The year of 2007 is about to come to an end, and it has been a really exciting year.
First of all I've had a great year with my family; my daughters turned four and one years old during 2007 and it's so wonderful having them around giving me energy. My wife has been home with them the whole year and next year I will take a few months of parental leave and give them my full attention.
During 2007 we sold our company, iBizkit, which we started in 2000 to a larger company, Pdb DataSystem. This is something we wanted to do for some time. iBizkit forms a new team focusing on portals and SharePoint within Pdb which I think will be great. I can now focus more on doing stuff that I'm good on rather than spending time on administration. After just a few months we have seen a great increase in business opportunities and I hope I can share some of them during next year.
I have been spending a lot of time this year with the new Microsoft Office System 2007 releases; SharePoint Server, Office desktop applications and the standardization of Office Open XML. During the last few months this market has exploded here in Sweden, I'm not sure if we are late or early up here? I have heard through Microsoft channels that the product sales of the Office desktop applications have experienced increased sales numbers during the same period. I look forward to continuing with this during 2008.
The heavily discussed OOXML standardization has of course affected me and I look forward to see what will happen during the BRM in the beginning of 2008. I really hope it will get an approval, which will hopefully result in that ECMA International will submit the XPS (XML Paper Specification), which I think is one really interesting standard.
Summing up 2007 and not mentioning Windows Vista, would feel very odd for me, so here it comes. I had great expectations for Windows Vista during the beta phase and when it was released. Beta testing is nothing compared to working with it eight hours a day. I currently uses Vista as my primary OS for my business laptop and as a Media Center at home. As a Media Center machine, and occasionally playing some games on, is great - except for the d**n lack of graphic driver support from Nvidia. As a primary workstation, I would like to say that it really sucks, if you are doing anything else but using Office 2007! I have been struggling with it for a year now, far to long I think. My rescue has been Virtual PC with a couple of different machines. But I'm positive and have big hopes for Vista Service Pack 1.
And I'm still wondering what will happen to the Ultimate Extras - will it ever be worth the money!
Blogging has been fun, I have not had the time I wished for it but I think I have had some interesting post during the last year. Here are the top five posts of 2007 (written during 2007):
- NVIDIA drivers for Windows Vista with overscan available in march - that did not happen!
- Dissecting XPS, part 1 - The basics - first part of the Dissecting XPS series.
- Customize the Favorite Links in Windows Vista common dialogs
- Using Windows Vista ReadyBoost on an SD-card
- Windows DreamScene Content Pack available - I was not the only one looking forward to this...and got disappointed!
All time favorite post is Watch DVDs in VIDEO_TS folders on Vista Media Center - wonder why :-)
I'm really looking forward to 2008 and this is my whish list for the next year:
- A working version of Windows Vista with Service Pack 1
- That OOXML gets approval from the national bodies
- That XPS is submitted to ISO
- Getting at least a few of our customers to upgrade to Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008
- Having a nice parental leave
- Getting some time over so I can finish msfeedicon version 3
- Testing out the new Media Center for Vista, codename Fiji
- Internet Explorer 8
What are your whishes for 2008?
The list can grow longer, but these are the ones currently on my mind. I will keep blogging about them and other stuff that I find interesting for the moment.
I hope that this blog will continue to grow in number of subscribers, and I would be glad if you give me some feedback on my posts and recommend it to friends and colleagues.
A Happy New Year to all of you!
This shot was taken the day before Christmas eve at our weekend cottage. It was a great scenery with one centimeters of hoarfrost.
The ECMA Technical Committee 45, continues to comment the comments received during the Office Open XML ISO fast-track procedure and have now reached to two thirds of them. The response to comments are only sent to the national bodies
The last set of proposed changes contains one major interesting thing; OOXML, or DIS 29500, is proposed to be a multi-part standard, which some national bodies suggested. The parts are:
- DIS 29500-1: WordProcessingML, SpreadsheetML, PresentationML and SharedML specifications
- DIS 29500-2: is the Open Packaging Convention, OPC
- DIS 29500-3: the extensibility specification
This is not a big shocker, I imagined it coming, but anyway I'm glad they made the change(proposition to change). Having the OPC in a separate specification is great! Imagine now how we can use this separate standard for packaging other types of information.
Having OPC in a separate standard will also have impact on the XPS standardization, I guess that ECMA will produce an updated specification of XPS, referring to DIS 29500-2, when submitting XPS to ISO/JTC1 (if OOXML goes through the BRM next year).
Head over the the ECMA press release and read about the other interesting proposed changes to DIS 29500, such as VML removal from the main specification (read the discussions about this in one of my previous posts).
If I don't get time to make another post until next year I wish you all a great New Year...
A few days ago, the IE team reports, the internal build of Internet Explorer 8 passed the Acid2 browser test, which is used to ensure proper support for web standards. This is not the case with IE7, take a look at the picture on the right, it should render to a nice smiley...
During the first half of 2008 a (public) beta of Internet Explorer 8 will be released, which is great news. I really hope that we all will get the opportunity to test quite early builds so the community can have their say. Internet Explorer is the browser that receives the most complaints, so if a lot of web standards devotees have their saying in the development/evolution process of the next generation IE we will probably get a better browser.
My guess is that with some luck we will have a new Internet Explorer to download for next Christmas.
If you are interested in some more reading on the predictions on Microsoft releases for 2008 during the weekends then check out Mary Jo Foleys - What's on Microsoft's agenda for 2008 or Steven Binks - What to expect from Microsoft in 2008.
Not only the Office clients and servers got patched yesterday, Microsoft also released an update to Visual SourceSafe 2005.
The update contains a number of hotfixes which includes performance, usability and stability improvements, as well as improvements to compatibility with Windows Vista and Microsoft Visual Studio 2008.
Not only the Office 2007 clients got updated to Service Pack 1 today, Service Pack 1 is also out for the Office Server family and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0.
Here are some of the downloads...
- Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 with Service Pack 1 - for new installs
- Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Service Pack 1 - for upgrades
- Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Language Packs
- Microsoft Office Servers Service Pack 1 - SharePoint Server, Project Server, Forms Server and Groove Server
- Microsoft Office Server Language Pack 2007 Service Pack 1
- Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2007 Service Pack 1
All are 32-Bit Editions, you can find links to the 64-bits in the instructions.
The Microsoft Office Online now contains links to the Microsoft Office 2007 Service Pack 1.
The links are not currently working, but I will keep you updated.
Here are the links:
Update: You can find all the updates and changes in this Excel.
Let's hope for a faster Outlook 2007 experience...Update: It feels faster at first glance...
Remote Debugging is a great feature to use, especially when you work with virtual machines. It allows you to develop and debug locally but have the code running on another machine, virtual or physical. Microsoft SharePoint can't be installed on a Windows Vista or XP workstation, but needs to be installed on Windows Server 2003 or 2008, so the general recommendations has been for developers to have either Windows Server as their main OS or have a virtual machine with Windows Server. None of these work that well; either you have problems debugging your components and you have to rely on traces or message boxes or you have to have a virtual machine with a full development environment, which will not resemble a production machine.
So, Remote Debugging, is my primary way when working with SharePoint development. It allows you to have a smaller virtual machine, and it will allow you to develop in your main OS. But, Remote Debugging has been quite problematic to set up and configure, so here is a guide that you can follow to get it work in a few minutes.
This guide uses Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 and Windows Vista with UAC on the client and a Windows Server 2003 with WSS 3.0 running in a Virtual PC on the client.
Prepare your remote host
First of all you need to prepare your remote host for accepting incoming debugging requests, this is done by running the Visual Studio Remote Debugging Monitor on the remote machine, which is found under C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Common7\IDE\Remote Debugger\. Copy that folder to your remote host and place a shortcut to the msvsmon.exe on the desktop, so you have fast access to it whenever you need to debug.
The Remote Debugging Monitor is the one accepting your debug calls and the talking back to Visual Studio on your client, so to get these things to work you have to start the client as the user running Visual Studio (or have administrative permissions on the client). You can either log in to the remote host using that user or, as I prefer, right-click on the msvsmon.exe and choose Run As... Make sure that the user you are using to run the monitor with is member of the local Administrators group.
Now the Remote Debugging Monitor has started to waiting for new debugging connections. The debugging server was named with the username that is running the application and the server name, separated with an @-character. You can rename it using Tools->Options.
Prepare your client
Now it's time to prepare your client. First of all you have to run the Visual Studio 2008 Remote Debugger Configuration Wizard, which will open up the correct ports in your firewall. You will find the wizard under the Visual Studio Tools in your start menu. The wizard also allows you to run the Remote Debugger as a service on the machine which the wizard is run on, skip this step for this guide. When the wizard asks you for how you would like to configure your firewall, choose the Allow only computers on the local network... option and the finish the wizard.
Now it's time to start Visual Studio 2008 and load up your solution and hook up the debugger to the remote machine. Prior to this you need to deploy the application to be debugged on the remote machine, including the .pdb files.
In Visual Studio choose Debug->Attach to process. In the Qualifier you have to enter the name that was given to the Remote Debugger Monitor and hit Enter, then all you need to do is attach to the process you would like to debug and set some break points!
That wasn't to hard?
Here are some problems that I have stumbled upon when trying to get these things to work.
Unable to connect to the Microsoft Visual Studio Remote Debugging Monitor named 'XXX. The Visual Studio Remote Debugger on the target computer cannot connect back to this computer. Authentication failed. Please see Help for assistance.
This one is due to the fact that the user running the debugging monitor are not allowed to access the client machine, make sure that the user running the monitor is either the same user running Visual Studio or the member of the Administrators group on your client.
You only see a few processes in the Attach to Process dialog.
First of all make sure you have checked the Show processes from all users check box, then make sure that the user running the monitor has access to the process on the machine, that is you have to make the user member of the local Administrators group. After adding the account to the Administrators group you have to restart the monitor.
Unable to connect to the Microsoft Visual Studio Remote Debugging Monitor named 'ibvsretail'. Logon Failure: The target account name is incorrect.
This one is pretty uncommon, but still I have had it. Somehow the server account in Active Directory had gone wrong so I hade to remove the machine from the domain and add it back.
For the last year I have had really annoying security troubles when working with documents in SharePoint (2003 or 2007, WSS or MOSS) on my Windows Vista machine with Office 2007. Every time I have opened up a document for editing the Office applications have asked me to log in to access the document. I have been able to press Cancel three times, but then the document is opened up in read-only mode. The problem has not occurred on any Windows XP installations. I have seen this problem on several computers with Vista. There have been several reported workarounds, of which none has worked for me.
But now Microsoft has released a number of hotfixes, which will be included in the soon to come Vista Service Pack 1, and there are two interesting hotfixes that currently focuses on this problem.
I installed this one first, but it did not fix my problems after rebooting.
But this one did (don't know if it was the combination or if this one did the whole job...)! Sweet!
To get your hands on these hotfixes, before Service Pack 1, you have to call the Microsoft support who will send you the update packages. Last night the Release Candidate of SP1 was released, so I guess these fixes are included in that one. If you have had this problem and are testing the RC of SP1, please inform me on the results.
It has been quite calm on the Office Open Xml OOXML scene for a while, but now the BRM on DIS 29500 meeting is approaching in late February of 2008 and the information on the process is increasing. This time I think the ongoing discussion is on a more "nicer" level than right after the ISO vote.
Here are some interesting readings that I have read the last few weeks, that I would like to share:
Jan van den Beld, former Secretary General of Ecma International and now a IT Standardization consultant, has started blogging. He has written some interesting posts on the Ecma process before and after the OOXML ISO submission, which gives you a good insight in the processes. Head over and read 'em...
Alex Brown, convenor of the OOXML BRM, also has some nice written posts and comments on the BRM.
DIS 29500 comments, read all the submitted comments on OOXML, and of course comments on the comments.
and finally, an eBook by Andy Updegrove:
ODF vs. OOXML: War of the Words. Andy Updegrove tries to sum up the "drama" in a a series of chapters with the help of everyone involved or interested in any way. Good reading!
That's all for today, now I really have to get back to work...