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Scott Dorman Microsoft MVP, Software Architect, Developer, Author December 2007 Entries
Tampa Bay IASA Call for Speakers
The Tampa Bay International Association of Software Architects (IASA) is looking for speakers to present at our upcoming meetings. If you are a software architect in Tampa Bay or the surrounding areas, or are visiting from further away (or even out of state) and want to speak, please let me know. Each meeting is broken up into two presentations: Design Pattern Overview Main Topic The design pattern overview is just that - an overview of a particular design pattern. I try to find a design pattern ......

Posted On Monday, December 31, 2007 4:42 AM

Disappearing System Tray Icons on Windows Vista
I've been running Vista on my work laptop since the first quarter of this year and on my development system at home since August. So far, I haven't had too many problems with it. Actually, on my home system I've had almost no problems. My laptop, on the other hand, routinely has issues. One of the more annoying issues is that my wireless network connection periodically and randomly dies. It comes back to life after about 30 seconds to a minute, but it's still pretty frustrating. (Yes, I know I need ......

Posted On Monday, December 31, 2007 1:51 AM

Tampa Bay IASA - January 2008 Meeting
The Tampa Bay chapter of the International Association of Software Architects (IASA) is dedicated to building a community of professionals interested in topics related to software architecture. This organization welcomes all interested professionals. Whether you are a senior enterprise architect at a fortune 100 company or an aspiring architect with only a few years of experience. When: 1/31/2007 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM Topic: The Perfect Pattern Storm, where TDD meets UX and MVP As host of ARCast.TV, ......

Posted On Saturday, December 29, 2007 7:55 AM

Tampa Bay IASA Meeting Registration
We are moving the event registration to Eventbrite, which has added a lot of new capabilities and flexibility for us in terms of allowing people to register for the meetings. The most significant change is that we now have a dedicated URL for all of our meetings. To find any of the meetings that we are hosting, simply go to http://tampabayiasa.eventbr... From that page, you will see all of the events we are hosting, some information about the chapter, and a link to subscribe to an RSS feed to ......

Posted On Friday, December 28, 2007 10:29 PM

What Is a Build System?
A few days ago, I talked about my views on MSBuild and NAnt. In that post I mentioned the phrase "build system" several times. That, combined with catching up and re-reading some blog posts that I had flagged led me to Jeff Atwood's post "The F5 Key Is Not a Build Process". While some of Jeff's post is a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor, the points he makes are extremely valid. In order to understand what a "build system" is, you must first understand how you build code. This applies not just to individual ......

Posted On Thursday, December 27, 2007 3:58 PM

Visual Studio Color Schemes
There is always a lot of interest around my desk at work any time I change the color schemes in Visual Studio. I usually bounce between the default "light" color scheme and a "dark" scheme, mostly depending on much actual coding I'm doing at the moment, but sometimes just because I want a change. It isn't always easy to come up with a good color scheme and there isn't a good location online to collect the various color schemes people have created. Today, I came across a link on Charlie Calvert's ......

Posted On Monday, December 24, 2007 9:44 PM

C# 3.0 - Partial Methods
Partial methods are a new feature available in C# 3.0 that don't seem to get enough credit. I think there was a lot of confusion early on about what partial methods were and how they were used. Partial methods are intended to solve a major problem that is not only caused by code-generation tools and also affects those same tools. For instance, you are writing a code-generation tool but want to provide a way for the developers that are using your generated classes to hook in to specific areas of the ......

Posted On Monday, December 24, 2007 7:51 PM

Volatile Registry Keys
Up until recently, I had never heard of a volatile registry key. I cam across a post by Daniel Moth that presents an extension method that adds support for both .NET and NETCF. While I haven't looked at the projects he provides, it did get me thinking about what this support would actually mean. A volatile registry key is one whose information is stored only in memory and is not preserved when the corresponding registry hive is unloaded. For keys created under the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE hive, this occurs ......

Posted On Monday, December 24, 2007 5:47 PM

MSBuild or NAnt?
For the last 4 years or so I have been involved, either directly or indirectly, with creating standardized build systems that run on the Microsoft platform. Before that I was actually a Unix admin and developer and was very proficient in writing makefiles. When I first got involved in build systems for the Microsoft platform, it seemed like there were very few build script technologies available that were worth using. The best one available was the combination of NAnt and NAntContrib. There are many ......

