# Wednesday, 25 August 2004

VS 2005 to loose the component tray

ASP.NET v2: how to remove an amazing feature and replace it with a bad, already tried and failed one.  

Go to the MSDN Product Feedback bug page and vote NOW. Otherwise, don't complain next year if you see this feature missing!

 [via <kzu:dotnet/>]

Following on from the previous post, indeed this change does seem bizarre (we can't fix the code so we are dropping the feature we encouraged you to use). Vote.

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Someone in MS gets it - knowledge shock is a bad thing

Dare Obasanjo gets it .... The MSDN Camp vs. The Raymond Chen Camp.  

Now if the realisation that ...

The Microsoft culture is about creating the newest, latest greatest thing that 'changes the world' not improving what is already out there and working for customers. When I read various Microsoft blogs and MSDN headlines about how even though we've made paradigm shifts in developer technologies in the recent years we aren't satisfied and want to introduce radically new and different technologies all over again.

isn't the way for everything to move forward but ...

It's good to be back in the Raymond Chen camp ... Please, don't make things any worse, let's just keep making what we already have still work.

... can get round more than just these two guys there may be hope.

Dare considers that the major problem of re-invention was the need for radical re-write of code by customers but also notes that in addition developers would not be familiar with the new coding model requiring re-learning (for little gain). This reminds me of a term I heard someone come up with in late 1996 when Internet time and rapid releases was causing a problem: Knowledge shock (from the future shock concept); working with MS stuff does unnecessarily cause knowledge shock - the need to learn too much in too short a time.

Of course not being a .NET expert I may have mis-understood what Dare was on about!

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# Tuesday, 24 August 2004

Microsoft and Open Source

All coding is debugging. And when forced to use a black-box API, your debugging can only go so deep. Good coders don't just exercise APIs, they need to understand the systems they're attempting to control.

Keeping applications closed source can make sense. But keeping an OS closed source is just silly - the OS only exists to support applications, and people can't write great applications without fully understanding the OS.
 [via More Microsoft Engagement with Open Source Projects]

I fully agree with the sentiments here, though one has to take a reality check on MS ever open sourcing Windows. Back in the good olde days, the OS really didn't do a lot and the majority of application function was entirely under ones own control having written the whole lot or bought (source) libraries to avoid re-inventing wheels. As the OS provides more and more services one's reliance on the work of others increases. That's OK if a) the code being leveraged works and b) (as stated above) one has full understanding of what it is doing. MFC, ATL and WTL wouldn't have 'worked' if the source code was not available because a) it often didn't work (so one overloaded with replacement routines that did) and b) the only way to understand what was going on and how to work with it was to examine the source code.

To me it is one of the oddities of .NET - they seem to have 'got away' with not supplying the source code to a very large framework library (the source isn't available is it?), but then the same was true of VB - VB programmers didn't have access to the VB runtime sources? Perhaps it is all an attitude of mind or the type of stuff one is developing. 

I find it interesting that a number of comments to the post are on the theme of source code access in order to write better (working!) code. For a change I don't feel alone in spending half my time not 100% understanding what I am doing trying to make stuff work with MS components - a lot of it is guesswork until you find the magic key. MS do provide look don't touch access to to their source code for a wide variety of stuff - perhaps they can see their way clear to broadening this access (the whole world don't work for large corporations - though a lot of the small world supply large corporations).

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# Monday, 23 August 2004

Deliberate and needless complication

 And people wonder why RSS turned my hair gray.

 [via XML.com: Identifying Atom]

This man should be a politician or an aircraft control systems designer or something where being ludicrous is valued. To have your hair go gray over a text format for provision of news is a wee bit silly.

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# Tuesday, 17 August 2004

I was there....

According to Internet statistician ComScore Media Metrix, JibJab's online lampoon of President Bush and Sen. John Kerry received 10.4 million unique hits during the month of July. [via Political parody draws Web crowd | CNET News.com]

Well little did I know it at the time but I was one of the 10.4 million; there were 6 of us gathered around a computer in Maine.

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# Wednesday, 11 August 2004

Noise from numbers

The BBC says:

UK unemployment increased by 27,000 between April and June to 1.44 million, official figures have shown. [BBC News]

Now I would have thought in my naïve, unthinking, way that between April and June was May. Reuters makes it clear:

The ILO measure of unemployment rose 27,000 in the three months to June compared to the previous three months...

Perhaps I was just confused by the great mass of numbers on the BBC page; UK unemployment rose, but the number of people claiming unemployment benefit fell.

Apparently, though I haven't looked into this so I don't know where the graphs are, the fall in unemployment benefit claimants is matched by the rise in disability benefit claimants. Are disability claimants included in ILO? I don't know.

Numbers are meaningless without meaningful labels.

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It will be delivered......

Please note that the mechanism to temporarily disable delivery of Windows XP SP2 will be available for a period of 120 days (4 months) from August 16. At the end of this period, Windows XP SP2 will be delivered to all Windows XP and Windows XP Service Pack 1 systems.  [via Download details: Temporarily Block Delivery of Windows XP SP2]


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Product pricing

Once more readable and good advice from Eric Sink of SourceGear over on MSDN.

You've read the whole thing, and just like I threatened at the beginning, you don't have any simple answers.

It isn't simple, I have been in the situation where we doubled the price and the sales increased or did some market research on "what should the price be" (what is the product worth) and got answers between $500 and $10,000.

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# Sunday, 08 August 2004

Things can only get better....

... or at least things can only feel they are getting better

Traces of the antidepressant Prozac can be found in the nation's drinking water, it has been revealed.  [via BBC NEWS | Health | Prozac 'found in drinking water']


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# Saturday, 07 August 2004

iMunch passes the test.....

Security Hole?.  

Is your RSS reader secure?

WARNING: Script removed from this article.

This is a weblog post that contains an HTML script element. It tries to figure out what domain it resides in and if the domain is not "erik.eae.net" it means that it has access to the current domain and will be able to read data of that domain and post it to a malicious site. A specially dangerous scenario would be that the RSS feed is shown using the file: protocol because that would mean that any text file on the computer could be read.

 [via erik's weblog]

Something I put in a long time ago; though to claim passing this particular test implies your rss reader is secure would be misleading so I don't.

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Telligent Open Source Forum Software

Community Server :: Forums is the most advanced, high-performance online collaborative discussions system available for adding rich discussion capabilities to any ASP.NET web application. It has been specifically designed to meet the high-performance characteristics of high-traffic web applications, and is the choice of many community and corporate discussion systems such as Microsoft's XBox Forums.  [via Community Server :: Forums]

Looks like it might well be one worth delving in to.

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Dynamic HTML with ASP.NET

Cutting Edge: Script Callbacks in ASP.NET.  Solve your problems with scripting behind the scenes [via MSDN: .NET Framework and CLR]

Dino provides an ASP.NET 1.1 solution equivalent for the ASP.NET 2.0 script callback stuff. Or at least I think he does from reading the article, but not the code. It still amazes me that this stuff wasn't in ASP.NET 1.0.

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