Blog - About

About Meta-Me

Hi,

My name is Alex James, a Program Manager working on the Data Services team at Microsoft.

My current focus is OData and improving the usability of Data Services, both client and server side.

Previously I worked on the Entity Framework team where I helped create EF 4.0, and CodeOnly.

I'm also really passionate about Metadata, hence the name Meta-me.

Cheers
Alex

I waffle and twitter as adjames

  • Meta-Me

    LINQ to Objects and Buffer<T>

    • 3 Comments
    I was debugging a problem a couple of days ago, when I learned something interesting. I had some code that looked like this: foreach(Employee e in manager.Manages) { … } The manager.Manages property returned a custom implementation of ICollection<Employee>...
  • Meta-Me

    The problem with Function Signatures

    • 0 Comments
    So I was reading Stefan Tilkov’s latest post, about link and self . Good stuff. Now the bit that prompted this post was his discussion of the possibility of having different representations of the same thing. For example you could easily get three representations...
  • Meta-Me

    Composable Services

    • 1 Comments
    Dru Sellers just used a term I haven’t heard before, Composable Services . For me it the very timely term, because it succinctly describes a whole lot of Astronaut Architect dreaming I’ve been doing for the last 2 years. I recently started twittering...
  • Meta-Me

    SaveChanges(false)

    • 6 Comments
    Most of the time the Entity Framework (EF) can manage transactions for you. Every time you Add an Entity, Delete an Entity, Change an Entity, Create a Relationship or Delete a Relationship in your .NET code, these changes are remembered by the EF, and...
  • Meta-Me

    Virtuoso – Entity Framework compatible ADO.NET provider

    • 0 Comments
    Now this is worth a mention. Kingsley has produced a ADO.NET provider for their virtuoso product which is Entity Framework compatible. Which means in theory access to SQL, XML and RDF data via the Entity Framework. It also supports a raft of third party...
  • Meta-Me

    LINQ… the board game

    • 0 Comments
    About a week ago I was wandering through Crossroads mall in Bellevue, and with my wife’s new camera in hand, I spotted this: Now I��m sure at least one of you have actually played this, but I’d never even heard of it. If you know me, you know I’m vertically...
  • Meta-Me

    Nullable=”False”… but when exactly?

    • 5 Comments
    If you look at the EDM and in particular the metadata it considers important, one thing is clear: Persistence is the Priority . For example this: <Property Name=”Firstname” Type=”String” Nullable=”False”/> Tells us that the Firstname property can...
  • Meta-Me

    Opinionated Software and the Paradox of Choice

    • 2 Comments
    In my last post I briefly mentioned the Paradox of Choice . The alert amongst you will have noticed a lot of unapologetic talk about Opinionated Software recently out in the blogosphere. Anyway it got me wondering whether the two are in some way related...
  • Meta-Me

    DefiningQuery versus QueryView

    • 2 Comments
    Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 ...
  • Meta-Me

    Blogging database scripts

    • 1 Comments
    For a while now I've been using a blogging database for demos, presentations, videos etc. For example I used my little blogging database for the Getting Started with the Entity Framework video I did. Every time I do something with this database...
  • Meta-Me

    EDM misconceptions

    • 5 Comments
    Recently I've seen a few slide decks on Entity Framework's architecture that have made me cringe. Their crime: mislabeling an EDMX file as EDM. Now without doubt, you have to be a hard core metadata freak like me to find this offensive. But take...
  • Meta-Me

    State vs Statement of Intent

    • 5 Comments
    Well I went to Vegas for Dev Connections. What an experience. Never been there before, but for first two days I was too worried about my two talks to take much in. My first talk was Entity Framework in a world of Services and Processes . My old...
  • Meta-Me

    Symbols Models and Inhibitory Control

    • 1 Comments
    One of the things I find fascinating about US TV is the educational channels etc. Every now and then I stumble across something which sucks me in for a couple of hours. On Monday (I was sick... better now though, thanks for asking) I started watching...
  • Meta-Me

    Andrew Peters joining the EF team

    • 1 Comments
    Just a short one today, but a good one. Andrew Peters is on his way to Vancouver soon to join the Entity Framework team. He will bring the Kiwi contingent to three. Sahil, Andrew and I. See what Andrew has to say about it here .
  • Meta-Me

    Software Development Meme

    • 1 Comments
    So thanks Danny for giving me a ping... it's been a while since I participated in one of these blog chain letters. Funny really because now I am a Program Manager, I'm not a real developer anymore ;) How old were you when you first started programming...
  • Meta-Me

    Sample Oracle Provider for EF

    • 1 Comments
    Jarek has released his sample provider for Oracle here . In his post he talks about a few of the more notable challenges he had and how he got around them. If you are writing an EF provider this is gold!
  • Meta-Me

    Roger Jennings - and his LINQ and Data feed

    • 1 Comments
    Just in case some of you don't know, I thought I should point out Roger's Blog . I refer to Roger's blog at least once a day to keep up to date with what is happening in the LINQ, Data Programmability, Entity Framework and Data Services worlds. ...
  • Meta-Me

    Why even try?

    • 0 Comments
    You know you've met a visionary when they start talking about solving problems others think are too hard. It is super easy to throw up all sort of reasons why some grand vision won't happen, here are but a few of the classic excuses: Its too...
  • Meta-Me

    MEST - What is it and how does it work?

    • 9 Comments
    MEST stands for M ultiple E ntity S ets per T ype. It is one of the features of the Entity Framework that is typically missing from ORM stacks. The idea is that you can store the same EntityType in multiple EntitySets. For the purposes of this discussion...
  • Meta-Me

    Fantasy Soccer - Part 4 - Architectural Overview

    • 1 Comments
    Okay this Fantasy Soccer thing has got me thinking. What is this thing going to look like from about 100,000 feet? I.e. what are the big bits? Well being a pure geek, I really want to play with new shiny stuff (i.e. the new ASP.NET MVC Framework ) but...
  • Meta-Me

    Lazy-loading and the Entity Framework

    • 1 Comments
    Most of you probably know that the Entity Framework architects made a very conscious decision to make all trips to the database explicit. The result is that this: Person mother = person.Mother; will return null, even if the person has a Mother, unless...
  • Meta-Me

    Fantasy Soccer - part 3 - Unit of Measure

    • 4 Comments
    Today I spent a bit of time working on the data model for my fantasy soccer application. I don't want to talk about the actual model today though, because I'm not really ready. What I want to do is talk about a problem that occurred to me, namely...
  • Meta-Me

    Fantasy Soccer - Part 2 - an overview of the rules

    • 1 Comments
    Yes, yes I know the real name of Soccer is Football , but I don't want there to be any confusion for any Americans, Australians or New Zealanders who might be reading this ;) So what are the basic rules of Fantasy Soccer? The Basic idea is that...
  • Meta-Me

    Real world App - Part 1 - Choosing an Application

    • 4 Comments
    Okay so it has been a while since I posted my Statement of Intent . Time to get on with things. The main problem has been trying to come up with a good application. I gave myself three key requirements: Well suited to the web. Ability to...
  • Meta-Me

    Intellisense : What properties are required?

    • 8 Comments
    Yesterday I was talking to a Simon, another super smart dev on the EF team, and he raised a big concern, one that I am sure you can all relate too: We've all seen something like this: And thought: "What is the bare minimum I can do here to save...
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