Jeff Julian's Blog

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Next stop Cinncinatti OH. 

Tonight we all went out for some fun.  Drew, thanks..It was a blast. 


My presentation went off with a bang.  We landed at the Microsoft office exactly at 6pm because of a wreck that closed the road we were suppose to take.  The group was very energetic and asked lots of questions.  I want to thank them for coming and listen to me babble about syndication.  Afterwards a few of us went off for some dinner at a Chicken wing join across the street.  If you are in the Columbus area tonight, Drew, Jeff, me, and a few more people are getting together for some fun.  Post a comment and we will get you directions.

The Photos:


Hell yeah "people", I am going to Columbus! Got my bags packed, my friend formerly from Ohio driving, and the slide deck and examples. This is going to be a blast. I want to thank Greg Reinacker for donating a copy of Newsgator and 2 months of Online Services for the presentation. It is the perfect prize. If you are in the area, Drew has suggested a get together afterward, so you know it will be fun if Drew brings the camera.


INETA Academic, a committee that Jason Beres and I run, are currently looking for volunteers for the Imagine Cup local competitions around the US. If you are interested in some volunteering opportunities, like judging and speaking, please go to the site and fill out the information. At this point we will try and match you with schools in your area and make the connection for you. After this point it will be up to you and the student to work out the logistics. This is an exciting program and I hope to see a lot of you participate.


Today started of with an IM from John Bristowe about the completion of the ESF extension for Newsgator.  After that he told Greg R. from Newsgator.  Once he has blogged about it, Scoble and Dave Winer both mentioned it.  Crazy how quick the word can get out on a spec that has been sitting for a few months now.


Thanks to the excellent people at INETA, we are moving to a better place, not that Webhost4life is bad.  Tonight we are doing the db, then the site.  If I lose a post or a comment, I am sorry.  I will keep you up-to-date will more details.


Well I just love making RSS and using RSS to make other things, I can't help it.  Today, for my fifth example, I wrote a simple RSS to WordML transform.  WordML is a very robust dialect.  I can't believe how many elements actually go into producing WordML.  Very interesting stuff.  If you are looking for the best resource for information on XML and Office 2003, check out “XML in Office 2003 - Information Sharing With Desktop XML” by Charles Goldfarb and Priscilla Walmsley.  Tons of good information and a must have for XML geeks, like myself.


Tonight I used the iTextSharp libraries to transform RSS into the iTextSharp XML dialect, then transform it into PDF. This library is awesome and open source. If you haven't checked it out, I suggest you do. It is a .NET implementation of a Java library set called iText so some of the method names might bug you :D. I forgot how clean (and dirty) C# can actually be until I opened the source to make it support stream as input to the XmlParser instead of the filepath string it supports today.



Lately I have been working on some samples for my presentation in Columbus (Drew) and Austin (Scott Belleware).  Tonight I came up with a new sample idea.  With iTunes 4.2 being one of my favorite applications and one of the only ones, outside of VS.NET, I have open all day, I thought it would be cool to build a transform from the playlist to RSS, based on the songs I have recently played.  It isn't a very real world example, unless you are the RIAA :D, but is a good sample on how do convert an existing XML file to RSS.  I will post the transform later after I clean it up some more.  The web app actually runs decently fast, knowing it has to go through my playlist (3546 songs).

Congrats buddy, you deserve it!


Since I have purchased my new Dell Inspiron 8600, I realized I needed to update my office photo.  Here it is (and still clean :D).



Sorry if you experienced an outage today, something was going on at Webhost4life.  In the following weeks, we will be doing the transfer to INETA, so we should have better performance and a larger amount of uptime.


Wow... This set actually rocks!  I have never owned a wireless keyboard or mouse that I actually liked.  The design was always flawed in some way.  This one is almost perfect.  I really like the soft wrist rest (yeah yeah, you aren't suppose to use one when you type, whateva).  Also, it gives you the comfort of the Microsoft Office keyboards, without as much bulk.  The mouse is completely amazing.  One of the features the site actually talks about it the comfort for both right and left handed people.  I am left handed, and now I actually can use an Explorer mouse.  If you are in the market for a new keyboard and mouse set, I do highly recommend this one.


One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone updates an item of an RSS feed.  I understand if it is really necessary, like a fundamental problem with the sample or your information, but if it is a spelling error or something very small, LEAVE IT ALONE!  Most news aggregators will announce an edited item as new.  If you didn't know this or edit your items whenever, I suggest subscribing to your own feed and set the interval to 10-15 minutes.  That way you can feel the pain you are inflicting on everyone else. 

If you are a producer of RSS feeds, please don't change the way anything works.  Don't edit dates, don't add footers, just don't do anything.  If you have to do anything, set an update date for the new functionality in your code.  Once an item is ready for syndication, someone has picked it up and you don't want to re-syndicate them previous data they have.  Newgator, for example, adds this item again, so think about the size of your users .pst before doing this. 


Ouch, since when did the Hotmail mentality of advertising host at the bottom of an email reach blogs?  I have recently seen “This Blog is hosted by:” around blogdom and didn't like it much.  I don't know why communities much reach out this way.  Doesn't the domain name kind of give that away?  Anyway, I just want to reassure the bloggers here that this won't happen.  I don't feel this sort of marketing will make our community grow anymore than it has.  You kind of have to go to before you subscribe in most cases anyway.


Brian Tinkler, of Wisconsin .NET User Group, has decided to join the ranks of  Hopefully we will see some great post coming our way.


We are starting to prepare for the wedding in May.  One of the ideas we have is to use a powerpoint presentation to show photos of us during the pre-wedding gathering.  Well guess what I found, a photo of me and Waylon from TechEd.  Well for those of you who weren't there, Waylon is a giant bull that people sit on to get their pictures taken.  Sounds like a great job, huh?  I am completely petrified when it comes to cattle.  Being near a cow completely scares the piss out of me.  I don't remember who it was, but I know it was INETA folk, they got me  to get up on this bull.  If you look at my face (and Waylon's) we don't look to happy.  Anyway, I thought I would share this experience with you.



Well like most of you, I decided to go on a diet for my New Year's resolution.  I pick Nutrisystem as my diet of choice, mostly because that is what Michelle picked.  We want to get down to our original weight (or close to it) before the wedding in May.  Well after 3 weeks I have lost 12 lbs.  With this diet, you have to eat pre-packaged food every meal and buy for food for a month.  Kinda crazy.  I am pretty happy with the progress and the food isn't that bad. 

Anyone else have positive progress on their diets?