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Preview: Mike Cole's .NET Blog

Mike Cole's .NET Blog


Atlanta Geek Dinner - November Edition (11/15/2004)

Thu, 11 Nov 2004 18:35:00 GMT

Kirk Evans is organizing round 2 of the Atlanta Geek Dinner.  It will be Monday, 11/15/2004 6PM, at the Perimeter Mall food court.  Heck, as long as they serve beer.  See you guys there.

October Surprise

Thu, 21 Oct 2004 18:31:00 GMT

And its not from the Bush or Kerry camps. Instead, it is from Microsoft's developer division, announcing C# Edit-and-Continue support in VS 2005.  Woo-hoo!

Atlanta Geek Dinner

Thu, 17 Jun 2004 03:32:00 GMT

Wow.  Geeks everywhere! The Atlanta Geek Dinner went off with out a hitch. Kirk tells us that next time Microsoft will even pick up the tab. ;-)

It was great meeting the group. People from all over. A showing by Home Depot, Matra, Turner, HomeBanc, Microsoft of course - and lots of others. I enjoyed meeting Paul Wilson, Michael Earls.... where was Matthew Nolton?

Thanks to Kirk Evans and Don Browning for making it happen.


(Below, standing: Wally, Kirk)
(Earls, Cole)

(Back Left: Browning, Wilson) (Back Right: Paul Lockwood, Mauricio Feijo) (Also: Kevin, Jason)

My excuse for being in Japan...

Fri, 14 May 2004 16:58:00 GMT a Microsoft Certified Partner conference that isn't actually taking place.

I'm bloggin here from the Westin Tokyo with a pretty awesome view of the city, including the Tokyo Tower that went dark about 1 hour ago (1230AM)

Oh this Japanese culture.... My girlfriend has been here for a week visiting her dad, and I came in tonight and met the family. Now ---- to wrangle a week together (alone) in Tokyo she is actually telling her dad she is going home (to Atlanta) tomorrow.... While at the same time, I just got here on business.... Its a little far fetched, but what are you gonna do.

My first ride on the subway --- I ran into a local with an O'Reilly XML tee-shirt, also a bag promoting some O'Reilly Perl book. Interesting. I have no idea what the software consulting market here is like. Anyone know?

I was thinking hard about some Lost In Translation parady regarding SOA. But, ya know what. I've been up almost 24 hours straight ---- and even though I haven't blogged in months, I'm about to do a half-gainer into my king size bed.

Gollum kicks it gangsta style...

Fri, 09 Jan 2004 16:28:00 GMT

...and hilarity ensues.   Flash movie: “Towers Are The Players

Object Design Skill vs. UML Notation Skill

Wed, 07 Jan 2004 15:43:00 GMT

First, kudos to my current favorite book: Applying UML and Patterns by Craig Larman.


Craig writes:

“Drawing UML diagrams is a reflection of making decisions about the object design. The object design skills are what really matter, rather than knowing how to draw UML diagrams.”


Hey, it’s impossible to argue with these statements – truly, object design skills are a pre-requisite to being able to communicate those designs…


Ok… that’s no fun.  I’ll see if I can argue… Are we saying here that UML is simply a mechanism for documenting design decisions? (not really his point, I know, but bare with me.) I would argue, rather, that visual modeling is a critical tool for use during the design process.


I think I’ve formed this opinion, because, as a consultant, I’m not always the final decision maker. I’m often on teams including other senior developers and architects. I find having a common way to share and review design alternatives is critical when you are not a one-man show.


Additionally, when my object models are anything more than trivial – I absolutely have to visually model during the design phase to incrementally manage its complexity.  But, that’s just me.


Ok. So – I suppose what I’m saying is that unless you are a complete brainiac, and 100% responsible for all design work on your projects, then the ability to effectively visually model is at least moderately coupled to OO design skills. (And by design skills, I mean overall effectiveness at producing OO applications.)  Moreover, UML is a design tool, not simply a language for documentation.