Posted On Monday, December 24, 2007 1:06 PM

MSBuildContrib Updates
I know I just mentioned this project yesterday, but I wanted to thank those of you who have already downloaded it. Hopefully you have found it useful so far. I have already updated the project for the 1.0.2913.51352 release, which adds a few new tasks and cleans up some of the existing ones. Here is the current list of tasks: NAnt/NAntContrib Task MSBuildContrib Task Status Description attrib Attrib Complete* Changes the file attributes of a file or set of files and directories. checksum Checksum ......

Posted On Monday, December 24, 2007 10:42 AM

MSBuildContrib project on CodePlex
MSBuildContrib is the project for tasks and tools that aren't in MSBuild. This is similar to the NAntContrib project and will be incorporating as many of the NAnt and NAntContrib tasks as possible. There is still a long way to go, so if you are interested in helping out please let me know and I will add you to the project. Here is the list of NAnt or NAntContrib tasks that are planned and the current status: NAnt/NAntContrib Task MSBuildContrib Task Status Description codestats CodeStats Complete ......

Posted On Sunday, December 23, 2007 12:14 PM

Upcoming Community Events
It seems that there isn't a good source of information that consolidates all of the upcoming community events, excluding local user group meetings. While this isn't an exhaustive list, it's all of the ones I have found so far. If you know of an event that's missing or needs updating, please let me know. January Philly Code Camp: January 12, 2008 @ DeVry University in Fort Washington Day of Patterns and Practices Tampa 2008 Roadshow: January 31, 2008 @ Microsoft, Tampa Offices February Winnipeg Code ......

Posted On Saturday, December 22, 2007 12:46 PM

IASA Tampa Chapter - January 2008 Meeting
As I mentioned in my last post, we aren't holding a December meeting. Instead, the next meeting will be Thursday, January 31 from 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM at the Microsoft offices in Tampa. This is the same night as the Free Day of Patterns and Practices Tampa 2008 Roadshow, so if you are attending the PnP day be sure to stick around for the IASA meeting afterwards. The speaker is Ron Jacobs, an Architect Evangelist in the Microsoft Architecture Strategy group based at the company headquarters in Redmond ......

Posted On Thursday, December 20, 2007 10:25 AM

Free Day of Patterns and Practices Tampa 2008 Roadshow
Tampa 2008 Roadshow January 31, 2008, 8:30am - 4:00pm Microsoft - Tampa, Florida Register Join new and experienced Microsoft WinForms and Web developers for a day long FREE Developer Event covering Enterprise Library, Software Factories, and proven practices from Microsoft Patterns and Practices. Learn to increase developer productivity and application quality using Enterprise Library building blocks, code generation, and proven practices for Smart Clients, Web Clients, and Web Services. Learn how ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 19, 2007 10:10 PM

PDC 2008 Announced
October 27–30, 2008 Pre-conference October 26, 2008 Los Angeles, California For those of you who don't know, PDC is the definitive Microsoft event for software developers and architects focused on the future of the Microsoft platform. Originally, Microsoft was going to hold PDC this year (2007), but in June Microsoft announced that it was being rescheduled to align with some of the major platform milestones. At that time, they didn't have the new event date. As of last week, PDC 2008 was officially ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 19, 2007 9:45 PM

Visual Studio 2008 Rhythm Training Kit
If you are doing any work with any of the following technologies: LINQ, .NET 3.5 (C# 3.0, VB 9) WCF WPF WF CardSpace Silverlight ASP.NET Ajax .NET Compact Framework 3.5 VSTO 3.5 Visual Studio Team System and Team Foundation Server You should download the free Visual Studio 2008 Rhythm Training Kit (125MB). The training kit contains 5-days of technical content including 20 hands-on labs, 28 presentations, and 20 scripted demos ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 19, 2007 9:20 PM

Visual Studio 2008 for Architects
Jeff Barnes has made his extended talk (think "deep dive") on the following topics available: NET 3.5, Visual Studio Enhancements Lifecycle tools ALM, C#, VB9, Interop, LINQ ParallelFX PLINQ Services (WCF, WF, CardSpace) Windows Applications Web Applications Office Applications Mobile Applications Synch Services for ADO.NET Orcas_For_Architects_Jbarnes - - 3.6 MB Orcas_For_Architects_Jbarnes - - 4.8 MB Orcas_For_Architects_Jbarnes - Part_3_Links And 188 KB ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 19, 2007 9:16 PM

