Friday, January 23, 2015

Windows Insiders, get the Windows 10 January Update now...

Blogging Windows - January build now available to the Windows Insider Program

I hope that you were able to watch our live stream on Wednesday, where we shared more details on the Windows 10 experience. If you missed it, you can watch the video on demand anytime and read Terry Myerson’s blog post that recaps the latest Windows 10 news. As Terry mentioned, we continue to be humbled by the amount of feedback and excitement we’re seeing from the Windows Insider community.

Some of the new features that Joe demoed on Wednesday will be available for our Windows Insiders starting today with our newest build – 9926. However, not everything you saw on Wednesday is included in this new build. Much is still in-progress and we’re getting it out to you as fast as we can – so you can try it out and give us feedback. Over the course of the next few builds, you will see us refine Windows 10 and continue to improve the experiences as well as quality and stability.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Windows Insider Program, this is our community who is helping us build Windows 10. If you’re not a Windows Insider yet, we’d love to have you join – see below. Also make sure you read the list of known issues at the end of this post before getting started.

We’re pushing Build 9926 out widely, flighting simultaneously to both “Fast” and “Slow” rings simultaneously as well as available on ISOs since it has been a while since we’ve released a new build out to you. I know it was tough to wait for a new build. The gap between 9879 and 9926 is the longest you should expect to see with the program, because of the holidays and the need to add and stabilize feature payloads. We’ll get new builds out faster moving forward – thank you for being patient with us.

Getting started:



Installing it now... :)


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Microsoft Build Registration opens in 2 hours (1/22/2015, 9AM PST) [Update:Sold out in under 45 minutes]

You all know that Microsoft Build registration opens in just a couple hours right? 1/22/2015, 9AM PST? It's sold out quickly before (in hours, not minutes, so you don't need to punish your F5), if you want to go sign up as soon as you can. With yesterday's announcements, Build might sellout quickly.

Give Away Guess? HoloLens would be about the coolest thing to give away, ever...



Update 1/22/2015 @ 10:10AM PST:

Build has already sold out... Took under 45 minutes to sell out and given the performance of the registration site (why, why does them seem to be a year over year issue?) there were allot of people trying to get in. If you missed it, DO sign up for the waiting list. In the past, when it has sold out so fast, they added seats. And there's always those who cancel...

Anyway, see you there! :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

There's only one "officially" cool thing today, yep... HoloLens!

I'm sure every news outlet and tech writer/blogger is blogging about today's Windows 10 event and about the surprise of the event, the Microsoft HoloLens.


If this thing really works as shown, in the real world, this really could be a new day for computer interaction. Yeah, yeah, we've heard that before and while I love the Kinect, it's just not fulfilled its promise. The HoloLens is the Kinect and so, so, so much more. Or well, could be...

First, check out these videos. IF this thing works about 50% as good as shown here, then it will be officially awesome.

Here's the device page (which is kind of a cool page all by itself).

Microsoft HoloLens

Transform your world with holograms.

We envisioned a world where technology could become more personal—where it could adapt to the natural ways we communicate, learn, and create. Where our digital lives would seamlessly connect with real life.

The result is the world’s most advanced holographic computing platform, enabled by Windows 10. For the first time ever, Microsoft HoloLens brings high-definition holograms to life in your world, where they integrate with your physical places, spaces, and things.

Holograms will improve the way you do things every day, and enable you to do things you’ve never done before.


Can you guess what my guess is for the Build 2015 give-away is? :)

Remember, Build 2015 registration is tomorrow at 9am PST.

Monday, January 12, 2015

DotNetKicks is alive and, well, kicking!


DNK is new and you are part of it!

Just a bit of news that we have completely rearchitected, programmed and designed DNK over the last 3 months. As all of us here know, DNK is now showing the best .Net content on a daily basis. We’re seeing over new stories 10 a day, so don’t miss out.

DNK’s format now lets you see comments inline in a nifty sidebar. Voting is only when you like a piece because it’s all from the community. The notification system has been rebuilt and the site is more than 2X as fast.

Pretty good for 3 months!

If you want to be a contributor to the site just email us at with a bit about what you’re working on in .Net.

Thank you for your support of DotNetKicks!

Robert, Bob, Paul, Mike and James


Back in the day, DNK used to be one of my favorite news aggregators/social/link/thing. But it seemed to fall on hard times and withered away...

