.NET SourceCode goes public, Yeah!!!

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YEAH to Microsoft. Its true that Microsoft previously had to been in the open source space but for the past 2-4 years, they have tried to be a bit more open and free with projects like codeplex and more. Well, last week, it was passed on that MS will be release the source code for the .NET platform in the 2008 release of Visual Studio. Visual Studio 2008 with have this feature automatically built in and will download source code and symbols from MS. This is great new. This will help developers greatly in areas of in-depth debugging and learn some best practice from MS. I also feel sorry for the developers who will have to go and clean and comment to code so it will be readable to the rest of us. Good luck. Good call MS!

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Issues in Visual Studio 08 beta2

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Recently, I took the task to migrate some of my application from 05 and make them 08 compatible. If you are familiar with orcus, then this is really no news to you until you do a consecutive down and up grade from targeting .NET 3.5 to 2.0 and then back to 3.5. If you tried that , you will get a bug as follow

Configuration Error

Description: An error occurred during the processing of a configuration file required to service this request. Please review the specific error details below and modify your configuration file appropriately.

Parser Error Message: Could not load file or assembly ‘System.Core, Version=2.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089’ or one of its dependencies. The system cannot find the file specified.

Source Error:


I realized that after the last upgrade, the IDE doesnt remove version 2.0.0.0 for System.Core but adds another assembly entry for version 3.5.0.0. Just take out the v 2 entry and you should be all set to go.

Paradigm shift in Software UI Navigation Design

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I must say, Its hard to just download a new version of a software you use for your day to day task and have the UI totally different from the previous version. Users go in shock and start pulling their hair. I’m talking about this because my team is try to introduce the ribbon bar into our organization in relation to softwares built in-house in which the concept applies. Its hard to explain to users what the ribbon concept from Microsoft is really all about. With that said, I want to make the initiative to educate uses of the paradigm shift. Software design and delivery has been changing since its beginning with very drastic changes. That is because the need of users 2o years ago and that of now are very different. Take for example, the first version of MS word probably has more than 100 features less than MS word 2007. You will ask, well, so what? That doesn’t call of a UI paradigm shift. Well hold on. I did a test by asking people what they used word for and what they wish MS word could do. The result was amazing. A lot of the features people were asking for had actually been implemented already, they just didn’t know who to go in Word to find it. There you have it. We have users that use 20% of features of a piece of software and keep asking for features that are already satisfied. Why?

“It because the software is not working for you. The software is working with you.”

The idea here is to make your $$$$ work for you instead of go to help section and half the time not finding what you need in plain english. We need a proactive software. A software that thinks for you based on your context. A software that reduces the learning curve. A software that give you all the options. In plain word, we have now come to the point were we need a discovery software. After 1-3 days of users using Office 2007, they really come to appreciate the idea and thought put into designing the ribbon concept and I will encourage other software companies to do the same. I know others hate it because its from MS but in my line of work, I have come to use something if it benefit the client and throw it away if it doesn’t. In this case, I pretty sure this concept will save users a lot of hassle. I use heavy featured softwares like Photoshop, Flash, Visual Studio etc and if all these softwares took up this concept of proactive software design, I’m sure it would have take me all these many years to become proficient in the above listed products.

Enough about the IPhone

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Frankly, I am sick and tired of all the wow and yahhhhh about the iphone. Its a great looking phone with all the cool features (again, apple looks at cool factor before features) but nothing worth in relation as a business phone. It doesn’t even support 3G . I must say, the phone is impressive but if I ever read or hear about the iphone again on engadgets (which by the way has so far made about 62 post on the iphone), I will have to numb my senses by knocking myself out. I cannot stress have sick I am of hearing the wow about the iphone. And by the way, Steve Jobs doesn’t care about you. He made the shareholders happy in the first week of sales so lets leave the iphone alone and go on to more advance technology like the bionic limbs in my next past.

Prototype Iteration

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Prototyping are most of the time included in SDLC in order to help dev teams to fortify and capture user requirement as well give the use a “sort” of first hand functional experience of the software or application at hand. Prototyping is very important as it reduces redundancy in coding but prototyping can also be a hindrance due to the following factors:
1. Decision makers never make up their mind as to what they want.
2. Every user wants to put in their two cents.
3. There are really no great tools for rapid prototype.

Decision makers never make up their mind as to what they want

This is probably the worse of them all. I have been in situation where Leaders or Project owner simply don’t make up their mind as to what functionality they want or what control should be used to display a list of information (as trivial as that). In situation like this, your dev team ends up running around with no progress since the monkey boss at the top cannot make up his/her mind.

Every user wants to put in their two cents

If the prototype is influenced by a large number of no technical users, you could be in trouble as every single user would want to influence the out come of the product. Most cases, the best way to deal with this issue is start large and cut down the number of prototype reviewers as you go through the prototyping iteration. In the end, you end up with your core prototyping review team which will be a lot less stressful than working with a large team.

There are really no great tools for rapid prototype

Personally, I have found prototype to all take longer than what it really aught to take just because there are really not great prototyping tools out there. I, for one, use interaction tools like flash and expression blend and mark-up tools like photoshop to create interactive prototype so the user get “sort” of a real life experience using the prototype. Even though flash and blend exist, they are not easy tools to pick up and get going. I’m lucky to be a developer with an active right brain but for other who are not, there really isn’t any simple tool out there to do rapid prototyping.

Changes in Life

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The past 2-3 months has been very busy with a lot of activities including Christmas and New Year. Unfortunately, I have had to change jobs because the lady got a job in Madison and had to move. I had to leave Fujitsu Consulting and now working for KMGSoftware in Madison. This company is much smaller but doing a lot of great work and I am looking forward to making a change at KMG. KMG specializes in AI software, basically, software that work for you and not with you. I am very excited and will keep you posted on my upcoming new project. You can find KMGSoftware on the web at www.kmgsoftware.com.

BlueDragon brings CF to .NET

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The subject of this post is a bit …..but yep, its here, like cobol.NET, we now have Coldfusion.NET(BlueDragon) by bluedragon Inc. Coldfusion.Net allows natively integrate and deploy your CFML on the .NET platform. Your coldfusion app get compiled into dll which gets deployed in the same way you will deploy your ASP.net application. You can share session state, application state and more between coldfusion.net application and asp.net application. In fact, when you write a coldfusion webservice, underneath it is really a .NET webservice. You can even natively call all .NET librarys in your coldfusion application and visa vesa. In the nutshell, your coldfusion.Net application is a .Net application written using the CFML. Great combination of a great language with the lowest learning curve and a platform so rich in libraries. Companies running coldfusion on java now don’t need to switch to ASP. All they have to do is recompile their application for the .NET platform and deploy it in a .NET environment. It is aslo important to note that Coldfusion.NET is not a service or server but extends the .NET framework in a standard way (just like ASP.NET did) via HttpHandler(bruedragon.dll) in order to process coldfusion page. You can read more about BlueDragon for .NET (Coldfusion.NET) and BlueDragon for J2EE (Coldfusion.J2EE) at http://www.newatlanta.com/c/products/bluedragon/download/home