Sometimes Trials could be real "Trials"

Sunday, 31 December 2006 11:24 by salim

I have been evaluating ReSharper for the last month and quite happy with the things it provided in the IDE, ofcourse the refactoring support, but equally with the minor editor improvements.

One thing I really liked was the automatic completion of block symbols like braces and ".

This warm fuzzy feeling quickly vanished when I try to debug a VS package. When the experimental hive opened up, it started giving me all kinds of horrible errors about not able to initialize Resharper menu items etc etc. So, to continue with my package development, I uninstalled ReSharper. And to add to my woes, I found out that it did not reset the keyboard shortcuts. This was a minor issue, but didnt reset my feelings.

So, I got back to the debugging of my package. To my surprise, the build started failing with a very descriptive error saying "devenv.com returned exit code -1". More detailed inspection revealed that the culprit is regpkg.exe trying to create the .reg file for deployment.

Like a typical application junkie, I repaired VS 2005, repaired SDK, well, actually upgraded SDK to 12.2006 with no avail. Finally I did what I should have done in the first place. Then I found that my experimental hive is not starting complaining that it has missing components. I reset the experimental hive registry. This started the experimental ide and I found that it stil lkeeps a reference to ReSharper. Guess what, my regpkg.exe stopped failing and the build succeeds.

This should have taken me all but 10 mins after unistalling resharper, but my overthinking (or lack thereof) wasted a whole night for me.

I am still not sure who is the real culprit in this saga. It could be resharper, VS, VS SDK. But I am getting more and more warmed up to the idea of VMWare ESX or something like that.

So, ReSharper is an excellent add-in. I am waiting to see if DevExpress will send me a trial version of their thingie. If not, may be I will bite the bullet and go for their 60 day money back guarantee.

Well, I know how I am going to spend my new year eve and new year day. Trying to finish the Delphi support for Visual Studio. More about this later.

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And finally, we got a Giant Squid

Saturday, 23 December 2006 01:27 by salim

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2516522,00.html

Last week, I was watching (again) that Discovery story about sperm whales and was once again thinking about the Giant Squids. I actually saw Tsunemi Kubodera's earlier attempt looking for the Giant Squids. They got one tentacle at that time and quite a few pictures. Now they finally managed to get a live one.

Thus, one more mystery of the seas solved. Just a few millions remaining.

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Who is living in 19th century?!!

Friday, 22 December 2006 10:58 by salim

"

Goode [Virginia: A Republican congressman] triggered angry responses from an Islamic civil rights group and some of his colleagues by his letter to constituents who e-mailed him about a new Minnesota congressman's [Keith Ellison] decision to use the Quran at his private swearing-in ceremony.

"I will not be putting my hand on the Quran," Goode said at a news conference Thursday at the Franklin County Courthouse.

In a letter earlier this month to hundreds of constituents about Rep.-elect Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, Goode warned that strict immigration policies are necessary "to preserve the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America."

"

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Browser - the worst place for an application to live

Thursday, 21 December 2006 16:25 by salim

How many of you who has develped a browser based UI for a complex application have felt that you are back in the days of DBase? Well, I still remember my very very short stint with DBase where I had to create UIs following the horrible character by character placing of controls, but more than that, the feeling that I had to follow the rigid rules imposed by the DBase runtime. DOS at that time could do much more complex UIs using text consoles compared to what DBase could come up with.

Browser is kind of like that, or even worse. From the point of an application developer, a browser is something that is designed to make our life hard. Everything in the browser is designed specifically to curtail my freedom as a developer.

Well, I guess the complaints about the nightmares of bridging the gap between HTML and interactive data presentation is somewhat alleviated these days through various dynamic scripting techniques. But, it is still scripting.

The interactivity of a browser is by design broken. Even with AJAX and all the other patchwork that we have been putting on top of the poor browser and http only hides this fact, does not solve it.

Lets take the UI provided by any blogging service for creating new blogs. First I need to click on the sign me in page, which will take me to some kind of edit/add page after a few seconds (at best). Then I click on the new blog link, which after a few seconds (in reality several seconds) will give me a box (sometimes small, sometimes a little bit bigger, always not enough) where I can write my blog. So, I start writing, half way through, I get bored, want to go for a smoke, so I click save as draft, which usually takes two steps (somehow most online blog editors assume that I do need to see the preview even when I am saving as draft).

So I come back from my smoke, click on the edit button, wait yet another several seconds (mind you, I am on a 10mbps downstream cable) it shows me that small box again.

If I want to post this to another blog as well and there is no automatic crossposting in my blog service, the whole thing has to be painfully repeated.

Compare this experience to that of using a desktop blog publisher, in my case Windows Live Writer. (I settled on WLW after looking at several others like w.bloggar, ecto, and a few others).

So, with WLW, if I want to write a blog, I click on the menu item. It shows me the first screen in about 2 seconds and I can start writing straight away. I have a winodw which is wysiwyg, I can actually see pictures pasted to my posts. And if I get bored of writing all I have to do is press ^S and go do whatever. When I come back, it is again 2s before I get to my draft back.

I dont have to click several obscure links and buttons to do a single thing.

Browsers are best when used for dissemination of information. However, after seeing the Newyork Times reader, even there a client based solution has can have much more capabilities.

May be we need to get our thinking straight. Web based application does not (and in my opinion, should not) mean browser based. A browser based application is just a contraption that aspire to be an application, and fails.

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Talk about global warming...

Thursday, 21 December 2006 16:05 by salim

First, I reclaimed my window seat in the latest team room shuffle. Though the view is towards the front of the building, as long as I don't look down, things are not that bad.

What boggles my mind is the weather. Though I am not a big fan of cold weather (especially since I have to go out to have my smoke breaks, which is painful during cold days), I would still love to see some snow.

It looks like the el nino is here to stay for this year.

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How about a new post using the live writer!!!

Thursday, 21 December 2006 01:59 by salim

After several attempts my live writer seem to be working.

I did try several other desktop blog writers (for the last 4 hours) and so far, live writer is the easiest to setup, and even detected my new blogger account without a hitch.

However, I am yet to find a way to do the corss posting without having to select each item twice. I am sure there is a way.

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How about a new post using the live writer!!!

Thursday, 21 December 2006 01:55 by salim

After several attempts my live writer seem to be working.

I did try several other desktop blog writers (for the last 4 hours) and so far, live writer is the easiest to setup, and even detected my new blogger account without a hitch.

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