# Tuesday, October 28, 2003

So Clemens is here at the PDC. And as usual we got drunk together and argued Relational Databases vs XML. Clemens, while such a smart dude, is still wrong on this issue. He thinks that everything should be in XML. My crazy Dutch friend, Remi and Kevin Collins and I all tried to talk sense into Clemens (apparently the Germans don’t like Dr. Codd.) At the end of the day you need to store data in a database, not XML, XML is good for transport of data (like in a web service) or is good for something like a config file.


The Relational Database is not dead. XML is not the cure for everything in the world. I think that the world is really defined in Rows and Columns, not Elements and Attributes.

posted on Tuesday, October 28, 2003 5:31:29 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback

Attention passengers, this is the captain speaking: the smoke you smell is not from our plane


The most amazing thing (and the most horrific) I have ever saw from an airplane window was the view of the Los Angles fires from about 12,000' on the descent into LAX. I have never seen anything like it. I have flown over very large forest fires (which are more black in color) in the past and was not prepared for what I saw today flying into LA. When descending into LAX you get a good view of the San Bernardino Valley. You usually see nice homes and cars and such. Today not so much. Nothing but fire and white smoke. You could SMELL the smoke from the plane. That is a first for me. It looks like a nuclear bomb hit LA. Maybe I was getting a little emotional from the white cloud of smoke over the world trade center after 9/11, but that is what it looked like.

Well, although late, the PDC is now underway. Tomorrow I plan on taking in some WinFS and Yukon DTS sessions. It took me about 14 hours, but I got here in time for a dinner with RDs from around the world.

posted on Tuesday, October 28, 2003 9:27:24 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [2] Trackback

Two Chix and a Skillet


This weekend my good friends, Ned and Laura Gardner made it to the top of Katterskill High Peak (along with 5 of their closest friends). This was their 35th peak and 39th climb to gain entry to the Catskill 3500 Club. I did the honors and opened the Champagne at 3600’ and we had celebrated in the ice and snow. I personally have 12 more climbs before I can gain entry into the club, so we did two more peaks on Sunday, only after we had “Breakfast Grub” at Two Chix and a Skillet.

posted on Tuesday, October 28, 2003 8:59:37 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [14] Trackback
# Friday, October 24, 2003

WinFS at PDC

The PDC will be all about Longhorn, Yukon and Whidbey (and maybe some Web Services crap too.) Since I am writing the Yukon book for MS Press and have been playing with it almost all year and Whidbey is now in alpha, Longhorn is what I want to see the most of. As a developer, WinFS seems the most important.

So the future of the file system in Windows is WinFS. The hints are that WinFS will "leverage database technolgies." What exactly does that mean? Hummmmmmm. SQL Server?

Here are the sessions to look at:

WinFS: File System and Storage Advances in Windows "Longhorn": Overview

Track: Client   Code: CLI201
Room: Room 150/151/152/153   Time Slot: Tue, October 28 2:00 PM-3:15 PM
Room: Room501ABC   Time Slot: Wed, October 29 2:00 PM-3:15 PM
Learn about the next generation storage platform for Windows! In "Longhorn" we're advancing the File System into a Storage Platform for storing structured, file and XML data. Leveraging database technologies, the "Longhorn" storage platform manages data for organizing, searching and sharing. The storage platform also allows for data synchronization across other "Longhorn" and foreign data sources. The new storage platform supports rich managed "Longhorn" APIs as well as Win32 APIs.

WinFS: File System Integration

Track: Client   Code: CLI326
Room: Room 152/153   Time Slot: Wed, October 29 11:30 AM-12:45 PM
Speakers: Sanjay Anand
This session provides an overview of the File System and Security features of WinFS, including but not limited to a drilldown into the WinFS namespace, file system integration and Win32 support. We also cover the WinFS security model including authentication, authorization and encryption features that help you secure your data as well as build security into your applications. Learn how you can integrate your file-based content into WinFS using WinFS property promotion infrastructure or build support for integrating with WinFS search capabilities.

