Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Michael Gartenberg - Still Not Twittering

Michael Gartenberg is still not twittering, poor unenlightened soul. He prefers to use Facebook for his minute-to-minute status, and doesn't want to add another bunch of contacts to another social network after having done it twice with Facebook and LinkedIn. Sure can't blame him for that. To mix a metaphor, the walled gardens need to start playing a little more nicely with each other. I think then we'll all be a little more inclined to add a new network to our lists. I got a Jaiku account after the Google news, but I haven't put forth the effort to put a bunch of my contacts on it, or to find a nice client for it, and because of that I haven't even looked at the web page in days.

Michael also points out that it's another feed to check. He's already got a bunch of RSS feeds, work email, and personal email, and doesn't want another feed to look at.

But he is willing to admit that he might be missing things. The issue of how to prioritize feeds is coming up for me, too. The feeds in my information stream generally break down to:

  • General status updates and tweets

  • Quick-skim blog entries, newspaper articles, longer forum discussion posts

  • Technical papers, long blog entries, that you can't really get the gist of by skimming

  • General or group emails

  • Emails specifically to me, or that I need to deal with

  • Tweets specifically to me

(Picture by Pete Reed)

How these are prioritized, and how they should be prioritized, are two different beasts. Certainly my top priority items are emails and tweets for me - they're the things I want to read first. After that, depending on how much time I have, I may want to skim the short items or buckle down to a technical paper. But how I actually prioritize them is via the application they're sitting on. I have a Twitter reader, Outlook, Gmail, and Google Reader to grab all these different feeds: stuff that comes in via Outlook gets highest priority since it has the nicest toast mechanism. Teletwitter, my twitter reader, doesn't always pop toast properly, so I'll often miss messages on it, although I don't care so much since they're low priority. Except, of course, for the ones targeted to me, which are high priority, but which I still miss since there's no way to grab them out of the twitter stream. And if a good technical paper comes across Google Reader, I'll probably share or star it to come back to as I J-J-J through the list, then forget about it entirely.

So there's clearly work to be done in this space.

I am absolutely sure that all my streams can be prioritized together properly, because it seems to me that it can be mechanized without too much trouble, but I'm not sure how yet. But I'm sure someone out there is already working on the issue.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Bloomington Geek Dinner

I copied the link up there from the Facebook event page...I have no idea what it will tell you if you're not a member, or even if the link is good for anyone besides me! Anyway, we're hosting a Bloomington Geek Dinner next Tuesday. Geek dinners got to be popular in the last few years, probably due to Scoble's encouragement, and for a while was up for people to schedule their events and create guest lists. No more, but Facebook is good for scheduling parties, perhaps too good judging from some IU undergrads, and there are a lot of Facebook groups as well as open Web pages for local geeks to find each other, meet, eat, and talk tech; for the big cities there are even specialized girl geek dinners.

But none for Bloomington, until now. Or even Indianapolis, as far as I know; if you're up in Indy feel free to come down - we'd love to have you.

It'll be at Max's Place downtown, starting around 7PM. See you there!

View Larger Map

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Indy Tech Fest

Big room has no wifi; smaller room seems to work pretty well. I feel very blind without a net connection. Have I said that before? :)

Session #1:
Stephen Fulcher, VS 2008
3.0 install only has WCF and WPF, everything else is the same as 2.0
Integration is tight to SQL Server. Other db's?
anonymous variables - new keyword var (not untyped, but takes on the type of the right-hand side)
lambda funcs,
extension methods: public bool IsBool( this string s )
Generate code metrics?
Q: Is var a breaking change? A: no, you can still use it is the name of a variable

Services (not web services, just services)
ServiceContract, OperationContract, DataContract attributes. - all specified as an interface
svcutil.exe generates client code and can resolve from existing DLL's

Session 2:
Mark Strawmeyer
C# tips & tricks

ctrl-alt-downarrow window list
ctrl-/ takes you to search menu
In the search window, type a ">" to go to a list of immediate-style commands
F12 is "go to definition"
Shift-F12 "Find all References", then use F8 to cycle through them
Code snippets - intellisense to generate code - type in the code and tab (to autocomplete), tab (to generate)
very powerful! prop, for, tryf
"Organize using" tools in VS2008
Unit testing support:
Test input from data source
unit test assemblies without source
Now part of VS2008 Pro
"Create Unit Test" option
Code Profiling is not part of Pro

---- Break for lunch. There are some lunchtime sessions but we just hung out in the lobby and watched the XBoxers.

Session 3:
Mark Strawmeyer
Ajax Tips

eh. Mostly just an overview of

Session 4:


Chad Campbell

Silverlight is the new name for WPF/E. Create a silverlight object using xaml. Add "Silverlight.CreateObjectEx()" to the HTML to use the plugin.
You can use .Net with silverlight 1.1. Silverlight is a browser-based plugin. It's cross-browser, cross-platform. What does that mean? They've written a plugin for Firefox as well as IE? Supports Mac and Linux and Safari as well. .Net framework used by Silverlight is specific to Silverlight.

Access the HTML DOM from managed code. Silverlight plugin will not be able to access the local file system.

Session 5

Dave Bost

WPF applications

Starts by demoing a Twitter feed on his page, created with Silverlight

Is it going to be the same presentation he did in Indy about a year ago? I don't think I blogged about that.

WF, WPF, WCF, Cardspace. WPF is .Net layer over DirectX.

Nice demo of an airport simulation

Expression is a set of tools for designers. Expression Web, Blend, Design, Media. Costs a bundle, though. Once you design the xaml, you can edit it in Visual Studio. in Indy every month.