Rediscovering the Obvious

…stumbling in the footsteps of greatness

Archive for April, 2008

Twitter up!

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I’ve finally been pulled in by the twitter-mass in the Indy dev community (I blame you, Larry). I’m at erwilleke

  
 

Written by erwilleke

April 28th, 2008 at 11:33 am

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Speaker’s dinner!

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I’m sitting at the after-party for today’s CodeCamp. I wasn’t going to come, but I was asked yesterday if I could speak, so I ran my Branch Management speech for four people (double last time!) that were still around the last session. The good thing is that the people really wanted to hear it if they showed up. Three guys looking to adopt TFS and one that recently had adopted it and had quesitons. So far, so good.. The talk went as well as it did before, but it isn’t a “great” subject for conference talks… more of an academic session environment.

Now, I’m sitting at Champps, surrounded by a bunch of other geeks. Everybody was invited, but it turns out that everybody at the table spoke today and almost all of them have technical blogs going. Good gathering for meeting people doing the same stuff as me (or doing better stuff – yay for learning!)

 Burger-time… later.

Oh, and Aaron FINALLY shows… still wearing his tag, even.  
 

Written by erwilleke

April 26th, 2008 at 6:22 pm

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And now, the issues past, Silverlife is wonderful!

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I’ve managed to get past the random issues that seem to plague me when adopting new technologies, and I’m digging into the meat of Silverlight 2.0 (Beta 1). This is GREAT! Blend is a great tool, and they’ve made using resources SO MUCH BETTER! The visual studio XAML editor works VERY well. (Intellisense bonuses: clr-namespace tags are descriptive and work well. Event handler creation was so smooth I wasn’t sure it was working at first)

Layout went well for the main preview screen, and I’m looking forward to digging into wiring up behavior now. Databinding’s not entirely there, yet, but I’ve got high hopes that it’ll smooth out quickly, I only spent a few minutes on it yesterday.

 

Written by erwilleke

April 18th, 2008 at 9:25 am

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Nasty upgrade bug with .NET 3.5…

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or silverlight, or visual studio, or something.

Anyway, my work is in the Silverlight.net installation forum under a post titled  “Silverlight startup error with resources – Summary of fix”

The corrected file is attached here, and I hate wasting a full day (and some of the evening) on things like this.

 

[EDIT] the full link of the post is http://silverlight.net/forums/p/14264/46863.aspx#46863. A distributed transaction letting me know what my link would be on both ends BEFORE i published either could have made this a bit easier.

Written by erwilleke

April 15th, 2008 at 10:13 pm

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The first time

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Thursday, after the main IndyNDA event, I performed my first public presentation. I’ve presented to teams, classrooms, and my company before, but this is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to present to an uncontrolled group of my professional peers. It turned out that I only had three people there, but I can’t complain since it’s very hard to get nervous in front of three people. I think it went well, and I was very happy with my slide deck, pacing, speech, and the quality of questions and answers that came out of it. I’m attempting to attach the final version of the presentation here, so feel free to take a look. If anybody out there’s interested in talking more about branch management with team foundation server 2008, by all means get in touch.

 

Written by erwilleke

April 12th, 2008 at 2:15 pm

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My first live blog post… April Indianapolis .NET Developers Association

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I’ve never done this before… I’m sitting in the IndyNDA event for this month, and since there’s wireless, and I’ve got my computer, and IndyNDA’s got tables, I thought I’d actually give live posting a try. Expect a stream of thought as I (partially) listen to the presentations.

Tonight’s presentation is by Paul Hacker talking about what’s in Windows Server 2008 and Dan Rigsby talking about new features in VS 2008. I’m hoping they’re going to be going into much more detail than they did at the Heroes Happen {here} event.

