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TFS Build Failure Due to IIS Connection close

November 17th, 2011 by Patrick S

I stumbled across a quirky issue today which was causing scheduled TFSBuild jobs to fail with the following error: “Unable to read data from the transport connection: An existing connection was forcibly closed by the remote host”. When executing the build definition manually I could not reproduce the issue; the build would run through without any errors.

After a bit of searching it turns out there is a small bug in IIS 7.5 (introduced in Windows Server 2008 R2) which prevents TFS downloading files larger than 2MB over a slow network connection; IIS will expire the idle connection time-out and disconnect mid-transfer.

Installing KB981898 from Microsoft Support will fix this bug and allow TFS builds to run-through without any issues.


Posted in Bugs, Visual Studio | Comments Off on TFS Build Failure Due to IIS Connection close

Data Dude + Team Dev are now one plus it’s now Visual Studio 2010

October 2nd, 2008 by kenlin@HK [MVP]

Microsoft opened up the kimono today on Press Pass.

The next release of Visual Studio is Visual Studio 2010 and the .NET Framework 4.0.

In addition, if you go down the page here, you find some juicy goodness:

Better Together – Visual Studio Team System Development Edition and Database Edition
In recognition of the increased need to integrate more of the lifecycle members together, we will provide a unified Development and Database product in Visual Studio Team System 2010. Beginning October 1, 2008 Development Edition and Database Edition MSDN subscribers will have access to both products.”

Great news!

Posted in .NET Framework, Beta News, MS News, Visual Studio | Comments Off on Data Dude + Team Dev are now one plus it’s now Visual Studio 2010

“Requested registry access is not allowed”

June 2nd, 2008 by Patrick S

Ok, now I am in my second year of University/College… Previously I had been studying Java in my Comp Sci classes (i didn’t like it much but that’s beside the point i guess). So recently I have been delving into a bit of C#/MS-SQL (and am loving it).

In class we do all developing in a virtual environment so we can have full root access to the system witout compromising security on the local machine itself. We use Windows XP & Visiual Studio2005 and everything works a charm!
But its a different story when i installed VS 08 on my Vista box at home. Some of code I had been working on in the labs on XP wont run on Vista-Particularly when editing the registry.

For example when coding up something to change the RDC port on a server based on OS (Based on the Major & Minor Windows Version Code numbers) i open the following reg entry:

const string TerminalServicesPortNumberRegistryKey = @"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\WinStations\RDP-Tcp";

I get the resulting error in VS/.NET JIT event catcher: “Requested registry access is not allowed”

Basically it comes down to the fact that your account is not an admin account by default (like it was in XP), its not UAC’s fault this time-surprise surprise!
The problem is for some reason regisry permissions are given to the user msiserver. You can reset each entry manually, but that is a major pain. It’s much easier just to fix the entire registry by using the SubInACL utility. Basically, you can use the utility to add administrator permissions to every key in the registry.

We need to set administrator permissions to every reg key in the registry using the SubInACL utility.
-First-of all we need to create a new text file named fix_registry_permissions.cmd and add the following text to it and save it.

cd /d "%programfiles%\Windows Resource Kits\Tools"
subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CURRENT_USER /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
subinacl /subdirectories %SystemDrive% /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
subinacl /subdirectories %windir%\*.* /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f

Run the file-It should take a couple of mins to execute, but once complete all registry keys will be accessible to the administrator and system.

This is all well and good to do on your own personal system but what if i want to write something that modifies reg entries for friends? *sigh*

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Posted in Programming, Rants, Visual Studio | 1 Comment »

Windows Server, SQL Server & Visual Studio Launch 2008 Resources

April 25th, 2008 by Patrick S


Microsoft have just posted the resources from the Windows Server, SQL Server & Visual Studio Heroes happen {Here}  launch. Check them out they are very informative indeed!

