Microsoft has released to manufacturing BizTalk Server 2006. The product should start shipping in the next couple of weeks.
Application framework RubyOnRails version 1.1 was released on Tuesday, adding more than 500 fixes and new features to the popular system for developing Web applications with the lightweight Ruby scripting language. The star addition to Rails 1.1 is support for AJAX-style programming. Tasks that previously required more extensive coding and server calls can now be handled more concisely with RJS templates. Here's a list of what's new in version 1.1.
Scrum for Team System is a free Agile Software Development Methodology add-in for Microsoft Visual Studio Team System, developed by Conchango, in collaboration with Ken Schwaber and the Microsoft Technology Centre UK. Scrum for Team System provides development teams with deep support for the use of Scrum, when running projects using Visual Studio Team System’s integrated suite of lifecycle tools.
At Mix'06 on Monday, Microsoft released a refreshed version of its "Atlas" AJAX-development tool. The new build, which is the March Community Technology Preview (CTP), comes with a Go-Live license, allowing customers to use Atlas in production.
Microsoft announced that its long-awaited TFS (Team Foundation Server) enterprise development tool will be released to manufacture on March 17. Rick LaPlante, General Manager of Visual Studio Team System, Microsoft, announced the news at the SDWest (Software Development West) 2006 show in Santa Clara, Calif., on March 16.
Why do we need another programming language? Especially if it brings nothing new, or it's not revolutionary in any way. Maybe because Rodrigo B. de Oliveira like to play God and believes he's created something while actually just reinventing the wheel. Why don't implement a .NET version of Ruby, or any other modern dynamic language? Microsoft itself is taking this approach by building IronPython. I think I'll just wait for IronPython to cook up and then give it a try. I believe, though, it's shame that Microsoft didn't thought more seriously back then about the first version of VB.NET. It would have been a far better approach if they have started with a dynamic view in mind, and give VB a new life instead of just make it an untalented step brother of the poster child for .NET - C#. Give this a thought... (Cool name though)
Sad news today... It seems that my (and our) beloved Software Development Magazine is no more. (R.I.P.) This was confirmed by this blog post by former Software Development Magazine editor (and founder) Larry O'Brien. As Larry explains, the magazine is closing and will be absorbed into Dr. Dobb's Journal. Ironically, SD was born when Dr. Dobb's absorbed Computer Language after Miller Freeman (now CMP) bought DDJ. More comments on this topic on this article from developer.*.
"There's a marvelous story of technology and consultants gone wild, developing the Fisher Space Pen. "The story goes that the U.S. Government spent millions of dollars of taxpayer's money developing a space pen—a pen that the astronauts could take to the moon that would operate in the harsh conditions of weightlessness, extreme heat and cold. Technology rushes to the rescue, and develops a miracle pen that can write upside down in a boiling toilet. "The Russians, by comparison, decided to use a pencil. "A marvelous tale of an inappropriate solution, except for one small problem. It's not true. Both the Russian and the U.S. astronauts used pencils at first, but there was a danger of the leads breaking and shorting out electric components, and the wood of the pencil itself was combustible as well. In a pure oxygen atmosphere, that's a really bad thing. The Fisher corporation realized this and, at its own cost, designed the Fisher Space Pen, which it then sold to NASA at reasonable cost. After the disastrous Apollo One fire, NASA made the Fisher pens mandatory. "Fisher listened to the real requirement, even before the client knew it. In time, NASA came to realize that they were right. It was an appropriate use of high-technology to solve a very real problem." (from The Art in Computer Programming, by Andrew Hunt and David Thomas)
I’m a sucker for maps—subway maps, network maps, geographic-features maps. Here's a new toy. Google has launched Google Mars - an new mapping tool which allows you to probe landing sites, mountains, plains and canyons, among other exciting features. (Screenshot from Business2.0) Google Mars
Here's a new article by Bruce Tate. He compares the Ruby on Rails framework (that implements Active Record) with current Java persistence frameworks exploring the possibility of bridging this concept to the Java language. He offers, also, some examples of implementations that take this challenge such as the RIFE framework.