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Posted by on 3 July 2015 | 6:31 pm

Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner

This post originally appeared on my old blog, dirtyDogStink, which has since been removed. I'm adding it here for reference purposes.   Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner I could not believe how fast this book read. I started it last Thursday and finished it Saturday afternoon. Especially for a book on economics...I am completely astounded at how easy this was to read and comprehend. The authors have a great knack for taking the complicated and translating it into layman's terms that make sense and deliver their points succinctly. Economics is not the sexiest topic nor is it the easiest to comprehend, but the two Steves actually made it interesting and thought provoking. Just look at these chapter titles, does this sound like an economics book? What Do Schoolteachers and Sumo Wrestlers Have in Common? How is the Ku Klux Klan Like a Group of Real-Estate Agents? Why Do Drug Dealers Still Live with Their Moms? Where Have All the Ciminals Gone? What Makes a Perfect Parent? Perfect Parenting, Part II; or: Would a Roshanda by Any Other Name Smell as Sweet?   Here are some interesting pieces of information taken from the book: "There are enough guns in the United States that if you gave one to every adult, you would run out of adults before you ran out of guns. Nearly two-thirds of U.S. homicides involve a gun, a far greater fraction than in other industrialized countries. Our homicide rate is also much higher than in those countries....In Switzerland, every adult male is issued an assault rifle for militia duty and is allowed to keep the gun at home. On a per capita basis, Switzerland has more firearms than just about any other country, and yet it is one of the safest places in the world. In other words, guns do not cause crime." "Cheating is a primordial economic act: getting more for less....Consider what happened one spring evening at midnight in 1987: seven million American children suddenly disappeared....It was the night of April15, and the Internal Revenue Service had just changed a rule. Instead of merely listing each dependent child, tax filers were now required to provide a Social Security number for each child. Suddenly, seven million children...vanished, representing about one in ten of all dependent children in the United States." "Had the Internet been around when Kennedy infiltrated the Klan, he probably would have rushed home after each meeting and blogged his brains out." This one made me laugh-out-loud.  "If you were to assume that many experts use their information to your detriment, you'd be right. Experts depend on the fact that you don't have the information they do. Or that you are so befuddled by the complexity of their operation that you wouldn't know what to do with the information if you had it. Or that you are so in awe of their expertise that you wouldn't dare challenge them." "Listed below are ten terms commonly used in real-estate ads. Five of them have strong positive correlation to the ultimate sales price, and five have a strong negative correlation....Higher Sales Price: Granite, State-of-the-Art, Corian, Maple, Gourmet.... Lower Sales Price: Fantastic, Spacious, !, Charming, Great Neighborhood.... "Consider the parents of an eight-year-old girl named, say, Molly. Her two best friends, Amy and Imani, each live nearby. Molly's parents know that Amy's parents keep a gun in their house, so they have forbidden Molly to play there. Instead, Molly spends a lot of time at Imani's house, which has a swimming pool in the backyard. Molly's parents feel good about having made such a smart choice to protect their daughter....The likelihood of death by pool (1 in 11,000) versus death by gun (1 in 1 million-plus) isn't even close: Molly is roughly 100 times more likely to die in a swimming accident at Imani's house than in gunplay at Amy's." "Compare the four hundred lives that a few swimming pool precautions might save to the number of lives saved by far noisier crusades: child-resistant packaging (an estimated fifty lives a year), flame-retardant pajamas (ten lives), keeping children away from airbags in cars (fewer than five young children a year have been killed by airbags since their introduction), and safety drawstrings on children's clothing (two lives)." "Fryer cites the recollections of a young Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, known then as Lew Alcindor, who had just entered the fourth grade in a new school and discovered that he was a better reader than even the seventh graders: 'When the kids found this out, I became a target....It was my first time away from home, my first experience in an all-black situation, and I found myself being punished for everything I'd ever been taught was right. I got all A's and was hated for it; I spoke correctly and was called a punk. I had to learn a new language simply to be able to deal with the threats. I had good manners and was a good little boy and paid for it with my hide.'" This is taken out of a section discussing the black-white income and education gaps and I simply found Kareem's experience with discrimination interesting. "...a child with many books in his home has indeed been found to do well on school tests. But regularly reading to a child doesn't affect test scores." I found this particularly interesting and his explanation is way too long to put here...so go read it.  This quote sums up the book nicely: "What this book is about is stripping a layer or two from the surface of modern life and seeing what is happening underneath." Update: I forgot to add that the authors have a blog [and it is posted to regularly] at Freakonomics.com. ~tod

