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Joe Marini's Corner of the Web

Copyright: Copyright 2001-2004 Joe Marini. All Rights Reserved.

Web Design World Boston files uploaded

Mon, 22 Jan 2007 11:00:00 PST

Files from Web Design World Boston are (finally) up: OK, I've finally uploaded the sample files and presentations from Web Design World Boston. See you all at Web Design World San Francisco in March!

Visual Studio Extensibility Contest Winners Announced

Fri, 20 Oct 2006 11:00:00 PST

Visual Studio Extensibility Contest Winners: We've announced the winners of our Visual Studio Extensibility Contest!

New Title Coming

Mon, 16 Oct 2006 11:00:00 PST

Working on a new Release: Now that we've released Beta 1 of Expression Web, I'm recording my next training video for for the product. Look for the video to be released sometime next year.

TechEd Barcelona Session Details

Wed, 20 Sep 2006 11:00:00 PST

TechEd Barcelona Session : I'm going to be presenting a session on Visual Studio extensibility and the VSIP (Visual Studio Industry Partners Program) at TechEd Barcelona on November 7, 2006 at 2:15 PM.

Web Design World Seattle 2006 Files Posted

Fri, 21 Jul 2006 11:00:00 PST

Web Design World Seattle Files Posted: I've posted my Seattle WDW session files and presentations to the Downloads section of the site. Enjoy!

New XML DVD Released

Fri, 16 Jun 2006 11:00:00 PST

New XML DVD Released via My latest publication, XML Essential Training, has been released by It contains almost 6 hours of XML instruction, from the basic syntax rules to real world examples. If you're a member of their Online Training Library then you just get it as part of your subscription, otherwise it's US$99.95. You can, of course, view the first several movies free of charge.

Visual Studio Extensibility Contest

Tue, 6 Jun 2006 11:00:00 PST

Visual Studio Extensibility Contest: We recently kicked off the Visual Studio Extensibility Contest, hosted by devx. The Top Prize for the winning Package integration is $5000, for Add-ins it's $1000. It's not too late to get started - if you have an idea that you always wanted to see get implemented in Visual Studio, why not do it yourself and make a few bucks while you're at it?

[Correction]: Actually, it's $5000 and a trip to TechEd in Spain, along with an interview in VisualStudio magazine. Yowza!

New Role at Microsoft

Sat, 8 Apr 2006 11:00:00 PST

New Position at Microsoft : I'm really excited to be moving to a new position here at Microsoft, taking on the role of Group Product Manager for the VSIP (Visual Sudio Industry Partners) program. I'm really looking forward to applying my years of experience building great developer platforms to this new role, and taking the VSIP program in new directions and expanding its reach. If you're a VSIP partner or would like to become one, or are otherwise interested in how you can extend Visual Studio, then please feel free to contact me. We've got great things planned for this program, so stay tuned...

Web Design World Files Uploaded

Wed, 8 Feb 2006 11:00:00 PST

Web Design World 2006 Files have been uploaded: My Web Design World San Francisco 2006 files are now up in the Downloads section.

Developing AJAX Applications Presentation Uploaded

Mon, 12 Dec 2005 11:00:00 PST

Developing AJAX Applications Presentation Uploaded: My Introduction to Developing AJAX Applications presentation from the Boston Web Design World show is now up in the Downloads section.

Rules of Internet Debating

Sun, 4 Dec 2005 11:00:00 PST

Rules of Internet Debating: I've been a BIG Scott Adams fan for as long as I can remember, and his "Rules for Internet Debating" are as funny as they are true. Having been on the receiving end of many of these rules during my often futile attempts to have reasonable discourse with folks about such apparently incendiary topics as software and Microsoft, I can honestly say that I read these rules with a certain sense of having been there, been flamed by that. My personal favorite is Rule #3: Turn factual statements into implied equivalents. That one seems to get a LOT of play these days.

OK, so it's been a while since I've posted

Sat, 3 Dec 2005 11:00:00 PST

OK, so it's been a while since I've posted: Sorry about that. My wife and I just recently had twins, and it's been pretty busy around the Marini household lately. I'll have some new material to put up soon.

Microsoft Launches Virtual Earth

Wed, 27 Jul 2005 11:00:00 PST

Microsoft launches Virtual Earth: And, of course, provides a developer kit to go along with it. You can see the Virtual Earth site here, and then check out Via VirtualEarth to see how you can include interactive maps on your page. Dr. Neil Roodyn has a couple of great articles on how to easily add the Virtual Earth control to your pages using some JavaScript code - and it works across all modern browsers.

