Monday, November 23, 2009

Journey Of Microsoft ASP.NET Developers : Cowboys To Craftsmen?

Quite an interesting way to put the Journey of ASP.NET (developers) from ASP.NET Page based design to MVC based applications. Hope I am not taking it out of context. Its not explicit, but it is written all over the wall. Nevertheless, towers of abstraction and magic by Visual Studio often make developers ignore the inner workings of the framework. Its not a surprise to find an ASP.NET developer that hardly knows anything about HTML beyond the acronym and yet can still develop ASP.NET pages that really work.
There are two ways to be a developer. You can be a cowboy or you can be a craftsman. A cowboy jumps right in and starts coding. A cowboy can build a software application quickly. The problem with being a cowboy is that software must be maintained over time.

A craftsman is patient. A craftsman builds software carefully by hand. A craftsman is careful to build unit tests that cover all the code in an application. It takes longer for a craftsman to create an application. However, after the application is created, it is easier to fix bugs in the application and add new features to the application.

Most software developers start their programming careers as cowboys. At some point, however, you must hang up your saddle and start building software that will stand the test of time.

Source : Stephen Walther on ASP.NET MVC

You can see the focus and so much stress on ‘hand crafting’ ( compared to code generated by, Visual Studio of course.)

I guess even ASP.NET is going through a journey of its own. by moving away from it’s Page based model and embracing MVC that the rest of the world has been using for years.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Google SPDY For a 2X Faster Web

Google is really obsessed with "Speed". Google's browser Chrome is already the fastest browser in the world (2X the nearest competitor) and here is some news that will just blow your mind. Your web could get 2X faster. Wow!!!!

Today we'd like to share with the web community information about SPDY, pronounced "SPeeDY", an early-stage research project that is part of our effort to make the web faster. SPDY is at its core an application-layer protocol for transporting content over the web. It is designed specifically for minimizing latency through features such as multiplexed streams, request prioritization and HTTP header compression.

...

So far we have only tested SPDY in lab conditions. The initial results are very encouraging: when we download the top 25 websites over simulated home network connections, we see a significant improvement in performance - pages loaded up to 55% faster.

Source:Chromium Blog: A 2x Faster Web

Friday, November 6, 2009

Curated Audience As 'Everyone' is clueless

Targeting a specific group of audience for any kind of product is not new mantra. But when Seth Godin talks about it, he hits the nail right on the head so that everybody gets it. Here is an excerpt that exemplifies it:
The problem with "everyone" is that in order to reach everyone or teach everyone or sell to everyone, you need to so water down what you've got you end up with almost nothing.

Everyone doesn't go to the chiropractor, everyone doesn't give to charity, everyone has never been to Starbucks. Everyone, in fact, lives a decade behind the times and needs hundreds of impressions and lots of direct experience before they realize something is going on.

You don't want everyone. You want the right someone.

Someone who cares about what you do. Someone who will make a contribution that matters. Someone who will spread the word.

As soon as you start focusing on finding the right someone, things get better, fast. That's because you can ignore everyone and settle in and focus on the people you actually want.



via Seth's Blog:  Everyone is clueless.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

How To Choose A Database For Your Next Application ?

Well, it depends.

Want to know what options are available and how to choose one for your own application, read this wonderful article by James Hamilton. Though this article does not include all possible options (particularly those on the cloud), but its a nice introduction to classify databases based on what you need.

Relational databases have become so ubiquitous that the term “database” is often treated as synonymous with relational databases like Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL, or DB2. However, the term preceded the invention and implementation of the relational model and non-relational data stores remain important today.

Relational databases are incredibly rich and able to support a very broad class of applications but with incredible breadth comes significant complexity. Many applications don’t need the rich programming model of relational systems and some applications are better serviced by lighter-weight, easier-to-administer, and easier-to-scale solutions. Both relational and non-relational structured storage systems are important and no single solution is appropriate for all applications.

Source: One Size Does Not Fit All by James Hamilton (b:Perspectives)

Good to know. But before you start researching for a perfect Database for your App ..

Keep this great suggestion from 37signals in mind. I am big fan of “Getting Real”. The team behind “Getting Real” @ 37Signals suggest that you don’t worry too much about Scalability aspects early in the design of your application, as you will have lots of time later on to figure out.

In the beginning, make building a solid core product your priority instead of obsessing over scalability and server farms.Create a great app and then worry about what to do once it's wildly successful. Otherwise you may waste energy, time, and money fixating on something that never even happens.

Believe it or not, the bigger problem isn't scaling, it's getting to the point where you have to scale. Without the first problem you won't have the second.

Source: Getting Real – Scale Later

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

WordPress 2.8.5 : XML Brackets Stripped Off When Using XMLRPC

One of the best features of Wordpress is the ability to upgrade to a newer version by just clicking on a link from the dashboard. So, whenever I see a new version available, I just go ahead and upgrade to the latest version.

