Tuesday, November 30, 2004

External Assembly Aliases done and MSDN Update Tour

I knocked over the section on external assembly aliases for A Programmer's Introduction to C# 3 (to be known as PIC#3 from here on in). I estimated the section would take 800 words, and I came in at 700 words (including code samples), so I guess my estimating skills are getting pretty good. I also finished the third Developer.com article over the weekend on Verification and C++, and this should be up some time over the next week. This came in at 1500 words, and with the 340 word update on the PIC#3 Properties chapter to cover the new accessibility features in C# 2.0, the weekly total came in at over 2500, which is pretty good for me. The section on property accessibility was particularly fun to write because I got to retract everything Eric said in the previous two versions about different accessibility levels not being required.

I also completed leg one of the MSDN Update tour I'm doing over the next few weeks. The first port of call was the Melbourne .NET User Group. The crowd was pretty good (about 40), but they where fairly quite, and I got through the slides a lot quicker than I though. I've added a bit more material for the presentation on Thursday at SDNUG. After that, the schedule is:

06 Dec 18:00 Auckland, NZ

07 Dec 11.00 Christchurch, NZ

07 Dec 18.00 Wellington, NZ

08 Dec 18.00 Adelaide, AU

09 Dec 18.00 Wollongong, AU

13 Dec 08.00 Perth, AU

14 Dec 18.00 Brisbane, AU

15 Dec 18.00 Gold Coast, AU

16 Dec 16.30 Canberra, AU

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

A Programmer’s Introduction to C#, Third Edition - Finally Underway

After a few false starts and a fortnight of email tag, I've finally nutted through all those administrative details that need to get completed before you write a book, and I'm underway on the update to Eric's book. We're looking at a "mid 2005" release, but I am aiming to get the material done by the end of the southern summer. I've estimated the new content to be around 15000 to 18000 new words, so there will be plenty of new stuff to make the book a worthwhile buy.

As I get the stuff done, I'll provide an update via the blog so you can get a sense of the workflow involved in getting a project like this done.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

New Developer.com article up - C++ and CodeDom

I've made it into the second month of my proposed monthly column for Developer.com on Visual C++, so I'm moderately proud. On top of running the Sydney Deep .NET User Group, delivering the Whidbey Ascend training last Thursday, doing a bi-monthly column for MSDN Magazine (Australia and New Zealand Edition), and preparing for my round-the-country WSE 2 talk in December (plus the full time consulting thing), it was pretty brutal getting this one out.

Covering CodeDom and C++ made my realize how many things where not quite right with the initial two releases of Visual C++.NET. While it was certainly a useable product, it was a bit of a step back from the polished finish of V6. I feel sorry for the C++ team - they have so many competing objectives, and the product has a surface area about five times bigger than other compilers like C# and VB.NET.

My gut feeling that C++ has slipped firmly into the niche category was confirmed when doing the Ascend training. I had 25 or so for the C# session, and 2 for C++. Regardless of the popularity wane, I think it is still am important product, and I really congratulate Microsoft on the time and expense it is going to in making Visual C++ a great product.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Microsoft Threat Modeling Tool

In preparing for the Ascend training I'm delivering, I've been doing a bit of experimenting with Microsoft's threat modeling tool. For a free tool, it is quite comprehensive and usable. A wizard to populate some of the initial information would be a good addition. The tool can be downloaded from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=62830f95-0e61-4f87-88a6-e7c663444ac1&displaylang=en, and MS Press have a whole book available on the subject.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Sydney becomes the .NET focal point for a week

The Visual Studio 2005 Ascend Training is being held in Sydney this week. For those who haven't heard about the program, it's a Microsoft event for large and medium ISVs to get up to speed on .NET 2.0. I'm pinch-hitting on Day 4 (Thursday) with C#, C++, BCL and Security sessions. For the many MVPs and folks I know who are doing the course - make sure you catch my sessions on the Tools & Integration track.

There are also two user group meetings being held in Sydney this week. The SSW User Group is running on Wednesday night at Microsoft, and SDNUG is being run in its usual first-Thursday-of-the-month slot. Adam had to delay his group for a fortnight to get over the exhaustion of being carried up some mountain in Africa by a team of pygmy porters.

Australia has two cities that have multiple .NET user groups - Sydney and Melbourne. In Sydney's case, Dan and I were talking about founding a user group most of 2001 when the group that became the first Sydney .NET user group was still a VB/ Access/ SQL Server group. Adam beat us to become the "Sydney .NET User Group", so we became the Sydney Deep .NET User Group. The two groups have quite different styles, and we have found that there is very little overlap in attendees. This seems mostly due to the fact that we are in the CBD and attract public transport users who work for large companies while Adam is up at North Ryde, and attracts mostly people from ISVs located in the suburbs who drive to work. While there is a certain level of healthy rivalry, everyone in the Sydney .NET scene is quite friendly, and we regularly attend each other groups.

Finally, Cronulla sunrise taken on 1st Nov