WinFS: Schemas and Extensibility

Track: Client   Code: CLI322
Room: Room 409AB   Time Slot: Wed, October 29 10:00 AM-11:15 AM
Speakers: J. Patrick Thompson, Toby Whitney
The WinFS schemas are the data and API definition that ship with Windows. The Windows Schemas define documents, contacts, system and person tasks, and much more. Learn about the thinking behind the designs of the Windows Schemas and how you can extend the schemas that ship with Windows, create your own schemas, and extend WinFS.

WinFS: Schemas, Extensibility and the Storage User Experience

Track: Client   Code: CLI323
Room: Room 409AB   Time Slot: Wed, October 29 2:00 PM-3:15 PM
Speakers: Nat Ballou
Windows "Longhorn" introduces an entirely new user storage experience and model around the storage of user's data. Get an introduction to new concepts such as: dynamic sets, static sets, and views, with a quick overview of the "Longhorn" storage user experience. Focus on how you can present application-specific data in Windows as well as re-use "Longhorn" components to build rich "Longhorn" applications.

WinFS: Using Windows "Longhorn" Storage ("WinFS") in Your Application (Part 1)

Track: Client   Code: CLI320
Room: Room 409AB   Time Slot: Tue, October 28 3:45 PM-5:00 PM
Speakers: John Ludeman
The preferred method of access to the advanced features of the new Windows Future Storage (WinFS) is through the WinFS API. This session starts by covering the broad set of concepts that form the foundation of the WinFS API design, and then delve into specific code examples. You will be able to write a simple application against WinFS by the time this session is complete. The walk-through includes connecting to the store, basic enumeration and queries, saving changes back to the store and the associated transactional semantics. Folder and Filestream access are also discussed. Basic data change notification scenarios round out the core examples.

WinFS: Using Windows "Longhorn" Storage ("WinFS") in Your Application (Part 2)

Track: Client   Code: CLI321
Room: Room 409AB   Time Slot: Tue, October 28 5:15 PM-6:30 PM
Speakers: Mike Deem
In part 2 of the WinFS API session, we jump right into the deep end and cover the advanced features of the WinFS API, including rich view support, support for XML types, asynchrony, using the "Avalon" data binding support, using the interfaces from COM, how to build your own schemas and extensions on WinFS, the different relationship lifetimes and the associated semantics. A key component of the WinFS architecture will allow for ISVs to extend the same base schemas to maximize information sharing or even create their own schemas. How and where to extend WinFS is discussed, along with the schema and API creation process. Part 1 should be considered a prerequisite for taking this session.

posted on Friday, October 24, 2003 4:14:26 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Thursday, October 23, 2003

Architecting Smart Client Applications (It's a PDC Thang)


Allen Cooper thinks that IT people are in love with Web apps since they are too lazy to deal with deployment issues, so we as IT people force less rich and robust UIs on people (via HTML) so they don’t have to deal with the deployment. This is changing with .NET and zero touch deployment and all the tools Microsoft has given us to deploy apps on the client. This only makes sense since the client nowadays also has about as much processing power as a small city had just about 5 years ago.


If you want to talk more on this topic, come see a super duper BOF session at the PDC on Tuesday. You can come to the Architecting Smart Client Applications session on Tuesday night. Several RD's will be hosting this event with uber RD Tim Huckaby including: myself; Joel Semeniuk; Ingo Rammer; Tim Landgrave; Joe Homnick; Greg Frankenfield; Edgar Sánchez; Scott Stanfield; Billy Hollis; Peter Himschoot; and Patrick Hynds.


We want to cover a number of themes:

           What the hell is a smart client?

           The Smart Client application development offerings from Microsoft

           Web vs. Windows

           .NET fixes the historical problems of deployment

           Web applications may be headed for extinction (at least on the windows platform)


Hope to see you there, here is the write up:


Architecting Smart Client Applications (the future of application development)

Track: Birds of a Feather   Code: BoF05

Room: Room 404AB   Time Slot: Tue, October 28 9:00 PM-9:55 PM

This BOF fosters discussion on what a smart client is and delves into the implications and opportunities for smart client application development now and into the future. The topics discussed focus on smart client technologies like InfoPath, VS .NET tools for Office 2003, Framework, and Managed Code Extensions for Office 2003, and Windows Forms, with industry experts who facilitate examples and solicit comments and discussion on the best techniques to getting started on smart client apps today. Browser-based application development will be contrasted to smart client application development and we take an amusing look at the history of software design, development, and deployment and make some bold speculations, discussions and arguments on the future. Host: Tim Huckaby.


posted on Thursday, October 23, 2003 2:50:25 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [9] Trackback
# Wednesday, October 22, 2003

What the Hell are they going to do with it?


