Monday, August 27, 2007

Why a good error message is important

I was trying to change my private email in one of the forums I'm subscripted. The thing is that after clicking the save button it said:

"Sorry, an Error has Occurred"

"Unfortunately an error has occurred during the processing of your page request. If you were attempting to submit a new post, your post may not have been recorded. Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience."

And some links to go back, help, etc. No helpful at all. I searched through the forum posts to find out if someone had has the same issue and I found that the private email address couldn't be duplicated. In that moment I remembered I had another user with that address so I could take the steps to be able to change it in a few seconds. If the error message had been something like "The email address is being used by another user. Please choose a different mail and try again" it would be a significant save of time.

The cause of the error is probably due to they are not validating the email address, so after receiving the generic sql error they show the generic (not useful at all) "Sorry, and Error has Occurred". 

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

"Organize Usings" in VS code name "Orcas" ala Eclipse

Those that have used Eclipse will probably miss the ctrl+shift+o shortcut ("Organize Imports") when you switch to VS. But now VS code name "Orcas" provides a "new" feature (which unofficially existed in Whidbey) that allows you to remove and sort usings:

So if you don't want miss the Eclipse feature anymore you can add the shortcut going to Tools->Options->Environment->Keyboard

Search the RemoveAndSort command and press the ctrl+shift+o combination. Note that the shorcut is currently used by the OpenProject command and it will lost if you confirm to use the combination for the RemoveAndSort command. 

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Sunday, August 05, 2007

GAX 1.3 is out!

This new version of GAX is a must if you are thinking to develop Guidance Packages using VS Codename "Orcas" (previous version of GAX didn't work with the latest version of VS) and it will also provide some new features if your are developing with VS 2005.

A welcomed “fix” is the enhancement of the registration process. Now it's smarter about whether to install VB templates based on the presence of VB as a Visual Studio's product. This means that if your Guidance Package contains VB templates (.vstemplates for VB projects or items) you won't need to add conditional logic in your installer to avoid the registration failure when the package is being installed or registered.

The GAX installer is also improved to use WIX technology but the GAT installer project that is unfolded when you create a new Guidance Package using GAT is still the same VS Setup Project.

At last, the Experimental Hive registration is now a built-in feature in GAX allowing you to register your Guidance Packages in both Normal and Experimental hives.

So it seems that this CTP is a necessary and welcomed update for the runtime but not for the UX of developing Guidance Packages.

Here you have the links:

- Grigory Melnik's announcement
- GAX July 2007 CTP download
- GAT July 2007 CTP download

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Microsoft Volta

What Microsoft Volta is? Take a look at these videos in channel 9:

1. Eirk Meijer: Volta - Wrapping the Cloud with .NET - Part 1
2. Eirk Meijer: Volta - Wrapping the Cloud with .NET - Part 2  

From the video introduction:

"Volta is an evolving research project focused on exploring ways to innovate data-intensive programming models. Volta is currently exploring a lean-programming inspired toolkit for building web-based and mobile applications by stretching the .NET programming model to cover the Cloud.

Volta is exploring innovation that empowers programmers to delay decisions about tier-splitting to the last possible responsible moment by using either code refactoring or declarative annotations. "


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