Presentation Styles of Mr. Gates and Mr. Jobs 

If you've got 10 minutes and want to read a couple of pages, this is a must read.

There is so much difference between how Jobs and Gates do presentations. If you haven't seen one of them yet, there are many (Gates CES 2006 speech) options (Apple MacWorld 2006).

Categories:  Other
Sunday, January 29, 2006 11:54:53 AM (Central Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments


 WinFX and the State of Industry 

My current occupation leads me to spend as much time as possible in WinFX.

WinFX should stand for Windows Framework Extensions. What a Windows Framework is, I don't know. I know what .NET Framework is, but that's another drop in the ocean.

Having said that, there seems to be inconsistency between what is, will be or was inside WinFX (or WinFX Runtime Components, if you wish).

In 2003, WinFX (if you were at the majorrevealingconferenceoftheyear - PDC 2003), you would concur that WinFX will be:

  • Indigo (related to everything communication)
  • Avalon (related to everything presentation)
  • WinFS (related to everything storage, somehow)

In 2004 things changed.

WinFX mysteriously dropped WinFS and inherited something called Workflow - Windows Workflow Services (now called Windows Workflow Foundation).

At first, Windows Workflow Foundation was acronymed WWF, which makes sense - you've got WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation - Avalon), WCF (Windows Communication Foundation - Indigo) and WWF (Windows Workflow Foundation - WWF).

It is now 2006 and WWF is acronymed WF (just Windows Workflow) and it is still a part of WinFX. WinFS is still gone (scheduled to be released after Vista ships).

What worries me the most is that the current plan precludes that this technologies won't make it into the Vista ship vehicle. They just won't be deployed with the OS. If you make all the fuss around it, invest major tolars in education budget you still won't be sure that the client supports it.

Windows Installer 3.1 is a wonderful thing, but nonetheless, if anyone can deploy groundbreaking technology in no time it's Microsoft. Sure, there are 'small footprint security implications' guidelines driving Vista, but no one is saying this beast should be deployed in active state. Make it available and make it passive. Support it via Windows Update if showstoppers arise.

There is no need to be scared of another IIS 4 story. There are mechanisms for deploying technology and not using it by default.

Please, do not make WinFX fade.

Categories:  Windows Vista | .NET 3.0 - General | Work
Sunday, January 29, 2006 12:10:36 AM (Central Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments


 Microsoft Expression Interactive Designer (Sparkle) - January 2006 CTP Released! 

Just a day after my 'Sparke in CTP form' wishes, they came true.

Microsoft Expression Interactive Designer (codename Sparkle) is out (January 2006 CTP).

Get it here and have fun with real Avalon capabilities.

Categories:  .NET 3.0 - WPF
Tuesday, January 24, 2006 11:43:08 AM (Central Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments


 WPF: Photo Browser 

This is a little application I wrote to demonstrate some of the abilities of WPF framework, It's got all the necessary animations in the selection ListBox and also a full blown picture viewer.

Run it in a command prompt, preferably in a directory which includes pictures (.jpg, .bmp, .gif).

You need December 2005 or January 2006 CTP of WinFX Runtime Components and a good graphics card.



Photo Browser Avalon Application

Categories:  .NET 3.0 - WPF
Sunday, January 22, 2006 4:27:40 PM (Central Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments


 Avalon (WPF), "Cider" Designer and January 2006 CTP 

The WPF (read Avalon) application and programming models are just beautiful.

Having the ability to display the same markup in a standalone app or a web browser based app is fantastic. HTTP deployment scenarios are a snap (if you can figure the damn MIME types out).

Having said that, there are still major issues with the "Cider" designer, which shipped in December 2005 for the first time and resurfaced in January 2006 CTP (release notes here).