Catergorys include:

  • Session 1 | What’s New in Windows Server 2008
  • Session 2 | Virtualization and Your Infrastructure
  • Session 3 | Securing Your IT Infrastructure with Windows Server 2008
  • Session 4 | Exploring Windows Server 2008 Web and Application Technologies

Find the links to the slides here:

Posted in MS SQL, Visual Studio, Windows Server System | Comments Off on Windows Server, SQL Server & Visual Studio Launch 2008 Resources

Visual Studio 2008 Product Comparison Guide, v1.08 + Updates

April 24th, 2008 by Patrick S

A new version of the Visual Studio 2008 Product Comparison Guide is now available. Version 1.08 includes updates to a number or line items, but in particular it includes a lot of fixes in the debugging section and adds a section on 64-bit development features.

Also check out the update for Visual Studio 2008 and Visual Web Developer Express 2008 @

Posted in Visual Studio | Comments Off on Visual Studio 2008 Product Comparison Guide, v1.08 + Updates

Treat your eyes to some Consolas

April 23rd, 2008 by Patrick S

Picture this: You’re a developer who frequently writes console applications. Each day after work you go home and head to bed, you close your eyes and burnt into the darkness is the ever so familiar output of command prompt jargon.
Does the above sound like you? Sick of screen-burn in your eyes?
Well Microsoft have answered your call to give your eyes a rest 🙂

Introducing the “Consolas” font Microsoft developed specifically for developers!!

“When we began work on a project to create a new set of fonts which would take maximum advantage of ClearType, we decided to develop a fixed-pitch font for developers – because no one ever thought of their needs, and we realized a highly-readable fixed-width font would make their lives a lot easier…
…The Windows International fonts team is also working on another version that’ll support Vietnamese, and also the line draw characters that we made to support the console window.”


See for yourself-This image (as shown on IE blog is of the standard 8 x 12Px Raster font used by default in CMD.exe

Compare this to the Consolas type fonts:


You can defiantly see how much more cleaner and easy to read the new font looks compared to the old Raster font (you can’t fit as much on the screen – it’s a trade off for the best in my opinion)

Now, this font comes bundled with Microsoft Office 2007 but if you don’t happen to have Office installed or available to you Microsoft have provided a download for the font from here.
To install the font simply do the following in CMD.exe

reg add "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Console\TrueTypeFont" /v 00 /d Consolas


Note: In Windows Vista, you need to run the reg command from an elevated command prompt… When you log back in, Consolas will be an option in the “Command Prompt” Properties.

That should make the reading of Command Prompt output a whole lot more easier… Still, personally this font reminds me of the font used within Konsole/Terminal in Linux.

Posted in Computing, Visual Studio | Comments Off on Treat your eyes to some Consolas

Microsoft Commits to November Release Date for Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5

November 6th, 2007 by kenlin@HK [MVP]

BARCELONA, Spain — Nov. 5, 2007 — Today, during the keynote address at Microsoft TechEd Developers 2007, S. “Soma” Somasegar, corporate vice president of the Developer Division at Microsoft Corp., announced that Microsoft will release Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5 by the end of November 2007. Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5 enable developers at all levels to rapidly create connected applications that offer compelling user experiences for Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, the 2007 Microsoft Office system, mobile devices and the Web. Soma also unveiled plans to open new opportunities for Visual Studio partners, as well as to deliver new tools and resources for developers, including a first Community Technology Preview (CTP) of the Microsoft Sync Framework and new capabilities for Popfly Explorer.

“The highly social and visual nature of the Web has fundamentally changed what users expect from all applications they interact with, regardless of whether it’s on a customer-facing Web site or Windows rich client application, or a desktop business application built using Microsoft Office,” said Somasegar. “Traditionally, organizations have been hard pressed to deliver the richer, more connected applications and services they need to boost productivity, drive revenue and stay ahead of the competition. With Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5, it is easy for developers to use the skills they already have to build compelling applications that take advantage of the latest platforms.”

FWBS Ltd., Xerox Corp., Dell Inc. and K2 are just a few of the early adopter customers that are already experiencing the benefits of these releases. FWBS used Visual Studio, the .NET Framework and the Microsoft Office system to build an Office Business Application (OBA) for the law field. The application enables users to work within Microsoft Office — the tools they use every day — while also dramatically improving productivity and helping users respond quickly to changing business needs.

