After a week using Windows 7 RC

Well, I must say that I am pretty happy with it. I think this RC is much more stable than the Vista RC that I tried some years ago.

I have installed and run successfully some more software: Visual Studio 2008, Smart SVN, OneNote, Foxit Reader and Ant.

At the same time I have some minor issues to report:

  • In some cases when using winamp, my screen starts flicking when winamp has the focus.
  • Occasionally when I typing the cursor literally jumps to another position.

During next week I will try some more programs like Skype, Autocad and Paint.Net

Running Windows 7 RC – Day 1

Yes, I am writing this post from my machine with Windows 7 RC installed directly on the hardware, no virtual machine, and it is the only systems (no vista, xp o linux on other partitions).
My machine is a Dell XPS 1330M with 2 GB of RAM. I been working for a couple of ours and I didn’t get any trouble. It seems that all devices have been recognized and are running ok. The only driver that I had to install by myself was the sound system and I used the Vista driver.

Til now I have installed and run the following software successfully:

  • Mozilla FireFox 3.0.10
  • Mozilla Thunderbird 2.0.0.21
  • Winamp
  • Sony Ericsson Wireless Manager

More news in the upcoming days.

Playing with PHP on .NET

During the last couple of weeks some colleague have been working with PHP. Yesterday while I was reading some blogs I remember that there was a PHP implementation over the .NET framework called Phalanger. I have some free time so I decided to test it. I started by googling for the project website to download the bits and installed them following the instructions. Everything went all right, but we I try to run some php pages I get an error related to the “include” function, so I went to the discussion forum at project site and I found this post that indicate to install another version. That was all,  now I have run some of my scripts without problems. In next few days I will doing some more tests.

What do we use Web Services for? (ws-part 2)

Well, lets’ start by making the distinction between what was the original idea and what is the people doing now.

Originally Web Services were thought to share information between applications. The applications can be develop in different technologies and can also belong to different companies. For two applications to be able to share information they must agreed two things: the format the information will be structured and the way (transport) the information will be sent/arrived.

This problem is not new. As you can imagine before the raised of Web Services there were some attempts to solve this problem (like EDI and CORBA) but none of them were successful (unless in terms of industry adoption).

Web Services result to be a good solution and the development tools started to provide very useful features to work with them. Then developers started to use Web Services for some other scenarios like communication between the presentation layer and the business layer. But in most cases these two layers belong to the same application and are developed with the same technology, so it could be better to use some other protocols (like REST, netTcp or RMI) to obtain a better performance.

What do we mean when we say Web Services? (ws-part 1)

To some people this could be a very simple question today, but I think that there are still some confused people around. I remember one of the last projects I was involved, we were build an application that should exchange information with an external application, the technical person that spoke to us when we tried to connect both applications called web service to a simple ASP page that returned data in a raw string. Well this situations leads me to this post.

When we talk about web service we are referring to a technology stack that include HTTP and SOAP among others. A web service is a software component that can be accessed by sending SOAP messages following the rules defined in the corresponding WSDL document. For those that are not familiar with this terms here is a short glossary with some common terminology in the world of Web services:

  • SOAP: Simple Object Access Protocol, it specifies how to create the messages, its parts, how each part should be used.
  • WSDL: Web Service Definition Language, it is just a XML document that describes how to interact with an specific web service. Every Web Service must have an associated WSDL. The only thing needed to consume a web service is its WSDL.
  • HTTP: Hyper Text Transfer Protocol, it is the main transport protocol of Internet.
  • UDDI: Universal Description, Discovery and Integration, defines how to maintain a structure of directories to share information about web services.

Web Services series (introduction)

I have been working with web services for a long time, I have came across with many design and implementation issues and I have reviewed many web service applications. During the last years I have been asked the same kind questions several times, and that is why I have decided to write this series to write down all the answers to that questions. The posts I have in mind at this moment are:

  • What do we mean when we say “Web Services”?
  • What do we use Web Services for?
  • Please don´t use DataSets in your Web Services
  • Tools for Web Services developers

Well, this all for now and walcomen to this series, I hope you to enjoy it.