Posted by on 3 July 2015 | 5:46 pm

Getting Things Done by David Allen

This post originally appeared on my old blog, dirtyDogStink, which has since been removed. I'm adding it here for reference purposes.      Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen A month or more ago I attended a day-long class about improving my productivity through organizing my tasks and information in Outlook.  In fact, I discuss getting my email organized with the 4 Ds using the techniques from the class. I'm really digging it. I decided to take the class a few steps further and see what else I can do in my life to get more organized so I went to our group's organizational expert [hi Ed!] for some advice. He pointed me in the direction of David Allen so I picked up Getting Things Done and started reading.  I liked it and found a lot of value. Honestly, it was another pretty easy read. I didn't do too many of [read that as 'none of'] the exercises in the book and was able to finish it in less than a week. I figured with my first read through I would just try to digest the overall concepts and then see where/how I could fit them into my life. It helped solidify several of the concepts I pulled out of the day-long class. As is my custom, here are some specific areas that I found interesting and helpful: Allen bases his methodology on two key objectives: "capturing all the things that need to get done -- now, later, someday, big, little, or in between -- into a logical and trusted system outside of your head and off your mind" "disciplining yourself to make front-end decisions about all of the 'inputs' you let into your life so that you'll always have a plan for 'next actions' that you can implement or renegotiate at any moment" Both of these objectives really rang true for me. I have always been organized, but with a bad habit of procrastinating with my decisions. Forcing myself to make decisions up front [like applying the 4 Ds when processing email] has been a tremendously positive change. "if it's on your mind, your mind isn't clear." Allen discusses a zen-like approach to clarity of thought and how it leads to drastic advances in our thought processes. The gist of it is that if your mind is freed from having to keep track of grocery lists, project to-dos, meeting reminders, etc. then you can let it work on the bigger issues in your life like how to design a new product or what it really might take for you to go on that dream vacation to Europe. If you write it down (physically or electronically) and store it somewhere you trust, the mental benefits/gains are exponential. "The big difference between what I do and what others do is that I capture and organize 100 percent of my 'stuff' in and with objective tools at  hand, not in my mind. And that applies to everything -- little or big, personal or professional, urgent or not. Everything." - I have started doing this using Outlook tasks and it really is refreshing to know that I have one place to go whenever I need to look up notes, lists or next-actions. It takes a certain amount of discipline to capture everything, as David does, but it really is liberating after awhile. "What's the Next Action? ... The 'next action' is the next physical, visible activity that needs to be engaged in, in order to move the current reality toward completion." - This is often an elusive thing when dealing with projects or even worse, multiple projects at the same time. Simplifying a project down to the single next action that needs to take place in order to move forward can provide clear direction...not only for yourself, but others you are working with. I see way too many project meetings that end without any clear action items and these are the projects that inevitably stall and then fizzle into nothing. Months later you find yourself asking someone 'whatever happened to project X?' Ugh. The Natural Planning Model - Defining purpose and principles Outcome visioning Brainstorming Organizing Identifying next actions I see so many projects that exclude, ignore or forget one or more of these pieces and they always seem so unorganized. In fact, just a few weeks ago I was in a 3 hour meeting that included loads of brainstorming.  Early in the meeting I became confused [I am a late-comer to the project] and asked for # 1 or 2 above to give me some clarity. I got blank stares in return. D'oh! How can we effectively brainstorm a design or concept if we don't even know what the purpose and vision are? Don't be afraid to ask why. Why are we meeting? Why am I in this meeting? Why are we trying to accomplish this? Why do the requestors think they need this solution? Yada-yada-yada... Here are Allen's listed benefits of asking "why?" and I couldn't agree more: It defines success. It creates decision-making criteria. It aligns resources. It motivates. It clarifies focus. It expands options. Mind-mapping as a brainstorming exercise. This looks pretty interesting. Filing systems: "the lack of a good general-reference system can be one of the greatest obstacles to implementing a personal management system, and for more of the executives I have personally coached, it represents one of the biggest opportunities for improvement." - I'm a pack-rat when it comes to documents and such. I had a huge file cabinet full of stuff going back 20+ years. A lot of it was irrelevant, but more importantly it was filed very inefficiently. The system only made sense to me and was cumbersome. In a nutshell, Allen recommends making your filing system as simple as possible. Start with a simple set of folders labeled A-Z and only make specific-labeled folders for those things you need. So I spent a weekend purging my files and re-organizing them. Not only was I able to shred 65% of the files, but I simplified the system so that everything is easy to find. Bills are under B instead of a separate folder for each company, house information is in H, medical stuff is under M, etc. That was a big monkey off my back.  Organizing action reminders - I'm still working this one out to find a way that works well for me, but Allen gives a lot of good suggestions. Basically, if something needs to be done on a certain date/time then put it on your calendar. Other next actions should be organized by context, whatever context makes the most sense to you (phone calls, errands, office, read/review, at computer, etc.). Weekly review - Probably one of the most important aspects to implementing Allen's system! Once you start collecting all of your thoughts/ideas/actions in a trusted place you need to review them regularly so they're not missed. The weekly review is one such point-in-time where you spend a few hours organizing the loose things (email, papers, notes, lists, etc.), reviewing your next actions, clearing your mind and double-checking yourself. Here are the things that Allen suggests for a weekly review: Process all loose papers. Process your notes from journal entries, meetings or scribbled reminders. Review past calendar dates for remaining action items, reference information, etc. Look at future calendar events for any prep work you might need to do. Clear your mind by writing down all of your project ideas, action items, etc. Evaluate your projects for status and any action items. Review your lists (next actions, waiting for, someday/maybe) for any items that can be marked as finished or needs to be updated. "Your negative feelings are simply the result of breaking those agreements." Allen is referring to our agreements with ourselves when we have something in our 'inbox' or tell ourselves we will do something, but then we don't complete it. "If you tell yourself to draft a strategic plan, when you don't do it, you'll feel bad. Tell yourself to get organized, and if you fail to, welcome to guilt and frustration." We are our own worst critic, right? Interesting quotes from the book: It is hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head. - Sally Kempton It does not take much strength to do things, but it requires a great deal of strength to decide what to do. - Elbert Hubbard Fanaticism consists of redoubling your efforts when you have forgotten your aim. - George Santayana The best way to get a good idea is to get lots of ideas. - Linus Pauling If you're not totally sure what your job is, it will always feel overwhelming. - David Allen Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning. - Winston Churchill People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them. - George Bernard Shaw The thing I really liked about this book, besides all of the organizational tips/suggestions, is that Allen's basic premise is that you should find a system that works best for you. The same system will not work for everyone and he states that frequently. He suggests you use his processes, but also realizes that you might want to take a hybrid approach [what I have done] and is ok with that. He writes the book with an open mind which, in my opinion, makes him even more credible. ~tod

Posted by on 3 July 2015 | 5:40 pm

Don't Make Me Think by Steve Krug

This post originally appeared on my old blog, dirtyDogStink, which has since been removed. I'm adding it here for reference purposes.     Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug I especially like this book because it is exactly what it claims to be: a relatively short, easy to read book about web usability. In fact, the author explicitly states that he "worked hard to keep this book short - hopefully short enough you can read it on a long plane ride." Being a very busy person at work and home I really, really appreciate this! I highly recommend this book for: anyone who is the slightest bit involved in developing or designing a web site's user interface...period. The reason I say this is because: it's a great starting point for someone who has no experience with web site usability. it seems like a great [and quick] refresher for anyone who does have usability experience. it's an interesting read because the author's character really comes through [versus being dry and boring]. it really is short enough for a long plane ride or a few nights 'bedtime reading.' A few highlights of things I learned and/or appreciated: First and foremost, don't make your users think! For example, descriptions [for categories, products, lists, etc.] should be clear and concise. Users really don't read web pages, they just scan them for keywords. Users satisfice when selecting where to go next on any given page. This basically means we tend to choose the first reasonable option instead of examining all of them before selecting one. And yes, I realized that I do this.  Following conventions is a good thing. Forget about reinventing the wheel and just use techniques and design patterns that people are already comfortable with. Keep the visual noise to a minimum [don't try to cram in everything and the kitchen sink]. Omit needless words. Get rid of half of the words on every single page. When you're done with that...do it again. It may sound harsh, but it's true. The "You Are Here" theory. Make it blatantly obvious where you are in the site structure at all times [using page titles, highlighting, home link, tabs, etc.]. Always have a search box...unless your site is a single static .htm page.  Keep the home page simple! Remember, it's purpose is simply to get across the big picture. Usability testing doesn't have to be hard, in fact, it can be down right simple. Just grab your neighbor for 15 minutes. Usability tests...small scope frequent testing is better than a single (or few) large scope test(s). "The Reservoir of Goodwill" - Don't use it all up and try to refill it when you do use some! Last, but certainly not least. Always keep accessibility in mind when designing. Steve is referring to Section 508 of the 1988 Amendments to the Rehabilitation Act, which specifies accessibility standards for information technology (like web sites). Check out Steve's website, sensible.com, for more information about him and his book(s). ~tod

Posted by on 3 July 2015 | 5:28 pm

The Mythical Man-Month by Frederick P. Brooks, Jr.