Just a couple of days of back I upgraded to 2.8.5. Everything went smooth, no issues what so ever. Later in the day, when I published a post from Windows Live Writer, I suddenly found that the post actually lost all HTML formatting. Didn’t know what happened. I quickly searched for any 2.8.5 problems with XMLRPC. But did not see anything other than some comments that XMLRPC has been updated to work better.

I did a full reinstall. But didn’t fix the problem. I did a full installation of latest Wordpress in a separate folder, but that also had this problem.  I checked an old blog I hadn’t upgraded in a while, but I found that also had this issue.

I was quite baffled. Before I did the upgrade everything was working fine. I published a post on 30th of October 2009 from WLW. No issues. And now I find issues not only in this upgraded blog, but all blogs on my host. Not sure how did that happen.

Anyways, today while searching on the internet, I found a solution.   Thanks a ton to Joseph Scott. It appears it has something to do with libxml version on my host. Didn’t understand how my wordpress installation worked all the while until 2.8.5 with the same libxml version but failed after the upgrade.

Link to the wordpress Plugin Libxml2 Fix:

http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/libxml2-fix/

Anyway, I installed the plugin and still didn’t work. Later I found on the plugin developer’s blog a comment by another user on how to check for libxml version on the host and update the plugin code accordingly to use it.

Original blog post where I found the comment talking about updating the plugin to a different version :

http://josephscott.org/code/wordpress/plugin-libxml2-fix/

I just checked it on my host SiteGroud and found that it got 2.6.3 and I updated the plugin file to include this version as well. Now all works fine.

Thanks a bunch.

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Monday, November 2, 2009

Menu Engineering : How To Fix Price For Your Product

Very interesting. More I think about these strategies outlined in this post, the more I could relate to various shopping experiences. Now I know, how products are priced, it is difficult to resist the temptation to see beyond the price tag (:-))

Just as most of us must rely on relative pitch to discriminate amongst various tones, so too must the vast majority of consumers rely on relative price cues in order to determine what they’re willing to pay. What this means, according to behavioral economist Dan Ariely, is that the price of everything is “up in the air.” That’s where menu engineering comes in.

Source: What We Can Learn About Pricing From Menu Engineers

Pay To Pitch, Yahoo in India and Warren Buffet’s One-Day Schedule

Aren't startups pay to present at DEMO? Or any similar conferences? What's the fuss is all about?


Startup Scam: Paying to Pitch Puts Power Players on the Warpath
Over the weekend, the blogosphere has seen a small but profound eruption of wrath over angel investor groups that charge startups to pitch them. Jason Calacanis' blog post on the topic, wherein he went as far as calling out these groups by name and posting each group's pricetag, inspired "me too" posts from Fred Wilson and Robert Scoble. All parties seem to be in agreement that the practice is despicable and should be stopped. But like every hustle that preys on the gullible or less talented, pay-to-play pitching models will be perpetuated until made illegal, and no amount of blog posts will shame these investors into changing their behavior. So, should these scams be made illegal?

I get little skeptical whenever a web company buys advertisements so heavily in print media. Why it took so long time for Yahoo to realize that internet is around You!


Yahoo Buys Full Page Front Page Ad In Times Of India

India’s largest English-language newspaper, the Times of India, has an interesting print edition front page today – a huge yellow advertisement for Yahoo’s It’s You campaign first announced last month. You can view the print version here.


This is ridiculous. May be we have to consider the really long term investor is shorting on human capital, not to think more than 24 hours at a time.


Warren Buffet on scheduling meetings

I recently heard about Warren Buffet’s approach to scheduling meetings. I can’t confirm this is true (I’ve never met him), but I hear from a reputable source that he usually doesn’t set up meetings more than a day in advance. If someone wants to see him, they are told to call and set up the meeting when they can see him tomorrow. So if you want to meet with him next Friday, you call on Thursday and say “Can I see Mr. Buffet tomorrow?” I love the simplicity of the rule: I can see you today if you asked me yesterday, but I can’t fill up my schedule any further in advance. This way he can determine how he wants to spend his time within the context of the next 24 hours instead of booking things weeks or months in the future. Now his schedule is relevant instead of prescient.

Skilled Workforce Or Just Cost Savings : What is driving H1B Visas?

Is it really true? That in the grand scheme of things around H1B visas, the immigrants and Americans alike are just being played by American companies in search of cost savings?




As I think back on the Indian-Americans I met that night, I can't help but contrast the kinds of things they said--and the unemotional way they said them--to many of the angry and even ugly comments we got on our High-Tech Sweatshops story after it was published online. It was disturbing to see workers from different nationalities verbally tearing at one another. The situation is reminiscent of earlier eras in American history, when employers played immigrants of different ethnicities against each other to defeat labor unions and keep wages low. Like them, today’s guest workers and American programmers are pawns in somebody else’s game.




Source: Indians in America: Caught in the Middle of Controversy

NDTV.com : Fact or Allegation ? Just another twisted title for sensationalism

This is yet another example of NDTV.com’s sensationalism twisted titles. The title says, as if this was a fact, woman made to urinate in pub...