A reminder of why I dislike asp.net webforms

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A few hours ago, I stumbled on asp.net mvp – an up and coming asp.net opensource framework who’s aim to to unit the productivity of asp.net webforms  and the exensibilty of asp.net mvc. After combing through the links and the how-to’s on http://aspnetmvp.com , I had warmed up to the idea and was willing to give it a try in the new furture. This post should probably be titled asp.net mvp but the blog post(http://www.aaron-powell.com/yes-i-like-webforms) in relation to asp.net mvp in support of asp.net webforms got my heart going so I decided to respond with this post. If you have head it all, please skip this post else you are welcome to read on.

The blog post(http://www.aaron-powell.com/yes-i-like-webforms) in support of asp.net webforms list some very interesting point that I strongly support especially in relation to viewstate. People who complain about veiwstate just don’t know how to use it and its a fact. I actually agree with everything except for his argument quoted below in support of asp.net webform controls.

Controls are great, they package up some functionality and make it easy to redistribute. But people often say that this is one of the big downsides of WebForms and MVC gives you much better flexibility. But think about some of the trivial (read: boring) tasks which we have to do as developers:

  • Create a login form
  • Output a collection of data using a template

So with MVC this is something that you end up having to write yourself, sure there are some helpers like Html.EditorFor and stuff so you can quickly display something. And it’s true there’s plenty of good extensions to do things like Repeaters, so this is just taking WebForms concept into MVC right?

One of the other main criticisms of controls is that they generate HTML for you that is hard to style, and often unchangable. But think about what they are trying to generate, a standard design cross-browser. Try having a floating layout which can be dropped anywhere and look the same?

True it makes them less flexible, but it depends what you’re trying to achieve

Sure, controls are great because they allow us to componentize and reuse functionalities but with a greater sacrifice. If you just want to get up and going looking like ooh say anything else but precise, webform controls will do it well. Webforms are great in its composition architecture and since its been around for a while (.net world), its proven itself with a ton of best practices and guidlines. On the other hand, I(I spoke for myself and only myself) dislike it because it tends to create what i call “robot developers”. Run an http test against a decent webform dev and you will actual find out what he knows about the underlying technology. Sure, they dont “need” to know it because they just have to drag and drop control but… you(assuming you agree) and i know that in order to build great application, you almost have to go beyond drag&drop and property setting. Another issues I have with webforms is the inability to control the html rended by the controls. The author asserts that its hard to stay compliant with the statement- “One of the other main criticisms of controls is that they generate HTML for you that is hard to style, and often unchangable. But think about what they are trying to generate, a standard design cross-browser. Try having a floating layout which can be dropped anywhere and look the same?”, but that’s only useful, again, to the “robot develper” because instead of learning how to do it using the right technology(thml,css,js), they end up relying on the control to do it. To add to injury, even though they are designed to generate standard cross-browser html ,they don’t. There are too many browsers to think your webform control will work flawlessly in everyone of them. In conclusion, controls in asp.net webforms hurts the framework to some extent. I will advocate controles but only when the engineer has the ability to make modification when need be. That’s why I love asp.net mvc. It takes sometime to get up to speed and yes it has its own problem but in the end, I believe as a designer/developer, asp.net mvc  is more rewarding that asp.net webforms.  Hopefully, asp.net mvp will bring these two together.

 

Credits: Post image by ksomero at odosketch.com

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ASP.NET MVC Action & Reaction

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If you are familiar with ASP.NET MVC, you are probably familiar with the State Validation mechanism that was shipped starting from v1. Its a great way to validate your model and funnel your validation result to the user if need be. What I find lucky or I should probably say what I thought was lucking was the fact that it only dealt with error. There is nothing wrong with there and it probably the sole intention but I wanted something general. For every event the user executes (action), they expect a reaction. The most common reaction is page reload with content in relation to the user action. With that in mind, I created an Html helper  provide a generic reaction to the user, based on their action. It could be errors, it could be a warning or a successful message. These are thing developers do very often. Below is the code for my Html helper. Please not this is was a quick hack to get it working. I will post my updated to the helper when I make the final changes.