This post originally appeared on my old blog, dirtyDogStink, which has since been removed. I'm adding it here for reference purposes.     The Mythical Man-Month by Frederick P. Brooks, Jr. Originally written in 1975 and then revised in 1995, I think this book truly withstands the test of time for the field of software development. It isn't full of checklists and to-dos that are guaranteed to make your projects work [no snake-oil here], but rather wisdom from an experienced software project manager. Several of the chapters are actually stand-alone essays and this book simply collates them in a logical manner. Most of the information is easy to read and moves pretty quickly, in fact, I actually finished it in about 10 days. As a busy person with several personal/professional interests and responsibilities, that means a lot to me because then I actually read the book instead of letting it drag out for months without ever finishing it. Your first reaction might be "the book is 30 years old, what could possibly be relevant towards today's technologies?" You're right to be curious about that, as was I, since technology has made so many changes in the past 30 years. The wonderful thing about this book is that even in the initial publication the author recognizes the extreme rate at which technology advances and addresses it constantly. For the most part, Brooks speaks to technology as an idea/concept instead of talking directly to this or that programming language. That perspective allows the conversations to transcend most technological limitations that would have been present had he addressed explicit hardware or software technologies. Although the title is The Mythical Man-Month, Brooks delves into several aspects of software development and highlights the challenges we face on a daily basis. As is my normal process, here are several points from the book that I found interesting: Using the concept of a man-month [I suppose person-month would be the PC way of saying this] as a unit of estimating time to complete a project is really a fallacy. It is often assumed that men and months are "interchangeable commodities," but that only holds true if "a task can be partitioned among many workers with no communication among them." Adding more developers to a project will not result in it being completed sooner, in fact, most of the time it will increase the time due to the added complexities of communication. Time estimation is the Achilles heel of software development projects [my words, not Brooks'] because "our techniques of estimating are poorly developed" and "fallaciously confuse effort with progress." Based on my 1-1/2 years of limited experience this still holds true today. The surgical team concept as proposed by Harlan Mills - Each programming team should consist of a surgeon, copilot, administrator, editor, two secretaries, program clerk, toolsmith, tester and language lawyer. Some of the role responsibilities are obvious by their name, while the others are defined in the book. Suffice it to say that I equate this to the current process of agile programming with small teams. "The Second-System Effect" - "As he designs the first work, frill after frill and embellishment after embellishment occur to him. These get stored away to be used 'next time.' ...This second is the most dangerous system a man ever designs....The general tendency is to over-design the second system....the result...is a 'big pile.'" In the chapter, Why Did The Tower of Babel Fail?, Brooks states that lack of communication and the subsequent lack of organization are the culprits. He applies this theory to programming projects and how the increase of workers will drastically increase the likelihood of miscommunication, hence failure. Oh so true in my experience. Catastrophic failures can be avoided by reducing a boss' role conflict. They must "distinguish between action information and status information. He must discipline himself not to act on problems his managers can solve, and never to act on problems when he is explicitly reviewing status." If front-line managers know their manager will not over react during status reports then they are much more likely to be honest in those status reports. Top-level management needs to trust their line managers to resolve conflicts and react only when asked to do so or when they absolutely have to. One of the most interesting ideas presented [No Silver Bullet chapter] was that high-level languages (such as .NET and Java today) would not be a large breakthrough in the software development field. Brooks hypothesizes that "at some point the elaboration of a high-level language becomes a burden that increases, not reduces, the intellectual task of the user who rarely uses the esoteric constructs." I see his point, but I must disagree to an extent. While high-level languages obfuscate several fundamental concepts in software development they have broken down some of the traditional barriers by allowing non-CS graduates [like myself] to enter the field and be successful. I don't have a background in C or C++, but I am learning how to be a good developer through the massive resources available to me. Regardless of that, I was able to jump in and be productive within a very short time using .NET because I am a quick study and didn't have to learn memory management or object oriented programming first. Just to be clear, that first application I wrote looks un-Godly awful according to my standards today, but my point is that I was able to do it...not how well it was done. I highly recommend this book for both software developers and project managers. Actually, I would like everyone involved in software development (developers, program managers, architects, testers, people managers, etc.) to read this book! ~tod    

Posted by on 3 July 2015 | 5:23 pm

Friday Five on Windows

Go into your weekend with these five tips on Windows from MVPs: Windows Platform Development MVP – Brian Lagunas @brianlagunas First Look at the Prism for Xamarin Forms Windows Embedded MVP – Ken Marlin @WindowsChamp It’s Time for Windows 10 IOT Windows Platform Development MVP – Karthikeyan Anbarasan @f5Debug Steps to Send Emails from Windows Store App for Developers Windows Platform Development MVP – Michael Crump @mbcrump5 Steps to an Ideal Windows 10 App Development Environment Windows Platform Development MVP – Amr Khamise @amrKhamise Build a Windows Universal App that Targets Windows 8.1 Devices

Posted by on 3 July 2015 | 2:45 pm

Part1: Introduction to N-Tier Modern Web Application

We are living in the era of modern applications development where customer needs are changing all the time, I’ll be writing this blog Set to give the Developers who are struggling to build a modern, enterprise ready, that can scale based on customer needs. The Number of Technologies around us are too many and changing rapidly. So I’ll try to give everyone a startup architecture and design that they can use it to design and implement their solution as quickly as possible Let’s Start this thread a start and think about what are the tools and Ideas We will be using to get this up and running. We will be running our Solution on 2 Major Points, The Backend Planning and the Technology of Choice will be webAPIs on top of DBaaS and ASP.NET. The Front end will be JQuery Application and Will dicuss this in details after understanding what are we these 2 technologies provide us. Back end Planning and What is Web APIs Web API Features It supports convention-based CRUD Actions since it works with HTTP verbs GET,POST,PUT and DELETE. Responses have an Accept header and HTTP status code. Responses are formatted by Web API’s MediaTypeFormatter into JSON, XML or whatever format you want to add as a MediaTypeFormatter. It may accepts and generates the content which may not be object oriented like images, PDF files etc. It has automatic support for OData. Hence by placing the new [Queryable] attribute on a controller method that returns IQueryable, clients can use the method for OData query composition. It also supports the MVC features such as routing, controllers, action results, filter, model binders, IOC container or dependency injection that makes it more simple and robust. Why to choose Web API ? If we need a Web Service and don’t need SOAP, then ASP.Net Web API is best choice. It is Used to build simple, non-SOAP-based HTTP Services on top of existing WCF message pipeline. Its Readable and Browser friendly it returns a string at the end of the day and how you want to format this string it’s all about your design needs It doesn't have tedious and extensive configuration like WCF REST service. Simple service creation with Web API. With WCF REST Services, service creation is difficult. It is only based on HTTP and easy to define, expose and consume in a REST-ful way. It is light weight architecture and good for devices which have limited bandwidth like smart phones. It is open source.   With that said our Backend will be designed on top of SQL and Web APIs N-Tier Architecture we will discuss this in details later on this blog.   Modern Web Apps What is the Definition of a Modern web app this is a good question that comes to every developer mind when we think about their application is it a modern web app or no? The Answer is in the next few lines   Characteristics of Modern Web Applications While there are many types of modern web applications, addressing many different needs, they all have some characteristics in common. They are standards-focused. To have the broadest reach across multiple platforms and devices, applications attempt to implement the current and evolving standards and adopt future standards once ratified. They are interactive. Modern web applications keep the user engaged by providing constant feedback on their actions. This feedback can come in the form of messages, animations to hide or show elements, mouse-over effects, drag and drop feedback, the automatic refreshing of screen data, animation of various elements, or the implementation of fade-in or fade-out effects. Interactive applications leverage the fast JavaScript engines in modern browsers to perform their client-side tasks. They limit full-page reloads. Modern web applications seek to limit the number of full-page reloads. Reloads are much slower than a localized Ajax call to update a portion of the UI. Full-page reloads also limit the ability to animate state or page changes. By not performing a full-page reload, users can be kept in context, providing a fluid experience as they navigate from one task to another. They are asynchronous. Modern web applications use Ajax to dynamically load data, page fragments, or other assets instead of performing a full-page reload to acquire data or HTML content. Because the loading of data is asynchronous, the UI is able to stay responsive and keep the user informed while the data request is being fulfilled. This asynchronous on-demand loading also reduces application response time because requests can be tuned to return only the data and other content that needs to change. They manage data. When applicable, modern web applications provide client-side data caching and prefetching to boost client-side performance. This enables the UI to immediately respond to user input gestures because it does not have to make a call to the server for data. Data caching also serves to minimize the impact on server resources, increasing application scalability because fewer calls to the server are required. Technologies We will be using Lots of Technologies on this Project and since I am Just Getting Started to let’s List the Basic Technologies we will be using and More will be added based on the needs of each section. Ajax For over 10 years, the web has benefited from the ability to replace full-page reloads with Ajax calls. But given the advances in standards such as CSS3 and HTML5, browsers adherence to those standards, and the arrival of powerful, cross-browser JavaScript frameworks, we have all the tools necessary to build highly engaging client-side experiences. Ajax facilitates a paradigm change in web development from the traditional full-page reload model of server-centric applications to rich, responsive client-centric applications. The client receives data and updates the UI using JavaScript. Bandwidth requirements are minimized because the server responds to requests by returning just the requested data instead of HTML pages (and all their elements) along with the data. The application runs faster because the data requests take less time to complete, and the UI is quickly updated without a full-page reload. Asynchronous calls are essential to keeping interactive and immersive applications responsive from the user's perspective. JavaScript JavaScript is a dynamic, functional, prototypal language that has a very close relationship with the document object model (DOM). For both JavaScript and the DOM, there are features you can use with confidence and others you should avoid. Over the past ten years, the web development community has learned a great deal about how to use these together to maximize success. See the "Further Reading" section for resources that explain the recommended ways of using JavaScript. Project Silk adheres to these practices, but we do not present a primer here. As is true with all environments, you will be most successful using it as intended. If you aren't presently writing JavaScript code according to the patterns currently accepted in the JavaScript community, be sure your team has time to become familiar with them, because you may be surprised. For example, the Project Silk team members who had recently worked in the Microsoft .NET environment needed to ramp up on the following aspects of JavaScript: JavaScript uses object-oriented concepts, but classes and inheritance hierarchies are not the same as in other .NET languages such as Visual C# and Visual Basic.NET. Understanding closures and variable scoping is important. They are used intentionally and often by allowing variables defined within one scope to be used in another function. The object that the this keyword refers to changes based on where it is used. For example in a single method, this may refer to the object the method is defined on, and in a loop within that same method this may refer to the current item of the collection being iterated over. You should understand its rules. Objects without type definitions are very common and use an object literal syntax. The commas between properties and functions used in these object literals may cause syntax errors until you are familiar with them. jQuery jQuery is an open-source JavaScript library that addresses the challenges of working with the DOM across browsers. It has a straightforward API that can be divided into two calling conventions: Functions are called on the jQuery object itself. For example, the extend function merges the properties and methods of two different objects together. It looks like this: $.extend(targetObject, objectToMerge). Methods are called on the wrapped set. A wrapped set is the result of a query that uses a selector to find elements in the DOM. To call a method on a wrapped set of elements, a selector is used to select elements in the DOM. For example, to add the listing CSS class to all ul elements directly inside a div element, $('div ul').addClass('listing') can be used. jQuery also provides features to raise and handle events, make Ajax requests, and process the data returned from Ajax requests. To be successful developing with jQuery, you should: Know that the selector syntax uses and extends the CSS selector syntax. The better you're able to leverage this syntax, the cleaner your HTML can be. Understand what the wrapped set is, how it's different from an array of DOM elements, and which you're working with at any given time. For example, when using $.each, inside the callback, this is not wrapped. Understand that animations are asynchronous and are queued. Use a named queue or the stop method to gain more control over how the animations behave. Modernizr In the past, the client-side application would use navigator.userAgent to determine which browser was in use and choose its code paths accordingly. Today, the accepted practice is to explicitly detect each feature the application intends to use. Modernizr is an open-source JavaScript library that detects the support for browser features (geolocation, canvas, SVG, border-radius, etc.) and exposes its findings in CSS and JavaScript. Once a script reference to Modernizr is included, Modernizr will add a CSS class to the html element for each feature it can detect. If the feature isn't supported, the CSS class will start with no-. For example, if a browser supports canvas and not webgl, its html element will look like this: <html class="canvas no-webgl ...">. Modernizr also exposes a Modernizr JavaScript object that has Boolean properties for each feature it can detect.   Lets Have a Break for now and The next Post will be about the Back end Basic Architecture so we can have something to kick of our Web Project with.  

