Monday, February 13, 2006

Mono Develop and Linux

I installed Gentoo Linux over the weekend.

I seem to do this about once a year. I will use Linux for a while and then shelve it, then usually delete the partition to install something else I want to play with at the time - the latest Vista CTP at the moment.

I really *want* to like Linux, but there are some apps I really can't do without, so usually go back to Windows. One of them of course is Visual Studio 2005.

I thought I'd try Mono Develop again. I haven't used MonoDevelop since about 0.5 build. I must say it has improved markedly since then. Now at 0.91 it is getting polished.

The only problem I have with Mono is that while most of the libraries are cross compatible with the Windows equivalent, you can't build cross platform WinForms apps. This is to do with problems the getting GTK# to work under Windows apparently. This is a shame really. It would be fantastic if you could create an app in Windows or Linux and have it work on the other.

With that disappointment out of the way, it must be said that MonoDevelop is one of the better - if not the best - IDE's for Linux. If you're developing for Linux, you could do a whole lot worse than MonoDevelop and C#.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Great Site for Free Web Templates

I stumbled across this site.

It features freely downloadable, standards compliant, web templates. There are some really nice designs on there.

I find - as a developer first and foremost - that I sometimes struggle to come up with a clean fresh design when creating a website, so I think these templates will come in handy.

I'm forever impressed by the amount of time and energy some people spend to create freely available products. I'm trying to give a little back myself - I am endevouring to put up a series of utilities I have written for my own use on my website as freeware. Not much there at the moment but hopefully the list will grow.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

MS Ergo 4000 Keyboard

Someone on the NZ .NET user group recommended these.

I get a bit of soreness in my wrists by the end of the day, so I thought I'd give it a go. Work was paying so no biggie if I didn't like it ;-)

After a couple of days use, I must say I like it a lot. It takes a bit of getting used to - I find myself hitting the backspace key a little more than usual because keys aren't quite were I am used to them being, but I think over time I will get used to this.

My wrist's are definately better come the end of the day, so I would have to give this keyboard two thumbs up.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Borland to sell of IDE tools - including Delphi, JBuilder


It will be the end of an era for me when Borland sells off it's core IDE line. I have been a user of Borland products since the late 80's. I learnt to program using Turbo Pascal 5.5 and Turbo C/C++ 1.0. These were great products and were well ahead of their competition of the day.

Infact Borland were THE dev tools company. The introduction of Delphi in 1995 only confirmed this. I was in awe of Delphi 1.0 it really was an amazing product. I have used Delphi ever since.

I don't think the brass at Borland really knew what they had in the early 90's. They changed their name to Inprise trying to corner the enterprise market, and they even put out an Office competitor. In reality they were a tools company.

As a Delphi developer in the last few years I have been a little disappointed with Borland. I can only assume how C++ Builders feel. Delphi 8 was truely bad, 2005 although being good had a lot of problems,and I haven't even bothered with 2006 to this point.

So, is the selling of Borland's IDE line up a good or bad thing?
It's hard to say at this point, but I have a feeling it can only be positive. Hopefully the buyer will find the passion that Borland had in the early years. As long time Delphi, CBuilder, JBuilder users we deserve it.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

IE 7 Beta 2 - initial impressions

I have been using IE 7 for a while now. I used beta 1 and now am using beta 2.

I like the new look of beta 2, but some of the icons aren't that obvious. You have to go searching to find the refresh and stop buttons. Favourties are not obvious either.

Hopefully some more thought will be put into this before the finished version.

Tabbed browsing is great, although has been around a while in Firefox, Opera and others.

One thing they I think haven't got right in IE 7 that Opera does well:
links that open a new window open to a new tab in Opera, in IE 7 it still opens to a new window.

Other than that it looks like a good step forward for IE.

Anders Interview - good watch

I just watched the "Behind the Code" interview with Anders Hejlsberg.

I really like this guy. I have seen a few videos with him and they are always informative and make you think.

For those who don't know, Anders wrote the original Pascal Compiler which became Turbo Pascal, he was Chief Architect on Delphi at Borland, and then moved to MS. There he worked on WFC for Java and then as Chief Architect of the C# language.

I program in Delphi and C# and you can feel the hand Anders played in both.