# Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Windows T

Windows Template Library (WTL) 7.1.  Download a library for developing Windows® applications and UI components. Extends ATL (Active Template Library) and provides a set of classes for controls, dialogs, frame windows, GDI objects, and more. This version provides full support for Visual Studio .NET 2003 and Windows XP and CE. [via Microsoft Download Center]

 Goody.

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If The Automobile Industry Used The Same Approach The Reverse Gear Shift Would Be Hidden In The Trunk Somewhere

If the automobile industry used the same approach, the Reverse gear shift would be hidden in the trunk somewhere because "it confuses beginners" and "it isn't used often" and "you can work around it by just driving forward in a circle." [via Randomize]

Good article on UI design. One might argue (I do) that if an application has so many toolbars that it is unusable, so you have to hide things away to make it usable, leaving them for 'advanced' users then you application is a) badly designed or b) actually doing too much or c) not targetted at the users properly. Personally, all this Office stuff of hiding less frequently used options drives me nuts, I am not advanced but it takes away options I used moderately frequently (yes, there's probably an option to turn all this off, but where is it....).

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# Friday, December 05, 2003

FreeImage Is An Open

FreeImage is an Open Source library project for developers who would like to support popular graphics image formats like PNG, BMP, JPEG, TIFF and others as needed by today's multimedia applications. The library comes in two versions: a binary distribution that can be linked against any 32-bit C/C++ compiler and a source distribution. Workspace files for Microsoft Visual C++ 6 are provided, as well as makefiles for Linux.

From january 2000 to july 2002, FreeImage was designed and mainly developed by Floris van den Berg. FreeImage is now maintained by Hervé Drolon.
 [via .NET Weblogs @ ASP.NET]

 

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# Thursday, December 04, 2003

Joe Beda Goes In Depth About Avalons Vis

Joe Beda goes in depth about Avalon's visuals. Are weblogs changing the kinds of information available from within Microsoft? Here's the answer. Joe's on the Avalon team. He's practicing conversational marketing for his team's technology. [via The Scobleizer Weblog]

Ah, so when Joe appears in my comments, he's marketting his team's technology at me. Nope, I hadn't looked at it like that at all, but now Scoble points it out...... So, the next PDC will be full of marketing people, not developers - I know someone who will be happy.

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# Wednesday, December 03, 2003

When It Comes Time To Render Scheduled Via The Dispatcher Class And Coordinated With The Animation System And La

When it comes time to render (scheduled via the Dispatcher class and coordinated with the animation system and layout) the system will walk the tree and decide what is and isn't on screen.  It will then call render on any RetainedVisuals as necessary and cache the result.  It also updates the data on the other thread for what is on screen so that the render can happen async from what is going on on the UI thread.  In this way, there is no "render" happening on the UI thread in the normal case.  Instead we are "compiling" the scene graph down to a simpler representation to run asynchronously on another thread or on another machine.  [via Joe Beda's EightyPercent.Net]

Fine and dandy, maybe. This is seemingly taking a lot of (tedious) stuff away from the developer, but I hope the coders are better than the guys who worked on Word (2002) which has the wonderful problem of not recognising overflows at a page boundary so you end up typing white text on a white background. Similarly strange redraw problems occur in Internet Explorer, which you can usually work around by a bit of style kludging. But if the core Avalon implementation is wrong and doesn't recognise properly what is and is not on screen (something that in complex cases is oddly difficult to do), well, you're stuffed.

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More Love For XAML Syntax Dotted Element

More Love for XAML Syntax: Dotted Element Names.  

Don Box simplified my XAML code ... what you're looking at is a more convenient way of specifying an XML attribute using XML element syntax. For example, while you can specify a menu item like s

<MenuItem Header="New" />

However, if you're doing anything fancy, like specifying an access key, you can do this using the dotted element name syntax:

<MenuItem>
  <MenuItem.Header>

    <FlowPanel>
      <AccessKey Key="N" />
      <SimpleText>ew</SimpleText>
    </FlowPanel>
  </MenuItem.Header>
</MenuItem>

In the first case, we're just specifying a string, so declaring the Header attribute inline makes sense. In the second case, we're composing the Header for the MenuItem as a FlowPanel, combining an AccessKey and a SimpleText element.... [via Marquee de Sells: Chris's insight outlet]

Heck, I hope its not really going to be this verbose otherwise we are just back to IDE based editing only; is this possible, and if not why not?

<MenuItem Text="&amp;New" AccessKey="N" />
I wouldn't have said that an access key on a menu is 'fancy'.
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A ContentEditablefalse Hrefht

IIS 5.0 Process Recycling Tool.  The IIS 5.0 Process Recycling Tool (IIS5Recycle), version 1.0, runs as a service on a computer running Windows 2000 and Internet Information Server 5.0. [via Microsoft Download Center]

Probably very useful - I remember several years ago spending days chasing down a memory leak in my ASP based framework to find that it was in Response.AddHeader (if memory serves me right). Not alot one can do then except wait for MS to fix it (they did), but it does illustrate the problems of reliance on others code, and these days we are reliant on more and more MS originated code (to which one doesn't have the source - using MFC/ATL et al, not VB, if there was a problem you could a) see it and b) write a fix - the .NET framework classes (gazzillions of 'em) are not available as source are they?).

 

 

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# Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Even Though The User Interface Do

Even though the user interface does not provide a means for recategorization, your system administrator can modify your registry to recategorize your services. [via Office Developer Center: Recategorize Research Services in the Research Task Pane (Microsoft Office 2003 Technical Articles)]
Good flippin' grief, the MS evangelists are wibbling on and on and on about how dull UIs are no longer acceptable with Longhorn, its all got to be graphically intense and wonderful looking, and yet here we have a product not months old and to re-categorise your research services you've got to modify the registry (with the obligatory warning that modding the registry is potentially dangerous). Will XAML per se remove this dependency, no. Will making your UI not dull remove this dependency, no. Adding the required UI will, independent of the platform providing that UI (yes I know I'm still to do right click context menu on Munch).
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# Monday, December 01, 2003

In Recent Years The Government Has Attempted To Raise The Prof

In recent years, the Government has attempted to raise the profile of consultation and improve the way it is undertaken, for example by producing the Code of Practice on Written Consultation in November 2000. The Code set out minimum standards of written consultation for central government. Quoted in the forward to the Code, the Prime Minister Tony Blair said "I believe that the message is spreading throughout the administration that better consultation means better results". A report by the National Audit Office argued: "it is important that in order to develop a clear understanding of the issue, departments consult…those who will benefit from the policy or those affected indirectly and those who may have to implement the policy" [From VIEWFINDER: A POLICY MAKER’S GUIDE TO PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT - note: PDF document]

How very interesting given that they admit that Foundation Hospitals and University Fees were policies put together without sufficient consultation - it would appear that they should have listened to their own advice. Also odd to read the above and then hear Peter Hain say variable rate fees are non-negotiable - odd way to do a consultation.

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