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ALT.NET Open Spaces Closing Day Recap
In my previous post, I talked about some of the happenings from the day two experience. Day three was only a half day with only two sessions. So, it was best to make the best of times anyhow. Once again, it snowed again, rather heavily at times, so nature's cruel joke on ALT.NET. Impromptu Sessions One of the best sessions was an impromptu session with Jeremy Miller on the StoryTeller tool and his future plans for it. If you're not familiar with it, it is a tool used to manage and create automated ......

Posted On Thursday, April 24, 2008 2:20 AM

NOVARUG with Dave Thomas (PragDave) Recap
Last night I attended the Northern Virginia Ruby Users Group (NovaRUG) meeting in Reston last night with Dave Thomas (PragDave) and Chad Fowler. It was a completely packed house and the temperatures were a bit hight in the room, but it was well worth the sweating to attend. Paul Barry presented first on Merb and gave a really good demonstration of some of the capabilities in comparison to Ruby on Rails. If you're not familiar with Merb, it is a lightweight Model View Controller framework written ......

Posted On Thursday, April 17, 2008 11:29 AM

Metaprogramming in F#
Tonight I will be heading to the Northern Virginia Ruby Users Group (NoVARUG) meeting tonight with Dave Thomas (PragDave) talking about metaprogramming in Ruby. Should be a great time and I'm sure it will be full tonight. For those interested in some introduction to metaprogramming in Ruby, here's a good link to help get you started. Metaprogramming in F#? One of the many things that has interested me in F# is that it was originally written as a language to write other languages. This of course leads ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 16, 2008 5:19 PM

Adventures in F# - F# 101 Part 8 (Mutables and Reference Cells)
Time for another adventure in F#, covering some of the basics of functional programming and F# in particular. Today we'll manage to look more at regular .NET integration and .NET programming. With the previous efforts, we've looked more at functional programming and in turn F# specific things, but want to show that you can do anything normally in F# that you can in C#. To me, F# is the perfect all-purpose language because it can do a lot of the things C# can do, but in turn, F# can do things much ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 15, 2008 7:08 PM

Relooking at xUnit.net RC2
UPDATE: More posts on the subject xUnit.net RC3 Just Released Earlier this week, I wrote about the latest release of xUnit.net RC2. Since that time, Brad Wilson and Jim Newkirk released a new version to fix some of the issues with regards to TestDriven.NET integration and ASP.NET MVC integration. You can read more about the issues here. As always you can get the latest bits here. The Installer If you browse to the releases page of xUnit.net, you will notice an installer. This installer will help ......

Posted On Friday, April 4, 2008 6:34 PM

Adventures in F# - F# 101 Part 7 (Creating Types)
Time for another adventure in F#, covering some of the basics of functional programming and F# in particular. This is intended at looking at the foundations of F# as well as how it relates to .NET and IL on the back end. I realize I need to spread more of the F# goodness around, so I'm hoping that I can work to bring it at least to the FringeDC user group. Their main meetings are every three months, so hopefully I'll get some time in to do that. Once I get that set up, I'll be sure to let everyone ......

Posted On Thursday, April 3, 2008 7:37 PM

Covering NUnit 2.4.7
It's interesting that a flurry of releases of testing frameworks have been released lately with Gallio, xUnit.net and of course NUnit. Charlie Poole recently announced on a lot of the discussion boards I belong to recently that NUnit 2.4.7 was recently released. You can read all about what's been added here with the release notes. What's New and Interesting? What's interesting about this release? Well, NUnit no longer depends on log4net, thus getting rid of some dependency issues with regards to ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 1, 2008 5:34 PM

XUnit.net RC2 Released
UPDATE: More posts on the subject xUnit.net RC3 Just Released Relooking at xUnit.net RC2 UPDATE: xUnit.NET RC2 New Drop includes ASP.NET MVC support and better GUI runner. Details here. UPDATE: Added Static Methods mention and F# - Thanks to DevHawk! I've been a big fan of such testing frameworks as NUnit and MbUnit, but recently I've found myself getting pulled more towards xUnit.net at least to play around with for any of my code samples that I write for this blog and on my own time. I'm not really ......

