Saturday, May 21, 2005

Cool use of google maps

I am a big fan of google maps, because you can drag the map, change back forth between map and satelite views, and see yellow highlights for the primary roads. Chicago crime page is slick example of using google maps. It shows you where all the crimes have taken place in the city.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Longhorn summary

Projected Release Date: late 2006
Projected Beta 1: July 2005
Replaces: Windows XP Professional, and Home (Not 2003 Server)
System Requirements: 512 Meg of RAM, modern pentium 4 (or amd equivalent), Direct X 9.0 graphics card

Gui Features:

  • Aero interface - transparent windows, a built-in buddy list, and a dockable
    task pane.
  • Avalon - new gui api/features avalon may be backported to xp.
    desktop composter - get rid of whiting out screens
    high definition support - ability to enlarge legacy apps.

File system/search features
winfs cut from release, there is still new file metadata
search web sites you have visited (already available in google desktop search)
Visualize Documents - see first page of documents, etc. similar to thumbnail view for images in xp.
More file meta data - editable file properties @ bottom of screen in windows explorer
virtual folders w/ dynamic views based on criteria like metadata (similar to features (smart play lists) found in itunes.)
New Save File Dialog to allow for meta-data

Security Features:
LUA (Least-Privilege User Account)
run as standard user(non-admin)/prompt for admin features
already a feature in osx and linux

secure start up. sort of like tripwire? prevents bypassing os with boot disk

No Execute (NX) security technology in newer AMD and Intel processors.
prevents buffer overruns by distinguishing data from executable instructions

Misc Features
Metro - new default format for print spool. (attempting to replace pdf format)
"My Documents" changed to Documents
mobility - (easier to switch to different ip setups?)
hotpatch without rebooting
black box recorder - similar to dr watson
improved boot performance.
run text box on start menu

Dropped/Delayed/Scaled Back Features
WinFS - Sql Server database will form basis of new file system.

Palladium/Next Generation Secure Computing Base(NGSCB)/Trustworthy Computing
optional feature, must be supported by processor (Intel/AMD).
contains drm features.

Developer perspective:
WinFX (pronounced "Win Effects") - replace win32 api.
winfx is a managed .net library

Xaml - XAML is Longhorn's default language for user interface programming.
xml based UI language.
(eXtensible Application Markup Language, and pronounced "Zammel")
XAML is designed to integrate directly with WinFX.

Text Box in avalon/winfx/xaml

New web service api will replace asmx, .net remoting, etc.

This information is largely taken from Bill Gates Keynote from WinHEC 2005

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Team System

In addition to Visual Studio 2005, MS will be rolling out a new suite of products called Team System. It includes Team Foundation server and three SKU versions of Visual Studio, namely Architect, Developer and Tester. Although there is a stand alone Visual Source 2005, Team Foundation Server includes a completely new Source Control sytem as well as integrated project and task management, process managment (eg. msf agile) and project reporting.

Team Server source control will address several of the long standing issues associated with VSS.
TSSC has parallel development, so you don't have to exclusively check out files.
TSSC has remote development so you can easily connect over web and don't have to be on the lan.
TSSC uses SQL Server under the covers so it's less likely to be corrupted and it supports atomic checkins.

Team Server is about $3,000. It integrates tightly into Visual Studio 2005 with a new "Team Explorer" window. Team Server can also integrate with MS Project, and Excel. In addition some features and reports can be accessed through a web based interface that is using sharepoint under the covers.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Adding a Search to your Site

Sharepoint, besides providing a portal framework, includes a search service for web sites. It can crawl, index, and provide web service to service search requests. SharePoint has advantages over using using Sql Server because it can search content not in the database (like word, and excel documents) and it has built in relevancy ranking system.

A much less expensive alternative to share point is easy search. It is only $250 and it even has google suggest features.

Of course there is always google search service and Google Search Appliance.

Bill Gates

This morning we saw Bill Gate's keynote at the MEDC, where he launched Windows Mobile 5.0, the embedded operating system that runs on pdas, smartphones, etc. This is the MS's attempt to make gains against products like the blackberry and the ipod.

here is the story on slashdot

Scoop on Whidbey and refactoring

According to Bill Gates Visual Studio 2005 is coming out this summer, according to the Prashant Sridharan, the Senior Product Manager for Visual Studio, it will be the end of the year.

At any rate here is the low down on refactoring changes. VB will have refactoring features from a developers express plugin that is free w/ VS 2005, however the C# stuff will only have 5 refactoring options that the MS C# team wrote. Developer Express also has a C# plug in that has refactoring. It's $250, and there is no demo. It looks like it has lots of features, but they are missing support for pulling in using statements. However there is a user plug in that does this... Now that I have more ram I have got to get resharper or this developer express plugin.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Security Session

How to keep secrets in

suggestions are to keep passwords in one way hash using the primary key of user record as the salt.

use symmetric keys to store info like connection strings and credit card numbers. the dpapi is used to help store/hide keys, but if the machine crashes you will not be able to retrieve data. so you could use dpapi for data that you can recreate (like connection strings), but not for data that you can't recreate (like credit cards).

hiding the key for symmetric encryption is ultimately a network security issue. you can keep it in the registry, in a file, in the code (probably not the best place :), etc. where ever you put it be sure that only user has access, and that it is out of the web root. on a web farm it will be easier to deploy it in a file.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

VS Live

This week I will be blogging from VS Live in Las Vegas.
Changes for 2.0:

ViewState will be split into control state, and another state. This will mitigate the problem with cutting off viewstate to reduce it's size, but then breaking the functionality of the control.

There is a new feature called CrossPagePost Backs that allow forms to submit to other pages than itself. It also contains a mechanism to access the previous page in a type safe manner.

DataGrid will not being moving forward, and is being superceded by a new control called GridView.

AutoScroll on PostBacks

Master Pages is a new mechanism for building templates for web pages.

Themes is a new feature that seems to add little beyond what you can already do with css.
Sql Cache invalidation will allow data to be cached until it is notified that it has been modified.

C# 2.0
Generics will allow type safe collections.

Visual Studio Productivity Features:
There will be limited refactoring support built in to Whidbey. Currently there are five refactorings for C# including extract method.

Inserting of code snippets or templates is now supported. the shortcut is ? space.

There is a new web basesd ui that will change web.config file.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

bug me not

Bug me not is a cool web site where you can get a user/password to avoid the hassle of free online registrations. There is also a firefox plugin.