D'Arcy from Winnipeg
Solution Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, and Adoption

November 2007 Entries

Community Antipattern - Rock Star

After my experience at Dev Teach, I've decided to do away with the term "Rock Star" to associate with those that we deem as the top echelon of our industry. When you look at the musical version of Rock Stars, what do you think of? - Ego driven/Narcisistic- Expectation of appreciation by fans- Driven by monetary gain (Why are concerts only in the larger city centers?)- Assumption of relevence Rock Stars exist in our industry, make no mistake. At the recent Canadian MVP Summit that us UG leaders were ......

Dev Teach Day 5 - Dev Teach Retrospect

In a few short hours I'll be on the plane heading back to Winnipeg, where there's almost 2 feet of snow and -30 C weather. Although I'm sad to leave Vancouver and the amazing week we've had, I'm absolutely drained and potentially burnt out from the content overload that this week provided...and that's not a bad thing. When you go to a conference, you want to "drink from the fire hose" and leave with a want to learn what you saw and with a greater understanding of the industry that we're in. I cannot ......

Dev Teach Day 4 - Mad Mexican and Beth Massi

The Mad Mexican threw his support behind Bess Massi, which means her blog will now skyrocket to over a bajillion subscribers! Video: Mad Mexican Hearts Beth Massi ......

Dev Teach Day 4 - THE MAIN EVENT: Justice Gray on MVC

(This will be a live blogging event: I'll be updating this post throughout the discussion, so refresh often) The Intro Justice is lavishing the man-love on Jeffery Palermo. Things you might be offended by in this session: - Woman beating up men. - A 5 condition if statement - Rampaging masculenity- The Mad Mexican - Fantastic shirts (There were a few others) "Grab your testes, and lets go on a ride to Sexy Town" "Django, Rails, and MonoRails is all hippy speak." Nice So What's The Big Deal? OMG...Justice ......

Dev Teach Day 4 - David Laribee: Fundamental Domain Driven Design

Today was my crash day. I slept until noon today, not from an alcohol induced stupor but just from a crazy fire-hose-drinking, shindig-happening, information overloading weekend (which *may* have included alcohol at various points). *Need to read Eric Evans book on DDD* Domain models is a pattern for construction of a system. Take the specific areas of an application that have high complexity and focus there. *David has just won the most metrosexual presentation award at Dev Teach for his slide deck.* ......

Dev Teach Day 3 - Source Control Best Practices with Bil Simser and James Kovacs

Are there really places that just use zip files for source control? Wow. I've been lucky to never have worked anywhere like that...VSS was always the lowest point I was at. Optimistic locking is a good thing; keeps things current. Friends don't let friends use VSS. Tortoise SVN has an adapter for TFS that allows you to see the status of your files (checked out, not checked out) in your explorer! Very kewl. Branching - How to Structure Your Sourcecode Folder Subversion can move the folder structure ......

Dev Teach Day 3 - David Laribee and Friends on Agile

Interesting format...we take a list of topics from the group and then we all prioritize. Then we have 5 seats up front, but one is always empty. So we get 4 people from the group sit up there. When we've talked about one subject to satisfaction, one person comes off the panel and someone else goes on. Interesting... Installing Agile from Waterfall - Don't call it Agile; focus on the techniques instead. Encourage continual testing/integration. Encourage smaller "phases" that are limited to a feature ......

Dev Teach Day 3 - Rob Windsor: Intro to Windows Communication Foundation

I heart Rob Windsor...I must say that up front. Rob is a class guy and I'm really looking forward to him stroking my cereberal cortex with WCF goodness. WCF Basics Service ContractDefined by an interface type,a nd attributes are used to indicate the methods that will be included in the service topic. Service ClassRegular class with no inheritance requirements and implements the service contract interface. Service HostServices hosted in any application, as well as IIS.Service ClientConsumes operations ......

The Formation of the MVC Megapowers is Upon Us!

Not since the Hart Foundation tried to take out Randy Savage after his IC Championship win over the Honky Tonk Man, where Elizabeth found Hulk Hogan in the back to come and save him from the beat down, have we seen such a formation of megapowers...until TODAY! Jeff Palermo spoke on MVC this morning, and lavished his geekly-man-love for the other MVC presenter at the Dev Teach conference: Justice Gray. After the discussion, Justice and Jeff verbally assaulted* some who questioned the validity of the ......

