Posts tagged Development

IE8 before year end…


At Microsoft’s Financial Analyst Meeting Thursday, Bill Veghte, who heads up the company’s Windows and online services division, said that Windows 7 is progressing well and confirmed that Internet Explorer 8 will ship before the end of the year.

Beta 2 of IE8 is slated for release next month, with a focus on new features for consumers and IT professionals. The first beta — released in March — was focused largely on developers, and Microsoft said the long delay between betas was due to the heavy feedback it received.

Until Thursday, however, Microsoft had remained cagey about when IE8 would become available for the general public. Veghte demoed the updated browser to FAM attendees, noting that a final build will ship “later this year.” Microsoft hasn’t said whether there will be a third beta before IE8 launches.There are now two preparatory Web sites for building anticipation around IE8, the newest being a heavily revised Internet Explorer Developer Center on MSDN. This comes in addition to the marketing Web site for users, which continues to show pictures of IE8 Beta 1.

Veghte also discussed Windows 7 on Thursday, saying that “the product is tracking very, very well.” He didn’t discuss any features of the new operating system, on which Microsoft has largely remained silent, but said development was looking good.

Veghte expects Windows 7 to meet Microsoft’s commitment of “three years from general availability of Windows Vista.” That indicates it will become available to consumers in early 2010. Microsoft began talking about Windows 7 for the first time in late May, although hasn’t provided many specifics.

VS2008 SP1 is a “pretty big milestone”


First, it was Windows XP SP1. Then Windows Vista SP3. Now it’s the Visual Studio and .NET Framework 3.5 SP1, due by the end of summer. The connection? Microsoft’s service packs keep growing in importance as a means of updating key products between official releases.

Promoting the first SP for Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5, officially launched just six months ago, Microsoft has said SP1 – like its predecessors – is no ordinary SP.

Ian Ellison-Taylor, general manager for Microsoft’s presentation platforms and tools team, called SP1 a “pretty big milestone” because it quickly connects web-side applications to databases through a new framework. SP1 also cuts the size of the .NET Framework 3.5, which was tailored for Windows Vista, by 85 per cent to make it easier to download and run on Windows XP machines.

“This is a big inflection point,” Ellison-Taylor promised The Reg. “The traditional SP is a bunch of bug fixes – good stuff but not headline stuff.”

SP1 is Microsoft’s attempt to make Visual Studio more suited to web-side development, and see off Adobe Systems’ Dreamweaver. “It’s much easier than using Dreamweaver 2004 for SQL Server connections,” Ellison-Taylor claimed.

What can we expect this time?

According to Ellison-Taylor, the SP introduces an ADO entity framework that lets you program using high-level objects, picking your database and tables, and that does the heavy lifting by connecting to and sucking in data. The framework talks to the database and pulls in the objects for connection to an ASP.NET template.

You edit data on the site, and changes will be updated inside the database. SP1 will reduce the amount of time spent manually coding and linking to connect, and then synchronize changes between the website and the server, so you can get on with scripting the interface.

Out of the box, SP1 will connect to SQL Server 2008, MySQL, IBM’s DB2 and Oracle, and there’s a pluggable framework for connection to other databases.

IBM tool to analyze code mistake on the fly


IBM’s Rational Software unit today unveiled a development tool that can scan and check code as it’s written to uncover errors before they make their way further into the development life cycle where fixes are far more costly.

The IBM Rational Software Analyzer automatically scans the new code up to 700 times before an application is complete. Its operation is similar to the grammar check function in Microsoft Word, according to IBM.

“We unfortunately see a lot of defects in code. You really want to be able to minimize those defects. The earlier you do it in the life cycle, the less expensive it becomes,” said Dave Locke, director of product marketing at Rational.

For example, Locke added, if a programmer is writing an application to most likely be used in North America, its code will likely reflect the needs of English-speaking users. But if that application also needs to support Hebrew-speaking users in Israel, changes will need to be made as to how the words are displayed, he noted.

