Management tour of duty

Greetings, all!  My apologies again for doing such a bad job of keeping you up to date.  I have been absorbed with my duties as interim development manager for our team, and have not had much time to delve into the various technical things going on in the areas I’m still nominally dev lead for. …


MSBuild talk at PDC

Hi all –   So, as I mentioned in an earlier blog entry, Alex Kipman & Rajeev Goel are going to do a PDC presentation on MSBuild (the new build engine we’re including with Whidbey).  If you’re going to the PDC, be sure to check it out.  It’s Monday, Oct. 27th from 4:45-6pm in one…


Career crossroads

Greetings all –   My apologies for being a bit out of touch for the last few weeks.  There have been several “fires” burning that I’ve had to deal with, plus a short vacation for my 10-year college reunion a couple weeks ago.  And now, my manager has been promoted to a different position inside…


Have to recommend “Whale Rider”

So, I saw the movie Whale Rider this weekend, and I have to say it’s one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time.  Reading a synopsis of the film you wouldn’t think much of it, but it really grabs you.  The girl who plays the lead role does an amazing job, and…


Introducing MSBuild

Hi all –   More stuff has come online.  See here for a little blurb about MSBuild, which is what we’re calling our cool new build engine that will ship along with Whidbey. -Chris


PDC 2003 tracks announced

Greetings, all!   Microsoft has announced the broad outline of the material to be presented at the PDC 2003.  See here for the list of tracks & presentations.   Under the “Languages and Tools” section you’ll see a cryptic reference to “a new unified build system”.  This is one of the really cool things we’re…


Feature creep: the bane of big software projects

Greetings all!  Today something happened which got me thinking about one of the nastiest problems in software development: feature creep.  This is when the feature set of a product morphs and grows to the point where it’s a significantly different product than when it began.   I’m reminded of an experience a few months ago…


Software patents

Greetings, all!  It looks like the Europeans came to their senses and rejected American-style software patents.  See here for a ZDNet article on this.  There was a recent article in the Economist discussing the EU’s consideration of software patents, which got to the point much better than other articles I’ve read.   And before I…


More on configurations

Greetings, all!  In my entry about devenv /build, a reader named Toby mentions the pain of maintaining multiple configurations when you have a lot of them that are identical except for one flag.  He says:   In my work, I’ll deal with several types of configurations: release, debug, profile build, unicode/mbcs, managed/unmanaged, xbox/pc, inline assembly/unoptimized…


Software: Engineering or Craft?

Software is such an interesting field.  We can’t figure out whether it’s a craft or an engineering discipline.  Personally, I think it should be an engineering discipline, but it’s one that’s fundamentally different from physical engineering like building a bridge or skyscraper.   Why should software be any different?  After all, skyscrapers and bridges are…