My Gestalt

Understand the chaotic world by developing meaningful perception through the acquisition of seemingly disparate knowledge.

Collect information in large quantity with precise detail and connect the dots of meaning to form your own picture of the universe.

Act upon it

Knowledge and understanding without action is waste.

Be Grateful

Never underestimate the power of gratitude.


Forgiveness will make your heart happy. Forgiveness is not about someone deserving it, it's about healing your heart.

Entries in Current Events (30)


Changing Directions… sort of.

I have been dark for a bit while I sorted out some things and I can now finally announce that I have made a pretty significant career move.

As of last week, I am now the Executive Principal Enterprise Architect at US Airways.

I wanted to be somewhere that I could focus what I do best and US Airways fit that bill perfectly.

I considered a few other outstanding companies but the roles I would have had there were different.

What I am doing at US Airways is focusing on the Development Process, this is something I have had great success with in the past for other companies. When I look back to what I was doing 5 years ago, I really enjoyed it more than what I have been doing since, so I am returning to that role.

Building Reference Architectures, talking to and learning from the best people in the industry, then sharing that with a pretty large development staff is something I enjoy immensely.

I look forward to what I will be doing here because it is rather challenging to take the system currently being used and design a way to improve it and carry that throughout the whole enterprise.

Delivering quality software is freaking hard. I don't mean it's just hard to write, there are thousands if not millions of brilliant developers who can accomplish that task. Making Software actually move from Business Idea to Dependable Application is something entirely different. Coordinating from Business Analyst to Project Management to Developers and Testers; then making that process repeatable throughout every project in an enterprise is even harder, that is my challenge.

Having been in the software development business for oh, about 25 years has led me to some pretty unique insights into what works and what doesn't. I have had the privilege to work with and learn from some of the smartest people in the business and I look forward applying that in a great enterprise.

I absolutely have some pet architectures that I am focusing on and some of that I will be able to move out into the Open Source world.

These are:

I also want to talk more about each of these, how they relate to each other and how to build projects with them all together.


Who Am I at

I tried to register for the Silverlight content (since it seems I must to get better interaction...) and I got this lovely response.



That username really blows... no way to change it, and no way to logout because it is so long and the site is fixed width.  I can't create another account because my email address is already used.

HTML really sux for a lot of things.  UI is one of them.  Why didn't they just do the whole site in Silverlight or at least give you that option... This HTML/Flashy site is really bad.  The saddest thing is that this is supposed to be "da bomb" for Silverlight and it's grand entrance into the Web  2.0 world.  Did Microsoft have any input on how to make this usable?  Did they have ALL the input?  If it is the latter then I am extremely disappointed in them for botching the introduction of Silverlight to the world of media downloading enthusiasts.  I am suspecting they had very little do do with it and the dictations were made by a bunch of middle management weenies that don't have a clue about usability and the modern world of computing.

Not that this would fix the reason I got a GUID for a UserID that I can't change.  For such a high profile site, this is an atrocious UI.  Overall extremely disappointed... you can't force the "Enhanced" Player to Full Screen.  Bad choice, so much for watching on my HTPC... and by the way, my timezone for Arizona is wrong, if I used this for the scheduler, then I would miss everything by an hour, I captured this at 1:25pm.

Overall this site is the biggest let down in the history of platform introductions.


Microsoft linking Silverlight, Ruby on Rails

I really wish I could attend this.

(InfoWorld) Microsoft Corp. plans to demonstrate integration Friday between its new Silverlight browser plug-in technology for rich Internet applications and the Ruby on Rails Web framework.

The integration will be done via a plug-in, according to a Microsoft representative. Microsoft officials will detail Ruby on Rails efforts at the RailsConf 2008 conference in Portland, Ore., which is taking place now through the weekend. The plug-in will be free to conference attendees.

Microsoft linking Silverlight, Ruby on Rails

First off, let me explain a little about my understanding of Ruby.  I know nothing about it... so then, WHY in the heck do you keep posting about it? 

I first looked seriously at Ruby when I saw a demo by John Lam at the MVP Summit.  When I saw this I wondered why the heck are they showing this to us in a Visual Basic track?  I believe there is some strategy there that we can leverage.

from the above article:

The IronRuby project in general has featured processes that make it easier for Microsoft to develop open-source projects, said Lam.

"What we learn from building IronRuby will be applied in other product groups to help us become more open and transparent than we have been in the past," Lam said.

John doesn't say IF... he says WILL.  That is a pretty strong word and what can we infer from this?  What I saw at the Summit for the most part was very intriguing, but I didn't take it seriously when I saw it, I took it seriously when I got back and started really looking at what Ruby's Pluses are.  I have posted a few entries about that recently and I want to see just how some of its features can be placed into VB.