Dev Teach Day 3 - Jeff Palermo and MVP

I was hoping for the ASP.NET Rich Client talk, but alas it was canceled...so I find myself in Jeff Palermo's session on MVC. Jeff apparantly looks good in a suit (at least that's what Julie says...). Hmm..."Things you'll lose with MVC: Viewstate, Postbacks". That's attractive... Jeff just gave Justice a plug...these guys are true blood BFF. So with the new MVC framework, your controls can still be bound on the form for rendering...you don't need to use the viewstate or postback events for it though. ......

I (L) VB.NET - Fighting the Man (Man == C#)

Well, the Man is probably more like all those out there that only release samples and examples in C#, ignoring the millions (and millions) of VB.NET developers out there. Chris Williams has championed a new online community meant to bring all anti-semicolon peeps together to share experiences and skills together at ilovevb.net. So if you're down with the VB way of things, check out the site! D ......

Dev Teach Day 3 - Out of Agile, Into Coding

Yesterday was filled with Agile talks, but today my focus is switching to some of the more code-intensive presentations. 8:00 - Rich Internet App. with ASP.NET AJAX and WCSF (Glenn Block)9:30 - Intro to WCF (The Rob)11:00 - Interaction Based Testing with Rhino Mocks (Oren Eini)1:30 - Ajaxing your .NET Apps (Rod Paddock) or Agile Q&A with Dave Laribee & Friends3:00 - Source Control in the Enterprise: Best Practices (Bil Simser) Donald and I are going to work out the last session of the day, ......

Dev Teach - Indian Food and Another Saskatchewan Joke

So we headed out yesterday for dinner, and found this awesome Indian food place in downtown Vancouver. It was awesome...amazing food that had the home-cooked flair. The ladies working that night took great care of us too...I'll have to get the name so I can post it. We also found a great photo-op to have fun with our resident Regina rep here at Dev Teach. We saw the shop below and HAD to get a picture of Gary with it. Notice that the store uses a bike lock to keep thieves at bay...classic ......

Random Ramblings at 12:35 AM CST/10:35 PST

Vancouver is an interesting city...different from the other larger cities that I've ever been to. It's got the vitality and life of Montreal, but with the industrialized atmosphere of Seattle. The high-rises all look like they're unfinished, but they are...they just have a very rough, Terminator-2-ish sort of feel to them...it's definately unique. I read Mathew Good's blog quite a bit, which is mostly his commentary on social issues in the world today, and he talks about Vancouver (where he lives) ......

Dev Teach - Random Pics

I started a Flickr group for random pictures from Dev Teach. You can view it here.



Dev Teach Day 2 - David Laribee: The Story, The Iteration, The Release (A Data Dump on Agile Planning)

David Laribee is prepping right now for his talk...yet another Mac user, and not like others who are using Windows on his Mac...we're going to be seeing Apple Keynote in action folks! Another full house here in the Agile room. David looks to be using a 15" Mac Powerbook. I wasn't a huge fan of the smaller screen size, but Kent Sharkey was in the office last week with his and the resolution is surprisingly good. Woodsy almost tripped Oren...geeze Woodsy, are you that badly wanting to speak that you'd ......

Dev Teach Day 2 - Jeremy Miller and How Design Gets Done on an Agile Project

First session of the day is Jeremy Miller and talking about designing for agile projects. The first thing that I noticed is that Jeremy looks different from his picture...he's taller than I expected and his hair has grown out a bit...his selection of sweater is Vancouver-Fall Sheik...WTF, am I Justice Gray all of a sudden? Room is starting to fill up...these seats are really close together. Holy crap...standing room only...there's a bunch of people standing in the back...15 or so people probably. ......

Dev Teach Day 1 - UG Summit and Party With Polermo

Day 1 of our little Dev Teach adventure seems like it was enough to fill an entire week already! Others have already started blogging about it, so make sure to keep an eye on those who are here and commenting on the general happenings around Dev Teach. But I digress, back to Day 1. UG Summit Monday was the User Group summit, which Microsoft graciously hosted for us at their new downtown Vancouver offices. This also coincided with the Canadian MVP summit at the same location. Our user group discussions ......

Dev Teach Day 1 - UG Summit

UG summit is going strong, and we're approaching our get-together with the MVP's for a conversation on how we can work together and ...well, I'm actually not sure yet what we're talking about, but it should be good. Morning session was great though...the UG leaders had great discussion around extending the life of user group events via live meeting, web casts, etc., and also how we can impact our industry to encourage others to becoming IT professionals (targeting college, high school, as well as ......