Posted by on 3 July 2015 | 2:35 pm

Windows 10 upgrade considerations for screen reader and magnifier users

If you currently use Assistive Technologies (AT), like screen readers or magnifiers, your experience on Windows 10 will be similar in many ways to what you are accustomed to on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. In addition, Windows 10 introduces new features and applications that will continue to improve as we deliver Windows as a service to our customers over time. Learn a few tips for a more accessible Windows 10 experience at the accessibility blog....(read more)

Posted by on 3 July 2015 | 12:02 pm

Why does the BackupWrite function take a pointer to a modifiable buffer when it shouldn't be modifying the buffer?

The Backup­Write function takes a non-const pointer to the buffer to be written to the file being restored. Will it actually modify the buffer? Assuming it doesn't, why wasn't it declared const? It would be much more convenient if it took a const pointer to the buffer, so that people with const buffers didn't have to const_cast every time they called the function. Would changing the parameter from non-const to const create any compatibility problems? Okay, let's take the questions in order. Will it actually modify the buffer? No. Why wasn't it declared const? My colleague Aaron Margosis explained that the function dates back to Windows NT 3.1, when const-correctness was rarely considered. A lot of functions from that area (particularly in the kernel) suffer from the same problem. For example, the computer name passed to the Reg­Connect­Registry function is a non-const pointer even though the function never reads from it. Last question: Can the parameter be changed from non-const to const without breaking compatibility? It would not cause problems from a binary compatibility standpoint, because a const pointer and a non-const pointer take the same physical form in Win32. However, it breaks source code compatiblity. Consider the following code fragment: BOOL WINAPI TestModeBackupWrite( HANDLE hFile, LPBYTE lpBuffer, DWORD nNumberOfBytesToWrite, LPDWORD lpNumberOfBytesWritten, BOOL bAbort, BOOL bProcessSecurity, LPVOID *lpContext) { ... simulate a BackupWrite ... return TRUE; } BOOL (WINAPI *BACKUPWRITEPROC)(HANDLE, LPBYTE, DWORD, LPDWORD, BOOL, BOOL, LPVOID *); BACKUPWRITEPROC TestableBackupWrite; void SetTestMode(bool testing) { if (testing) { TestableBackupWrite = TestModeBackupWrite; } else { TestableBackupWrite = BackupWrite; } } The idea here is that the program can be run in test mode, say to do a simulated restore. (You see this sort of thing a lot with DVD-burning software.) The program uses Testable­Backup­Write whenever it wants to write to a file being restored from backup. In test mode, Testable­Backup­Write points to the Test­Mode­Backup­Write function; in normal mode, it points to the Backup­Write function. If the second parameter were changed from LPBYTE to const BYTE *, then the above code would hit a compiler error. Mind you, maybe it's worth breaking some source code in order to get better const-correctness, but for now, the cost/benefit tradeoff biases toward leaving things alone.