So here is how it works. All my views are strongly typed and accepts a ViewModel type. My ViewModels inherits from a base ViewModel class which provide the implementation for adding ActionMessage’s to the view. As seen below, my ContactViewModel inherits from the ViewModel abstract base class.

public enum ActionMessaeType {
    Success = 1,
    Failure = 2,
    Warning = 3,
    Alert = 4
}

public class ActionMessage {

    public ActionMessaeType MessageType
    {
        get;
        set;
    }

    public string Message
    {
        get;
        set;
    }

    public string ForAction
    {
        get;
        set;
    }

    public ActionMessage(ActionMessaeType messagetype,
                   string message)
    {
        MessageType = messagetype;
        Message = message;
        ForAction = string.Empty;
    }

    public ActionMessage(ActionMessaeType messagetype,
                string message, string foraction)
    {
        MessageType = messagetype;
        Message = message;
        ForAction = foraction;
    }
}

public abstract class ViewModel {
    private List<ActionMessage> _internalactionmessages
                            = new List<ActionMessage>();
    public List<ActionMessage> ActionMessages
    {
        get { return _internalactionmessages; }
    }
    public ViewModel(){}
    public ViewModel Add(ActionMessage actionmessage)
    {
        _internalactionmessages.Add(actionmessage);
        return this;
    }
    public ViewModel Remove(ActionMessage actionmessage)
    {
        _internalactionmessages.Remove(actionmessage);
        return this;
    }
    public ViewModel Clear()
    {
        _internalactionmessages.Clear();
        return this;
    }
}

public class ContactViewModel : ViewModel {
    public Contact Contact
    {
        get;
        set;
    }
}

 

My Contact View take accepts a ContactViewModel. Here is my page tag in my Contact.aspx

<%@ Page Language="C#" MasterPageFile="~/Views/Shared/Site.
Master" Inherits="System.Web.Mvc.ViewPage<YourNameSpace.
Models.ViewModel.ContactViewModel>" %>

 

Below is the post Contact Action method in my Controller

Code Snippet
  1. [HttpPost] //Post
  2.         public ActionResult Contact([Bind(Exclude = “Id”)]Contact contact)
  3.         {
  4.             //if maodel is not valid, send validated contact
  5.             if (!ModelState.IsValid)
  6.             {
  7.                 return View(new ContactViewModel { Contact = new Contact() }
  8.                        .Add(new ActionMessage(ActionMessaeType.Failure, “Please correct the errors in the highlighted below and try again”, “create-contact-failure”)) as ContactViewModel);
  9.             }
  10.             //save contact here……
  11.             //Clear ModelState or redirect
  12.             ModelState.Clear();
  13.             //display view with action message
  14.             return View(new ContactViewModel { Contact = new Contact() }
  15.                         .Add(new ActionMessage(ActionMessaeType.Success, “Thank you for your message. We will get back to you as soon as possible if a response is need.”, “create-contact-success”)) as ContactViewModel);
  16.         }

 

You will notice from the code above that based on the certain events during the action execution, I add an ActionMessage to the ViewModel before its passed on to the view. The ActionMessage take a messagetype (failure, success, alert,…), a message to be displayed and a “foraction” parameter which depicts where the message should show in the view.

When the  view is rendering, the html helper is called to display the action messages. The helper can take a “foraction” parameter which is used to determine which ActionMessages to show. If no “foraction” is passed, all messages are displayed. Here is the code for the Helper method

Code Snippet
  1. public static class ActionMessageExtension
  2.     {
  3.         public static readonly string ActionMessageCssClassName = “action-message”;
  4.         public static string getActionMessageCssClassName(ActionMessaeType messagetype)
  5.         {
  6.             switch (messagetype)
  7.             {
  8.                 case ActionMessaeType.Success: return “action-message-success”;
  9.                 case ActionMessaeType.Alert: return “action-message-alert”;
  10.                 case ActionMessaeType.Failure: return “action-message-failure”;
  11.                 default: return “action-success-warning”;
  12.             }
  13.         }
  14.         public static string ActionMessage(this HtmlHelper htmlHelper)
  15.         {
  16.             return ActionMessage(htmlHelper, string.Empty /* message */);
  17.         }
  18.         public static string ActionMessage(this HtmlHelper htmlHelper, List<ActionMessage> messages)
  19.         {
  20.             return ActionMessage(htmlHelper, messages, string.Empty /* htmlAttributes */);
  21.         }
  22.         public static string ActionMessage(this HtmlHelper htmlHelper, string foraction)
  23.         {
  24.             return ActionMessage(htmlHelper, null /*messages*/, foraction, (object)null /* htmlAttributes */);
  25.         }
  26.         public static string ActionMessage(this HtmlHelper htmlHelper, List<ActionMessage> messages,string foraction)
  27.         {
  28.             return ActionMessage(htmlHelper, messages,foraction, (object)null /* htmlAttributes */);
  29.         }
  30.         public static string ActionMessage(this HtmlHelper htmlHelper, List<ActionMessage> messages, string foraction, object htmlAttributes)
  31.         {
  32.             return ActionMessage(htmlHelper, messages, foraction, new RouteValueDictionary(htmlAttributes));
  33.         }
  34.         public static string ActionMessage(this HtmlHelper htmlHelper, List<ActionMessage> messages, string foraction, IDictionary<string, object> htmlAttributes)
  35.         {
  36.             //if no messages are passed in, the viewdata model is checked for messages to display
  37.             if (messages == null)
  38.                 messages = (htmlHelper.ViewData.Model as ViewModel).ActionMessages;
  39.             else //merge parameter with view actionmessages
  40.                 messages.AddRange((htmlHelper.ViewData.Model as ViewModel).ActionMessages);
  41.             if (messages == null) return null;
  42.             if (!(messages.Count > 0)) return null;
  43.             if (foraction != null)
  44.                messages = messages.FindAll(delegate(ActionMessage actmgs) {return actmgs.ForAction == foraction; });
  45.             if (messages == null || !(messages.Count > 0)) return null;
  46.             StringBuilder result = new StringBuilder();
  47.             //Render Success Messages
  48.             RenderActionMessage(messages, ActionMessaeType.Success, foraction, htmlAttributes,ref result);
  49.             //Render Alert Messages
  50.             RenderActionMessage(messages, ActionMessaeType.Failure, foraction, htmlAttributes, ref result);
  51.             //Render Alert Messages
  52.             RenderActionMessage(messages, ActionMessaeType.Alert, foraction, htmlAttributes, ref result);
  53.             //Render Warning Messages
  54.             RenderActionMessage(messages, ActionMessaeType.Warning, foraction, htmlAttributes, ref result);
  55.             //Render …..more types of messages
  56.             return result.ToString();
  57.         }
  58.         private static void RenderActionMessage(List<ActionMessage> messages, ActionMessaeType messagetype, string foraction, IDictionary<string, object> htmlAttributes,ref StringBuilder htmlresults)
  59.         {
  60.             StringBuilder htmlSummary = new StringBuilder();
  61.             //Render  Messages
  62.             List<ActionMessage> typemessages = messages.FindAll(delegate(ActionMessage actmgs) { return (actmgs.MessageType == messagetype && actmgs.ForAction == foraction); });
  63.             if (typemessages.Count > 0)
  64.             {
  65.                 TagBuilder messageList = new TagBuilder(“ul”);
  66.                 messageList.MergeAttributes(htmlAttributes);
  67.                 messageList.MergeAttribute(“class”, getActionMessageCssClassName(messagetype));
  68.                 foreach (ActionMessage message in typemessages)
  69.                 {
  70.                     if (!String.IsNullOrEmpty(message.Message))
  71.                     {
  72.                         TagBuilder listItem = new TagBuilder(“li”);
  73.                         listItem.SetInnerText(message.Message);
  74.                         listItem.MergeAttribute(“class”, ActionMessageExtension.ActionMessageCssClassName);
  75.                         htmlSummary.AppendLine(listItem.ToString(TagRenderMode.Normal));
  76.                     }
  77.                 }
  78.                 messageList.InnerHtml = htmlSummary.ToString();
  79.                 htmlresults.Append(messageList.ToString(TagRenderMode.Normal));
  80.             }
  81.         }
  82.     }

And here is how its used in the Contact.aspx view.