Dev Teach - Day 0

Today was travel day to Vancouver for Dev Teach. It started out pretty rough. After our plane was de-iced it was discovered that the computers weren't downloading information properly...so the plane had to be rebooted. Well, the computers did...but to do that, you had to restart the plane. So back to the terminal we went...approx an hour later, we were airborne. We got in to Vancouver at perfect timing actually. Donald Belcham was going to meet us there, and our delay put us at the same arrival time ......

The Big Game Today Happens In Toronto

For all my American friends, today is a glorious football day indeed! For today the Canadian Football League crowns its champion in the Grey Cup match between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers: two teams that have had a bitter rivalry for decades! Now my American friends may be wondering "Why should we care about Canadian football? Don't they have weird rules like only three downs, a bigger field, don't allow fair catches, and give single-points for touchbacks?" Yes, all ......

Canadian User Group Summit Location

Below is a pic showing where the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre (site of Dev Teach) is compared to the Microsoft offices in downtown Vancouver. (Click to download and view a larger version) ......

Canadian UG Summit on Monday at Dev Teach West

This Monday, Dev Teach will be kicking off with a User Group summit. Below is the agenda. Please note that morning sessions are held two at a time simultaneously. Also note that INETA will be hosting the last afternoon segment, not the second last. 9:00 Get Most out of Your UG Event / How to Stimulate Membership to Help 10:30 Tools to Help Your User Group / Creating a Local Event Strategy: How to Organize Long Term Community Learning 12:00 Keynote - Sean O'Driscoll 12:45 Lunch 1:15 UG Group Discussion ......

Feed Issues

Russ pinged me about issues getting my feed into his aggregator (thanks for the heads up Russ!). I'm not sure why, but the only thing I can think of was that I was playing around with FeedBurner momentarily (as in, hooked it up, but didn't really pay much attention after that), so it could be that I didn't follow through the process enough or something. Anyway, if you're feeds start getting spammed by my rantings, my apologies...it should go back down to a steady flow instead of opening the firehouse ......

.NET 2.0 Project in VS.NET 2005 != .NET 2.0 Project in VS.NET 2008

Interesting nuance with VS.NET 2008: although you can target a project for the .NET 2.0 framework, it seems that opening an existing project developed with VS.NET 2005 still requires you to go through a migration wizard. When you think about it, this makes sense: the framework doesn't change, but the IDE does and as such the nuances for creating/reading project information. So just be aware that if you create an app in 2008, and not all of your dev team has migrated up, they might not be able to ......

Why you need to look at SubSonic NOW.

There are a number of tools out there that will auto-gen your DAL from a database schema, most notably nHibernate. But another tool, SubSonic, should be on your queue of tools to research and investigate...especially if you're getting hot under the collar for the upcoming MVC framework from Microsoft. SubSonic is an open source product that will automagically generate your DAL and supporting entity objects based on a database schema. I've been lucky to have Kent Sharkey here in the office the last ......

Song Request to Roy Osherove

Hey Roy, here's a song title, you do the rest:

"There's a Tier in my Beer..."

HA HA HA

D



Car Shopping Update: We Have A Winner!

Picture it: Saturday we go out for a final test drive with the Toyota Rav4. We're pretty sure that this is going to be the vehicle for us...but only if we get a good deal. We really didn't want to do the whole walk away, come back, walk away, take a week to solidify the deal, etc. thing...so we were hopeful that we could swing a deal that day. I had all my information set up and all my arguments ready for why they should give it to us for $1500 off sticker...that was our happy place as far as price ......

Microsoft Partner Program: Exercise in Futility!

All I want to do is register myself with the Microsoft Partner Program...sign in, subscribe to the Action Pack, and get all cuddly with Microsoft. The first test to see if you're worthy, apparantly, is to actually REGISTER for the Partner Program. I start by going here and entering my registration information under "enroll my organization". After clicking next, I'm told that there are other entries for my company name already in the system, all that haven't been enrolled yet either (hmm...so all ......

Eric, why are you so sexy?! Is it because you're presenting on Sharepoint tomorrow?!

