Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Oren Eini (the Rhino Mocks dude) in Bristol

When: Monday 13th October 2008, doors open 6:00pm, meeting starts 6:30pm

Where: UWE (University of the West of England), Frenchay, Bristol (see FAQ for directions and a map) - Room 2q50 (in Q block)

What: "Producing Production Quality Software" and "Interaction based testing with Rhino Mocks"

Who: Oren Eini is the author of Rhino Mocks and a major contributor to Castle and NHibernate.

Why: Because Oren is in the UK for a couple of weeks and we've managed to nab him whilst he's here. This is a rare opportunity to listen to someone who can make a real difference to the success of your project.

How do I sign up for this meeting: Send an email to meetings at dotnetdevnet.com and quote your user name and the October Extra meeting.

"Producing Production Quality Software" Abstract:
Working software is no longer the only thing that we need to produce. We need to create a software system that has a chance of surviving in the cruel world of production system, outside the clean room and sterile environment of development and QA. Understanding bottlenecks in the system, preventing cascading failures and recovery strategies have ceased being the problems of the very high end players. With the cost of system downtime being measures in $$$/second, this is an area we have to consider all the way. In this talk we will cover how we can map common weaknesses in the system design, preemptively protect ourselves from them, and produce software systems that can withstand the real world hostile environment.

"Interaction based testing with Rhino Mocks" Abstract:
Beyond the simplest scenarios, all objects had collaborators that they work with. This flies in the face of testing objects in isolation. This is the problem that mock objects were created to solve. In this talk you will learn what mock objects are, how to utilize them and best practices on when / how to utilize them. Rhino Mocks is a mock objects framework for .Net whose core goals are to let the developer rely on the compiler work well with refactoring tools.
Oren Eini is an independent consultant based in Israel, focusing on architecture and best practices that lead to quality software and zero friction development processes. He is the author of Rhino Mocks, the most popular mocking framework on the .Net platform as well as a member of other well known open source projects, chief among them are the Castle project and NHibernate.
Oren is an internationally known speaker, and the author of the soon to be published book: Building Domain Specific Languages with Boo.

Remix – Speaker Idol

At Remix08 in Brighton, I was in complete awe of the contestants of the Speaker Idol competition.

The rules were simple, 5 minute presentation on any subject and you had to have never presented at a major conference.

It was great to see the new batch of UK speaking talent coming through, and they did a marvelous job with the toughest circumstances.  Having to present in the community area, to a large hall where some folks were paying attention, some were chatting to their buddies, some having lunch, some looking at exhibitor stands.  I offer my hat to all those that took part, what a great job everyone did.

There were presentations on WatiN, MVC, Color wheels, SL Isolated Storage.

In the end Richie Allen won with his superb Watin Presentation (which is coming to Cambridge next month).  However everyone was great.

I encourage all those who took part to continue speaking and get in touch with their local user group and keep it up.

Take on board the comments of the formidable judging panel (Guy Smith-Ferrier, Mike Taulty, Mike Ormond, Phil Winstanley, Dave Sussman, Andy Westgarth, Robert Hogg and Ray Booysen), and keep going.

Well done guys and it’s nice to see the future is looking bright for the UK :)

ReMix08 UK

So I was at Remix in Brighton and had a superb time.  Although I was speaking at this event, this post is more about the other sessions that I attended on the day, and the event itself.

It was an absolutely brilliant couple of days at a superb venue.  Since I’ve seen lots of variations of the main presentations, I thought I would vary my sessions around a bit and go to some sessions that i might not normally go to (i.e. not the main auditorium sessions).  To be honest, I’m glad I did as I had a superb time.

The highlights for me were:

  • Dave McMahon, Richard Costall and John Price working the community stage, superb gameshows, superb fun.
  • Richie Allen winning the Speaker Idol competition, with his superb 5 minute presentation (coming to Cambridge next month)
  • Sarah Ford’s incredible 20/20 presentation (all the micropresentations were superb also especially Rich and Dave once more)
  • Guy Smith-Ferrier on Internationalization.  Another great presentation from Guy.
  • Speaker Panel with Scott Guthrie (loads of great clues) on what’s coming up
  • The ugliest website in the world (I’m starting to think those guys have the best jobs in the world).

Finally the real highlight for me was listening to Bill Buxton’s keynote.  What an absolutely inspiring presenter and what a great keynote.

All in all, what a great event, roll on next year.

Back from holidays

So I’m back from my holidays now (and I have my laptop back).

Prior to my holiday, I’ve been a little busy with presentations, so my blogging suffered a little.

Now I’m back, my presentation schedule is a little clearer and I can focus on playing with some tech.

Next few weeks, lots of playing with Silverlight 2 RC0 (which was released whilst I was away).

