Monday 13 November 2006

Total Commander 7 Beta 1 released - at last!

I've been waiting for this release for ages, literally. Nowadays software vendors prepare a new version of their software every 6 months unless they develop really complex beasts like Vista, Visual Studio etc. Therefore I’m really surprised/disappointed that we had to wait so long. I hope this will change in the near future. Anyway, give it a try .

Friday 10 November 2006

Monday 9 October 2006

Remeber there is always one more thread out there :)

Over to Ayendewho explains that GC can cause some problems when an application puts pressure on it.

Thursday 7 September 2006

MonoDevelop 0.12 has been released

The latest version of MonoDevelop looks really good. I haven't looked at it for a few months and the guys have made enormous progress. Take a look if you need a decent C# IDE on the Linux platform that supports design mode for both ASP.NET and Win Forms applications.

Saturday 19 August 2006

Sunday 13 August 2006

How to manage your IT people

Joel has written about of how to manage people. Two of them( The Command and Control Management Method, The Econ 101 Management Method) fail in terms of IT people but there is at least one(The Identity Management Method) that seems to be promising. I've experienced these two wrong approaches and I completely agree that they don't work. I've experienced the good one as well but only partially. My direct boss tried to apply the Identity method but his boss decided to go for the Econ 101 method. That was a strange kind of mix which was really confusing. I hope I will experience in the future more of the Identity method in its neat and proper form :)

Extensible compiler framework from Microsoft

I've heard a few times about Phoenix project and I decided to check it out just to see how it works. And it looks promising because it's arichtecture is extensible. It seems that if you have the grammar of a language in a notation that yacc and lex accept then you don't have to write any single line of code in order to get fully blown compiler because the output of yacc&lex is a valid input data for Phoenix that offers optimization and native code generation modules out of the box. What is more we can plug in every step of the compilation process to do some specific processing. I wish I could use it in my professional life.

Sunday 6 August 2006

Interesting videos on channel 9

First one explains what ADO.NET entity framework is and it is really good because Charles asked a few hard/interesting questions. Second one is about CCR (Concurrency and Coordination Runtime) where Jeffrey Richter and George Chrysanthakopoulos present the new incarnation of the runtime. They haven't changed the internals of it they've just improved public API. Well they think they've done it. I still think that they are far from perfect. If the main class that is used in nearly every statement is a static one then something is wrong.

Friday 4 August 2006

Launch your applications in completly new way

Over to Scott who prepared a small comparision of tools that make our life way much easier. My favourite one is Launchy .

Saturday 29 July 2006

Mono as a VMWare image

Great news. Folks from Mono project decided to make our life much easier and they've released Suse with preinstalled Mono, MonoDevelop, ASP.NET and WinForms samples as a VMWare image. Now I don't even have to reboot my machine in order to check it out. Sweet :).

Friday 21 July 2006

Quite neat ESB definition

I very like the approach Ron Ten-Hove has taken. At first he tries to define ESB using only a sentence then a paragraph and then a bullet list. Choose what you like :).

Friday 14 July 2006

Services, services and services.

Over to Paul Fallon who wrote about Amazon's Simple Queue Service . In the near future we will buying our favourite newspaper using Amazon's Simple Newsagent Service :).

Saturday 8 July 2006

Scoble's exit interview

It’s really worth watching the last channel 9 video with Scoble. It’s full of advices and smart thoughts/observations. I really like two of them which I agree with.

Something about people in general: "Fear factor is higher then hope factor"

His definition of perfect boss: "Your boss should go ahead of you, break ice, get things out of your way in order to help you do your job"

Sunday 2 July 2006

LLBLGEN 2.0 is ready to use

I'm big fun of this tool and I've been using it for last 7 months without almost any problems. And now generics and nullable types are available. That's great but at least one feature is still missing. The project file is a binary file instead of Xml (or text) file. It's really important because if something goes wrong I can't fix it at all. I simply have to open last saved version. Any way good job Frans.

Friday 30 June 2006

Guidance Explorer will tell you what To Do and what not to Do

Over to Scott for more details about Patterns and Practices Guidance Explorer. It looks promising. Thanks Scott.

