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November Meetup Notes

From: Daniel C.
Sent on: Wednesday, November 18, 2009 11:22 AM



Thanks to those who attended for a lively and wide ranging discussion, and a spontaneous Castle demo.  Below are my notes from last night:


PDC 2009 started today:

- Microsoft CodeName "Dallas" announced:


Microsoft "Micro Framework" open sourced:

 -  (not including some stuff like Crypto etc)

 - Scott Hanselman had a podcast about it?


Azure going live in February:


  - Business Model announced:


Cloud Computing : Compare Azure vs others

- vs Amazon EC2?  Amazon gives you a virtual machine, whereas Microsoft gives you specific services (i.e. web, database, WCF services).  Also cloud-based Pub/Sub model.




- Less than 3 yrs. old, less than $1MM, private, software developers

- You get all Microsoft stuff basically for 3 yrs. free.

- Check out the "Program Guide" off the website for more details




- You get VS, SQL Server, and Blend, etc. to get started

- 3 year license for free




- Part of Office 2010 (was codename "Gemini")


WPF Grid Controls?

- Using DevExpress (WinForms grid)

- Infragistics - not much new there. tech support pretty good.  glaring bugs in new versions.  difficult upgrading between different versions due to problems with style upgrades

- WPF Toolkit has a grid control: very basic, missing a lot of features (i.e. Filtering etc)

- XCeed well regarded. Been around the longest, full featured.  Cons: tech support iffy.  Licensing is problematic.


Data Direct products:

- XML converters

- Database connectors

- Difficult licenses


.NET Framework v4?

- Tasks, parallel stuff -

- WorkFlow changing a lot in V4 as well

- Documentation is very minimal at this point

- Maybe some good PDC content coming out?  i.e.

- Maybe some channel9 stuff to find? 

  - Hello Workflow 4 :

  - WF4.0 A First Look :

  - More:


What do people actually use WF for?

- Sharepoint development.  Basic stuff.


Architecture in .NET Question: Model Approach to Database Access?

- ORM Software: Developers make clean code which makes horrible queries

- Call Stored Procs from software: nice queries but ugly to call

- Entity Spaces :

  - Experience: Easy to use, decent performance but on a simple app

- In ALL cases, need to analyze queries in detail, can't just rely on the ORM to sort it out

- Microsoft Entity Framework 1.0 - not full featured enough

  - New one coming out

- Linq2SQL is dead (?) -

  - Linq2SQL used a GUID(?) which killed query caching

- NHibernate - "granddaddy of them".

  - Cons : "Has a case of the Java's".  XML Configuration, FactoryFactoryFactory…, etc.


GRAND CLAIM: Try to avoid open source…. discuss amongst yourselves:

- Hmm…

- IF something is just a small, weekend project on CodePlex, probably worth avoiding.  But, like, …

  - NUnit

  - NHibernate

  - NCover

  - NMock, moq, RhinoMock

  - Log4Net, nlog

    - log better, easier to configure

  - Fluent NHibernate

  - The MONO project

- Need to treat it more like "code" than a "product" from a vendor.  Actually understand the code don't just consume it.

- Open source projects are driven by enthusiasm

  - JQuery plugins for example


Use mono in production

 - Follows the Pareto Principle - for example doesn't use code signing

 - Implementing silverlight (i.e. Moonlight) which works on the iPhone

 - Castle project - ActiveRecord implementation - says it's at least as good as say RoR - - just do property setting in code, built on top of NHibernate, scaffolding, etc.


The Munawar principle - 20% will be good, 80% will be garbage


Free bonus knowledge -

FBK #2: Sturgeon's Law - "90% of everything is crap"


NCover - coverage tool -


“Where's my LINQ2 Mainframe?”


SubSonic - open source framework for stuff -

- "A Super High-fidelity Batman Utility Belt that works up your Data Access (using Linq in 3.0), throws in some much-needed utility functions, and generally speeds along your dev cycle."


[long discourse about non programmers.  in short, they are inconvenient.]


AJAX / ASP.NET - still buying into it?  As opposed to WPF / Silverlight / Flex?

- Corollary - as a novice, what should I be getting in to

- Corollary 2 - if I want to get out of ASP.NET and get into WPF and realtime .NET desktop apps, how do I do it?

- Endless debate about Silverlight vs Flex

  - Silverlight can be applied-ish to WPF knowledge

  - Flex VERY easy to learn


Silverlight vs WPF?

- Third party controls maybe a bit better in WPF at present

- If heavy desktop integration, use WPF, else Silverlight by default

- Silverlight Out of Browser - still in the sandbox but just looks like the browser is missing.

- Databinding in Silverlight not nearly as good as WPF.  A bit better in 3.0 but still not great


[spontaneous demo of Castle ActiveRecord]


Good localization solution?  Want to translate our site into multiple languages....

- Sharepoint can do some of this but not ALL languages

  - New version of Sharepoint (2008?) does this

- Beware of language specifics (i.e. German has long words)

- Maybe any content management solutions that exist?

- How to handle caching?

- Generate static content or regenerate on the fly every time?

- See for more





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