<%=Html.ActionMessage("create-contact-failure") %>

 

I hope this help. I’m having a hard time finding a good code plug in for Live Writer as I am not so pleased with how the code is presented above. When I do find a good one, I will update the code section of the post.

Future

Like i said, this was just a hack. The best way will be to have the Message Collection as a property of the ViewData since it cannot be used in its current state without using a strongly typed view who’s Model inherits from the base ViewModel class. That’s using Injection of some sort to update the ViewData used in the Views. I also want to pipe all the validation errors for the ModelState through the ActionMessage helper so I can use that as an all purpose notification mechanism.

If you have any suggestions, please let me know.

Timestamp issue with MySql connector 6.0 – 6.1 for Entity Framework

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This is really a short post as to highlight an issue that I run into (and most will) when using MySql with Entity Framework employing the mysql connector net.

 

Scenario

I work mostly on my laptop which has mysql connector 6.0.4 installed. Using the connector in conjunction with EF v1 generated my domain object with timestamp fields mapping from a binary in my conceptual schema to timestamp in my physical schema.  Everything worked just fine till I deployed to my production machine and realized I didn’t have mysql connector installed on my production server. So…I did what most will do, download the connect but installed the latest version (v6.1). After deploying my app to the server, the unexpected happened. My app was broken. The error message indicated that Edm.binary was not compatible to mysql.timestamp. OK, I was stumped. The app works just fine on my my laptop why not on my server.

 

Solution

After a couple of hours using process of elimination, I realized that using version 6.1 of the connector sets your mapping for timestamp from Edm.DateTimeOffset(conceptual schema) to timestamp (physical schema)which worked fine but version 6.0.4 of the connector sets your mapping for timestamp from Edm.binary(conceptual schema) to timestamp (physical schema) which also works as well. DateTimeOffset is a type specific to Sql server so the best option for me was to stay with 6.0.1  (using binary) which is generic and can be used with other db’s if ever need.

Adventures to my dream part 1

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I have been hosting most of my personal application from my home pc for a while until charter blocked port 80 and others. This prevented me from doing exactly that. Disappointed in Charter, I switched to  AT&T U-verse for a better service. That worked great for a couple of week and then …..boom, my ports got jammed again. I called U-verse support to help resolve this but they claim they aren’t blocking any ports. Between you and I, I think they are even though DynamicDNS says the ports are open. Long story short, I decided it was time to shell out some cash for a dedicated windows 2008 server, so I did. I’m actually very happy with my server. I configured every aspect of it to the last bit but this blog is not really about how happy i am about my dedicated server but about my experience setting up my applications in IIS 7.

IIS 7 by far is the best IIS release ever. Built ground up from scratch to support mainly the modular architecture requested by so many web administrators. I have been very impressed and at the same time, frustrated. Why frustrated? Well it has its learning curve and without the IIS 7 documentation, I wont be any closer to understanding how IIS 7 works. So I have decided to make a blog post of any knowledge I can pass on to others in relation to configuring IIS

Today’s “Did you know”:  IIS 7 allows you to run multiple sites on the same port each with a different host name. IIS using Host Names to differentiate between different sites and forwards the request to the site. Now, you can host all your sites on port 80 if you wont to so far as their host name are different. Example, say you have 2 sites. www.site1.com and www.site2.com. You can create two sites in IIS with host names “site1.com” and “site2.com” and both binding to port 80. A request to www.site1.com and www.site2.com respectively will be routed to site1.com and site2.com respectively. your request to be served by that sit

