01 Apr 2014

Why is it called the GAC?

ArZg52WCAAAOyHAIn .NET we have a GAC or global assembly cache – which you may think describes it well and that is why we call it the GAC, but that isn’t true. One of the many things I’ve learnt since joining Microsoft last year is the real story of the GAC’s name and the fact that the acronym was chosen after the name to please legal. Think about it, the GAC is neither a cache (it is really a repository – a cache implies a temp nature to it’s contents) nor is it global (it is local to the machine) – that acronym just doesn’t make any sense.

The origin of the name is that Anders Hejlsberg when naming it wanted something to represent the only location on the device for assemblies. In addition Anders is a massive Dr Seuss fan and chose the name from the so in Cat in the Hat book. (emphasis below is mine).

At our house we play out back. We play a game called Ring the Gack. Would you like to play this game? Come down! we have the only Gack in town.

The name was used in the team until legal got hold of it and worried that Microsoft maybe sued, so it was shortened and an acronym made up to explain it. The original name does appear in the original beta documentation for .NET 1.0 which you can find here.

24 Jan 2014

An independent .NET conference

At the last developer user group, a discussion around .NET and the community came up where an issue  was identified that because Microsoft does such a good job of communication around .NET, anything outside their realm is pretty much ignored. The example was that open source doesn’t get enough coverage at big events – my response, why doesn’t the community run their own .NET event. The idea would be that it targets a .NET audience, but the content is not limited to .NET i.e. you could present on Perl, but as the audience is .NET it would make sense to tailor the talk to the things those people expect and address there concerns. I ran a small poll to see what the response would be.

425 people ended up loading the poll, yet a mere 35 people completed it Sad smile

So looking at the data (hint, that link takes you to the live report). It seems that

  • Free vs. cost: Isn’t an issue. I think the main thing here that if there is value people will pay.
  • Weekday vs. Saturday: A weekday seems far more popular an option
  • Multi-track seems a lot more popular than a single track.
  • Johannesburg FTW! Cape Town and Durban are just a fraction of the amounts (the colours on the charts don't match up Sad smile - so biggest is always blue, which doesn’t make sense).

So what is next? I am not sure – the numbers are surprisingly low which indicates to me that either we, as a community are horrid at sharing things, or there isn’t demand. Your thoughts?

image

Some analytical information

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03 Jan 2014

Dev Stories: Post Listing

Dev Stories are a collection of posts which are based on my personal learning. This page is used for two reasons; first it gives a nice easy way for you to move through the various posts & second it shows you (and reminds me) of what is coming up.

  • What education have I needed?
  • What language should we teach?
  • Zealots
  • It is always hammer time
  • What is successful code

(anything not linked means the idea for the story exists but isn’t up yet… so subscribe to the feed to get it as soon as it comes out)

04 Dec 2013

Joining the AppFactory

appfactory_za_headerI am very proud to do a short announcement that I have moved to join Microsoft, and specifically the AppFactory. The AppFactory is a group of people, mostly consisting of interns who are gaining real world experience in software development. So what is this real world development focused on? Locally relevant apps which give all users a rich and meaningful experience on Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone.

I am joining as a senior developer with my focus on both development, but also skilling up of those involved!

01 Nov 2013

Browser Link + LESS? Does it work?

(You can grab the code for this from: https://github.com/rmaclean/BrowserLinkAndLESSDemo)

imageAt TechDays in Johannesburg, I showed a lot of cool stuff, but this post is about two specific pieces of awesome technology – Browser Link & LESS. In my talk (you can watch  a video of it here) I showed off how you use Browser Link with Web Essentials it can detect unused CSS. A rather sharp attendee came up to me afterwards and asked me, what happens with LESS? Does it do the same thing?

I went back and experimented with it – first was to setup some CSS that wasn’t used and test. Everything works as expected.

Step two, was to use LESS directly, so I setup the HTML with

  • I used Nuget to pull down LESS.js
  • I put in the the link to the LESS file
<head runat="server">
    <title></title>
    <link rel="stylesheet/less" type="text/css" href="/Content/Awesome.less" />
    <script src="Scripts/less-1.4.2.min.js"></script>
</head>

Next step was to configure IIS Express, using the web.config, to serve the LESS file. To do that I added the following to the web.config file:

<system.webServer>
  <staticContent>
    <mimeMap fileExtension=".less" mimeType="text/css" />
  </staticContent>
</system.webServer>

and I ran the app again. You know what happened? It all just worked – Browser Link’s CSS logic detected the unused class in the LESS file, and when I clicked it – it took me directly to the class in the LESS file Smile

01 Nov 2013

Missed TechDays? Check out my LightSwitch talk on YouTube!

I you couldn’t make TechDays in Johannesburg or Cape Town (or maybe you did & went to Dave Russell’s awesome MVVM talk which was at the same time as my LightSwitch talk) then you can watch a recording of my LightSwitch talk I did recently.

If you want to get the slides, the completed demo or the script, you can find all of that in my earlier post.

01 Nov 2013

Missed TechDays: ASP.NET

Did you miss the awesome TechDays events in Johannesburg and Durban? Fear not – I recorded my ASP.NET talk for you! This is no way as good as being there as the excitement and energy from the event help a lot, but this is still a great talk to watch!

All the slides, assets, demo bits etc.... can be download in this post.

31 Oct 2013

TechDays 2013: LightSwitch

I had an awesome time recently at the Microsoft TechDays events in both Johannesburg and Cape Town where I presented on Visual Studio LightSwitch and ASP.NET! Below you can find the slides (SlideShare does a poor job with them, but if you go to the website you can download the original PowerPoint!), the demo script, the completed demo and the assets used in the demos!

AttachmentSize
Assets542 bytes
Snippet for WebAPI1.02 KB
Demo Script30.34 KB
Completed Demo5.27 MB

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