April 2008 - Posts
In the past year, I followed the Israeli version of "Born to dance" with my princess.
Naturally, watching the show raised the urge to watch some real dance shows, and not just on TV.
And so, a couple of weeks ago, my princess called me at work with an urgent announcement, telling that she'd found the show she wants to see, and asked "can we? can we?".
"But of course" I've replied, and so the dice was rolling.
Yesterday (Friday) came the date, and around 1pm, we set in "Gesher" theatre in Jaffa, and waited for the curtain to rise.
We had great seats, just above the stage, we could see any thing bright and clear, with out getting spitted at.
(Can it get any better?)
We watched "Swans' Lake" by Tchaikovsky. Performed by the "Russian Imperial Ballet".
I have to tell you, that was quite an experience.
First of all, I'm a sucker for love stories. Especially those with the good endings. Call me kitsch, or what ever, that's me.
Second, I like this ballet. I like the powerful music, the sounds of an orchestra (even if it's digital and plays from a mini disc).
In the picture above, you see the "bad guy", the crow (in the back) looking on his protege, whom he sent to "still the prince's heart". Doing that (stilling his heart), prevents the prince from breaking the spell, which kept the swan princess as a swan, instead of human.
It's a great story, I'm telling you.
The pictures, were sold out side of the hole, by the dancers themselves. The one above is actually signed by the bed crow himself .
It is a bit sad, on one hand, seeing the dancers themself, running out to sale the merchandise. But on the other hand, it is nice in a way. It makes the ballet less snobbish. Like a folklore company, who interact with its audience.
Bottom line, it is very recommended. Ballet in general, and this one in particular.
If you want to, there's another show tomorrow night (Sunday) on Petach Tickva hole. Maybe there're some tickets left.
I've actually started writing this post on the first day after tech-ed was finished.
However, life, apparently, do happen while you're busy making plans, and I didn't get to finish it till now.
Projects with urgent dead-lines, clients who needs urgent consult, and so on and so forth. I'm quite aware of the fact that dose are mostly excuses...
So, how was it in Tech-ED?
I think many good people wrote about the logistics, the party, the lectures, etc.
I don't think I can top that, to add anything new.
But here is my side, my experience.
I've got very early to Eilat. I was there at 10AM already, waiting for my room.
Since it wasn't ready, I wondered around.
Eilat, is a bit gray. As a city, I don't like it much. As a resort, it is nice.
First thing I did was to go to brunch before the first summon.
This is my favorite part in those conventions. The mingling part. I walked around, took a few pictures, and met many people I know, and some new ones.
Some one even recognized me from the blog! How ever, it wasn't that one, but my other (Teaching Mom).
I was actually looking forward for some of the lectures in Tech-ED.
However, I was in Developer Academy II a few month ago, and some of the lectures where quite similar to those I've listened to then.
Having said that, still, it was quite nice and interesting.
I especially liked Eyal Vardi's and Guy Kolbis's.
Naturally, I went to Gila Gertel's lecture, about accessibility (Accessible Technology). This is one of my fields of expertise, and I know Gila well.
The lecture was fine, but, unfortunately there weren't to many people there. Maybe it was the time, maybe there were other lectures more interesting, still... It is an important subject, and I was sorry to see such a small audience.
I've heard many people complain about the party. The alcohol wasn't enough, the show, and so on and so forth.
For me it was fun. I went there with two of my best friend, we've drank just enough to make us happy, and enjoyed the show. When we've decided that we exhausted the party, we went back to the city and had fun in the "3 monkeys" pub
It was fun. It was three days of knowledge, getting to know people, meetings, and relaxing. All combined.
After the dust sank, and the music stops, you keep the good part and forget the rest.
Who care that the plain was crowded (it is only 45 minute, I had bus rides longer then that)?
Who cares that we had to walk a bit (that was fun, actually)?
Summing it all up, it adds up to a nice and interesting experience.
Can't wait for 2010!!
The Hilton hotel, 17:30 (which is now), Gila Gertel from the Israeli Accessibility Organization is giving a very interesting lecture about accessible technology.
Do come and listen, it will open your eyes.
Gila Gertel is getting ready for the lecture.
It Started Now
Not to many people came. Maybe 10-15. This is actually quite sad for me, as this is a topic which is very close to my heart.
Gila starts with some background about accessibility - Who needs it? How many? and so on and so forth.
Now here's an interesting exercise for you, even if you didn't come to the lecture:
Try calling your best friend's full number (not from the speed dial).
BUT! Don't use your fingers.
Put your phone on a table, or on your knee, and press the buttons with your elbow...
It isn't that easy, hua?
This is what a person with an amputated hand dials...
Here's another interesting demo.
This is how a screen reader (a software that reads the screen's text from the browser), reads Microsoft Israel's first page.
Gila covers the main reasons why to make your site accessible.
People keep telling me that it's expansive. How ever, it isn't so. Not really.