Today’s War wound: Setting up ftp in IIS 7 with the new ftp service is very easy and also support the same port binding mechanism explained above. Using the example above, say you extend both site with ftp publishing feature. You will think setting the host names for the ftp binds (same port 21)  should give you the same ability to ftp into www.site1.com and www.site2.com through ftp.site1.com and ftp.site2.com using the host name feature and the same port 21. Well, you can do that but you are in for a treat if you plan on connecting from any ftp client to those ftp site. It just fails. For some reason, the clients don’t quit know who to use host name in their request. The solution is not to use host names for ftp but rather different ports and leaving the host name to unassigned. Then connect to the different ftp sites using the servers ip and the different ports.

I hope this helps anyone in their quest to tame IIS 7.

We could use more spellcheckers

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I have been very busy with work since I came back from Ghana so I have had  limited time to blog. But then again, that’s no excuse since I could post a line or two here and there with a hint of wisdom but …. So here I am back at it again. This time, it’s about spelling.  Here is the interesting part, the web is all about content. Anytime you open a browser to a site, you are slapped with many types of contents in different sizes. These include videos, sounds, pictures and lastly and most prominent of them all, text. In our daily work, we are either typing or reading. Both of which deals with text but ask me how many standalone spell checker tools one can employ and you will be amazed at how many there are. Very few I must say. I am still struck by the fact that visual studio does not ship with a spell checker out-of-the-box after 6 versions. Every thing from Windows form design to Web development involves publishing text content of some sort and yet, there isn’t a solid spell checker that comes with it. Instead, we have to resort to MS word , some other text editing tool (Openoffice etc) or plug-in etc. Frankly, every time I run into an interface design software that doesn’t have a spellchecker, I get dumbfounded. Is spell checking really the least most important feature or what. Then again, someone would say, what’s the big deal. If it bothers you so much, why not learn how to spell. Very true; I wont dispute the fact that we do need to know how to spell. After all, its one of the basic medium of communication since the invention of papyrus. But with the volume of content this generation produces daily, most people are bound to make spelling mistakes so why not help avoid it.  Matt Cutts (Head of Google web spam team) points out here as to how important spelling is on the web and how they can turn customers away. People don’t trust website with spelling mistakes. To that end, I know my ranting is not going to change the feature set of content publishing software’s like visual studio etc, so here are a couple of things you can do to keep your customers coming back.

1. Spell check your content in any good text editing tool like MS Office Word

2. Let a colleague or friend prove read your content for you. You can easily miss your mistakes even if you ready it more than you think you should. It came from you and you are bound to miss one or two.

3. If you can find a spellchecker plug-in to your content authoring software, plug it in and use the heck out of it.

4. For web developers, you can find online services that can scrawl your site for spelling mistakes. Beware of the service you choose; as Matt Cutts post suggests that you probably don’t want to use a service who’s own site has spelling mistakes.

I’m actually checking this post for wrong spelling using Windows live writer. Kudos to the windows live team for including a spell checker. With that said,  let me know what you think if you disagree with anything I have said or want to add to it.

The site doesn’t work, I have javaScript & cookies turned on in my browser.

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Problem

it’s hard resolving issues at a customer’s end because you don’t know what the state of their machine is in. You can do your best by gathering information from the client as to the behavior of the problem and go hunting for the solution after politely saying, “I will look into it”.

After all, the customer is always right.  JavaScript and Cookies are used by  lots of web applications and yet, it amazing how many browser currently in existence don’t have those features turned on. I understand the security risk of JavaScript but … So in such a situation, what do you do. Customers will always tell you they did exactly what you told them to do but it’s hard to know if they “actually” followed your steps to rectify the problem.

 

Solution

Relying on the Customer is great but proof is even better. Showing user browser configuration settings in your web application can be very helpful in addressing some of these issues. See example of such a configuration display below.

image 

image

image

This is all great but unfortunately, extracting this information for the browser can be tedious since they are no consistent amongst all browsers. Below is a JavaScript snippet which provides you with the above browser settings for IE, Firefox, Opera and Safari.

