Programming news: PHP 5.3.6, NetBeans 7.0 RC1, WP7 UI design mistakes

Read about the next generation of C++, BlackBerry's expanded app support, Entity Framework 4.1, AgFx for Windows Phone 7 app development, and more.

Language/library updates

C++0x to be C++ 2011?

The next generation of C++ (commonly known as "C++0x") has been approved as a final draft by the ISO. C++0x has been in the works for eight years, putting it in competition with Duke Nukem Forever in the "is this vaporware or the real deal" category.

BlackBerry expands app support

In a widely rumored but still shocking move, BlackBerry is supporting Android applications on its upcoming PlayBook tablet. Rather lost in the announcement is that BlackBerry is also supporting native C/C++ apps.

PHP 5.3.6

PHP 5.3.6 is out, with a small number of minor enhancements and fixes. Also of note, PHP 5.2 is no longer supported.

EF 4.1 RC

The release candidate for Entity Framework (EF) 4.1 is out. It supports "EF Code First." I recently heard a speaker talk about EF 4.0 "restoring the confidence" in EF; frankly, I had none to begin with, and 4.0 only met me halfway. Hopefully, EF 4.1 can get the job finished.

Tools and products

NetBeans 7.0 RC1

NetBeans has put out a release candidate for NetBeans 7.0.

rPath X6

rPath has released rPath X6. rPath is an automated deployment tool that allows teams to rapidly and easily roll out applications (including the needed OS level dependencies) to a variety of cloud vendors regardless of the provider.

Sauce Builder to construct Selenium tests

Sauce Labs released the free tool Sauce Builder, for constructing tests to be used in its Sauce OnDemand testing offering. Unfortunately, it only seems to work in Firefox 3.6 or 4.X.

Notable upgrades, lowers prices

Notable, which is a lightweight, easy to use collaboration app, has streamlined its feature set, lowered prices, and upgraded a number of other features. I gave Notable a try last year, and I liked it a lot.

AgFx for WP7 app development

AgFx is now available on CodePlex. AgFx provides a basic framework and template for building Windows Phone 7 apps.

Editorial and commentary

Some great cartoons

Two very funny cartoons have come to my attention: Dilbert from March 23 and a recent The Joy of Tech strip.

Tips and tricks

Top 10 WP7 UI design mistakes

The Windows Phone Developer blog has a top 10 list of UI design mistakes. Almost all of the mistakes are applicable to all mobile platforms.


Rock, Paper, Azure coding challenge

Microsoft has a coding challenge where you can win an Xbox, a Kinect, or a $50 gift card in multiple weekly contests. You have to write a bot than can play rock, paper, scissors (with some interesting rule twists) and deploy it to Azure. The contest starts Friday, so get on it!

PayPal Android Developer Challenge

PayPal has a contest for Android apps that uses its payment platform. The grand prize is $25,000.

Eclipse Community Award winners

The Eclipse Foundation has announced the winners of its 2011 Community Awards. Congrats are due to all who won for their hard work.

EclipseCon Europe

EclipseCon Europe (formally Eclipse Summit Europe) is coming to Ludwigsburg, Germany on November 2 - 4.