Well what was old is new again and DNK is back baby! Feed re-added to my news stream :)


Related Past Post XRef:
DotNetKicks Widget Added to Posts

The WordNet Language List to rule them all...

A Complete Multilingual WordNet List by Language

What is WordNet?

WordNet is a lexical database that groups words into sets of synonyms called synsets, providing short definitions and usage examples, and records a number of relations among these synonym sets or their members. WordNet can thus be seen as a combination of dictionary and thesaurus. While it is accessible to human users via a web browser, its primary use is in automatic text analysis and artificial intelligence applications. Both the lexicographic data (lexicographer files) and the compiler (called grind) for producing the distributed database are available

Multilingual WordNet by Language and Their Licenses

Below is a table of multilingual WordNet by language and their licenses, as well as other pertinent information.


It's been a bit since I've blogged about WordNet, but still Samuel hunted me down and sent me an email about his project, compiling the uber WordNet Language list. And since he's from a SoCal College, (and it has been a while since I've blogged about WordNet... oh wait, I already said that... ;) here you go!


Related Past Post XRef:
Mix OpenNLP, IKVM.Net and C# and you get some noun phrase and contextual relevance goodness
SharpEntropy - Maximum Entropy Modeling
"Statistical parsing of English sentences"

Java for .Net? Yep, the IKVM.NET way...
Java for .Net? Ja!
Java Implementation for Mono/.Net (IVKM.Net)

NLP is Hard... But with AboditNLP it's not as...

Sometimes feel like you are a living in a Pac-Man Maze? Well you might be! Here's a real life sized one in Los Angeles...

I4U News - Life-Sized Pac-Man Maze from Bud Light Super Bowl 2015 Ad is Real


The life-size Pac-Man Maze that will be featured in the Bud Light Super Bowl ad has been spotted in Los Angeles.

Last week Budweiser revealed some details about the Bud Light Super Bowl 2015 Ad. The new Bud Light Super Bowl ad will be titled Coin and continues the Bud Light Up For Whatever campaign that got launched by the epic Bud Light Super Bowl ad Ian Up For Whatever with Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Bud Light Super Bowl 2015 ad tells the story of a Bud Light drinker that gets pulled into a life-size Pac-Man game after a night out.

Now this life-sized Pac-Man Maze has been spotted in Los Angeles. Which would mean that the Bud Light Super Bowl 2015 ad has not been finished yet. It could also mean that Bud Light has more plans with the very cool looking Pac-Man Maze and might use it for consumer experiences. It will be interesting how the life-size Pac Man game works. Can the player just run around or does he has to follow certain roles to move avoiding the ghosts?

Several photos of the Bud Light Pac-Man Maze have surfaced in Twitter. The night shots look especially cool. Update: We have also found now a video showing the Pac-Man game in action. Apparently the Bud Light guy just can run around in the maze and needs to avoid running into the ghosts.


I love LA... :) I think I'm going to have to hunt this down... lol


(via technabob - Life-size Pac-Man Maze Pops up in Los Angeles)

Rest easy with RESTier - Building your Web API OData feeds faster with RESTier

OData Team - [Announcement] RESTier - A turn-key solution to build OData services

What is RESTier

RESTier is a RESTful API development framework for building standardized, OData V4 based REST services on .NET. It can be seen as a middle-ware on top of Web API OData.  RESTier is built with the inspiration of combining simplicity of WCF DS with the flexibility of Web API OData.

The main exciting features of RESTier are:

  • Help developer quickly build an OData service within minutes. You need just one controller, no more than 100 lines of code to easily bootstrap an OData service. 
  • Help developer easily add business logic into their services.

What about ASP.NET Web API OData?

As mentioned in the first part, RESTier is based on Web API OData. Web API OData will continuously be improved and RESTier will benefit from the improvements.

Getting started

The main getting started tutorials below show you how to user RESTier step by step.


Document and more samples

RESTier intends to be fully open-sourced, source code will be available on GitHub soon.

  • GitHub repository . We use GitHub to track issues. You can report bugs, provide improvement suggestion directly on GitHub
  • RESTier wiki . Detailed document and samples are available here.


Please be noted

  • RESTier is still at a preview stage.
  • RESTier currently only supports Entity Framework data provider. Other data providers will be added in the future.



Mostly I liked the title... lol.

That said, I like the concept behind making it easier to create, though we've all learned to take claims like this with a grain of salt. Will be keeping an eye on this to see if it has any legs...

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Coding4Fun Toolkit Lives! v2.0.9 released with more WinRT/WP 8.1 support

Invoke IT Limited - Coding4Fun v2.0.9 released #wpdev #windev #winrt

Coding4Fun toolkit v2.0.9 for Windows Platform dev has been released and packages are available for download from Nuget.

This update builds additional support for Windows Runtime on Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1. Controls added to this release include

  • MetroFlow control (Windows 8.1 and WP 8.1)
  • Prompts (Toast, User, Message, Input, PasswordInput) for WP 8.1
  • BrushToBrushConverter now allows use of parameter to set output Opacity.


SubramanyamRaju Windows Phone Tutorials(C# - XAML) - Great News! Coding4Fun Toolkit Controls are supported for Windows Phone 8.1- Part 1 (C#-Xaml)


Yesterday i found from twitter as 'Coding4Fun Toolkit is Supported for Windows Phone 8.1'.And i want to be say thanks to Hermit Dave for sharing this info on twitter. Now Coding4Fun toolkit v2.0.9 for Windows Platform dev has been released and packages are available for download from Nuget.
In WindowsPhone 8.0 we got lot of additional controls from Coding4Fun,The Coding4Fun Toolkit has multiple controls and useful items for XAML based applications.And current version v2.0.9  includes following controls.
  • MetroFlow control (Windows 8.1 and WP 8.1)
  • Prompts (Toast, User, Message, Input,About, PasswordInput) for WP 8.1
  • BrushToBrushConverter now allows use of parameter to set output Opacity.
Note: In Version 2.0.8,support was added for windowsphone store 8.1 and now more controls were ported across in 2.0.9. So that 2.0.9 is second version for wp8.1 store :)
...This article will teach you about 'How to use MessagePrompt control in WindowsPhone store 8.1 ?'.



Coding4Fun Toolkit



I thought I was seeing things when I started seeing activity on the Coding4Fun Toolkit project. Nope, it's alive and still kicking... Okay, so it wasn't a huge release, but still it's STILL a release! Kudo's to the new team and their work...


Related Past Post XRef:
Coding4Fun Toolkit v2 Released (fka Coding4Fun.Phone.Toolkit), now with Windows Store, Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 7!

Coding4Fun.Phone.Toolkit v1.5.0 Now Available...

Coding4Fun Windows Phone Toolkit (CF4 Blog Post)

Coding4Fun.Phone.Toolkit v1.3 Released (New Message Prompt, Password Prompt controls and Toast fixes + now NuGet'able too)
The Coding4Fun team has done it again, released another “Kit” that is… The Coding4Fun Windows Phone Toolkit
CF4DevKit (Coding 4 Fun Development Kit) 1.0 Released
Cool Coding with VS2008 and Vista via the Coding4Fun Developer Kit 2008 Vol 1 (Beta

Syncfusion Essential Studio Enterprise Edition ($9,975 value WITH updates/support) now available for free for individual and small companies

SuperDevResources - Free Toolkit worth $9,975 from Syncfusion for Individual Developers & Small Companies

Syncfusion has decided to follow the steps of Microsoft and is giving a great New Year present to Individual Developers & Small Companies. Similar to Visual Studio Community Edition, Syncfusion is now offering free License for its product Essential Studio which includes over 650 components across 12 platforms such as iOS, Android, Windows & Windows Phone.


Syncfusion Essential Studio Enterprise Edition Community License



The Essential Studio Enterprise Edition Community License provides free access to our entire product offering for individual developers and small businesses

What's included?

All products available in Essential Studio Enterprise Edition and Syncfusion Plus are included. This comprehensive offering includes over 650 components across 12 platforms, an easy-to-use big data platform, and much more. Support and updates are also included.




Who is eligible?

Individual developers or up to five users at companies with annual gross revenue below $1 million USD.

Can the products be used to build commercial applications?


How long are the licenses valid ?

The community licenses do not expire. You will continue to receive support and updates for new versions.

Why are you doing this? What's the catch?

We loved what Microsoft did with Visual Studio Community Edition and decided to extend it to our products as well. There is no catch, but we would really appreciate it if you help spread the message through Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

We really like what you are doing. How can we help?

We hope to add even more value to this program in the future, but we need your help in reaching more developers. We would appreciate any help spreading the message through Twitter, Facebook, Google+, email, or blogs.

