Archives / 2007 / January
  • Anders Hejlsberg on LINQ - beats Eastenders!

    Anders Hejlsberg on LINQ and Functional Programming - Charlie Calvert has a chat with Anders on the above subject; he goes into loads of details about how LINQ came about and how they(he) solved the problem.

    I wasn't exactly enthrawled for 30mins but it's certainly better than watching Eastenders!

    I am really looking forward to LINQ; I do loads of database and XML programming so it should be great...I did install the May CTP but it really messed with my intellisense in VS so decided to uninstall!  I know you can choose not to install it, but honestly, who wants to write code without intellisense!!


  • Windows Vista - My thoughts so far.....

    Tags: Vista

    I have had Vista installed for about a month and although I haven’t specifically spent time to find out exactly what’s new I have developed likes and dislikes.

    I think somewhere on GWB I saw a post along the lines of “What’s all the fuss about?”, I don’t agree with that; from what I have seen at the Vista Developer launch and .net 3 the world of development is getting better in the Vista era! Especially from a UI perspective.

    So anyway my likes and dislikes (please post yours; I would like to see what I have missed)


    • Aero; how can anyone not like Aero? The new theme is excellent; I much prefer the black taskbar. 
    • Windows explorer; I was not sure on the breadcrumb thing to start with but now I am a fan! The treeview that auto scrolls is also a nice touch.
    • Dialogs; the new “File Open Dialog” and the “message box” dialogs are much better. You don’t actually get these dialogs “for free” when developing windows applications but should be a must for all applications intended to run on windows. Note: I am going to do a post on building these new dialogs into windows apps soon.
    • Searching; this is probably my “numero uno” favourite! The search box on the start menu.....type in calc and it opens the calculator!! No more going through a load of flyout menu’s to find an application, simple start typing in there and the results will start to appear!! I Love it!
    • Actually search is available all over Vista and its very quick and I already miss it when using XP.
    • IIS7; this isn’t really the post to get right into IIS7, it’s such a huge improvement. There are plenty of improvements for both sys admins and developers...roll on Longhorn!!!
    • The cool 3D view when you click “Switch applications”.
    • Alt Tabbing gives you a small view of the window. I know XP had a power toy for this but it isn’t as good!
    • Sidebar; this is very cool and I can see lots of potential for add-ons etc. The framework MS provide makes this even more appealing! I have written a small gadget and will post on that later!


    • User Account Control (UAC); this has to be top of the list – it’s just the most annoying thing ever to happen on a computer. Although I can see the reason for it, I just had to turn it off!!
    • Not all applications (Macromedia..ur..Adobe Fireworks) support the new theme and revert to vista basic.
    • Although early days support for software, even from MS seems poor. Installing VS was a nightmare and I have just bought a keyboard set from MS that is supposed to be Vista arse...disc wouldn’t load!
    • Unreal Tournament doesnt work properly - the game is very jumpy!  It could be my PC but it worked fine on XP and I have a 4.0 on the "Vista Scale" so its not great but no slouch!!
    • MSN Messenger Live doesnt connect even though the troubleshooting says it should - not sure this is Vista related but it sure never happended before!

    So I guess its a safe assumtion that I am a fan on Vista on the whole - this isnt really a review of the technical improvements on Vista.  I never really had a problem with XP on that front so I assume Vista is at the very least as good (or bad) as Vista...only time will tell!!

    I also dont have Vista Ultimate so I dont have any of the media center functionality to play with but then I don't really use my machine for that long as it plays MP3 etc I'm cool!

    Let me know what you have found thats cool or crap on Vista! :)


  • Detecting ASP.NET Debug mode

    Found this post earlier and well worth sharing;  I have wanted to know how to do this for sometime.  I have googled, searched books etc but never come up with the answer.

    Fortunately there are smarter and more experienced people out there than me and Rick Strahl is one of them, if you don't subscribe to his blog I recommend it.

    He has posted some code on how to find out if the application is running in debug mode...turns out its pretty simple and if I had spent sometime with intellisense (the best help source out there!) I would have found it.

    Basically (ripped from Rick's Post).....

    if (!HttpContext.Current.IsDebuggingEnabled)    Script = OptimizeScript(Script);

    Further.....there are a couple of comments than discuss the topic further.

    From Wilco Bauwer he comments that this property encapsulates the web.config setting and doesn't take the page level debugging into account and it you wanted to....

    bool isDebuggingEnabled = Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly().IsDefined(typeof(DebuggableAttribute));

    ....this is the kiddy to achieve it!!

    and Peter Bromberg (C# MVP) offers up another solution using the Global.asax.cs file and a static global application flag being set in the Application_Start event.

    public static bool IsDebugMode = false;protected void Application_Start(object sender, EventArgs e){   if (System.Diagnostics.Debugger.IsAttached) IsDebugMode = true;

    This is definitely my find of the year (so far!)


  • Out with Onfolio, in with Reader

    I have been using Onfolio blog reader since I installed MSN Live toolbar sometime ago; its nothing special but does the job. The biggest problem for me is that onfolio stores state offline so when I read a blog at work (during lunch of course!) it gets marked as read but then when I go home I have to mark it as read again....bit of a pain but at the time I had a look at Google reader and didn't like it so stuck it out with Onfolio.

    Recently I installed Vista and Office 2007 and to my surprise lots of the Live Toolbar components aren't compatible with Vista! So I was using Outlook 2007 to read blogs which would without a doubt be my choice of reader but because I read on two machines I needed an online solution really, anyway....I am now back on Google Reader since its had a big shake up and works & feels much better.

    Top marks Google....again!


  • ASP.NET AJAX Cheat Sheets

    Found these "Cheat Sheets" a while ago and have found them pretty useful so thought I'd better post them.  They are for some of the Javascript base type extensions: Array, Boolean, Date, Error, Number, Object, and String Resources are planning to release more - definitly worth subscribing to the feed at aspnetresources if you are interested in this sort of thing!!

    Print out nicely onto A4; they'll be on my desk for a few months to come!

    Click Image to download.


  • Logitech DiNovo Laser - Bluetooth

    So, for Christmas I got this great desktop set from Logitech.

    Logitech® diNovo™ Media Desktop™ Laser

    The most expensive desktop set on the market.  Yet that seems to count for nothing as I have now sent this back; the keyboard was fine and I really miss the "laptop type" keys but the mouse had such a huge lag it was almost un-usable just playing with Windows, playing games was a complete waste of time.  Now, I am running Vista and the software doesn't support Vista; I did force the install but continued to get error from the bluetooth connection I had to let Vista built in bluetooth drivers do the work so that may have been a contributing factor but I can't imagine it would have made much difference....perhaps someone out there knows different?Logitech® diNovo Edge™

    I am now in the market for a new desktop set and really want one with a keyboard that has a laptop style feel to it; I certainly dont want to go down the bluetooth route - it was fine on the keyboard for the most part but the mouse was crap.  I certainly prefer the old RF wireless I have now.  I have always been a logitech fan but they dont seem to have any good ones...This keyboard seems to have those nice keys but where is the number pad??? Costs the same as a small car but no number pad - crazy!?



    Wireless Laser Desktop 6000

    So I started looking at Microsoft sets and found this one on the left but I dont know if it has these nice laptop feel keys I am so obsessed with!! ;-) Plus this one is a good price compared to Logitech so I would have some extra cash left over!






    So I need help from some of my fellow geeks!! What is the preferred desktop of a geek?!!  Anyone agree with my bluetooth findings? Anyone got that MS desktop set?