Monthly Archives: October 2004

+ives and -ives

This week I saw the above abbreviation for positives and negatives used in a presentation; so I thought I’d make a blog entry title from it for recall’s sake.

Negatives:

  • Indications are that a significant number of citizens won’t exercise their civic duty to vote. 11/2/2004 update: I’m thrilled to say that, although 30~40% of our citizenry is still a lot of people, voter turnout for this election was at a record high!
  • Convenient software doesn’t necessarily mean that said software fully protects your privacy. That being said–and I’m not saying that any of the following programs are intentionally malicious–I want to deeply analyze privacy concerns regarding the desktop search engine space–as well as footprint, performance, reliability, etc.:
  • Google Desktop (in beta currently) – eWeek’s Larry Seltzer may have saved me some analysis effort here; so may have Scott Hanselman here and also Phil Haack here
  • Copernic Desktop Search – Phil Haack provides some perspective on this (vs. GD) here
  • X1 Desktop Search – Jim Blizzard casts his vote for X1 here (Chris Sells agrees)
  • (Forthcoming) MSN Personal Search (i.e. next major release of Microsoft’s acquired Lookout technology, which is supposed to address indexing performance among other things)
  • Chad Dickerson asks a question that’s been on my mind recently: Is the continuing drive to deliver enterprise apps through the browser ultimately a path to trouble?
  • Thanks to picking up a copy of the May 31, 2004 Wine Spectator while on vacation, I know more than I ever wanted to know about coffee: When grown, processed and brewed properly, coffee can be as complex as a first-growth Bordeaux. Coffee has 1500 flavor components–three times more than wine.
  • Not enough time in a day to live, work and blog–so the blog has suffered

Positives:

  • The California Secretary of State predicts 73% voter turnout; if you’re part of the remaining 27%, how about getting with the program and vote your conscience?
  • Daniel Silva continues to deliver one good read after another – I appear to be going backward through his series of spy novels focused on the Gabriel Allon character (aka Sword). After reading A Death in Venice I read The Confessor and most recently finished The English Assassin. So, the first book in the four-book series (thus far), The Kill Artist, is next on my list. As I read Silva, my Latin continues to improve :-) ; for example: ignorantia affectata (cultivated ignorance) – a willful lack of knowledge designed to protect one from harm, and uomo di fiducia (man of trust) – uomini di fiducia (men of trust)
  • The FxCop team released version 1.312 of this valuable, free tool. In less than ten minutes including the time to update my FxCop installation from 1.30, I was able to re-run FxCop against a collection of C# projects and be told a number of ways to make them even more robust. Talk about productivity–this is great! As the knowledge base of expert Microsoft .NET Framework usage grows, so grows the power of FxCop. If you’re not using it today in your .NET development, you really should consider doing so.

Update 12/1/2008: For more of my book reviews and to see what else is in my book library (i.e. just the business-related or software-related non-fiction therein), please visit my Books page.

Smart client architecture progress report

[See also Architecture in a Priory.]

Over the past five months or so, the Smart Client Architectures working group of the Microsoft Architect Advisory Board (MAAB) (whew, that’s a mouth full) has met regularly to produce a reference model that is currently planned to outline a set of content that will map business needs to solutions enabled via smart client architecture. During this year’s (fourth) Microsoft Strategic Architect Forum (SAF) in Redmond, WA, we were able to present an overview of our progress to architects in attendance. It was encouraging to see the alignment between our work and our audience. A majority of interactive breakout sessions during SAF focused on concerns being addressed by our work (e.g. contextual integrity and transmission (aka references and relationships), simplified smart client production and potential expression as a software factory, etc.). Exciting times ahead!

It was nice to finally meet Rocky Lhotka in person. Shortly after our first working group meeting in May, Rocky joined the effort to advance smart client architectures. Anyway, we met up toward the tail end of the SAF–before the start of the MAAB meetings. One of the things I enjoy about blogging is the opportunity to gain another’s insight into a shared experience. For example, Rocky and I sat next to each other as Pat Helland presented another segment of his Metropolis series of talks (e.g. here is the presentation by Pat that shaped last year’s SAF). (Rocky blogs about it here.) What struck me at the time is the incredible value I receive when someone like Pat takes a hard look at history, correlates it to the present and suggest how to anticipate what’s to come–both opportunities and challenges. (It was also a treat to hear Pat’s lovely rendition of Mr. CIO Guy.)

Hopefully Microsoft will publish a MAAB page soon where you can gain addition insight into the makeup and focus of this group of architects. Ideally it will be a fairly collaborative area that allows you to interact with us (e.g. share your perspective; discover other feeds on architecture; etc.). Once Harry Pierson and team return from OOPSLA–wish I was there!!–look for these and other developments in the architecture space.

The era of personal space flight has arrived!

Boost

Glide

The SpaceShipOne commercial spacecraft just touched down after its second sub-orbital flight to win the ten million dollar Ansari X Prize. While still in its research phase, it’s all the more clear with today’s historic accomplishment that personal space flight has arrived. There is commercial viability and already reservations have been taken to send the general public to a frontier previously realized by governments alone.

To think that someone in my family may be in space without being an astronaut is a tremendously exciting thought. The first image captured here suggests that there is a large number of folks who agree!