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?

Releases are just coming fast and furious today. TestDriven.NET 1.0 launches! Run your unit tests (whether they be written in NUnit, MbUnit, csUnit, or Team System) directly from within Visual Studio. Well worth the download.

Congrats to Eric Sink and SourceGear on getting Vault 3.0 and Dragnet 1.0 released.

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.

The GMail Notifier from Google is a must-have utility for GMail users. It runs as a tray icon and has some great features, including:

  • toasts when new mail arrives

  • double-click tray icon to launch GMail

  • optionally allow GMail to intercept mailto: links in web pages

It’s patch-time again and this one’s not from Microsoft! (Let’s face it – poor security is an industry-wide problem.) Anyway, this one is brought to you by Sun Microsystems…

A vulnerability has been discovered in the Sun Java Runtime Environment (JRE) where applets can break out of the sandbox. This vulnerability applies to all OSs where Java can run. Only the latest JRE/SDK has the fix – 1.4.2_06 (and later) and 1.3.1_13 (and later). Here’s the security alert from Sun:


For a chatty description comparing Java applets to Hannibal Lechter (Silence of the Lambs), check out:


Various security advisories with more details than the Sun security alert can be found here:


and here:


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.

Scott Hanselman has done it again. Scott’s List of Ultimate Visual Studio.NET AddIns is a list of great tools, mostly free, that integrate directly with Visual Studio .NET. Some are really useful (most of the list), some are fun (devMetrics), and some are just plain diabolical (devMetrics). Have you checked your cyclomatic complexity today?

You’ve downloaded the latest, coolest utility (for example, ZoneStripper) :) with source code. The source code is sitting on your local hard drive yet when you launch the solution in Visual Studio .NET 2003, you receive the warning:

The project location is not fully trusted by the .NET runtime. This is usually because it is either a network share or mapped to a network share not on the local machine. If the output path is under the project location, your code will not execute as fully trusted and you may receive unexpected security exceptions.

Your first thought is probably “What the heck? The solution is on my local drive!” What is causing this odd behaviour, you wonder? It’s Windows XP SP2 and Zone Identifiers. ZoneStripper will remove those annoying Zone Identifiers from your downloaded files. Hopefully someone other than myself finds this little utility useful. Enjoy!

It’s official. CruiseControl.NET 0.7 has been released. Check it out! Congrats and thank you to the team on finalizing the release candidate.