Archive for November, 2008

November 26th, 2008

RE: The twists and turns this industry takes.

I was recently directed to The MossyBlog Times because apparently the “Is Microsoft or Adobe better” discussion (I use the term loosely, it more of a flame war if you’re familiar with that) has become fierce as the season of tech conferences is underway. MIX vs MAX, Flash/Flex vs Silverlight, .NET vs ColdFusion, Creative Suite vs Expression Studio…etc. The first in this list MIX and MAX are two of the largest technology conferences in the world. Unfortunately, I am unable to attend either of these conferences and have to respond to hear/say summaries by actual attendees. It’s unfortunate, because I believe both would be valuable to my job as a web developer, but I digress.

Here is the issue as I see it. There are plenty of strong opinions on both sides and plenty of blog posts for and against everything from Flash’s market penetration to support for the growing number of software developers moving into the web space. The twists and turns this industry takes was right there among them, however in the original wording there was a claim that Microsoft’s core competency was design (which it isn’t). However, the author has since reworded, but I wanted to post my comment on my blog since it hasn’t found it’s way onto the comments section of the post itself (yet).

Here was my response to Scott Barnes post about his experience at Adobe MAX this year.

“As a user of both Adobe and Microsoft technologies I was interested in this post mostly because I heard some people claim that MS was saying their core strength was Design. That was laughable at best, but now actually showing up to read this post I find that it was taken out of context. Microsoft has give me (a web developer) a very rich set of tools to do my job with VS2008, Silverlight, .NET, LINQ…however, they have yet to hit the mark with tools to help me deliver rich animations/displays. I’ve been working for the past two months on a WPF application that has shown some serious limitations to animation and code based manipulation of elements on the stage. Bottom line, we had to change our designs to address the limitations of the MS software. However, the WPF application made it extremely simple and efficient to deal with large amounts of data on the back end. Large data sets, sorted, processed, parsed, all at the blink of an eye and easy to access it was the display that kept us from reaching our goals.

My opinion, Adobe has built their technologies with Designers in mind, and MS has build theirs with Developers in mind…the race is now who can get their products to the middle first. I have to give the edge to MS here because in my opinion, dealing with versions, and data and the complexity of supporting it is much harder (as Adobe is finding out) than getting that data to display in slick ways.

If I had to build a complex RIA today, I would likely use .NET for my back end and Flash/Flex for my front end plugin…so there you have it.”

Adobe Air is awesome, Windows Presentation Foundation is really slick…only time will tell.

November 24th, 2008

Back to basics – Pointers in Claymation

As a developer I often find myself learning new programing languages. I’m constantly having to learn new syntax, new rules, new keywords. It can get a little overwhelming sometimes. Over time I’ve learned a common set of programing “rules” that I can use across all languages. Sometimes these rules can be difficult to explain to others, or even to fully grasp myself. This video explains the Pointer in a way my 15-month-old son can appreciate and probably even understand. It’s all the more poignant that the main character is named Binky.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvoHwFvAvQE]

Thanks Nick Parlante for this excellent video. See more at cslibrary.stanford.edu.

Happy Coding.

November 11th, 2008

Why I surrport gay marriage!

I wanted to take a moment on my blog to share a small video on MSNBC by Keith Olbermann talking about Gay marriage and my outrage with the passage of Prop 8 in California.

I’ve long been a supporter of Gay marriage. I believe it to be the right of all citizens of this planet to be happy. I believe it to be the right of all citizens of this country to have equal rights under the law. I believe that discrimination and intolerance are the biggest problem we face as a society, both locally and internationally. I also believe that any law that takes rights away from citizens based on religious beliefs is wrong regardless of the separation of church and state.

It’s difficult to speak about it without breaking down into accusations in anger. Without pointing fingers. Without blaming religion. Without judging people, exactly the behavior I wish, with all my heart, to discourage. Lucky for me, there are others in this world that can speak more eloquently on the subject. Please, for the sake of us all, watch this short video.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27650743/