OpenGauntlet Project
One of the new features that will be available as part of the Visual Studio "Rosario" release is called "Gated Checkin". This is based on an internal tool that Microsoft uses called Gauntlet. Gauntlet was originally created in 1996 by the IE team, but is now used fairly widely in a few different variations. The idea behind gated checkin is that it helps prevent build breaks by verifying the changes before the checkin occurs and rejecting them if something fails. Continuous integration also provides ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 19, 2007 9:12 PM

DLLImport Consistency and Performance
Daniel Moth has an interesting post that talks about performance and the DllImport attribute. The underlying theme to his post is that you should define a convention for how the DLL name is specified in the attribute. This actually has a significant enough impact that it really should become one of the rules in your coding standards documents. If we take an example, all of the following are valid and will work at runtime without any problems: 1: [DllImport("kernel32.dll")] 2: static extern ...; 3: ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 19, 2007 8:53 PM

.NET Framework v2.0 and v3.0 SP1
Now that Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework v3.5 have shipped, you may have noticed that Service Pack 1 for .NET Framework 2.0 and Service Pack 1 for .NET Framework 3.0 also shipped at the same time. Both are automatically installed with .NET Framework v3.5, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista Service Pack 1. For Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 they are available as a standalone update. Daniel Moth has an excellent post that describes what is actually in the service packs. Here is the ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 19, 2007 8:38 PM

FxCop Spell Checking Rules
I just came across this post by Travis Illig, one of the Subtext developers, that brings up an interesting issue with FxCop 1.35. Apparently, FxCop 1.35 uses the Office 2003 spell checker for the spelling rules. If you don't have Office 2003 (and it must be Office 2003) installed, the spell check rules will fail. Travis isn't the first person to document this problem. This problem is known and will be fixed in newer versions of FxCop. Visual Studio 2008 code analysis tools have spelling rules built ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 19, 2007 8:22 PM

Search and Replace Plugin for Windows Live Writer
I just came across Steve's blog post about a new Search & Replace plugin for Windows Live Writer written by Waldek Mastykarz. This plugin fills a pretty big gap in WLW and even has support for regular expressions. The code is available on CodePlex ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 19, 2007 8:12 PM

ASP.NET Extensions - MVC Framework
The much-talked about MVC Framework that Microsoft is working on was released last week as part of the ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions. It also has some other pretty cool stuff, including Dynamic Data controls, Ajax history support, ADO.NET Data Services, updated support for Silverlight and the ADO.NET Entity Framework. Once you download it, here are some great resources to check out: Scott Guthrie's 4 part tutorial on building an MVC based application Phil Haack (the PM for the MVC Framework) Rob Conery ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 19, 2007 8:05 PM

IASA Tampa Chapter Updates
Last month's meeting with Cory Foy was excellent. Cory Foy talked about concepts from Michael Feathers' work on Working Effectively with Legacy Code and I presented a quick introduction and overview to the MVC and MVP patterns. We had about 15 people attending which was down a bit from October's meeting but we did have a few new faces as well. Just a reminder, there will be no meeting in December due to the holidays. The next meeting will be the end of January and should feature Ron Jacobs. We are ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 19, 2007 7:50 PM

Quiet Time

I just realized that my blog has been fairly quiet for the last few weeks. To those who are regular readers, my apologies. Between the holidays and work, I haven't had much time to give my blog. I plan to spend the rest of the week and the long holiday weekend catching up...bear with me.

Posted On Tuesday, December 18, 2007 9:01 PM

Ajax and .NET Developers
My friend Simone has created an interesting survey focused on .NET developers and Ajax. It's a more focused response to this survey on the Ajaxian blog. As of 2 AM (in Italy), there have been 415 responses: ASP.NET Ajax: 80% AJAX Control Toolkit: 17% JQuery: 13% raw Ajax: 12% If you are a .NET developer and are working with Ajax be sure to take the survey ......

Posted On Tuesday, December 18, 2007 8:39 PM

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