Archive for December, 2009

Lots of Little Bits

  1. My last post, Inducing The Great Divide, got quite a reaction. I didn’t really expect the approach to be particularly controversial, but it turns out it was. Lot’s of people asked for more source code and more complex examples and I am happy to oblige. Perhaps it’s a little close to year end to start a series of posts, so we’ll see how that goes.
  2. I really wish Embarcadero would get a Delphi 2010 update out the door already. At first I was really impressed with the product quality, but using it day to day on really big project groups can be really frustrating.
  3. I thought IDE insight would be the number one new feature of Delphi 2010. I use it a lot, but the real winner for me is the new “File groups” feature in the find dialog. I hardly even use the Find in project/group/folder options anymore.
  4. Here is a little oddity I found. Create a new form and place a group box on it. Then, align the group box to a side of the form and restrict its size. For example, align right and set a MaxHeight constraint. In all Delphi versions 2007 and older the effect is similar to setting anchors to the group box. In Delphi 2010 the entire form resizes.

    Funny how seldom-used techniques and undocumented VCL changes can conspire to waste an entire afternoon. And of course that only happens when you are really, really close to a deadline.

  5. I downloaded the new Office 2010 beta and I think I finally figured out Microsoft’s master plan: They are primarily focused on messing with the world’s programmers.

    Seriously.

    Developers that use .NET can tell you all about libraries that replace libraries that replaced libraries that do the same thing. And of course there are two versions of MAPI and three different things called Collaboration Data Objects.

    A quick tour of the Ribbon’s history illustrates the point:

    1. They created the Ribbon as part of Office 2007, Knowing full well that the pressure will be on development shops the world over to bring the latest “Office look” into their apps. Do they make a redistributable library available? Nope, you need to implement it yourself or wait for component vendors (thanks, Jeremy) to implement it.
    2. As soon as all that work was done, out came Windows 7 – with a Ribbon common control library! You can’t – as far as I know – get a redistributable for this to deploy your apps to Vista or XP, so it is only theoretically usable. And of course, it looks completely different.
    3. Out came the Office 2010 beta. Low and behold, it looks completely different! The round Office button that everyone just implemented has disappeared and the Quick Access toolbar is different. You now need a File tab to the left of Home – something they specifically chose not to do in Office 2007 and all the glossy gradients have made way for something that really does represent an AJAX control more than anything.
  6. On the topic of Office – does anyone else find it irritating that Word, Excel and PowerPoint have all implemented MDI in completely different ways?

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