17 March 2008
17 March 2008

Not the right place

Many orthodoxies, or ‘truisms’, exist in IT; rules of programming that emerge in the light of shared experience and are then passed on from programmer to programmer and instilled as “the right way” to tackle a certain problem. The difficulty is that many of these truisms persist long after advances in technology have rendered them … Read more
27 February 2008
27 February 2008

How should you layout code?

It is strange to see the heat generated over arguments about how code should be formatted. With Visual Studio, of course, it isn’t much of an issue, as it is done for you, but the closer you get to the ‘live free and die’ communities of the LAMP platforms, the more contentious it gets. Likewise, … Read more
12 February 2008
12 February 2008

SQL Server Diagnostics

SQL Server diagnostics are a mess. To monitor the well-being of a server, you need to be able to inspect all logged errors, have a whole raft of performance information, WMI data, and be able to study the history of backups and scheduled jobs. You have to monitor server downtime, low disk space, low physical … Read more
29 January 2008
29 January 2008

Katmai: Ship date or ship-shape?

By now, most of you will have read the news of the delay in releasing SQL Server 2008. It all seems fairly typical Microsoft, though I wouldn’t want to be overly critical, even if the bizarre blog announcement, written in strangled Dalek-speak, was almost beyond parody (although Phil Factor had a good attempt). In reality, … Read more
22 January 2008
22 January 2008

The Decline of IE and the rise of browser-based desktop applications

Until recently, the Internet Explorer V8 group had been a pretty taciturn bunch. However, a few weeks ago, Dean Hachamovitch suddenly popped up with a blog entry announcing that the new IE8 browser had passed the Web Standards Project ‘Acid2’ test. The blog was full of aspirations about Microsoft’s commitment to standards, and their Acid2 … Read more
08 January 2008
08 January 2008

TSQL and the Tower of Babel

It is always a bit of a strain to program in several languages at once. A simple task like writing a database-driven website will involve you in at least three, maybe more. The experience of diving into JavaScript, VB.NET, and TSQL, all at once, is one that most human brains aren’t, in evolutionary terms, designed … Read more
15 November 2007
15 November 2007

LINQ and vNext

The history of IT is littered with the corpses of software companies that assumed that a solution that worked well in particular circumstances would necessarily become a generic panacea. Who, for example, now remembers the past giants of the Workflow industry? The Orcas chrysalis is now hatching into the Visual Studio 2008 butterfly. Well, most … Read more
31 October 2007
31 October 2007

What are the most innovative .NET tools?

We all have our favourite websites. Not the ones we read as part of our job, but the ones we scan whilst munching sandwiches at the desk or, surreptitiously, during an application build process. I’m hooked on giveawayoftheday.com at the moment. It is a site that gives away licensed software. It features a different product … Read more
18 September 2007
18 September 2007

Registering for PASS: the deadly game

MONDAY, 17 September 2007 On a slightly overcast Denver Monday morning, I strolled into the Colorado Convention Centre, intent on registering for the PASS conference. I stared in wonderment at the distinctive blue bear, entered the building, and followed the sign for “PASS registration”. I duly approached the registration desk. “Hi, I’m here to register” … Read more
11 July 2007
11 July 2007

SQL Server Performance Bugbears

Whilst trying out Robyn and Phil’s excellent TSQL Newsfeed, some of the first articles that I saw was Linchi Shea’s fascinating Blog entries about the performance impact of not using owner-qualified stored procedure calls. I had no knowledge of this particular performance hit, which seemed to be coming out at around 15% and 25%. Prefixing … Read more
12 June 2007
12 June 2007

What do you want to see on Simple Talk?

At Simple-Talk, we’re always looking for new and innovative ways to present practical technical content to our readers, and to stimulate discussion. Whilst sharpening our pencils, we dream of capturing some of the glorious, anarchic pooling of ideas and creativity that one finds in the open source communities. From the ultra-practical Workbenches, to the “what … Read more
05 June 2007
05 June 2007

MSVSBS

Keynote address, Bob Muglia, Tech Ed 2007, Orlando Greetings from Tech Ed Orlando. What do Orlando and Microsoft keynotes have in common? Lots of hot air. Boom Boom! I’m sure I’m not the first or last to crack that lame gag. The Orange County Convention centre is huge. I mean massive. I’ve been here at … Read more
06 February 2007
06 February 2007

"Jargon busting" competition

What, in your opinion, are the worst, most annoying cases of IT jargon that are currently in vogue? At Simple-talk we’re on a drive to stamp them out. The top five words/phrases that you will not hear around Simple-Talk are: Synergy Thought leadership Social media communities Ground-floor opportunity Vibrant (by order of Phil Factor) The … Read more
12 December 2006
12 December 2006

Douglas Reilly

Douglas Reilly is a software developer, and a brave and exceptional man. I first had the pleasure of working with him when he submitted his Coming out as a Cancer Survivor article for the Simple-Talk website. In this article, he detailed his experiences as a software developer who had decided to be open and honest … Read more
06 November 2006
06 November 2006

Simple Talk at SQL PASS

I just wanted to provide everyone with a “heads-up” on Simple-Talk’s plans for SQL PASS in Seattle. If you’re at the show and are interested in talking – maybe about writing an article, doing a short interview, to tell me how great Simple-Talk is, or just to give me a good slap, then drop me … Read more
04 October 2006
04 October 2006

Bamkraxler

A grand day out in Vienna a few Saturdays ago finished in the 19th district at the fantastically-named Bamkraxler pub. I had no real expectations of the place, but it turned out to be so much more than an amusing name (although after 5 pints of beer, it’s amazing how long you can be kept amused … Read more