.NET Developments

July 3, 2008  5:35 PM

I’m an Agilist and I’m Ok, right?

Yuval Shavit Profile: YuvalShavit

SearchSoftwareQuality.com survey on Agile processes is out. The Web site asked its readers a series of questions on team-oriented development issues.

The take-away: Requirements gathering is still hard; waterfall methods are still as prominent as Agile methods; and Use Cases are here to stay despite a push toward User Stories for requirements modeling.

Take a look at the SearchSoftwareQuality.com Agile Trends 2008 Survey and related articles and you will see what the overall team thinks about these compelling trends. Tell us what you think.  Happy Fourth of July!

June 27, 2008  8:43 AM

The JavaScript worm turns at USENIX 2008

Yuval Shavit Profile: YuvalShavit

The USENIX conference is a technical undertaking dedicated to all things UNIX and some things Linux. Actually, it is nothing less than the premier event for system programmers.

Despite the UNIX-leanings, USENIX in recent years has featured some Microsoft experts, usually from the company’s research arm.  This year, at USENIX in Boston, Benjamin Livshits and Weidong Cui of Microsoft Research shared a view on the company’s work on JavaScript worms.

In the paper they proposed Spectator automatic detection and containment solution for JavaScript worms. . The Spectator software examines the traffic between a Web application and its users, looking for long propagation chains associated with worms.

June 19, 2008  11:21 AM

Microsoft Parallel Extensions to .NET Framework 3.5 arrive as new CTP

Yuval Shavit Profile: YuvalShavit

Microsoft parallel extensions to .NET have undergone an update in the form of a new Community Technology Preview. Included are Coordination Data Structures, now part of the extensions.

Coordination Data Structures join Parallel LINQ and the Task Parallel Library and other elements intended to address the  new era of mulitcore processors.

Coordination Data Structures are said to contain lightweight and scalable thread-safe data structures and synchronization primitives. Apparently there is more than one way to skin a cat or facilitate communications between threads.

The Parallel Extensions to .NET Framework 3.5 libraries are downloadable  now.

June 9, 2008  4:19 PM

Sandcastle CodePlex download dissolves

Yuval Shavit Profile: YuvalShavit

Document generation is nobody’s favorite task. Microsoft has had a pre-beta automatic document generator brewing for a number of years that would help take classes, code and the like, and create documentation, saving some onerous tasking.

This long-running project took on an open-source tenor with a Codeplex download. It is suddenly dark.

Apparently, the source code was not available, making it less than open source. Microsoft apologized, and pulled the rev from Codeplex. A free download, without open-source panache, can be found on Microsoft’s download site.

May 27, 2008  10:57 AM

How will Bill Gates be remembered?

Yuval Shavit Profile: YuvalShavit

The lights dim in the keynote hall, the music comes up, and Microsoft’s leader Bill Gates is announced to the developer legions at Tech Ed for the final time. That is the scene on the first week of June in Orlando as Bill Gates makes one last keynote before moving on, leaving his day job at Microsoft to take over the reins at his charitable foundation.

What would the computer and software businesses be like without Gates? Would pre-PC computer companies like IBM and DEC have held eternal sway? People can differ on the degree of responsibility Gates should share for a technology revolution that put more computing power within the reach of more programmers. But it is surely significant.

In the face of today’s open-source software movement it is hard to remember that, in his day, Bill Gates stormed the barricades in the name of egalitarian computing, sort of. What do you think? Let us know.

May 22, 2008  1:55 PM

Mono WinForms reaches finish line

Yuval Shavit Profile: YuvalShavit

The Mono team has been working on its version of Sytem.Windows.Forms for almost four years. And it has hit the finish line. There were 6,434 commits along the way. What’s next? Bug fixing! Twas ever thus!

May 14, 2008  2:32 PM

NET 3.5 SP1 and VS 2008 SP1 beta appears

Yuval Shavit Profile: YuvalShavit

Microsoft released a beta of .NET 3.5 SP1 and VS 2008 SP1 releases. While devoted in great part to bug fixes, they also include new features, some that have been eagerly awaited. Versions of ADO.NET Entity Framework and the ADO.NET Data Services framework (Astoria) are included. Continued »

May 8, 2008  10:37 AM

How does Ray Ozzie measure software projects?

Yuval Shavit Profile: YuvalShavit

Little noted but of major interest: At last months Microsoft MVP Global Summit, Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie spoke about how he approaches his role as leader software technology steward at Microsoft. The session provided an inside view of how this famed technologist operates. Continued »

May 5, 2008  10:34 AM

Yahoo! It’s over!

Yuval Shavit Profile: YuvalShavit

Microsoft has abandoned its effort to purchase Yahoo for $44.6 billion. Yahoo vigorously rebuffed the offer, first launched in February. In announcing the withdrawn offer, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer disclosed that the company had increased its initial bid.

“Despite our best efforts, including raising our bid by roughly $5 billion, Yahoo! has not moved toward accepting our offer. After careful consideration, we believe the economics demanded by Yahoo! do not make sense for us, and it is in the best interests of Microsoft stockholders, employees and other stakeholders to withdraw our proposal,” Ballmer said in a statement.

This deal would have moved Microsoft far deeper into a Web Advertising market in which it has trailed both Google and Yahoo. Viewers suggest it well could have shifted the company’s emphasis away from its successful software businesses.

It is not completely certain that the merger machinations are wholly over – as Ballmer’s comments point primarily to pricing as the obstacle to completing the deal. Both Microsoft and Yahoo in the wake of this clumsy dance of courtship.

Some comment from the blogosphere:

According to Stephen Bainbridge. Big shareholders wanted a deal, “but not one that required Microsoft to overpay. In addition, press reports suggest that some of Microsoft’s largest shareholders were pressuring the firm not to overpay.”

Andrew Brust says it’s not over ‘til it’s over. “Microsoft’s withdrawal of its Yahoo acquisition proposal may just be a negotiating tactic.  Or it could in earnest.  Time will tell.”

And, the crack blogger MiniMicrosoft chimes in as well. “With this strategic inflection point, the era of post-BillG Microsoft 2.0 has begun.”

May 2, 2008  12:10 PM

ASP.NET scaling the Web

Yuval Shavit Profile: YuvalShavit

Richard Campbell and Kent Alstad of Strangeloop recently presented strategies to improve scaling in the ASP.NET environment. They look at some performance forumlae, and look at the challenging issues in measuring each performance element.

“The ASP.NET techniques that work effectively for 10,000 simultaneous users aren’t as effective with 100,000 users, and the rules change again with 1 million users,” they write in an MSDN article.

Among the many tips they impart: Always test your caching code for these complex scenarios.

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