Friday, November 25, 2005

A thought experiment, just for fun

I typically, for a brief dose of humor, will go to the Dilbert site some point in my day. As I browsed to the daily comic strip I noted a link to Scott Adam’s free e-book entitled God’s Debris. Here is a part of the introduction:

The central character in God’s Debris knows everything. Literally everything. This presented a challenge to me as a writer. When you consider all of the things that can be known, I don’t know much. My solution was to create smart-sounding answers using the skeptic’s creed:

The simplest explanation is usually right.

My experience tells me that in this complicated world the simplest explanation is usually dead wrong. But I’ve noticed that the simplest explanation usually sounds right and is far more convincing than any complicated explanation could hope to be. That’s good enough for my purposes here.

The simplest-explanation approach turned out to be more provocative than I expected. The simplest explanations for the Big Questions ended up connecting paths that don’t normally get connected. The description of reality in God’s Debris isn’t true, as far as I know, but it’s oddly compelling. Therein lies the thought experiment:

Try to figure out what’s wrong with the simplest explanations.

What I found interesting is that, at least, sounds very much like the "simple design principle" that is advocated, correctly in my view, by the Agile Extreme Programming methodology.

In addition to this, I also found of interest related to software development was a discussion of pattern recognition and usage. In the chapter, Science, the central character states:
Computers and rocket ships are examples of inventions, not of understanding," he said. "All that is needed to build machines is the knowledge that when one thing happens, another thing happens as a result. It’s an accumulation of simple patterns. A dog can learn patterns. There is no 'why' in those examples. We don’t understand why electricity travels. We don’t know why light travels at a constant speed forever. All we can do is observe and record patterns." (P. 22)
In any event, instead of getting my daily fix of humor I got much more, a jolt to my thinking about fundamental questions. That, in my possibly warped view of entertainment, is for more enjoyable. Moreover, perhaps the joke is on me since I do not know nearly as much as I foolishly thought.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Agile Amigo?

Ivar Jacobson, one of the founders of UML, pledged to support Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team System with the goal of a more agile approach to design and modeling.

Check this potential Agile Amigo out here. This will be interesting to follow.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Microsoft released guidelines for converting ASP.Net 2002/2003 projects to Visual Studio.Net 2005

Microsoft released guidelines for converting ASP.Net2002/2003 projects to Visual Studio.Net 2005 at Step-By-Step Guide to Converting Web Projects fromVisual Studio .NET 2002/2003 to Visual Studio 2005.

The article states:

The primary benefit of converting a Web application project to Visual Studio 2005 is the ability to use many new features in ASP.NET 2.0 (e.g., master pages,etc.) in your existing application. If you are looking to enhance an existing Web application built using Visual Studio .NET 2003, then upgrading to Visual Studio 2005 is most likely the right decision.
As expected, simple projects will be easier to convert:
For relatively simple Web projects where a Webproject is the only project in your Visual Studio .NET 2003 solution, conversion should be a relatively automatic process requiring little time or problem resolution.

However, not all ASP.Net 2002/2003 project conversions will be easy:
If the application you are converting is of reasonable size and has several Web projects and additional projects, such as class libraries, in a single Visual Studio solution, it is possible to encounter issues during migration. Be prepared to spend the better part of a day completing the entire process. The steps and guidance provided in this article can help an informed user to migrate most applications of medium complexity.

Thank you Web Platform and Tools Team for your honest assessment. I must admit that I am very skeptical when someone says, "it’s really pretty straight forward." Yea....right. In any event, I am looking forward to moving some of my small-sized projects to VS 2005.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Webservice Account Permissions "Gotcha"

For a project, an internal customer wanted to utilize web services for file reading and writing. Both the file write and read services were utilizing a System.IO.FileStream object, invoking the object's Read and Write methods. Since the location that the web services would be reading and writing from is a network share, two domain accounts were setup and given read, and you guessed it, write permissions each respectively to the share.

The “gotcha” that we encountered was that the accounts that the web services were utilizing needed modify permissions on the server <WindowsFolder>/temp folder in order to generate serialization proxies.

Click here to see what was done to remedy the issue.

Monday, November 07, 2005

It's in the wild!!

SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005 with .Net 2.0 and BizTalk Server 2006 had their official launch today.

Also, DotNetNuke, an Open Source Web Application Framework, is releasing its 3.2 framework, built on the 1.1 .Net, and its 4.0 framework, built on .Net 2.0.

I can see that I am not going to get much sleep.

Friday, November 04, 2005

New from Yahoo! and still in beta - Instant Search

New from Yahoo! and still in beta - Instant Search where results instantly appear for Yahoo! Shortcuts and common searches.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Covariance and Delegates in .Net 2

Click here to view this little nugget in .Net 2 dealing with covariance, an object-oriented principle, and delegates.

Very nice code re-use construct!