It's hard to say these days

Loose Ends

clock November 26, 2007 13:42 by author Tom

So I'm back, brighter and earlier than I would have liked but I guess that was inevitable after 4 days away.  A few things that caught my eye over the (rather slow) weekend...

Sometimes I think everything in this world is controversial to someone.   Case in Point, Glenn Reid has an interesting post about XML where he says...

XML does not deserver its "ML", or even its "X". But first, the "ML" part.

I am one of the world's leading experts on markup languages. I'll start there. I'm a 20-year veteran of desktop publishing, am personally related to the author of one of the very first markup languages in the world (Scribe), and have actually used SGML, MML, HTML, and most of the other markup languages that came along decades before XML.

So I know what I'm talking about. XML is not a markup language.

Well, ok then.  I don't really know how to respond to that to be honest.  He may very well be right but (a) it really doesn't matter what you call something and (b) XML is easily the most widely adopted markup language in existence (if you count XHTML) so I would think that would be enough to change the definition (if we're brining it to a vote). 


In other news Scott Watermasysk of Telligent has a post asking "Are Trackbacks (still) Worth It?" and I have no real answer for him.  They do seem to be causing a lot of spam lately and though they're a good idea in theory I rarely see them used in any useful way.  That said, from his perspective and the maker of blogging/community software I don't think we're to the point where you can drop it from the feature list and expect everyone to accept that. 

Finally, on the "just kind of cool front",  Greg Dolley posted on how he converted Quake II to managed C++ in the latest version of Visual Studio.  It's a good post but the part I found most interesting was this...

On modern computer hardware and the commodity-priced video cards out there, it’s difficult to come up with speed comparisons between .NET versus native C++ when running Quake II. What I mean is this - pretty much all computers with a decent 3D video card run the game at its maximum frame rate anyway regardless of whether native or managed mode is used. However, I did see a difference in performance when I turned on just software rendering and used a high resolution. The speed differences weren’t that much - the .NET version was about 9% slower (94 FPS in native versus 85 FPS in managed).

However, non graphics related things, such as initializing the game and loading maps between levels were noticeably slower in the .NET version. I would wait about seven to ten seconds for the game to load in a managed build versus about two seconds in native mode. The same amount of slowdown was noticeable when switching between levels.

The truth is that very few people need the graphics power behind Quake II as it is so the fact that managed code is performing that well tells me that you are probably safe doing 99% of things in a managed environment.  If you are planning the next Halo on the PC you are probably better off with unmanaged code but if you're planning the next Halo in this day and age you probably aren't targeting the PC anyway. 

MVC Framework explosion

clock November 20, 2007 22:08 by author Tom

Though I’ve watched all the MVC blog posts from inside Microsoft with great interest I have to wonder if the developers are doing the right thing by evangelizing the subject right now.  For those who don’t know the MVC (Model-View-Controller) Framework would allow ASP.NET developers to do a better job at separating different parts of their programs which in turn would make the programs easier to test and update because they would be distinct components that could be changed without upsetting all the other distinct components. 


For those who would care and want to know more you should check out Scott Guthrie’s Fantastic post on the subject (just be sure to set aside some time as it is 33 pages printed out)


Back to the point, the MVC Framework is not available yet.  So while I am very interested in the blog posts outlining how to do stuff in the MVC Framework I can’t “follow along on my own”.  I’m all for one post explaining the basics of the Framework but beyond that you’re just taunting your future user base and giving them information that they can’t at all use. 


I understand the people involved here are (rightfully) enthusiastic and want to share that with the world but if I were them I’d show a little restraint and embargo all these articles until there is at least a CTP for us developers.


P.S.  Only slightly related but just for the record, I’ve yet to actually start using my brand new Visual Studio 2008.  I’m dying to try it out but I like to ease into each new version with a good book on the topic and my Apress books (Beginner and Pro) shipped on the same day as the RTM so they won’t get here until tomorrow.

Quickie: Visual Studio 2008 RTM

clock November 19, 2007 13:36 by author Tom


In what I think is far more important news (at least for this blog) my Internet connection is now straining to download Visual Studio 2008 from the MSDN site (actually I suspect its their servers that are under the strain right now).  Say what you will about Microsoft platforms the Visual Studio team always delivers an exciting release and this is no exception. 

Though I'm really curious about Linq I think the thing I'm most excited about right now is the CSS features (which don't get mentioned nearly as much as they should).  I love ASP.NET and I think they made some great strides in the appearance arena with the last release but the platform still has a weird mis-mash of themes and CSS.  Hopefully this will do a lot to alleviate that. 

Anyway, given the download speed I'm getting I don't plan on getting any interaction any time soon but it seems like a fun way to spend the long weekend. 

Addendum: Scott Guthrie has a nice post about the changes in Visual Studio 2008

About Me

Not really relevant right now. This blog is on hiatus. I really haven't decided if it is an indefinite hiatus yet

For the record if you've tried to e-mail me over the last 4 to 6 months I didn't mean to ignore you. The e-mail forwarding isn't working and I didn't realize that until months worth of e-mails had been deleted on forward. The address still won't forward to the postmaster account and I don't know why because it's provided by the webhost. But if you're one of my old blog pen pals I would always welcome an e-mail from you at the address


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