Blog Posts from March 2008 (page 1 of 4)

Will The Real DevHawk Please Stand Up?

Sometimes when I blog about politics, I’ll get a comment like this:

As far as I’m concerned, posting about topics such as politics or religions on a blog that’s supposedly about technology is just looking for trouble.

As I’ve pointed out before, DevHawk is not “a blog that’s supposedly about technology”. It’s a personal blog – my very tiny corner of the web, if you will – so I feel totally justified writing about technology, politics, hockey and whatever else I want to. I figure that if you don’t like it, you’re free to unsubscribe and neither of either of us will lose any sleep over it.

The flip side is that DevHawk has traditionally been the only place where I exercise such lack-of-restraint. When my blog was featured on MSDN Architecture Center, I cross-posted relevant content to a separate blog so as to create an topic-focused and safe-for-work subset of my “real” blog. It was always a hassle – especially tracking comments to the same post in two places – and I quit doing it shortly after leaving the Architecture Strategy Team.

However, now that I’m using Twitter, it doesn’t feel like DevHawk is “my only place” anymore. My blog == my writing, my del.icio.us == links I find interesting and my Twitter == real time updates. I use FeedBurner to include my del.icio.us links in my blog feed and twitterfeed to include the blog feed in my twitter feed. Therefore, Twitter is the only place to get an feed of all three. Obviously, Twitter’s feed isn’t full content, but in an always connected world, clicking the link to read the blog entry in the browser isn’t that big a deal. Besides, you can always subscribe to both the blog and twitter feed if you want full content + real-time.

I haven’t fully integrated Twitter into my daily life yet, though I’m getting there – for example I twittered the results of my hockey game last night. But unlike other social software sites, I think I’m going to be using Twitter regularly. I’m on Facebook, but there’s too much “you’ve been bitten by a Vampire!” type spam to really use it for anything but pure entertainment. Twitter is more like blogging, where there’s an information exchange with only the people I subscribe to follow. Also, maybe it’s me, but there doesn’t seem to be the same stigma if you stop following someone on Twitter compared to rejecting them as a friend on Facebook.

DevHawk has been “me”, but now it feels like DevHawk @ Twitter will become “me” which leaves my blog to become my endless book. It’s not a bad thing, but it does feel a little strange.

WebDev.WebServer PowerShell Function

In experimenting with NWSGI yesterday, I found I wanted the ability to launch the development web server that ships with Visual Studio (WebDev.WebServer.exe) from the command line. I hacked up the following PowerShell function and dropped it into my $profile so I can easily launch the web server in any directory any time I need. Thought I’d share:

function webdev($path,$port=8080,$vpath='/')
{
    $spath = 'C:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\DevServer9.0\WebDev.WebServer.EXE'
    $rpath = resolve-path $path  
    $params = "/path:`"$rpath`" /port:$port /vpath:$vpath"  

    $ignore = [System.Diagnostics.Process]::Start($spath, $params)  
    "Started WebDev Server for '$path' directory on port $port"  
}

There’s probably an easier way to launch an exe with parameters than Sys.Diags.Process.Start, but it works. Using resolve-path is the key, that lets me pass in a relative path on the command line, but the script converts it to an absolute path in order to pass it to the webdev server. Also, I’m not sure I should have hard coded the path to the exe, but again it works and it’s not like it’s tough to change.

Enjoy.

Update: Tomas Restrepo pointed out an easier way to start the process:

&'C:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\DevServer9.0\WebDev.WebServer.EXE' "/path:$rpath" "/port:$port" "/vpath:$vpath"

I couldn’t figure out how to correctly launch the exe when the physical path to serve has a space in it. Thanks Tomas.

Morning Coffee 159

As you might expect, these morning coffee posts are going to get more dev focused as well as more IPy focused.