If you're just starting, the added cost will sum at 5%... That's it.
Plus, the ROI is very very rapid. The amount of people who'll come to your site, the higher ranks in search engines. Etc.
For more of that, you can read my first post (Accessibility on web pages - Why?) if you haven't done it yet.
Call for Action
This is the time to do the right thing!
You're doing it for years, developing sites, content, and so on. Now is the time in which you can make a difference! Make a change that really matters.
I promise you'll sleep better at night.
And we're done.
I want to invite you to a special demonstration. Special activity, that might open your eyes and/or leave you surprised. I know I was the first time I've tried it.
If you happen to be in the business center (and if you don't, just come here ), come visit the "A-Israel" stall. It located next to the wall, just after the "Arcaffee" bar (so you can grab a cup of coffee on your way).
A-Israel is the Israeli organization to promote accessibility in Israel. The organization has a division that promote accessibility in web pages, called "Nagish" (which means accessible, in Hebrew).
In the stall you'll get a demonstration of how a person which suffers from some kind of deficiency, handles web-browsing.
People getting a demonstration of how an un-accessible web page makes it impossible for people with deficiencies use it.
You'd be surprised how many simple tasks can get difficult when you can differentiate colors. Or can't use the mouse. And so on. I promise you, you won't regret it.
I already wrote why should you do it (Accessibility on web pages - Why?), now it's your chance to see it with your own eyes (and hands).
Mrs. Gila Gertel, an accessibility specialist
After you've visited the stall (or before, it doesn't really matter), and took the demonstration, come listen to a lecture by Gila Gertel, about accessible technology (i.e. Windows, Web-pages, everything! :)). Tuesday, 17:30, in "Sapir" hall, in the "Hilton" hotel.
Case studies, methods, benefits and so on.
It's an interesting lecture, believe me, I've heard it before.
Here we go, it just started. The opening summon.
The opening clips just run on the big screen and everyone's excited.
I'm going to write a rolling post, for the summon, as much as I can. This is my first time doing so, I hope it will go well.
Galit Shachaf is on the stage now, describing the next few days.
This year's tech-ed is followed by the lunch of Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and the already lunched Visual Studio 2008.
13:00, Danny Yamin, Microsoft's CEO is on stage saying his greetings.
Galit is back on. This year there are new paths, for developer leaders.
Many of the fields are special for developers, on top of the other paths.
Currently there's a movie describing the next few days in Tech-Ed.
This year's there are 3500 people on tech-ed. The most so far.
This is the most attendees since the first tech-ed which took place at 2001.
Another movie now, describing the different path in this year's tech-ed.
I have to admit that so far the movies are nice. the atmosphere is great. But I'm waiting for the real-deal to begin. After all, I'm still a technology freak
Live break from the business center, Yossi and Lior are broadcasting live.
I like those guys, they have this light weight manner on their broadcasts.
Shpigler is now on another clip, giving tips on how to tell your wife that you're going to Eilat, for tech-ed. Lucky for me I don't need to fool my princess. I just told her that I'm going, and she was fine with that. It is a bit difficult, missing home, and so on, but she didn't make a big deal out of that, and it passed on.
Yochay is on the stage and the
artistic technical part is now started!
He is making quite an entrance, dressed as a Jedi knight. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to catch that with my camera, the light was too bad.
Yochay is describing now the road that dot net framework has done since the last tech-ed. Dot.Net 3.5, which was released recently. This framework allows you to develop in which ever language you currently know (above the 1.1 version).
This summer Microsoft is going to release the service release for dot net 3.5.
With extensions to LINQ, to ADO.Net, and so on.
And here goes an explanation for LINQ. With some coding examples.
This is the part I like in those conventions. I like to see examples of what you CAN do. It gives me the urge to go home and just try it (which I'm actually doing).
Great live example of LINQ. Yochay has a nice way of showing why these lines of code are better then what you use to do. If you haven't tried LINQ yet, something like that, like this demo, will be very impressive for you. If you're like me, it will make you go home and read what ever you'd put your hand on about LINQ (that's what happen after the first time I saw it in action).
Yochay is demonstrating Parallel Computing, using a computer with 8 cores!!! (Yap, that was the number 8 and the noun "core" after).
Parallel LINQ allows you to do the same LINQ queries, only using multiply cores. These days, any laptop has at least 2 cores. Maybe even 4. So a production server probably has more.
Using PLINQ will cut running time dramatically.
A Brain Teaser game is now on.
The first question is being presented by Sasha Goldstain.
the question is about a timer thread and what will happen. I can't copy the code from the screen, so you'll have to excuse me.
Yochay explains what happened at the small game. He describes the system that was used to get the SMS and analyze it.
The system uses WCF and WF. There's an explanation of WCF and WF now. Nothing's new here.
The code for the teaser game is now on screen and being explained. The new thing in 2008, is WF Services, which was used to implement the small game.