The code’s Java underpinnings have “to deal with this difference in how you handle and parse the strings or the language in the code,” Locke said. Deploying an application built for English-speaking users in Israel would require spending “hundreds of thousands of dollars to go back to the program I just wrote to fix it. With Software Analyzer, rules are in the tool so errors are flagged in the first development effort vs. having to go back.”

When errors are flagged, programmers can click on a box to find out what the errors are and to find suggestions and sample code for fixing the problem, Locke added. The tool can also be used to flag known security weaknesses so that when a programmer mistakenly adds such security shortcomings, they can be eliminated right away, he said.

Developed by IBM Labs and built as an Eclipse plug-in, the new tool is available now. A developer edition is $3,500 per user; an enterprise edition is $50,000 per server with unlimited users.

Wireless Apps builders prefer .Net & Java


Mobile versions of .Net and Java currently lead the way as preferred platforms for wireless application developers, but newcomers in this space, Mac OS and Android, are expected to pick up steam, Evans Data said.

Results of a survey being released Tuesday by Evans have 43 percent of developers targeting Microsoft’s .Net Compact Framework and 42 percent opting for Java ME (Micro Edition). The survey gauged the views of 384 developers worldwide in May and June.

Also ranking in the survey were Windows Mobile 6.0, with 31 percent; and the following contenders: Linux, 25 percent; Nokia Series 80, 22 percent; Symbian, 20 percent; Windows Mobile 5.0; 19 percent; Java, 18 percent; Palm OS, 15 percent; RIM OS, 14 percent; Mac OS 10, 8 percent; and Android, 7 percent.

But Mac OS X development, which covers Apple’s popular iPhone device, and Android, the mobile platform project led by Google, are expected to grow in popularity, said John Andrews, Evans president and CEO, in an interview on Monday.

“We don’t see these numbers as negative. In fact, we see them [as a positive step since] they’re actually on the radar screen this early in their lifecycle,” Andrews said.

Android systems are not even on the market yet; they are due in the second half of this year. Android is under the jurisdiction of the Open Handset Alliance.

Evans does not expect Mac OS X and Android to displace any of the entrenched leaders. But gains in market share by these two platforms could come at the expense of platforms such as Symbian, Windows Mobile 5.0, or Palm OS, Andrews said.

Fifty percent of developers included in the survey were building browser- or Web content-based applications, while 30 percent were developing ecommerce applications, 24 percent were building wireless portal applications, and 24 percent were developing CRM systems.

Target hardware platforms cited in the survey included Nokia, sought after by 56 percent of respondents, followed by Motorola with 33 percent, and Sony Ericcson, at 29 percent.

Obstacles cited to building wireless applications include cross-platform testing requirements and lack of access to device APIs. Also, more than one-third of developers were building applications for external use by their company’s customers, Evans found. Additionally, the company learned that location-based information is used far more in development in Asia and Europe than North or South America.

Source : InfoWorld

Microsoft promotes ARAX


At the RailsConf conference for Ruby on Rails developers in Portland, Ore., on May 30, John Lam, creator of the IronRuby project at Microsoft, told eWEEK that as Microsoft’s Silverlight rich Internet application environment takes off it will provide Ruby developers with a way to deliver AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML)-style applications without having to use JavaScript.

“If you’re a Ruby programmer and you like Ruby as a language, context-switching into JavaScript is just something you have to do,” Lam said. “It’s a tax. You’re trading productivity away arbitrarily because that’s just what runs in the browser. And it’s much more interesting when you can run the same language on both sides [the client and the server] so you don’t have to do that context switch.”

In essence, using ARAX, Ruby developers would not have to go through the machinations of using something like the RJS (Ruby JavaScript) utility, where they write Ruby code and RJS generates JavaScript code to run on the client, Lam said. “Sure, you could do it that way, but then at some point you might have to add some JavaScript code that adds some custom functionality on the client yourself,” he said. “So there’s always that sense of, ‘Now I’m in another world. And wouldn’t it be nice if I have this utility class I wrote in Ruby…’ Today if I want to use it in the browser I have to port it to JavaScript. Now I can just run it in the browser.”

Full Article : eWeek

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