WOW. Now that's a gauntlet thrown! I wonder how the other top tier component vendors will respond?


Related Past Post XRef:
Visual Studio 2013 Community, Azure VM style...
Who can use VS 2013 Community Edition for free? (No, it's not everyone) Here's the official word...
This IS the Visual Studio you've been looking for... Hello Visual Studio Community Edition!

My VM is larger than yours... (32 vCPUs, 448GB RAM, 6.59 TB SSD... oh my)

Azure BlogVirtual Machines - Largest VM in the Cloud

Today, we’re announcing the release of a new series of VM sizes for Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines called the G-series. G-series sizes provide the most memory, the highest processing power and the largest amount of local SSD of any Virtual Machine size currently available in the public cloud. This extraordinary performance will allow customers to deploy very large scale-up enterprise applications. G-series offers up to 32 vCPUs using the latest Intel® Xeon® processor E5 v3 family, 448GB of memory, and 6.59 TB of local Solid State Drive (SSD) space. ...



Learn More

If you would like more information on the G-Series VM sizes as well as other Azure VM Sizes then please see the following page for additional details: Virtual Machine and Cloud Service Sizes for Azure

Now THAT's a VM! Nearly 1/2 TB of RAM, 7TB local SSD... yeah... wow. That would eat up my MSDN Azure credits in about 4 seconds... lol

.NET Code Contracts are now OSS



Code Contracts provide a language-agnostic way to express coding assumptions in .NET programs.

The contracts take the form of pre-conditions, post-conditions, and object invariants. Contracts act as checked documentation of your external and internal APIs. The contracts are used to improve testing via runtime checking, enable static contract verification, and documentation generation. Code Contracts bring the advantages of design-by-contract programming to all .NET programming languages. We currently provide three tools: Runtime Checking. Our binary rewriter modifies a program by injecting the contracts, which are checked as part of program execution. Rewritten programs improve testability: each contract acts as an oracle, giving a test run a pass/fail indication.

Automatic testing tools, such as Pex, take advantage of contracts to generate more meaningful unit tests by filtering out meaningless test arguments that don't satisfy the pre-conditions.

Static Checking. Our static checker can decide if there are any contract violations without even running the program! It checks for implicit contracts, such as null dereferences and array bounds, as well as the explicit contracts.

Documentation Generation. Our documentation generator augments existing XML doc files with contract information. There are also new style sheets that can be used with Sandcastle so that the generated documentation pages have contract sections.

Quick Links

Nice to see this open sourced, given the recent silence about it...


Related Past Post XRef:
.Net Code Contracts + XML Comments = (as good as) peanut butter and chocolate?

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

"Wax keeps your candle burning" (You'll get that if you know WiX)

Visual Studio Gallery - Wax

Wax keeps your candle burning
While it's easy to create an empty setup project with the WiX toolkit, populating the list of deployable files and even more keeping the list up to date can be a very fumbling task.

This tool is a Visual Studio Extension that helps you to create, verify and maintain the list of deployed files in an interactive gui.

Documentation, source code etc. can be found on


I know, I know. "Real WiXers don't need no stinkn UI!"

Well, I guess I'm just not a real WiXer then. :P

While the Visual Studio Setup and Deployment support is back for VS 2013, Visual Studio 2013 gets Installer Projects support back!, WiX is still a great setup/installer choice, if you can get over the learning curve (i.e. XML editing). There's a number of extensions that will help you there, with this one, Wax is a new entry. Plus its source is available too.. :)

Rich Interactive Narratives - RIN Studio download now available

Microsoft Research - RIN Studio - RIN Authoring tool

Rich Interactive Narratives (RIN) is a technology developed by Microsoft Research. RIN offers a way to seamlessly combine cinematic experiences with user exploration to create rich interactive and immersive narratives. One example of RIN is Everest project done in collaboration with GlacierWorks as described here: The Everest tours found here ( are implemented using RIN. More example narratives can be found at RIN Studio is an authoring tool for creating these RINs without any coding. RIN Studio provides an interface similar to video editing tools. The output is delivered as RIN JSON files that can be hosted using RIN JS ( in any web server. The narratives can also be published in windows store as apps. Contact rindev at microsoft -dot- com if you have questions or want to use it in commercial scenarios.





Here's a snap of the Desktop RIN Studio app;


Check out the RIN examples first. They will really wet your appetite. Then grab the RIN Studio and start building your own!

This is SO Blade Runner... Extracting facial images from reflections in your cornea in highrez pictures

Identifiable Images of Bystanders Extracted from Corneal Reflections


Criminal investigations often use photographic evidence to identify suspects. Here we combined robust face perception and high-resolution photography to mine face photographs for hidden information. By zooming in on high-resolution face photographs, we were able to recover images of unseen bystanders from reflections in the subjects' eyes. To establish whether these bystanders could be identified from the reflection images, we presented them as stimuli in a face matching task (Experiment 1). Accuracy in the face matching task was well above chance (50%), despite the unpromising source of the stimuli. Participants who were unfamiliar with the bystanders' faces (n = 16) performed at 71% accuracy [t(15) = 7.64, p<.0001, d = 1.91], and participants who were familiar with the faces (n = 16) performed at 84% accuracy [t(15) = 11.15, p<.0001, d = 2.79]. In a test of spontaneous recognition (Experiment 2), observers could reliably name a familiar face from an eye reflection image. For crimes in which the victims are photographed (e.g., hostage taking, child sex abuse), reflections in the eyes of the photographic subject could help to identify perpetrators




Okay so it was staged and setup special...


... but still, that's pretty awesome.

The next time your picture is taken with that super-duper highrez camera, you better be careful where you're looking... :/


(Via: technabob - Extracting Faces from Eye Reflections in Photographs: Zoom in and Enhance)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Connect the IoT Dot's with help from (Connect your tiny IoT devices to Azure...)


image is an open source project by Microsoft Open Technologies created to help you get tiny devices connected to Microsoft Azure and implement great IoT solutions taking advantage of Microsoft Azure services such as Azure Stream Analytics, Machine Learning or HD Insight.

As part of the project you will find code samples, configuration scripts and guides that will help you set up tiny devices and configure Microsoft Azure services to make the most out of the data produced by your devices.

Starting with a basic scenario, the intent is to make the project grow with more devices types, more scripts to provision and configure Azure services and more "Getting Started" guides to help you implement full end to end solutions yourself.

As a first sample, we have created a simple end to end solution, from device all the way to a Website, that consists in displaying in real time on a web page raw temperature and humidity data generated from an Arduino board equipped with a weather Shield as well as alerts and processed data generated by Microsoft Azure Stream analytics based on the raw data from the device. We are using a Raspberry Pi, acting as a gateway, to send the data from the sensor up to Microsoft Azure Event Hub service. Azure Stream Analytics

Check out the Wiki to try out your first project!

Connect The Dots - Quick Start

The MS Open Tech project illustrates how to connect sensors and devices to the Microsoft Azure Cloud, and use Microsoft Azure to analyze and visualize the resulting data streams.

In a typical topology, sensors (here several Arduino Uno R3 boards with Arduino Weather Shields) connect to one or more local IoT Gateways (here Raspberry PI devices), which relay the data to Microsoft Azure Event Hubs. Once in the cloud, the data streams are fed into a web dashboard and to near real-time analytics engines (here Microsoft Azure Stream Analytics, in this case to generate averages and alerts across all devices). The real-time data streams, average, and alerts are then visualized in a Microsoft Azure Website, which can be viewed with any HTML5-capable browser. The high level architecture for the ConnectTheDots.IO project is shown in the figure below



I've only been doing my Coding4Fun Hardware Friday posts for how long (Hint: I start my 5th year next month) and this is the first I've seen this project. Oh sure, it's only been out a few months, but still this is a space I watch out for and I'm just now seeing this? You know what this says? Says we need more IoT blogs and shows! Funny that Channel 9 is doing just that, with the Internet of Things Show :)


[Found via Secret Microsoft Communications - IOT: Connect the dots by MS Open Tech, gets your UNO connected to the cloud!]

Writing Bug Reports that won't bug you...(or the dev that picks it up)

QuickLeft - How to make friends and write a proper bug report

Imagine coming home from a day at work, and there's a note from your spouse that reads:

"Fix the light, it's broken"

You have no idea where to start. Which light is it? Did they mean lamp? Which part is broken? How did it break? Is it outdoors or indoors?

When your spouse returns home, they ask, "How come you didn't fix the light? Didn't you see my note?"