Posted by on 3 July 2015 | 9:00 am

UWP: How to handle changes of DependencyProperty

Last time we discussed how to create our own state trigger. In order to do it we made some extensions of “view model” class in order to get information about changes in state of the model. We declared a delegate and an event there and additionally we injected code which initiated external event handlers. But in many cases you cannot modify a class which you are going to use in your trigger and the class doesn’t have needed events as well. In this case you can check dependency properties there. Starting with Windows 10 you can handle changes in dependency properties even if the class doesn’t have any special events for it. It’s possible thanks to RegisterPropertyChangedCallback (and UnregisterPropertyChangedCallback) method which was included to DependencyObject class. Thanks to this method you can provide an event handler which fires when selected DependencyProperty is changed. This method is very useful for UWP controls when you need to track changes in existing controls but we can utilize this method in our classes as well. Let’s try to modify classes from the previous post. public enum StateEnum{ Loading, Loaded, Error} public class PageViewModel: DependencyObject{ public static readonly DependencyProperty StateProperty=DependencyProperty.Register("State",typeof(StateEnum), typeof(PageViewModel),new PropertyMetadata(null)); public StateEnum State { get { return (StateEnum)GetValue(StateProperty); } set { SetValue(StateProperty, value); } } public void InitModel() { State = StateEnum.Loading; //load data State = StateEnum.Loaded; }} You can see that I removed the delegate and the event and added a StateProperty dependency property. Right now code looks better and usually if you implement your own “view model” class you already have some dependency properties there and probably you should not change anything. Of course, in order to work with dependency properties we use the SetValue and GetValue methods. We used standard approach there – created a wrapper property. It’s clear that all changes around DependencyProperty in UWP were implemented inside the SetValue method. It just executed all methods which were registered thanks to RegisterPropertyChangedCallback. My state trigger will look different as well: public class DataTrigger: StateTriggerBase{ private PageViewModel model; public PageViewModel Model { get { return model; } set { model = value; model.RegisterPropertyChangedCallback(PageViewModel.StateProperty, new DependencyPropertyChangedCallback(ChangeState)); } } private void ChangeState(DependencyObject obj, DependencyProperty pr) { SetActive(model.GetValue(PageViewModel.StateProperty). ToString().Equals(StateOfModel)); } public string StateOfModel { get; set; }} You can see that code looks better right now. Pay special attention that we use PageViewModel object to call RegisterPropertyChangedCallback method. So, if you don’t have all needed events, check existing dependency properties and in many cases you find all that you need.  

Posted by on 3 July 2015 | 6:30 am

ConfigMgr 2012 : Supprimer un CAS au-dessus d’un primaire

Comme vous le savez déjà si vous lisez régulièrement ce blog, je ne suis pas un fervent partisan de l’utilisation de site central d’administration ou CAS pour Central Administration Site. Je l’ai déjà évoqué ici, les principales raisons pour lesquelles de nombreux clients y ont recours ne sont généralement pas les bonnes. Avec le service pack 1 de ConfigMgr 2012, il est apparu la possibilité de rajouter un CAS au-dessus d’un primaire autonome, mais l’inverse n’est, aujourd’hui, pas possible. Comme je l’ai aussi évoqué ici, il existe une possibilité d’orienter les évolutions de ConfigMgr. J’ai, donc, créé une entrée sur User Voice pour demander au groupe produit de développer une solution moins contraignante que de reconstruire une hiérarchie et d’utiliser l’assistant de migration, pour pouvoir supprimer un CAS devenu inutile. Si vous trouvez l’idée séduisante, n’hésitez pas à voter pour cette idée !

Posted by on 3 July 2015 | 5:32 am

Lessons in IT security: 5 rules small businesses need to follow by Matthew Stibbe

When it comes to IT security, there’s no such thing as ‘too small to suffer.’ Cybercrime costs UK small businesses around £785 million per year. In 2014, over a third of spear-phishing attacks targeted small businesses and in the same year, the number of data breaches increased by 23 percent. That’s why we’re sharing these top tips, which emerged from our latest small business mini-summit, ‘Safeguarding your Business’.  1. Have an IT security policy ‘People think that security is a technical problem. It’s not. It’s a person problem,’ says Stuart Aston, National Security Officer for Microsoft UK. Human behaviour is one of the biggest weaknesses in any defence system, so you need to inform and explain to your employees: What the risks are What data is valuable or critical to the business How they should handle that data The correct behaviour around and use of company systems and networks Don’t be daunted by the thought of creating a deadweight document. An IT security policy can be short and to the point. Start by identifying what data matters most to your business and how you want it handled, and build from there. For example, insist on making use of the Information Rights Management feature in Office 365, to control changes and access to key documents. 2. Protect your passwords Whether it’s remembering, storing or sharing them, passwords were a big topic at our summit. The key message from the experts? Passwords are private. They are there to protect both your data and your identity and they need to be treated with care. If you share a secret, like a password, it’s not a secret any more. Think of them like credit card details: you wouldn’t store those on a post-it on your desk or give them away to contractors who need to make a one-off purchase for your business, so why do the same with a password. Have a highly secure password for your most important login, a different one for a couple of the next most important, then another for the rest. While not ideal (you should have different passwords for everything) it does lower your risk of a breach to what matters most. Do not use the same password for your primary work email and primary personal email. Use a password management app such as LastPass, PassLock or 1Password.   3. Make your devices ‘disposable’ Small businesses have benefited greatly from the increase in mobile and flexible working, but it has led to a reliance on easily lost or stolen devices. Francesca Geens of Digital Dragonfly suggests using cloud services, like Office 365, cloud storage such as OneDrive for Business, and device encryption, such as BitLocker, to effectively make your tablets, laptops and mobiles ‘disposable.’ This means if one does go walkabouts, you can retract access to any cloud accounts remotely and ensure there’s no risk of a data leak. At the same time you can buy a new device and have it up and running in no time, because all your data and applications are already in the cloud, ready to download to the new system. 4. Stay up to date As quickly as new defences are created, cyber criminals evolve their tactics to find a way around them. That’s why it’s so important to stay on top of patches and updates. Every release includes a response to something new in the threat landscape and helps to keep you safe. You should also make sure that every device has anti-virus software and a firewall enabled. Windows Defender, for example, comes built in to Windows 8 and Windows 10, and for those of you with something a little older, you can download Microsoft Security Essentials for free. 5. Get safe or go home In today’s threat landscape, there’s no such thing as perfect security. That doesn’t mean it’s all doom and gloom: the better prepared you are, the smaller the impact on your business, so plan for ‘when’, not ‘if’, you suffer security incident. Remember: nobody’s safe, but not everyone has to be a victim. Check out more posts from Matthew Stibbe on his blog http://www.articulatemarketing.com/blog    For more information on keeping your business secure you can also visit the Microsoft's Safeguard your business hub for further advice. 

Posted by on 3 July 2015 | 4:30 am

Azure News on Friday (KW27/15)

Auch diese Woche gab’s wieder viele Nachrichten zur Microsoft Azure Plattform. Hier sind nähere Infos dazu… Aktuelle Neuigkeiten Datum Nachricht 02.07. Azure Preview Portal Improvements (June Update) Neues im Azure Portal - Breadcrumb Navigation, List Refresh, kürzlich genutzte Ressourcen auf einen Blick etc. 02.07. A Brand New Docker Extension Neue Docker Extension mit Docker Compose Support, Docker Hub/Registry Authentication Support etc. 02.07. Enabling Client Certificate Authentication for an Azure Web App Authentifizierung bei Azure Web Apps via Client Zertifikat - hier steht wie's geht 01.07. Preview the new JDBC 4.2 for SQL Server Driver Für alle Java Entwickler, die mit Azure SQL Database in der Public Cloud arbeiten wollen: JDBC 4.2 für SQL ist da! 01.07. Inside Azure Search: Chaos Engineering Chaos Engineering in der Praxis - Design fehlertoleranter hoch-verfügbarer Cloud Dienste am Beispiel Azure Search 30.06. The Evolving Role of the Managed Service Provider Ausführungen zum geänderten Verhältnis zwischen der Unternehmen und Service Providern und der Rolle der Cloud. 30.06. Azure SQL DB Previews Elastic Database Query SQL Abfragen in einer Connection auf einen DB Pool absetzen mit der Azure SQL DB Elastic Database Query Preview 30.06. Tuesdays with Corey: Nano Coolness with Jeffrey Snover In dieser Folge dreht sich bei Corey Sanders alles um den Nano Server 29.06. Try the new Azure Authenticator application! Neue Azure Authenticator App veröffentlicht. Multi-Faktor Authentifizierung für Azure AD und weitere OAuth Dienste 26.06. Microsoft Named a Leader in Gartner’s Public Cloud Storage Services for Second Consecutive Year Microsoft wiederholt als Leader in Gartners Magic Quadrant für Public Cloud Storage Services eingestuft Neue Kurse in der MVA Datum Nachricht 30.06. Building Infrastructure in Azure using Azure Resource Manager Neuer kostenloser Kurs in der Microsoft Virtual Academy - Azure Umgebungen mit Azure Resource Manager aufbauen Neue Videos Datum Nachricht 02.07. Intro to Machine Learning with Seth Juarez Einführung in Predictive Analytics mit Azure Machine Learning aka AzureML 02.07. What's new with the Azure CDN - June 2015 Neues im Azure CDN - Custom Origins, Multiple CDNs per Origin und flexiblerer Einsatz in Azure Web Apps

