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V.D. – or not V.D. ?? That is the question. What about VD-NUG ?

Was good to get along to another nerd-fest on Tuesday night – otherwise known as VDNUG. Went solo, as the other dev’ers from SDM couldn’t attend. So – I had the XBox-360 to myself when I arrived…

Tried out Ridge Racer 6, which I’d been eagerly awaiting a spin – having many hours burnt on Rage Racer (PS1) and Ridge Racer 5 (PS2).

Sorry to say, I was a bit disappointed.

I’ve played PGR3 at shops, and the physics and “handling” of the car seemed much better. RR6 is a totally arcade style game – complete with nitro boost, and big slides around corners. Power-slides in corners are a bit over-the-top, with massive 90 degree fishtailing, just snaps left and right. Dunno – I think I’d vote for PGR3 as a better racer for XBox360.

Inconsequential – as it’ll be a while before the “finance department” will allow a purchase.

Back to the UG – was an initial prezzo from Jarrad Plunkett, about a java-ported code library for persistance of .NET objects to and from a DB –

Otherwise known as nHibernate.

As far as I could gather, it seems more like a data layer in an “object relational” code framework. It was demo’ed as a way of easily accessing a database without the need for any code – SQL, procs or otherwise.

Performance is a concern, and security – but you get portability across databases – easy to move to Oracle, Access, MySQL, and so on. But – why bother…?

Just because you CAN, doesn’t mean you SHOULD – and that was my only thinking when seeing nHibernate. I’m sure there are worth-while features, some caching and full open-source code available.

Give me Ent.Lib and stored procs anyday. 🙂

Next session was Martin GranellHow to get your grandmother building missile defence systems.

A good analogy (which made me smile) – in comparison to an extremely complex software solution with many developers in various locations. Giving the dev’ers tools & frameworks, making it as easy enough for your Grandma to do.

Case in point – 9 million lines of code, 200 developers – in 4 locations. A UI application framework was developed, and then the teams created
their component – and all assembled later.

fxCop for code analysis, now integrated into VS.NET 2005, is a great way to ensure particular code rules and policies when performing “build” from VS.NET. Martin demonstrated a custom rule added to fxCop – to check for empty “exception handler” blocks – in which a dev’er had left a //TODO statement, but never returned.

The Patterns and Practices site from Microsoft has released a new version of Ent.Lib for .NET 2.0, and some Hands-On labs too.

Yet another tool/framework for architects is the Guidance Automation Toolkit (GAT) – also from P&P.

And code-gen using Domain Specific Languages (DSL) to create languages constraints with the VS.NET IDE, and validation, as well as code-gen.

All in all – some great ideas to harvest easier development, and productivity. Work smarter, not harder. This could be a valuable lesson – same rates, less hours = cheaper, and thus more competitive.

Thanks Martin – great session – and good luck in Boston (where this prezzo is going to Tech.Ed).

Next step for me is to create a few environments to try out these tools – as well as to get into the Windows Workflow beta, part of the new WinFX Beta 2 release.

Also – WPF, WCF, and so on – VS.NET 2005 also.

Needing a lot more disk space, only have a 30GB drive on my laptop. So, welcome to WALLY – 300 GB external drive, thanks to eBay.

Have been setting up Win-XP Virtual Server images – and installing SQL (thus far).

Last thing to mention is to check out Tech Talk Blogs / Vista Vibes, a new site with views and experiences, tips and tricks from dev’ers and other IT’ers using Vista, now that Beta2 has arrived. A great tip for Windows Explorer too.

Back to the installs – only 254 GB free though. he he..

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