The First Meeting Of The .NET Developer Network

Monday 23rd April 2007 saw the first ever meeting of the .NET Developer Network. 36 people from Bristol, the South West and South Wales congregated at BAWA in Filton (North Bristol) for An Evening Of LINQ with Mike Taulty. I would have to say that I was delighted with the evening. As usual Mike Taulty was excellent. He took us on a journey of LINQ through the motivation behind LINQ, the language enhancements that make LINQ possible and on to LINQ To XML and LINQ To SQL illustrating LINQ’s actual behaviour with the SQL Profiler. LINQ is a fascinating subject and Mike did it justice.


(It took many takes before we could get Mike to be so bored he had to look at the clock).
From left to right: Steve Hallam, Adam Towler, Chris Myhill, Mike Taulty, Alex Davidson, Will Holley, Benjamin Arroyo.

As for the user group itself everyone seemed interested and pleased with the first steps and the feedback was enthusiastic and encouraging. If you missed the meeting you can get some of the flavour here:-

DotNetDevNet Intro Slides
Mike Taulty’s LINQ Slides
Mike Taulty’s LINQ Demos

Here’s what’s coming up in the next few months:-

Thanks to everyone who came on Monday and helped give the group a great start.

See you in May.

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Posted by: Guy Smith-Ferrier
Posted on: Friday, April 27, 2007 at 7:26 PM
Categories: Events
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DDD5 Dates

If you are submitting sessions or planning to attend DDD5 you might like to know the following planned dates:-

  • Friday 27th April - Deadline for submitting session proposals

  • Saturday 28th April - Voting on sessions opens

  • Saturday 19th May - Voting on sessions closes

  • Saturday 26th May - Session agenda is published

  • Monday 28th May - Registration opens
Hope to see you there.

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Posted by: Guy Smith-Ferrier
Posted on: Friday, April 20, 2007 at 2:10 PM
Categories: Events
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Microsoft Communities

Microsoft has a new site and new technologies for the community called Microsoft Communities: http://www.microsoft.com/communities/beta/default.mspx.

Microsoft Communities is a combination of forums, blogs, TagSpace and ClaimSpace. The forums will eventually replace http://forums.microsoft.com and offers a similar but upgraded experience to its predecessor. The blogs will eventually replace http://blogs.msdn.com and http://blogs.technet.com. TagSpace is like a Favourites for your browser except that the favourites list is held on a server (allowing you to access it from any machine) and the tags are not organised hierarchically as they are in Internet Explorer’s favourites.

Another really interesting idea in Microsoft Communities is ClaimSpace. ClaimSpace allows you to make a statement (a claim) about anything on the web. Other people can assert that your claim is true or false and your reputation is assessed based on the community feedback. It will be interesting to see how such a social exercise works in practice.

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Posted by: Guy Smith-Ferrier
Posted on: Tuesday, April 17, 2007 at 8:06 PM
Categories: Miscellaneous - Technical
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VBUG Bournemouth: Internationalizing ASP.NET AJAX

I’m off down to Poole (VBUG Bournemouth) on Thursday 24th May 2007 to present a new session called Internationalizing ASP.NET AJAX. Here’s the abstract:-

The internationalization story for straight ASP.NET 2.0 is an excellent one: localizability at the touch of a menu option and the full weight of the .NET Framework 2.0 globalization classes at your disposal. But, ASP.NET AJAX has a strong client-side model and the localizability solution available to ASP.NET 2.0 is a server-side solution. Furthermore JavaScript is not the .NET Framework and so the globalization classes are not available. This session looks at the localizability and localization solution for ASP.NET AJAX and looks at the ASP.NET AJAX equivalents to the .NET Framework globalization classes and how they are similar and how they are different. By the end of the session you should know how to internationalize your ASP.NET AJAX applications.

You can get the location and details at http://www.vbug.co.uk/events/default.asp.

Hope to see you there.

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Posted by: Guy Smith-Ferrier
Posted on: Thursday, April 05, 2007 at 5:31 PM
Categories: Events
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Book Review: Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

(Actually this is an audio book review but I don’t think that matters). Disclaimer: Blink has nothing to do with .NET or Information Technology in general so if you only read this blog for those subjects you can skip this entry.

For me Blink starts with The Tipping Point, also by Malcolm Gladwell. The Tipping Point is an absolutely fascinating book and was my book of the year for 2006. The Tipping Point is all about what factors affect whether a small idea or product tips over into becoming a national or international phenonenom. Brilliantly told by the author, I cannot praise this book enough. So when I saw Blink and saw that it was also written by Malcolm Gladwell I had to get it.

Blink is about how your sub-conscious brain processes information so much faster and potentially so much more accurately than your conscious brain. The author covers numerous fascinating examples of how people’s brains gather and process information, how the sub-conscious brain can be both more accurate and also less accurate than the conscious brain, what leads you to false conclusions and how you can avoid allowing your sub-conscious brain let you down. Each example is fascinating by itself but the connection of the dots to form the book’s overall message is artful and compelling. The book includes considerable examples of scientific research in many areas. To give you an idea I’ll pick out one example that was particularly interesting to me. Many people are aware of just how much information is conveyed on a person’s face: whether people are sad, angry, happy, morose etc.. Everyone is probably aware that your face simply reflects your feelings. What is just fascinating though is that it works the other way. The expression on your face can affect your mood. If you use the muscles that are used in a frown for long enough you will eventually feel unhappy. The book is full of bits like this.

I have to unreservedly recommend this book. I have a new maxim for life to add to my collection: always read books by Malcolm Gladwell.

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Posted by: Guy Smith-Ferrier
Posted on: Tuesday, April 03, 2007 at 3:40 PM
Categories: Miscellaneous - Other
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DotNetDevNet Bristol Upcoming Meetings

Things have moved quickly since my last post on the .NET Developer Network. We now have 3 meetings planned for the coming months. Here’s what’s on offer:-


All meetings are free and membership is free. Simply sign up and send an email to meetings at dotnetdevnet.

See you there.

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Posted by: Guy Smith-Ferrier
Posted on: Monday, April 02, 2007 at 2:38 PM
Categories: Events
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