Browsing Posts in .NET General

I gave an invited talk at the GEOIDE Student Network (GSN) today on the use of .NET in scientific computing. Usually the concern around scientific problems is performance-related, though much of the introductory material is appropriate for introducing any group to .NET. For many performance-related tasks, a managed environment can produce code that is just as fast as native code. Some great references on writing fast managed code can be found:

I had a lot of fun giving the talk and had some good questions from the audience. Thanks again to Mwafag Ghanma and GSN for inviting me to speak. You can find my slidedeck here: Applications of .NET to Scientific Computing.

Enterprise Library has been released. Get it while it’s hot! At a high-level, Enterprise Library bundles together Microsoft’s best Application Blocks in one integrated, easily installable package. If you’re using App Blocks in your applications, you really should download and take a look at what Enterprise Library has to offer. Download it from the Enterprise Library homepage or directly from here.

Chris Sells has released SolFx for Nov. ’04 Avalon CTP bits. Yours truly wrote the underlying Solitaire engine that Chris’ code uses. (Yes, I do strange things “for fun”.) Great work, Chris, on creating a scalable version of Solitaire! Now we just have to take a look and see if we can reduce the memory usage.

Everyone is understandably excited about the Avalon CTP. I myself am starting to play around with it. Interesting stuff. But what is happening with Longhorn? When Longhorn was first announced, it was all about the three pillars: Avalon, Indigo, and WinFS – three different aspects of WinFX. Then WinFS got dropped from the schedule. Scratch one pillar. (Two pillars is starting to seem tipsy to me.) Now Avalon and Indigo will be available on Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. (Scratch two more pillars. Definitely not sounding stable.) Ummm… What’s left in Longhorn? There are vague hints in an InfoWorld article that Longhorn will provide “a host of new attributes and capabilities that will make Longhorn compelling” (Greg Sullivan, lead product manager at Microsoft). Admittedly this question has been asked before on Chris Sells’ blog, but that was months ago. Are we any closer to an answer from Redmond? Has Longhorn lost its focus?

From John Montgomery (via Chris Sells), we finally have some recommendations from Redmond on which UI technology we should use going into the future. The basic message - use common sense. Use WinForms now while Avalon is in development. Consider Avalon for appropriate scenarios when it debuts. Use Avalon (and re-use previously developed WinForms controls via interop) once Visual Studio supports Avalon development.

A few days ago I presented a talk to my company, Quadrus Development Inc., entitled Tools of the Trade: Must-Have .NET Utilities. I covered off the major tools that should be in any .NET developer’s toolbox. These include the usual suspects, many of which I noted here, as well as a few fun ones like devMetrics for checking your cyclomatic complexity. Enjoy!

EDIT: You can find an updated version of the presentation here.