Microsoft announced that Visual Studio Unit Testing, which was only available in the Team System editions of Visual Studio 2005, will be available in the Professional Edition of Visual Studio code name "Orcas".

Naysawn Naderi, Program Manager at Microsoft, posted on his blog:

"Due to popular demand we have decided to add the majority of the unit testing features of Team System to the Pro Sku of Visual Studio. With the release of Orcas, the support for authoring, generating and running unit tests, will become available to the users of the Pro Sku of Visual Studio. Pro customers will also take advantage of the some of the unit testing improvements we have added into Orcas, specifically generating for generics, performance improvements, the ability to unit test devices and better IDE integration."

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I've been reading an article on MIT Technological Review about A Smarter Web: The Semantic Web, a new way of seeing the Internet as a database, a system that can answer questions, not just a pile of documents that might hold an answer.

Web 3.0 was defined by John Markoff, in an article in the New York Times last November, as a set of technologies that offer efficient new ways to help computers organize and draw conclusions from online data, and that definition has since dominated discussions at conferences, on blogs, and among entrepreneurs.

Web 1.0 refers to the first generation of the commercial Internet, dominated by content that was only marginally interactive. Web 2.0, characterized by features such as tagging, social networks, and user-­created taxonomies of content called "folksonomies," added a new layer of interactivity, represented by sites such as Flickr, Digg, Del.icio.us, Last.FM, and Wikipedia.

Web 3.0 builds on the concept of Semantic Web, an initiative of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Under their definition the Semantic Web provides a common framework that allows data to be shared and reused across application, enterprise, and community boundaries. It is a collaborative effort led by W3C with participation from a large number of researchers and industrial partners. It is based on the Resource Description Framework (RDF).

The simple tagging used in Web 2.0 applications lets users spontaneously invent their own descriptions, which may or may not relate to anything else. antic Web systems require a more complicated infrastructure, in which developers order terms according to their conceptual relationships. Hand coding a database or website with metadata in the language of a schema can be a work in vain though.

The solution to this problem may simply be better tools for creating metadata, like the blog and social-networking sites that have made building personal websites easy. This is an opportunity that worths pursuing as a developer.

Links:
- A Smarter Web - Part I
- A Smarter Web - Part II

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Money
Cristi Potlog's Weblog (http://blog.cristipotlog.com) is worth $2,258.16, according to Dane Carlson's Business Opportunities Weblog.

It seams that moving my blog to a personalized web address rather that the default blogspot.com increased the real-estate value of the blog.

How much is your blog worth?

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Tiered of desktop clutter? Here's new alternative to the old desktop metaphor: The Bumptop PC.

Anand Agarawala, the creator of this concept says about his vision:

"The PC desktop was supposed to be a metaphor for managing our files. But my real desk looks nothing like my desktop. I have all these piles subtly arranged on top of each other in a way that may look chaotic to someone else but is personally meaningful to me. The idea was, How can we bring that feeling onto the desktop?"

The Bumptop interface uses lighting, shading, and animation techniques borrowed from the world of video-game development, along with a so-called physics engine that makes the icons move as if they were subject to real gravity, momentum, and friction.

Agarawala believes it's worth a few extra CPU cycles to add realistic spatial cues to the static, 2-D graphical user interfaces (GUIs) that have been a mainstay of personal computing since the debut of the Apple Macintosh in 1984.

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Peter Warhol has an interesting post about the ways Eclipse and its open-source ecosystem could influence .NET Developers.

Here's an excerpt:

"Someone will offer a .NET IDE on Eclipse. They will either own a license for the .NET Framework SDK (are you listening, Borland?) or they will use the Mono open source framework. Such an offering would not be to compete head to head with Microsoft (who would want to do that?), but rather to offer a .NET development kit targeted toward specific types of applications or industries."

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Back to my old passion, architecture. I'm not talking about software architecture, but real architecture: buildings architecture. In the Internet era, software concepts, such as open source are getting ground on new areas of development, such as this one.

Nonprofit organization Architecture for Humanity, with the help of last year's TED prize, is trying to convince the building industry to share ideas through its latest project, the Open Architecture Network. Loaded with projects and concepts, the site is built so people can upload info, comment on and, in some cases, download building or project specs.

Source: Wired News

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I've been reading Peopleware, a classic book for software development team management.

Having worked as a software developer for about ten years now, I can relate to what Demarco and Lister say (unfortunately this is not always a good thing!). Here's an example:

"The Spanish Theory of Value is alive and well among managers everywhere. You see that whenever they talk about productivity. Productivity ought to mean achieving more in an hour of work, but all too often it has come to mean extracting more for an hour of pay. There is a large difference. The Spanish Theory managers dream of attaining new productivity levels through the simple mechanism of unpaid overtime. They divide whatever work is done in a week by forty hours, not by the eighty or ninety hours that the worker actually put in."

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In an interview (transcript) held this week at the Goldman Sachs Technology Investment Symposium in Las Vegas, Nevada, Microsoft's new chief software architect, Ray Ozzie, revealed some of his plans for the future of his company.

Ozzie took over the role of Chief Software Architect from Bill Gates last June and has been pretty silent since. He gave just a handful of interviews during this period.

After reading the interview you'll find the Bill Gates' successor a person that seems simultaneously capable of looking towards the future while still staying true to the essence of what made Microsoft what it is today.

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Microsoft has released version 4.0 of its Software Development Kit (SDK) for Visual Studio 2005. This is the last release that will focus on Visual Studio 2005, also known as Whidbey.

From the download overview:

"This is the official Visual Studio 2005 software development kit that allows developers to integrate tools, editors, designers, languages, and much more inside Visual Studio 2005. It adds the following features: VS SDK Browser, Package Load Analyzer, Toolbox Control Installer together with a toolbox control installation sample, a redistributable package for Toolbox component vendors that simplifies deployment, a new tool for generating managed class library documentation (Sandcastle), an updated Setup experience, a new toolbar combo box sample, new integration tests for the EditorWithToolbox sample that use the VsIdeHostAdapter and much more."

As Visual Studio Codename Orcas approaches Beta now, Microsoft will be shifting focus to its next release Visual Studio codename Orcas. Speaking of which, the March 2007 Orcas CTP has also been released as a Virtual PC image.

NOTE: This release requires Visual Studio 2005 SP1.

Download at: Visual Studio 2005 SDK version 4.0

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PayScale's mission is to bring transparency to one of the deepest secrets in the labor market: who earns what.

The aggregated salary numbers that analysts produce until now tend to be selective, static, and stale. PayScale, by contrast, is highly interactive. The site collects pay data directly from workers and spits out an analysis showing what an occupation is worth - organized by a given city, industry, or company - with the speed of an online stock quote.

The registration process is simple. From PayScale's homepage, you click through about 10 screens of multiple-choice questions about your total compensation, employer, work experience, and schooling.

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