Tales from the Smart Client

John Gossman's observations on Avalon development

  • Tales from the Smart Client

    It's a big, scary world in here

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    MS is a big place. It is so big, I really don't know much about the other parts about the company after five years. There is a huge sales and marketing organization, and though I have friends who work there, I don't know much about what they do day-to...
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    I knew Joe Beda, Joe Beda was a friend of mine...

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    ...but Joe Beda was not "the lead developer on Avalon". Note the key word: "the". The New York Post ran a story that said Google had hired Joe Beda, "the lead developer on Avalon." Sounds pretty serious, doesn't it? Some background to clarify. At MS,...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Where's the technical beef?

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    I started this blog to talk technical, and so far all I've done is fluffy human-interest stuff. Some of this was meant as background, but I am facing one difficulty: the Avalon bits out in the world are kinda old and crickety. Some of the cool stuff I...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Why Avalon?

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    Brian states it very well Though I would like to know what he has against dancing hippos...
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    Applied XML Developer's Conference

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    Drove through the night from Redmond to Stevenson, Wa. to attend the Applied XML Developer's Conference. I am one of the few at MS who do not carry a laptop with them to every meeting. I find it makes it much easier to be alert and "present" at the meeting...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Tim Bray

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    Tim Bray was worth the price of admission to the conference. He basically had one message: simplicity is goodness. His slides are on his website, but they might seem like a random collection unless you heard how he tied it together. Here's his slides...
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    Chris Anderson at Applied XML Developer's Conference

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    Chris had a hard act to follow. Tim Bray gave a really good talk, provocative and very personal (not corporate). The room loved him. Chris then got up and gave a talk titled "Developers hate XML". At an XML conference. Just to make it interesting, his...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Software Quotes

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    Had not seen http://www.softwarequotes.com until Tim Bray referred to it. My favorite so far is anonymous: "The software isn't finished until all the last user is dead." How true. The DOS-based CAD products I worked on in the 1980s are still being sold...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    This is different...

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    We've got a DOD representative here talking about software for Naval Missile Guidance. Haven't seen the XML connection yet, but to quote him "I've peppered the presentation with pictures of submarines to keep it interesting."
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    Don Box at Applied XML Conf

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    No surprise: Don was excellent. The structure of his talk was "What XML related standards would I want to take with me if I were stranded on a desert island?" His list btw: xml (or lisp), soap, ws-addressing, ws-mex and xsdwsdl. Given that Tim Bray started...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    XML for Naval Missiles

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    Whit Kemmey from the DOD is a very humorous presenter. His problem domain is extreme: describe "Standard Operating Procedures" for controlling nuclear missiles on submarines. On old hardware. Operated by 19-year olds. Underwater. But his sly asides make...
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    Doug Purdy at Applied XML Dev Conf

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    Day 2 Doug Purdy from the Indigo team is talking about versioning web services. He mentioned it was his birthday today, and Chris Anderson led the room in a rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday." BTW -- Chris has a good signing voice...who knew? About...
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    The picture...

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    http://www.douglasp.com/PermaLink.aspx?guid=5e8aa9f7-a727-4167-8697-f191d3f4b300
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Amazon client based on XUL

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    Devon Strawn points out a very interesting app built with XUL: http://www.secretrobot.com/blog/archives/2004/10/dear_god_where.html His explanation of the significance is good, so I'll leave the comments to him.
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    CSS considered dangerous

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    Another day, I'm going to comment on the design of the Avalon styling model, which was largely driven by problems we saw with CSS. Today however, I suggest looking at some of the best evidence that CSS actually is workable: http://www.csszengarden.com...
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    XAML comments by Mr. Clifton

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    http://myxaml.com/marcclifton/archive/2005/04/25/1938.aspx His comments are right on, a sensible end note to the more confrontationl tone of the thread he refers to. We struggled for a long time over somewhat conflicting visions of XAML: as a declarative...
  • Tales from the Smart Client

    Boxely

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    I really enjoyed reading Mr. Hewitt's notes on Boxely , the new UI toolkit being used for AIM. The thought process he went through designing Boxely is very reminiscent of parts of my history with Avalon/XAML development. Like me, Joe is in the anti-CSS...
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    Pythalon

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    This weekend I continued my experiments with Python and Avalon. Before I was hosting Python in an existing app, but now I've started from almost scratch. I have to clean up the code and wait for the outside world to get new Avalon bits, but I can describe...
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    Why Pythalon?

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    Looking at the last point on its own grounds, you may think: "Okay, you can program Avalon in Python. So what? I'm a C#/VB/C++ programmer...I need to learn Python why??" The reason Pythalon is so fun is that it is interactive. The programs in the previous...
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    Pythalon Screen Shot

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    http://www.johngossman.net/PythalonSample.html
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    Python Love from Dr. Anderson

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    Python in AvPad
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    Dive Into Python

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    The book I used to learn Python is also available online: http://diveintopython.org/ I recommend buying the lump of paper, to reward the author for a good piece of work...but on-line is nice too.
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    More on Ajax applied to Google maps

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    Off the original article on Ajax is a very interesting discussion of how Google Map s works. Worth the read...but keep in mind...the Dog didn't talk very well.
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    "Yahoo" in Flash?

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    Another worth a second look: the Road Runner portal , all done on the Flash runtime.
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    Everybody in the pool

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    CNET has a lengthy piece on Ajax responding to the WSJ article. I agree with David Temkin: "The successors to Word and Excel and Powerpoint are not going to be written this way. It's just not going to happen."
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