# Sunday, 29 February 2004

Blair Slept Rough On Park Bench

Blair 'slept rough' on park bench.  The prime minister once slept rough in a north London park ("He spent a night on a park bench before he sorted out somewhere to stay." ) , his wife tells astonished guests at a Number 10 homeless charity reception. [via BBC News | News Front Page | UK Edition]

 Is there no pathetic level to which this lot will not descend - one night on a bench, cripes what student hasn't spent one night on a bench? He wanted to be a rock-star; ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. Oh please, keep the stories coming.

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# Friday, 27 February 2004

Where are all the taxes going ... down the drain...

Last spring, UKeU was set up as a joint initiative between the UK Government, 12 universities and private industry.

The company had £62m of public funding and was offering undergraduate, post-graduate and life-long learning courses in subjects such as English language, science and technology and business.

 [via BBC NEWS | Education | Problems at e-learning university]

 £62m, good grief. I know as an individual sum its nothing, but the number of these individual sums I'm hearing about is beginning to add up to one heck of a lot of money and none of it seems to be leading to anything that it actually useful.

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# Thursday, 26 February 2004

MSDN Surv

MSDN Survey Sample.  This download is a sample that demonstrates how to create a survey using ASP.NET. The questions for the survey are constructed dynamically based on the contents of a SQL Server database. When the user posts their response, their answers are inserted back into the database using stored procedures. [via Microsoft Download Center]

 Might be a giggle to have a look at.

 

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# Wednesday, 25 February 2004

XP SP2 - Documentation all over the place

WinXP SP2 Training Course for Developers.  The MSDN Security Developer Center has an overview of what XP SP2 will mean for developers. Now is better than later to check this out! [via Marquee de Sells: Chris's insight outlet]

And another bit appears - seems to be a cull of previous offerings but poorly organised and severely lacking in detail (and the table says that Secure browsing has no implications for App Dev, ahem, oh yes it does - especially the bit where it says local machine lock down is opt in, but may change in the future to opt-out).

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# Tuesday, 24 February 2004

Looking For Tech Feeds Only4Gurus Listnbspherenbspvia A

Looking for tech feeds? - Only4Gurus list here. [via Lockergnome’s RSS Resource]

 

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That XML update

Oh, its an update for the security credentials thingy. Not putting 2 and 2 together here; I seem to remember szomething going by about an update for XmlHttp, but seeing as I don't use the credentials stuff 'ignored' it. It would have helped if the download centre had said what this was about rather than needing me to look it up in the KB - dealing with wet string here, look-ups take ages.

 

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Critical update not on Windows Update - why?

Critical Update for Microsoft XML 2.5 - KB832414.  This update contains Microsoft XML (MSXML) functionality that will allow applications using MSXML to continue to function correctly after security update 832894, Security Update for Internet Explorer, has been applied. [via Microsoft Download Center]

 I have that update for IE (when did that get installed); a bunch of critical updates for XML 2.5-4 has appeared on the Microsoft Download Centre news feed, they have not appeared on Windows Update. Are these updates why I am getting exceptions thrown when (I don't think) I did before. Not enough info on these updates either. Bit of a mess really!

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# Monday, 23 February 2004

TABLE ContentEditablefalse C

Here's a great list of tips on Optimzing Performance with Virtual PC (VPC)
 [via ComputerZen.com - Scott Hanselman's Weblog - Here's a great list of tips on Optimzing Performance with Virtual PC (VPC)]

Well, I have most of those but XP SP2 on XP is v.slow. What I don't have is huge amounts of RAM, just 512MB. But thats probably the problem.

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ASPNET Whidbey Starter Kit Guidelines

ASP.NET Whidbey Starter Kit Guidelines.  

Here is an outline of some of the current common requirements for ASP.NET Starter Kits:

Client IE6, Netscape 7 (in Beta 1)
Opera 7, Safari 1.2 (in Beta 2)
Hosting All kits will be maximally functional under shared hosting under partial trust.
Common Look/Feel All common elements between pages on a site must be in master pages.
Kits need to implement one theme and be easily customizable using themes.
Membership Kits will use forms authentication, using the membership system, whenever possible and relevant.
Windows authentication will only be the default for intranet-based Kits.
Navigation Site navigation should be easy to use, and use the sitemap feature whenever possible.
Data Will support XCopy deployment, but also have scripts to install the kit on a SQL server.
Localization All sites will be localized into the standard VS languages.
Sites that include scenarios for end-user localization should use the ASP.NET localization features in Whidbey.
Administration All kits can be administered using the Web Administration tool in Whidbey.
XHTML Validation All kits will pass XHTML 1.1 validation from the W3C site.
Accessibility All sites will be ADA508 conformant.
Programming Languages VB, C#, J#

What do you think? Anything you disagree with, or would suggest adding (or removing)?

 [via Microsoft WebBlogs]

Aha, shared hosting under partial trust. Perhaps this partial trust mess is being sorted out in Whidbey, you never know, it may even be documented (no holding of breath at the back there).

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# Friday, 13 February 2004

I hope the IE team isn't listening

Dave is right about Google and RSS.  Unfortunately, I think they will win unless there is a blogging tool and RSS aggregator built into IE.  ...  The synergies of the combination of weblog publishing, RSS, bookmarks, browsing, enclosures, and even potentially P2P would unlock lots of rich feature functionality that can't be done easily now.  For the good of the weblog and syndication world, Microsoft should do this.  This capability should have been been part of the browser from the start. 
 [via John Robb's Weblog]

There is nothing stopping anyone doing any of this with XUL/Mac Safari (or whatever the component based one is) or MS web browser control. Why the heck does it have to be part of the browser?