Posted On Monday, March 31, 2008 7:31 PM

FringeDC March 2008 Video Now Online - Haskell and XMonad Extensibility
As I've discussed before with my dive into functional programming and F#, there is a user group of language geeks that specialize in Haskell, Lisp, Scheme, OCaml, Erlang and so on, within the Washington DC area called FringeDC. Brent Yorgey, well known in the Haskell community and contributor to XMonad, presented an introduction to Haskell and explained a bit about extending XMonad. Fortunately for those who couldn't attend like myself due to scheduling conflicts, Conrad Barski recorded this session ......

Posted On Thursday, March 27, 2008 5:57 PM

Adventures in F# - F# 101 Part 6 (Lazy Evaluation)
Time for another adventure in F#, covering some of the basics of functional programming and F# in particular. This is intended at looking not only at the language, but the implementation as it regards to C#. Where We Are Before we begin today, let's catch up to where we are today: Part 1 - Basic functional programming Part 2 - Currying and Tuples Part 3 - Scope, Recursion and Anonymous Functions Part 4 - History of F#, Operators and Lists Part 5 - Pattern Matching So, today we'll be covering the ......

Posted On Friday, March 21, 2008 7:42 PM

Adventures in F# - FringeDC User Group
During my Adventures in F# series that I've been posting, I've always wondered where the interest in these languages come from. Sure, we have a lot of user groups in the Washington DC area, just to name a few that I've been to or belong to: DC ALT.NET User Group Capital Area .NET User Group (CapArea.NET) Rockville .NET User Group (RockNUG) Central Maryland .NET Professionals (CMAP) Microsoft Integration and Connected Systems User Group (MICSUG) Northern VA SQL Server User Group (NoVASQL) Northern ......

Posted On Wednesday, March 19, 2008 5:34 PM

Looking at DSLs in .NET
As I've mentioned in recent posts such as here, here and here, I've been very interested in Domain Specific Languages (DSLs), especially with regards to F# and the DLR as well. I recently re-listened to Software Engineering Radio Episode 52 with Obie Fernandez discussing DSLs in Ruby. One of the things that attracted me to Ruby for this was the flexibility of the syntax for closures, mixins, etc. Anyhow, it's a good listen and if you're new to the subject, you should give it a go. Also, there is ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 18, 2008 7:43 PM

Adventures in F# - F# 101 Part 5 (Pattern Matching)
Time for another adventure in F#, covering the 101 level basics of the language and why I think it's useful and how it can even help your C# as well. This time, I want to spend a good deal of time on pattern matching and a few other topics. Where We Are Before we begin today, let's catch up to where we are today: Part 1 - Basic functional programming Part 2 - Currying and Tuples Part 3 - Scope, Recursion and Anonymous Functions Part 4 - History of F#, Operators and Lists So, today, like I mentioned ......

Posted On Monday, March 17, 2008 7:04 PM

Adventures in F# - F# 101 Part 4
Time for another adventure in F#, covering the 101 level basics of the language and why I love it as much as I do. This time we're going to cover some topics such as custom operators, lists and so on. As I want to stress in every installment of this series, the importance of functional programming and its influence on the .NET framework. Don Syme, the creator of F# was instrumental in bringing generics into the .NET framework. With such things as lambdas, object initializers, collection initializers, ......

Posted On Thursday, March 6, 2008 2:34 AM

Adventures in F# - F# 101 Part 3
Update: Added more topics Part 4 - History of F#, Operators and Lists Today we have another installment of the Adventures in F# - F# 101 series. This time we're going to cover more functional programming basics and hopefully cover some pretty interesting things along the way and compare them with normal imperative style programming. I believe that functional programming, mixed with imperative constructs is the natural evolution of the .NET framework, and indeed the future of it. Like I've said before ......

Posted On Thursday, February 28, 2008 7:42 PM

Adventures in F# - F# 101 Part 2
I know it's been a little bit too long since I began this series from when I continued, but plenty of distractions came up along the way. I intend to go a little deeper today into what functional programming means and why you should care. As always, check out my previous post on the matter here. Getting Sidetracked Last night at the DC ALT.NET meeting, Craig Andera and I discussed Lisp, F# and functional programming as a whole. His language of the year was Lisp and I thought that was an interesting ......