Xerox has also had early success developing applications with the new tools. “We’ve already seen significant advantages from using Visual Studio Team System 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5. With the first application we built, we easily saved 50 percent of the time and money it would have taken to create the same application with other tools,” said Eugene Shustef, feature design lead, Global Technology, Xerox. “That’s more than a savings to IT — it delivers a huge time-to-market advantage because it put the tool into the hands of our analysts six months sooner than they would have had it otherwise.”

Creating New Opportunities for Partners

Microsoft also announced plans to make additional investments in the Visual Studio partner ecosystem. In response to partner feedback and in order to provide better support for interoperability with other developer tools and cross-platform scenarios, Microsoft is today announcing plans to change licensing terms, no longer limiting partners to building solutions on top of Visual Studio for Windows and other Microsoft platforms only. This licensing change will be effective for the release of Visual Studio 2008 and the Visual Studio 2008 SDK.

“Integrating dynaTrace’s cross-platform application performance management and diagnostics product with Visual Studio has opened up additional commercial opportunities for our business and delivered a compelling solution for our customers. .NET and Visual Studio is a strategic platform for our business, and Microsoft’s additional investments in the partner ecosystem make it even more compelling,” said Klaus Fellner, senior director of product marketing at dynaTrace. “We’re looking forward to taking advantage of the new technology available with the launch of Visual Studio 2008 and the partner benefits available through the Visual Studio Industry Partner (VSIP) program.”

In addition, Microsoft announced plans to create a shared source licensing program for Premier-level partners in the VSIP program. The program will provide these partners with the ability to view Visual Studio IDE source code for debugging purposes, and simplify the process of integrating their products with Visual Studio 2008.

Tools for Today and Tomorrow

Microsoft also announced a number of additional resources for developers of all skill sets, enabling them to make the most out of their Microsoft tools investments to build great applications on the latest platforms:

  • The first CTP of the Microsoft Sync Framework demonstrates Microsoft’s ongoing investments in synchronization and builds on the synchronization functionality available in Visual Studio 2008. With Visual Studio 2008, developers can rapidly take advantage of offline synchronization capabilities to sync-enable applications and services easily with rich designer support. The Microsoft Sync Framework extends the support featured in Visual Studio 2008 to also include offline and peer-to-peer collaboration using any protocol for any data type, and any data store. This is part of Microsoft’s long-term commitment to providing synchronization for partners and independent software vendors that can embed the Sync Framework into their applications easily to create rich sync-enabled ecosystems that allow any type of data to follow their customers wherever they go.
  • A new release of Popfly Explorer will add new Web tools that provide Web developers and Popfly users an easy way to add Silverlight gadgets built in Popfly to their Web pages, as well as publish HTML Web pages directly to Popfly.

These latest releases are part of the broader Microsoft Application Platform, a portfolio of technology capabilities and core products that help organizations develop, deploy and manage applications and IT infrastructure. They also mark another major milestone leading up to the global launch of Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008 and SQL Server 2008 on Feb. 27, 2008, in Los Angeles.

Product Information and Availability

Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5 will be available by the end of November 2007. The .NET Framework 3.5 will also be available to end users via a free, optional download from Microsoft Update. A CTP of Microsoft Sync Framework is available today at Popfly Explorer is a hosted development environment available today at More information about all of these releases is available at

Posted in .NET Framework, MS News, MSDN, Products, Visual Studio | Comments Off on Microsoft Commits to November Release Date for Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5

Enable ASP.NET AJAX v1.0 to your existing ASP.NET 2.0 Web Site or Web Application.

November 5th, 2007 by kenlin@HK [MVP]

Few days ago, I shared about how to upgrade your ASP.NET 1.1 to ASP.NET 2.0, this time I am going to discuss about enabling ASP.NET AJAX v1.0 to your existing Web Site or Web Application.

1) You have to downlaod and install the ASP.NET 2.0 AJAX Extensions 1.0. Here
2) You may download and extract the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit. Here

After install it, you will found out that you may create AJAX Enabled Web Application when creating new projects(Web Site or Web Application). You may also found out that there is a new tab called “AJAX Extensions” in Toolbox. If you have extracted the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit, you may do the following,

1) Create new tab called “AJAX Control Toolkit”;
2) Right click under the created tab and click on “Choose Items…”;
3) Click “Browse…” and browse to the folder which you extract the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit, and then browse to “~\SampleWebSite\Bin” and select AjaxControlToolokit.dll
4) Now you will see a lot of controls which you are ready to use. You may browse and view the “Toolkit Live” to get the sample and idea on the controls.

