My Rants and Raves about technology, programming, everything else...
I have been thinking a lot about how Typed DataSets are generated and was spelunking through the code again when it got me thinking. The Typed DataSet generator doesn't really generate the code based on the .xsd, but on the DataSet. It simply loads the .xsd into a DataSet then interrogates the DataSet directly for everything (tables, columns, relationships, constraints). So if the Typed DataSet Designer cannot handle something (like relationships *without* constraints, see below), but the DataSet schema allows it...simply create the DataSet and save the .xsd file to see what it produces! This gets around some fundamental problems with the designer. It does require you start looking and understanding .xsd, but it is a useful skill to have anyway...right?
So my first relevation was how to add unconstrained relationships (no foreign key constraint, simply a way to navigate the data). Since the designer does not allow this, I looked at the .xsd and found that the DataSet handles this with a schema annotation:
<xs:schema> <xs:annotation> <xs:appinfo> <msdata:Relationship name="ta2t" msdata:parent="titleauthor" msdata:child="titles" msdata:parentkey="title_id" msdata:childkey="title_id" /> </xs:appinfo> </xs:annotation> </xs:schema>
The five pieces of data in the
msdata:Relationship element are the four pieces of data required when setting up a relationship. Pretty simple huh!
I hear from a lot of readers that they are creating 3-tier ASP.NET apps and I always wonder if they know where the middle tier is.
In my opinion, the web server is the middle tier and client tier is the browser. Creating another set of machines to host the data layer isn't really necessary and, in fact, hosting the data layer on the web server is easier to scale. We know how to scale out web servers. Inventing a new set of machines forces you to figure out how to scale them out and it does not increase your scalability by scaling out both the web server and a fourth tier.
If you disagree, please e-mail me and let me know what you think.
I hope I am not the only one who missed the magic of CTRL-SHIFT-V. I have bungled about with copy-paste in the editor so many times...I accidently hit CTRL-C instead of CTRL-V and copy an empty line instead of pasting my code...Arg! Now I know to just hit CTRL-SHIFT-V and pick my lost copy from the clipboard ring.
Now its got me wondering what else I have missed. If you have a favorite hidden treasure, could you e-mail at email@example.com and I will post them in an upcoming rant.
After complaining to MS guys for over a year, it seems that they've finally opened up their Visual Studio Integration Program (VSIP). For those of use that have wanted to dig in deeper into VS.NET and fix some of the annoyances, this is great news.
It looks like they've tiered the support (here). With the new Affiliate level support, it allows us shareware/free developers to join the program and get newsgroup level support for free. Thank you Microsoft. This is definitely the right direction.
I ran into this article about using Ink Blots to make passwords on Microsoft Research's site and it got me thinking about security and privacy. I think the only bastion of true privacy these days is in the mind. Social Security #'s, mothers maiden names, pet names...its all just demographic data that is in the wide open. So for the common user, trying to remember a strong password (numbers, letters and punctuation) is just too hard.
Maybe Biometrics are the answer. Fingerprints can't be faked...or can they be? Maybe not by the casual user, but they can be faked. Anyone who got arrested for a petty infraction has their fingerprints in the 'system'.
When I saw the recently announcement on MSDN about Quake II in Managed C++ I got very excited. A port to Managed DirectX? Nope...
As the white paper on the project attests, the real magic of the project is an integration of Managed and Unmanaged code. By mixing the Unmanaged Quake II C/C++ code with new Managed code that provides a heads up display, Vertigo Software has proved how well Managed C++ can integrate Managed and Unmanaged code.
As a primarily .NET Guy, it has been fun watching from sidelines what Sun is trying to do for Java...
I've wrote a bit of Java here and there, but I could never find an IDE that was worth a dime. Sun seems to finally trying to address Java's biggest weakness, development tools. Sure, hardcore Java heads will tell me that I am a lesser man for not doing everything with the command-line. This thinking is even permeating .NET lately talks.
Sun has had a ten year head start on .NET. I wish they would have gotten religion about tools before. This is one thing I give MS a lot of credit for. As much as I bitch and moan about the IDE's of the last five years, they really have made me more productive. And that's what it is really about in the long run.
After seeing the story about Justin Frankel and his departure of Nullsoft, it got me thinking about code as self-expression.
I just spent the last week completing two projects. First, I re-architected http://wildermuth.com and I recreated TypedDataSetGenerator so that I could extend it. I learned a couple things about how much I like to write code.
Bad news to all you AMD fans (yours truly included), Microsoft has announced that the upcoming Windows 2003, 64 bit edition will *not* have support for Opteron's 64 bit mode!
Bad move Microsoft. Your new mantra is supposed to be "competition is good", but this reeks of a side deal with Intel. Us, the users, want 64 bit power, but until competition helps lower costs, we can't afford it.
Ok, maybe 64 bit is supposed to be for big iron, but someone once said that 640K would be all the memory we'd ever need. What can we do to get you to change your mind MS?
Few five years olds have had as much impact as our little XML has these last few years. What started out as just structured storage as really changed into computer technology.
W3C has done a great job is helping get all those standards moving. Several years ago, I never thought that XSLT would ever become a standard. Add in the impending XQuery, XForms and their brethren, I think XML is headed in the right direction.