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Wednesday, June 30, 2004

MISC: Surprising Political Views 

I try to steer clear of politics on my blog because it can quickly get bogged down into a flamefest for people with differing views. But, I was pleasantly surprised to see Dave Winer's comments on Michael Moore and Fahrenheit 9/11.

Dave basically says that he disagrees with the tactics that Moore is taking in trying to push his political agenda with this movie rather than presenting an honest documentary about terrorism and the war in Iraq. I think that presenting such an obviously skewed view is doing more harm than good to the democrats and Michael Moore. In this article, Christopher Hitchens does a good job of refuting and questioning a lot of issues that Moore brings up in the movie. It's quite an interesting read.

Like I said, I was surprised by Dave's view of this because in following his blog for a while, I would have thought that he was a Michael Moore supporter. It's nice to see that people can always surprise you.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

.NET: Screen-saver and RSS Sample 

It appears that all of the bloggers on the Net are posting about the announcement of Visual Studio 2005. I'll leave that for everyone else, since I already posted about it a few days ago...

However, here's an interesting post from Dan Fernandez about an RSS Screen Saver Starter Kit in C# Express. It sounds like a very cool sample -- allowing you to discover how screen savers are written in C# and code for working with RSS feeds. All very cool.

Monday, June 28, 2004

MISC: Bill Gates Reports on Anti-Spam Efforts 

No, this isn't a link to Bill's first blog entry. It's actually a post of his executive emails that he sends to customers. He's talking about the important anti-Spam work being done by MSN, Exchange, Outlook, and other groups at Microsoft. He also discusses the alliance with AOL, Yahoo, EarthLink, and Comcast that's targetting Spam producers worldwide.

Friday, June 25, 2004

.NET: Visual Studio 2005 Beta 1 Announced 

eWeek has just announced some news on Visual Studio 2005 Beta 1. The Team Architect portion (codenamed Whitehorse and my personal favorite) of Visual Studio Team System is in Beta 1. But you should see the rest of Team System in upcoming Betas.

Visual Studio 2005 Beta Ready to Roll
At its TechEd Europe conference in Amsterdam next week, Microsoft Corp. will announce the first official beta release of Visual Studio 2005, which will include the Team Architect version of the Visual Studio Team System technology Microsoft announced last month at its TechEd conference in San Diego.

Sources close to the company said the beta software should be available for download by the end of next week. More and more of the Visual Studio Team System will find its way into Visual Studio 2005 in future releases, sources said.

BLOG: Bill Gates to Start Blogging 

In a recent Seattle Times article, they reported that Bill Gates intends to start blogging. I can't wait to see what he has to say to the world. Should be interesting to see the traffic and comments on this first post.

Bill Gates could join the ranks of bloggers
Bill's blog won't be all business, either. He's expected to share personal details such as tidbits from recent vacations, according to tech pundit Mary Jo Foley's Microsoft Watch newsletter. Citing unnamed sources, she reported yesterday that Gates is about to start blogging "real soon now."

Thursday, June 24, 2004

.NET: Class Designer in Visual Studio 2005 

There are quite a few bloggers out there excited by the prospects of the new Class Designer that's being produced for Visual Studio 2005 (also here and here). This is part of the Whitehorse designers that I've been working on for the last couple of years. It's exciting to see people getting into these new features.

Not surprisingly, code and diagram synchronization appears to be the feature most people like. Anyone who has used Visio or other diagramming tools know how much of a pain it is to keep the diagram and code in synch. The fact that the Class Designer is always in synch with the code makes developers very happy...

[via Brendan Tompkins]

BLOG: Comments and Trackbacks Good For Blogs 

Mark Bernstein posted a topic about why comments and trackbacks are bad because they lead to and encourage flaming. I have to disagree with Mark on this. I think comments and trackbacks are good for blogs. Being able to share ideas with your readers is very important. Comments allows that for quick statements or just to let someone know you're listening (or reading in this case). Trackbacks allow you link your blog post to another one - whether it be to respond or add to the discussion by your own entry. This greatly increases the discoverability of related information because you can follow a topic from blog to blog all the way to conclusion (hopefully).

Mark believes that the recent backlash against weblogs.com being shut down was fueled by comments and trackbacks. However, as Dave Winer pointed out, most of the flames last week were people spouting off on their own blogs and had nothing to do with comments and may have been only mildly influenced by trackbacks.

