Monthly Archives: July 2007

Skyscrapr – Your Introduction to Architecture

This may be old news to most people out in the Microsoft Architecture world but it is news to me.  Microsoft has a web site called Skyscrapr and it is dedicated to the topic of Architecture.  

It appears to be a portal to all things Architecture related on Microsoft web sites.  I spent some time today going through the resources on the site and there is a wealth of information and links to many, many other resources.

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Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2 is Out

In case you missed it, Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2 along with the .NET Framework 3.5 is out.

Scott Guthrie has a great overview of the changes and how to get it.  If you don’t want to travel all the way to Scott’s site, you can find the installation versions of VS 2008 here.

My favorite way to check out versions of Visual Studio or any major beta software for that matter is through a pre-built VPC.  I have found them over here.  You have to download 8 files (2 executables and 6 .rar files), you run one of the executables and it creates a nice VPC you can use with with Virtual PC or Virtual Server.  It certainly makes a lot less work by not having to install all of this software and it also keeps my system clean.

I downloaded all the files, ran the executable and had my VPC up and running in only a few minutes (after the long downloads but who cares). 

I am anxious to try out the new Multi-platform target support and Intellisense with JavaScript.

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IronRuby is out, Built and Running

I have been working with Ruby for quite some time now and every time I hear of new things out I like to try them out.  Most of the time it is the latest gem or technique but this time the news comes from Microsoft.

John Lam and his group at Microsoft released a source code drop of IronRuby, which is a version of Ruby running on the CLR.  IronRuby is promised to give us all the power and compatibility of Ruby 1.8.6 with all the goodness of the .NET 2.0 Runtime and beyond.

IronRuby is an open source project and will end up on RubyForge but for now is available as a download from John’s blog.  So, I downloaded, unzipped and ran the included Build.cmd and viola…


It built in just under 3 seconds….

I went to my command prompt and to the release directory and ran the resulting rbx.exe and saw the familiar >>> of Ruby’s IRB.

I tested the Ruby implementation with a few commands just to see what resulted and everything I ran worked very well.  I didn’t do any work with using .NET classes, but I will.

One interesting item I noticed was this….can you see it?


In Ruby, typing something like “Hello”.class returns a type String but in IronRuby you can see it returns MutableString which is an interesting distinction from .NET, who’s strings are immutable.   I like the attention to details like this.

I will be running some of my utility classes with IronRuby and throw together some samples that integrate to the CLR.  I will also report back what I find.  All-in-all, it looks pretty good.

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InfoQ – Great Source for Developer Information

I recently joined InfoQ, a very good resource for .NET, Java, Ruby and Agile developers.  It’s doesn’t cost anything to join so you have nothing to lose.  Setting up your profile allows you to choose the language or platform you want to see information on, Ruby and Ruby on Rails and .NET in my case.

The site has a wealth of information from so many difference sources.  I find many sites that are a mish-mash of user-entered news is more junk than not.  I find Digg to be a good example of this, but not InfoQ, in my opinion.

Ruby related goodies :

This is just an example from a Ruby perspective.  There are so many good articles and video presentations, InfoQ is worth it to check out.

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links for 2007-07-17

Dogpile Web Search

I was checking the logs on my server the past couple of weeks and notice and interesting referrer, Dogpile.  I had never heard of this site and thought maybe my blog was so bad that I was exiled to some land of crappy weblogs.


I decided to check them out and was happily surprised by what I found, Dogpile is a site that brings together into one place a search site that uses Google, Yahoo, Windows Live and Ask to give me results.  The site is nicely done and when something is searched for the results list where they came from, not just plain results.  You can see my results for Ruby on Rails below  (click for larger image):


I normally use Google for searches as it returns the most relevant results but I also use the other services used by Dogpile.  It is nice to have it all in one place.   Others out there may have heard of this service or one like it but is new to me.

A search site of a different kind is Koders.  This is another great site if you want to search for programming related information and Koders will return source code and nice techie stuff.

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ELMAH – Google Code

I have blogged in the past about using ELMAH (Error Logging Modules and Handlers) for error logging in my ASP.NET applications.   I still use it and love it, still one of the best tools out there.

The project has moved from GotDotNet, which Microsoft abandoned in favor of CodePlex, to Google Code.   You can find it here – elmah – Google Code

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