Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Loose Ends


I'm picking up some loose ends this week.  I've had a couple of projects "in process", read totally ignored, for a few months.  This week I'm getting back in the groove and making progress on both of them.

First, thanks to some insistent encouragement, read nagging, from Craig Boyd, I have the VFP Build Target code up on CodePlex.  The initial commit should be seen as a design document.  I didn't write the initial implementation, Paul Witt did.  Paul is our configuration manager at DPRA and as such, he's responsible for the builds. 

After a conversation and an exchange of links to documentation, Paul built a working implementation of the VFP Build target to be called from Team Build.  Paul discovered that the build would hang if there was a problem with the build, because VFP was showing a modal dialog.  Paul set up a timer to call a separate program to kill the, now hung, VFP process.

I took Paul's code and removed the parts specific to our build process, and attempted to simplify the structure.  I also converted the build task class to C#.  Now that it's posted, I'll create some unit tests and documentation, so others can begin playing with it. 

My other loose end is my foray into the wilds of VSX.  I began an earnest investigation into the new Visual Studio extensibility features, but I got sidetracked by two exciting opportunities.  Neither opportunity played out, but I learned some things from the process.

Late last week, CoDe Magazine published VSX CoDe Focus magazine.  You should check it out.  In two weeks I'll be doing a talk on VSX at DevLink, so I will be spending my free time making sure I'm up to speed on all the latest updates.

If you are interested in influencing the future of Visual Studio Extensibility, be sure to take the survey.


VFP | VSX    Comments [0]
 Thursday, September 20, 2007

Fox Forward Shows Some Love


Kevin posted the news today that Dave Bernard won best presenter at Fox Forward 2007.  I didn't make it in time for his opening session on Instrumenting Your VFP Application, unfortunately, but I did see the first and last halves (in reverse order) of his Does Your Application Understand You? session.  Dave is doing some very exciting things with technology, and he has an easy going style when presenting.  Well done!

My Red, Green, Refactor: Test-Driven Development with FoxUnit session won the best use of technology award.  I was shocked, given the innovative approaches I saw during the conference.  It is quite an honor to be recognized by my peers in this way.  Thank you to everyone who voted, and everyone who attended for making this year's Fox Forward the best yet.

On the first evening of the conference Stephen Bodnar asked me what the difference was between my Red, Green, Refactor session at Fox Forward and my Test-Driven Development pre-conference session at SouthWest Fox next month.  My flip answer to his question is:  about two hours.  :-)  The longer answer is that I will be able to help attendees in Phoenix overcome some of the more challenging hurdles to starting TDD. 

At Fox Forward, I mentioned an approach to test driving the UI, but I didn't have time to demonstrate it.  I talked about refactoring legacy code to support unit tests, but again, no time for a demo.  In Alpharetta, I didn't even touch on the subject of mock objects.  In short, there's lots more to unpack in TDD than I can address in a standard 75 minute session. 

In fact, my repeat presentation was the last session of the day on Saturday, and the entire room kept their seats for ten extra minutes while I gave an extended demo of TDD with FoxUnit.  Kevin came in to collect the projector and everyone was still listening to me talk!  If you are signed up for the pre-con in Phoenix, or if you are considering it, I promise to give you your money's worth.



 Sunday, July 08, 2007