 

<script type="text/javascript"> 
  

function showBrowserConfigurationResult() {

    $get("browser_type_check").innerHTML = getBrowserType();
    
    $get("browser_version_check").innerHTML = checkBrowserVersion();

    $get("js_check").innerHTML      = "Yes";

    $get("cookie_check").innerHTML  = getCookieStatus();
    
    $get("platform_check").innerHTML = getPlatformStatus();
    
     $get("screenresolution_check").innerHTML = getScreenResolutionStatus();

}


function getBrowserType() {
   
     if (/MSIE (\d+\.\d+);/.test(navigator.userAgent)){ //test for MSIE x.x;
       return "Internet Explorer";
     }
     else if (/Firefox[\/\s](\d+\.\d+)/.test(navigator.userAgent)){ //test for Firefox/x.x or Firefox x.x (ignoring remaining digits);
        return "Firefox";
      }
      else if (/Opera[\/\s](\d+\.\d+)/.test(navigator.userAgent)){ //test for Opera/x.x or Opera x.x (ignoring remaining decimal places);
        return "Opera";
      }
      else if(/Safari/.test(navigator.userAgent)){
      return "Safari";
      }
      else
      {
        return navigator.appCodeName;
      }
    
}

function checkBrowserVersion() {
   
    
    if (/MSIE (\d+\.\d+);/.test(navigator.userAgent)){ //test for MSIE x.x;
     var ieversion=new Number(RegExp.$1) // capture x.x portion and store as a number
     
         if (ieversion>=8)
          return "8.x";
         else if (ieversion>=7)
         return "7.x";
         else if (ieversion>=6)
         return "6.x";
         else if (ieversion>=5)
          return "5.x";
         else
            return "n/a";
      
      }
     else if (/Firefox[\/\s](\d+\.\d+)/.test(navigator.userAgent)){ //test for Firefox/x.x or Firefox x.x (ignoring remaining digits);
       var ffversion=new Number(RegExp.$1) // capture x.x portion and store as a number
       
     if (ffversion>=3)
      return "3.x or above";
     else if (ffversion>=2)
      return "2.x";
     else if (ffversion>=1)
      return "1.x"
     else
       return "n/a";
      
    }
    else if (/Opera[\/\s](\d+\.\d+)/.test(navigator.userAgent)){ //test for Opera/x.x or Opera x.x (ignoring remaining decimal places);
     var oprversion=new Number(RegExp.$1) // capture x.x portion and store as a number
     if (oprversion>=10)
      return "10.x or above";
     else if (oprversion>=9)
     return  "9.x";
     else if (oprversion>=8)
      return "8.x";
     else if (oprversion>=7)
      return "7.x";
     else
      return "n/a";
    }
    else if(/Safari/.test(navigator.userAgent)){
      var safversion = /Version\/\d\.\d\.\d*/.exec(navigator.userAgent)
      safversion = /\d/.exec(safversion)
     if (safversion>=3)
      return "3.x or above";
     else if (safversion>=2)
     return  "2.x";
     else if (safversion>=1)
      return "1.x";
     else
      return "n/a";
     
     
    }
    else 
    {
      return  navigator.appVersion;
    }
}


function getCookieStatus() {

   if(navigator.cookieEnabled) 
      return "Yes"; 
   else 
     return "No" ;

}

function getPlatformStatus()
{
   return navigator.platform;
}

function getScreenResolutionStatus()
{
  return screen.width+" x "+screen.height;
}

 </script>

 

$get(“ x”) is a jquery function that returns the element with id=”x”. If you are not using jquery, you can replace $get() with the JavaScript function  getElementbyId(“x”)  and that should rectify the problem. Enjoy.

Windows 7 beta Review

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I have been running win 7 build 7.0 beta for the past month and I think I’m ready to offer my opinion about this widely praised OS.