Combining Vectors and Pixels

Mon, 25 Jul 2005 11:00:00 PST

Combining vectors with pixels: Great example of what can be done when you combine vector-based art with pixel capabilities of a modern drawing program. This example was created with Microsoft's drawing tool code-named Acrylic.

Lemmings! In DHTML!

Fri, 24 Jun 2005 11:00:00 PST

This one via Chris Anderson - Lemmings, a game I spent a lot of time on in the early 90s, has been rewritten entirely in JavaScript for the Web. This is actually really cool!

When Free Trade Comes at a High Price

Fri, 24 Jun 2005 11:00:00 PST

This story on Marketwatch's site by John Dvorak got my attention: it turns out that Paul Samuelson, 89-year-old Nobel Prize winner for economics, says that free trade isn't necessarily a great idea when it comes to things like offshoring work to places like India. As you might expect, this opinion didn't go unnoticed over in Delhi.

Mobiform Aurora Bet 4.7 Released

Fri, 17 Jun 2005 11:00:00 PST

Mobiform has released version 4.7 of their XAML design tool, Aurora.

More information about Aurora is located on this page of Mobiform's site.

What Do You Mean, My Mac is Vulnerable?

Thu, 31 Mar 2005 11:00:00 PST

A few days ago Symantec released a report indicating that yes, Virginia, there are security issues with Macintoshes.

Of course, anybody who knows anything about security could have told you this, and many of them did. For some time now, in fact.

Web Design World SF Materials Uploaded

Tue, 29 Mar 2005 11:00:00 PST

Session materials from Web Design World have been uploaded to the Downloads section. You can find all the materials from my sessions here, along with the code examples.

XAML Examples Updated

Tue, 15 Feb 2005 11:00:00 PST

Well, it took long enough, but I've updated my samples showing DataBound UI, XAML Property Triggers, Data Styling, and of course the Blog Reader to work with the November CTP Build of the Avalon system. If you've been having difficulties getting these samples to run, then download the newest versions.

The US Patent Office has Lost its Mind

Wed, 26 Jan 2005 11:00:00 PST

Apparently, Google has been awarded a patent for - get this - highlighting search terms in a result page. No, I am not kidding you. Here's the actual link: System and Methods for highlighting search results. Not that I expect too many people to complain - I mean, this is, after all, Google, and not Microsoft.

Honey, Does This Website Make Me Look Fat?

Tue, 25 Jan 2005 11:00:00 PST

I have to start being more serious about watching what I eat. Want to know how I know this? I was perusing Fawcette's site the other day and came across a video of one of my presentations. Take a look at the screenshot of me, and my half-dozen or so chins. Yikes.

Interactivity in XAML - Hold the Script, Please

Tue, 25 Jan 2005 11:00:00 PST

New Tutorial - XAML Interactivity: I've posted a new tutorial showing how to achieve some basic interactivity in XAML applications using PropertyTriggers. These are markup constructs contained within styles that define how an object responds to property changes. This example, like the others before it, requires no script code.

One for the Street Smart Gang

Sat, 22 Jan 2005 11:00:00 PST

Am I the only one not surprised that the High School grads beat the College Grads on the first Apprentice task? After all, they had a huge advantage: they were all probably working in fast food not too long ago.

Xamlon Releases Compact Edition

Fri, 14 Jan 2005 11:00:00 PST

Xamlon has released a version of their XAML programming environment for mobile devices, such as PocketPCs and Smartphones.

Presentations From Web Design World Boston are posted

Mon, 13 Dec 2004 11:00:00 PST

As promised, I've posted my presentations from Web Design World to the Downloads section of the site.

When Secrets Make Sense

Fri, 03 Dec 2004 11:00:00 PST

When Secrets Make Sense: Tim Bray finally got around to responding to my earlier essay on his desire to open up everything. However, he actually ends up making my point for me...

When Bad Code Attacks!

Wed, 01 Dec 2004 11:00:00 PST

If you happen to be someone who writes code for a living and you've somehow never visited TheDailyWTF (I'll leave it up to your imagination what the initials WTF stand for), then you really owe it to yourself. It's a hall-of-shame type site that lists some of the more, uh, ... unique ways that some programmers have elected to solve certain problems.

Microsoft Gaining NAS Market Share

Wed, 01 Dec 2004 11:00:00 PST

Computerworld is running a story on Microsoft's recent gains in the Network-Attached Storage (NAS) market. Seems that companies like EMC and Dell are building Windows Server 2003-based systems for small-to-midsize corporations, which now account for more than 50% of the market.