For it to be of any use, there are currently a couple of major disadvantages (yes, it's a CTP):

  • It does not support (or has really limited support) to include external classes that one would want to use in a rich client, Avalon application. The following mapping PI <?Mapping XmlNamespace="my" ClrNamespace="MyNamespace" Assembly="MyDLL"?> breaks the designer and if one needs to include the class inside XAML, one needs to put it in a directory behind environment variable CIDER_MAPPING_DLL_DIR.
  • There's no support for generating event handler implementation methods automatically. There's even no double clicking on the components one has drawn on the design surface.
  • There's no ability to delete a component using a designer, once it's been drawn. You have to delete the approprite XAML block in an XML editor.
  • Certain container components (like System.Windows.Controls.WrapPanel) do not allow a component to be draged (drawn) inside itself. You have to manually move the appropriate XAML block inside the <WrapPanel> element.
  • There's no way to display a custom user control inside the current build of "Cider" designer. You can, however, display any Page, Window and Panel based components.

I'm wondering when Sparkle (Microsoft Expression Interactive Designer) is going to be updated to the latest WPF bits so it could work with 2.0.50727 and December 2005/January 2006 WPF. We need it as a CTP. Hell, if you're at it, release the complete Expression suite in CTP form.

Note: December 2005 and January 2006 bits of WPF should be binary compatible. I hope that this is a first indication of stabilization process starting. There's just too many products that rely on WPF rendering engine for it to be volatile.

Categories:  .NET 3.0 - WPF
Sunday, January 22, 2006 11:50:36 AM (Central Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments


 Installing WinFX January 2006 CTP over December 2005 CTP 

If you plan to upgrade your WinFX bits with the yesterday released January 2006 CTP of WinFX Runtime Components consider the following:

You do not need to do a fresh reinstall, even though that is what is suggested in the docs:

  • Reinstall procedure works on Windows XP SP2 (x86 and x64)
  • Reinstall procesure workd on Windows Vista 5270 (December 2005 CTP)

First, uninstall all December 2005 CTP bits in the following order:

  1. Visual Studio 2005 Extensions for Windows Workflow Foundation (December 2005 CTP)
  2. Visual Studio 2005 Extensions for WinFX (December 2005 CTP)
  3. Microsoft Command Shell (December 2005 CTP, comes with Windows SDK)
  4. Windows SDK (December 2005 CTP)
  5. WinFX Runtime Components (December 2005 CTP)

Then, invert the installation process:

  1. WinFX Runtime Components (January 2005 CTP)
  2. Windows SDK (January 2005 CTP)
  3. Visual Studio 2005 Extensions for WinFX (January 2005 CTP)
  4. Visual Studio 2005 Extensions for Windows Workflow Foundation (January 2005 CTP)

For now, I can't see any major differences in programming model of January <> December WinFX CTP.

Categories:  Windows Vista | .NET 3.0 - General | Work
Thursday, January 19, 2006 12:04:01 PM (Central Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments


 WinFX January 2006 CTP Released 

WinFX January 2006 CTP just went live.

With it, a Go-Live licence is available for WCF and WF. Sign and deploy.

Update: They managed to screw up the download links again. Beware: If you're downloading complete installs (and not the setup manager) use the lower links for x86 and x64 images (there are two on the get the beta page).

The following links will lead to correct complete download of WinFX January 2006 CTP Runtime Components:

You can also check the file version. The correct WinFX RTC version for January 2006 CTP is 3.0.50727.154 (file size 44.488 KB [x86] and 84.464 KB [x64]). December CTP was 3.0.50727.151 and file sizes were a couple KB lower.

Categories:  Web Services | .NET 3.0 - General | Work
Wednesday, January 18, 2006 9:34:01 PM (Central Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments


 New Year, New Blogger 

A fantastic presenter, but an even better friend had a news year's day epiphany.

It came out as a resolution: 'I should start blogging'.

Dušan Zupančič, welcome to the blogosphere. Keep those <asp:*> tags flowing..

Categories:  Personal
Tuesday, January 3, 2006 10:19:40 AM (Central Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments


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