Windows Server 2008

Lots of new stuff here, but it’s looking like another wave of specialists is needed. I’m interested, but getting it into production is a scary proposition since there are no “experts”. Half my team knows what to go in and try to tweak if we’ve got issues on production [note: this can be bad], which can save the night sometimes. If all the rules have changed, tough… now what? Windows Server Core, clustering, and firewalls do look good, though. “If somebody stole your domain controller”… there are so many things I’ve never really had to think about.

I like the look of the new admin tool. The current one’s a pain. Hypervisor – neat – I’ll have to look at this one. Now I know what “System Center” is… kind of…

Aside: Listening to Paul present is somewhat intimidating. He’s done this a billion times, and tonight’s my first time.  Soon after I typed this, he gave me an excellent plug to get people to my presentation afterwards.

SQL Server 2008

Sounds like Dan’s going to expand on the launch event with some details: Top 10 SQL Server features (for developers), Visual Studio features for different types of developers. Lots of ‘neat’ helpers to represent difficult types of data. More time types, more hierarchies, and some spatial/geographic data types. Data Change Tracking would have saved a LOT of effort on several tables for auditing. Modes for “event audit” and mode for “history”. Is this something that maintains row-level or just table-level?  I’ll have to ask! Time type can go out to nanoseconds, but can anything meaningful come out of servers, or only specific applications storing eternal data in that format.

I like the output of the node management and the ability to .ToString() it into a meaningful representation. More interesting is the .NET syntax in the SQL. I’m seeing quite a lot of potential as SQL and (as an example) C# come together. Does VB.NET have a future? I asked if the tracking goes to the row level, but nobody’s sure yet. He mentioned a new “Sync” server which reminds me of replication services, but hopefully faster.

I need to remember to set up the Source code symbol server sometime soon, just in case I ever need to climb in (instead of reflecting the linq framework)

He’s mentioning the framework versioning targets, but the templates don’t work well for generators. Annoying. I forgot about that.

Visual Studio 2008

Less of interest here – I’ve used most of the features he’s going over already, and the new stuff is about manifests, deployment, etc… stuff that’s a bit beyond my ken at the moment since I”m living in a server world. He’s doing a bit of WPF, but I already put my time in on that (although, I did get a chance to pull the TFSStickyBuddy project down from codeproject and take a look at it. This could be fun if I get to it over the next month at all… maybe in NC next month.. heh – maybe I should try and set up a day trip to the MS office in Raleigh to meet the dev team. Back to focus, though. Dan asked who’s using 3.5 currently – maybe a double-handful out of the 100+ in the room.

Ok – Stickybuddy just got a lot less fun… VB.NET… ARGH! Seems well-factored, though… time to dig in.  … and, thus ends my attention span for the presentation…

 

After a delay, and a bit of heckling of Dan for using Twitter like a high school girl (and Paul, and Larry), it’s time for me to get prepped for my presentation.

 

Written by erwilleke

April 10th, 2008 at 5:11 pm

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Linq entities and calling Attach()

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Back to tech, for now.

I like Linq to SQL. A LOT. However, there have been a handful of things that have annoyed me, and one of them is the story around serialization and disconnected entities. They’ve built a nice engine for it (DataContract-based), and really optimized it for the case where you’re getting a data set from a disconnected client and storing the changes to the server. Except, annoyingly, there’s no good way to tell if an entity is already attached to a specific context. And, you can’t call .Attach() on something unless it’s currently floating. Did I mention there’s no .Detach? The only way I know of for it to be detached is to have just been Deserialized.

Well, we’re storing entities across calls. In one case, it’s in the session. In another, it’s in memcached. Either way, there are cases were we don’t know if our object that needs updating to the DB has been loaded fresh during the current call or not. Well, it’s not a documented approach, but by looking at the code, I can find out that doing this will work:

 // HACK: This will prevent a reattachment by identifying that the
// provided project was already available in this context.
Project originalProject = db.Projects.GetOriginalEntityState(project);
if ( originalProject == null )
{
    db.Projects.Attach(project);
}

Written by erwilleke

April 4th, 2008 at 2:58 pm

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