IBM's alphaWorks Showcases New Technologies

Mon, 29 Nov 2004 11:00:00 PST

And Speaking of alphaWorks... I probably should have given some column space to this sooner, but if you've never poked around IBM's alphaWorks site, it's worth a look. Plenty of interesting ideas and cool technologies get their first peek of the light of day there. Here are some that caught my attention...

Laszlo IDE Posted to IBM alphaWorks

Wed, 24 Nov 2004 11:00:00 PST

IBM's alphaWorks site has posted an IDE for Laszlo Systems' rich presentation server. The IDE is based on the Eclipse environment, and allows developers to create Flash-based applications with Laszlo's LZX declarative markup language.

Not Opening Everything

Sun, 21 Nov 2004 11:00:00 PST

Tim Bray says he wants to open everything. Not so fast, Tim.

Avalon CTP Build Available

Sun, 21 Nov 2004 11:00:00 PST

Microsoft has posted a new Community Technology Preview build of Avalon for MSDN subscribers, only this time, it runs on WindowsXP.

Sharepoint Update

Thu, 18 Nov 2004 11:00:00 PST

Wow, looks like I hit a nerve with my previous item on SharePoint market share and usage, so I went back and did the same experiment with a number of different job sites. Here are the results as of today:

First Comcast, Now SBC

Wed, 17 Nov 2004 07:00:00 PST

Microsoft is finally beginning to have some success signing up cable and phone companies to use its TV Foundation technology.

SharePoint to be US$400M Product for Microsoft

Tue, 16 Nov 2004 07:00:00 PST

SharePoint to be US$400M Product for Microsoft: Joel Spolsky says that nobody has SharePoint. Au contraire, mon ami. According to public comments made by Steve Ballmer, SharePoint is on track to be a $400M product for Microsoft, and one of the fastest products ever to get to that point for the company. Here's a fun experiment to try: Go to your favorite jobs site (mine is Monster) and do a search on the term "SharePoint". Then do the same thing with "WebLogic Portal", and then "Plumtree" (two other major portal software developers). See how many jobs come back looking for skills in each.

When I did this yesterday, SharePoint resulted in 448 hits. WebLogic Portal got 227, and Plumtree got 130. Now, which product should you be honing your skills on?

Xamlon 1.0 Ships

Tue, 05 Oct 2004 09:00:00 PST

Xamlon 1.0 is available: Congratulations to Paul Colton and the gang at Xamlon on shipping Xamlon 1.0. This brings XAML to Windows versions 98 through XP.

Web Design World Boston is approaching

Fri, 01 Oct 2004 09:00:00 PST

Web Design World Boston is approaching: December 6-8 this year. The conference is also returning to its roots somewhat, focusing on web-related design, a departure from previous years when it was called "Digital Design World." I'll be presenting several seminars on usability, XML, and Web design tools.

The facts are beginning to sink in

Fri, 01 Oct 2004 09:00:00 PST

The facts are beginning to sink in: It's happening sooner than I thought it would: companies are beginning to migrate from Linux to Windows.

Here's some truth for ya, Tim

Thu, 02 Sep 2004 09:00:00 PST

Here's some truth for ya, Tim: Tim Bray takes Microsoft to task for producing an "egregiously misleading ad campaign." Now, OK, I agree that comparing modern PC architecture to old mainframes isn't exactly fair, but here's some truth for ya, Tim: Linux is actually helping Microsoft close OS deals. Boo-yah!

Why I Love XAML

Wed, 25 Aug 2004 09:00:00 PST

Why I Love XAML - Interview I recently gave to MSDN's Channel 9 folks where I explain what it is I love about XAML. Aug 25, 2004

Eric Sink is the Man

Fri, 6 Aug 2004 09:00:00 PST

Eric Sink is the man: Kudos to Eric for his insightful rebuttal to Paul Graham's essay on what makes great hackers. Eric correctly nails the point that "great hackers" aren't necessarily the kind of people that you want working for your company, especially if your company is focused on customers instead of technology for the sake of technology. I also take issue with some of Paul's comments, especially how "great hackers" are determined by what language and platform they use, and how he "knew that a startup company was doomed" because it was going to build its product on top of NT. I used to be exactly this kind of geek a long time ago before I grew up and realized that there was a lot more to software development than what language you work in, although I bet that Paul's essay found a welcome audience over at Slashdot.

