Scott Hanselman

Ruby on .NET, Silverlight Gems, the DLR, and RailsConf 2007

May 17, '07 Comments [11] Posted in Ruby
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I really have to give my boss credit for being a forward-thinker and an out-of-the-box type. These are clichéd terms, sure, but they fit. The day after the merger and where am I going to be tomorrow? I'll be at RailsConf2007, of course.

We are not religious zealots here at Corillian CheckFree, so we're always looking at other ways to do things. Even as a .NET/Java shop, we'll have four people at the conference, all with open minds, ready to learn. There's lots of folks at Corillian who dabble in Rails, and CheckFree has a Rails Study Group.

Here's where I'll be during the conference, courtesy of myconfplan. Fortunately for me, John Lam has loaned me a 17" MacBookPro with daily bits of his DLRConsole demo, including Ruby support in Silverlight (and .NET) with the DLR. It's all running in Safari, and it's yummy. This is one of the Mac's used at Mix in the Keynote.

Aside: I'm going back and forth about getting the Ultimate Atwood Developer Machine (I got the wife's OK), and getting a fully loaded MacBook Pro. The hardware is sexy as hell, unlike any Windows laptop I've ever seen (and I have a Lenovo t60p, to be clear) and apparently it's a heck of a Vista machine. Dare I even think like this? Having John's machine to borrow has already got be hooked on two-finger scrolling...

If you want to hook up at the conference and get a demo of Ruby on the DLR, you can email me or setup a request through the RailsConf 2007 Conference Meetup website. Tim Sneath will also be around to chat and demo.

The (totally speculative) prospect of the cleanness of the Rails developer experience married with an order of magnitude (or three) speed up, with the .NET GC, Rails (potentially) under IIS7 and SQL2k5 is just dizzying.

Even if you don't believe anything I say and you're a hardcore Rubyist who has no interest in Ruby on .NET, I'm interested in talking about Silverlight-specific gems that could make Silverlight fit into the Ruby lifestyle, with Ruby as code-behind.

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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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CheckFree Closes Deal to Acquire Corillian - Now the real work begins

May 15, '07 Comments [12] Posted in Corillian
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This just went out.  Today CheckFree completed acquiring Corillian. It started in February, and the acquisition phase is complete. Now the real work starts.

In the press release, this sentence struck me:

The combined organization will have the potential to provide a market-leading, fully integrated, secure and scalable online banking, electronic billing and payment platform. Together, CheckFree and Corillian’s platforms serve 21 of the top 25 financial institutions, more than 40 million online banking consumers, more than 31 million electronic billing and payment consumers, and more than 250,000 small businesses.

It's going to be interesting as our little 300 person company becomes part of a 3000+ person company, but the potential for good that we can do is so much greater as one entity. We'll be learning about the new organization and how we fit into it in the coming months. I visited the campus in Atlanta, Georgia and got to hang out with a number of the key players working on the integration and I can attest to the coolness of their corporate culture. We'll see what tomorrow will bring. Wish me luck.

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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Reflector Addins and PowerShell Language Support for Reflector

May 14, '07 Comments [10] Posted in PowerShell | Tools
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Hopefully if you've been coding .NET for a while, someone has shown you Reflector, Lutz Roeder's .NET Object Browser and you have basked in its glory.

Surprisingly (to me at least) not everyone knows about Reflector's plugin model. There is a vibrant and active community of plugin writers out there, and you won't realize the full power of Reflector until you download some of these are start messing around. Seriously, if you thought that Reflector was useful today, just wait until you've tried some of these add-ins.

PowerShell Language Add-In

The one I've been messing with for the last few weeks is the PowerShell Language Add-in. Reflector can "decompile" (not the correct word) the IL within an assembly and show you the "intent" of that IL in any number of languages like C#, VB, Delphi, etc. Daniel "kzu" Cazzulino has created a PowerShell Language Add-in that, for the most part, shows you what the code would look like in PowerShell.

Now of course, it's important to note a few things. PowerShell is not (yet) a language that you can use to author .NET assemblies with. It is, however, an incredibly powerful scripting and automation environment. Sometimes the Powershell language (it is a language, by the way, with a formal grammar - here's a link (PDF)) can be a little confusing to learn, so the PowerShell Language Add-in is a really cool way to learn more about PowerShell within an environment you're already comfortable in.

Reflector Add-Ins

Here's a reformatted snapshot of what's currently available.

CodeMetrics.png
CodeMetrics: Analyses .NET assemblies and shows design quality metrics. Download
Review.png
Review: Allows editing and managing annotations during code reviews. Download
Diff.png
Diff: This add-in shows differences between two versions of the same assembly. Download
FileDisassembler.png
FileDisassembler: This add-in can be used to dump the disassembler output to files for any Reflector supported language.
SQL2005Browser.png
SQL2005Browser: This add-in allows to browse .NET assemblies stored in SQL Server 2005 databases.
FileGenerator.png
FileGenerator: This add-in can be used to dump the disassembler output to files for any Reflector supported language.
Deblector.png
Deblector: This add-in allows to debug processes from within Reflector.
Doubler.png
Doubler: A code generator for unit tests, stubs and wrappers.
Graph.png
Graph: This add-in draws assembly dependency graphs and IL graphs. Please read the install instructions here.
DependencyStructureMatrix.png
DependencyStructureMatrix: Allows you to create and browser dependency structure matrices.
CodeSearch.png
CodeSearch: This add-in allows searching for strings and regular expressions in disassembled code. Download
SequenceViz.png
SequenceViz: This add-in draws sequence diagrams.
PowerShellLanguage.png
PowerShellLanguage: Renders output as Windows PowerShell script.
DelphiLanguage.png
DelphiLanguage: The Delphi view that is used inside .NET Reflector provided as a language add-in.
CppCliLanguage.png
CppCliLanguage: This add-in extends Reflector with a C++/CLI language rendering module.
Hawkeye.png
Hawkeye: A tool that allows you to debug the UI tree of Windows Forms applications.
ClassView.png
ClassView: Shows class definitions as plain text with color coding.

