Programming news: IronRuby 1.0 RC2, VS2010 RC, iPhone usability

Read about IronPython 2.6.1 RC1, Embarcadero's ToolCloud, Intel's Parallel Universe Portal, Azure pricing and SLA, EclipseCon, and more.


Language/library updates

IronRuby 1.0 RC2 available The second IronRuby 1.0 Release Candidate is out, and Charlie Calvert has a good collection of links related to it. I'm really looking forward to IronRuby getting a proper release. I haven't had a chance to really work with Ruby, in no small part because I don't want to have to learn another environment. ASP.NET MVC 2 RC2 out The second release candidate of ASP.NET MVC is now available. DryadLINQ available for wider usage DryadLINQ is a system for running LINQ queries across Windows HPC servers in a cluster. Microsoft has updated its license for use in commercial settings. .NET 4 to include charting controls .NET 4 will include a variety of charting controls for Windows Forms and ASP.NET. This is good news for developers who want to save some money, as chart controls are often a bit expensive. F# gets a near-final release In conjunction with the .NET 4/Visual Studio 2010 RC release, F# has a new release in a near-final state, along with a back port for Visual Studio 2008, Silverlight, .NET 2.0, and Mono. IronPython 2.6.1 RC1 available The release candidate for the next IronPython release is now ready for download, with a number of bug fixes and improvements.

Tools and products

Visual Studio 2010 RC available The Release Candidate for Visual Studio 2010 is now available for download. An important note is the go-live license, which means you can take applications built with it and put them in production. Tim Heuer has a helpful FAQ to the release as well. Micro Focus Remote Development Option enables development from afar Micro Focus released its Remote Development Option for its Eclipse-based COBOL IDE. This new add-in allows developers to work on code that is stored on the server, which reduces the hassles of deploying it to the server for testing. MuleSoft puts Tomcat in the cloud Java developers looking to deploy apps in a cloud model will want to take a look at Cloudcat. MuleSoft's new Apache Tomcat system, Cloudcat offers commercial support for cloud-hosted Tomcat applications. Embarcadero ToolCloud simplifies tool deployment Embarcadero is rolling out ToolCloud, a customer hosted solution that allows developers to use their needed tools without worrying about licensing headaches. At the same time, the "Instant On" technology for rapid tool deployment has been enabled across the product line. Intel's Parallel Universe Portal analyses applications Intel has a new Parallel Universe Portal; part of it is a system to analyze applications that use threaded applications and give you performance profiles.

Editorial and commentary

Mark Miller has written a very good summary of Charles Babbage and his efforts at building his mechanical computers. Great reading for anyone interested in the history of computing.

Interesting post about developer-to-sales ratio Joel Spolsky wrote an insightful piece about how the ratio of developers to sales and marketing people changes as a company grows and what it means for outsourcing.

Tips and tricks

Silverlight datagrid row highlighting trick Tim Heuer has posted a useful Silverlight trick to ensure that the selected datagrid row in a master/detail view stays highlighted when the focus is on the details. iPhone usability guidelines Jakob Nielsen wrote an article about the importance of making iPhone applications easy to use up-front. I feel that this article is applicable to any mobile developer. Using multiple mice in an application Microsoft has released an SDK allowing multiple mice to be used in an application. Neat, especially for games or collaborative items! Debugging ASP.NET generated code David Ebbo has a good article on how to debug the code that gets generated by ASP.NET. Using the TPL to create atomic transactions Zlatoko Michailov has a great article on the PFx blog about how the Task Parallel Library (shipping in .NET 4) can be used to create atomic transactions that roll back on failure. I never thought to use the tasks like this before, but it makes sense, it is simple, and it works well without obfuscating any code. Azure pricing clarity Brian Hitney has a good article that describes the Azure pricing and how to save money if you are using it. He also has a short article clarifying the Azure SLA a bit. Silverlight snippets Jeff Wilcox has published a large collection of Silverlight snippets for download. Add jQuery IntelliSense to Visual Studio Scott Guthrie has details on how to add jQuery to Visual Studio's IntelliSense system.


Time to submit posters or BoF for EclipseCon EclipseCon has an open call for people to submit posters for the event and "Bird of a Feather" sessions. DrupalCon SF 2010 DrupalCon San Francisco is occurring April 19th - 21st at the Moscone Center. Tickets are $195 for the three-day event. The session list makes it look like a worthwhile event for anyone seriously using Drupal. Russia and China dominate international programming competition Russian and Chinese teams dominated the 34th annual ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest. The only team in the top 10 outside of Russia and China was from Poland. While it was not a surprise to see teams from Carnegie Mellon, MIT, and Stanford (amongst others) tied for top spots as far as U.S. colleges are concerned, it is extremely troubling that none of them cracked the top 10. Columbia Code Camp success The Columbia Code Camp was a great success. Despite a snowstorm that prevented some of our speakers and many of our attendees from coming, the turnout was still tremendous, especially for a first time event. I did my Parallel Extensions Presentation and a brand new one called "Developing Your Career." For the second one, Stacy Lanham (a recruiter with SystemTec) came with me to answer questions. We are already looking forward to next year's event!


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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