Posted by on 3 July 2015 | 4:17 am

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Posted by on 3 July 2015 | 2:54 am

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Posted by on 3 July 2015 | 2:37 am

Experiencing Data Latency for Many Data Types - 7/3 - Mitigating

Update: Friday, 7/3/2015 14:49 UTC Root cause has been isolated to complications during upgrade activities which were impacting data latency for multiple data streams. Application Insights data storage service is now working as expected and customers will be able to see all their current data starting 7/3 14:30 UTC. Some customers may experience data gap between 07/02 22:30 UTC and 7/3 14:30 UTC and we estimate 72 hours before all missing data is reprocessed and is available in the portal. • Work Around: Utilize current data. • Next Update: Before 07/04 15:00 UTC -Application Insights Service Delivery Team Update: Friday, 7/3/2015 07:15 UTC Our DevOps team continues to investigate issues within Application Insights. Root cause is not fully understood at this time. Some customers continue to experience data latency for many data types. We are working to establish the start time for the issue, initial findings indicate that the problem began at 07/02 ~22:30 UTC. We currently have no estimate for resolution. • Work Around: none • Next Update: Before 07/03 15:00 UTC -Application Insights Service Delivery Team Initial Update: Friday, 7/3/2015 06:44 UTC We are aware of issues within Application Insights and are actively investigating. Some customers may experience Data Latency. The following data types are affected: Customer Event, Dependency, Exception, Metric, Page Load, Page View, Performance Counter, Request. • Work Around: none • Next Update: Before 07/03 9:00 UTC We are working hard to resolve this issue and apologize for any inconvenience. -Application Insights Service Delivery Team    

Posted by on 3 July 2015 | 1:45 am

使用Visual C ++和Xamarin 进行Hyperlapse跨平台移动开发

[原文发表地址] Hyperlapse cross-platform mobile development with Visual C++ and Xamarin [原文发表时间] 2015/06/26 11:14AM 微软 Hyperlapse Mobile 提供了一个机会,它可以把任何长视频变成短小精悍的版本,可以将一个在骑颠簸的自行车上拍摄的抖动视频转换为一个在家里花园散步时拍摄的平稳视频,您可以轻松地与朋友和家人分享。这项技术,在Windows Phone上是可用的, 在Android上也有一个beta版。它将是令人期待的,特别是那些有史以来通过实时视频记录短途旅行感到不满意的人。 对于专业的摄影者和视频爱好者, 微软Hyperlapse Pro 可以使用Windows计算机从任何的摄像机或设备上的视频镜头创建一个Hyperlapse,包括航拍镜头用无人机拍摄的视频设备。它开辟以前由于困难不能实现的可能性,即使不是不可能,那也只是对于经验老道的电影制片人。这篇博客谈论使用跨平台的Visual C ++和Xamarin如何开发Hyperlapse的解决方案。 ...(read more)

Posted by on 2 July 2015 | 10:04 pm

Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1 新機能: Web API 開発者プレビュー その 11

みなさん、こんにちは。 前回に引き続き Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1 で提供される Web API 開発者プレビューを T4 テンプレートで作成したクライアント で利用する方法について紹介します。連載記事になるため以下の記事を 事前にご覧ください。 Web API 開発者プレビュー その 1 Web API 開発者プレビュー その 2 Web API 開発者プレビュー その 10 今回は前回作成した OData クライアントを利用したプログラムを 作成していきます。 OData クライアントの利用 プロジェクトの作成と準備 まずプロジェクトを準備します。 1. Visual Studio を起動して、新しいプロジェクトを作成します。 2. Visual C# | Windows デスクトップ | コンソールアプリケーション を選択して、任意の名前を付けます。ここでは WebApiCrmClient と しました。 3. プロジェクトを右クリック | NuGet パッケージの管理を選択します。 4. 左ペインでオンラインを選択して、”odata” で検索します。 5. 検索結果より ”OData Client for .NET” を選択してインストールします。 6. 同様に JSON.Net と Active Directory Authentication Library を追加します。 7. Program.cs ファイルを開き、以下の using ステートメントを追加します。 using Microsoft.IdentityModel.Clients.ActiveDirectory; using WebApiT4Client; 8.  クラスレベルのフィールドとして Main メソッドの前に以下を追加します。 clientId はこちらの記事で取得したものを入力してください。 ※serverUrl をご利用の環境にアドレスに変更してください。 #region クラスレベルメンバー static string serverUrl = "https://<CRM組織名>.crm7.dynamics.com"; static string authUrl = "https://login.windows.net/common"; static string clientId = "取得したIDを入力"; static string redirectUri = "http://localhost/webapipreview"; #endregion クラスレベルメンバー 9. Main メソッドに認証および実行部分とエラーハンドリングのコード��� 追加します。 try {     AuthenticationContext authContext = new AuthenticationContext(authUrl);     AuthenticationResult result = authContext.AcquireToken(serverUrl, clientId, new Uri(redirectUri));     Program app = new Program();     app.Run(result.AccessToken); }           catch (System.Exception ex) {     Console.WriteLine("エラーが発生しました。");     Console.WriteLine(ex.Message); } finally {     Console.WriteLine("Press <Enter> to exit.");     Console.ReadLine(); }  10. 最後に Run メソッドを追加します。 public void Run(string accessToken) {     // クライアントの作成     CrmODataClient client = new CrmODataClient(new Uri(serverUrl + "/api/data/"));     client.SendingRequest2 += (s, e) => { e.RequestMessage.SetHeader("Authorization", "Bearer " + accessToken); }; } T4 テンプレートで作成したクライアントの追加 1. プロジェクトを右クリックして、追加 | 既存の項目を選択します。 2. 前回作成した CrmODataClient.cs ファイルを追加します。 3. 追加した CrmODataClient.cs を開きます。 4.  18 行目と 24 行目の System を CrmODataClient に変更します。 5. ソリューションを一旦ビルドします。 プログラムの実装 まず今回は取引先企業の取得を試します。 1. 上記追加した Run メソッドに以下のコードを追加します。 名前に「サンプル」を含むレコードを取得します。 // 取引先企業の取得 foreach (Account account in client.Accounts.Where(x => x.Name.Contains("サンプル"))) {     Console.WriteLine("取引先企業名: {0}", account.Name); } 2. 次に以下のコードを追加します。クエリを外だしにした 形です。 // クエリの作成 var query = from a in client.Accounts             where a.Name.Contains("サンプル")             select a; // クエリの実行 foreach(var account in query) {     Console.WriteLine("取引先企業名: {0}", account.Name); } 動作確認 1. F5 キーを押下してプログラムを実行します。 2. 認証ダイアログが表示されたらログインします。 3. 取引先企業の一覧が表示されることを確認します。 以下に Program.cs のコードを示します。 using System; using System.Collections.Generic; using System.Linq; using System.Text; using System.Threading.Tasks; using Microsoft.IdentityModel.Clients.ActiveDirectory; using WebApiT4Client; namespace WebApiCrmClient {     class Program     {         #region クラスレベルメンバー          static string serverUrl = "https://<CRM組織名>.crm7.dynamics.com";         static string authUrl = "https://login.windows.net/common";         static string clientId = "取得したIDを入力";         static string redirectUri = "http://localhost/webapipreview";          #endregion クラスレベルメンバー         public void Run(string accessToken)         {             // クライアントの作成             CrmODataClient client = new CrmODataClient(new Uri(serverUrl + "/api/data/"));             client.SendingRequest2 += (s, e) => { e.RequestMessage.SetHeader("Authorization", "Bearer " + accessToken); };             // 取引先企業の取得             foreach (Account account in client.Accounts.Where(x => x.Name.Contains("サンプル")))             {                 Console.WriteLine("取引先企業名: {0}", account.Name);             }                         // クエリの作成             var query = from a in client.Accounts                         where a.Name.Contains("サンプル")                         select a;             // クエリの実行             foreach(var account in query)             {                 Console.WriteLine("取引先企業名: {0}", account.Name);             }         }         static void Main(string[] args)         {             try             {                 AuthenticationContext authContext = new AuthenticationContext(authUrl);                 AuthenticationResult result = authContext.AcquireToken(serverUrl, clientId, new Uri(redirectUri));                 Program app = new Program();                 //Task.WaitAll(Task.Run(async () => await app.Run(result.AccessToken)));                 app.Run(result.AccessToken);             }             catch (System.Exception ex)             {                 Console.WriteLine("エラーが発生しました。");                 Console.WriteLine(ex.Message);             }             finally             {                 Console.WriteLine("Press <Enter> to exit.");                 Console.ReadLine();             }             }     } } まとめ HttpClient を利用した場合とは随分違う事が分かると思います。 次回はレコードの作成、読み取り、変更、削除を紹介します。 お楽しみに! - 中村 憲一郎

Posted by on 2 July 2015 | 10:00 pm

Perfomance issues with Visual Studio Online - 7/3 - Resolved

Final Update: Friday, 3 July 2015 06:10 UTC We’ve confirmed that all systems are back to normal with no customer impact as of 3 July 2015 04:16 UTC. Our logs show the incident started on 3 July 2015 00:53 UTC and that during the ~4 hours that it took to resolve the issue a number of customers with their accounts located in the Australia East region experienced intermittent slow commands (due to retries) and failures during this time. • Root Cause: The failure was due to an underlying Azure service issue in the Australia East region. We will be working with our Azure partners to understand root cause. • Chance of Reoccurrence: Low • Incident Timeline: 204 minutes - 3 July 2015 00:53 UTC through 3 July 2015 04:16 UTC We understand that customers rely on VS Online as a critical service and apologize for any impact this incident caused. Sincerely, VS Online Service Delivery Team Update: Friday, 3 July 2015 04:00 UTC Visual Studio Online services hosted in Australia region are impacted due to an ongoing issue with our partner services on Azure. More updates on this ongoing issue can be found at http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/status/ We understand that customers rely on VS Online as a critical service and apologize for any impact this incident caused. Sincerely, VS Online Service Delivery Team ------------------------------------------------------------ Initial Update: Friday, 3 July 2015 01:55 UTC We are actively investigating issues with Visual Studio Online in Australia. Some customers who has account in the Australia region may experience slowness in accessing the system. • Work Around: • Next Update: Before 02:00 UTC We are working to resolve this issue and apologize for any inconvenience. Sincerely, VS Online Service Delivery Team    

Posted by on 2 July 2015 | 8:59 pm

日本でもやります! Visual Studio 2015 リリース記念イベント

皆さま、こんにちは。Visual Studio 製品マーケティングを担当している土屋です。 「今年の夏」にリリース予定と言われていた Visual Studio 2015 の正式なリリース日が 7 月 20 日 (米国時間) と発表になりました。詳しくは こちらのブログ記事 をご覧ください。 米マイクロソフトではこのリリースを記念してオンライン イベントを行うのですが、 日本でもやります! どのようなイベントとして開催するかはまさに今話し合っているところなのですが、おおよそ以下のようなことを考えています。 ★ 7/20 深夜:まったりと インターネット中継を見よう!  米国のオンライン イベントを見ながら日本語解説をオンラインで生中継 ★ 7/21 夕方 ~ 夜:日本マイクロソフト品川本社に集まれ!  日本マイクロソフト品川本社にて 7/20 深夜のイベントで発表・紹介された内容をおさらいする短時間セミナーとお祭り的なリリース記念イベント (セミナーの様子はオンラインでも配信予定) Visual Studio 2015 はこれからの開発の世界を変革していけるような製品となっていると思います...(read more)

Posted by on 2 July 2015 | 8:00 pm

Deep Learning Machine beats Human in IQ Test

Intelligence Quotient (IQ) Test is a set of standardized questions designed to evaluate human intelligence. In June 2015, a Natural Language Processing team lead by University of Science and Technology of China and Microsoft Research gave us a surprise:   They discovered a solution for machine to outperform the average human ability to answer verbal comprehension questions in IQ Tests for the first time!   Read more

Posted by on 2 July 2015 | 7:56 pm

Preview the new JDBC 4.2 for SQL Server Driver

Greetings SQL Server developers and users, Today we are pleased to announce availability of the Community Technology Preview (CTP) of the Microsoft JDBC 4.2 Driver for SQL Server!  This driver now supports the Java Development Kit 8 (JDK8), bulk load, better XA transaction handling and full compliance with JDBC 4.2 specification. To read the full release communication, you can click here. JDBC Driver Version JRE Versions JDBC API Version 4.2 1.5, 1.6, 1.7m 1.8 3.0, 4.0 For further details, you can click here. You can also download it from here. We are working next on some more exciting features. Stay tuned for future announcements. Luiz Santos (lfsantos@microsoft.com)

Posted by on 2 July 2015 | 6:53 pm

Web Developers’ SEO Cheat Sheet 3.0

Download the SEO Cheat Sheet Here are the details and SEO information covered in the SEO cheat sheet 3.0.   Page 1 Important HTML Elements HTTP Status Codes Canonicalization URL Best Practices Webmaster Tools   Page 2 Beyond having a page that search engines understand, you want to ensure search robots crawl your site effectively for optimal performance. Use these tips and best practices to avoid unwanted crawling or to stop accidentally blocking important bots from your top pages. Robot Control Syntax Important User Agents Sitemap Syntax Pagination   Page 3 After your site is crawled and indexed, you may want to focus on how your content is displayed in search engine results and across social media. Both social metadata and rich snippets can improve your visibility, and structured data can add additional meaning to your content for search engines to understand. Social Metadata Rich Snippets Structured Data   Page 4 As both search engines and users evolve, you likely want to optimize for different devices, or target users of a different region or language. The final page of the SEO Cheat Sheet introduces you to the basics of International and Mobile SEO. Targeting Multiple Languages Mobile Web Development