 

Pre Installing 

As at the time I was thinking of trying win 7, I was in need of a laptop because our old laptop was giving up on me. It was too slow and I couldn’t do pretty much anything with it. So I decide to retire our old laptop and migrate it into either the Fedora or Ubuntun world. Haven’t decided yet. With that decision made, I set out to buy a new laptop. I kept going between windows pc or Mac pc. Why? , well, I’m not an apple fun boy but I was interested in developing for the IPhone which meant having a Mac. But I could bring myself to justify the amount I would pay for a Mac in relation to how much time I will actually spend using it (which will only be during development for the Mac environment). Then there was the thought of running windows on the Mac using VMware fusion. I had heard some good stories about fusion.

After a couple of discussions with a few friends, I made the discussion to go for a 64bit windows laptop. I discarded the taught of buy a Mac and running windows virtually because, I mainly live in windows. Emulation seems to take away the optimum performance of any OS and I do push my laptops really hard. I could have gone for a dual booth on a Mac but by then, I had already fallen in love with Sony’s Vaio FW. It was perfect in every way. So in the end, I ended up with a 64bit Sony Vaio FW . See the specs below.

 

image

 

 

Installation Experience

Installation was smooth as a baby’s ass. Wow, that different from what I have experienced so far. In any case, I think MS did a good job with installation improvements. My installation path was an upgrade from vista home to win 7 ultimate so I hope others with different upgrade or new installation path will go as smooth as mine. I can only hope since this is a beta.

 

UAC configuration

This is a lot easier since you can now choose your own configuration and not be bothered by unnecessary pop up’s. One up for the MS guys.

Device Discovery

This is by far my favorite since it looks like a lot of work has been done here. I was able to discover my Xbox, router, cellphone (through Bluetooth), wireless printer and more in just a few seconds. Win 7 really made it easy for me and I hope the  final version will even be better.

image 

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Software Installation

I didn’t have any issues except for IE 7 and Microsoft Expression suite. IE 8 64bit works just fine and works really really fast. IE 7 will start but doesn’t allow any interaction with it. I don’t know if its because I did an upgrade from Vista home to window 7 Ultimate. The expression suite also installed with no issue but will error out when running blend or designer. Personally, I don’t care for designer since I do all my vector work in illustrator and export to xaml when I need to. I just needed Blend for the composition of my application. I will have to resort to my desktop for now till I have a solution around this.

 

UI Features

I was really hoping for some ground breaking but ….its better than it was before. The peek feature is my favorite were you can peek a window and go back to the one you were working on without switching between windows. The grouping of apps at the bottom also makes sense and works very well for me. A bit of style would make these features look great but style is what Microsoft lacks, not like Apple. With that said, the UI is functional and lets you do your work and that’s all one can really ask for.

 

Overall, I will switch to win 7 in a heart beat as its proven to be a lot better than my vista desktop. I think MS got it right this time and if they keep this up, they will have customers like me on their side. That doesn’t mean I giving up on Mac. I like the work of the Mac boys. The look to design first for inspiration. They look to groundbreaking but unfortunately, they are not business worthy at the moment. Not because you cannot run a business with a Mac, but finding all the different software you need to run a business can be more challenging in Mac world than in the windows world. Plus their pride in the “no-virus” selling point  scares the hell out of me because no OS is bullet proof and I have more confidence in the support and speed of the MS security team (since they have been dealing with this shit for a long time) than the 2-5 man security team at Apple.

Note: I really don’t the size of the security team hiding at the Cupertino-based company’s basement. I was mealy making a point.

 

Wish List

  1. Spellchecker feature built into the OS or as an add-on so all content applications can make use of it instead of rolling out their own
  2. Map feature should be build into or be an add-on to the OS for allow mapping needs to be met by any application that needs it
  3. Location based feature build into the OS
  4. An OS that knows its environment, that can adjust the light, sound(noise cancellation etc) properties depending on the surrounding.

These are the things I consider moving forward. Up until now, I still cannot believe that laptops and pc don’t come with prebuilt radio receives in them but they are present in the tiny mp3 players we buy.

What do you say dear reader. What are your thoughts.