Hans VB's WebLog - For FREE!!!

About me (Hans Verbeeck). About my work (Partner Evangelist for Microsoft Belgium). Think big, start smal
Der deutsche Education Blog

August, 2007

  • Hans VB's WebLog - For FREE!!!

    Tech Ed Europe 2007


    This year, I'm not the overall content owner for Tech Ed Developers Europe. Dave Webster from my team is doing that.

    I was asked however to glance over the content to spot any possible gaps and to give my opinion and I can tell you: the session and speaker list looks awesome!

    I see speakers like Pat Helland are back from being gone for a few years. I see Ron Jacobs, Roy Osherove, Chad Hower, David Chappell, Rafal Lukawieki, Aaron Skonnard, Stephen Forte, Bob Beauchemin, Michael Howard, Luca Bolognese, Amanda Silver, David Platt, Jeff Prosise and many many more. No wonder registrations are going great.

    This year will also have many more session slot because there's no more pre conference day so more content for everyone.

    Now I won't be able to attend this Tech Ed. But I have a great excuse as I expect to become a dad for a second time around the 23rd of October.

    What is also really cool is to see that there's even a Facebook Group for Tech Ed Developers: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2713709966 

    Be there or be... :-)

  • Hans VB's WebLog - For FREE!!!

    Bioshock en Coca Cola Happiness


    Just launching a rumor (all fake). Judge yourself...

    Coca Cola Mortar man (from the Happiness Factory clips) is a son of a Bioshock Big Daddy.

     mortarmandaddy bioshock_xbox360

     If it would be true there's some serious trouble coming to the factory ;-)

  • Hans VB's WebLog - For FREE!!!

    The BeenThereTracks Application (Part 2)


    Just got VS2008 Beta 2 Installed so now it's time for some LINQ to XML action.

    These are the top 3 places you should go to get started:

    1) MSDN Linq Project: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/netframework/aa904594.aspx

    2) MyVBProf: http://www.myvbprof.com/2007_Version/VB9_XML.aspx 

    3) Scott Guthrie's Blog: http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2007/08/07/using-linq-to-xml-and-how-to-build-a-custom-rss-feed-reader-with-it.aspx


    I don't think I could have gotten started without the MyVBProf tutorial so I highly recommend that one. The most importing thing that helped me very quickly was to import to XML schema. Here's the MSDN item that describes how to enable this intellisense: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb531325(VS.90).aspx.

    Once you got that Intellisense, writing Linq queries starts to be fun.


    From the XML above I wanted to get a list of activitites. For each of the activities, I wanted:

    • Id
    • StartTime (of the first lap)
    • Longitude (of the first trackpoint recorded)
    • Latitude (of the first trackpoint recorded)


    As you can tell, the Intellisense really helps creating quickly some nicely readable queries. .Take and .Skip also made my life easier and then of course there's the anonymous types (ID = ..., StartTime =...) which also make VB coding more dynamic than ever :-)

    Now I got this little sample going, I can start some real work. These are some tasks I have in mind:

    - Creating a seperate XML file with just the top level information about the rides

    - Creating a file with a representative collection of points per track. Feeding thousands of points to a Virtual Earth Map doesn't make any sense

    - Creating some routines to clean up the data. Sometimes the device records some abnormal data I need to filter out. Also, I want to for instance see the average speed with and without breaks.

    After that, I can start writing some UI. That will be interesting too. In the meantime I'll try to post on some of the Linq work I'll be doing.


  • Hans VB's WebLog - For FREE!!!

    The Beentheretracks APPlication (PART 1)


    I have a hobby - cycling - and a Garmin Edge 305. I frequently post screencaptures from the Garmin Training Center on my personal blog: http://hansusblogolus.spaces.live.com/

    Once a developer always a developer (at least you always think you are) so, as I indicated before, I want to do something with this wealth of data too. So I was thinking of building the BeenThereTracks application. A web application that allows me to show where me and my friends have been riding and more details about the profile of the ride.

    Today I have started. I don't need to do much analysis, I can start immediately with the data model. The schema exists I just need to start programming againsts it.

    All data is XML and coming from a relational world, this doesn't make this any simpler. Fortunately LINQ (Language-Integrated Query) comes to rescue. So that's what I start with.

    Step 1: Install Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2.

    Check out this page if you want to install VS2008 Beta 2: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/vstudio/aa700831.aspx

    Which version do you need? Like Dan Fernandez wrote: Visual Studio Express 2008 fully supports Language INtegrated Query (LINQ) which adds language query capabilities (similar to SQL) directly into the Visual Basic and C# languages. 

    So it doesn't really matter which version you will install.

    I will start with the Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition. I want to encapsulate the data access functionality in a library (dll) and use that one later on a couple of different client types. Ideally (I guess I'm dreaming here), I will find enough time and motivation to build three clients:

    1. A web client with ASP.NET and Silverlight

    2. A rich Client kust in WPF

    3. A plugin for Windows Live Spaces.

    So I'm going for this (with some Windows Live Services in each of them):


  • Hans VB's WebLog - For FREE!!!



    A couple of things I read with a lot of pleasure:

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