July 2005

8 posts

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3D TV

In a prior post, I wrote about 3D Displays. Well, the New York Times wrote an article about new 3D TVs emerging within five years via Emergic. Ordinary TV sets deliver 500 lines of resolution. Most high-definition screens reach 1,050. The HD3D hits 1,280 lines and counting - which means better picture quality than that of any TV available today, all in a convincing impression of the third dimension. And here's the seriously trippy part about the new screen, which Deep Light plans to introduce at next winter's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas: multiple "blades" of video enable one...

C# News

PDC session abstracts have recently gone live with some new details on the C# language. Some of the other tracks don’t really intrigue me as much. Avalon and Indigo are already in beta, so I don’t expect much to change before release. IE7 needs to play catch up in web standards, and ASP.NET 3.0 is interesting, but I am not very likely to play with it before its release, when hosting providers are available. It appears that Meijer paper on the bridging of dynamic typing with static typing extrapolates from trends in the C# programming languages rather than indicates any...

Getting Web Services

When I left Microsoft in 2000, the overall strategy of the company had shifted to some notion of computing as “service.” It was obviously developed by executives high up and being forced-fed top down to all the product units. This new strategy was nicknamed “.NET,” and soon every product would soon have the “.NET” suffix appended to its name in order to sound “cool.” (This ultimately caused customer confusion and was dropped from every product except Visual Studio.) I recalled a really vague and unbelievable highfalutin vision memo of “Office as a Service,” written by a drunk program manager, emailed...

Longhorn Beta

Paul Thurott reports the Longhorn Beta 1, a developer release, slipped to late July, but screenshots of build 5203 appear to be available (yawn!) and invitations to beta testers have already been sent out. Paul maintains that feature-complete Longhorn Beta 2 will still be released on Nov 2005; most other reports indicate early next year. Beta 2 will have a new user interface called Project M. (The name reminds me of the Project X desktop UI, which Bill Gates demoed at Comdex in the mid-90s, but which never materialized.) A lot more noise about Longhorn have been dripping in the...

Microsoft At War With Self

Last year, Joel wrote a widely read post on “How Microsoft Lost the API War,” concluding… Much as I hate to say it, a huge chunk of developers have long since moved to the web and refuse to move back. Most .NET developers are ASP.NET developers, developing for Microsoft's web server. ASP.NET is brilliant; I've been working with web development for ten years and it's really just a generation ahead of everything out there. But it's a server technology, so clients can use any kind of desktop they want. And it runs pretty well under Linux using Mono. None of...

Dynamic Typing in C#

The next iteration of C# is poised to become multi-paradigmatic, addressing numerous issues in programming. Most discussions focused on SQL and XML data integration and concurrency, but new features mentioned by a journal submission suggest an assault on dynamic languages is in preparation. Eric Meijer and Peter Drayton recently submitted “Static Typing Where Possible, Dynamic Typing When Needed: The End of the Cold War Between Programming Languages” for a journal on “Revival of Dynamic Languages.” Both authors worked at Microsoft on research projects experimenting with new language extensions on top of C#. Their article explains how dynamic features can be...

Notepad2 with Ruby

I modified Notepad 2 version 1.0.12 to provide better support for editing Ruby and makefiles. I also included shell context menu integration to provide one click access to Notepad2 for opening any file. Notepad 2 C++ source code The exe was compiled with VS 2005 beta 2, but that shouldn’t introduce any problems. Ruby integration is on par with SciTe, which had previously been the preferred editor for Ruby. This, unfortunately, also means that regular expressions do not receive special highlighting. I don’t want to maintain these files forever (perhaps a year) and am looking for a mirror.

Array Covariance Among Enums

Cyrus, developer of C# at Microsoft, posted a quiz on casting arrays of value types. He hasn't posted the answer to the quiz yet, but I already knew the answer, which highlights an important difference between the way the CLR and the C# compiler treats enumerated constants. From the perspective of the CLR and IL, enums are mostly indistinguishable from regular integers. This lack of distinction is even more pronounced with arrays of enums. Array covariance is widely known to be supported for reference types, but it also works on enumerated types. Direct conversion from an array of enums to...

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