James Crisp

Software dev, tech, mind hacks and the occasional personal bit

Month: August 2007

BarCamp Sydney this Saturday

It is BarCamp in Sydney this Saturday. I haven’t been to one of these unconference style events before, but I’ve heard good things about it from my colleagues. I’m quite excited to go along and see what it is like.

If you’re in Sydney and interested in stopping by, details are as follows:

When: Sat 25th August 2007 from about 9am
Where: University of Technology, Sydney (Jones St entrance)
More details…

One of the novel aspects of BarCamp is that all participants are encouraged to present or start a discussion around something that interests them. For my part, depending on what people are interested in, I was thinking of one of the following:

  • new stuff in the .net space (C# 3.0, .NET 3.5, LINQ, WPF, WCF, etc) and showing some demos
  • giving a bit of a Ruby/JRuby introduction with help from Ola’s JavaBin slides
  • or, if people are keen, a discussion around JRuby vs C# 3 vs Java vs ?? and their stacks for different situations and problems
    • By the way, the conference is free, and it is not too late to sign up šŸ™‚
      Hope to see you there!

Slides from ‘Learning to live with the static-typing fascist and the dynamic-typing fan-boy in your enterpriseā€¦’

Here’s the slides from Jim‘s and my recent presentation at Tech Ed 07 on the Gold Coast and in Auckland:

LearningToLiveWithTheStaticTypingFascistAndTheDynamicTypingFanboy-TechEd07.pptx (Powerpoint 2007)

LearningToLiveWithTheStaticTypingFascistAndTheDynamicTypingFanboy-TechEd07.ppt (Powerpoint 2003)

You may also be interested in having a read of the abstract.

TechEd 07 – Some interesting snippets


  • Silverlight runs on MAC and PC.
  • There is now a CLR for the Mac.
  • Microsoft is not currently planning to provide Silverlight for any unix platform (although there is MoonLight).
  • Silverlight 1.0 is basically a media player. It has hooks for javascript etc and some might say it has similar functionality to the Flash movie player.
  • Silverlight 1.1 has the real programming API. All further Silverlight references are to 1.1.
  • Silverlight will do a (currently undefined) simplified subset of WPF.
  • Silverlight gives acess to DOM in the browser.
  • Currently, the alpha allows 1mb local storage per page. In future, the storage is probably going to be shared across a domain rather than on a page by page basis.
  • Silverlight provides the capability to open a file on disk for read to allow for file uploads etc.
  • Interop between JavaScript and hosted Silverlight app is quite easy.
  • Silverlight looks a bit fiddly to set up, requiring javascript and sometimes xaml bootstrap – but being improved.

Software Factories

  • Allow solution and project structures to be auto-generated based on wizards.
  • Can provide code snippets and some (often template-based) code auto-generation.
  • Comes with documentation in help files and some context specific stuff.
  • Can include GUI designers that generate code.
  • People can develop their own domain specific factories.

Currently, Microsoft’s take on DSLs is GUI editors, not written language or code. At the Software Factories talk, a GUI tool in Visual Studio for drawing your business entities and relationships was billed as a DSL.

Windows Workflow Foundation (WF)

  • Activity based with GUI designer for connecting and composing activities.
  • Custom activities and compositions can be developed and inherit from base classes.
  • Single threaded and mainly queue based, with some events sprinkled through.
  • Activities can reference data from other activities using a mechanism vaguely like data binding.
  • Hosted in the CLR, so can be part of a console app, ASP.NET, WinForms etc.
  • Handles pickling and reconstitution of long running activities.
  • Base Activity classes provide virtual hooks. Eg, ‘Execute’ for doing the work, ‘Cancel’, and ‘Compensate’ for handling rollback scenarios.

New in the Enterprise Library 3.1

  • Validation Application Block: provides simple, attribute based property validation. Easy integration with standard ErrorProvider on WinForms and WebForms and WPF is possible. Looks ok but somewhat basic – don’t think it supports warnings for example. It has GUI tool support and also capability to specify related objects which need to be validated.
  • Policy Injection Application Block: provides aspect oriented programming (AOP) style coding using attributes. All new AOP objects need to be created using the block’s object factory. Looks useful – there is out of the box support for validation, caching and logging in AOP fashion.


Tech Ed Talks

Jim Webber and I will be co-presenting at Tech Ed Australia and Tech Ed New Zealand this year. Here’s the low down:

Learning to live with the static-typing fascist and the dynamic-typing fan-boy in your enterprise…

Gold Coast
Thursday 9 Aug
5pm – 6:15pm

Tuesday 14 Aug
2:20pm – 3:35pm

“What’s best for your enterprise? Is it the ‘glue that never sets’ and flexibility of dynamic languages like Ruby, or the tried and true, hard and fast rules and tool support of static languages like C# 3.0? Are there different trade-offs for green field development and integration?

And more importantly, which is best, the Mac or PC?

In a dynamic, and combative presentation, Jim and James will let their alter-egos run amok and answer these questions from the perspective of a seasoned enterprise architect and a l33t hax0r. By the end of this session you will understand the interplays between the two personality types, have had a few laughs, and picked up a few tips on how to use both technology
sets in harmony in your enterprise. “

Hope to see you there!

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