Monday, February 06, 2006

Updated Source Code for "Visual Basic 2005 Database Programming"

I've uploaded to the WROX code download site a complete refresh of the Visual Basic 2005 source code for Chapters 1 through 9 of the source code files for Expert One-on-One Visual Basic 2005 Database Programming. The refresh includes source code for chapters 10 through 12, which is unchanged. The update contains fixes for code in chapters 1 through 5 that readers weren't able to open in Visual Studio 2005's Windows form designer, as well as other minor fixes. The individual chapter zip files (Chapter through have different names than the original versions, but the new contents will overwrite the original source code copied to your \VB2005DB\Chapter01 through \VB2005DB\Chapter12 folders. (Updated 2/15/2006.) Important: You must download Part 1 (57678X_code.part1.exe, 9.44 MB) and Part 2 (57678X_code.part2.rar) into the same temporary folder of your choice (e.g., C:\Temp). Then run 57678X_code.part1.exe to start the extraction process for the files into the same or another folder (e.g., C:\VB2005DB), as shown here.

Finally, extract each file to a \VB2005DB\Chapter##\... folder and subfolders by marking the Use Folder Names check box, as shown here:

Caution: If you want to save modifications you made to the original source code, please change the name of your current \VB2005DB folder before opening the files. Chapter 1's OleDbDataObjects project has a couple of problems: 1. SQL Server 2005 Express (SSX) doesn't install SQLXML 4.0, despite Adam Weiner's inference in an XMLTeam blog post that it does. Thus, I've modified the source code to CopyLocal Microsoft.Data.SqlXml.dll, which enables compiling the project when you're running SSX. The project won't run in this case, because the underlying SQLXML 4.0 COM object isn't installed. See the comments in the Main.vb file regarding changes for SSX users. There's no redistibutable for SQLXML 4.0, so you'll need to download SQLXML 3.0 SP3 from MSDN and install it, if you haven't installed the client tools for SQL Server 2005 Developer edition or higher. 2. I accidentally built the original updated version with a later version of the (8.0.50926) Visual Basic compiler than the RTM version. The later compiler is for the VB-LINQ January Technical Preview. Unless you've installed the VB-LINQ preview bits, you'll receive an error when you run the project (after making the preceding fixes, if necessary.) Here's more info on VB-LINQ. The updated version of the OleDbDataObjects.sln project from the OakLeaf FTP site includes fixes for the preceding problems. Due to the long lead time to update the WROX download site, these fixes haven't been applied to that ZIP file. If you want an updated version of the project, send me mail and I'll provide a file that contains this project only. The source code update also contains a new version of Chapter 2's ReportViewerDemo.sln WinForm project and adds a new ASP.NET 2.0 ReportViewerWebDemo WebForm project to Chapter 8. You can learn more about the new ReportViewer control for WinForms in my "Build Client-Side Reports Easily" article in the November 2005 edition of Visual Studio Magazine. Watch for the announcement of a similar article about the ReportViewer control's WebForms version. This OakLeaf Blog post has links to this and other recent VSM articles. --rj P.S.: This is a copy (with minor modifications) of the latest "Plog" post for the book to my Amazon Connect site.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Squidoo Changes Lens Ranking Method

On Sunday, February 5, 2006, I received the following e-mail message from Seth Godin, the founder of Squidoo:

As one of our top 100 lensmasters, you ought to know about a new iteration of the Squidoo beta that will happen today or tomorrow. We're posting many new features (which Heath will mention on our Squidblog and we're also going to change the way we compute the top 100. Instead of using "all-time" stats, we're going to institute a two-week rolling stats window for computing rank. Simple version: if your lens is high-ranking just because you've been around for a while, it might not be ranked as high by Tuesday. I didn't want you to be shocked at the new stats, hence this note, and I hope you'll decide to juice up your lens and your traffic and use this as an opportunity to move on up now that the log jam is broken. Thanks for all your support so far! Seth Original Squid
I raised the issue of unexplained and unexpected ranking of my four Squidoo lenses in an earlier "Squidoo Beta Problems - December 2005" post. Most of the problems I reported in that post have been solved, as noted in the update text. For example, there's a new workaround I discovered that lets you claim your lens, which should (but doesn't) enable Technorati tagging; a new Text List module eliminates my problems with the 2,500-character limit on plain Text modules. Updated 2/15/2006: Starting Monday, 2/6/2006, my lenses were ranked as follows (commas separate data for Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu...): 15, 23, 23, 22, 30 228, 245, 194, 152, 180 246, 289, 197, 179, 235 337, 380, 164, 156. 199 Monday and Tuesday: All my blogs gained in rank (like in golf, lower scores are better), presumably as the result of the new ranking method. However, their ranking declined on Tuesday, probably because none of the lenses were modified that day. Wednesday: The Black Scholar lens was updated with a major new entry and the .../oakleafsystems (Databases) lens was updated by automatic addition of a new Atom link for this entry on Tuesday night (2/7/2006). The .../surfboards and .../microsoft_access lenses were last updated on Sunday, 2/5/2006. Thursday: Only .../surfboards was updated, yet all four lenses gained rank. This is probably due to lack of updates to lenses rated below mine as of Wednesday. Friday: All lenses except .../surfboards were updated with minor changes (primarily Technorati tags). All lenses lost ground in the ratings. Other Rankings:

Squidoo also added "Top 100" rankings within many categories. Here are some results for me and my four lenses as of 2/9/2006:

  • I was #21 on the "Top 100 Lensmasters (by LensRank)" list.
  • "No More U.S. Custom Surfboards?" was #58 on the "Top 100 Most Visited (most traffic)" and #3 on the "Top 100 by Topic (Computers and Technology)" lists.
  • "OakLeaf Database Lens" was #25 and "Microsoft Access Lens" was #28 on the "Top 100 by Topic (Computers and Technology)" list.
  • "The Black Scholar" was #7 on the "Top 100 by Topic (People and Society)" list.

Obviously, these rankings are likely to change as more authors create new lenses and existing authors update formerly high-rated lenses.


The low ranking of The Black Scholar lens, compared to the .../surfboards lens, continues to be questionable because of the former's extensive content, more than 200 external links, and very frequent modification. The Black Scholar lens ranks #2 in a Google search for "The Black Scholar". The journal's site is #1. I'll continue to update this post daily for a week or so and attempt to determine what effect minor text and link modifications have on lens rank. --rj


Wednesday, February 01, 2006

VSLive! 2006 San Francisco Keynotes

Fawcette Technical Publications' VSLive! 2006 conference opened Monday, January 30, 2006 at San Francisco's Moscone West venue. This post provides links to summaries and online videos of each morning's 9:00 a.m. keynote address from the VSLive! San Francisco ShowDaily site: Monday: S. "Soma" Somasegar, Corporate Vice President, Developer Division, Microsoft: "Visual Studio 2005: A World of New Opportunity." Somasegar announced that Microsoft Team Foundation Server will be available as a Release Candidate at the end of this week and will release to manufacturing in March. He and his keynote team also announced a Community Technical Preview (CTP) for the Visual Studio Tools for Applications (VSTA) SDK, as well as CTPs for Visual Studio "Orcas" technologies such as Atlas, LINQ, Cider, and WinFX. Read "Q&A: Microsoft's Somasegar touts value of ALM platform," InfoWorld Editor-at-Large Paul Krill's interview with Somasegar after his VSLive! presentation. Tuesday: David Chappell, Principal, Chappell & Associates: "Building Modern Software: Services, Workflow, Integration." David Chappell detailed the design patterns for a new breed of service-oriented applications (SOAs) to a standing-room-only crowd at his VSLive! keynote on Tuesday. This fourth-generation architecture integrates Microsoft Windows Communication Framework (WCF, formerly code-named "Indigo"), SOAP-based XML service components, Windows Workflow Foundation (WF), BizTalk Server 2006, and Visual Studio 2005. Wednesday: Larry Jordan, Development Manager, MSDN and TechNet Development Team, Microsoft: "MSDN Architectural Overview and Deep Dive." Jordan billed MSDN as “the source of truth in technical documentation” in his keynote presentation. Prior to the complete MSDN site makeover by Larry and his team that began two years ago, relying on MSDN Search to seek the “truth” frustrated developers no end. According to a show of hands from the keynote audience, most developers currently use Google to find the MSDN software documentation pages they need. MSDN Search is just one of the site’s technologies to be replaced. The MSDN team ported the original ASP site to ASP.NET 2.0, migrated document storage from the Windows file system to 32-bit SQL Sever 2005, and wrote XML Web services to serve as an API for metadata and document access. Visit the VSLive! San Francisco ShowDaily site for view the additional keynote presentations on Tuesday and Wednesday. P.S.: Microsoft's Rob Caron takes issue with the comments in my review of Soma's keynote on "dogfooding" Team Foundation Server in this blog post. Technorati: