Scott Hanselman

Educating Programmers with Placemats - NDepend Static Analysis Poster

June 2, '07 Comments [9] Posted in Learning .NET | Musings | Programming | TechEd
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NDepend metrics placemats 1.1.pdf - Adobe ReaderStuart Celarier works here at Corillian (a division of CheckFree) and is not only a Senior Engineer, but a "Placemat Visualization Expert." Just kidding, but handouts are just one of the things that we believe makes an effective presentation.

Presentation Rule: When possible and appropriate, ALWAYS offer a handout. Folks can read faster than you can speak.

Stuart has taken a lot of what makes up our architecture at Corillian and started creating 11x17 Visualizations in the form of what I've been calling Placemats. They're the kind of thing that could teach you all about our design, then you could eat on it. :)

He hangs these mini-posters up all over the company, along with pens, and encourages folks to scribble on them. Someone who knows more than we will walk by, notice a mistake or whatever, and fix it. He's on version 28 of some of these posters - It's poster_OrigMinardCollective Knowledge with an Open Source-style, disseminated in mini-poster form. Anyone can propose a patch, just by scribbling on the poster. Stuart then comes around and collects the changes. So much cleaner than "Reply To All" or even SharePoint. Perhaps not as profound as the most famous visualization: Napoleon's March, but we try.

HOW TO SPREAD THE GOOD WOOD: Get the word about whatever you're interested in getting the word out about. When possible, make posters. Hang them everywhere. Let them soak in. Let folks scribble on them for a few months. Laminate them. Make T-Shirts. Rinse, Repeat.

We're huge fans of NDepend over at Corillian, and working with it more each day. I've done a Podcast on Static Analysis with NDepend and written up a pretty long article about NDepend and what it can bring to software development at your shop. We're just scratching the surface.

In order to get the word out about NDepend (which is a pretty complex thing, especially the underlying Comp.Sci. concepts around software complexity) Stuart created this NDepend Metrics Placemat, suitable for printing at 11x17. 

If you're at TechEd, go see our colleague Patrick Cauldwell along with Stuart "Celery Stew" Celarier at the NDepend Birds of a Feather at TechEd. They'll be passing out high-quality color prints of this poster. The BOF is at lunch, so bring food:

BOF09: Exiting the Zone of Pain: Static Analysis with NDepend, scheduled for Tuesday, June 5, 2007 at 12:00 PM, in Room S331 A.  We'll be discussing how and why to use static analysis tools like NDepend.  I'm especially interested in hearing not just how people use tools like NDepend, but who uses them (in their organization) and how often.

Here's the PDF for your download, use and abuse. Thanks to Patrick Smacchia, creator of NDepend for his help and review:

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 66 - Setting up a Home Network

June 2, '07 Comments [7] Posted in Podcast
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My sixty-sixth podcast is up, and Carl and I take a moment to discuss Home Networking. We chat about the benefits of Wired vs. Wireless, when you might saturate your network and security. 

If you have trouble downloading, or your download is slow, do try the torrent with Āµtorrent or another BitTorrent Downloader.

Links from the Show

More on Alternate Linksys Firmware (pkx)
On Losing Data and a Family Backup Strategy (pkz)
Leaving Comcast for Verizon Fios - Upgrading the Home Network to Fiber Optic (pl1)
Configuring PPTP VPN with alternate Linksys Router Firmware (pky)

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.

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)

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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Does Spelling Matter? I think it does.

June 1, '07 Comments [18] Posted in Musings
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I actually appreciate it when folks email me to let me know about a comma fault or incorrect use of an apostrophe. I tend to screw up a lot and Craig Andera always drops me a note. He went to a better college than I. Er, me?

Hopefully folks don't think TOO poorly of me when I misspell words. Of course, I think horribly of YOU when YOU misspell.

ThinkPad BIOS Flash Update Utiltiy

The real question is, how concerned should I be when my very expensive Lenovo ThinkPad T60p is about to have it's its ;) BIOS flashed by a Utility that's spelled (spelt?) itself "Utiltiy".

Seriously, I think that the more folks use your product, the more effort you should put into Spell Check. Don't let the programmer check his or her own work. Get an editor. Someone with a B.A. in English.

