A recent discussion about how the licenses of Windows, SQL and SharePoint Servers should be handled when we are developing solutions using Virtual Machines made me throw away a mail to Emma Explains Licensing. The concern was that; do we have to pay licenses for every VM or test server? That would have been insane! But I wanted to have this explained how this licensing works - a lot of you perhaps already know but I always have a hard time getting all the different licensing options and rules.
I made some updates to my Windows Search Index Tool so it also displays all the inclusion and exclusion rules and even functionality for adding and removing rules. So now you can easily exclude folders by creating a rule like this: On the Rules tab, click on the Add button. The button should only be enabled if you are running in elevated privileges on Vista. Enter the pattern, like the image shows and choose if it is an inclusion or exclusion rule and hit Add.
Here comes another “it sucks” post about McAfee anti-virus products. I recently was forced into using McAfee VirusScan Enterprise, due to domain policies at my new employer. This was not what I have wanted! For years I have been using Grisoft AVG both at work and at home (they have a great free product for personal use). AVG is great, I have not had a single virus or similar on any of my machines for six or seven years (that has not been intentionally installed - to see what will happen), and I’m sad to not use it on my primary working machine anymore.
Today Microsoft announced that it will be extending Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 with new enterprise social computing capabilities, by adding features from the partners NewsGator (Press release) and Atlassian. SharePoint Connector for Confluence This connector will integrate the Atlassian product called Confluence which is an enterprise wiki that makes it easy for your team to collaborate and share knowledge. The connector is allowing you to create more advanced wikis and blogs than the standard features of SharePoint or you can include SharePoint lists into Confluence, it even allows you to search both SharePoint content and documents as well as the Confluence content in one location.
Joost is now for everyone, no more invitations to get your hands on it! It’s still a beta but called Joost 1.0 beta and it’s getting better and more importantly it’s getting more channels and content (more than 15.000 shows). So if you have not tried Joost, head on over and download it. The one thing I think is missing, is a seamless Media Center Integration - wouldn’t that be something?
Yet another It sucks post! Yesterday I installed the Apple Safari browser on my Windows Vista machine. I thought that it would be nice to use the fastest web browser in the universe to do some application/site compatibility testing without having to have a Mac OS/X system. Yes it is a beta, so I won’t complain about all the bugs and rendering problems (it might of course be the sites I’m testing but in some cases I don’t think so) - I will instead complain on the ugly look and appearance of it.
My favorite Windows Explorer replacement has finally been released in it’s 7th version. Total Commander, which much remainds of the classic old Norton Commander, is a fast and intuitive file and folder manager by Christian Ghisler. It performs much faster than Explorer and has nice built-in features such as packing (ZIP, RAR…), FTP support, multi-renaming, quick-access to common directories… you name it! Version 7 contains a number of new features and fixes, read more about them in my previous post on the subject or on the Total Commander home page.
This part of the Dissecting XPS series will focus on some XML Paper Specification tools that are available as of today. The success of XPS, vs PDF and others, are really depending on the number of supported devices, operating systems and tools. Right now the XPS support is limitied in applications outside the Microsoft Windows sphere, but there are plans for other operating systems. (Maybe Silverlight will boost this with the CoreCLR).
One of the features of XML Paper Specification, XPS, is the light-weight reader approach and the portable format which Adobe have had the major market share for, and still has, with the PDF format. We all like the approach with having some kind of document format that can be sent to anyone without worrying that they don’t have a reader for the document. I like that there now are competition on this market, even though I really think that Microsoft with XPS have a long road ahead until they reach an acceptable level of XPS users, even with an XPS reader built in to Windows Vista.
I have for a while thought about why are there no standard in Microsoft applications on how a MDI interface should look like, why do the document tabs look different in (almost) all applications. Examples Below are some examples taken from recent Microsoft applications. Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Nice and clean layout, the cross to the right closes the current open document. The down-arrow displays a drop-down of all open documents.
For all you Total Commander fans out there; Christian Ghisler has released a new public beta for Total Commander 7.0. Some of the highlights: When pressing F7 to create a directory and the cursor is placed on a file then Total Commander suggests the filename (minus the extension) as the name for the directory Icons in the menus Even more customization options than before
I have now updated msfeedicon to version 1.3 after a few days of running and some feedback. The major issue corrected in this version is that the application looses connection to the Windows RSS platform after a few hours of running, this problem is in all previous versions. You can find the new version here.
I had just finished msfeedicon 1.0 when I decided to make an update, version 1.1, with some functionality I would like to see and some bugfixes. This 1.1 update contains: New feature: Refresh feeds option in the context menu New feature: greenish icons when the RSS platform downloads/refreshes feeds Update: better icons Bug fix: correct number of unread posts when a feed is removed You can download the update here, hope you like it…
For a while I have been annoyed that there is no good notification in Internet Explorer 7 when you have unread posts in your subscribed feeds. You have to have the Favorites Center opened to be notified of any feed updates, which may take up useful space on your screen. Therefore I created a small utility that takes advantage of the Windows RSS platform and shows an icon in the system tray which notifies you of any unread feed posts - called msfeedicon.
The Architecture Journal, an online magazine by Microsoft with focus on software architecture, have posted two articles on Domain-Specific Languages, DSL. Domain-Specific Modeling A five page article on what Domain-Specific Languages and Modeling is about and when to use it. Bare Naked Languages or What Not to Model An seven page article on how DSL fits into the software factories methodology.
The new Office document format present in the new Microsoft Office 2007 suite is completely new and open and based on XML. This opens up a lot of possibilites for us developers; there is now an easy way to create your own Word or Excel documents from an application. The file format used is called Ecma Office Open Xml format. Previously it has been very difficult or expensive to provide the customers with nice Word or Excel output from an application.
To view XPS files, if you do not have Windows Vista or Microsoft.NET Framework 3.0, you can download the Microsoft XML Paper Specification Essentials Pack Version 1.0. The download contains an XPS Reader, very much like the Adobe PDF reader and an XPS Document writer, which allow you to print to XPS files. There are other goodies in this pack such as: an XPS IFilter that will help you index XPS files, with Windows Desktop Search for example Windows shell handlers for thumbnail views in Windows Explorer The pack requires Windows 2000, 2003 or XP with the latest service packs and Microsoft Core XML Services 6.
The Windows Vista blog announces the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack, a desktop solution that will help Windows desktop users tune their applications and operating systems. It will include applications and features that will enhance: desktop deployment application comaptibility diagnostics and repair This pack is a result of Microsoft aquiring a handful of nice companies, such as the great Winternals. You can read all about it at the Desktop Optimization Pack site.
Here goes a post, in which I am really upset! One of our customers has implemented a new VPN solution that requires us to have McAfee or Symantecs anti-virus programs. I have been using Grisoft AVG for a long time and are very satisified with that one, but they don’t accept it so I had to change. If you have not tried AVG out, then do it, it’s free for personal use.