The .NET Sweatshop

Working day and night to help .NET users get the most out of programming the coolest platform on the planet.

Friday, September 12, 2003

Looks like Blogger got the site stats thing working, so now we'll know if people are coming to the blog. Time to start sticking the site on my e-mail signature...

I'm real busy. Much like Ed, I've got a dizzying array of things going on. Some things I can reveal and other I could tell you, but I'd have to kill you (and I don't know how that would work with a blog--that's just not scalable thinking). One of the interesting things that's being discussed is how to make patterns digestible for those who don't have an appetite for it. Nowadays, too many people fear design patterns. I confess that even I am not a complete convert, although the work that David Trowbridge & company did with Enterprise Solution Patterns Using Microsoft .NET definitely swayed my opinion (chapter 1 alone is worth the read to see patterns in a whole new light). But a lot of people just won't have it--especially if you're a VB dude that still resisting OO programming as well. I was speaking to a Microsoft partner from Kentucky (and all around good guy) about patterns. He's a die-hard VB fan, but loves patterns as well (kinda like my vegetarian wife who admits she occasionally craves a bacon cheeseburger). He believes that convincing the VB world about patterns is not an impossible task and Microsoft owes it to the VB community to support that education effort. I tend to think he is right and it's something I'd like to see us get involved in. From my pre-Microsoft days as a developer and evangelist to my current status as a Microsoft dude, I've always felt very strongly about the way Microsoft has supported and strengthened it's developer community. Much is made of the Linux devs, but I am more impressed by the legions of devs who have created countless app for the MS platforms and I think their loyalty has less to do with platform ubiquity and more to do with the TLC Microsoft has always given. From MSDN (despite our complaints that p&p stuff doesn't get highlighted enough, it's still the best repository for tech content in the world) to Visual Studio (I can't say enough about the wizards, IntelliSense, etc.--I can't believe I used to code in emacs in college!), Microsoft has always done what it takes to carry their loyal devs to the next level. Making VB.NET was part of that as well. As a p&p guy, I feel that sense of obligation with getting those who can benefit from patterns to see the light. Patterns are not for everyone (heck, I'm still not sure they're for me), but I think there are a whole load of VB programmers that would go hog wild for this stuff if we can make it sexy. Therein lies the challenge. Like I said, I'm real busy...

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

The Tie Fighter looks great in the office, I must say. Lego just rocks.

Stuff aside, right now got too much things to do. There's the reference app, smart client guidance, tools stuff, giving-feedback-to-product-groups thing, and aspect stuff. Plus the authorization and profile mgmt blocks are coming out and we have to review the design - they look great but in their infancy these things always have some quirky twists here and there that need ironing out.

Jim and I talked about the patterns & practices tool stuff today and he and I think very similarly about it. You can go deep into a set of features that are true but start giving diminishing returns... but there are a couple of wins that can be done with minimal infrastructure investment for the Everett VS.NET, that would be a major win: broad tuning of enterprise templates and code gen stuff. I need to get with Pascal Belaud again, to make a joint story on that. His Olymars stuff is great, and we may give it an extra twist of lime here an there. One thing I want to decouple is the metadata schema from the metadata loading from an external source (SQL). Coupling both from my experience building generators reduces some opportunities for future growth...but to be fair I haven't looked at his latest version (last time I opened it was ~4 months ago) the meantime I encourage you to check it out.