The great thing about Ruby is that it can do so much for you.  Funny, we used to say that about VB.  ActiveRecord (which is basically Linq and EF done better for the web) is really a great concept and makes me think of what VB tools at Microsoft could be.  At the same time I am thinking that I should learn (in great depth) yet another modern language and what should that be Lisp? C#? Not really, I think it shall be Ruby.  Even though Twitter is bouncing up and down like a cat on a hot tin roof, that is not indicative of the language and does not put the power of the .Net framework underneath it.  If I had the power of the framework I can do all the things I like about both.

I will be watching and writing about where I go with this, but what I am really hoping for is that the VB Team can get some of the goodness that other languages can provide and that it just goes into the framework along with a terrific usability interface to VB.  The real question is how long will it take?  Are we looking short term, doubtful, I think we are off in VB11 territory for anything to get that far.  I don't think we are too early to start wondering where we will want to be coding in 5 years.


Everyone is Weighing in on what's wrong with Twitter

I really like what the good Doctor is talking about here.
Social networking should lead us to better in depth personal communications, not expose us to a ton of noise and frustration through outages.  It MUST work with my phone and be incredibly simple to communicate, today, its not.

The problem is, this is just a "teaser" of what it really could be, and it's totally disconnected from all the other "social" apps. It doesn't connect you to opening an IM chat (which is realtime, and often a lot more useful), there's no easy way to make it really integrate into a forum / messageboard (which is more permanent, and searchable), or (which helps with organizing and tagging resources that are shared with others), or a hybrid short url / spidering / social tagging site like my, or a blog post with comments, or email notification of something I am following and on which I need up - to - date information when new "stuff" appears on the subject.

Peter Bromberg's UnBlog: The Social API we really need.

I also think that Phone software needs a major overhaul to support this type of communications.  I am fairly happy with my BlackBerry 8830, I dislike the KB... I am pretty sure I will replace it in the fall, but not until I am resolved hat the next Phone I get will do everything I need it to.  The frontrunner is the iPhone for me, but I would prefer a tactile keyboard.

My phone is my main communication device, it should do what I need it to do without a lot of hassle, I sure wish MS could get their act together on Mobile Services with Visual Studio.  I also wish there was a common platform that ALL phones worked with, this is currently 10x worse than the Win/Linux/Apple platform problem.  No resolution in sight, Silverlight could be the magic bullet if MS can convince Apple and RIM to support it.

I do think that Twitter and the other "social services" should become an RSS redirector that consumes my "social feed" and redirects it to my "followers" in semi-realtime.  A few seconds of lag is fine if his means a decentralized posting center.  If I could post to a self-controlled (read hosted under my control) feed that all the social networks could consume and broadcast to my "friends" then we would have a more sensible service, providing better scalability and less loss of MY posts.

I have had too many posts lost to Twitter that could be there on my own RSS "social feed" that could be picked up my pownce, jaiku, friendfeed, facebook, twitter and all the others instead of making me cross-post.

We could designate a Category in the RSS for Pulling feeds, or we could use the lesser-known Cloud tag to link in to our chosen social platforms.  Comments and solutions welcome.


Scott Guthrie is coming back to Scottsdale - March 11th

AZGroups is pleased to announce of a visit to our valley of the sun of
Microsoft software development visionary Scott Guthrie. Our fifth annual
Arizona .NET User Group (100% free) event brings you a chance to spend some
time with an original inventor and creator ASP.NET. Scott has been busy
since ASP.Net was first launched and now presides over product development
efforts for Visual Studio, Silverlight, ASP.NET, IIS and Expression Tools.
If you have used these tools you have Scott Guthrie to thank. Many
developers, however, see beyond Scott's formidable product manager status,
and find a cut-to-chase, blog-friendly mentor helping to improve they way we
work and utilize Microsoft developer tools. Don't miss this opportunity to
experience one of the brightest and most down-to-earth technologists Redmond
has to offer.

See you there!

Scott's events in the past have always been the most informative, worthwhile events I have attended in Phoenix.  If you are a Developer, Designer, Architect, or Project Manager this is a MUST ATTEND event.


Scott Guthrie is Coming to Phoenix

AZGroups, a professional association for computer programmers in the Southwest, has one big meeting annually that brings the very best talent in the industry to Arizona.  This year it will be held on Wednesday, June 27th from 8am to 4:30pm at Symphony Hall in downtown Phoenix.  It's a free event open to the public. You should register to reserve your spot.

