Introduction to DSL – free chapter

You can download the first chapter for free from Addison-Wesley's intro book on DSL. If you are new to DSL's (Domain Specific Language) this this is a good read. Here is a abstract from the publisher:

Domain-Specific Languages (DSLs)–languages geared to specific vertical or horizontal areas of interest–are generating growing excitement from software engineers and architects. DSLs bring new agility to the creation and evolution of software, allowing selected design aspects to be expressed in terms much closer to the system requirements than standard program code, significantly reducing development costs in large-scale projects and product lines. In this breakthrough book, four leading experts reveal exactly how DSLs work, and how you can make the most of them in your environment.

With Domain-Specific Development with Visual Studio DSL Tools, you'll begin by mastering DSL concepts and techniques that apply to all platforms. Next, you'll discover how to create and use DSLs with the powerful new Microsoft DSL Tools–a toolset designed by this book's authors. Learn how the DSL Tools integrate into Visual Studio–and how to define DSLs and generate Visual Designers using Visual Studio's built-in modeling technology.

Interesting Find #1

I keep stumbling along many interesting finds online (well interesting to me) which I keep storing in OneNote and finally decided to start posting them here under the .link category. These mostly would be for me when I want to get them to a later stage.

Without further adieu, here is the first of many finds:

  1. The Phrase Finder – if you ever wanted to know about Phrases, Idioms and their meanings, origins and popular fallacies then check out the phrase finder. e.g. Vis-à-vis
  2. eSnips.com – wanted to share files with others? Check out esnips.com which allows you to share any time of information with who and what you share. Read up more here and don't forget to check out the fine print.
  3. JFGI (Just f***ing google it) – need one say any more? Smile
  4. Urban Dictionary – a slang dictionary with your definitions e.g. I recently heard there is something (or someone) called a Neek.

Art of Code Reviewing

This is a true story and happened on one of my projects (which shall remain nameless). Below is the feedback from one of the client as they were doing our code reviews.

Line 66: there seem to be a few too many words starting with "f" in the salutations comment. [This is really picky – the commenting standard in this file has otherwise been really good so far.]

And incase you were wondering what was the code in question, here it is:

/// <param name="salutations">The selection of Titles for which to choose from for a Contact</param>

So, what is the problem you ask? Who said there was a problem. Geeked

Free ringtones from Microsoft

Microsoft is giving away free ringtones (4 packs) for your Windows Mobile; don't forget to read up on how to install these.

Catching up with an old friend

It has been so long that I can't remember when I last spoke with my dear old friend Govind. We use to work together back in Seattle. He is one guy who I have a lot of respect for and when he talks, you shutup and listen (yes I know that is very difficult for me to do). It is interesting the twists life throws at one and how everyone adapts and changes. It is difficult to imagine him now and how his priorities and what he is passionate about has shifted – one won't even fathom the idea in your wildest dream.

I don't even know why am I surprised about change – after all the only constant is change. Maybe I'll learn someday – though don't hold your breath.

Post DDOS attack – blog back on

If you are an avid reader of this blog (who am I kidding) Wink, you would have noticed that for the last couple of days it has been impossible to hit this site. The main reason for that being for the last 2-3 days discountAsp.net (where I host this site) have been under a massive DDOS attack. They setup another site outside of their data centers just to provide us (their customers) an update. Of course there is nothing they can do about such attacks and given the circumstances I think they did an excellent job in dealing with it and trying to keep their customers up to date – kudos guys!

Their bandwidth utilization averages about 120 mb, but within 24 hours they went from that to 1 GB which saturated their 1 GB connection to their upstream provider (see graph below). That they say is equivalent to about 667 T1 Lines!

British Humor

Want some British Humor? Then check out NewsBiscuit.

Photosynth Preview

Microsoft's Photosynth – you need to see it to believe it! Absolutely jaw dropping!

{via Lap's Moment's of Distraction}

CS 2007 SP2

Hot on the heels of SP1, Telligent has released CS 2007 SP2. You can read up on what has been fixed and you can download it from here. I have upgraded the blog to SP2 and everything seems to be running fine, but if something is amiss then let me know.

lifeStation's upgraded to Vista

If you recall I talked about lifeStation last year and Simon from Passive Technologies posted a comment letting me know that they have upgraded all their machines to MCE Vista from MCE XP. There is also a new lifeServer which boasts 6TB of storage and RAID 5 (though I cannot find out anywhere if this is 6TB of total storage or usable storage). On a separate note, this might be a good candidate to run Windows Home Server.

I think these are very cool machines though I don't own one and the fact I still cannot find prices on their site suggests the target market is custom installers and not poor folks like me. Smile

Microsoft Update Catalog (Beta)

Microsoft has the beta version of their update catalog which is a one-stop-shop to get updates, drivers, hotfixes, etc. Although it is aimed for corporate users anyone can use it and it would help those running more than one machine at home to get all the updates once instead of downloading them again and again.

Computer Languages History

The Computer Languages timeline was posted in one of the internal Avanade communities by a colleague and is pretty cool. Seems like Fortran was the "father" (or "mother" depending on your perspective) of all languages. Smile

Outlook 2007 Performance Fix

Microsoft has released a update (KB933493 for those interested) for Outlook 2007 which helps improve some perf issues when your PST files get very large.  I have not seen this myself but then my PST files are approx 1.5gb. More details can be found at Neowin.

Aero Wallpaper Pack

A few people have released an interesting set of wallpapers which although they say is for Aero, you can use it with any OS. You can see a screenshot here and download it from here (~16 mb).

WPF Application Portfolio

The WPF wiki on Channel 9 has a WPF Application Portfolio – some are cool and some are surprisingly useful. Many of these can be deployed with ClickOnce making it convenient. If you are not on Vista you will need the .NET 3.0 bits.

MVP Threatened

This surely can not do any good? Jamie who created TestDriven.NET is involved in a legal dispute with Microsoft. This is not he Microsoft I know and work with on almost a daily basis! Hopefully common sense will kick in.

On a separate note, Steve Jobs vs Bill Gates – who is the saint and who is cut-throat villain of Geekdom? Cult of Mac at Wired has an interesting read on the subject.

HTC Touch

HTC just released a new phone here in the UK called HTC Touch. Not only is this very cool but is something you can touch, feel (and buy) today in the UK unlike the over-hyped iPhone. Stick out tongue 

There are of course more pictures, not to mention the specs and videos.