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

    Tagging File Systems?

    • 6 Comments
    I had an interesting in passing conversation with someone today about tagging file systems… which reminded me of my own sordid past. Before I joined Microsoft, before I was an MVP, before I released Base4, I wrote something called XTend. At the time I...
  • Meta-Me

    New EF blogger – Craig Lee

    • 0 Comments
    Short one this time. Craig Lee , a colleague of mine who works on the tools team, has just started blogging. He already has a number of posts, including an interesting one on keyboard shortcuts . Enjoy.
  • 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

    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...
  • Meta-Me

    Introductions

    • 1 Comments
    Seeing as this is my first post on this blog, a few things about me are in order. My name is Alex James, a new Microsoft employee, based in Redmond. My family and I have moved to Seattle from NZ just so I could take this job. Now NZ is a pretty nice...
  • Meta-Me

    Statement of Intent

    • 4 Comments
    This blog has been a little quiet for a while now. With good reason though. I've been doing the hard yards answering questions on the Entity Framework forum . To do so I had to ask literally hundreds of questions of the rest of the Entity Framework team...
  • 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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    Metadata, Objects and Values

    • 2 Comments
    One of the things I am doing at the moment is writing a bunch of Entity Framework code with one common theme, leveraging metadata. In the spirit of transparency here is what I have learnt (just this, nothing else at all...) When working with the...
  • 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

    Sharepoint tricks

    • 1 Comments
    So Alex Henderson , who took over running the Auckland Architecture chats from me, has been busy recently compiling a wiki full of SharePoint Hacks . Hopefully this will grow overtime, but even as it is it is a useful resource. Asad, who has been...
  • Meta-Me

    LINQ to non-enumerable?

    • 3 Comments
    So I was reading Wes' latest post about Monad's a while back (which incidentally is well worth a read, it is the first good explanation of Monad 's I've seen that uses a language I am comfortable with in it's examples, namely C#). Well one thing Wes...
  • Meta-Me

    Interesting series of Posts exploring Code-Only

    • 1 Comments
    Daniel Wertheim left a couple of comments on Tip 42 , that point to a series of posts he has written about using Code-Only to write clean code. The series is really interesting as he delves into topics like: facades, relationships between non-public...
  • Meta-Me

    Wrapping Providers

    • 1 Comments
    For well over a year now I've been talking about how it is possible with EF to write a provider that sits between the EF and the native database provider. There are lots of reasons why you might do this. Here are some examples, you could write a: Tracing...
  • Meta-Me

    Julie Lerman talks to DotNetRocks about the Entity Framework

    • 2 Comments
    So if you don't already know Julie is a hugely respected member of the EF community. She does mentoring and heaps of training and presentations about the EF, so she knows what she is talking about. Anyway I just finished listening to her interview...
  • 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

    Corrected Tip 15 - How to avoid loading unnecessary properties

    • 1 Comments
    I've made a few important corrections to Tip 15 . I've corrected the bit that said the UPDATE SQL includes original values of Updated Properties in the WHERE clause. At the time I was consciously attempting to simplify things a little, but as Tanveer...
  • 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

    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

    Dude where is my query going to run?

    • 1 Comments
    One of the key decisions with LINQ to Entities (L2E) is that all predicates in an L2E expression must be converted into store expressions, so that the store does all the heavy lifting. This means for example if you try the following: var matches...
  • Meta-Me

    Alt.NET Seattle

    • 1 Comments
    I went to Alt.NET Seattle on the weekend. Being from the Entity Framework team, I was a little nervous about how I'd be received. Well I definitely shouldn't have worried... everyone was very civil. In the broader sense I wasn't sure what to expect...
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