Posted by on 2 July 2015 | 5:31 pm

Welcome home

From Instagram: http://ift.tt/1FWfwOw You can read more by going to the " Welcome home " post on Tobiah Zarlez blog....(read more)

Posted by on 2 July 2015 | 5:07 pm

Folder Management – Visual Studio Online Extension, by Wouter De Kort

As one of the ALM Rangers, Wouter had the opportunity to join the early access program for the new extension model for Visual Studio Online. After the storyboard and with his extension idea approved by the product group, he started building the new extension – Folder Management. The idea is simple: create new folders directly from the code part of web access. Previously you could only create new files from web access. To add a folder, you would need to use your local Git or TFVC repository. This meant that people who aren’t comfortable using Git or Visual Studio, couldn’t add a folder. The Folder Management Extension helps with this. By right clicking on your project root or a subfolder, you can easily create a new folder. The dialog allows you to enter the folder name and a comment. How does it work? A Visual Studio Online extension has a manifest file and HTML, CSS and JavaScript files. For this extension, Wouter chose to use TypeScript to write the JavaScript. The manifest file describes your extension like its name, description and icon. The manifest also configures the extension points that your extension uses. {   "namespace": "almrangers.vsoextensions.FolderManagement",   "version": "1.0.0",   "name": "Folder Management",    "description": "An extension for Visual Studio Online that adds the ability to                   create new folders directly from web access in the code view",   "provider": {     "name": "ALM Rangers - Wouter de Kort"   },   "baseUri": "https://foldermanagement-vsoextensions-almrangers-azurewebsites.net/",   "icon": "https://foldermanagement-vsoextensions-almrangers.azurewebsites.net/images/            VSO_Folder_196x.png",   "contributions": {     "vss.code.web#sourceTreeItemActions": [       {         "id": "addFolder",         "text": "Create a new folder",         "title": "New Folder",         "icon": "images/VSO_Folder_16x.png",         "group": "actions",         "uri": "main.html"       }     ],     "#dialog": [       {         "id": "createNewFolderDialog",         "uri": "dialog.html"       }     ]   },   "contributionPoints": {     "dialog": {       "type": "vss.web#control",       "description": "Provider of contribution controls."     }   } } As you can see, this extension extends the sourceTreeItemActions with a new menu option. It also declares a dialog and points to the HTML page with the markup for the dialog. When a user right clicks on in the code web access, VSO loads your extension. When you keep your Developer Tools in your browser open you’ll see that the scripts for your extension are loaded on demand. The first picture shows the scripts loaded after VSO finishes loading your code page. The second one shows the scripts after you right clicked on a folder and VSO loaded the extension code. As you see, the localhost node is new. This is the location where the scripts are located on the machine. You can now add breakpoints and inspect the code that forms your extension. What’s cool about this is that you can run your extension locally in Visual Studio. If you refresh your browser (which points to your VSO account), the extension gets loaded from your local pc. Your extension is loaded by triggering the main.html (you can name it whatever you want, as long as it matches your manifest) file: <!DOCTYPE html> <html lang="en"> <head>     <meta charset="UTF-8">     <title>Folder Management</title> </head> <body>     <div>Users will never see this page.</div>       <script src="sdk/scripts/VSS.SDK.js"></script>     <script src="scripts/FolderManager.js"></script>     <script src="scripts/GitFolderManager.js"></script>     <script src="scripts/TFVCFolderManager.js"></script>     <script src="scripts/main.js"></script>     <script>         VSS.init({ setupModuleLoader: true });     </script> </body> </html> The first JavaScript file is the VSS SDK that you need to build your extensions. The lines after that load the JavaScript code in the extension. The only other thing that’s required is a call to VS.init to start your extension. This is enough to add the menu option to VSO. But of course you want something to happen once you click on it. If you look in main.ts you see the following code at the end of the file: VSS.register("addFolder", function (context) {     return new AddFolderMenu(); }); This attaches the AddFolderMenu class to the addFolder action. Now whenever a user clicks on the new menu option, the execute method on the AddFolderMenu class runs: public execute(actionContext) {     this.actionContext = actionContext;     this.showDialog(); } From this point on your extension is in control. You can now start running code and doing all kinds of things. In this case, the actionContext parameter is saved and a dialog is shown. ActionContext is an important parameter. This gets passed from VSO to your extension. In this case, actionContext tells you if the user is running a TFVC or Git project and where in the folder structure the user started your extension from. The showDialog method uses the VSS SDK to configure a dialog and show it. The dialog configuration is in the JSON manifest file and points to dialog.html. The following code loads the dialog service: VSS.getService("vss.dialogs").then((dialogSvc: IHostDialogService) => { … } Inside this method, you configure the dialog and show it to the user. VSO automatically creates a dialog for you with a title, ok and cancel buttons and a resizable form. One important method on the dialog is updateOkButton. This method allows you to enable and disable the Create button of the dialog. I’ve bound an event to the dialog that’s updated whenever a user changes the folder name. As soon as the folder name is empty, the Create button is disabled. A second important property is the callback. This is the method that gets executed when the user clicks on Create. With a simple if statement, the callback points to the TFVCFolderManager or the GitFolderManager. Both have a callback method with the same signature. The internals of the methods however differ because of the way a folder is created in both Git and TFVC. Creating the folder When the callback fires, the user has selected a location, entered a name and clicked on Create. Since the APIs are constantly evolving the team hasn’t finished a VSS Client yet for adding commits to Git or Changesets to TFVC. But you can always use the regular REST APIs that are available in VSO. To make this work, you need to add an authentication token to your REST requests just as you would do if you use the REST APIs from outside an extension. The following code sets op the authentication token: VSS.require(["VSS/Authentication/Services"],(service) => {     var authTokenManager = service.authTokenManager;     authTokenManager.getToken().then((token) => {         var header = authTokenManager.getAuthorizationHeader(token);         $.ajaxSetup({             headers: { 'Authorization': header }         }); The ajaxSetup method makes sure that all AJAX requests from this point on have the correct header. Now you can use the following code to get a list of Items from TFVC: $.ajax(tfvcItemsApiUri).then((changesets) => { … }) And that’s all there is to it. A POST call to the same URI with a JSON object as content is all there is to add new items to your repository. In this case, it was a little more difficult because the documentation for the APIs is not finished yet. By using Fiddler, Wouter could find the API details for creating a new file. With some slight changes and help from the team this was easily changed to add a new folder. Lessons learned There are a couple of key takeaways that were learned from creating this extension: Use TypeScript. This is not a requirement but it makes it much easier to discover the APIs and prevent mistakes Study the samples. There are a couple of samples online. These samples aren’t documented yet so you have to do some manual exploration to find everything. However, the samples are very complete and you can find a lot of detail in them. Explore the REST APIs. When you use the manual authorization token, you can call all REST APIs that are available on VSO. This opens up a range of possibilities. Start building now! The extension model is very well thought out. Creating an extension is not very hard. It requires some research but as the documentation gets more complete and more sample code is added this will become easier. So what did you always miss in VSO? Why wait for the product team to create it? Authored by Wouter De Kort I'm a lead architect and consultant working at Ordina in the Netherlands. I focus on helping customers adopt ALM practices. In addition to working at Ordina I have my own company, Seize IT. Through Seize IT I wrote a couple of books for Microsoft Press on C#, Azure and Windows Apps. I'm also a Microsoft Certified Trainer for the whole Microsoft Web Stack. You can reach me at twitter (@wouterdekort) or on my blog: http://wouterdekort.blogspot.com.

Posted by on 2 July 2015 | 2:47 pm