Windows API Code Pack released

Microsoft has released the Windows API Code Pack. This library (which requires .NET 3.5 or .NET 4.0) gives developers access to some of the items in the Windows Vista and Windows 7 APIs that are not available in the .NET Framework. It looks like all of the items are Windows Vista and Windows 7 specific, so you’ll want to skip this if Windows XP or Windows 2003 compatibility is important to you.

Time to upgrade Ruby

A problem has been found in Ruby’s BigDecimal library, which is activated by very large numbers. The problem causes the Ruby interpreter to crash, and since Rails uses ActiveRecord, this means that just about everyone will need to upgrade their Ruby interpreter. The issue is fixed after Ruby 1.8.6-p368, 1.8.7-p160, and all versions of 1.9.1 are fine.

Mono Tools for Visual Studio in a limited preview

The Mono Project is previewing its new Mono Tools for Visual Studio project, which allows developers using Visual Studio to work with Mono from Visual Studio. For now, you need to be invited to the preview, but it is easy to sign up for an invitation. I believe that this will be a very good step for the Mono project, and developers looking to expand the potential reach of their products.

Details on Expression Web 3

I think that Expression Web is an excellent tool, so I was excited to read S. Somasegar’s details about the upcoming version 3 of Expression Web. It includes a SuperPreview function, which not only allows you to see how different browsers render the page side-by-side, it also includes rulers, DOM inspection, and code highlighting to allow you to precisely identify the causes of differences in rendering. Photoshop PSD import is improved; TFS version control is supported; and publishing options are improved as well.

Titanium now works on iPhone and Android

Appcelerator’s Titanium RIA system is now functioning on the iPhone and Android mobile systems. This gives developers an open-source alternative for mobile development in an environment that doesn’t require them to learn the underlying OS. In addition, Web developers do not need to learn new skills, since Titanium uses HTML, JavaScript, and CSS for development.

Good lesson on “out of memory” errors

On MSDN, Eric Lippert has written a good piece about “out of memory” errors. If your application works with a lot of data, I suggest you give it a read; even if you never see that particular error, it’s a good primer on how Windows handles memory.

Keeping the page position after ASP.NET postback

The ASP.NET team has a useful tip on their blog about how to maintain the vertical position of an ASP.NET page after the postback. This is quite a useful tip!


Disclosure of Justin’s industry affiliations: Justin James has a working arrangement with Microsoft to write an article for MSDN Magazine. He also has a contract with Spiceworks to write product buying guides.


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