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VS2010 Search + Replace to the rescue

I’m currently working porting a library into another open source project. As I have heavily extended the library my primary goal was to make it work and then compliant to the coding guidelines. A lot of my code contained in the library had automatically generated (with R#) interface implementations which contained blank lines between the curly braces. As you might know this is not StyleCop compliant. Wonderfully I was able to address the issues with the VS2010 Search + Replace dialog and tagged expressions. See how…

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Expose for Windows

In this article i will show you a small tool named “switcher”. Maybe you know the feature expose on mac OS S, Switcher enables this on Windows Vista and Windows 7 Clients. I guess if you install Switcher you never use “alt” & “tab” and “win” & “tab” again.

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USB to DVI Adapter from Gefen

You can’t imagine how frustrated I was when I received my new dell business notebook with Core i7 (hyperthreading) when I tried to attach two external monitors to the docking station while running the laptop screen as third monitor… It’s just not possible! As a software developer it is really helpful to have three monitors. I usually have the following work setup when having three monitors (normally 20” with 1600×1200):

First monitor (primary with taskbar):

VS2010 with just the solution explorer and properties pane visible as needed

Second monitor (with extended taskbar from ultramon):

Resharper 5.1 windows such as file structure, unit test explorer and unit test session (those are the most important for me)

Third monitor (with extended taksbar from ultramon):

Firefox, Skype and Email, usually also documentation (which I’m currently writing or user documentation when help is needed)

With only two monitors you always need to move around the resharper windows when you want to browse or read a tutorial on the internet. This sucks!

Two eliminate this problem when using the business laptop I was looking around for a USB to DVI adapter and found finally a good one which has arrived last week by postal service. Gefen Ext-USB-2-DVIHD-CO! Let me describe it.

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Currently I’m in the refresher course of the swiss armed forces in Andermatt. So I get plenty of charlton-heston-Mosses-iPad time to test my new Apple iPad. I have the 16 GB model without the 3G (UMTS) modem. I decide to buy the cheapest model because I think I don’t need much storage on my web tablet. The 3G option was for me secondary because I own a notebook with built in UMTS modem. As a side note you can use the freeware Connectify to switch any pc in to a wlan access point http://www.connectify.me/. Or create a wlan network proxy with an iPhone and the app NetShare (10$) from the Sydia store.

First I will make my coming out as an Apple fan boy. So this article reflects my personal meaning and may not be 100% objective. The physical dimensions of the device are 243mm x 190mm x 13mm. The weight of the iPad is 0,68 kg or 0.73 kg for the 3G model. By the way the 3g models have also an compass and a GPS module. The display is 9.7 inch and has a resolution of 1024×768 (132ppi). The battery live is beyond 10 hours witch is very, very, very impressive. There are only three points witch are semi optimal. The reflecting display is not my favorite option. And if you use the iPad in the Sun in became a little bit hot and shuts himself down. The iBook store of Switzerland only host’s only free book from the Gutenberg project. As you can imagine Nathan the wise from Lessing is note my favorite bed lecture.

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How to select open source libraries

We use a lot of open source libraries and components in our daily business. Open source libraries provide us a big advantage regarding time to market with our products. Every time when we are facing a problem in our software (problem is related to business domain to implementation domain difficulties) we first look into the open source world if someone has already solved that problem or even parts of it. Sourceforge, codeplex and google code (to name a few) are often the first pages we visit to look for code samples, libraries and frameworks. But how can we find the needle in the haystack?

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Hierarchical State Machine with Fluent Definition Syntax (.NET)

The .NET component library bbv.Common (open source – Apache License 2.0) provides a powerful hierarchical state machine.

Its features are:

  • value type based (enums, ints, …) resulting in single class state machines.
  • actions
    • on transitions
    • entry and exit actions (parametrizable)
  • transaction guards
  • hierarchical
    • different history behaviours to initialize state always to same state or last active state
  • fluent definition interface
  • synchronous/asynchronous state machine
    • passive state machine handles state transitions synchronuously
    • active state machine handles state transitions asynchronously on the worker thread of the state machine
  • configurable thorough logging simplifies debugging using log4net (can be replaced easily with custom logging)
  • state machine report for textual description of state machine

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Getting started in software developement

Yesterday, I attended at TechDays 2010 in Basel,Switzerland, an outstanding session. Neno Loje, a software project manager and developer from Germany talked about project- and requirementsmanagement. His presentation plattform was Visual Studio 2010 combined with Team foundation server 2010, both available in beta-status.

First of all: I was blowed away. I never really worked with Visual studio before, but was I saw was outstanding. Because of some Java-Stuff I have to use NetBeans IDE in our Java-Courses at university. But Visual studio seemed to go much further as NetBeans or Eclipse. All the little gadgets you get inside the program.

Team foundation server 2010 is now able to work with hierarchy items and requirements. MS added some ressource management tools to have better team management inside the team foundation server. And simply everything makes sense (at least to me as a abolute rookie).

What I want to do now is to set up an environment to get in touch with all the details of this new platform. Even if I know that I probably never will develop bigger applications I want to get a better look on whats inside this team management tool.

Once I’m started with the plattform I’ll try to catch some impression about the whole system and share my rookie impressions with all the readers here. I hope you won’t laugh ;)


Windows Phone 7: Hope has come

Finally the latest news about Windows Phone 7 is arrived and it seems that Microsoft has ultimately learned its lessons. Windows Phone 7 has a totally news concept regarding what we are used to have with the Windows Mobile editions. But the Windows Phone 7 concept is not only new for “Microsoftish” phones it is also totally new for all smart phone operating systems on the market (including iPhone).

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Get PartCover Running On x64 Windows

PartCover is an open source coverage tool. Unfortunately, the current release does not run on a 64bit OS out of the box. The reason is that PartCover uses a 32bit COM component to determine coverage and that a 64bit process cannot load a 32bit COM component. Continue reading


Windows Mobile 6.5 officially released

Today is the official release day of Windows Mobile 6.5. The new release of Windows Mobile 6.5 is claimed to be much smoother in terms of finger friendly navigation in all parts of the operating system including the today screen and windows explorer but also in terms of stability and performance. The famous iPhone lock and unlock slider is now available on Windows Mobile 6.5 (why reinventing the wheel ;)? ). The internet explorer 6 is integrated into the operating system and offers flash support, zoom toolbar and much more.

For developers it might be interesting that it’s easily possible to create your own individual design with the Theme Generator. Microsoft now offers an easy to use synchronization service which allows to synchronize all kinds of data from the mobile device to the online services and back. This service is called myPhone Online Service. Similar to the Apple Store there is now a market place for windows phone applications reachable under http://marketplace.windowsphone.com.

ROM upgrades for various phones should be available soon on the manufacturers websites. Stay tuned!