Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Nice programming language

Ever heard of the programming language called "Nice". It has a construct very similar to java but with some advanced features such as parameteric classes and compile time detection of run time errors such as NullPointerException.
And you can make it access java libraries and vice versa. It produces byte codes and hence requires just the jvm to execute the programs.
Check it out at

Ethical software engineer

Just saw the following quote at the web site

It should be noted that no ethically-trained software engineer would ever consent to write a DestroyBaghdad procedure. Basic professional ethics would instead require him to write a DestroyCity procedure, to which Baghdad could be given as a parameter. (Nathaniel S Borenstein)

It's such a thin line between being ethical and unethical

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Sharp tools and plugins for VS.NET

This is a really cool set of plugins and tools for Visual Studio.NET. Check them out at
I especially like the RSS blog reader plugin. This enables to have a nice rss reader integrated into your Visual Studio.NET developer environment.

Tsunami sirens but luckily no impact

There were warnings on tsunami yesterday night after an earthquake measuring 8.5 on the richter scale struck Indonesia. Luckily there was no tsunami after the earthquake but still there was a warning issued for countries who suffered heavily during the tsunami disaster in december last year.
Spent the whole night watching TV and today apart from feeling a little tired due to lack of sleep things are back to normal again.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Change of jobs and project types

Started work from today at Business technology alliance after resigning recently from Softlogic information systems. I will be using a lot of C# web applications opposed to doing VB.NET windows and mobile applications at my previous work place. Hence got to focus more on ASP.NET these days...

Friday, March 25, 2005

Book: Head first design patterns

Finally got hold of a copy of Head first design patterns authored by Eric Freeman, Elisabeth Freeman, Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates. I was looking for a refresher on design patterns and this book was just perfect. It had the same "head first" approach introducing design patterns in a brain-friendly way making the entire book very easy to read and understand.
So if anyone wants a good book on design patterns i'll strongly recommend this. It's good as an introduction material as well as a good refresher to make those design patterns really stick in your brains.

Evening party with MVPs and Microsoft

Had an outing yesterday with the guys at the local Microsoft office, the MVPs, Ed and Stan from Microsoft Singapore. It was fun which involved going bowling (I do have to admit i am not good at bowling at all hence preferred just being a spectator) and playing pool (I really suck in this as well but still played a bit)

Imagine cup judging

I was a part of the judging panel yesterday along with Ed from Microsoft, Dr Emerik Fernando, the CEO of Celtell, Merill and Wela to select the first round finalists for the Imagine cup software design category. There were some quality proposals and hopefully they will be crafted and fine tuned into some excellent software. And the best one out of the finalists will be making it to the international competition.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

LiveMessage alerts added

I just added live message alerts to my blog. This will enable anyone interested to subscribe to my blog via e-mail or MSN alerts. Just click on the LiveMessage alert icon to sign up...

LiveMessage Alerts

Friday, March 18, 2005

Google code - open source software

Google releases source of a few projects used internally. You can check it out at the following URL:

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Do we still need support for VB6?

With the announcement that Microsoft will stop support for VB6 from the end of this month (Extended support will still be available for the next 3 years) , it has caused some stir on the MVP community as well as VB classic developers. There was a petition launched recently as well to support this with a lot of VB MVPs signing it.
Well personally i dont think there is a need for this. It's true that a lot of systems have been developed in the past in classic VB and they are still up and running but the fact that the language has matured with good features is something we have to accept. I dont think there is any point in supporting VB6 for future developments. I am not sure It's such a good thing to do.
Microsoft has made an investment on the .NET platform and it's a great platform to work with. If a company has made significant investment on software products developed using VB6 it should just run as it is. But still that does not justify a reason for the support for VB6 to go on and there will be more problems if VB6 and VB.NET do co-exist.
The right way of approaching this is to start migrating the VB6 applications slowly. The major problem will be if the VB6 applications were not architectured properly into business objects and data objects and so on. In that case i do accept the fact the migration process of the application will be a pain, but we got to understand that is a fundamental flaw.
Still there are clipper or cobol systems running and if it is serving the business process perfectly let it run. But lot of companies started revamping their system knowing they will come to a point where the system might not be able to adapt to their changing business process. So the number of systems running on clipper or cobol or similar languages started to diminish. I feel that should be the same thing that should happen here as well.
Then again this is my personal opinion on this issue and maybe i am not seeing it from the point of view of someone who feels Microsoft should continue support on VB6. But one of the first thing you do learn in this industry is the fact that the only thing constant here is change. Requirements, business processes and technologies all change with time, so the key here is software applications, developers and users all need to change as well.
But if any do have supporting or opposite views on this i'd be glad to know.

