# Thursday, 26 June 2003

User Interface Process Application

User Interface Process Application Block. With this simple yet extensible framework, pull the control flow and state management logic out of the user interface layer into a UI process layer. [MSDN: .NET Framework and CLR]
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Serving Images From NET

Serving images from .NET assemblies. This example shows how to serve images through ASP.NET from resources bound to assemblies [Microsoft Download Center]
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# Wednesday, 25 June 2003

Bjarke Viksoe

Bjarke Viksoe is a talented Win32 programmer whose news page I visit once a week to see what new gadgets or tools he has written.  via [Don Park's Blog]

A link because yes the guy is talented - this is a citation to something worthwhile looking so so might improve his Google ranking by .0001

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# Tuesday, 24 June 2003


Google Ads. Interesting write-up chez Zawodny about the Google AdSense program [ongoing]

Well, its not that interesting, the mere existance of the program is more interesting; yet another increment in the Google business model. Classic stuff this; build brand by recognition and reputation of the quality of the product then build on that brand. This is as opposed to so many dot-coms who thought you could buy brand by advertising and everything would follow.

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# Monday, 23 June 2003


3/6/02 -- The Blueberry Story -- Education Week. Quote: "... . Schools are unable to control the quality of their raw material, they are dependent upon the vagaries of politics for a reliable revenue stream, and they are constantly mauled by a howling horde of disparate, competing customer groups that would send the best CEO screaming into the night" [Serious Instructional Technology]

The article is worth a read for the description of the way he was entrapped by the English teacher. It applies over here too, and it applies beyond Education to all public services. The notion of a customer has gone too far - it is too simplistic an abstraction of the service to be provided to the community.

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The Costs Of Egovernment Is Set To Outweigh The Financial Savings It Prov

The costs of e-government is set to outweigh the financial savings it provides over the next decade, according to new research from Kable. The E-government cost savings report forecasts that savings from placing central and local government services online are likely to be around £289m for the 2005-06 financial year – by the end of which the Government wants all services online – against a spend of £1.2bn in that year alone

That's according to KableNet's e-Government cost savings report, the intro to which gives some frightening numbers (its a paid for report).

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Storing Trees In A Database SitePoint A Hrefhttp

Storing trees in a database.

SitePoint: Storing Hierarchical Data in a Database, by Gijs Van Tulder. The article first shows how the easy way of storing hierarchies in a database, using parent fields and a recursive PHP function to iterate up the tree. It then goes on to talk about a far more interesting alternative called "Modified Preorder Tree Traversal" where trees are first "flattened" in to a heap-like structure, then each node is stored with a pair of numbers representing that node's position in the tree. I'd seen this somewhere before but Gijs Van Tulder's explanation is far clearer, and comes with some good examples showing how this unconventional storage method can retrieve all of the eventual children of a node in a single query. He also talks about ways of updating the tree structure when new items are added.

[Simon Willison's Weblog]
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# Saturday, 21 June 2003

SQL Buddynbsp It

SQL Buddy  It installs simply, works intuitively and allows for easy ad hoc queries and commands. Recommended. via [sellsbrothers.com: Windows Developer News]

Looks useful, but is for SQL Server/MSDE not Access.

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Hosting Windows Forms Designers. This article comes with the full source for hosting the WinForms Designers to enable form design in your own app. To my knowledge, none of this stuff is supported, but that doesn't make it any less cool! via [sellsbrothers.com: Windows Developer News]

The site has a bunch of other .NET widgets as well that look well thought out - tragically I seem to be too old to get into this drop a control and fiddle around in a wee little property panel way of working.

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Gorgeous CSS Rollovers. Al Sparber's excellent Uberlink CSS Rollover tutorial, which covers a lot of useful concepts and ends up with a truly gorgeous looking result. Thoroughly recommended.[Simon Willison's Weblog]

Thoroughly recommended indeed - very clear explanation.

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# Thursday, 19 June 2003


Check it out

[Thinking In .NET]

Really, really, check it out.

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# Friday, 13 June 2003

HTML Viewing And Editing

HTML viewing and editing component for WinForms apps. Heres some sample code that allows you to incorporate HTML viewing and editing into your own Windows Forms app. [Nikhil Kothari's Weblog]

What I don't get is this seems to be from an MS employee, from prototype code for an MS project yet one is supposed to credit him personally if used. If this is MS originated stuff, again, this should be available on MSDN.

