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CLR vNext with side-by-side support
IE8 with HTML 5 improvements
Mono at Microsoft PDC
Windows Server “Dublin” technologies
Mono v2.0 is out
A revived browser race – the web application is not dead
Final WCF Adapter for BizTalk Server 2006 Update
WCF and WS-Compression
The Importance of Mono
WCF Adapter for BizTalk Server 2006 Update
WCF Adapter for BizTalk Server 2006 Update

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# Saturday, October 11, 2008
CLR vNext with side-by-side support
Saturday, October 11, 2008 10:19:31 AM UTC ( Architecture )

Reading around the PDC site for some scoops into the future, I’m pleased to see one session covering how the CLR vNext will support side-by-side versioning of CLRs within the same process.

This may seem like a rather obscure requirement at first, but keep in mind we now have CLR v1.0, CLR v1.1, CLR v2.0 and the new CLR v2.0 shipped with .Net Framework 3.5 SP1. Luckily these CLRs and their libraries are largely compatible. However, over the years of .Net  the industry has written countless of components that they probably expect to be able to use for some time to come, even in-process. As our development tools and new frameworks keep pushing us up the stack to the next version of .Net, we will probably see some issues soon.

Hopefully, this feature goes beyond providing support for multiple Silverlight version within the same browser process, and enables us to use CLR 2.0 components from CLR vFuture. If this is the case, I'm looking forward to see how they will be providing interoperability, or if we’ll have to use an in-proc WCF channel for this purpose.

Maybe this may even be a hint that Microsoft is not expecting backwards compatibility between the current and future CLRs, and their libraries.

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IE8 with HTML 5 improvements
Saturday, October 11, 2008 10:00:44 AM UTC ( Web )

There is a very interesting post about AJAX improvements on the IEBlog. Looking past all the improvements in cross domain communication, I am particularly pleased to see that they are actively following the HTML 5 work, and implementing new functionality in accordance with the current working draft.

Also nice to see that IE8 features are becoming a part of the HTML 5 drafts.

In short, with all the focus around alternate browsers and standard compliance, it’s good to see that the IE team is hard at work.

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# Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Mono at Microsoft PDC
Wednesday, October 8, 2008 2:47:23 PM UTC ( Mono )

This was slightly unexpected, but I’m happily surprised that Miguel de Icaza will host an official session about Mono during this years Microsoft PDC in Los Angeles. Usually, we only see Microsoft employees presenting at this conference.

Perhaps Microsoft is warming up to Mono – it would allow development of .Net clients on other platforms – convenient for their new Cloud Services push?

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# Monday, October 6, 2008
Windows Server “Dublin” technologies
Monday, October 6, 2008 4:31:02 PM UTC ( Architecture | Dublin | Indigo )

PDC is approaching rapidly and Microsoft is opening up its communication around the next wave of technologies; one thing I believe to be particularly interesting is Codename Dublin.

This technology supplements Windows with much needed application platform components to enhance the WCF and WF design experience.  Among other things it includes infrastructure services for message correlation and forwarding, content-based routing and transaction compensation.

I guess you can look at WCF and WF as frameworks and Dublin as infrastructure services around those frameworks.

The Dublin release will follow the release of .Net Framework v4.0 and Visual Studio 2010.

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Mono v2.0 is out
Monday, October 6, 2008 2:12:05 PM UTC ( Architecture | Mono )

It’s a great day for cross platform .Net as Mono v2.0 is released. Now fully stocked with ADO.NET 2.0 / ASP.NET 2.0 / Windows Forms 2.0 as well as a C# 3.0 compiler and LINQ support. In other words, there are also some .Net 3.5 bits in there.

It also ships with a nice collection of ADO.NET providers that are not available in the Microsoft distribution, as well as the usual non-Windows native goodies.

Interesting to see that they are also bundling the C5 Generic Collection library, indicating that this is probably an area where the base class libraries need more work, features and standardization.

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# Sunday, October 5, 2008
A revived browser race – the web application is not dead
Sunday, October 5, 2008 1:59:48 PM UTC ( General )

Finally, the wheels have started turning again, and once again we are seeing a renewed browser race.

Personally I’m quite happy about this; the web browser is a very central part of my daily routine and I welcome the new improvements. Further, my company develops a web application frontend for our services which must support several browser types, and platforms. Primarily this means we’ll need to support Internet Explorer, FireFox and Safari.

