Monthly Archives: January 2008

Sponsor the 100th episode of Hanselminutes

After the spectacular flop of my first fundraising gig to try and raise money to send a Christmas Gift to Web Development Helper‘s creator Nikhil Kothari, I am baack. My initial pledge was returned and the drive closed by fundable.com because the goal was not met.

FULL DISCLOSURE: Neither Scott Hanselman nor Carl Franklin has officially endorsed this fundraiser.

Scott Hanselman is doing to .Net development what my idol Carl Sagan did to Science. Carl Sagan brought science to the masses and got the general public excited about science. Cosmos was a ground breaking tele-series. Through his weekly podcast, Scott along with Carl has done more to .Net and software development than any other MVP I know. Hanselminutes makes .Net development and software development exciting and Scott’s take on just about any software paradigm encourages the average .Net developer to jump out the well and venture beyond the norm and explore and learn. The language is so unbelievably simple you just don’t realize 20 minutes just went by. But time is relative. I once saw a poster that said “The length of a minute depends on which side of the bathroom door you are on!”. So true.

Episode 95 has just been posted and pretty soon Hanselminutes will reach the major milestone of 100. So fellow developers, lets band together and make this milestone an episode to remember. Hanselminutes is for us. Let’s make the 100th episode by us too. I don’t know the exact production costs of an episode of Hanselminutes, but adding up Scott’s time, Carl’s time, studio time, preparing the episode for download, bandwidth costs, I guess $5000 is a fair guesstimate. I have setup, yet another fundable.com fundraiser here. I figure we need just 1000 of us donating $5 to reach the goal.

I have put in an initial pledge of $20. This is how a fundable.com fundraiser works. The goal is $5000. We have 25 days to reach that goal. If by the end of 25 days, the goal is NOT reached, all pledges will be returned. In other words until we reach the goal no credit card or PayPal account will be charged. Once the goal is reached, fundable.com will cut a check and send it directly to

Pwop Productions, 302 State Street Suite 516, New London, CT 06320

Fellow .Netians and Hanselminutes fans, lets roll!

Click here to make a pledge.

Thanks in advance for your support.

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VS2008 still Crappy?

Ok, now that I have grabbed your attention with that cheesy title, let me assure you that I personally DO NOT think its a crappy tool. No sir. I have been in the Microsoft Camp for most of my career, with a brief stint in the Sybase camp as a Powerbuilder developer. Like Scott Hanselman once said, Microsoft indirectly pays my mortgage. I have been with Visual Interdev and Visual Studio 2001 through 2008.

VS in 2008 has come a long way. New features like JavaScript intellisense and better debugging capabilities are welcome enhancements. I have been able to debug JavaScript even in Visual Interdev, although not consistently. Stop and debugger were my friends then. The new enhancements may not be revolutionary but are evolutionary and help developers in their productivity. The integration of so called writing unit tests from VS is good to see but leaves a lot to be desired. It’s no TestDriven.Net.

Sidu’s rant about the dialog that pops up with you hit ctrl-tab is noteworthy. It is unfortunate that he called VS2008 crappy and it does not do justice to his intelligence. Sidu has far more experience using multiple development platforms than I do and is better equipped to make comparative comments. However, I am appalled by some of the racist comments his post attracted. Why does stuff like this descend into religious wars? Beats me. The dialog in question sports a snapshot of the open windows as you ctrl-tab through them. I am not sure if this is really useful. If one of the windows that is open is an aspx page in design mode, the snapshot does not render. Like I said earlier, you can’t read the code, you cant view the design mode window. So what purpose is the snapshot?

You have to understand that VS is an eco-system. Microsoft certainly has resources to include every possible widget a developer would need. A pluggable architecture better serves everyone. The success of TestDriven.net proves the point. That Microsoft pursued TestDriven.net with a seize and desist order is sad. Look at the flourishing 3rd party control suites and the companies that develop them. Infragistics and Telerik (my favorite) owe their existence to the fact that Microsoft did not devote all their energy in developing every possible control a developer may need but in developing an architecture that can be built uopn. It may not be perfect, but it sure is not easy and you have agree that Microsoft does a commendable job. VS has multiple languages, web and winforms development to contend with. Yes it’s not free but you really don’t need to “get-out” of the IDE to create a config file, an aspx file, an XML document, a JavaScript file, and on and on.

You may argue that to know what you are missing, you have to know what is out there. If you are like the proverbial frog in the well, your world is small. However, slinging mud or trashing an alternate IDE or development tool or platform serves no purpose. You have to realize that code is just one small piece of the software system although it is the heart and brains of the system. But a software system is more than the code that runs. If you have any doubt listen to Scott and Dan Appleman discuss software architecture in this episode of Hanselminutes.

Here is my appeal. If you think we .Net developers are frogs in the well, show us the way out. Show us what is better outside the well. Please do not slander or sling mud. We are all in it together. Like religions software platforms are different and have their strengths and weakness. Together we can make it better and learn from one another.

Let’s build something better that will transcend platform wars and help the customer.

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