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The ASP Column Tree Controls Manipulating

The ASP Column * Tree Controls. Manipulating the TreeView server-side control is very much like programming any other ASP.NET server-side control. There are a number of properties, methods, and events that are available both programmatically and through the designer. Find out how to take advantage of it. [MSDN Just Published]
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Smart Cleanup Achieve More Reliable R

Smart Cleanup * Achieve More Reliable Resource Management with Our Custom C++ Classes. Managing resources in C++ is not easy. This article describes the SmartAny template library the author created, which uses a policy-based approach to dynamic resource management. Learn how to use the SmartAny classes and policies to ensure the proper cleanup of resources, including files, OS handles, or native and unmanaged objects. [MSDN Just Published]
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Sun Is Making A New Java Desktop Pushnbsp Check Out Thenbspjgoodies

Sun is making a new Java Desktop push.  Check out the jgoodies (sorry) at JavaDesktop, a java.net community. ... JNDC, Java Desktop Network Components, is a XUL-like mechanism.  Read Amy Fowler's whitepaper on JNDC ... recommended if you are into Java, XML, or UI. [Don Park's Blog]

There's a lot of this sort of thing goin' on - I still think a scripted presentation environment that glues it all together is a good idea.


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Eric Meyer

Eric Meyer Redesigns. Eric Meyer has released a new selection of designs over on Meyerweb. The designs are inspiring, and Eric's CSS is well worth perusing for style tips and insights in to reliable methods of creating relatively complex layouts.[Simon Willison's Weblog]

Worth a look. Apply no style at all then apply a style makes your head spin. But, if you look at the source document one doesn't get the sense the the structure of the document (maybe because the source doc isn't formatted with line breaks/tabs) - which if you're going to be pursist about this sought of thing surely one should.

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# Wednesday, 11 June 2003

Sorry To My One Reader Weblog Down All Day Because I Failed To Notice That Radio Had Failed To Update The Index Page The Day

Sorry to my one reader - weblog down all day because I failed to notice that Radio had failed to update the index page, the day page and the rss feed - ye goode olde timeout in read loop. Nope Radio really isn't that good as a piece of software design or implementation.
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Broadband black spots still rife. Most villages in the UK cannot get broadband, even though two million people now have fast net access. [BBC News | Technology | UK Edition]

... which tracks demand and puts broadband in local telephone exchanges when enough people are found....

Enough people? Will they stop faffin' 'bout and just say it - rural ain't ever getting it.

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So Who Should Get Excited About Longhorn Today ISVs If Youre An ISV Th

So, who should get excited about Longhorn today? ISVs. If you're an ISV that is going to build software for release in 2005, you'll want to learn everything you can about Longhorn as soon as you can. Why? Because it'll be a competitive advantage for you to have your software done and on the retail shelf the day that Longhorn ships.

That's what the Microsoft Professional Developer Conference will be about this fall (PDC). See ya there! [The Scobleizer Weblog]

Nobody, but nobody, in their right minds plans a software release to chime with an MS OS release. Mind you, cute that software is still apparently on the retail shelf; how very last century.

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Dare Obasanjo On My Commen

Dare Obasanjo, on my comments, decries the "blog mania" that's going through Microsoft right now. (He works at Microsoft himself, and he too has a blog). He thinks Chris Brumme would be better served by posting his stuff up on MSDN.

I see it another way. Publishing is too hard for many Microsoft employees. Blogging makes it easy. Would Chris even bother if he needed to figure out who was responsible for publishing stuff like his over at MSDN? Would Chris bother if he needed to have three meetings just to get his stuff approved to post up? I wouldn't. Note: I'm not gonna publish on microsoft.com or msdn.com unless I have to. The process is just too daunting and I already have Chris Brumme beat since I know Chris Sells, Sara Williams, and others at MSDN. Think that most of Microsoft's 55,000 employees know how to get something through the publishing system at MSDN? I don't think so. Blogs take up the slack.

Put it another way. Would I rather have Chris Brumme spend an hour working on .NET architecture for Longhorn, or would I rather have him in an hour of meetings with MSDN trying to talk them into posting his stuff?

[The Scobleizer Weblog]

The danger of weblogs - Scoble works for MS and here he is washing MS dirty linen in public:

... Would I rather have Chris Brumme spend an hour working on .NET architecture for Longhorn, or would I rather have him in an hour of meetings with MSDN trying to talk them into posting his stuff?...

Errr, as a stupid sap paying $1000s for MSDN subscription I would rather that a company the size of Microsoft SORTED ITSELF OUT - please explain to me why I should even have to answer the question of which I would rather he do? If the MSDN people are a pain in the butt, then management should sort them out.

The state of MS documentation has always been a disgrace and now we know why - the people who wrote the stuff can't be bothered to document it 'cos its too hard. Aaaawwww, bless. Interesting that whilst most coders hate doing documentation (the hard is writing it not getting it published), Chris Brumme is a rarity who seems to like writing, or thinking by writing.

There's an obvious way for MS/MSDN management to solve the 'problem' of stuff appearing on weblogs. If they are all so damn clever at MS, I'm sure they will work it out and justify the subscription price - or should we stop subscribing:

The only thing that gives me hope is that many people are moving to using Google for their documentation needs and once his PageRank gets high more of our users will be able to find such important fundamental information about the CLR [Dare Obasanjo]

The trouble for me is that the API surface I write against is documented neither on MSDN nor the Web - I spent my life in a haystack of needles looking for the right one to put the thread through.