The primary problem with this scenario is standards support, of which Internet Explorer 6.0 offers the biggest violations. Unfortunately, this browser accounts for about 65% of our traffic – probably because of our corporate client base. In my experience quite a few corporations are unable to upgrade Internet Explorer as it is required for existing web applications, intranets and so on. And, unlike most other browser manufacturers, Microsoft doesn’t support side-by-side installation of its browser stack. This may also be one of the reasons why we don’t see too many Vista clients in our logs. Perhaps, a multi-browser strategy can help our customers get into the current millennium – and we can justify moving our application to a more modern browser foundation.

Looking past these issues it is refreshing to see that when Google announced their new browser Google Chrome it didn’t ship with a new web renderer, but rather employed the proven and popular WebKit engine. This engine is also used by Safari and a breed of Nokia Phones. Luckily this fits well with our standards compliant rendering profile, and adding support for Chrome was a no-brainer. It does ship with its own JavaScript engine though, so if you’re application relies heavily on this you might need some more thorough testing. It will be very interesting to see how it looks once it gets out of beta stage.

It’s good to see standards being employed since I do believe that HTML based applications will be crucial for years to come. With the new IE8 betas we can finally see Acid2 compliance across the board. Also, most modern browsers also pass or score extremely high on the Acid3 tests. The latest addition being the daily builds of Google Chrome, or Chromium as it’s called, pushing a near perfect score. Once the latest wave of browser releases mature from their beta stage, we will probably see Acid3 compliance across the board -- with the unfortunate exception of IE8. Let us hope IE9 will catch up ;)

All in all, a mix of rants and hope – at least something is happening.

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# Friday, December 7, 2007
Final WCF Adapter for BizTalk Server 2006 Update
Friday, December 7, 2007 1:09:09 AM UTC ( BizTalk Server )

Now that BizTalk Server 2006 R2 is released, it marks the end of my WCF prototype adapter. This version of BizTalk has a production quality WCF integration in the box, not to mention the greatly improved adapter programming experience available in the WCF LOB Adapter SDK.

I would like to thank everyone that used this adapter for their proof of concept demos, presentations and just their eager for new technology. It was fun working on it, and I appreciate all of your great feedback and enthusiasm :)

If anyone for nostalgic reasons would like to have a look at it, it is still available on CodePlex.

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WCF and WS-Compression
Friday, December 7, 2007 12:50:23 AM UTC ( )

After writing a WS-Compression library for WSE a few years ago, we finally got around to porting it, or rather completely rewriting it, to fit a more modern WCF architecture. After some initial design discussions we decided to implement it as a WCF channel, largely because of its nature as a symmetric infrastructure protocol. That said, the WCF channel architecture leaves a lot to be desired when building supports for these kinds of protocols, where the actual communication pattern isn't that relevant. I am hoping that this is something the product team intends to make easier in the future.

The code was largely written by one of the developers on my team,  Andrew William Franks, and myself. If you have any comments or additions feel free to join the project, or leave a task in the work items list :)

Anyway, the source code is up on CodePlex for those of you interested in either a WCF custom channel sample or a WS-Compression stack.

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# Tuesday, April 10, 2007
The Importance of Mono
Tuesday, April 10, 2007 8:23:53 PM UTC ( Architecture | Mono )

I’ve just noticed a nice little article about the importance of Mono (.Net on other platforms). Mono is one of my favorite open source projects, not to mention the significance I feel it has in the .Net domain. Have a look.

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# Monday, February 19, 2007
WCF Adapter for BizTalk Server 2006 Update
Monday, February 19, 2007 11:26:05 PM UTC ( BizTalk Server | Indigo | Tools )

I've updated the WCF Adapter for BizTalk Server 2006, and uploaded binaries compatible NetFX 3.0 RTM.

Source code and binaries are available at CodePlex.

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# Sunday, February 18, 2007
WCF Adapter for BizTalk Server 2006 Update
Sunday, February 18, 2007 11:28:14 PM UTC ( BizTalk Server | Indigo | Tools )

I've updated to the WCF Adapter for BizTalk Server 2006 to work with .Net FX 3.0 RTM.

Sourcecode and binaries are available at CodePlex.

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