Wednesday 28 June 2006

ORM community site

Roy Esherove has created new community site which is devoted to ORM stuff. This gut doesn't stop amazing me :) which is good. If you are intrested in this topic give a try and contribute at some stage.

Tuesday 20 June 2006

Developing software is not the same as selling carpets

Again something interesting from Joel. And my two cents. I would like to emphasize a thought that he presents at the end of the post. In short you have to know the field you run your company in. It’s obvious that developing software is different then selling carpets. I’m not saying one is more difficult then the other I’m saying they are different.

Sunday 11 June 2006

Assess yourself and find out what can be improved.

Just go to John Skeet’s blog and assess yourself. In short, are you really able to work in a team?

#1 - Overengineering (in complexity and/or performance)

I agree. It’s important that your algorithm/method has time complexity O(n) instead of O(en) but it’s not very often really important whether you use foreach or for loop. Mind that the first one makes code much more readable. But I have to emphasize that casting to String and calling ToString method is a different kettle of fish because if you call ToString it means you are not sure what kind of object you handle and I call it “text based programming” which I hate :).
Personal guilt rating: 5(but I’m aware of it and I’m working on it)

#2 - Not considering the code's readership

I agree. I think that there should be even a subject during everyone’s studies that deals with code maintability.
Personal guilt rating: 2(Yes, I’m really mad about it)

#3 - Assuming your code works

According to the quantum physics theory everything is possible to some extent – just probability. Therefore I don’t assume anything :).
Personal guilt rating: 4

#4 - Using the wrong tool for the job

I’ve noticed that if a company is Microsoft oriented then it doesn’t even consider using Open Source software and the other way around if a company comes from the Linux world it hates Microsoft solutions just because it comes from Microsoft. It’s strange but true.
 Personal guilt rating: 2 (Yes, I’m big fan of Mono project)

#5 - Excessive code pride

I have to be proud of my code but from time to time I probably should just keep saying: It’s not my baby, it’s not my baby…
Personal guilt rating: 4

#6 - Failing to acknowledge weaknesses

I think that it’s a good habit to mention to people (at the end of the conversation) that I am not sure about this and that and they should check it on their own.
Personal guilt rating: 3

#7 - Speaking with an accent

I don’t like using any technology/tool/approach I don’t know/understand and I think that a coping of some patterns it’s really possible only if someone doesn’t know the technology/tool/approach he/she uses.
Personal guilt rating: 3

Thursday 1 June 2006

C# via CLR - looks good :)

I've just come across C# via CLR by Jeffrey Richter. It must be interesting and worth reading. Just how to get it very quickly :)?

Monday 15 May 2006

Orcas CTP drops starting from this summer - sweet :)

In one of the comments to Using LINQ with ASP.NET Scott said that the final version of Orcas should be available the second half of 2007 and what is even more important we can start playing with its CTP drops this summer :). I know it’s Microsoft and they can postpone it but for some reason I trust Scott.

ASP.NET pages not spider and search engine friendly by default

This article shows some pitfalls when it comes to indexing pages. I would add one more – AJAX.

Sunday 14 May 2006

Visual introduction to (managed) C++ 2005

I’m sick but I can still watch videos from Channel 9 :). If you need a general overview of C++ 2005 and its relation to CLR then I recommend this video with Brandon Bray. It looks like C++ 2005 is big improvement in terms of usability since C++ 2003. I was using managed C++ 2003 about two years ago and it was nightmare. In one solution I had C, C++, managed C++ and C# code. Even if it compiled it very often threw strange exceptions during runtime because of mixed nature of almost all my assemblies. A few things Brandon mentioned:
  • for each statement in C++(for .NET and STL collections)
  • difference between generics and templates
  • why C++ managed compiler can produce best MSIL ever
Of course I’ve added his blog to my list.

Wednesday 10 May 2006

Microsoft's certificates - any real value?

