Oct 31

Though by profession I am a software developer, like most developers I am also a voracious software consumer.  My job requires me to use many different software tools, and I also use software to automate and manage many aspects of my personal life.

So naturally when it came time to produce a photo book for my parents’ joint 75th birthdays, I jumped on the new wave of “Print-On-Demand” (POD) book publishing.  With POD, you create your own book in a word processor or desktop publishing program, and then you can publish one or many professionally-bound copies of your new hardcover masterpiece for a very reasonable fee.
 

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Oct 08

Microsoft has announced that it will release the source code for the .NET Framework with .NET version 3.5 later this year.  Microsoft will release the code under its Reference License.  This is essentially “read-only mode,” meaning that you can view the source code for reference and debugging, but you cannot modify or distribute the code.  This is Microsoft’s most restrictive shared-code license and should not be confused with “open source” code such as Linux and the projects on SourceForge.Net. Continue reading »

Oct 04

Great empires often fall from within. 

The death knell for Visual Basic is premature, but it’s true that VB has deviated from its original vision as an “Application Construction Kit” for the masses and has lost significant market share as a result.  

Tim Anderson summed it up best:

It sounds like perfection.  Microsoft had perhaps the largest number of developers in the world hooked on a language which in turn was hooked to Windows.  Yet Microsoft took this asset of incalculable value and apparently tossed it aside.  Back in 2002, Microsoft announced that the language was to be replaced by something new, different and incompatible.  That caused rumblings that continue today.  Developers expressed emotions ranging from frustration to anger.  They felt betrayed.

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