Model Driven Development a Microsoft Defintion

This is an episode of dotnetrocks that deals with Model Driven Development.
It defines MDD as when your application is code generated from a given definition file or interprits a data file. This seems to me that MS has finally picked up on the ideas expressed in the language TCL and are merely adding a user frindly gui to link them together.

Chris Sells did admit that MS did not invent MDD, just now they are tring to bring them to the fore.

MDD really is the practice of using meta-data where appropriate.
Delphi has had this for years in the seperation of a form into it’s dfm and pas components.
It has been possible to change a delphi dfm to add static components without touching the code.

VB.NET not so painful

I have recently taken over the maintenence of a VB.NET project.
I don’t have to to rewrite it in C# (as I would like).
It was not as painful as I had expected.

The VS.NET IDE varies depending upon the language that you are using.
The VB.NET version makes it harder to find event handlers associated with an object.
It’s automatic reformating is painful – it tries too hard.
In addition there is a major flaw with the editor assingning line breaks – if you declare a private variable starting with an underscore then the line under the section break obscures the underscore
leaving you with apparently a diffferently named variable.

The automatic complilation can be useful – it does not work automatically when you only change the scope of a variable.

All-in-all it is not an unplesant language to use (which is different from the old VB) but I would not choose to use it for a new project.

sed saves the day

The following command:

        sed -e 1,250000d report.tsv > output.txt

Removes the first 1/4 million rows from the given file before passing the output to a file.

This is very useful when a tsv file is 15 Mb – way too big for excel to view.
sed may be old, but it does do the job quickly that very few other tools handle so well.

Web Services and Web References (part 2)

I have just finished a web services training course.
Apparently setting a web reference uses wsdl.exe in the background so the two are equivalent for creating a proxy. However wsdl.exe does provide far more control.

The problem comes with the update web reference option. If you have decorated the proxy with attributes (such as a soap extension) these are lost upon regeneration. There does not seem to be a clean way of managing this. We really need more control of the template than WSDL.exe provides. I am sure that xslt could be used…

.NET 2.0 does promise more control over this generation.


I am not sure how much XP is an upgrade over Windows 2000.
OK it may have a little better hardware support but I don’t see the
user interface shift (which I try hard to switch off) as being any benefit.
The product activation code is a pain in the backside – I refuse to do so for XP itself.

Interesting Genetics project

This is genetic migration project.
You have to pay $100 to take part but get the the results in about 6 weeks.
This gives the migration route of your ancestors.

It is this kind of project that makes IBM stand out as a research company.
When the project is complete the data will be released into the public domain.

AJAX and IFrames

Having had a quick look at AJAX it looks strangly familiar.
It looks like I reinvented the wheel, and mine only fitted on Fords.

Last year I implemented something very similar (although IE only).
I had some status information that I needed to keep upto date on a web page but did not want the flicker associated with a refesh. So I added a 1 pixel IFrame with its own refresh interval. It used javascript and DHTML to update it’s parent frame with the new content. This looks exactly how AJAX works only it uses a http method to call and obtain an xml document.
It is amazing how things come around.