You are now ready to build your AJAX web site or web application. However, if you have any existing ASP.NET 2.0 Web Site or Web Application, you do the normal action to write AJAX, you will found out that the AJAX is not working in your existing Web Site or Web Application. You have to do the following in order to let your existing ASP.NET 2.0 Web Site or Web Application to be “AJAX Enabled”,

1) Open web.config from your existing web site or web application
2) Add the following XML under <configuration> tab.

    <sectionGroup name=”system.web.extensions” type=”System.Web.Configuration.SystemWebExtensionsSectionGroup, System.Web.Extensions, Version=1.0.61025.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35″>
      <sectionGroup name=”scripting” type=”System.Web.Configuration.ScriptingSectionGroup, System.Web.Extensions, Version=1.0.61025.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35″>
          <section name=”scriptResourceHandler” type=”System.Web.Configuration.ScriptingScriptResourceHandlerSection, System.Web.Extensions, Version=1.0.61025.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35″ requirePermission=”false” allowDefinition=”MachineToApplication”/>
        <sectionGroup name=”webServices” type=”System.Web.Configuration.ScriptingWebServicesSectionGroup, System.Web.Extensions, Version=1.0.61025.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35″>
          <section name=”jsonSerialization” type=”System.Web.Configuration.ScriptingJsonSerializationSection, System.Web.Extensions, Version=1.0.61025.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35″ requirePermission=”false” allowDefinition=”Everywhere” />
          <section name=”profileService” type=”System.Web.Configuration.ScriptingProfileServiceSection, System.Web.Extensions, Version=1.0.61025.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35″ requirePermission=”false” allowDefinition=”MachineToApplication” />
          <section name=”authenticationService” type=”System.Web.Configuration.ScriptingAuthenticationServiceSection, System.Web.Extensions, Version=1.0.61025.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35″ requirePermission=”false” allowDefinition=”MachineToApplication” />

        <add tagPrefix=”asp” namespace=”System.Web.UI” assembly=”System.Web.Extensions, Version=1.0.61025.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35″/>
          Set compilation debug=”true” to insert debugging
          symbols into the compiled page. Because this
          affects performance, set this value to true only
          during development.
    <compilation debug=”false”>
        <add assembly=”System.Web.Extensions, Version=1.0.61025.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35″/>

      <remove verb=”*” path=”*.asmx”/>
      <add verb=”*” path=”*.asmx” validate=”false” type=”System.Web.Script.Services.ScriptHandlerFactory, System.Web.Extensions, Version=1.0.61025.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35″/>
      <add verb=”*” path=”*_AppService.axd” validate=”false” type=”System.Web.Script.Services.ScriptHandlerFactory, System.Web.Extensions, Version=1.0.61025.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35″/>
      <add verb=”GET,HEAD” path=”ScriptResource.axd” type=”System.Web.Handlers.ScriptResourceHandler, System.Web.Extensions, Version=1.0.61025.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35″ validate=”false”/>

      <add name=”ScriptModule” type=”System.Web.Handlers.ScriptModule, System.Web.Extensions, Version=1.0.61025.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35″/>

      <!– Uncomment this line to customize maxJsonLength and add a custom converter –>
      <jsonSerialization maxJsonLength=”500″>
          <add name=”ConvertMe” type=”Acme.SubAcme.ConvertMeTypeConverter”/>
      <!– Uncomment this line to enable the authentication service. Include requireSSL=”true” if appropriate. –>
        <authenticationService enabled=”true” requireSSL = “true|false”/>

      <!– Uncomment these lines to enable the profile service. To allow profile properties to be retrieved
           and modified in ASP.NET AJAX applications, you need to add each property name to the readAccessProperties and
           writeAccessProperties attributes. –>
      <profileService enabled=”true”
                      writeAccessProperties=”propertyname1,propertyname2″ />
      <scriptResourceHandler enableCompression=”true” enableCaching=”true” />

    <validation validateIntegratedModeConfiguration=”false”/>
      <add name=”ScriptModule” preCondition=”integratedMode” type=”System.Web.Handlers.ScriptModule, System.Web.Extensions, Version=1.0.61025.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35″/>
      <remove name=”WebServiceHandlerFactory-Integrated” />
      <add name=”ScriptHandlerFactory” verb=”*” path=”*.asmx” preCondition=”integratedMode”
           type=”System.Web.Script.Services.ScriptHandlerFactory, System.Web.Extensions, Version=1.0.61025.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35″/>
      <add name=”ScriptHandlerFactoryAppServices” verb=”*” path=”*_AppService.axd” preCondition=”integratedMode”
           type=”System.Web.Script.Services.ScriptHandlerFactory, System.Web.Extensions, Version=1.0.61025.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35″/>
      <add name=”ScriptResource” preCondition=”integratedMode” verb=”GET,HEAD” path=”ScriptResource.axd” type=”System.Web.Handlers.ScriptResourceHandler, System.Web.Extensions, Version=1.0.61025.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35″ />

Now you are ready to make your web site or web application to be “AJAX Enabled”.

Posted in .NET Framework, MSDN, Visual Studio | Comments Off on Enable ASP.NET AJAX v1.0 to your existing ASP.NET 2.0 Web Site or Web Application.

VS2008 Beta2 VPCs re-released

October 31st, 2007 by kenlin@HK [MVP]

As you might already know, the VS2008 VPC will be expired on Nov 1st, the VSTS team is going to release a new VPC with updated expiration date.  Detail in below,

As the final act in our saga of expiring VPCs, I’m happy to announce that we’ve reissued VPCs for VS2008 Beta2 with an updated expiration date.  You can find the updated links on the VS2008 download page:

Thanks to everyone that has helped us get the word out about this situation and please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this might have caused you.  Needless to say, we’re taking steps now to ensure that we don’t make this particular mistake again.

Source from Jeff Beehler’s Blog — VS2008 Beta2 VPCs re-released

Posted in .NET Framework, Virtual Machine, Visual Studio | Comments Off on VS2008 Beta2 VPCs re-released

Upgrading ASP.NET 1.x to ASP.NET 2.0

October 30th, 2007 by kenlin@HK [MVP]

Last time, I speak in Hong Kong .NET UserGroup Monthly Gathering in 2007 Sept right after MSDN Seminar, the topic was “Experience Sharing: Upgrading ASP.NET 1.x –> 2.0 –> AJAX”. Well, I also promised that i will blog about it. Actually, it is nothing new and it is nothing special. I just shared my experience on how I upgrade ASP.NET 1.1 to 2.0 and how to enable AJAX.

First, I am not sure if you know that, in .NET framework 2.0, there is 2 types of Web Projects, ASP.NET 2.0 Web Site and ASP.NET 2.0 Web Application. You may refer to the following link for more information if you would like to read more.

Introduction to Web Application Projects

If you are going to upgrading your existing ASP.NET 1.x project, you should choose to be using ASP.NET 2.0 Web Application project. This is the message from one of ScottGu’s blog, Tutorial on VB and C# are also mentioned.

“Because the VS 2005 Web Application Project model has the same conceptual semantics as the VS 2003 Web Project Model, it also makes migrating VS 2003 web projects very, very easy – with zero/minimal code changes required.  To learn how to automatically upgrade a VS 2003 web project using this option, please review these VB and C# tutorials that walkthrough the VS 2003 to VS 2005 upgrade process step-by-step.”

However, if you want to move your existing ASP.NET 2.0 Web Site to ASP.NET 2.0 Web Application, you may read the following message from ScottGu’s blog,

“If you want to migrate an existing VS 2005 Web Site Project to be a VS 2005 Web Application Project, please also review these other VB and C# migration tutorials that walkthrough the Web Site to Web Application conversion process step-by-step.  This article here also describes some of the differences between the VS 2005 Web Site Project Model and VS 2005 Web Application Project Model. “


Q: How can I create ASP.NET 2.0 Web Application Project?
A: Your machine must installed VS2005 with SP1 in order to create ASP.NET 2.0 Web Application Project

Q: I don’t want to install VS2005 SP1 at the moment, any other way?
A: you need the deprecated “Microsoft Visual Studio Web Application Projects” installer you can find it here.

Q: Anything I need to download if I am going to start developing in ASP.NET 2.0 Web Application Project?
A: Available as a separate download is a custom build tool for generating a strongly-typed Profile class for the ASP.NET 2.0 Profile system.  This allows you to right-click on a web.config file containing profile declarations and auto-generate the Profile type into your code-behind project assembly.  You can learn more about this and download it here. 

Q: I would like to read more and the full story on ScottGu blog.
A: Sure, you may go to ScottGu’s blog – VS 2005 Web Application Project V1.0 Released

Q: Any other resource from Microsoft Official link?
A: Sure, here you are, MSDN: Upgrade from ASP.NET 1.x

Q: You mentioned ASP.NET 2.0 to AJAX….
A: Yes, I am going to blog about it later on. Please come back some time for more detail.


Posted in .NET Framework, Introductions, Visual Studio | Comments Off on Upgrading ASP.NET 1.x to ASP.NET 2.0

Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2 Virtual PC (VPC) images to expire on Nov 1st

October 27th, 2007 by Jabez Gan [MVP]

For users who downloaded the VPC of VS2008 Beta 2 from MSDN, please be noted that the VPCs will expire on Nov 1st, instead of March 15, 2008 as announced originally.

It is best that you start to backup and move your Team Foundation Server data to an alternative source. For instructions on how to move, please refer to the article from the MSDN Library.

Some FAQ you might have:


Q. Will my data be available after November 1, 2007?A.This is still being researched, however, currently the understanding is that customers will NOT be able to access their date after November 1st unless the data is moved to an alternate installation location.

Q. Can I reset my system date to re-enable the OS image?A.Again there is still research being done, however, from the current understanding of the problem resetting the system date back DOES NOT re-enable the OS image.

Posted in Visual Studio | Comments Off on Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2 Virtual PC (VPC) images to expire on Nov 1st

Microsoft to push functional programming into the mainstream with F#

October 24th, 2007 by kenlin@HK [MVP]

Microsoft has announced that support for the F# functional programming language will be fully integrated into Visual Studio. This marks a bold new commitment to facilitating functional programming on the .NET platform and could potentially help legitimize functional programming in enterprise environments. Microsoft’s promotion of F# to a fully-supported language in Visual Studio is also indicative of the extreme versatility of the .NET platform and Microsoft’s Common Language Runtime.

F# began its life as a Microsoft Research project to demonstrate the efficacy of .NET as a platform for mixing multiple distinct programming paradigms. F# is heavily inspired by the OCaml programming language, and a subset of F# and OCaml are largely compatible. F# offers developers many valuable and compelling features without sacrificing much runtime efficiency. F# supports type inference, pattern matching, high-order functions, and currying. F# also supports interactive execution, which means that F# programs can be run like scripts or inputted in an interactive top-level environment similar to the Python shell or Ruby’s IRB. F# also has full access to the .NET APIs and components written in other .NET languages.

The advantages of functional programming

Unlike imperative or procedural programming languages, in which computation is typically performed by altering program state, functional programming languages operate on the principles of mathematical evaluation and reduction. Such programming languages are deeply rooted in formal mathematical logic and computational theory. Functional programming languages are largely based on the system of lambda calculus devised by Alonzo Church, in which numerical values, sequences, data structures, basic mathematical computations, and even recursion can be expressed entirely with nested functions.

The close association with lambda calculus and category theory makes functional languages a powerful tool for understanding and programmatically modeling concepts like catamorphisms and recursion. For some programmers, learning to see the ineffable theoretical perfection of functional programming languages is a profoundly illuminating experience that opens the mind to a completely new way of perceiving and understanding computer programming. In some cases, certain functional programming languages are also valued because functional purity is highly conducive to referential transparency and minimizes the potential for side effects.

Outside of the academic world, functional programming idioms are valued because they are often far more expressive than imperative or procedural equivalents. Modern dynamic scripting languages like Python and Ruby, for instance, offer first-class functions in order to boost developer productivity. Even C# offers some features—like LINQ—that are heavily based on functional programming concepts. The ability to mix F# and C# in .NET applications makes it far easier for software developers to use the programming paradigms that are best suited for each individual task.

Functional programming on .NET

Microsoft’s decision to productize F# represents a particularly significant step forward for the .NET platform. Microsoft took an equally significant step when it unveiled the Dynamic Language Runtime earlier this year. The .NET platform now fully, officially, and equally supports functional, dynamic, and conventional imperative programming paradigms in an interoperable manner all with a single runtime. This is a tremendous accomplishment and strong evidence of the .NET platform’s success and long-term viability.

“[W]e aim to continue the flow of good ideas from functional programming world into mainstream development,” wrote Microsoft developer division vice president S. Somasegar in a blog entry. “Furthermore, the somewhat mathematical slant of functional programming just seems naturally appealing to professionals whose primary domain is described with mathematical notation—domains such as financial, scientific and technical computing. On top of the syntactic appeal, the strong type system yields the sort of guarantees which are often crucial in these domains, and enables a superb tooling experience through Visual Studio.”

Although this is the first time that Microsoft has treated functional programming on .NET as a product instead of an experiment, many independent developers have long used functional programming languages on top of .NET. The open-source Nemerle programming language, for instance, supports extremely impressive features like macros and is preferred over F# by some programmers in the Ars community. There are also several Standard ML and Lisp implementations for .NET.

As the C# programming language and .NET continue to evolve, developers can undoubtedly look forward to seeing more dynamic and functional programming concepts move out of scripting and academia to augment and complement more conventional programming techniques. Microsoft’s efforts to push dynamic and functional programming into the mainstream are one of many signs that the art of software development is enjoying a profound renaissance.

Reported By: Tony Cheung from Hong Kong
Writen By: Ryan Paul

Posted in .NET Framework, MS News, Visual Studio | 2 Comments »

Knowledge of language features, “Operator Overloading “

May 14th, 2007 by kenlin@HK [MVP]

Well, I am one of the VB insiders, we are talking about a video. This video is a chatting video between 5 guys from difference team(VB, C#, C++, Channel 9 interviewer). They are going to answer you few question about the language future from their view when developing CLR/LINQ/VB/C#/C++. But the point we VB Insider discussing is, one of them, Brian Beckman has spoken that he likes C# because of the “Operator Overloading” support. That means he does not know that VB.NET(Or shorten called VB9 now) also has operator overloading support.

Another interesting issue I found afterward, I open up .NET Documentation, type the “operator overloading” keyword in Index Tab, I found a C# article(“Help me, I am overloaded”) on Operator Overloading and explain to you how to do so, why to do so(ms-help://MS.VSCC.v80/MS.MSDN.v80/MS.VSADD.v10.en/dncscol/html/csharp06212001.htm). But when I click in VB, it only shows you the “SAMPLE”(ms-help://MS.VSCC.v80/MS.MSDN.v80/MS.VisualStudio.v80.en/dv_vbcode/html/30202e10-8bdc-47dc-8fd1-f0ff9ffa0641.htm). Oh…god…no article in VB? How the VB beginner learn and understand it then? No wonder why he said the above comment.

Anders Hejlsberg, Herb Sutter, Erik Meijer, Brian Beckman: Software Composability and the Future of Languages
Posted by Charles // Mon, Jan 22, 2007 1:09 PM
How will imperative programming languages evolve to suit the needs of developers in the age of Concurrency and Composability? What role can programming languages play in enabling true composability? What are the implications of LINQ on the furture of managed (CLS-based) and unmanaged(C++) languages? How will our imperative languages (static) become more functional (dynamic) in nature while preserving their static “experience” for developers? Answers to these questions and much more are to be found in this interview with some of Microsoft’s leading language designers and programming thought leaders: Anders Hejlsberg, Technical Fellow and Chief Architect of C#, Herb Sutter, Architect in the C++ language design group, Erik Meijer, Architect in both VB.Net and C# language design and programming language guru, and Brian Beckman, physicist and programming language architect working on VB.Net.

This is a great conversation with some of the industry’s most influential programming language designers. Tune in. You may be surprised by what you learn…


Posted in .NET Framework, Interviews, Learning, Microsoft, Visual Studio | Comments Off on Knowledge of language features, “Operator Overloading “

“Live From Redmond” Webcast series

April 11th, 2007 by kenlin@HK [MVP]

VB Team is trying to get the word out about a Live From Redmond webcast series the VB team has put together aimed at Orcas and VB 9. The series will start April 18th and will continue into June.

Posted in .NET Framework, Daily Life, MS News, Visual Studio | Comments Off on “Live From Redmond” Webcast series

Expression Web and Blend being added to MSDN subscription

April 4th, 2007 by kenlin@HK [MVP]

Go to an interactive design or web conference and ask an audience to raise their hands if they are “designers”, then again if they are “developers”, and I am always surprised to see that as much as a third (and sometimes more) of the crowd will just stare back at you perplexed, annoyed, or with playful contempt.  Turns out the label “designer” and “developer” are pretty ill suited to describe many of the ranks of folks who build applications, interactive content, and websites.  More than two distinct populations, these folks form a continuum of personalities, training, passions, and skills that span across uber-design (say, graphic illustration or photography) to uber-development (writing low-level drivers for devices, or algorithms for image processing)… while the majority of folks might be comfortable with one of these terms, for many they fail to deliver any real insight.

However there are a few statements I’d go on the record as making about the two populations that I think are unequivocally true (and are correlated in numerous quantitative research projects we have conducted):

    • Designers tend to wear black clothes, often turtlenecks, as much as 67% of the time in winter months
    • Developers like free t-shirts received at tech conferences (or as morale boosters at work), where as designers tend to use these shirts as extra materials for collages and cleaning up acrylic paint from their art-boards
    • Most designers can’t do math or quantitative thinking above a high-school level, rather, they make decisions purely through emotional intuition and guessing
    • Developers don’t understand modern art, don’t attend techno or electronic live performances, and only read non-fiction books
    • And contrary to popular belief, Santa Claus is a designer, not a developer…

Yes, the point is that any characterization of “designer” or “developers” is bound to fail, and the above examples are merely a yarn.  But I bet I had (many of) you on “designers wear black”…

By now you’ve heard about Microsoft Expression, a new product family from Microsoft “for professional web and interactive designers”.  Yes, “designers”, not “developers” (haven’t I fully undermined the validity of those terms yet?)  Coupled with our Visual Studio product line for “developers”, the two product lines together aim to radically improve the process of collaboration amongst teams of “designer/developers”.  We think role specific tools will help users with different skill sets, sensibilities, and passions to feel more at home in their tool of choice, while simultaneously allowing everyone to just swap projects/files and iterate along the way from concept to delivery of a project. 

Back in December of 2006 Microsoft shipped Expression Web (the rest of the Expression Studio is coming really soon (this quarter)) and they decided NOT to include it within any of the MSDN Subscriptions that many developers and organizations use to stay up to date on all things msft platform/tools. 

As of today Microsoft is adding Expression Web to MSDN Premium subscriptions (and the greater Team Edition offerings), and it will be available for download immediately.  This is the full product license, per other products available in MSDN subscriptions.  Microsoft is also going to include Expression Blend  in these subscriptions once it ships. By doing so, they are doing the right thing for not only “developers”, but hope this will also benefit “designers” who adopt the full Expression Studio and work on teams collaboratively with “devs”.  So much of what Microsoft is delivering in next generation platforms (ASP.NET, “WPF/E”, WPF) can only fully be exploited and realized when both the visual/interactive/emotional design is coupled with the functional, programmatic, deployable and secure manifest—and that is the focus that drove this decision, irrespective of what you call the person who does what on the project.

Source from: Somasegar’s Weblog(Corporate VP, Developer Division)

Posted in .NET Framework, MS News, MSDN, Visual Studio | Comments Off on Expression Web and Blend being added to MSDN subscription

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