IE 7.0 code named Rincon

Some news about the new version of IE to be released is out. Read more about it at,1995,1776290,00.asp

New java certification exam SCJA

A new java certification exam is going to be released soon named "Sun Certified Java Associate" tageting entry level java developers. This will cover the basics on object orientation as well as the java platform as on how various java technologies interact together. This certification is meant to be a stepping stone for newbie java developers
You can find more information about it on the thread going on at javaranch.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Top ten APAC countries for Imagine cup

This is awesome news. Srilanka is in the 6th spot on the top 10 countries list for imagine cup. This list is based on the total number of registrants for the competition. Srilanka has 147 registrants as on March 15th and thats a very good figure considering Srilanka is participating for the first time in this global competition.
Cheers for all the participants and wish them all the luck for the global arena which i am sure Srilanka will make a big impact

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

MSDN hard drive pilot program

Finally got my MSDN hard drive with preloaded software from Microsoft after the long wait due to some hold up at the customs. Still didn't get the time to connect it and use it and i'll blog more on it after i use it for some time.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Simulation in MCP exams

Microsoft to introduce simulation technology in selected MCP exams to test real world skills. You can read more about it at

MSF for Agile Software Development Workbench online

Earlier i blogged about MSF going agile in the following post:
Now the MSF for Agile Software Development Workbench is online with articles and presentations on the MSF agile process. You can download the MSF for Agile Software Development, Beta containing the guidelines and details about the process.
Now i really cannot wait till the VS Team system is released...

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Free exam retakes on MCP exams

Merill had blogged on Free exam retakes on MCP exam offer from Microsoft. Will be a good opportunity to get certified and can be more confident with a safety net in place with this offer. Read more about it at

Sunday, March 06, 2005

My first MSDN magazine article

The article i wrote on "Test driven development" is published on the Feb edition of the MSDN magazine southeast asia edition (2005-VOL 3). I was waiting for my copy to come home and i received it a few days ago. It was nice to see my article on the MSDN magazine and on a topic i enjoy doing a lot. So if anyone do get hold of a copy of the magazine and read the article tell me what you think of it.

MVP asian summit in Singapore

Exciting times for the MVPs with the announcement of the MVP asian summit to be held in Singapore from April 24-27. This would be a great opportunity for all MVPs to get some good interaction with the Microsoft product teams as well as MVPs from other countries. I have made up my mind definitely to go for the summit and as far as i know all MVPs here in Srilanka will be attending it. Hopefully i'll be able to arrange a few days off from work for the summit.

March .NET user group meeting

Missed out on the user group meeting this month since i was out of the country. Merill had done a presentation on the Enterprise library from Microsoft which is a combination of all the application blocks put together as a single reusable library. Since i am also just starting to use it i would have got a good insight on this but unfortunately had to miss it.

Ants profiler 2.1 beta released

Ants profiler 2.1 beta was released a few days back. Ants profiler is a code profiling application to analyze the code execution time and memory usage. This is one of my favourite tools from Red-gate since i started evaluating Ants profiler 2.0 as part of the friend of Red-gate program. Red-gate creates development tools for .NET and SQL Server. I still didn't start testing out the new beta version of Ants profiler and hoping to start using it from next weekend.

Back in Srilanka

Finally back in Srilanka after the short visit to Melbourne. Feels good to be back home. Lots of exciting things are in line and i'll blog about them later...

Friday, March 04, 2005

Knighthood for Bill Gates

Bill gates has received an honorary knighthood from the Queen. Read more about it at

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Hibernate 3.0 released

Hibernate the popular ORM(ORXM rather) library for java is out with a new version. You can read more on the following link:

This is exciting in the java development arena since it also contains preview for the JBoss EJB 3.0. Just looking at the enhancements i feel this will be a great library to use for persistence.

I really can't wait for NHibernate to mature to the level of Hibernate. But with already the work being done on NHibernate i think it wont be long before this happens.