Posted On Thursday, February 21, 2008 7:48 PM

Lang.NET Videos Now Available
As you may have seen from previous posts, I have been covering Lang.NET and some of the interesting things that came from it. I've always been interested in compilers, DSLs and such, and I hope you found them interesting as well. I covered it these posts here: Adventures in Compilers - Building on the DLR DSLs, Compilers and the Irony of it All Ruby.NET is dead, long live Ruby.NET Lang.NET and Rolling Your Own Anyhow, they have finally posted the videos from Lang.NET and are now available here for ......

Posted On Wednesday, February 20, 2008 5:20 PM

Adventures in F# - F# 101 Part 1
Update: Added more topics Part 2 - Currying, Tuples and Returning Values from Functions Part 3 - Scope, Recursion and Anonymous Functions Part 4 - History of F#, Operators and Lists In some previous posts, I pointed you to a bunch of links to help get me started. I'm still working on some more thorough examples, but this time around I'm going to walk you through the F# 101 much like I did with Spec#. What we first need to understand is the key differences between imperative and functional programming. ......

Posted On Monday, February 11, 2008 7:01 PM

Software Transactional Memory and F#
Since I have a rather long commute to and from work, I have the opportunity to get caught up on all sorts of podcasts and such. Very recently, I listened to the DotNetRocks Episode 310 with Simon Peyton Jones on Haskell and Functional Programming. It seems that Carl and Richard are definitely on a functional programming trip, and I think Scott Hanselman has joined the group as well with his shows on Hanselminutes. Since I've been learning F# and such I thought this show was well worth a listen, and ......

Posted On Thursday, February 7, 2008 7:57 PM

DSLs, Compilers and the Irony of it All
In a previous post, I posted about the Lang.NET symposium and rolling your own compiler. I cited an MSDN article that was a good starter for someone interested in writing that new language in .NET we've all been waiting for. It's not by any means to get you towards finishing IronRuby by yourself, but some of the fundamentals are covered. The reason I've stated that I'm pretty interested is that of course I'm a geek, but I'm also interested in Domain Specific Languages (DSLs) lately as you may notice ......

Posted On Wednesday, February 6, 2008 7:12 PM

Lang.NET and Rolling Your Own
Last week, the 2008 Lang.NET symposium was held last week. If you're not familiar with what that is, it's a discussion about languages, compilers and libraries within the .NET space. It's been one of those things I'd love to attend just to understand where Miguel de Icaza, Anders Hejlsberg, Luke Hoban, Jim Hugunin and others are going with their related languages. Lang.NET Stuff I followed Ted Neward's recaps as they were going on as to understand what all we were missing. He was good enough to provide ......

Posted On Monday, February 4, 2008 7:00 PM

C# vNext Revisited
I often rethink or have additions to my posts. This topic of what's coming in C# vNext is definitely one of them. I'm always looking for ways to push the envelope to see what I can get from the language. I have to credit such people as Scott Bellware and others to look more outside of the C# bounds and look to such things as Ruby and even F# to really open my eyes to the possibilities of this language. I'd love to see more F# features in the language as they have slowly seeped in and now pretty ubiquitous. ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 30, 2008 8:38 PM

Further Adventures in F#
Update: Added more F# samples and the foundations of functional programming In a previous post, I've begun a pretty fun adventure into F#. I'm still working on quite a few samples to post here shortly, but in the mean time, I've collected a bunch of samples that I think are pretty cool and well worth a look. I'm currently digging through Robert Pickering's book "Foundations of F#". I'm especially interested in his DSLs which I hope to cover here shortly. For those interested in the foundations of ......

Posted On Monday, January 28, 2008 11:26 PM

My Adventures in F#
Update: Added new Hanselminutes show on F# and other links With the new year comes new challenges. Recently I've been looking to take my background in statistics and get back into graduate school. With those days brought the days of functional programming, pattern matching and all sorts of things. So, with that, I began to look at F#. Why F#? No, it's not because it's shiny and new and everyone's talking about it. To a point, it made me more aware, but I won't just hop on the next best thing without ......

Posted On Friday, January 18, 2008 5:43 PM

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