Tag Archives : Guidance Automation


Morning Coffee 147

  • My son Patrick turns five today. The big treat was his cousin Jack coming up for a visit. Here’s a picture of the two of them at Patrick’s party on Saturday. My wife has all the details on her blog. Update: My wife just posted a whole slew of Early Patrick Pictures.
  • If my son is five, it means this blog is also five – I started this blog about a month before Patrick was born. I never remember to mark the occasion until Paddy boy’s big day comes around.
  • Major props to the House of Representatives for growing a backbone and not caving to President 30% Approval on telecom immunity…yet. Personally, I’d like to see the House bury the measure completely, though I’m not holding my breath. But given that even the right-wing Washington Times reports “Analysts say FISA will suffice“, maybe the House Dems will do the right thing.
  • After tearing it up since Thanksgiving, the Caps have gone a little cold. 5-4-1 in their last ten and 2-2-1 in their last five. In the month of February, they’re 1-3-1 against SE division opponents. Good news is that they’re still even with Carolina (two points behind with two games in hand), half a game up on Atlanta, a game and a half up on Florida and two and a half games up on Tampa Bay.
  • Bill Gates announced a new program called DreamSpark to provide college students access to all of Microsoft’s developer and designer tools, including Visual Studio, Expression, SQL Server, Windows Server and XNA Creators Club membership. This looks like an outgrowth of the MSDN Academic Alliance program. I think it’s a great idea. Update: Looks like high-school students will be able to access the DreamSpark program too. However, since they’re minors, they have to get the software via their teachers. (via LiveSide)
  • The winners of the XNA Silicon Minds contest have been announced. Of the five winners, Specimen looks the coolest to me. I wish I had more time to get into game development. (Via LetsKillDave)
  • Speaking of game development, this week is the Game Development Conference, so be on the lookout for lots of game-related news. Xbox Live VP John Schappert is giving a keynote on “Unleashing the Creative Community”. XNA GM Chris Satchell said last year they would “announce full details on, and … vision for, opening XNA creations to the community” sometime this year. I’m guessing this is said announcement.
  • Speaking of Xbox, there’s a rumor that Microsoft and Netflix will announce this week that Netflix is bringing their Watch Instantly service to Xbox 360. If true, sign me up!
  • Grigori Melnik announces the GAX/GAT February 2008 final release. Key feature is VS08 support. Is it just me, or does calling it the “final release” make it sound like they won’t be upgrading GAX/GAT further?
  • Speaking of p&p, Grigori also announces the Feb 2008 CTP of Unity, p&p’s new IoC container. I’ve seem lots of folks echoing the announcement, but not much in the way of specifics on Unity itself. For example, Chris Brandsma describes IoC and mentions Unity, but he doesn’t cover any Unity specifics. :(
  • MSIT EA Nilesh Bhide has started blogging. His first post is on Customer perception of Service Quality in S+S/SaaS. I’ve worked closely with Nilesh in the past two years, so I’m excited to see him take to the blogosphere. (via Nick Malik)
  • I don’t know how I missed it, but the MSDN Code Gallery launched last month. As Charlie Calvert explained, this is logical successor to GotDotNet’s user samples area. Between Code Gallery and CodePlex, GotDotNet has finally been shuttered for good.
  • Telligent, makers of the very popular Community Server, have released Graffiti CMS, which looks like a more flexible content platform than Community Server. (via DNK)
  • In somewhat unexpected news (at least, unexpected by me) Microsoft has released specs for the Office binary file formats. I’m not sure why this is happening now, rather than say when we released the specs for the Open Office XML file formats. (via DNK)

Morning Coffee 130

  • Michael Klucher announces the release of XNA Game Studio 2.0 and Major Nelson points to the press release announcing the release. You can get the bits from XNA Creators Club Online (the XNA dev center has yet to be updated).
  • Speaking of XNA, David Weller points out the warm-up challenge for Dream-Build-Play 2008. I assume networking will be a big part of this years’ entries, but the warm-up challenge is to “Create a new and innovative use of Artificial Intelligence in a game”.
  • Still speaking of XNA, Gamasutra has an interview with XNA GM Chris Satchell where he hints at a publishing channel for XNA games on the Xbox 360, with “full details” coming sometime in the new year.
  • The Capitals beat the Rangers in overtime last night. Since changing coaches on Thanksgiving, they’re 6-3-1. That’s great, but they’re still five games under .500. The good news is that even though the Caps tied for last in the league, they’re only six points out of a playoff spot with about fifty games left in the season.
  • My old team puts on an event every year called the Strategic Architects Forum. It’s invite-only, but they’ve posted some of the videos, slides and transcripts from this year’s event.
  • J.D. Meier discusses the new Guidance Explorer release. They’re now up to 3,000 “nuggets” of guidance and they’ve moved the guidance store to MSDN. (via Sam Gentle)
  • Arnon Rotem-Gal-Oz explains further why arbitrary tier-splitting is bad. I’d also suggest reading Chapter 7 of PoEAA which provides another version of the same story: You can’t take an object that’s designed for fine-grained local access and make it remote without really screwing yourself up.
  • Eric Lippert thinks immutable data structures are “the way of the future in C#” so he’s written a series on immutability. Posts include kinds of immutability, an immutable stack, an immutable covariant stack and an immutable queue. As I’ve discussed, immutable data structures are HUGE in functional programming. Eric’s immutable stacks and queues are similar to F#’s native list type. (via Jomo Fisher)

Service Factory Customization Workshop Day One

No morning coffee posts for the first half of this week, because I’m in training thru Wednesday. Day one was mostly overview of GAT and DSL, which was review for me. Today we’re starting to dig into some of the new stuff they’ve build for the new version of WSSF, so I’m paying much more attention today.

This isn’t your typical workshop in that the content is sort of being generated on the fly. As I type, we’re voting on what we’re going to cover for the next two days. Most classes I’ve been in are pre-programmed, the teacher doesn’t ask the class what topics should be covered and what order. There isn’t even one “teacher” -┬áthere are five folks from p&p including the architect, dev lead and PM of WSSF that are tag-teaming. Even the hands-on labs aren’t completely ironed out – they’re evolving the lab directions as we do the labs. It’s atypical, but it works.