Tech Blog

Jay's Technical blog

Review Quantum Whale editor..

28 March 2009
Jay Kimble

[WARNING! This is an archived post and as such there may be things broken/missing here.. you have been warned.]

[this honestly was unsolicited.. I can’t believe I missed this gem amongst the upgrade notices that I periodically get..]

Several years ago, I somehow was given a license to Quantum Whale’s Editor.Net. It was part of one a “freebie” program that a tools catalog that I used. Since that time I have been getting a free updates. Today on a whim I decided to take a look at the product (it only took me 4 years I think).

All I can say is wow! I knew it was an editor component (and now so do you), but I figured .Net 1.1 with VB and/or C#.. maybe JavaScript, but it must be limiting (why did I never look twice). NOT! Here’s the advertised list: C, C#, Delphi, VB, Java, Xml, Html… it also does SQL and JavaScript (two languages that I saw off the top of my head). The editor itself looks and acts just like Visual Studio, and it includes a sample that looks a lot like VS’ editor (and has full intellisense and not just for VB/C#), and it didn’t seem like that much code in the one sample I pulled up (complete Windows Form code was around 1000).

The punch line for me was that it comes with full source! And it’s not that expensive ($300). I know there are open source editors out there, but you need to extract the code from them and then you have to figure out wiring them up… this has it all done for you..

I’ve studied the SharpDevelop editor code BTW, and this seems a lot more straightforward. Anyway, check it out yourself.. pretty cool.


MiX09 personal note..

20 March 2009
Jay Kimble

[WARNING! This is an archived post and as such there may be things broken/missing here.. you have been warned.]

I feel a need to talk about something probably because my intense Introvert side is totally exhausted from the parties i have been in recently (or rather socially exhausted).

So, there is a joke that someone around me keeps saying to me just to give me a hard time. He keeps implying that there are those on the internet whom i’ve so offended with some of my stances that i am hated.. The exchange usually is something along the lines “you know that really hate me..” the first time my  response was with great alarm and then i am trying to figure out how to make people not hate me anymore. Anyway, if I say something to you like “I run Camp Evil” or that “i know i’m evil…” It’s just a joke.. Don’t be offended and laugh.. it’s said with sarcasm, because there are more important things in life than software development.

For instance i got to meet ScottGu yesterday (i kept myself from hugging him, but it was hard). Mostly we talked about how being a new parent is going for him… yep i didn’t ask a single tech questions.. life is more important… we have to enjoy it and we have to not take things so darn serious at times (Ok, preaching to myself here, so I’ll stop now)

[ps. btw, i’m not evil… but Jacob Proffitt is.. so turn your anger away from me and direct it at him.. <grin />]


why we do love ScottGu..

19 March 2009
Jay Kimble

[WARNING! This is an archived post and as such there may be things broken/missing here.. you have been warned.]

i’ve been thinking about something.. After the MIX09 keynote yesterday, i have been pondering my own general love/like of ScottGu (aka Scott Guthrie aka “The Gu”). What is it about this guy really. i actually tweeted as he arrived on stage after a hilarious video that “ScottGu arrived like the rock star he is!” What is it that evokes this kind of emotion from me?

i think it’s how unassuming he really is. i mean the guy doesn’t strike you like say Scott Hanselman (ScottHa) does. If you ever meet ScottHa you will instantly recognize that he is one of the smartest guys in the room when talking tech.. Now to ScottHa’s credit it’s not really his ego or arrogance (cause I don’t really see those things that much)… it’s just that he says stuff and you end up thinking… wow! I didn’t know that or didn’t think of that..

With “The Gu” i think i finally pinpointed it yesterday. i got to finally meet Phil Haack and someone asked him about ScottGu. He said that ScottGu seemingly is able to outwork everyone around him. Phil talked about reading check in notes something that Phil admitted that he doesn’t have that much time to read all of… i think ScottGu is the new “BillG.” Someone unassuming, but visionary. Someone who is one of us.. very smart (by no means would i want to convey that I think he’s not smart… he is… he just comes off so humble about it).. but more importantly someone motivated to outwork everyone around himself. Not sure if this is accurate, but i do know i would give an organ to the man if i knew he was sick.. and i’m just like you (probably), i’ve never met him (have had a few conversations in email with him)

He is the face of why I’m able to do the cool things i do for a living… i still don’t really understand my geek-love for him though..


MIX09 Keynote with ScottGu and Bill buxton (live)

18 March 2009
Jay Kimble

[WARNING! This is an archived post and as such there may be things broken/missing here.. you have been warned.]

It’s starting! Bill Buxton is now on the stage… WOW! great speaker!

Industrial designers are related to design today. Time for innovation in design. Most of these guys he mentions are during the great depression. Today is the time for design. Industrial design is experience design.

We need to refocus.. on experience. You don’t aspire to have a thing. You aspire to use it. Where is the adrenaline in that object? That is what you want to evoke.

You can sketch. (Asks us to draw his phone and then its interface). Design is about rapid iterations/concepts (Draw phone, draw interface, draw the user experience).

How do you do it?
Find a balance with multiples (you need to be able to have 5 equally valid solutions) and a budget.

Timing?
Has a picture with ([ ] Touch Here/ [ ] Not Here), then he touches wrong place, gets an error, goes back touches “here” gets a thanks message. We’re talking about the nature of transitions.

In design you throw away 99.9% of your work. We need different tools for moving along the path of ideation (refining/rejecting designs).

Demo
He’s showing Win 7 on HP Touchsmart… didn’t work… he made a joke… He’s awesome you should watch this! Well worth it! All of MS is working toward enabling people to get the best experence. (BTW blogging from Win7… I love it!)

Seneca “Luck is what happens with preparation meets opportunity.”

Bill is off the stage..now it’s ScottGu time! Awesome intro video! I sense Hanselman hand in this…

He’s arriving like the rock star he is!

He’s focusing on the how of what Bill just talked about. (Web, media, and RIA)

Expression Web 3
Focuses on standard based web sites. ASP.NET/PHP, secure FTP, CSS Diagnostics, and Super Preview where we can check a page works in ALL browsers. SuperPreview lets you go side by side (with FF3 and comp), then overlaid. Superview is now overlaying comp and Safari 3 on MAC (from the cloud). He is now isolating elements in IE6. He can select the element. He’s fixing IE6, and did.. nice.. (Superpreview standalone will be available for free today)

MVC 1.0
Full control over HTML markup, SEO friendly URL routings, and TDD workflow.

ASPNET 4 and VS2010
ASPNET 4 – Better controls over viewstate, ids, data, distributed caching (velocity), and the new ajax stuff. VS 2010 has code focused features (editor improvements), JScript/Ajax/JQuery improvements, SharePoint debugging, and publishing/deployment. Allows for multple web.configs per state…deployment will cause DB Deployment as well as file deployments.

Web Server Extensions
8 new extensions (DB manager, deployment that integrates with VS, webDAV, app request for forward proxy…)

Web App Gallery
Third party apps easily installed with Web Platform Installer.

MS Web Platform Installer Demo
Really cool. Makes it easy to integrate/install stuff on the box. http://microssoft.com/web/gallery takes you to the new Web App Gallery. Web PI (Platform Installer) integrates with this and will auto install dependencies (like PHP or IIS, etc). You can set up where it installs… and what web site (like on another post)… then app settings in a nice to use dialog. BTW it will also install My SQL DB I think… wow!

Woohoo! SL3!

Lot’s of stats… Silverlight is growing! New Virtual Earth SDK for use with Silverlight. Bringing in the company that laid off a bunch of Flash developers to show off SL success… Netflix (sorry couldn’t resist). Netflix needed to get their video streams on a Mac… 20% of their users, so Silverlight let them work on these browsers.DRM made installer experience suck… SL took away that badness… very cool! They are playing with their adaptive streaming making the video player tries to get better quality, but are really doing a better and better job of avoiding re-buffering. They can actually deploy new version every 2 weeks (as opposed to the yearly deploy).

SL3 will take advantage of gpu (i think)

[Copying rest from my tweet feed]

Sl3 Blend3 supports a sketchflow mode like what Bill Buxton challenged us to do..Blend 3 looks like it night be a good prototyping tool..Sketchflow has a free player so client can see and add feedback! then it created design docs! Prototyping just got a lot easier!

Watching psd import.. they are actually seeing every layer of the img and you can edit it with blend.. r u kidding me??!! this rocks! He’s easily dropping items into what was the psd which is now a master page (each lyr is a region that can have content dropped in). seo advances is that there are now links that trigger elements in sl file.. so you can use targets like you do with html today. Databinding maintains state and will push changes back to server.

It can now be run outside of the browser on mac as well as windows.. Out of browser will auto update and fires events that tell you whether you are connected..

Sl3 how big? Sl3 is smaller than Sl2! (40k less)

Sl3 it will be available for release later this year..


Web state backup/restore..

17 March 2009
Jay Kimble

[WARNING! This is an archived post and as such there may be things broken/missing here.. you have been warned.]

This is an item that i just thought of that is on my wish list of tools to find. i’m sure that if you maintain a web site of any size you have a service that emails you errors or logs them into a database or there is a combination log with an emailed report.

At my day job we have something like this. We have a couple issues where we have no idea what they are. Mainly because data can change a lot in this particular area, but we’re not 100% sure that this is the case.

The other thing is that errors can very much be affected by the state of the user (session, cookies, form vars, browser state, etc). i know that not all this can happen, but i’ve started contemplating what a system would look like that backed up as much of this as is possible and allowed a developer to come back in later and restore that error state to (maybe) see the error in it’s original context.

PS..
Expect some MIX09 blogging content from me tomorrow because I’ll be there!