I think it would be an over-reaction to decide to remove comments or trackbacks from your blog because of an incident like this. They provide much greater value for community and discoverability than the effect they may have on flaming via blogs (because someone could flame all they want on their own blog anyway).

My wish is to see more active use of trackbacks than we have today.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Finally, Put Your GMail Invitations to Good Use! 

Lately, I've seen many blogs promising GMail invitations for readers who answer a question, or help out with content, or to a worthy contestant. But, I think I just found a much better use for those invitations...

Wil Wheaton and a band of his fellows have put together a website that allows you to share you GMail invitations with troops in Iraq, so that they can communicate with friends and families back home, including pictures, audio, and video clips. I can't think of a better use for those accounts, can you?

Wil does a much better job of describing the soldiers' needs than I can, so go over and read his post on the topic.

Friday, June 18, 2004

HUMOR: Serious Environmental Threat 

Here's a hilarious post about a campaign to ban one of the most abundant (and it would appear dangerous) substances on the planet.

[via Derek Dysart]

Thursday, June 17, 2004

.NET Whitehorse Article on MSDN 

Here's a good overview from MSDN Magazine of the Whitehorse features that we're developing for Visual Studio 2005. Plus, there are several cool pictures of what the features look like.

Whitehorse was available as a technical preview at TechEd and will soon be part of the Visual Studio 2005 Beta. So, has anyone had the opportunity to try it yet? What do you think?

.NET: Interesting .NET Articles to Read 

There's been quite a number of really good .NET articles that have been posted recently. I've been busy looking at some of them and decided to just link to several from a single post:

The .NET Framework contains many different types of collections. However, one that isn't part of the base class library is the Set collection. Sets allow you perform operations like Union, Intersects, and more across multiple sets. There a very good sample on Code Project that implements the Set collection.

Whidbey is going to support FTP for file upload/download through FtpWebRequest and FtpWebResponse classes.
[via Brad Abrams]

A bunch of cool new WinForms controls named the VB Power Pack were recently released on GotDotNet. The new controls include: Blend Panel, Notification Window, Utility Toolbar, Image Button, Task Frame, and more.
[via Robert Green]

Along with that, an accompanying article describing the controls was published on MSDN.
[via Duncan MacKenzie]

For those who don't know, in Visual C# 2003, you can easily implement stubs for all of the methods on an interface for a class that inherits from it.
[via Duncan MacKenzie]

And, Roy Osherove discusses an approach that you can use to limit MDI child forms to a single instance within an MDI application. Roy creates a FormLoader which knows how to reuse the single instance rather than always creating a new one.

Monday, June 14, 2004

MISC: Prisoner of Azkaban 

I went to watch Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban this weekend. Although I thought the movie was good, it didn't have the excitement of the previous two Harry Potter films. I found it kind of flat in different places and the whole time travel sub-plot just turned me off to the end of the movie. It's been done too many times and better than what was attempted in this movie.

They were trying to build tension by having Sirius hunt Harry, but they didn't really build much fear into what would happen if he caught him and in the end it wasn't much of a surprise that he didn't really want to harm Harry at all.

Also, they made Malfoy into a big wimp for this film. In the first two movies, he was annoying but at least he was a good antagonist to plot against Harry. In Prisoner of Azkaban, he was sent running off crying twice -- just plain weak.

The good things about this film: the Dementers were pretty cool and the Divination professor was the funniest part of the whole thing.

Oh well, hope the next movie is better...

Friday, June 11, 2004

BLOG: Cringely Discusses Future of Blogging 

Bob Cringely talks about the future of blogging. He claims that blogs will become like a personal data mining tool -- allowing you (or tools) to learn more about your own lives rather than the publishing, link-driven model that we have today. It's an interesting thought, and we'll see how it plays out.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

.NET: Automated Registration of Visual Studio Custom Tools 

Michael McKechney wrote an automated registration tool for registering Visual Studio Custom Tools. This is a very handy tool for anyone wishing to integrate their own custom tools into VS.

.NET: Design Patterns in C# 

Sorry, it's been so long since my last post, but things have been really hectic at work trying to get the Whitehorse features ready for Visual Studio 2005 Beta 1. But, I've finally had a few minutes to breathe, so here I am again...

The Data and Object Factory has replicated some software design patterns with source code in C#. This should be really helpful for those of us familiar with these patterns, but only had them in C++.

[via John Tobler]