Scott Hanselman

TechEd 2003: Dallas : Sunday Sunday Sunday!

June 1, '03 Comments [0] Posted in Web Services | XML
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Sitting in a great pre-meeting right now.  Just heard Steve Elston speak on Patterns and Practices, now we're listening to Don Box talk about Messaging in Windows and his thoughts about .NET Remoting and XML Web Services and the WSE (Web Services Enhancements) 2.0.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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TechEd 2003: Dallas :T-1 Day

June 1, '03 Comments [1] Posted in Web Services | Internationalization | TechEd | Speaking
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It's hot as hell in Dallas.  I wasn't here a hour before I heard no fewer than three "but it's a dry heat" jokes.  No, actually it's a wet sticky 130 degree heat.  My weak Oregon bones can't take it.  And me with jeans and a leather jacket.  Looks like this week will be "geeks in shorts 2k3."

Had a great dinner at "Texas de Brazil" - a bizarre place with no menu.  The meal is for a fixed $38.50.  They give you a small round disc with one side green and red on the other.  If your disc is turned up green, it means you want more meat - and then meat just flies out of nowhere.  "Filet Mignon, sir?" "Mas carne, senor?" "Chicken wrapped in bacon?" "Pork wrapped in more pork, with a pork sauce?"  It was crazy and fabulous.  All you can eat meat and a salad buffet.  Check it out at 2727 Cedar Springs Road.

Hooked up with lot of good friends, had a blast, and it's not even the first day.  Hung out with the INETA LATAM guys and Jorge Oblitas and tortured them with my 4 years of high-school Spanish.

Sat next to Chris Kinsman (the RD from Seattle) on the plane from Denver to Dallas with Keith Pleas two rows behind him, and talked to Chris the whole flight.  Chris is one of those guys who is broad and deep in knowledge.  I showed him some of the stuff I'm doing around internationalization and he grokked immediately and offered some ideas on how I can improve it.  That's what TechEd is all about to me.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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INETA - Check us out at TechEd, and congrats to all the new addtions

May 29, '03 Comments [2] Posted in Web Services | ASP.NET | TechEd | Speaking
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This is an exciting thing! INETA (the International .NET Association) is announcing additions to its Speaker's BureauKeith Pleas has the story on his blog now before the press release goes out.

INETA manages this group of speakers who jaunt around the world presenting at .NET Users Groups.  There's a lot of great presenters already in there, including folks I'm proud to call my colleagues, Carl Franklin, Billy Hollis, Tim Huckaby, Chris Kinsman, Juval Löwy, Paul Sheriff, Ken Spencer, Scott Stanfield, and the inimitable Keith Pleas among many others.

Turns out I've been asked to join INETA as well!  I'll be in Seattle at the .NET Developers Association in July presenting How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love ASP.NET.

Also in the list of 13 new additions to the Bureau are my friend Sam Gentile, Jon Box from Quilogy, Andrew Brust from Progressive Systems, Canadian and all-around cool person Kate Gregory, The ADO Guy Shawn Wildermuth, and the party king of Bawston, Mass, the fantastic Patrick Hynds.

Check INETA out at the INETA Ask the Experts Booth at TechEd next week!

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Angst, ISO Standards, DataBinding Eval(), Malaise, DataGrids, System.Globalization, Fritz and the morning after...

May 29, '03 Comments [1] Posted in Web Services | ASP.NET | Javascript | Internationalization | XML
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Not much blogging this week...here's what I've been rambling about lately.

The DataGrid

I've had my head down in ASP.NET and the Data Grid control.  Our eFinance Application Server makes extensive use of what I like to call "strongly-typed XML" (XML with associated XSDs/XML Schema) and I've been doing lots of lovely DataGrids with Sorting, Filtering, etc as well as some dynamic charts. 