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The end of software. Consolidation means contraction. When five leading firms propose mergers in the same week, the prognosis for the ... [Loosely Coupled weblog]

Interesting, and salesforce.com sounds interesting.

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Flash, PDF get a helping hand. The RoboPDF software release aims to make it easy for ordinary folks to convert files to PDF, while a Laszlo development tool is designed to convert Web applications into Flash on the fly. [CNET News.com]

...An individual version of RoboPDF costs $49, and the price drops to $4 per license for a 1,000-license purchase. EHelp offers a free home version for consumers....

Its all to do with volume, which when you get to servers gets tricky...

... Enterprise Edition starting at quarterly rate of $4,500 for each server CPU ...

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# Sunday, 08 June 2003

Winning T

Winning the browser peace.

Mozilla has emerged from its long nuclear winter to become a pillar of the Linux desktop. Alpha geeks everywhere (including Sun and Microsoft) are running Safari on their PowerBooks. But here's the reality check you knew was coming: cross-browser and cross-OS compatibility remains nearly as elusive as ever. I won't bore you with the details. Let's just say that testing CSS and JavaScript effects on the three major OS platforms, in six different browsers, isn't a good use of anybody's time. [Full story at InfoWorld.com]

From which.....

There's no single culprit. I hammered out a compromise solution for my upcoming talk because neither browser was a clear winner. Each is ennobled by unique strengths and plagued with infuriating bugs. In nirvana, we'd have all of the former and none of the latter. Why can't that happen in the real world?  Oh, I remember; it's because platform vendors compete on their differentiation.

... [Jon's Radio]

Thats it and I can't ever see it changing. Whilst a browser might be a commodity it isn't by any means complete in its function and there is active competition not least between MS and those who hate MS and want to do something better than MS has done. What would happen if IE 7 came out with 100% standards support (!) - then where does that leave everyone else (on the Windows platform) - they can either catch up to IE (gawd that would be a dull programming job, just repeat what someone else has achieved) or try and move the game on and do something new and 'better'.

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# Friday, 06 June 2003

Is Windows Moving Toward An Open Source Model Hmmm Look At A Hrefhttpwwwcomputerweeklycomart

Is Windows moving toward an open source model? Hmmm. Look at this ComputerWeekly article. "Enterprise users will now be able to access Microsoft source code as a result of last week's changes to the Software Assurance subscription licensing programme."

[The Scobleizer Weblog]

The usual question, what metrics are used to draw the line in the sand, i.e. why 1500 desktops as opposed to 1 or 30,000. Source code to what - all versions of Windows, Win2K onwards? And the best of luck to the guys who are told here's the Windows source code, here's the patch code and asked "Is it safe?"

Given the seriously uninformative documentation available - we should all get (read only) access to the source code.  The MS .NET bloggers are pouring out (OK I exaggerate) details on CLR internals which leaves us "legacy" programmers somewhat cast adrift.

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Bayesian Pointers If You Find Bayesian Filters Use

Bayesian Pointers.

If you find Bayesian filters useful, here are two interesting open source packages I found, thanks to Stuart Langridge.

Reverend is a general Bayesian classifier written in Python.  If you are tired of hacking SpamBayes, you might want to give Reverend a try.

Orange is a component-based data mining software with a nice bayesian library inside it.  It is implemented in C++, but comes with Python binding and something called Orange Widgets.

[Don Park's Blog]
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# Tuesday, 03 June 2003

Jesse Ruderman Has Many Bookmarklets All Of Which Are Available On Jesses Bookmarklets Sit

Jesse Ruderman has many bookmarklets, all of which are available on his site. ... Web Development collection (which includes further descriptions of these and many others). Jesse's bookmarklets have saved me countless hours of development time, and I hope they can do the same for you. [via Simon Willison's Weblog]

Can't remember if I've linked to this lot before, but if not, I have now!.

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# Monday, 02 June 2003

Tom Gilder I Did This I

Tom Gilder: "I did this in HTML, how do I do it in CSS?". A collection of tips for replicating visual formatting effects in old-style HTML with their CSS equivalents. A good resource for people just getting started with CSS. [Simon Willison's Weblog]

Like so many examples of how to do things with style rather than (say) tables there is a requirement to specify widths on things; its the thing one doesn't know, the width of the text. So, you end up specifying a suitably (you hope) large value in em units. Your layout then goes phut if you add some more text that doesn't fit within the styled width - the style definition is dependent upon the content which is (surely) wrong. Style values can/should only be dependent upon content when the style is set via script.


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# Sunday, 01 June 2003

Mead The St

Mead - The Story Gets Hot And Steamy.... British researchers are conducting a study on the affects of Mead on people. And not the "getting drunk" part. In the Olden Days, long long ago, it was believed that Mead increased a person's fertility and libido... [kuro5hin.org]

I just liked the headline - that's all <G>.

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