Archives / 2004
  • WebForms, Winforms, XUL, XAML?

    I was recently following a thread on Chris Sells' WIN_TECH_OFFTOPIC.  The original request was for a good rich edit text box for a WebForms App.  After much discussion, Rob Nimmo came back with the following remark:

  • Updating the Path environment variable from nAnt scripts

    I couldn't seem to find a way to update the Path environment variable using the 'stable' build of nAnt.  Setting sys.env.Path doesn't update the system environment variable, though the ${sys.env.Path} property will appear to be updated.  This can be somewhat confusing.

  • VB.NET to C# Web Project Conversion

    I work for a pretty cool company, on a pretty nifty product team.  When ASP.NET  first came out, the team took part of our application and web-enabled it, standardizing on the VB.NET language.  It made sense at the time, as much of our previous ASP work was VB based.  However, most of our application is written on C++, and the transition to C# from C++ is a much easier transition than from VB.NET.  So, despite our present VB.NET code base, the team is standardizing on the C# language.

  • MSI Resiliency

    Aaron Stebner has an interesting article on MSI Resiliency, but before we get all excited about self-repairing applications, let's recognize something.  Not even Microsoft gets this one correct, so how can we expect customers and ISVs to become dependent on this feature?

  • Backing Up Windows Clusters

    A little bit ago, someone asked for the best method to back up a windows cluster.  Instead of trying to cover all the bases myself, I'll point to this technet article:

  • In the real world...

     This is certainly the blog site to go to for Microsoft centric conversation - I'm deluged with very interesting articles on everything from “Source Safe Power Toys” to the interesting concept of UI Mappers (I'm not certain that I fully get the concept, but I am always a bit slower on the uptake than Paul).

  • Code Complete, 2nd Edition

    I'm getting a bit tired of people recommending McConnell's Code Complete, 2nd Edition.  The book isn't even released yet!  No one that I know has read it, so why is everyone recommending it?  I recently read one post that went so far as to claim that it should be on every developers bookshelf.  Now that would be a neat trick!

  • Free version of Visual Basic.NET 2003

    Know someone who's interested in programming, but doesn't want to purchase Visual Studio?  I'd suggest sending them over to Microsoft's "VB at the Movies," where they can get a free copy of Visual Basic .NET 2003 Standard Edition after viewing and reviewing a few clips from the website.

  • Patterns

    We've all been exposed to Design Patterns, and their indelible impressions are apparent in any well designed software.

  • DevDays 2004

    I attended DevDays here in Atlanta today, and had a pleasant lunch with Paul Wilson.  It was good to catch up with him - it's always refreshing to talk to someone smarter than me.  We shared a table with Jeff Prosise for lunch.  Ok, that's me name dropping, because I don't believe that I said more than two words to Jeff.  I'm always afraid that I'll sound like some FanBoy when I talk to the authors I consider "Great."  (That's a short list, by the way.)

  • Ready, Compiler, Switch...

    I just re-learned a valuable lesson.  I was preparing for an upcoming class that I’m teaching on .NET for my team, and I was reviewing the .NET Garbage collector.  I thought that I’d throw together a few quick apps using WeakReferences to show when objects are garbage collected, but I wasn’t getting the behavior I was expecting.  Unless an object was explicitly set to null, the objects were not being collected.  I was amazed, as this really isn’t how GC is documented, and both of my Heroes, Software Legend Jeffrey Richter and Father of COM (is Love) Don Box clearly state in their books that objects are eligible for GC after their last reference.

  • MSBUILD MIA in Whidbey C++

    As I've posted before, MSBuild support is noticeably absent in the next version of Visual C++.  With all of Microsoft's hype over MSBuild, this is a glaring omission.  As a new blogger, and member of the Visual C++ IDE's project/build system team, perhaps Josh can help explain this?

  • Multi-Threading is Cool. Except when it isn't.

    I've read quite a few articles and books that proclaim the benefits of multi-threading, and many people admire the beauty of a nicely threaded program.  I agree fully - a well-implemented threading server certainly can reap great performance benefits.  SQL Server is a wonderful example of this.  So much thought was put into threading in SQL Server that they implemented their own thread scheduler, pre-empting the OS threading model through some quite clever trickery.

  • Another Windows Installer Pet Peeve

    1. If Windows Installer is Microsoft's “official” installation technology, then why the heck don't they use it and support it better?  It would make our lives a lot easier if Microsoft released a merge module for the .NET Framework, for example.  It's the perfect example of where a merge module is needed.  Instead, we get silent install kludges.

  • Still can't find everything on the Internet...

    As my friend Paul Wilson points out, sometimes technical answers are really hard to find.  As I browse the ASP.NET and C# newsgroups, weblogs, and Forums, answers abound on how to bind a dataset to a control.  I can find numerous explanations of how .NET garbage collection works, best practices utilizing the dispose pattern, and many other helpful hints.