Globalization

I'm also deep in my most favorite (or is that favourite?) namespace, System.Globalization.  It's just so well thought out.  Lots of great stuff in here and much use of ISO standards like ISO 4217 for currency and number formatting (JPY, USD, GBP, ZWD, etc) and ISO 3166 for country codes (JP, US, GB, ZW, etc)...see a pattern?  I'm one of those dorks that dug the Dewey Decimal System and I dig nice ordered category systems now. 

One interesting thing, I'm running into a bit of trouble with number formatting, which I would have preferred to relegate entirely to the ASPX page...as if the ASPX page were truly the "View" to my Code-Behind "Controller."  While that's the dream, it's hardly the reality.  This kind of formatting creeps into my code-behinds, and leaps in to them when dealing with culture-specific data input.

A not-quite-perfect-pattern

Things get so mixed up between ASPX and Code-Behind on a moderately complex ASP.NET page (considering a multi-lingual site and multi-currency-in-one-grid situation), once you factor in DataBinding Eval() statements, Totals in Footers, Sorting and Filtering, it really makes me question the whole ASP.NET code-behind paradigm.  Sometimes my DataGrid event handlers feel better on the OnEventWhatever attributes of the DataGrid tag in the ASPX, and sometimes I just hook them up ala C# += EventHandlers in InitializeComponent().  Even Dino Esposito, a prolific writer on the DataGrid, puts page formatting all over the place in code-behinds (at the bottom) in his articles (although I take all article code with a mountain-sized grain of salt) apparently because there's just no other way to do it.

Is elegance possible?

Perhaps I've tried to fit too many hopes and dreams in a DataGrid and I should just grin and bear the tragic inelegance of it all.  After ten-plus years of Web Development [ah, I long for the days where I was 00001.0003@compuserve.com, ;) ] perhaps some higher power is trying to hint to me that rich cross-browser UIs just can't be truly "elegant" on what is perhaps a fatally flawed super-stateless HTML/QUIRKSMODE/HTTP/DOM/JAVASCRIPT/BAILINGWIRE base? 

Or...

alternately, it's 1am and time for bed.  In conclusion, I will say this: I can get more done in ASP.NET in a day than I could in Classic ASP in a fortnight and I don't have that lingering sense of next-morning shame that came with a truly horrendous ASP hack - and Fritz Onion played no small part in this personal achievement.

Today's Query

Other than building my own reverse-lookup hashtable at Application.Start, does anyone seen an obvious (or not obvious) and fast way given a currency string ("USD", etc) to get a CultureInfo and a NumberFormatInfo?  Perhaps I'm missing something obvious.

UPDATE: Peter Provost has a eye-opening reply post about this topic that makes a lot of sense to me.  If I start thinking about ASPX files and code-behinds as two sides of the same coin, then more "classical" MVC architectures fit nicely into the ASP.NET model.  I was stuck on what I felt was lack of elegance in interface between the two.  I'll try suspending belief for a bit and see what comes of it... :)

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Not a bad weekend...

May 27, '03 Comments [2] Posted in Web Services | ASP.NET | TechEd | Speaking | Gaming
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Not a bad weekend, here's the highlights:

  • My wife bought a Honda Civic Hybrid.  The average mileage of my household is now ~50MPG considering my other car.
  • Enter The Matrix is truly amazing, and the video footage is also snazzy, adding a great deal (IMHO) of content and insight into the story.  Although, there is a bizzarre kiss between Niobe (Jada Pinkett) and Persephone (Monica Bellucci) that did make me wonder if this "exclusive footage" isn't really just "extra footage."
  • TechEd is going to be very snazzy this year.  If you spot me, please do say Hello.  Also, if you are in my DEV389 session, please start "the wave."
  • I continue to be impressed with ASP.NET 1.x.  I'm also convinced of two things:
         1. ASP.NET 2.0 is going to rock. 
         2. The whole "stateless web"-page-view-browser-metaphor, while scalable, is starting to wear on me.  
         3. Still, I long for the days where I'd telnet to cdconnection.com and send my credit card screaming in plaintext across the 'net. :)

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.