Hey folks, our resident metro-sexual 80's rock star Eric Legault is going to be presenting at the Winnipeg IT Pro UG on Sharepoint. The event goes down tomorrow, and you can get information on the session here: http://www.witpro.ca/Lists/... D ......

Interesting VS.NET 2008 Master Page Quirk

Workign with VS.NET 2008, I noticed an odd quirk when working with Master Pages: In the 08 version of a Master Page, you get two content areas: one in the head and one in the body. If you delete the one in the head, take it right out, the app will throw a run-time exception saying it can't find the expected control in the head. There's no reference to it anywhere in teh code behind though...or the web.config file...and I can't believe that this would somehow be baked into the compiler somehow...looking ......

SQL Server 2008 November CTP

The November CTP for SQL Server 2008 has been released. You can get the ISO downloads from here:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=3BF4C5CA-B905-4EBC-8901-1D4C1D1DA884&displaylang=en

D



Justice Responds to Dev Teach Schedule Change

Oh boy...

http://graysmatter.codivation.com/PalermoStealsThunderFromGrayFilmAt11.aspx

I wonder if that "castoff from Color Me Badd" will incorporate some boy-band moves into his presentation...

"Anything you want it to, DNN can do for yoooooooooou..."

D



Why MVC Has Me Concerned

Everyone is talking about the new MVC framework that will be released in the coming weeks as a CTP, and so far everyone is very pumped about the way it will revolutionize web application development...how it will allow us to utilize testing tools, TDD, etc. It's always mentioned with reverence and joy. Well, hello: my name is Killjoy. I've read Scott G.'s recent blog entry that gives a great detailed description of how the MVC framework will operate and he walks through a sample app that explains ......

More Adventures In Car Shopping...

Had a few more test drives...narrowing down the vehicles... Back to Saturn... So the Outlook is a nice vehicle, but way too big. I took an 08 VUE out for a spin and had a very positive experience. The 08 Vue is totally different from the 07 model. GM went to a European manufacturer, Opel, to design the new Vue...and it does look entirely different from the 07 model (less boxy, more euro-like). The V6 engine was refreshing compared to the Torrent's, and the size of the vehicle was comfortable: not ......

Justice Gray speaking on ASP.NET MVC at Dev Teach Vancouver

Justice announced on his site that he'll be speaking at Dev Teach this month on the new MVC framework Microsoft is releasing: "Introduction to the Microsoft MVC Architecture...what side are YOU on?? Presented by Justice Gray Everybody who is anybody is talking about the new MVC. And when you've heard it mentioned, you've *also* heard the standard "We can all play nice together", "there's still room for choice", "this is just an alternative" and all those other phrases that likely also involve group ......

Not Going to Calgary Tech Fest

Due to some unforseen stuff, I won't be taking the trip out to Calgary this weekend for the Tech Fest. :(

For those that were hoping to see my presentation on AJAX, I'll be doing it as a web-cast and making it available sometime next week.

D



Virtual User Groups - Excellent Option For Promoting SIG's

I got an email from someone looking for support for a user group he had started up. There was an interesting catch though: the group was virtual! The initial meeting had been conducted over Live Meeting, had 4 speakers each sharing part of the overall time, and basically extended the community beyond any local geographical boundaries...in fact one of the speakers was from the Netherlands! This got me thinking...how often do we look at our groups and think "man, it would be so kewl if we could get ......

VS.NET 2008 and .NET 3.5 Shipping...When?...This Month?!

Apparently at TechEd Barcelona it was announced that VS.NET 2008 and .NET 3.5 are shipping not in early 2008, but THIS MONTH. Seriously?!

That's excellent news and hopefully will drive interest in the new platform...and even if it doesn't, we now have a new tool to develop 2.0 applications on, and for web developers this is a great thing...GREAT THING!

D



Adventures in Car Shopping

Still looking for the elusive second vehicle, but I've now hit three dealerships and have come out relatively un-slimed. Dealership 1: Saturn Saturn of old is not the Saturn of new apparantly, with their "no haggle price" being in question as more and more GMC-ness invades the company that tries to be different. Upon approaching the lot I was greeted by a very nice salesman, and after telling him I was interested in taking an Outlook out for a drive he asked me to wait inside while he brought one ......

Now this is just silly...

House in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada...60 years old...820 sq feet. House in Dallas, Texas, USA...1 year old...3500 sq feet What's the difference? The one in Texas is $10k CHEAPER. That's just nuts... D ......