Agree/Disagree? Have I completely missed the point ? Comments appreciated.

Just Arrived in London

Tue, 16 Dec 2003 13:16:00 GMT

I wish there was a London .NET User Group meeting or something going on...

I may try to get over to the microsoft campus in Reading on Wednesday for this event: Business Integration - BizTalk Server 2004, SQL Server, XML, and VS.NET.  Seems a quick train ride.

I'm here for the week. If anyone is up for a pint some evening - drop me a note!   Also, any recuiters reading this? (drop me a note)

ObjectSpaces - thin?

Thu, 11 Dec 2003 21:04:00 GMT

One of the most innovative things about ObjectSpaces is the fact that your business entities are not required to inherit from any base class.    With every persistence framework I have worked with – this has always been a requirement.  As in this example, EntityBase would provide your O/R mapping and persistence functionality:   public class Employee : EntityBase {        private int _ID;        private string _fullName;                      public int ID {get {return _ID;} set{_ID = value;}}        public string FullName{get {return _fullName;} set{_fullName = value;}}        public Employee()        {        } }     By not requiring use of a base class – I think Microsoft has done a great job keeping ObjectSpaces as thin and transparent as possible.   How was this accomplished?   The ObjectSpace classes (driven by map files) consume your custom classes, instead of providing functionality through inheritance.   For example to retrieve an employee,   ObjectSpace os = new ObjectSpace("map.xml", conn); ObjectReader reader = os.GetObjectReader(new ObjectQuery(typeof(Employee), "ID = 1234’")); Employee myEmp = (Employee) reader.Current;   Very nice. However, you might say… how is this considered thin? I’m used to instantiating business objects as easily as this:   A)  Employee myEmp = new Employee(id); OR B)  Employee myEmp = Employee.GetByID(id);   Well, the good news is… if you have been using a factory design pattern to instantiate your biz objects (as in B) – then you will be able to encapsulate all of the ObjectSpace classes within your static method (GetByID):   Similar to this,   public class Employee { private int _ID;        private string _fullName;                      public int ID {get {return _ID;} set{_ID = value;}}        public string FullName{get {return _fullName;} set{_fullName = value;}}        public Employee()        {        }          public static Employee GetById(int ID)        {               ObjectSpace os = new ObjectSpace("map.xml", conn);        ObjectReader reader = os.GetObjectReader(new ObjectQuery(typeof(Employee), String.Format("ID = {0}", ID)));               return((Employee)reader.Current);        } }   So, if you have been using a factory creational pattern – perhaps the developers consuming your business objects need not be aware of a conversion to ObjectSpaces at all…. Seems pretty tight to me. Of course, I have not seen examples of inserts/updates using ObjectSpaces yet.  Please comment!    -Mike   PDC presentation  , Lucas Bolonese on ObjectSpaces.[...]

American Developer in London

Tue, 09 Dec 2003 18:27:00 GMT

In the fall of 2002 I began exploring travel opportunities related to my .net consulting career.  This was the result of a desire to travel, but also I think -- simply hedging my bets against a faltering economy.

.NET contract opportunities in London ( were, and are,  pretty incredible. Much better than here in Atlanta - probably on par or better than NYC.

It was very important to me to not be tied down to a particular consulting house. Luckily, the UK has a special visa program called the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme.  Through this program, select candidates can become authorized for 'permit free' consulting.  Its a pretty interesting point system based on education, experience, earnings, etc... The idea is that you need to prove you are adding needed skills to their economy, rather than competing with their workforce for jobs.

After applying in Oct 2002, I finally received my HSMP visa in March 2003.  After wrapping up things with my last client - it seems LondonTown is calling !!  

I will be in London Dec 15 - 22 to hopefully track down a contract to begin early 2004.  I will document my journey here.

I'd enjoy reading feedback from anyone who has or is considering a similar move...

One more good link for anyone interested: Immigration Discussion Board.