The main speaker this year will be Scott Guthrie, the original creator of Microsoft's ASP.NET architecture.  He is a general manager at Microsoft over many areas of developer technology including ASP.NET, IIS, ASP.NET Ajax, and Silverlight.  His presentation will center on the newest video and web technology that has been announced at recent conferences including NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) and MIX.

Scott is not your average general manager, being incredibly proficient in these technologies, and will demonstrate a hands-on approach to using them effectively.  It will be time well spent for any IT manager, web designer, or developer that has an interest in the latest technology from Microsoft.

If this is anything like his presentations at TechEd, this is a NOT TO BE MISSED event. Scott will show you in detail how we will be developing web apps for the next few years. I hope to see you there!

In addition, Stefan Schackow will be presenting.

Stefan Schackow is a manager on the web platform and tools team at Microsoft, and works with the new application services stack that shipped in ASP.NET 2.0. He owns the Membership, Role Manager, Profile, and Web Parts Personalization features and is currently working on extending these services to both smart clients and the ASP.NET AJAX platform. Prior to joining the ASP.NET team, Stefan worked as an application development consultant in MCS.  There are presentations online where he shows how to build your own ASP.NET Provider-Based Feature and the new trust levels in ASP.NET 2.0.

Finally there will be a comparison of 7 Web development platforms, showing the strngths and weaknesses of each.


I WILL be at TechEd 2007

Once again I will be attending TechED, if anyone wants to meet up while we are there, feel free to email me or leave a comment.


Additionally, I will be blogging about all the sessions I attend as I always have in the past.

Topics of interest this year will be:

  • Visual Basic
  • Silverlight
  • LINQ
  • Orcas
  • Media Center
  • Media Server

MVP Global Summit 2007

The Summit was terrific!

It was fantastic to talk with the VB Team, get their insights and share my thoughts on the direction of where VB is going.

I love Visual Basic and we even got to see Anders Hejlsberg do a demo in VB. It was during his talk on LINQ.

In case you don't know VB9 is all about LINQ, yes we are getting some other great features and enhancements, but this is the Major New element to improve our productivity.

I look forward to using the March CTP of "Orcas" and learning more about how we can improve productivity with this OR Mapping to our database objects.

I decided while at the Summit that there is not enough VB Specific coverage in our area (Phoenix) so stay tuned for a major announcement soon in this regard.

I had a chance to spend some time with some special friends in the VB Community, Kathleen Dollard who is hard at work improving her Code Generation tools and looking at incorporating LINQ into them. Stan Schultes is working on Software Factories and this sounds really interesting.

WPF, WPF/E and LINQ were the main focuses of the discussions I had, not just because they really interest me, but these technologies will surely change the face of development over the next 2 years and will become our primary focus on new learning.

Something that is also not getting enough coverage is the Interop Tools for adding .NET components into your existing VB6 Projects. These powerpacks can be really handy for adding new functionality to existing applications that need some updating but don't require full recoding to bring them current. They can increase the lifespan of your tried and true apps while leveraging some new capabilities of .NET.


Microsoft gave me a nice Birthday Present...

Dear Steele Price,

Congratulations! We are pleased to present you with the 2007 Microsoft® MVP Award!

The Microsoft MVP Award is our way of saying thank you and to honor and support the significant contributions you make to communities worldwide.


Blog Engines...

About a year ago, I very seriously committed to writing a new Blog Engine.  Then life hit the fan and I had absolutely 0 time for extracurricular activities. In fact I have been lucky over the last year to find time to breathe, my life completely turned upside down and the dust is still only just starting to settle.

I still want to write the engine, and my main motivation is still to make one that is completely SOA and built on WCF, so I can learn WCF inside and out with a real project.  Furthermore I wanted an engine that can be plugged into anything, like DNN, Sharepoint, its own UI, a new one someone else wants to build, or extended in ways you can't achieve with the rigid architecture most so-called engines have. 

Meanwhile, I thought about upgrading DotText to Community Server but I really don't want CS for various reasons I don't really want to talk about. It's great software, but it doesn't fit in with the way I want to use a blog engine.  I also really like Drupal but that's PHP and also doesn't really fit in with the way I want to use a blog engine.

So until the world stops spinning and I have some time really make my engine, which is just that... an engine, not the whole dang Train! I am going to upgrade to Subtext.  Why?  Because it is a fork of what I am already using and what I am comfortable with; its open source and it has a nice conversion path from DotText.

I only recently found out about Subtext because Tim Heuer just upgraded to it (for some of the same reasons apparently), thanks for the tip Tim.

I think that before I sit down and do my engine, I will find enough time to write my Publish to Blog addin for OneNote 2007.