Now think about how the developers on your team feel when they get a bug ticket that reads like this:

"The buttons on the homepage are broken"

I'm embarrassed to say, this is an actual bug report I filed recently. I didn't describe how it could be reproduced nor in what context I'd found the bug. Needless to say, the developer who'd been assigned the ticket had no idea where to start. Truthfully, it even took me a while to remember what this bug was about!



Is there a class/video/dime-cast/Plural sight/Khan Academy/etc./etc. thing on writing bug reports? Why is it so hard to do well? And why do we, even very experienced dev's even have hard times remembering to do them well (let alone "users")?

One reason is that they might not be the recipient, required to take action on them, enough? One of those walk in a dev's shoes thing?

Or is that we all seem to have to re-invent this wheel?

Or that so much that could be automatitcally gathered, isn't?

Or that enough guidance isn't provided?

Or are we all just lazy?

Or a little of all of the above?


In any case, you want to get your bug or issue fixed? Want to get some bug crushing love from a dev? Give them as complete and detailed bug report as you can! You can't provide too much detail, information, already taken troubleshooting steps... Really, you probably can't... 

Monday, December 29, 2014

Regular Expression Explorer, v2.1 released (i.e. VS 2012, 2013 version)

Visual Studio Gallery - Regular Expression Explorer

Test regular expressions against sample text. Select preset suggested patterns or create and save your own. Copy the pattern to the clipboard for pasting into your code. Share your patterns with FaustWare to be added to future releases for all to use.


Current Version is 2.1

See the change log below for more details.

RegEx Explorer is a visual studio addin which lets you create or modify regular expressions and test them with any text. Matches are highlighted by surrounding each with a red box. A dropdown list of suggestions is available with choices for email, GUID, URL, etc. Any pattern you create can be added to the suggestion list. Existing suggestions can be removed by pressing DEL on a selected name.

Checkboxes are available for Ignore Case, Multiline and to auto-add or remove a ^$ wrapper. Patterns can be saved to be future suggestions. Patterns can be copied to the clipboard with a button press for pasting into your code. Matches are displayed in real-time as you type.

Read the README file for more information.

This add-in is offered for free, but donations are welcome (and encouraged!) if you like the utility. Also, please report any issues or make suggestions for changes.


Changes in 2.1:
- Created Extension for Visual Studio 2012, 2013


I blogged about this Extension 5 1/2 years ago, Free regular expression addin for Visual Studio - Regular Expression Explorer and I think what stuck me most was how the Gallery has changed since then.

Then (Aug, 2009)


Now (Dev 2014)


Welcome to the world of the clean web... :)

XBOOK Duo - One XBox 360 and one XBox One crammed into one semi-portable "book"

Make: - The XBOOK Duo: A Custom Gaming Console Ready for the Road

A guy by the name of Ed has created a beautiful custom gaming laptop that contains an Xbox 360 and an XBox One, thus solving the backwards compatibility issue of the original system.

Gamers can now play both new and old games with a simple flip of a switch while they are on the go!

The inside fits all the circuitry, wires, HDMI outputs, and a built in 22″ Vizio 1080p LED LCD monitor allowing for a splitter to alternate between the two consoles. Surprisingly only one power supply and power cord is needed, and so far Ed hasn’t encountered any overheating problems despite all the that is found within.



How crazy is that! Man, I wish I had these kinds of skills. Awesome that he spent the time to show us all how to build our own too... :)

While this is still pretty big, I think my first notebook was bigger and about 1/10,000th of the

RIP Dr. Dobb's

Farewell, Dr. Dobb's


After 38 years of glory, the long run of Dr. Dobb's has come to an end.

This year, our website will deliver almost 10.3 million page views, which is an unprecedented number for Dr. Dobb's. It's up from 9 million last year and 8 million three years ago. That kind of growth is somewhat unusual for a site that has not changed its look or its mission, nor indulged in tawdry tricks like click-bait headlines or slideshows promising 9 quick tips for choosing a coding style. The numbers confirm that there is a deep thirst in the programmer community for long-form technical content featuring algorithms and code, as well as strong demand for explanations of new developer technologies and reliable reviews of books and tools.

