Software development, .Net, SQL Server, TDD, Agile, Community and other Odds and Sods
Mitch Wheat has been working as a professional programmer since 1984, graduating with a honours degree in Mathematics from Warwick University, UK in 1986. He moved to Perth in 1995, having worked in software houses in London and Rotterdam. He has worked in the areas of mining, electronics, research, defence, financial, GIS, telecommunications, engineering, and information management. Mitch has worked mainly with Microsoft technologies (since Windows version 3.0) but has also used UNIX. He holds the following Microsoft certifications: MCPD (Web and Windows) using C# and SQL Server MCITP (Admin and Developer). His preferred development environment is C#, .Net Framework and SQL Server. Mitch has worked as an independent consultant for the last 10 years, and is currently involved with helping teams improve their Software Development Life Cycle. His areas of special interest lie in performance tuning
Monday, September 22, 2008
SharePoint Debugging and Logging Tips and Tricks
Thus far the programming gods have been good to me, and I've had nothing to do with SharePoint development(!), but a colleague was asking me a few questions and curiosity led me to Andrew Connell's blog. He's a SharePoint MVP and his SharePoint Debugging and Logging Tips and Tricks has some good starting points.
The 31 Days of ReSharper
Today I realised that I'm not using JetBrains Resharper enough. Joe White has an excellent series of articles on getting more out of it over at his blog. And not a pear tree in sight...ouch!
Sunday, September 21, 2008
45th and 46th Known Mersenne Primes Found
It's old news by now and a little off topic(!), but GIMPS (the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search) has announced the discovery of 2 new Mersenne primes:
On August 23rd, a UCLA computer discovered the 45th known Mersenne prime, 243,112,609-1, comprising 12,978,189 digits, the first 10 million plus digit prime to be found!
On September 6th, the 46th known Mersenne prime, 237,156,667-1, a 11,185,272 digit number was found by Hans-Michael Elvenich! This was the first Mersenne prime to be discovered out of order since Colquitt and Welsh discovered 2110,503-1 in 1988.
Monday, September 15, 2008
Stack Overflow Opens to the Public
Stack Overflow, the collaboration between Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky opened up to the public today, after a short five-week private beta period.
What is it? It's a "collaboratively edited question and answer site for programmers".
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
DreamSpark Australia: Free Software Development Tools for Students
The DreamSpark program gives students access to Microsoft's development software for free, and although it was launched in February this year, DreamSpark was not available to students in Australia, despite being available in other countries. The good news is that has now changed, with the program recently opened to Australian students at TechEd in Sydney.
The tools covered by the program are Visual Studio 2005 and 2008 Professional Edition, Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition, SQL Server 2005 Developer Edition, Expression Studio, and XNA Game Studio.
Students need to prove their eligibility for the program during signup, and participants must re-verify their student status annually.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Professional Visual Studio 2008, Nick Randolph and Dave Gardner (Wrox)
I have been remiss by not mentioning this book sooner (it came out towards the end of July, 2008).
The authors, Dave Gardner and Nick Randolph will be familiar to members who regularly attend the Perth .NET user group. Nick Randolph originally started the Perth .NET user group and both Dave and Nick have recently presented to the group. Dave Gardner donated a copy of the book to the Perth .NET user group library, and several local user group members helped review some of the pre-print chapters.
Let me start with a disclaimer: I know Nick Randolph and Dave Gardner personally through my involvement with the Perth .NET user group. They are both very talented and skilled developers and active in their support of the developer community. I tried not to let this fact bias this short review too much!
I reviewed the Visual Studio 2005 predecessor of this book some time ago, and I think the new 2008 version is an improvement.
It’s a big book and not just by its size. It covers a huge amount of material and could probably have been subtitled ‘everything you wanted to know about Visual Studio 2008 but were afraid to ask’! The Visual Studio 2008 Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is a complex beast, and worth getting to know well, if like me, you spend most of your working life in it! You could, of course, still do most of your development in Notepad, but you could also wear a hair shirt...
The primary focus of this book is on the IDE itself, rather than the specific languages that can be used within .NET or indeed the .NET Framework itself. I’m not going to give a chapter by chapter account of what is contained in this book, mainly because it would take a loooooong time, but also because I fear my head might explode! Seriously though, I have read around 75% of it. The writing style is clear and I doubt whether you could make any book about Visual Studio more engaging than they have achieved.
The authors’ goals, as stated, were not just updating the Visual Studio 2005 version of this book or simply to explain how to use Visual Studio, but also to create a set of productivity best practices and recommendations on how to use Visual Studio features in an effective way. I think they have achieved that goal.
One of the first Amazon reviews was not favourable, but that reviewer was looking for a book that would teach C# and an introduction to the .NET framework. As Dave mentioned in his response to that reviewer, although both authors do have a bias towards Visual Basic, approximately 40% of the code samples are written in C#. There is also a chapter that provides coverage of F# (http://mitch-wheat.blogspot.com/2008/09/new-net-f-ctp-release.html)
It is probably not the sort of book you would read cover to cover, but rather delve into specific chapters to gain insight into particular features. It’s great for quickly finding out what features are available. The first day it was on my desk at work, I used it to quickly find a debugging gem that might have otherwise remained undiscovered.
Kudos goes to Nick and Dave for producing a great resource for developers.
There is a companion website and blog here: http://www.professionalvisualstudio.com/
Links to the book:
Monday, September 08, 2008
New .NET F# CTP Release
Last October, Somasegar blogged about Microsoft's continuing investment in F#. True to this vision, Microsoft have recently released Microsoft F#, September 2008 CTP. As Don Syme notes in a recent post: "This release represents an important step in the evolution of the F# language as we progress it towards a fully supported language for the .NET platform".
Sunday, September 07, 2008
Free ebook: The Top Ten New Features for DBAs in SQL Server 2008
A short while ago I blogged about Brad McGehee's free book from red-gate. He has recently made another available, discussing what he feels are the top ten new features of SQL Server 2008. This 112 page free book is available here. (Once again, the single, zipped download contains all 3 of the free ebooks).
I mentioned Brad's short roundup up of new SQL Server 2008 features here.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Google Releases Beta Web Browser
Google have just released the Beta of their anticipated new Web browser, Chrome. It can be downloaded from www.google.com/chrome. Early reports suggest that it doesn't yet work that well with Gmail!
Monday, September 01, 2008
Perth .NET User Group Meeting: Thurs 4th Sept, 5:30pm - 7pm: Federated Identity Management in a Service Oriented World with Bill Poole
Join us at the Perth .NET Community of Practice, Sept 4th to hear Bill Poole talk about Federated Identity Management in a Service Oriented World. Gone are the days of siloed applications that identify users with a simple username/password combination stored in the application database. In today’s world of Internet based e-commerce where secure transactions occur over insecure open networks and in a service oriented world of composite applications where identity must be shared between systems hosted by different organisations on disparate platforms; in a world where increasing numbers of businesses are turning to hosting their applications in the cloud, and where users from partner organisations need to be securely granted access to enterprise resources, architects are turning to an ever increasingly complex array of security solutions to solve their identity woes. How do we as mere mortals make sense of PKI, Kerberos, SAML, and a plethora of WS-* standards aimed at addressing these concerns? This session will provide a clear and practical description of how to apply today’s security technologies in order to effectively manage and share identity across applications, service and organisational boundaries.
TOPIC: Federated Identity Management in a Service Oriented World with Bill Poole
DATE: Thursday, Sept 4th, 5:30pm
VENUE: Excom, Level 2, 23 Barrack Street, Perth
COST: Free. All welcome.
MSN, Email: mitch døt wheat at gmail.com