All posts by Eric

This is How Microsoft Sells Windows Phone 7 To Me?

So Microsoft released Windows Phone 7 last week. I’ve talked about the phone before. I was pretty disappointed with their ads though:

YouTube: Season of the Witch

I’m baffled. The way the ad looks to me someone was texting while driving and almost killed everyone in the commercial! And then everyone is too busy texting about it to notice each other…

It’s time for a phone to save us from our phones is the big take-away line. The problem I see with this ad is that it condemns all phones as causing accidents and distracting people.

Microsoft: people love using their phones! I do, even my lousy Storm. Phones are distracting because they’re good. Sell me a phone I want to use and does the things I need. In a way, I think that is what you’re saying, but I’m seeing something different.

Internet Explorer 9 Beta and HTML5

I downloaded the latest Internet Explorer 9 beta this morning and ran it against html5test.com, and it scored 96 points out of 300. Chrome gets 231 points and even Firefox 3.6 gets 139 (4.0 beta gets 215).
I’m more than a little disappointed. It looks like Internet Explorer is going to continue the tradition of obsolescence and suckage.
Chrome has been my default browser for a long time, and I’m glad that it is! The new IE9 is fast, but that is probably because it doesn’t do anything yet.
Here is hoping that the IE9 team brings in more adoption before IE9 releases.

Windows Phone 7 Thoughts

Yesterday I saw a preview of a Windows Phone 7 (WP7, or #WP7 on Twitter) when Joey deVilla and John Bristowe were in town for a one day coffee and code at a Second Cup in downtown Edmonton.
I’m not going to do a big preview of the phone, I didn’t get that kind of access. I tried out a demo phone running Windows Phone 7 software. Engadget did a great preview with lots of details. Is Windows 7 going to kill the iPhone? I really doubt it. Will it kill Android? I think its likely to take a lot of market from Android, but I’ll talk about that later.
I’m not interested in Apps. WP7 will have Twitter apps, and has Facebook integration built in. Probably a lot of the popular iPhone and Android software will eventually get ported over to WP7. As a web developer I am most interested in the web browsing experience, and it looked pretty good. Continue reading

NoSQL and the End of Object Relational Models

There is a lot of buzz on the NoSQL track these days, and it is gaining a lot of traction in the blogger world. But in the old school world of big business and big government there isn’t much movement, at least not that I’ve seen. In these industries there is still a lot of entrenchment with database companies like Oracle and Microsoft. These companies have invested a lot of money into their relational database infrastructure.

Its hard to see the “death” of the relational database right now. I don’t think a switch-over from relational databases to non-relational databases is coming – but there is a game changer coming; another new technology getting a lot of buzz and traction in the blog world: Cloud Computing. I think the biggest driver in changing from relational to non-relational databases will be The Cloud.

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Oh Unit Tests? Wherefore Art Thou, Unit Tests?

There are few things that help a developer maintain an application better than Unit Tests. There are a few things that make me nervous when I open a solution from VSS, but nothing makes me more nervous than a lack of unit tests projects.

I know the Unit Testing drum has been beaten for years, so instead of getting on a soap box and berating the Internet for not Unit Testing, I’m going to give you a story about a recent project I worked on, and how unit testing helped me succeed.

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Blocking Google

Rupert Murdoch has been blustering about Google stealing his content and shutting down access to Google to any of his websites, including MySpace and some newspapers. This is a really strange position and most pundits, including myself (if I can call myself a pundit), think it is extremely poor judgement. Murdoch wants people paying for his content – probably because the advertising revenue he’s getting isn’t covering costs yet.

Google isn’t the Internet, and they aren’t the only search tool in town, but the idea that Google is stealing your content is pure ignorance. Google drives traffic to your sites. It’s what Google does – sell advertising by getting people to stay on the Internet as long as possible! Having Google link to your content is good news for any publisher!

But then I read this post at Neowin and my mind reeled. Microsoft is encouraging websites/content owners to block Google and partner with Bing, Microsoft’s search tool! OK, way to go Microsoft for trying to capitalize on a billionaire’s lack of internet savvy, but this isn’t good for Bing! But Murdoch wants people to pay for the content on his sites! If I have to pay to visit all of the search results I get from Bing there is no way I would switch from Google.

This could be an opportunity, but Bing is still the real underdog. Google is a real Goliath, but we haven’t found a real David in Bing yet. I wish Bing luck, but I still Google almost everything.

A New Start, A New Discipline

I’ve been working as a consultant for a few years now, and while I think I’ve enjoyed a fair bit of success, one thing that is missing for me is the ownership of the projects I’m working on. In the last two years I’ve worked on five or six different web sites and web applications: one was put on indefinite hiatus and I’m unsure of its current state, one was completed by another developer, and at least three were canceled just short of completion because of lack of funds. It’s the canceled projects that are the most discouraging because excellent progress was made and hard work was put into them, but now they are in limbo and out of my hands!

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