If I were so inclined, this might be the right time for me to move on, and so leave, as they say in sports, "at the top of my game." And indeed I will be leaving Dr. Dobb's at the end of the year. But it would be more accurate to say that it is Dr. Dobb's that is leaving: Our parent company, United Business Media (UBM), has decided to sunset Dr. Dobb's. "Sunset" sounds like a marketing euphemism to avoid saying "closing down," but in this context, it has a specific meaning that "closing" does not convey. That is, that there will be no new content after year end; however, all current content will be accessible and links to existing Dr. Dobb's articles will continue to work correctly. It is the equivalent of a product coming to end of life. It still runs, but no new features will be added.



Why would a well-known site, dearly loved by its readers and coming off a year of record page views, be sunset by its owner?

In one word, revenue. Four years ago, when I came to Dr. Dobb's, we had healthy profits and revenue, almost all of it from advertising...


Dr. Dobb's subsequent popularity meant that it became a worldwide means of sharing curated, high-quality programming info. The advent of the Web, which offered a vast array of new information sources, meant that Dr. Dobb's was no longer the central access point — a complicated transition for the team, but one wholly in keeping with the original mission. With the advent of Hacker News and Proggit and other aggregators, developers themselves began curating content from numerous sources, and in a certain way, our mission is now complete.

This should not suggest that there is no role anymore for Dr. Dobb's. As our page views show, the need for an independent site with in-depth articles, code, algorithms, and reliable product reviews is still very much present. And I will dearly miss that content. I wish I could point you to another site that does similar work, but alas, I know of none.


I saw this recently and it made me kind of sad and feel kind of old.. We'll miss you Dr. Dobb's (and all those other print-turned digital-turned dead publications)  :(

Friday, December 19, 2014

It's confirmed, Office 365 Public Web Sites are going away...

I mentioned this first here, Two Microsoft RIP's today - Public Office 365 Sites and Office Clip Art and have been waiting for confirmation. Well, we've got it.

Information about upcoming changes to the SharePoint Online Public Website

Starting in January 2015, Microsoft is making changes to the SharePoint Online Public Website feature. Customers who currently use this feature will continue to have access to the feature for a minimum of two years following the changeover date. New customers who subscribe to Office 365 after the changeover date won't have access to this feature. Moving forward, Office 365 customers will have access to third-party offerings that will enable them to easily integrate their public presence with their Office 365 service. Additional details about these solutions will be made available in January 2015.

Why is Microsoft making this change?
As part of the evolution of the Office 365 service, we periodically evaluate the capabilities of the service to make sure that we’re delivering the utmost value to customers. Today, we're making a difficult decision to discontinue the SharePoint Online Public Website feature. This lets us then focus on future investments while broadening our partnership with industry leaders.
What does this mean for existing customers of Office 365 plans?
Office 365 customers who currently use the SharePoint Online Public Website feature will continue to have access to the feature for a minimum of two years following the change. Moving forward, customers will have the option to subscribe to third-party solutions for public website functionality. Customers should plan to move to one of these third-party solution within the next two years.
What does this mean for new customers of Office 365 plans?
As of the changeover date, Microsoft will no longer be offering the SharePoint Online Public Website feature to new customers. New customers who subscribe to Office 365 after the changeover date won't have access to this feature. Moving forward, Office 365 customers will have the option to subscribe to third-party solutions by using links from Office 365.
How will this change be communicated to Office 365 customers?
All Office 365 administrators who currently have provisioned SharePoint Online will receive a notification in the Office 365 Message Center.
Overview of third-party offerings
What are the third-party solution offerings?


Check out Mary Jo's post for some more information and details;

Microsoft confirms it is dropping Public Website feature from SharePoint Online

As rumors suggested, Microsoft is deprecating Public Websites from SharePoint Online and Office 365 in January 2015. Here's more on why and what happens next.



Packt's 5 Buck eBook Bonanza is back!

$5 eBook Bonanza – Every title, every topic

5D Twitter Cover

Treat yourself to the eBook or Video of your choice for just $5 and get as many as you like until January 6th 2015. To get you started, we've put together the Top 20 Titles of 2014 for you to pick up here. But don’t forget, you can get ANY eBook or Video for $5 in this offer.



With all $5 products available in a range of formats and DRM-free, customers will find great value content delivered exactly how they want it across Packt’s website this Xmas and New Year. From Thursday 18th December, every eBook and video will be available on the publisher’s website for just $5 until 6th January.

You guys know how much I dig Packt and their catalog. So when they do their $5 deals I always jump in and empty my wish list... :)


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe my readers will enjoy. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.