  • One of the cool things we showed @ PyCon was Django running on the latest drop of IronPython. IPy lead developer Dino Viehand posted a blog entry (for the first time in 28 months!) showing the basic Python DB provider for SQL Server he put together. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait another two and a half years for Dino’s next post.
  • Speaking of IronPython, some of my new teammates pointed me to Michael Foord’s Planet IronPython aggregate news site. Michael is IPy developer for Resolver Systems (the cool spreadsheet app hybrid I wrote about @ Lang.NET) and he’s working on an IPy book.
  • Still speaking of IPy, Jeff Hardy dropped his first release of NWSGI, an port of Python’s Web Service Gateway Interface spec to ASP.NET and IPy. I can’t wait to see NWSGI combined Django running on IPy like Dino demoed @ PyCon. Congrats Jeff!
  • Scott Hanselman’s post on Twitter reminds me that I recently started twittering myself. I haven’t worked it into my daily routine, so it gets updated only occasionally, but after reading Scott’s post, I’m thinking it’s cooler than it appears on the surface.
  • In surprising news, Microsoft is going to start collaborating with IBM’s Eclipse Foundation, to make it easier to it easier to write apps for Windows in Java. I would think this is a very cool thing, but apparently Ted Neward – who’s knowledge of JavaWorld far eclipses (ha ha) my own – thinks “the skin here is just too sensitive” and that this move might cause more controversy between MS and Java. However, he seems to imply the controversy would be between MS & Sun (Eclipse is obviously named as a jab @ Sun) rather than between MS & the Java community.

Lunchtime Coffee 158

  • My friend (and hopefully my next representative) Darcy Burner is leading a group of congressional challengers in publishing A Responsible Plan To End The War In Iraq. I haven’t read the plan itself in detail, but I sure like what I’m hearing about it.
  • Speaking of politics, Obama’s speech today “A More Perfect Union” was fantastic.
  • Bioshock is getting a sequel. ’nuff said.
  • There’s a new version of FolderShare out and I’ve got mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, I’ve been a regular user of FolderShare for a while so it’s nice to see it get a face lift. On the other hand, it’s been over two years since Microsoft bought FolderShare and we’re only just now getting a new version, which is literally nothing more that a face lift – this version introduces no new functionality at all.
  • I was hoping to geek out vicariously via someone else’s hacking around with Singularity. Luckily, Matthew Podwysocki provides just such an opportunity.
  • Looks like “Prism” is the new CAB. Glenn Block has two extensive posts covering a project overview and their first drop. I think it’s interesting that the Prism team is focused on building a reference implementation, and letting the framework eventually fall out. Reading thru the description, it sounds awesome. However, based on the massive increase of inbox throughput I’m experiencing since I accepted the new job, I can’t imagine I’ll have time to play with it. Maybe Matthew will start playing with Prism too! (via Sam Gentile – btw, thanks for the kind words on the new job Sam!)
  • Speaking of Sam, he points to a series by Bob Beauchemin entitled LINQ to SQL and Entity Framework: Panacea or evil incarnate? With a title like that, who can resist reading the whole series? Err, I can because LINQ 2 SQL & EF performance just fell off my radar entirely. However I gotta agree with Sam’s point that he “can’t think of anyone more qualified than Bob” to tackle these questions.
  • Tomas Restrepo blogs his dev environment PS script as well as a PS fortune script. Personally, I use Chris Tavares’ vsvars wrapper for PS, though I’ll gladly take an “official” PS based dev environment.
  • I wonder if Ted Neward will get jumped for admiring Mort the way Nick Malik did. Given that Ted called himself Mort while Nick compared Mort to agile developers, I’m guess Ted will have to go back to his Vietnam analogy if he wants to create controversy.
  • Speaking of Ted, I agree with his point that conferences are about people. As a python pre-newbie (I figure I’ll reach full newbie status by the time I actually start my new job), I spent most of my PyCon time connecting with people rather than trying to learn technical stuff. Also, I love Ted’s WHISCEY acronym.
  • Speaking of PyCon, my soon-to-be new teammate Srivatsn Narayanan blogs his thoughts on PyCon. I’ll try and get to my PyCon thoughts soon.

DLR Resources & Jobs

I’m back home from PyCon, but between digging out my inbox, finishing transition reports and doing my mid-year career discussion I’m a little busy. But I did want to point at a couple of recent posts from the IPy team blog: