Tech Tock

Time is of the essence.


Here’s another installment of our n-part series @Lab.


Honestly, every charting lib sucks in its own special way.

The coda of a truly inspired F# trashing:

If you’re interested in functional programming, Haskell ought to be the absolute lower bound.

In a comment to an MSDN Poll on Visual Studio Add-Ins, Ryan Cromwell said:

ReSharper tries my patience often with its instability, but overall I can’t live without it.

I couldn’t agree more.

Break Into Groups and Discuss

Lab49 is so big now we can break into sizeable focused technology groups.  My group, Lab Interactive (the front end guys), went out for drinks.  I’m sure it was a great time.  Too bad I wasn’t able to attend.  Sorry guys – see you next time.

Lunch and Learn

Awesome lunch for a bunch of us in Midtown South at Chennai Garden.  I love this Indian buffet.  I recommend a side of mango chutney with everything.

Oooh Shiny

Lots of Lab49ers have toured the Federal Reserve Gold vault.  So far I’ve missed 2 tours.  Maybe next next time…

Yadda, Yadda, Yadda

As reported here, I was the presenter at .Net Meetup.

WPF/Silverlight Charts Need Improvement

A recent review of charting controls for WPF / Silverlight found them inadequate when considering a combination of scalability, looks, and support for WPF features such as MVVM and styling.  One developer prefers the toolkit charts for their customizability.

On the same general subject, WPF grids could use improvement too.

How Many WPF Developers Does it Take To Screw In a Lightbulb?

If you know the answer, call a recruiter at Lab49.  We’re hiring.

TFS 2010 Doesn’t Suck

Early reports about Team Foundation Server are looking good.  While 2008 sounds horrible (I never used it), people are saying the 2010 version has easier setup and better management tools.  I’d be happy to wait till the next version to find out for myself.

We Like TeamCity

Not funny, but true.

Moving Across the Wire

Jira, Powershell, StreamInsight, Arcot, Nirvanna, HTML5, Trepp, Oktoberfest, iPhone


October 4, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment


Company Picnic

The Lab49 picnic was a blast.  Sun, lake, beach, food, beer and volleyball.  Some cute kids came too.  I highly recommend the bus and my son keeps talking about the ski trip, but he gave this one a big thumbs up too.

Quote of the Week

MejerTShirtOn Erik Meijer:  “I disagree with …(insert RX duality criticism here)… but of course, he’s right.”

I wish I could be so confident to find a disagreement, but I bet I’d come to the same conclusion.

Architecture, Architecture, Architecture

Six glowing reviews for Release It! A couple Lab49ers, including who has met the author, think the book is worthy.  And it has a Jolt Award.  Interestingly, more than one Lab49er pans the Pragmatic Bookshelf in general.

Of couse GoF and PoEAA are must reads.  IMHO anyone who hasn’t read these yet must be a bit wet behind the ears.  After that Domain Driven Design is highly recommended, with an interesting critique on “Who should drive paradigms”.

On Agile:  Practices of an Agile Developer, Ship It!

Also, Continuous Delivery.

My reading list just got longer.

Lady Java

Great to see that JAVA now has its own anthem.

AC_Run_Content javascript wrapper used to load Flex applications

I don’t know what it means either, but there’s a few people @Lab who do.  It has something to do with Flex and Wmode, whatever that is…


Boilerplate or Reset.


Flex: UML for Flex/AS, Saffron

August 23, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Week @ Lab 2/21/2010

Ski Trip!


The Lab sponsored a ski trip on Saturday to Windham Mountain.  It was an awesomely awesome trip.  Great weather, great company, and as far as I could tell, a great time had by all.

Goodbye ThreadPool & BackgroundWorker,
Hello Task

At this month’s .Net Meetup, David Barnhill, gave a great presentation on Multithreading in .Net 4.0.  While the internal features are just upgrades, support for new syntaxes and keywords in a lamda style will make the current thread starting styles obsolete.  Task Parallel Library is now the way to go.  The Mandelbot Set demo was instructive and visually pleasing.

You can download David’s multithreading samples here.

Another David also presented on mutlithreading in PLinq.

Some links:

Patterns for Parallel Programming: Understanding and Applying Parallel Patterns with the .NET Framework 4

Samples for Parallel Programming with the .NET Framework 4

Parallel Programming in the .NET Framework

DryadLINQ is a simple, powerful, and elegant programming environment for writing large-scale data parallel applications running on large PC clusters.

Reactive Extensions – Rx
Rx is a library for composing asynchronous and event-based programs using observable collections.

I’ve heard only great things about the Rx library, but David B. noted that the support and upgrade path is somewhat nebulous at this time.

Interesting fact:  StackOverflow data is publicly shared.

I highly recommend this meetup.


This is the city after the meetup.  Its an interesting area, a few blocks up from times square.

Word of the week:  Blend·a·bility

With MS Expression Blend becoming more and more important in our development, we strive to maintain code that doesn’t break the UI designer features of Blend.  We call this maintaining blendability.

Basically, Constructor and OnApplyTemplate methods for visual elements need to be respected and not throw errors when loading in design time.  Constructor issues often come from dependency injection which Blend doesn’t supply.  In this case making a default constructor can solve the problem.  Code in the OnApplyTemplate should also respect nulls often caused by lack of dependency injection.  Alternatively, you can check for design time with this code:

if(System.ComponentModel.LicenseManager.UsageMode ==

February 22, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 3 Comments