stage, we can’t afford any of the excellent but paid numerical libraries for .NET). The closest thing I found was a C++ implementation. The code looked really weird to me (my fault, not the coder's), so I decided to do the translation in two steps: first from C++ to C#, then on to F#. The C# translation seems to be working now, and you can download it from SkyDrive:

  • Scrum vs. CMMI Level 3

    Of late, I have been helping start a Microsoft SDL implementation effort and, as part of it, it comes the decision of what flavor of MSF we should use: Agile (Scrum nowadays) or CMMI (roughly Level 3 with the Team Foundation Server template). Now, this is a corporate customer, expecting to have budgets and schedules defined in order to green light any sizeable project, so we naturally lean to CMMI but I can’t help remembering all the formal methodology implementation efforts I’ve seen (and sometimes helped Ruborizado) fail (RUP, anyone?). So, after a few years, I am reading about the subject again, and in Chapter 7 “Effective Change Leadership for Process Improvement” of Michael West’s Real Process Improvement Using the CMMI (ISBN 0849321093), I find these pearls of wisdom on the behavior of top management:

  • Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework Beta 2 available on Wednesday

    This blog has been abandoned for the longest time :-$ but I’ve got great news to try and re-inaugurate it (again): it’s just been announced that beta 2 for Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4 will be available the day after tomorrow, i.e. on October 21st; moreover, we now have a firm date for the launch of the final versions of these products: March 22nd 2010. There is a lot of cool stuff in the new versions of Visual Studio and .NET Framework but my personal favorites (at least for the time being :-) are:

  • Entity Framework, LINQ to SQL and Oracle

    Amid the debate about which is better and have more future (two things that not necessarily go together) between LINQ to SQL and Entity Framework, one thing they have in common is the fact that Oracle is in “no comment” mode about both of them. It’s like Oracle would be expecting that the lack of its “official” provider for Entity Framework, let alone LINQ to SQL, would somehow move people to develop in Java instead of .NET Framework. IMHO, Visual Studio 2008 is so productive that people may first consider moving from Oracle to SQL Server before moving from VS 2008 to JDeveloper.

  • Free F# libraries (well, almost)

    In what was one of the very last PDC2008 sessions, Luca Bolognese did an encore presentation of F#, instead of trying to tell you what it was all about I invite you to watch the video (Luca is engaging and funny, and the session is so packed with information that one our will pass in no time). What I wanted to do is to talk about a couple of very interesting libraries, all written in F#, that Luca used in his demos:

  • The first Visual F# CTP is here!

    You leave on vacation for one short week and a lot happens... for example, Don Syme & co. have released the first F# CTP, well on the way (hopefully before this year's end) to put F# on the same level as C#, C++ or VB.NET. As far as I know, this will be an historical event: for the first time a mainstream platform (commercial or otherwise) wholly adopts a functional language. Allow me to seize the occasion to reiterate that there are several reasons for the functional programming paradigm to be considered interesting important, IMHO the most relevant are: