Wednesday, November 24, 2004

For those playing with the newly released Avalon CTP and Chris Anderson's XamlPad application, and are using other Visual Styles than Windows XP (TGTSoft's StyleXP or patched UXTheme.dll), you can follow these instructions:

  • Go in folder "C:\WINDOWS\Resources\Themes\Luna"
  • Copy file "PresentationFramework.Luna.NormalColor.FxStyles"
  • Go back one folder, then into your current theme's folder
  • Paste the copied file
  • Rename the file as follows:
    • Replace "Luna" with the name of the "msstyles" file
    • Replace "NormalColor" with the name of the folder under "Shell" which matches the active color scheme.

For example, I'm running with the CodeOpus theme with the Dusk color scheme:

Within "C:\WINDOWS\Resources\Themes", I copied "Luna\PresentationFramework.Luna.NormalColor.FxStyles" to "CodeOpus\PresentationFramework.CodeOpus.Dusk22.FxStyles". Notice that the color scheme part matches the subfolder name, not the color scheme name ("CodeOpus\Shell\Dusk22" in my case).

BTW, XamlPad's ClickOnce does not work within FireFox. Simply launch it from IE.

11/24/2004 3:02:39 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #   
 Thursday, November 11, 2004

So the WinAmp adventure is over? Pfffe! That won't stop me from using WinAmp for listening to while working! Though I feel WMP10 and the WMA format does a better job at ripping my CDs (quality/size ratio), I've always had a better experience with WinAmp for listening to streamed audio.


11/11/2004 10:31:02 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #   
 Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Lluis Sanchez Gual, of the Mono project, created a class library for generating IL in a higher level form than System.Reflexion.Emit. It's kinda CodeDom for IL!

11/10/2004 1:26:04 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #   
 Tuesday, November 09, 2004

As you may expect it, I installed Konfabulator today. Though the installation process it smooth, the look is great, and the working experience is very interesting, I must admit seeing this in my Task Manager is somewhat of a turn down:

One process per widget, and an extra one for the tray icon and menu... is it worst it? Though CPU usage seems reasonable (compared with Desktop Sidebar for example), and the sum of memory usage averages what Outlook is using by itself, I'm left with the impression that this Windows version was made out of a hack, and no real "Windows integration" effort was made. On a developer's machine, I'm doomed to miss that memory one day.

Seeing that UnixUtils folder under Konfabulator also gives me similar impressions:

Oh well, I'll give it a real try... but I'm afraid it will end up just like Desktop Sidebar... uninstalled!

11/9/2004 3:34:11 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #   
 Thursday, November 04, 2004

Pixoria is about to launch a Windows version of Konfabulator (desktop customization app). Their web site displays notes from a Paleontologist observing two species (Apple vs Windows computers) for ten days (today is day 7), with a probable outcome of seeing both species running Konfabulator.

I've always been very geek on desktop customization... Can't wait to see this Windows version! :-)


11/4/2004 5:12:42 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #   
 Friday, October 29, 2004

Nat Friedman writes a nice post about two development approaches: Getting nothing wrong versus getting it right. Though I know nothing about Muine, I can see the analogy with the software I developped (or at least what I try to achieve). While some competing products don't attack the ease of use and simply stick with a "most common features" list, I've always felt it was important to improve interface too. And that applies to class libraries as well. The Xceed Zip for .NET object-oriented design may require some getting used to, but you end up with obvious and short code. In fact, it's more "forgetting about the old interface" than "learning the new one".

Another good example is Money and Quicken: While they both fight to have all the features the other one has, the resulting applications are not addressing my needs. My wife and I split general expenses based on our salaries, and house expenses half and half. I'm stuck with Excel for managing all this. The personal finance software world needs a Muine of its own... I'm ready to live with its "wrongs"! Suggestions?

10/29/2004 1:43:06 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #   
 Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Robert Scoble wants all corporations to blog. He believes this is the best way to get information around, better than any other medium. He gives the Kryptonite example. Most of us heard about the flaw with some of their bicycle locks (you can unlock them with a Bic pen!). But nobody heard about the company's official response. According to Robert, the word of mouth power of blogs did spread the news much faster than anybody could hear from the company itself.

Well, that wasn't the case for me. I heard the news a few weeks ago on the TV news. And the topo gave me a clear view of the case, AND the corporate response, which was to replace all affected locks. I heard it on TV first, not in blogs, probably because I only read work-related blogs. I don't have time to read more. The general information, I leave this to the newspaper I read in the morning, and the TV news I watch in the evening, at home. I read blogs when I work. Robert's job is to blog, and read blogs (ok, ok, it's a simplified definition of his job). His company has the resources ($) to assign full-time people to evangelism (gee, I don't like that word). We don't. I'm a developer. I have stuff to analyse, design, implement, test, fix. I'm blogging for my own pleasure, and obviously with the impression it can benefit Xceed, but with a clear "parental guidance" not to spend too much time on it, and not to tell any secrets.

Which brings me to another subject: What can a corporation blog about? Where is the limit? How does a blogger who's no marketing genius knows he's about to say too much?

A colleague of mine wants to blog too. I already know he's the kind of blogger you won't want to miss. He masters technical details better than anybody I know. One could say I'm a generalist and he's a specialist. But his first post isn't online yet. Why? Because every subject he starts writing about, he ends up with the impression he's giving too much valuable information to our competitors. Nobody here at Xceed is filtering our blog posts. Our boss gave us the green light, with very few rules (if we can call them rules). It doesn't stop us from auto-censoring our posts. In my case, it's easy, since I talk more about the public interface than the inners of a product. But in his case, it has become a show stopper: he's convinced he can't blog without saying too much.

And that's a shame, because once he starts blogging, we'll all benefit from it... but as I write this, I realise that "all" means "our clients and our competitors". :-( Boy, I think Robert's position is much more clear than most of us. He should not generalize blogging pros and cons to every corporation. It's not that clear.

10/19/2004 11:17:52 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #   
 Monday, October 18, 2004

Kit George gives a neat jump start on number formatting. It's precise, concise, and gives a good global example on the different ways you can format numbers to strings.

10/18/2004 9:29:49 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #