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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

Finished the Translation on WF HOL Lab04 to VB2005

March 21st, 2007 by kenlin@HK [MVP]
Well, I start doing the translation again. I spent 2 days on this propose in the end of Jan. And I start pick it up again and try to finish it asap. Cause I found someone left message in and asking me if I will do the rest. So….I hope that I would be able to finished all HOL Labs within this month. But it is a very hard job. I wake at 5:30am(because of Jet lag after back from Global MVP Summit 2007 in Seattle), and so I still search around about Orcas, I got confuse on what Orcas acutally is. I know that it is Next VS(might be VS2007 with .NET Framework 3.5). But….I also found the Windows SDK for Vista are called Oracs_Mar07CTP in the description….hm….then….Orcas is including Windows SDK too?
Anyway, I don’t wanna get into sleep again, so I keep getting information from internet, and found, I have 3 things to do,
  1. Translation on WF HOL(Lab04 – Lab10);
  2. Translation on WF Starter Kit(still in beta and not released yet, so I think only WF team and I got it at this moment);
  3. Study Oracs, LINQ
  4. WF interact with WCF
Well, I found all I need the most is …..WF. And…I should start from basic first. So I found the first item I should choose is….(1). Then….should be (2). So I start my work on rest of Lab04. When I complete the Exercise 1 of Lab04, I cannot run it successfully. I search around and around, find many people saying that they have the same issues. I found many developers are trying to interact WF with ASP.NET2.0. But it is not a easy job but I think many companies(even in HK) will ask the developers to do so.
Well….until 3:30pm, I still cannot solve it. What happen to my VB one? C# is working and I just do the translation…..I take a rest and don’t wanna think about it any more for a short time. I start my work again at about 10pm. I found there is a MSFT guy who answer a lot from this issue in MSDN forum, so I try to send him my source code and ask him if he can help. After I sent the email for 2-5 mins, a light comes up. I try to see my workflow project, get into every State and look at the HandleExternalEvent Activity. GOD! I made mistake on the Initial State. That is why the program cannot run it. Correct it and it works. Thanks god. And then I received that MSFT guy’s email and telling me the same stupid thing I found. He is really good, within few minutes and he really do help me and found the point.
And now, it is 4:25am, all translation on Lab04 has done. Double check and the files can close. During today’s translation, I found I have made mistake in my MSMVP’s blog. I mention, if C# is programming like
         if(SomeEvent != null)
            SomeEvent(this, args);
And VB should be
         if Not SomeEventEvent is Nothing Then
            SomeEventEvent(Me, args)
         End If
But….this is not true when apply to WF’s State Machine Workflow, I have to make sure the event raise ONLY after the workflow runtime has really started. I have to change one property from the event arguments. So the code turns out like,
         if Not SomeEventEvent is Nothing Then
            args.WaitForIdle = true
            SomeEventEvent(Me, args) ‘Or “Raise Event SomeEvent(Me, args)
         End If
But then you will found out that the program will fire another exception, it is saying (Event “{1}” on interface type “{0}” for instance id “{2}” cannot be delivered). Now you have to look deep into the InnerException and you will found (“Type {0} is not marked as serializable”). But you already given the serializable Attribute to the class. Why the exception is fired? It appears every parameter going into the event must be serializable, including the sender parameter! We pass this reference, which points to our payment processing service. The workflow instance doesn’t actually need a reference to the testing service (if it needs to invoke a method on the service, it can use the CallExternalEvent activity), so we can fix this problem by leaving the sender parameter as null or Nothing. So finally, your code(with WF) will be like this,
         if Not SomeEventEvent is Nothing Then
            args.WaitForIdle = true
            SomeEventEvent(Nothing, args) ‘Or “Raise Event SomeEvent(Nothing, args)
         End If

Posted in .NET Framework | Comments Off on Finished the Translation on WF HOL Lab04 to VB2005

Windows Workflow Foundation(WF) Hands-On Lab01 to Lab03 in VB2005

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

If you are interesting in Windows Workflow Foundation(WF), you should found only C# hands-On Lab. A good news to you, I tried to translated them into VB2005, and it was tested by WF Team and now, you may download them from the following link, the full story are here…

I have 2 entries on the translation of WF, one is including Lab01, while another one is including Lab01-Lab03, they are both top 5 download in

The Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) runtime supports all CLS compliant programming languages. The Visual Studio 2005 extensions for WF are only provided for C# and Visual Basic .NET. It’s easy to find C# samples to get started. Here’s some pointers to samples for getting started with Windows Workflow Foundation in Visual Basic .NET.

Hands on Labs in VB.NET - Ken Lin has kindly translated these introductory WF HOLs to VB.NET (Lab01) (Lab01-Lab03)

Posted in .NET Framework, Learning | Comments Off on Windows Workflow Foundation(WF) Hands-On Lab01 to Lab03 in VB2005

Webclass on VB2005(in Cantonese)

November 22nd, 2006 by kenlin@HK [MVP]

I have recorded one webclass few months ago, it is about deploy VB2005 with ClickOnce. Althought this is nothing related to Vista, but I just want to share this with you, if you understand Cantonese, you may go and listen to it. Later on, I will do few more on Windows Workflow Foundation(WF), because I have writen few WF training guide, and it is now waiting approval to be post on MSDN site.


Posted in .NET Framework, Learning | Comments Off on Webclass on VB2005(in Cantonese)

ASP.NET Ajax V1 Beta

October 21st, 2006 by Patrick S

Announcing the new ASP.NET Ajax V1 Beta available for download from 
I have been looking forward to this… This will be one major step for WEB 2.0, more and more sites will begin to use it. Hopefully future version of WSS have this included 🙂

With ASP.NET AJAX, developers can quickly create pages with rich, responsive UI and more efficient client-server communication by simply adding a few server controls to their pages. This new Web development technology from Microsoft integrates cross-browser client script libraries with the ASP.NET 2.0 development framework. ASP.NET AJAX provides developers building client-based Web experiences with a familiar development process and programming model that they already know from using server-side ASP.NET development. Because ASP.NET AJAX is integrated with ASP.NET, developers have full access to the built-in ASP.NET 2.0 application services and the entire .NET Framework.

Download it from HERE

Posted in .NET Framework, Beta News, Visual Studio | 1 Comment »

Visual Studio.Net 2003 Service Pack 1 has been released

August 18th, 2006 by André Nogueira

As the title says, Visual Studio.Net 2003 Service Pack 1 is now available for download!

Download size: 160 MB


  • English
  • Simplified Chinese
  • Traditional Chinese
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • French
  • Italian
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Russian

Operating Systems:

  • Windows NT 4
  • Windows 2000
  • Windows XP
  • Windows Server 2003
  • Windows Vista

Supported Frameworks:

  • .NET Framework 1.1
  • .NET Framework 1.1 SP1 (recommended Framework level)

More Information:

Source: Visual C++ Team Blog

Posted in .NET Framework, Computing, Microsoft, MS News, Visual Studio | Comments Off on Visual Studio.Net 2003 Service Pack 1 has been released

Correction of URL for Windows Workflow Foundation Resources page in

July 13th, 2006 by kenlin@HK [MVP]

I am going to be guest speaker for Microsoft HK to the ISV about Windows Workflow Foundation. The first sign come to my mind that I should go to search the information is

But then I found out that the URL in the Resources Tab under Windows Workflow Foundation is incorrect and it only redirect you to the default page of the Windows Workflow Foundation in MSDN site After I look carefully at the redirect URL link, I would like to correct them here and I wish Windows Workflow Foundation team could update them.

1) Introducing Windows Workflow Foundation by David Chappel



2) Getting Started with Windows Workflow Foundation by Dino Esposito



From the above sample correction, you may found out 2 points and you could apply for other resource link,
1) changing from into

2) changing WWF into WF only. In the past Microsoft is naming Windows Workflow Foundation as WWF, but somehow reason, now Microsoft only called it as WF only.

Useful Links:    


Posted in .NET Framework, MSBLOG Related | Comments Off on Correction of URL for Windows Workflow Foundation Resources page in

Vista: Glass in C#

July 11th, 2006 by kenlin@HK [MVP]

Found some good article from chatting with Some other MS MVPs in developer. I found this very good artcle which I would like to be share with you if you wanna try.


We looked at glass in Vista previously so please read that to make sure we are on the same page and using the same terminology… I’ll wait…

Great, now that you are back, let’s see how to get glass in our C# applications. For starters, if glass is supported and enabled on the user’s PC, then your non-client area will by default get the glass effect. In other words, the titlebar and borders will have glass (nothing more for you to do). The question is how to extend that into the client area like other OS applications do (as we saw last time).

There are 3+1 things we need to do:
1. Check that it is supported before proceeding further.
2. Extend the frame into the client area.
3. Paint the extended area black.

4. Allow the user to drag our window by pressing in the glass area as if they were pressing on the window’s caption bar.

(you may view the full story in


Download a complete sample here.

Posted in .NET Framework, Windows Vista | 2 Comments »

Project Glidepath Public Beta has Launched

June 27th, 2006 by kenlin@HK [MVP]


Visit to participate in the Microsoft MicroISV Evangelism program that delivers an in-Visual-Studio experience providing the workflow-based guidance, sample code and technology to create applications for Windows Vista.

Project Glidepath delivers workflow-based guidance, code, templates and other content via a software factory, a Visual Studio add-in, consisting of tools for building a product which is a member of a product family.

Project Glidepath’s product family is defined as “applications for Windows Vista including applications that use .Net Framework 3.0 technology on down-level operating systems”.

Applications built with Project Glidepath focus on making their core application logic reusable so that the user experience can be delivered on many platforms (desktop, mobile, web).


Posted in .NET Framework, Beta News, Windows Vista | Comments Off on Project Glidepath Public Beta has Launched

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