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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Windows Live Writer Beta 2 - DasBlog and the Customization API

May 31, '07 Comments [4] Posted in DasBlog
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Windows Live Writer, Microsoft's Free Offline Blog Editor, is updated to Beta 2. It was getting pretty quiet there and I was thinking it had disappeared but they're back with a pile of good changes. Some of the changes are "it's about time" like inline spell checking and Paste Special support.

They support RSD (Really Simple Discovery, and have since the last build) so if you're running a Daily Build of DasBlog then you've already got this support. Just tell Windows Live Writer about your blog by entering your main URL and WLW handles the rest by interrogating the blog for its capabilities. This will also allow those of you who want to upload images directly via the metaWebLog newMediaObject method (Translation: You can upload images over HTTP directly from WLW) rather than using FTP.

More interestingly is their new Windows Live Writer Provider Customization API, which allows you to not only override the RSD if you like, but also includes a way to more complexly describe your blog's abilities. It also lets us have some control over the Weblog Pane within the editor, including adding buttons and what not.

I just banged together this integration with Alexander Gross' help...you can visit your blog, edit online, or see your statistics without leaving Windows Live Writer. There's lots of potentially cool customizations using their polling notification system. You could be notified of new comments on you blog while you're writing a post within WLW.

wlwbuttons

One more subtle thing we were able to get working was a "post and continue editing online...

image

This will do just that, it'll send your current post up to DasBlog, then launch your browser and you can continue editing.

With all these features, make sure you've launched Internet Explorer and logged into DasBlog with the "Remember Me" checkbox checked, otherwise you'll get "you aren't authorized to access this page."

It's easy to hack these things together. Just create an XML file named wlwmanifest.xml and put it in the root of your blog. Here's mine:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?> 
<manifest xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/wlw/manifest/weblog">
  <options>
      <supportsEmbeds>Yes</supportsEmbeds>
  </options>
  <weblog>
      <imageUrl>images/dasbloglogo-16x16.png</imageUrl>
      <watermarkImageUrl>images/dasblogwatermark-84x84.png</watermarkImageUrl>
      <homepageLinkText>View your blog</homepageLinkText>
      <adminLinkText>Edit your blog</adminLinkText> 
      <adminUrl><![CDATA[
          {blog-homepage-url}Login.aspx
      ]]></adminUrl>
      <postEditingUrl><![CDATA[
          {blog-homepage-url}EditEntry.aspx?guid={post-id}
      ]]></postEditingUrl>
  </weblog>
  <buttons>
      <button>
      <id>1</id>
      <text>Statistics</text>
      <imageUrl>images/dasblogactivity-24x24.png</imageUrl>
      <clickUrl><![CDATA[
         {blog-homepage-url}Referrers.aspx
      ]]></clickUrl>
      <contentUrl><![CDATA[
         {blog-homepage-url}Referrers.aspx
      ]]></contentUrl>
      <contentDisplaySize>480,300</contentDisplaySize>
    </button>   
  </buttons>
</manifest>

I'm really interested to see what other cool DasBlog integration ideas (and better-formatted custom mini-pages for inline dropdowns...in the example above, I'm just showing the standard activity page) folks come up with.

What ideas do you have?

  • Last 10 comments, linked directly to the comment.
  • Chart of recent activity? Comments, traffic, etc. Perhaps from FeedBurner?
  • Link to the DasBlog Configuration Page

Here's a zip with my poor-man's integration:

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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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TED: Blaise Aguera y Arcas: Photosynth demo

May 31, '07 Comments [7] Posted in Musings
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What a cool conference I wish I was going to...

"TED started out as an annual conference in Monterey devoted to Technology, Entertainment and Design."

...everything about their site, their style, their recordings, their conference is fantastic. Even their Session Schedule is a work of art and an experiment in User Experience Design. Their TEDGlobal 2007 conference is in Arusha, Tanzania, next week. We spent this last Christmas there...I wish we could be there again for this event.

If you're any kind of nerd I hope you've checked out Photosynth before...if not, check it out now, or watch the Video of Blaise Aguera y Arcas presenting Photosynth along with Seadragon at Ted this last March. There's going to be some really interesting possibilities as innovations like this converge with new form factors like Microsoft Surface.

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.