Language/library updatesNative Extensions for Silverlight
Microsoft has released a library called Native Extensions for Silverlight that allows Silverlight applications to interact with Windows. It's an interesting idea, but I feel that if you want that library, you need to be using WPF instead of trampling the Silverlight sandbox boundary.Visual COBOL R3
Micro Focus released Visual COBOL R3, which allows COBOL apps to be deployed to UNIX, Linux, .NET (including Azure), and Java (new in R3) servers."Three Screen" programming in .NET
Microsoft released a CTP of the Portable Tools Library, which allows developers to write an app and deploy it to Silverlight, desktops, and Windows Phone 7.Dryad hits CTP
Dryad, Microsoft's distributed computing tech for .NET, has been released as a CTP after six long years. It is based on LINQ, which makes it familiar to .NET programmers.
Tools and productsJaspersoft announces Big Data reporting
Standing Cloud opened its application network - it's like an app store for applications hosted in the cloud. It's a neat idea, and it can be a way to get you going quickly.Selenium 2 and Sauce Labs support
Selenium 2 has been released, and Sauce Labs supports it with its cloud-hosted Selenium offering. The big points are that they now support testing of Web apps on mobile platforms, and that the API is revamped and easier to work with. They've also made a ton of changes under the hood to make it easier to add new features going forward.Sho: scientific computing in .NET
Microsoft Research released Sho, which makes it easier for scientists to access the .NET ecosystem when they program.NetBeans drops Ruby on Rails support
In a turn of events sure to spark conspiracy theories, NetBeans is dropping support for Ruby on Rails. It isn't just that they are ceasing development — which is understandable given the low usage rates they quote - it's that they are removing something that already exists. It's easy to see how folks could see this as another blow that Oracle is dealing to the open source community.
Editorial and commentaryNewest Appcelerator mobile survey released
Appcelerator's quarterly survey of mobile developers continues to fascinate. Interest in tablets (including Android and BlackBerry) is rising, while interest in TV is plummeting. Interestingly enough, Windows Phone 7 is getting a huge jump in developer interest.Google's HTML5 video mess
Google is saying that Chrome will not support MPEG for the video tag. Tom Krazit at CNET wrote an article summarizing the furor around the Web over this decision.More HTML5 drama
Stephen Shankland at CNET talks about the controversy started when HTML5 editor Ian Hickson stated that he wants to drop the "5" from the "HTML5" designation.
Tips and tricksMVVM explained
Jeremy Likness wrote an in-depth post explaining the history of Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM) and how to use it. It is an outstanding piece.SSRS chart tutorial
Michael Garrett at Simple Talk wrote an article that shows how to get started using charts in SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) 2008.Developing for SharePoint 2010 with Visual Studio 2010
Dave McMahon wrote a good article that shows how to use Visual Studio 2010 to write SharePoint 2010 applications.Upgrade from VSS to TFS
There is a new Developer Training Kit for SharePoint 2010. SharePoint has quietly become a hot commodity, and it might be a good career move to learn it.
EventsMobile solutions with PHP and Android
Voting is open for the Eclipse Community Awards until February 25, 2011 at 5:00pm EST.Business of Software 2011 conference announced
The annual Business of Software conference will be in Boston October 24 - 26. I'd love to be able to make it to this event.
Justin James is an OutSystems MVP, architect, and developer with expertise in SaaS applications and enterprise applications.