CodeModelViewer.png
CodeModelViewer: This add-in shows the underlying code model objects for selected items.

Diff.png
Diff
: This add-in shows differences between two versions of the same assembly. Download
ComLoader.png
ComLoader: Lists COM components for browsing and converts them into managed interop assemblies. Download
TestDriven.png
TestDriven.net: This Visual Studio add-in can navigate to any code element inside Reflector with a single click.
BizTalkDisassembler.png
BizTalkDisassembler: Allows you to list all BizTalk artifacts contained in an assembly and extract them. Download
ComLoader.png
ComLoader: Lists COM components for browsing and converts them into managed interop assemblies. Download
AutoDiagrammer.png
AutoDiagrammer: This add-in draws class diagrams.

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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DNRTV Screencast - ASP.NET Debugging and Tracing

May 13, '07 Comments [6] Posted in ASP.NET | Learning .NET | Programming | Screencasts | Speaking
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Last week during lunch one day, Carl and  I recorded an episode of "DotNetRocks TV." This is  Episode 66 of DNRTV. 

We started with the idea that we'd do a show on debugging ASP.NET, but once we got into System.Diagnostics.Debug.WriteLine, I realized that I first needed to cover the relationship between Diagnostics.Trace and Page.Trace, as well as the relationships between debug statements and trace statements inside and outside of ASP.NET. The whole show was spontaneous, no script, no plan, but it turned out pretty darn good for a single take, if I may say so.

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Be aware if you download the ZIP that it's about 200megs. The show is in two parts, so there's an advertisement in the middle of the show...after that advert, Part 2 will automatically start. I encourage you to check it out the ad, first because it's telerik and they sincerely rock, and second because our sponsors pay for the massive bandwidth bills for the direct downloads. 

If you like DNRTV, and want to subscribe to the DNRTV Feed, consider using the RSS Downloader features of µTorrent ("microtorrent").

I hope you enjoy the show.

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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Hanselminutes Podcast 64 - Interview at Mix with Lynda from Lynda.com

May 11, '07 Comments [3] Posted in Podcast
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My sixty-fourth podcast is up, recorded on the floor at Mix. Google for "Lynda" and you'll find the legendary Lynda.com. Lynda Weinman has had a popular online presence for over 12 years. She created the original Web-Safe Color palette (remember when that mattered?) and now she sells nearly 20,000 training videos online via subscription. Silverlight is likely next. I chat with Lynda after we had lunch with Ray Ozzie and some other bloggers. Lynda created the FlashForward Conference, the largest Flash Conference out there - this year it's in Boston in September. As a geek aside, she also worked on the CGI for Return of the Jedi. I hope you enjoy this episode.

ACTION: Please vote for us on Podcast Alley! Digg us at Digg Podcasts!

Links from the Show

 Lynda.com
 Lynda.com Podcasts

Subscribe: Feed-icon-16x16 Subscribe to my Podcast in iTunes

Do also remember the complete archives are always up and they have PDF Transcripts, a little known feature that show up a few weeks after each show.

Telerik is our sponsor for this show.

Telerik is a new sponsor. Check out their UI Suite of controls for ASP.NET. It's very hardcore stuff. One of the things I appreciate about Telerik is their commitment to completeness. For example, they have a page about their Right-to-Left support while some vendors have zero support, or don't bother testing. They also are committed to XHTML compliance and publish their roadmap. It's nice when your controls vendor is very transparent.

As I've said before this show comes to you with the audio expertise and stewardship of Carl Franklin. The name comes from Travis Illig, but the goal of the show is simple. Avoid wasting the listener's time. (and make the commute less boring)

  • The basic MP3 feed is here, and the iPod friendly one is here. There's a number of other ways you can get it (streaming, straight download, etc) that are all up on the site just below the fold. I use iTunes, myself, to listen to most podcasts, but I also use FeedDemon and it's built in support.
  • Note that for now, because of bandwidth constraints, the feeds always have just the current show. If you want to get an old show (and because many Podcasting Clients aren't smart enough to not download the file more than once) you can always find them at http://www.hanselminutes.com.
  • I have, and will, also include the enclosures to this feed you're reading, so if you're already subscribed to ComputerZen and you're not interested in cluttering your life with another feed, you have the choice to get the 'cast as well.
  • If there's a topic you'd like to hear, perhaps one that is better spoken than presented on a blog, or a great tool you can't live without, contact me and I'll get it in the queue!

Enjoy. Who knows what'll happen in the next show?

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.