Scott Hanselman represents quite similar to main point of view. But I think that Microsoft’s certificate can have real value if we satisfy a few conditions. If we learn in order to prepare to them then it makes sense otherwise it’s bullshit. And one more remark, many job offers say that the certificates are either required or at least more then welcome. Does it make any senses? Not much to me because every single person that can handle mouse and keyboard can pass them without any problem. How? Just download brain dumps from the Internet. Then how having them or not having them can be any criterion? Anyway you have to check a given person out in order to confirm its certificates are true. You can ask why I’ve passed 2 of them. I think the answer is just a few lines above :).

Monday 8 May 2006

I need more syntactic sugar

I am really excited about extension methods and once C# 3.0 is released I’m going to extend every collection class with IsEmpty, IsNotEmpty functions. They should look like that:

public static bool IsEmpty(this ArrayList list)
return list.Count == 0;

public static bool IsNotEmpty(this ArrayList list)
return list.Count > 0;

I know that it’s not big deal but I would rather write: if (list.IsEmpty()) then if (list.Count == 0). The first one is just much more readable.

Monday 24 April 2006

NDepend tells you about your design quality.

Quite useful free tool. It can analyze your assemblies and suggest what is potentially dangerous. I am not big fun of all included visualisations but I really appreciate generated html report. It’s worth giving a try: NDepend.

Monday 17 April 2006

Developer is an asset

More verbose and therefore really valuable version of my short post ;-). I completely agree with Joel . No doubts.

Sunday 26 March 2006

The freedom of experimentation is crucial

If a software engineer has to struggle against lots of tedious work incorporating every single change then very often he simply abandons it and doesn’t change anything. In other words he would rather leave some poor solution that more or less works then replace it with something really valuable. His creativity is simply limited by the amount of additional effort that every change requires. Above problems can be caused by lack of proper tools, messy and unmaintainable code or even so trivial thing as slow workstation. There are people that don’t perceive it as a real problem but in my humble opinion they are wrong :).

Tuesday 21 March 2006

Trying to understand lawyers...

I couldn’t be a lawyer but after watching this videoI’ve broadened my horizons :) and at least I can understand some of their decisions or to be precise why they have to be so calculating.

Monday 27 February 2006

Do you need a tool that supports Contrac First approach - try WSCF 0.6!!!

Great guys from Thinktecture just released WSCF 0.6 for Visual Studio 2005 and .NET 2.0. I’ve been using it for a while and it saves lots of tedious, manual work. Give a try and you won’t regret!

Saturday 25 February 2006

Experience = Knowledge?

Nearly every job offer contains something like that: salary based on experience. It means that the more years of experience you have the better professional you are. It sounds reasonably but of course from time to time it’s not true and you always should check out skills of a person who applies for a job. It sounds reasonably too but I’ve been involved in more then 10 recruitment processes and only during literally 2 of them employer wanted to check my knowledge. The rest of them wanted to know only how many years/months of experience I have. They didn’t ask any technical questions, nothing. It’s incomprehensible, isn’t it?

Thursday 23 February 2006

Attending conference isn't equivalent to taking a break.

Very good article about how to approach personal development in the field of technology. It arrived just in time because I’m going to participate in Microsoft Architect Forum in Dublin and I can leverage some tips of Douglas.

Friday 3 February 2006

Resonable comparison of a few AJAX frameworks for .NET

The comparison can be found here. It seems to be quite good and useful but there is one interesting thing. Author of the review is at the same time author of one of the analyzed frameworks. And his library seems to be the best one. Coincidence? Who knows :).

Friday 13 January 2006

Java is great language but teaching ONLY Java is bad idea.

Joel’s article says that teaching Java is bad idea. Many people have disagreed because according to them every language is equally good. I think they didn’t catch the main idea that is behind the article. Java isn't good because it doesn’t require you to think too much. You don’t have to know what happens under the hood when you write particular line of code. In this case C or even C++ is much better. I agree you have to have some knowledge in order to write a program but to be honest very often if your code compiles then it works. Of course it can be slow, memory consuming and crash encountering marginal conditions but it will work more or less. From business point of view Java and C# are great languages but I think that you still HAVE to know what is really going on when you write code. IT systems are almost everywhere and they are taking over more and more human activities in many fields. Maybe I am wrong but I would NOT like to find out software bug at the moment when my life/future/animal/money/t-shirt is fully dependent on it.