Language/library updates

IronRuby 1.0 released

Wow, I’ve literally been waiting for years for IronRuby 1.0 to be released, and it is finally out. Sadly, it is a tale of what happens when an eagerly awaited technology takes far too long to be delivered.

A year or two ago, IronRuby was one of the most eagerly anticipated technologies out there; now, everyone forgot about it to the point where it was out for nearly a month before I heard about it. This project was mismanaged in terms of delivering updated roadmaps and communicating with the public (their Web site was never updated, their RSS feed was filled with spam). We got tired of waiting and moved on to other things. This makes me sad because I really was excited about IronRuby, but I got burnt out on waiting. Maybe I’ll give it a test spin soon anyway.

Google Moderator’s API open

Google Moderator is a system used for collecting feedback from groups. Google has made an API for Google Moderator available to developers.

Tools and products

CodeRush Xpress for free

Microsoft has worked out a deal to make CodeRush Xpress free for all Visual Studio 2010 users.

SQL Server 2008 R2 includes CEP

The recently released SQL Server 2008 R2 features StreamInsight, which allows for Complex Event Processing (CEP). If you’re interested in CEP, you’ll want to take a look at StreamInsight.

SpringSource acquires GemStone

SpringSource has bought GemStone, which makes a number of interesting data management/caching solutions, as well as the GemStone/S Smalltalk environment. It is my opinion that SpringSource and EngineYard are jockeying hard for a slot right behind Microsoft, Eclipse, and Oracle, and the race is getting very interesting.

Sauce Labs hits milestone

Sauce Labs, the providers of on-demand Selenium testing, announced its 1,000,000th test. I spent some time talking to the folks at Sauce Labs (primarily Jason Huggins) to learn more about Selenium and Sauce Labs’ offering of Selenium.

Selenium is a system for mimicking a user visiting a Web site, and capturing what that looks like to the end user. In addition, you can write tests that ensure that the proper responses are received. Sauce Labs takes this system and puts it in the cloud; this allows Sauce Labs to run dozens of tests in parallel against a variety of browser configurations (including all major operating systems). As a result, you no longer have to maintain dozens of configurations or a test lab. Sauce Labs can tunnel into your site via SSH if you are working on a not-for-public-use version. After the test is run, you can see a video of what the user experienced, as well as programmatically verify the results. It is also able to check AJAX applications.

Pricing starts at $7/month for 200 test minutes and additional minutes are 5 cents each, but there are also other packages available.

Silverlight Unit Test Framework updated

Microsoft Engineer Jeff Wilcox has the details about the newest version of the Silverlight Toolkit’s improved Silverlight Unit Test Framework.

VS 2010 Extension Manager and PowerCommands

Scott Guthrie outlines the Extension Manager for Visual Studio 2010 and the new PowerCommands extensions, which are filled with useful goodies.

IE 9 Preview 2 released

Microsoft released the second preview of IE 9. It’s doing substantially better on the ACID3 tests (still not good enough, though). There is still no release date announced.

db4o 8.0 RC

Versant announced that the release candidate for db4o 8.0 is available.

Titanium 1.3 released

Appcelerator released version 1.3 of its Titanium tool for mobile development. There are a lot of good features in here, including the ability to view the XCode output for iPhone apps, iPad support, and Android improvements. Appcelerator said that Titanium will work on BlackBerry soon.

Editorial and commentary

Hilarious false history of programming languages

TechRepublic IT Consultant blogger Chip Camden pointed me to this very funny fake history of programming languages.

Mashery polls developers regarding APIs

Check out the results of a Mashery poll that asked developers about various third-party APIs and how they use them. There’s some useful information in there, particularly if you are developing an API.

Excellent summary of the HTML 5 video situation

ZDNet blogger Ed Bott wrote a good article that explains the situation around HTML 5 video and video codec patents.

Predicting which bugs get fixed

Microsoft Research published an interesting study that examines statistical methods of predicting which bugs get fixed.

Tips and tricks

Using jQuery from ASP.NET

Scott Guthrie wrote an article about using jQuery from ASP.NET and ASP.NET MVC, with regards to data linking and templates.

How to sign a Silverlight XAP

If you are working in Silverlight, you’ll want to read John Papa’s article on how to sign a XAP. Digital signing allows the end user to know that the app is legit, and allows the app to run with higher privileges.

Dynamically loading a DLL in Silverlight

If you’d like to save size in your Silverlight app, Mike Snow wrote an article on how to dynamically download a DLL in a Silverlight app, allowing you to get the app started and onscreen and then load the needed components.

ASP.NET MVC validation globalization

Sometimes you need different validation rules based on the user’s location settings. Phil Haack shows you how to do this with ASP.NET MVC.

Double-click in Silverlight

Apparently, Silverlight doesn’t support double-clicking. I find this appalling. All the same, Mike Snow shows you how to handle it.


Voices That Matter conference

The 2010 Voices That Matter conference will take place June 28 – 29 in San Francisco. It is focused on Web design and Web technologies that interact with the client systems (as opposed to server-side stuff) like HTML 5 and CSS 3.

Embarcadero’s DataRage 2 event

Embarcadero is holding a three-day online database training session on May 25 – 27.


Disclosure of Justin’s industry affiliations: Justin James has a contract with Spiceworks to write product buying guides; he has a contract with OpenAmplify, which is owned by Hapax, to write a series of blogs, tutorials, and articles; and he has a contract with OutSystems to write articles, sample code, etc.


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