January 2008 - Posts
Thanks to Julie's post, I looked in the image library that comes with VS 2008 and found some nice new images. What's really cools is many of the icons are in Vista format. Open them with Visual Studio, and you'll see that the Visual Studio icon editor has also been improved, providing a preview list of the images inside an icon. I opened the zip icon, and inside it there is a 256 x 256 png for use in Vista.
Cool ! :)
Via Julie's blog, I stumbled upon some recent stats for last year's US patents:
Most of these companies, such as IBM make semi conductors and devices. Microsoft does make devices such as the XBox and Zune, but it is not a semi conductor manufacturer. How many of those patents are for software ? And what are those patents ?
Some of you may recall that Microsoft patented the IsNot operator in VB. One really has to question the benefit of doing that, as well as the originality of that work. I've often heard from lead architects at Microsoft that nothing is new in programming languages, it's just recycled. Yet the list of patents continues. How much of Microsoft's .NET would exist today if things such as GC were patented, or object constructors, or lambda functions ?
With over 1.2 million patents pending out there, isn't it time this silliness was stopped ?
Despite all the talk about VBA and whether or not it will be in the next version of office, is the message from Microsoft clear ?
On the Excel blog they claim "no plans for the removal"
On the VSTO blog they claim "the next generation of the Microsoft Office system will definitely contain all of the functionality that developers and power users expect from VBA"
The Access blog is probably the most succinct, claiming "I can assure you that VBA is not disappearing in the next release of Office"
Is there significant assurance there yet ? Perhaps, but shouldn't we expect to see a clear and concise assurance from Microsoft on it's web site, not just in individual blogs, and one from all of Office. But more to the point, shouldn't this have been made clear to customers some time ago ?
Rather than let doubt set in, Microsoft should *assure* customers what is ahead. VBA in office is just one example.
What about VB6 runtime support in Windows 2008 or Vienna.
Where is the customer assurance ???
in VB 2008 you get a great intellisense experience when working with XML axis properties if you add the schema(s) to your project. You don't need to add the actual schema, you can just add a link. From the Project menu select Add Existing Item, browse to the xsd file then do NOT click Add, instead click the drop down arrow next to Add and select Add As Link.
One thing to be aware of is the path is stored in your project file (.vbproj) as a relative path. This can be problematic when distributing projects and the file is outside of the project directories, but works well when the path is a shared folder in a multi project solution.
This is one of my favourite plants. It has the most beautiful lemon fragrance as you walk by it, and makes a great cup of tea for a summer's afternoon.
The specimen here is about 5 foot tall, and probably up to 6 foot across.
I haven't grown "grape tomatoes" before. In ways they look like a cherry tomato form of romas. They are a staking variety (indeterminate). I'm training them to have two leaders, supported by over head strings. Judging from their growth and a couple of laterals I was slow in pinching out, it looks like they could be well suited to growing with multiple leaders. The first couple of fruit weren't that great tasting, kind of average mass produced cardboard tomato like you get in supermarkets <g>. But as the fruit further up the first truss ripened, and the fruit from the second truss did, the taste and texture dramatically improved.
The plant did suffer from some early blight as did three other tomato plants I bought in, but it hasn't got into the main stem and the plants seem to be out growing it now as the weather warms up. I didn't spray for it, but this does mean the tomatoes will get to grow in the new part of the veggie patch next year ;) You can see the scar in this photo from the pruning of the diseased bottom leaves, and if you look carefully you can also see the string the plant is trained around (oh, and baby celery in the immediate right)
Yield in terms on numbers looks like it will be good, but in terms of kilograms it doesn't look like it has a chance to catch traditional staking varieties. Sill it's a nice tomato if you have the space. Pleasant addition to salads and a great snack while you pot around in the garden ;)
It's mid January as I write this and the sweet corn has tassels, but still months to go before there's cobs. Considering the late start I had, I'm pretty happy :) In this picture they are almost six foot tall.
I had a late start to the gardening season this year, but the last couple of weeks I've been managing some nice salads from the garden. Tonight's comprises snow peas, slenderette beans, grape tomatoes, early carrots, baby beetroot and cos lettuce. Add to that a handful of fresh sprouts (mung and alfalfa) ; it makes a pretty good salad :)
take some time out and visit:
Normally I grow normal peas or sugar snaps, but this year I grew snow peas, and I'm glad I did :) They self attached to the trellis and have been no work other than the picking and eating :) The ones in this photo are about 6 foot high:
This is a view from the other side:
There is actually a narrow path between the zucchini and the carrots, but it's hard to see from that angle.
This is my lawn mowing crew:
Click on the above picture and have a close look at those faces. See the one on the left lounging around ? Notice the white moustaches ? Do you think my lawn mowing team might have been drinking beer on the job ;)
Some of the early plums from this season.
There's a couple of varieties in the basket :)
The blood plums are later in the season, probably a few months away yet.
Sara Ford writes about the "Open Containing Folder" command in Visual Studio. I use that sometimes, but it won't work on "temporary" projects, instead that menu appears grayed out. The trick here is to add a Explorer item to your Tools menu, and give it the argument of $(ItemDir)
This allows you to open the containing folder of any item, whether the project is temporary or otherwise :)
I was looking at Lisa's latest blog entries, and the second last screen shot made me sit back and say "what":
In that example of Lisa's, the local variable surfaceArea is actually the one that VB creates for you by default, allowing you to assign to the function name. If you don't explicitly return a value the value of that auto generated local variable is returned for you. But should it be in intellisense following a Return statement ? Like in this example, you could see Lisa could easily select the first variable shown. The code would compile without warning, but it would return 0. And due to the similarity in the local variable she used and the function name, it's one of those bugs you can stare at all day and just not see.
Personally, I would like tot see that auto-generated variable become a project wide option to raise either a warning or an exception. I don't see the need for it other than those who want some sort of backward compatibility. Secondly, and more importantly, this should raise a warning about using a variable before it is assigned to. Sure it's a value type note a reference type, but if a value isn't assigned, then what is it returning.
A month or two ago there was a news report of a "scientific" study regarding beer and re-hydration after exercise. The study showed that beer was better than water for rehydration after exercise. Now today I read that if you drink and exercise, you have less chance of heart disease than those who only exercise. :)
So to celebrate this new found "scientific" knowledge, I went for a 35 km ride, and I can tell ya, the beer also tastes better after exercise :)
Ah, how sweet it is ..... :D