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XAML Spell Checking September 27, 2006

Posted by Hank Wallace in Programming.
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Xamlog writes about Spell Checking with Text-based Controls in XAML. This is an interesting example, but I am not convinced that spell checking belongs in the presentation layer. What do you think?

Here is an examples for a text box and rich text box:

<TextBox SpellCheck.IsEnabled="True">
    A "mispelled" word is underlined with a wavy red line.
</TextBox>

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Proudly Serving My Corporate Masters: The One Where I Got a Bad Review September 22, 2006

Posted by Hank Wallace in Career.
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Adam Barr writes about getting a bad review while working at Microsoft. I suspect that many bad reviews are primarily due to bad communication and/or incorrect expectations. He includes a short list of changes at Microsoft that help to prevent this in the future.

The key points in my view are:

  1. Be aware of your goals and perceived performance against those goals.
  2. Have regular one-on-one discussions with your manager about your career plans. 
  3. Have a review process that is understood. There are few things as frustrating as a review where the employee and manager perceptions differ.

Overall, these things help to remove surprises from reviews.

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Recognizing Software Design Process on an Agile Development Team September 21, 2006

Posted by Hank Wallace in Agile.
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Scott Bellware writes about the challenges of moving from the up-front design that is common in traditional development to an evolutionary design approach when adopting an Agile process.

This is one of the challenges our team is facing as we adopt an Agile process and I am glad to see people talking about it.

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Webified Desktop Apps vs Browser-based Apps September 20, 2006

Posted by Hank Wallace in Web 2.0.
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“Webified Desktop Apps” are the natural evolution of desktop apps with connectivity and bandwidth, just as MMORPGs are of single player games. It’s not about central storage, it’s about data movement. I want my data to travel with me wherever I go. Every storage device (desktop, handheld, server space) is a cache that needs to be transparently and intelligently managed, each with its own storage and bandwidth characteristics. We require effortless replication but also good conflict management and merge, the latter problem being mostly ignored in the current technology.

Source: Webified Desktop Apps vs Browser-based Apps

This is a wonderful quote. I am convinced that the right approach is to produce connected (or webified) desktop applications that synchronize data. Users want to have access to their data from any location, but don’t want to give up the rich client experience.

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Zillow Adds User Generated Home Information September 20, 2006

Posted by Hank Wallace in Web 2.0.
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Zillow.com TechCrunch writes that Zillow will allow homeowners to update their home information. Services like this simply amaze me.

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Virtual PC September 19, 2006

Posted by Hank Wallace in Programming, Virtualization.
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The days of having many machines with different configurations for development or QA is gone (or should be). Virtual PC is now on my list of required tools and has many uses in the software development process. Microsoft has a whitepaper on using it for software development here.

I haven’t used VMware and feel no real need to try it because Virtual PC is satisfying my needs. If you are interested, Adam Baratz has a comparison of Virtual PC and VMware.

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I’m #1 September 19, 2006

Posted by Hank Wallace in Blogging.
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Ok, so it’s a little silly for me to claim I am #1, but I am the #1 “Hank Wallace”. Don’t take my word for it – do a Google search for “Hank Wallace”.

I don’t normally do a Google search for myself, but I was curious if my new blog would appear and where it might be in the results.

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Windows Live Writer Source Code Format Plug-in, now with C++ Support September 19, 2006

Posted by Hank Wallace in Blogging.
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Mike Ormond has developed a Live Writer Source Code Plug-In. The support Live Writer has generated in such a short time is impressive.

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Refactoring: Building Tests September 18, 2006

Posted by Hank Wallace in Programming.
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I admit it.  I don’t (yet) own a copy of Refactoring, but I do have it in my Amazon cart right now. A colleague pointed me to the Building Tests chapter recently after a discussion of the benefits of Test Driven Development. The writer does a good job of describing the benefits in the first few pages and then goes on to show some examples using JUnit. I will be using NUnit on my next project and expect the concepts to apply there as well.

This chapter is recommended reading to anyone not currently doing Test Driven Development. The benefits seem quite clear. I didn’t need convincing, but I was having a hard time describing the benefits well enough to convince others. Now I have some help.

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Another Tagging Plugin for Windows Live Writer September 14, 2006

Posted by Hank Wallace in Blogging, Tagging.
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Tim Heuer has developed plugins for Windows Live Writer for tagging (del.icio.us, Technorati) and Flickr.  I have installed the tagging plugin and will give it a try.

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Being an Agile Architect September 13, 2006

Posted by Hank Wallace in Agile.
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Sam Gentile has an article on being an agile architect.  He’s being doing Agile for a while, so I will have to revisit this when I have more time to process it.

Windows Live Writer Plugins September 13, 2006

Posted by Hank Wallace in Blogging, Tagging.
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While searching for a way to add del.icio.us tags to my posts, I found the Windows Live Writer Plugins site.  I installed the plugin to insert my tags, but am not yet happy with the results.  What do you think about the links below?

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What happens when your screensaver is on? September 13, 2006

Posted by Hank Wallace in Humor.
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Have a look here. Now you know. 😉

(via Janus Pienaar)

Unnecessary Dialogs: Stopping the Proceedings with Idiocy September 13, 2006

Posted by Hank Wallace in Graphical User Interfaces.
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Jeff Atwood writes about Unnecessary Dialogs and that there’s a lot of evidence that users never read dialogs.  I recall watching one of my children recently click the OK button on successive IE security warning dialogs without even reading them.  I agree with him.  Every time you present the user with an alert dialog, you have failed them.

He refers to Alan Cooper’s About Face 2.0 book which I haven’t read (yet).  Maybe it is time to read it?!

Posting to Windows Live Writer from FeedDemon September 13, 2006

Posted by Hank Wallace in Blogging.
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I switched a few days ago from Bloglines to FeedDemon (more about this later) and have just installed the Windows Live Writer beta.  Glenn Slaven has created a handy tool for posting to Windows Live Writer from FeedDemon.  I will give it a try..

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