Tuesday, April 22, 2008

ALT.NET Wrap-up

The last day of ALT.NET was just as good as the first and second.
More sessions... more learning.... more experiences.... etc. It was one of the best developer experiences I've had thus far in my career. I managed to sneak a couple of pictures (below)from some of the guys Flickr sites. :-)

Here is day one... kick off meeting.... Sitting right in front of me are a few guys on the Mono team, and just off to the left of them is Brad Abrams(Brown Jacket)

Here I am (lower left corner)listening in on Phil Haack's (Upper right corner) discussion on ASP.NET MVC.

Since ALT.NET is one of those conferences where the agenda isn't decided until the first day...
I thought it'd be cool to show my signature on one of the sessions (Distributed Domain Driven Design) that was finally decided on by the entire attendee list. Mine is the big C.F. :-)

Always good to be a fly on the wall in these kinds of conferences... can't wait until the next one.

Develop with Passion
-Jean Paul S. Boodhoo

Saturday, April 19, 2008

ALT.NET End of Day 2

This symbol means so much more than I ever thought it could mean. End of day one I left feeling empowered, inspired, and in total awe. Mainly this was due to culture shock... everywhere I looked there was a familiar face and almost every voice that I'd hear would be a familiar one. I guess this is what you expect when you're sitting in a room with all of the developers who's blogs represent your entire Google reader list. :-)

Still, it's the end of day one... so I get home and brush up on the topics that I will learn about today. End of day two (as the title of this post reads) was an amazing experience to say the least. 10:30am first session of the day I kick off with Iron Ruby (talk given by John Lam), Then it was on to the next session... a new tool (Spec#)I haven't heard of before today. So listening to the guys who wrote it and having a chance to interact with them was very cool... I left the talk feeling the same way as everyone else who attended it. We all have high hopes that spec# will find it's way into C# 4.0. After that we broke for lunch and then back to the sessions. When I returned to the sessions I decided to go hang out and listen to a discussion about ASP.NET MVC with Scott Gu, Phil Haack, and Brad Abrams to name a few. It was a good talk, and I certainly gained more insight than I previously had about the framework itself.... however, I wanted to change topics... so I went to a different hall and discovered a topic on DSL's or Domain Specific Languages. This was one of the better talks of the day since it was facilitated by Martin Fowler. Quite a few issues were brought up and addressed on the subject which made for an interesting discussion... with guys like Oren Eini (creator of Rhino Mocks), Roy Osherove(who did not bring his guitar), and Scott Hanselman. After that I caught Scott Bellware's talk on BDD(Behavior Driven Development) which was very insightful. Finally I finished up the day chatting with one of the Mono Framework team members about the pain points I've experienced with getting .NET applications to run on the MAC, and Charlie Pool creator of the NUnit testing framework. Whew! Quite a day... can't wait for the final wrap up day tomorrow.

Develop with Passion
-Jean Paul S. Boodhoo

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Civil Engineering or Virtual Bridge Builder

In my continued experience I've been challenged time and time again to interop, integrate, or simply bridge to and from the .NET Framework. Whether its Web Services in Java/systinet or Managed code(C#) to Native code(C++) through C++/CLI... the fact still remains that the .NET Framework is so powerful in so many ways. Which is why... dear reader... I present to you my third and probably most difficult challenge to date. C# on Unix/Linux platforms.

That's right dear reader... Another challenge that I will once again rise to. There is a .net application that makes network calls to a database that resides on a Linux box. It's an old
application since it's written in .NET 1.1 and is problematic due to strange code and network issues. The Linux box is from what I hear... an 8 proc box. That's right... 8 processors. I'm thinking right away that I can use .NET 3.5 parallel libraries to make use of those 8 processors.
I just need to get it working first. :-)

So... there are a couple of ways to accomplish this, and they are as follows:

1) Install an Add-In to VS2005/VS2008 which will allow the C# compiler to adjust for Mono.
2) Use the IDE above and leverage the mono compiler that way.

Either way I look at it... I have to compile down to Mono so that the Mono Runtime can execute the application. That's basically how it works... so as a comparison... Windows loads mscorlib along with the .NET framework and it's corresponding version during application launch.
However, in a Linux/Unix environment... Mono loads and launches the .NET application.
So first things first, I have to install the Mono runtime just like I'd have to install .NET on windows. My first attempt is on a Unix platform since I have a powerful Mac machine at my disposal. :-) The runtime installs smoothly... so far so good. Now the development environment above... install worked great, but when I went to run it I got a mono runtime error. It gave me a mozilla error... something about MOZILLA_FIVE_HOME path not set to mozilla install directory. After searching around I found two things... one...that mozilla is a direct dependency on the IDE above and must be installed in order to do development. two... the environment variable must be set which I could not figure it out in the 20min of playing around with it while my five year old daughter kept harassing me to get off and let her play games. Ahhhhhh!!! Well, needless to say it has begun and I will ultimately rise to the challenge... even if that means falling back to VS to do development. :-)

-Develop with Passion
Jean Paul S. Boodhoo