From eWeek:


“Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday will announce that it is giving its Most Valued Professionals access to the more than 100 million aggregate lines of Windows source code, which includes all versions, service packs and betas of the Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 products.”


Why? Unless I can add a feature or fix something and send it in, why bother? The “Shared Source” imitative at Microsoft is strange. Last time I checked, Microsoft is paying its developers to write the code for their products and not taking any code from you and me. We can look at it, and even suggest something, but not really participate in the development. Microsoft, don’t play on both sides of the fence. Set up a program where others can work on the code and submit it in to you. Universities would love this. Uber-geeks would love this. The hippy, long haired, tie-dye wearing developers will love it. Game set match.


Oh yea, they are thinking to open Office? I hope that my crappy code is no longer in there. J



posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 4:42:34 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [17] Trackback
# Tuesday, October 21, 2003

My problems with the PDC


The PDC is too early. What are we going to be talking about at the PDC are: Longhorn, Yukon and Whidbey. Longhorn is scheduled for 2006 and Yukon and Whidbey in my guess (no inside knowledge) are 2005.


So the PDC is a little too early, it should be next year. There are so many things going on in beta land, that how can Microsoft expect us all to keep up. But that being said, it is sold out this year, so what do I know. I’m still looking forward to learning about all of this new stuff, it will just be frustrating that I can’t implement into production for at least 18 months or longer.


See you all there!

posted on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 12:18:49 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, October 20, 2003

It's a PDC Thang

So I have been given the task to drive people to the panels on Thursday 10/30 at the PDC. So everyone go! Ok, I did my job, now Microsoft will like me again. :)

What if you are not going to the PDC you ask? You can still participate. First check out the web site www.pdcbloggers.net, it will cover the panels pretty deep. (Most of the RDs are working on being there and posting stuff in their blogs that will also feed the portal.) Everyone with a passport can participate.

Also, the panels, (show here http://pdcbloggers.net/Question_and_Answer.category) have a way for you to submit questions and of course see the responses later at the portal, as I said even if you are not going. You can submit your question here:


See you in LA or at www.pdcbloggers.net!

posted on Monday, October 20, 2003 6:09:44 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [15] Trackback
# Sunday, October 19, 2003

Bill Gates in the House

BillG will be here in New York City on Tuesday to launch Office 2003 to the world. I have beta tested and apha tested every version of Office since Office 95 and can say that this is a good one. Outlook 2003 is worth the upgrade alone (my complaints from the beta were fixed). Andrew Brust claims that Outlook 2003 makes him 20% more productive than before, I'd say that is pretty fair.

For developers, Office 97 was the one and only upgrade that you HAD to do, but this one is compelling with the XML support. XML is just about everywhere in Excel, Access and even Word.


posted on Sunday, October 19, 2003 6:26:06 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, October 17, 2003

The Curse Must End


I am not a New York Yankees fan, but I don’t root against them. But to be honest, when the NLCS and ALCS started, I was rooting for the Cubs and Red Sox to make it to the World Series. I wanted the curse to end.


Last night when the Red Sox took a 4 run lead I was cheering. I thought the Red Sox were going to the World Series so I shouted at the bar last night “The curse ends tonight.” As a Mets fan, I should have know better. The most spectacular comeback in all of sports history is the 1986 World Series. Bill Buckner aside, the curse was alive for the Red Sox on October 25th, 1986. That historic night in Flushing, Queens proved the Babe Ruth curse when the Red Sox were 1 out away from their first world championship since 1918. Last night the Red Sox were 6 outs away from the World Series and blew it. (I was there as a Mets fan in 1999, just 3 outs away, so I know how it feels.) So New York City is a bad place for Boston, first in Shea Stadium in 1986 and last night in Yankee Stadium.


Last night’s awesome come from behind victory for the Yankees was great for the team, their fans and my home, New York City. Unfortunately it was bad for the sport. The curse must end. Just not this year.

posted on Friday, October 17, 2003 12:36:31 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [3] Trackback