Workflow Services is sort of a combination between WCF and WF, which allows easy implementation of WCF inside a workflow.
A cool demo of speech server over media center.
The demo presents a call from Yochai's media center which reports an error in one of the schedules. Media center is fixing the error and being activated using voice only! Very cool!
The demo was written using extended workflow, which was extended with speech server's activities and capabilities.
A success-story-video is no on-line. Time for me to take a break of writing and just listen...
See you in a bit...
Another brain teaser by Sasha: What is the better way to go: "For" or "Foreach"?
And I didn't manage to copy the question and answers, sorry
Next subject is IIS7 Integrated Pipeline.
There are many advantages in the new IIS 7. The ability to use dot net to deploy sites, is one of them, which to me looks very appealing. I was working in a bank which create it's on deployment kit, using XCopy, some setup programs and so on. Very massy. The ability to use Visual Studio to write a complete installation, is a very nice feature.
There are many other advantages. The scalability is much greater. The ability to interrupt the pipeline in real time, instead of writing ASAPI filters and such.
And so on...
Yochay is demonstrating Visual Studio 2008 for Testers, to see the performances advantages of IIS 7, compared to IIS6, and Apache.
The last piece of the summon will be about the client, and WPF in particular.
There are more controls in the new version, the setup is now streamlined, and so on.
Another movie is now on. CMT's solution using WPF.
Silverlight will be the last topic, I think.
There's a movie now, describing what've happened to Silverlight in the past year.
I think this is one of the most exciting technologies from Microsoft. If not the coolest.
At least from the UI design perspective. The amount of options, and the capabilities it brings are amazing!!!
If you want just a small example for it, go to one of the many sites using it now, such as:
The Podiom '08, or The HUB
Laurence Moroney, is now on stage. Laurence is the head of the Silverlight project, and he is now demonstrating some applications, and the abilities of the technology.
The demo is on Macintosh, and it's a great example of how this technology can run on any platform.
Yochay threatened Laurence that he will have to sing in Hebrew if one of the demos will fail, and that just happened. Not much of a singer he is.
Laurence currently demonstrate a technology that called "Deep Zoom". Yochay takes over the presentation to demonstrate this technology.
Yossi Taguari wrote about this technology here: http://blogs.microsoft.co.il/blogs/yosit/archive/2008/03/05/63784.aspx
And that's it, the summon is done, and I'm off to see what's next.
It is almost 9 AM now, and I'm at "Sde Dov" airport, waiting for boarding to begin.
The field is all filled with "computer geeks" as my princess like to call us all.
The atmosphere is great. Sort of a buzz in the air.
That's it, boarding started. Here we go. See you in Eilat.
UPDATE: I've posted it around noon, since it appears that I've closed the lead on my laptop before the post was sent.
In a previous post, 'Do and don't do on web pages' I described a set of things you shouldn't do in a web page.
Last weekend I had to remove my self from that project, and return to one of my own's.
Given the new circumstances, Shay, the project's manager, had to resume his work on the mark-up and CSS using his own team (and his own 10 fingers). The tight time frame made him work quick and dirty, which is the complete opposite to my ideas and methodologies.
But he was absolutely right (which make me wrong, of course) and the project managed to be on air, on time.
What does it mean to work quick and dirty?
My method was to replace classes in a methodological way, writing correct CSS classes and files, and fixing the HTML.
Shay fixed HTML on the fly, added inline styles every where he saw a design error, and nothing methodological. Very dirty, but very quick.
He used images as buttons instead of using CSS classes that will design table's elements as a button.
And so on, and so forth.
When should you do it that way?
Basically, you shouldn't. Having said that, there's no rule that doesn't have exceptions.
When you have a tight project, and the code is massy, you might just not have other alternative (or choice).
In that particular project, the UI is going to be redesigned, and re-written in Asp.Net 2.0 any way. If that's the case in your project, that is a good reason to work dirty, to get the job done quickly.
To summarize this paragraph, time frame, and time tables, are the main motivator to drop the tidiness and move to dirty. When you know for sure that this code wouldn't last, it'll give you the final confirmation.
Methods that will make you quicker (and probably dirtier).
I think that the most effective method, in a quick and dirty development, is "search and replace". The standard search and replace is good enough, but you can also get a more advanced tool to use regular expressions.
Use search and replace to replace all the background colors, or all the fonts, and so on.
Search for classes' names using tools such as IE Developer Toolbar.
Then remove them from the CSS file to stop them from effecting.
Use inline styles, at the end of the tag, to over-ride everything that was before (the last style/CSS directive is the one that counts). This is something you can achieve, in a way, using search-and-replace.
I guess there are many other ways, many other tips, I'll be happy to hear yours.
The most important thing to remember is, your client probably don't care about the code, as much as he want the project done on time.
Although tidy HTML is easier to maintain, if you don't need to do that (maintain your code), there's no reason to be that tidy.