And then playing with all the PDC bits after PDC :)

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Replacing AJAX with Silverlight

I will follow up on this after ReMix08.

If you make a client side call to a Web Service via Javascript on an ASP.NET page, it is significantly faster than using an AJAX Update Panel.

However if you were to make that very same call via Silverlight using the Html Bridge, the Silverlight call is faster :)

I will post some samples up after ReMix08 to back up my claim.

Monday, 15 September 2008

My Session at SQL Bits on Saturday

If you were at my session on Saturday "Useful SQL Stuff wot I learned", many thanks for coming along.

I truly enjoyed doing the session, so thank you for so being so welcoming.

I said I would publish up my SQL and my slides.  You can download it from my Skydrive.

I believe the session was recorded and will be available from the SQLBits site at some point.  I will link to it, when that happens.

Again, thanks to everyone who came along

SQL Bits on Saturday

So I was at SQL Bits on Saturday both as an attendee and a speaker.

Wow, What a great day I had and what a great event it was.  Hats off to the SQLBits team, what great organization and what a superb venue.

I think the main auditorium is one of the best places I've been too for a session.  I spent my whole day in the Auditorium, chilling out, relaxing on some comfy seats and listening to some great speakers.

Allan Mitchell - BI

Really nice session, showed how easy and how powerful BI is.

Simon Sabin - SQL 20008

Great demo's of some of the new features of 2008, really enjoyed this session.  I enjoyed this almost as much as the session he did on SQL Myths.

Me - Useful SQL Stuff

I guess I didn't really watch me!

Niels Berglund - Understanding Query Cache and Query Plans

This guy really knows his stuff, really learned lots of deep down stuff.

Andras - Advanced T-SQL

Another great Andras session, is there anything he doesn't know about SQL Server.


Andrew Fryer on drums, Tony Rogerson on the Mic, what more could you ask for.

Seriously this was a great day, lots of great content, great venue, great organization and loads of great people that I met.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Speaking at Remix UK 08

So I’ve been asked to speak at Remix UK 08, which is a great honor. 

My session is on ASP.NET Front End Performance and is on Day 2.

I hope to see you there!

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Manic Miner on Silverlight Spectrum Emulator

UPDATE Latest version is here: http://silverlightuk.blogspot.com/2008/10/silverlight-2-rco-version-of-spectrum.html

So I've done a little more work on the Silverlight Spectrum Emulator (see my previous article)

I've fixed the transparency issues I've been having and I have setup some Keyboard mappings, and I've changed some of the timings.

This means we can now play a game :) So i've setup the emulator to play manic miner for just now. Don't worry it will go up on codeplex soon but for now have fun playing.

O is left, P is right, Space is Jump

Silverlight 2, Chrome and Window Resizing

Defy all Challenges

This is a very cool site which really shows the power of Silverlight 2.

I recommend you have a play with it in IE7

Google Chrome

Unfortunately this site doesn’t work so well with Google Chrome (infact most Silverlight applications don’t work to well).  The issue seems to be with the rendering of the application.

If you consistently resize your browser, you will find it suddenly works.

It reminds me of those days playing Daley Thompson’s Decathlon on the spectrum, wiggling my Joystick.  Now I need to wiggle my mouse to use Silverlight on Google Chrome.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Jesse Liberty in Bristol

Guy Smith-Ferrier (who runs DotNetDevNet) has pulled off an amazing coup and has captured Jesse Liberty and is holding him hostage in Bristol until he presents some Silverlight sessions.

This will be a superb event and totally recommend you get across there if you can.

This is the blurb about the event below:

Jesse Liberty (author of over 20 books, Senior Program Manager on Microsoft’s Silverlight Development Team and self-confessed Silverlight Geek) will be presenting “An Evening Of Silverlight” at 6:30pm on Tuesday 16th September 2008 (details at http://www.dotnetdevnet.com/Meetings/tabid/54/EntryID/23/Default.aspx).

Entry is free to members and membership is free. Here’s an outline of the two subjects he will be covering:-

Styles, Templates and Visual State Manager

1.       Introductions, Make fun of the American
2.       Modifying a toolbox control with in-line attributes
3.       Creating Styles and applying them to controls in Xaml
4.       Creating Styles and applying them to controls in Blend
5.       Reskinning toolbox controls with Templates, by hand
6.       Reskinning toolbox controls with Templates, in Blend

Skinnable Custom Controls- The Parts and State Model and Inside the VSM

1.       An introduction to the Parts and State Manager and VSM in detail
2.       Creating a Custom Control
3.       Visual States and Visual State Groups
4.       Storyboards and Transitions
5.       Inside the VSM
6.       Creating a Custom Control Contract
7.       The Template Part Attribute
8.       The Template Visual State Attribute
9.       Putting it all together.
10.     Good night and where’s the beer?