Archive for March, 2006

Mix06 – Day 2 so far so bored…

March 22, 2006

OK, it is starting to get a little tedious, microsoft really doesn’t have much to show at this conference and most of the sessions I’m attending now seem to be a rehash of previous content, maybe it is just that i have a laser focus on the developer issues and there is only a limited number of products they are pimping for my particular demographic.

I’m going to focus more of my time for the remainder of the conference on the sandbox environment stuff that MS has provided and will be kicking the tires on the Atlas framework for Ajaxy development.

some keypoints.

1. WPF is cleary the equivalent of the quartz layer on the Mac
2. With WPF/E and Expressions MS is making a move against the macrodobe product line.

Free (as in Beer) stuff

1.Microsoft Visual Web Developer think Homesite/Dreamweaver from MS
2.SQL Server 2005 free edition
3.Cassini webserver for the .net dev stack


Ecto – blogging tools for osx

March 22, 2006

I’ve just started using ecto on the mactop for my blog updates, it is all so much easier now. Props to Bill Manning for the tipoff.

First observation is that everything installed pretty well, the second is that there is problem with the timestamps on the articles and my posts were going in 24hrs ahead. i think i’ve figured it out, at least i can manually set the time to now. i’ll need to root around in the settings to see if there is something busted.

Mix06 – Day 1 General Observations

March 21, 2006

The thing that is most striking to me about this event so far is how much it should really be called MeToo06 as it all really seems to be about Microsoft waking up and trying to catch up with competitor initiatives.

Quite a few mactops around, and in fact in most every session microsoft is shouting support for the major browsers. I think this is part of the reaction to the terrible CSS implementation in IE, every creative type that has to write any CSS code is constantly reminded of just how much more complex life is a result of IE and most CSS out there contains comments like ‘/* IE box HACK craptastic */’ . I think this has had a cumulative effect on the perception of MS as the undesirable player in the arena.

IE7 looks pretty good, less crap around the screen but really nothing to get too excited about unless you get excited about software working the way it was supposed to work in the first place.

One thing of interest was a comment from Bill Gates this morning on how much the drWatson error reporting back to MS has really improved windows a surprising amount and that they feel it is likely contributed to the stability of XP (such as it is) more than any QA stuff they could possible do.

Die Macrodobe Die !

March 21, 2006

Just been in a presentation for the Windows Presentation Foundation. This is the new directX based UI technology, it is basically Quartz for Windows Vista. The idea is to provide rich apps. (ye gods, how many times will they use the term ‘rich’ I think they misunderstood Gates wanting to get richer from the web and came up with the hook rich rich rich…)

One of the fundamental changes in the vista is the replacement of GDI (so windows 3.0) with a directX based render layer. This is what they are calling Windows Presentation Foundation and is simply Microsoft’s response to the bar being raised by Apple with Quartz.

HOWEVER where things start to get interesting is in the area of web applications, MS is releasing WPF/E Windows Presentation Foundation Everywhere and it is nothing less than a full blown assault on Macrodobe Flash using the full WPF for ultra slick UI that extend out beyond the bounding box of Flash apps.

I see a few problems with the approach, firstly it requires use of a proprietary markup language XAML, secondly it will be tough to break the design developers out from under Macrodobe, but the biggest advantage, especially for those concerned with SEO, is that the markup is on the page and is therefore visible to search engines, and content managment applications which is a BIG problem for FLASH content.

At least one application is available that was built using the WPF/E microsoftMax is a photolisting app, that allows you to share lists of photos as albums and is very slick indeed from a UI perspective, whether it has the legs to affect the other players in the photoshare space I doubt, but it will likely be shipping with vista so MS can always use the new PC channel to push product so who knows what’ll happen.

Screwing with the 800lb Gorilla

March 20, 2006

Pretty funny but there are loads of people with mactops around (myself included)just sticking the finger basically, but it is amusing for me to part of the mac underground.