Great Video on Microsoft's Channel9

Thu, 5 Aug 2004 09:00:00 PST

Great video on Microsoft's Channel9: If you haven't seen this video of the Channel9 staff laying out their vision and talking about what they hope to accomplish, then you really should take a look. Go watch the video, then come back here and tell me that Microsoft is some faceless company that doesn't care about its customers or partners. I wish more companies would do things like this, and I wonder why Microsoft doesn't get more credit when they do things like this. Aug 4, 2004

Building Data-Bound User Interfaces in XAML

Mon, 19 Jul 2004 09:00:00 PST

New Article: Data Bound User Interfaces in XAML, an all-XAML application that demonstrates how to build UIs that interact with an underlying data model without having to write a lot of event-handling code. Requires the new WinHEC version of Longhorn to run.

Revisionist History?

Mon, 28 Jun 2004 09:00:00 PST

Revisionist History? - I'm always amused at the various rumors, half-truths, and outright lies that float around this industry, but one that particularly caught my attention was this little statement by MacNet Journal. Rob leaves out the fact that we'd also still be stuck in ProDOS hell were it not for Xerox PARC showing Apple "how to do things all those decades ago."

XAMLBlogs is online

Fri, 14 May 2004 09:00:00 PST

XAMLBlogs is now online - visit for XAML information and samples. Good recent post shows how to build an image viewer application.

Version 0.95 of MyXAML posted

Wed, 12 May 2004 09:00:00 PST

MyXAML Updated - Version 0.95 of MyXAML has been posted to

WinHEC Build of Longhorn Available

Thu, 6 May 2004 09:00:00 PST

Longhorn Build 4074 - better known as the WinHEC build - is officially available. MSDN Subscribers can download it for free.

Amazon WishWatch - All-XAML application to view an Amazon Wish List

Wed, 5 May 2004 09:00:00 PST

New Article: Amazon WishWatch, an all-XAML application that displays the content of an Amazon wish list. Demonstrates Avalon's Data Styling feature of Longhorn. Requires the new WinHEC version of Longhorn to run.

Speaking at Digital Design World Seattle

Fri, 30 Apr 2004 09:00:00 PST

I will be speaking at Digital Design World in Seattle this July 21-23.

MyXAML ported to Linux

Fri, 30 Apr 2004 09:00:00 PST

Looks like MyXAML has been ported to Linux. Nice piece of work.

PHP, SAX, and XML Example

Fri, 23 Apr 2004 09:00:00 PST

New Article posted: Using PHP, the Simple API for XML (SAX), and XML to display a list of categorized links on a web page.

MyXaml Releases Designer Technology Preview

Wed, 14 Apr 2004 10:00:00 PST

Marc Clifton over at has released a technology preview of the MyXaml Designer. Looks really interesting - this XAML thing looks like it might have some legs to it.

W3C Releases DOM Level 3

Wed, 7 Apr 2004 10:00:00 PST

The W3C has released Level 3 of the Document Object Model. Notable improvements include support for Loading and Saving documents, XML Namespaces, Validation.

Building a XAML-based Blog Reader

Tue, 30 Mar 2004 10:00:00 PST

"Bloghorn: Building a XAML-based Blog Reader" has been posted. This article shows how to use XAML, Microsoft's forthcoming application markup language for Longhorn, to build a simple application that can read an XML-based blog feed and display the contents.

Verifying a user's domain with PHP

Sun, 24 Nov 2002 09:00:00 PST

We've all seen it happen.

You put up a registration page on your site, hoping that visitors will leave you their email addresses so that you can stay in touch with them when you've got a new product for sale. Or a new tutorial that they might be interested in. Or when you want to send them some "information from carefully screened third parties with whom we maintain a strategic relationship." Or maybe you want something in return before you give them that valuable whitepaper that you spent two months on.

Whatever the reason, you happily construct your registration page, set up a database table to track the incoming email addresses, and push it live. And sure enough, the registrations start coming.

To And And You get the idea - users are registering with bogus email addresses at domains that don't even exist. Not only are you going to be sending mail to nonexistent addresses, but they clutter up your database and cause maintenance headaches because they need to be cleaned out.

JavaScript Tutorial - How to determine if a browser window is already open

Thu, 15 Aug 2002 09:00:00 PST

I was on a plane to Web Design World in Boston at 37,000 feet when I overheard a woman in the seat in front of me tell her neighbor that she was heading there as well. I mentioned that I was going to be presenting a few sessions at the conference, and when I told her that one of them would be a JavaScript-related class, she instantly said "Oh, great! I have this JavaScript problem that maybe you could help me with!"

After a few moments of discussion, her problem became clear: she had an application where a link on one web page would open up another browser window that contained a series of forms for the user to fill out. The problem was that if the user mistakenly returned to the first window and clicked the link again, then the second window would be refreshed and all of the work the user had done up until that point would be lost. "Is there a way," she asked, "to prevent the second window from refreshing?"

Well, there's actually an even better solution than that one, which will be the subject of this tutorial.