I hope the IE team haven't been diverted from fixing problems and improving behaviour into wasting their time.

If you want to see "The synergies of the combination of weblog publishing, RSS, bookmarks, browsing" then wander over to the Zeepe/iMunch beta page.

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# Thursday, 12 February 2004

A Rising Number Of Software Companies Are Facing The Same Dilemma Once Considered A Diversion For Computing

A rising number of software companies are facing the same dilemma. Once considered a diversion for computing hobbyists, open-source software is increasingly encroaching on traditional markets and, in the process, altering the strategies of powerful technology companies. Many software manufacturers believe that they have little choice but to adopt at least some form of the popular trend, just to keep pace with the rest of the industry.

 [via Pandora's box for open source | CNET News.com]

 Interesting (long) article, worth a read.

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# Tuesday, 10 February 2004

No Managed code HTML renderer.

We also had a discussion about MSHTML versus the rich text rendering engine in Avalon. I had wondered whether Microsoft might rewrite MSHTML in managed code, or else create a Longhorn web browser that converts HTML to Avalon rich text. Chris said no. He said that MSHTML is a complex body of code which does an extraordinary job of rendering even malformed HTML. Since the Internet works on the assumption that this kind of web page renders successfully, and since there are so many quirks and workarounds in MSHTML, Microsoft's developers did not dare to replace it. I hope I'm representing Chris's comments accurately. In essence, it suggests that IE will remain broadly as-is, well, for ever. For richer Internet applications, you are meant to write Windows Forms or in Longhorn Avalon clients for web services. I do find this surprising. It suggests that IE will gradually lose ground to Mozilla, Safari, Opera and others. It also means that we are not going to get a managed code HTML or XHTML rendering component. Of course the rich text engine in Avalon is still a big step forward, and will be easier to work with than either MSHTML or old-style RTF.

 [via Tim Anderson's ITWriting]

 For Longhorn, you want to do a UI delivered from a server, you use XAML. You do not use anything else. Legacy operations will of course be supported by the continued presense of IE.

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Why always assume MS has to fix it?

Dave Winer at MS: Q: You said you were going to ask the IE team for some features. What did you ask them? A: Two, reading and writing. I asked for help with the act of subscribing. Right now this is a messy place, it depends on the tool and the aggregator. And there have been attempts to come up with solutions based on standards and they haven't worked well. It's a conundrum. Why can't we teach the browser to subscribe and delegate that action to any other piece of software? That would be fine. On the editing side, if I want to create a new blog post, and I'm looking at something in the browser and I want to blog it that could be dramatically improved. For instance the text editor. It's based on a technology called "Trident" and it's better than a standard text box but it could be much better. And then the top ten problems. I'm in the middle of a blog post, and I want to check my email, and I click on mail and lose my blog post. We all learned to deal with this, but this problem could be solved. Another one is the Google toolbar with the Blogger button on it. Blogger came up with a widely supported API, but the button goes straight to Blogger.

 [via Jarrett House North :]

 This assumes a working model of Internet Explorer + Aggregator, worse it seems to assume the only model is Web Browser + Aggregator as separate applications for news reading, web browsing and blogging. And even worse still, it assumes that IE has to change in order to 'fix' this.

Since this is being written at a tool that supports aggregation, browsing and blogging (the above snippet was selected in the browser, then the "blog this" tool clicked), I beg to differ.

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# Sunday, 08 February 2004

Windows crash reports....

As I mentioned in a previous post, Microsoft collects crash data from users, whose applications fail. This is even true for non-Microsoft applications, in which case the data is made freely available to ISVs via the Windows Quality Online Services website. Thanks to Chris Pratley for the link.

 [via .NET Undocumented: Windows Error Reporting]

 Further to my previous post, someone comes up with the answer. Might be worth a look.

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# Saturday, 07 February 2004

About The Importance Of Being 64bit

About the importance of being 64-bit.  

As member of Microsoft Partner Strategy and Platform Group I am working with ISVs and enterprise developers on 64-bit Windows migration projects.
I believe that over the next few years all hardware vendors will replace their 32-bit offerings by systems that will be capable of running 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems and applications. If you attend this year’s Intel Developer Forum IDF, don’t miss the sessions about “Future directions in 64-bit computing”.
I want to use this blog to share cool and important information about 64-bit and Windows with a wider audience and learn about other opinions and viewpoints on this topic.

Volker Will
 [via Microsoft WebBlogs]

 Maybe a chap I shall come across.

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# Wednesday, 04 February 2004

Windows app crash reports for everyone

Watson.  ... The Watson approach was simply to say: let's measure it. ... we'll categorize every crash our users have, and with their permission, collect details of the crash environment and upload those to our servers. You've probably seen that dialog that comes up asking you to report the details of your crash to Microsoft. ...

Microsoft offers this data freely for anyone writing applications on Windows. You can find out if your shareware application is crashing or its process is being killed by your users often - sure signs of bugs you didn’t know you had. The Windows team will also give you crash dumps you can load into your debugger to see exactly what the call stack was that took you down, so you can easily fix your bugs.  [via Microsoft WebBlogs]

 I didn't know that, how does one go about getting said data?

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