Scott Hanselman

HOT: Using an Ambient Orb to show continuous integration NAnt build status

April 8, '04 Comments [2] Posted in ASP.NET
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What a great idea.  I've heard of this before, but I didn't realize it was so easy and REST-ful.  Loren Halvorson shows that hooking up an Ambient Orb is just a matter of an HTTP GET call added to the build:

<get src="https://myambient.com/java/my_devices/submitdata.jsp?devID=123-456-789&amp;color=12&amp;anim=0&amp;comment=build+succeeded" dest="out.html" failonerror="false"/>

Ambient Orb™ Stock Market Monitor

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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The Myth of XML Purity?

April 8, '04 Comments [11] Posted in Web Services | XML | Tools
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Here's a hypothetical.  Say there is an client I'm working with that needs to return Valid XML from their system.  They've given me XML Schemas and said they are representative of the XML returned.  Since Valid follows Well-Formed, sounds good.

Then someone mentions, "oh, well, we can't guarantee that there won't be some < or > or & in the element content.  But, that's no problem, right?"

I said, "Well, then technically you are not sending us XML.  If you can't escape (or CDATA) out the stray content with < >, then you're not even returning less-than/greater-than delimited files. What if I gave you content like this "123123324","2003-04-05","Scott ",Hans,"elman","Portland?"  We have to agree on some fundamentals here.  The XML 1.0 spec (and all tools based on it) is very specific." (They won't even CDATA the stuff)

The response? "Well, that's a purist's viewpoint."

I guess I got too mired in the Judeo-Christian Ethic of "Thou shalt not return malformed XML."

QUESTION: What level of Dante's Inferno would I be relegated to if I pre-process this XML-y (pronounced: 'smelly') to make it well-formed?

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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Useful Util: Recording [screen capturing] movies info Flash (SWF)

April 7, '04 Comments [5] Posted in ASP.NET | Movies
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What a fantastic 'doh! I should have thought of that' idea.  Using a Cross-Platform VNC Viewer to record Flash Movies of a user's movements.  This could replace Camtasia for me, cheaply and easily.

Sample Movie

Update! Double DOH!  Jon Galloway points out that I blogged first and read later.  It only runs on *nix.  So, I have to fire up my Linux VM or keep using Camtasia.  Crap, caught between a rock and US$299.

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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The North African Developer's Conference is upon us...

April 7, '04 Comments [0] Posted in NDC | TechEd | Speaking | PDC | Nant | Africa
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There's a lot of great stuff going on over there, with a great agenda this year and some great speakers.  You'll have to put up with me as this may become a travel blog for a few weeks.  I'll post all my pics and travel-related thoughts in the NDC category, so folks can choose to ignore them. :)

A l’occasion de ses 10 ans de présence au Maroc, Microsoft Afrique du Nord organise une conférence de large envergure spécialement destinée aux Développeurs Professionnels, la North africa Developer Conference (NDC) à l’image de la PDC, rendez-vous incontournable des développeurs aux États-unis.

Véritable institution outre-atlantique, la Professional Developer Conference (PDC) connaît depuis maintenant de nombreuses années un succès jamais démenti et est considérée comme l’un des deux plus grands événements techniques de Microsoft avec le TechEd.

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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More on presenting technical concepts to different cultures...

April 7, '04 Comments [2] Posted in Speaking | Africa
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I talk about the importance of understanding the culture that you are presenting to in my "Tips on giving a great [technical] presentation." 

I noticed an article on on CNN today about the correct use of humor overseas.  I try to use humor when I'm giving a talk, but I can tell you that it's true - you REALLY need to be careful and run EVERY joke by a friendly (and not easily offended) native before you try them out on a crowd. 

This article seemed particularly well-timed, as I'm poised on a brink of a trip to Morocco, through Spain to meet my Arabic and French speaking friends and their audience.  I'm travelling with a Zimbabwean and will see my good Turkish and German friends while I'm there.  God Willing (InshaAllah!) there will be no international incidents...at least none caused by me. :)

Here's some choice tidbits I enjoyed:

  • Did you hear the one about the American businessman whose tame joke drew a hilarious response from his Japanese audience?
    The American, curious why they liked the joke so much, later asked his official translator, who replied: "The joke was not appropriate, so I did not translate it. I simply said: 'The gentleman has told a joke. Please laugh.'"
    It is not uncommon for interpreters to avoid translating humor.
  • The American trademark is to start a speech with a joke, she said. "When foreigners speak here, they also want to start with a joke, but that never works because the worst thing you can do is mimic other people or the nuances of their culture."
  • "You may think you know a nation after spending a lot of time there, but you cannot be fully up to speed with the latest happenings, thoughts, etc, and, sure as heck, you'll choose a no-go subject matter for a humorous quip just when you are near to closing the deal."
  • For Chinese, Japanese and Malaysians, a 'masking smile,' with corners of the mouth turned down, is a polite way of letting you know what you are doing is not appropriate.
  • Basic arm folding is seen as putting a barrier between you and the person who is talking.
  • [A] story of a newly promoted American soldier at an embassy party celebrating the Allied victory at the end of World War II:
    "A Frenchman stood up to give a toast and a British officer followed suit. The young major, who had studied French at West Point, was pushed front and center to represent the U.S.
    "Unable to think of a toast, he chose a poem intended as a tribute to a child and his mother. 'The best years of my life,' he recited, 'Were spent in the arms of another man's wife.'
    "His vocabulary was a bit rusty, however, and he confused the French words for arms and legs.
    "Needless to say, the hosts were offended and the mortified young officer was "spirited away to his troopship... just before the dueling pistols came out."

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.