WPF and Silverlight: it will take a while…

Decoupling the User Interface from the underlying code has been one of the holy grails of application development. Layers of indirection and new patterns have been invented over time to try to separate what the user does from the back-end data. It’s been a long and difficult journey but WPF is the last attempt at... » read more

MS SQL Server Express: a good choice?

Microsoft SQL Server comes in many editions, ranging from completely free to use and distribute to versions costing tens of thousands of dollars. For small businesses, or when you can live with the limits imposed, the Express edition is one option to consider. Here are some reasons why SQL Server Express may be a good... » read more

People, mind your dates… plz?

What does 04/05/01 mean to you? Let’s make it easy: is that date in 2001 or 2004? And if I write it like 04/05/2001, is it really better? are we in April or May? And the answer is… If you are from North America and a handful other countries 04/05/01 would mean 5th of April... » read more

MediaWiki: Formating and colouring Code

MediaWiki is the wiki software behind WikiPedia. The issue, when using it as a software development tool, is formatting code in a pretty way. As we did with WordPress before, here are some details to make dp.SyntaxHighlighter work fairly seamlessly with MediaWiki. ###Install the client-side highlighter### Download dp.SyntaxHighlighter. Uncompress its content under a new `/skins/common/SyntaxHighlighter`... » read more

Chosing a development platform

[LAMP][1], Zend, .Net, [Struts][2], [Ruby on Rails][3], [Catalyst][4], and a hundred other development platforms all compete for you attention, all pretending to be the only thing you’ll ever need to satisfy your every needs in web or UI development. Making a decision is really hard: you want the best for your new project and want... » read more

Software: Cheap Microsoft Licenses

I’m not particularly pro -Microsoft but I’m not against it either. I love Linux, got my [RHCE][1] (Red Hat Certified Engineer) a bit more than a year ago and I love Open Source, Linux and all things [GNU][2]. The only thing I really dislike about Microsoft is its marketing, its pricing, its [Genuine (Dis)Advantage][3] that... » read more

.Net: The limits of using Reflection

Reflection is a hugely useful technology: it allows you to get inside objects and get their intimate details, modify their values and even rewrite part of their code. Today I wanted to build a simple treeview control that would display the hierarchical structure of an arbitrary object by going through its properties and building a... » read more

XPO: eXpress Persistent Objects

[XPO][1] is an Object Relational Mapping .Net product from [Developer Express][2], a cool company designing cool tools. It’s a programming component whose job is to abstract access to database while allowing the developer to concentrate on a simple object-oriented interface instead. There is an impedance mismatch between the usual programming technology and the database worlds.... » read more

You Aren’t Gonna Need It

technology02.pngRefactoring code is a necessary thing. Unless you work in some very specific environment where casual refactoring is not allowed (like in some safety-critical applications where the most minute change has to be pondered upon by teams and committees for weeks), you cannot code perfectly on the first shot. More often, you end-up reviewing code and making it clearer, merging parts that are too similar, removing what turned out not to be useful, cleaning up the names, moving things around, etc... there are dozen of refactoring cases that usually help remove the stink out of it.