Links - 2007-03-03

Pipes: Rewire the web
Pipes is a hosted service that lets you remix feeds and create new data mashups in a visual programming environment. Yahoo has introduced new free service that allows you to build custom feeds using a very slick graphical interface. It all runs through the web and requires no installation. It does require you have a Yahoo account (bummer). With simple drag and drop operations, you can build a customized feed from a variety of sources. Pipes is an interactive feed aggregator and manipulator. Using Pipes, you can create feeds that are more powerful, useful and relevant.

Boyd’s Law of Iteration
Jeff Atwood, author of the blog Coding Horror has an interesting article on iterations in software development. He compares it to 1950’s era jet fighters and why the F86 waxed the MiG 15 even though the MiG was the better aircraft. Read the article to find out more, but the basic conclusion is that the speed of the iteration beats the quality of the iteration. I’ve been trying this approach with Bloget. So far I’ve published 5 Alpha’s in 5 months. That might not seem fast, but consider I write this stuff in my free time. Releasing frequently has kept the project on track. What do you think?

Scrolling boxes of terms: textarea vs div
Something to think about when displaying scrolling text. “I used to work for a bank, where checking a box to agree to a mile-long scrolling box of terms that go unread are a staple to all web forms. We used to put all those in a <textarea> tag, but eventually moved to putting them in a <div>, which still allows for the scrolling, but has the added benefit of being able to be styled as any other section of a web page. I still see many forms that use <textarea>, so I thought I’d show how to use the <div> method instead.”

First Look at Orcas
This is a great overview of the next version of Visual Studio with relevant screen shots. “Visual Studio “Orcas” will be the first version of Visual Studio that enables developers to target multiple versions of the .NET Framework. This means that you can open or create a project that explicitly targets either the .NET Framework 2.0, 3.0 and 3.5 releases, and Visual Studio will automatically filter intellisense, toolbox controls, and add reference dialog items (among other things) to only show those features supported within that specific version of the framework. You can then compile against each of these different framework releases, as well as get full debugging support for each.”

Palm-Sized MoGo Mouse
The picture says it all. It’s a wireless mouse that stores in the empty express card slot in your laptop. Brilliant!

Did it with .NET - What’s In A Closure?
A closure is a function that is bound to the environment in which it is declared. Thus, the function can reference elements from the environment within it’s body. In the case of a C# 2.0 anonymous method, the environment to which it is bound is its parenting method body. This means that local variables from the parenting method body can be referenced within the anonymous method’s body. (Read more…)

System Information for Windows
SIW (System Information for Windows) performs computer configuration analysis and diagnostics. It gives detailed information about your computer. This is a great little program. It’s a single stand-alone .exe that you can carry on USB drive and use to capture just about anything in the way of configuration you would ever want to know about a computer. Highly recommended!

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