Tim Anderson

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Small, awkward and looking for love: Delphi for PHP 2.0

The intent behind Delphi for PHP from CodeGear, last month acquired by Embarcadero Technologies, is clear: to provide an integrated development environment for PHP that matches the speed of development regular Delphi offers for Windows applications. First released in February 2007, the initial version fell far short of the goal …
Tim Anderson, 09 Jun 2008

Five misunderstood Vista features

Microsoft has posted a nine-page document on Five Misunderstood Features in Windows Vista [unavailable for download since Tim wrote this, but touched on in the Windows Vista team blog here - Reg Dev ed]. Apparently these "cause confusion and slow Windows Vista adoption for many folks." Here they are: User Account Control Image …
Tim Anderson, 19 May 2008

Making sense of Salesforce.com

The Salesforce.com marketing pitch at the recent Dreamforce Europe was wearying at times but it is not complete nonsense. Chief executive Marc Benioff spent the first hour of his keynote reiterating what he has said 1,000 times before about "no software". The "no software" slogan is deceptive, since Salesforce.com is a software …
Tim Anderson, 15 May 2008
hands waving dollar bills in the air

JBuilder 2008: Bold vision, rough edges

What is the point of JBuilder, when you can simply use Eclipse? That has been the marketing challenge for CodeGear ever since it decided to scrap its home-grown Java integrated development environment and replace it with a new product based on the open-source Eclipse tools platform. JBuilder 2007, released in May 2007, was the …
Tim Anderson, 28 Apr 2008
Windows Vista teaser

Windows Server 2008 is better than Vista, but why?

IT infrastructure veteran Mark Wilson asks: It seems that, wherever you look, Windows Server 2008 is almost universally acclaimed. And rightly so - I believe that it is a fantastic operating system release (let's face it, Windows Server 2003 and R2 were very good, too) and is packed full of features that have the potential to …
Tim Anderson, 18 Apr 2008

Google App Engine: how much will you pay for freedom?

Google is offering to host your web apps for free: You can create an account and publish an application that people can use right away at no charge, and with no obligation. An application on a free account can use up to 500MB of storage and up to five million page views a month. What's an application? It's a runtime for Python …
Tim Anderson, 14 Apr 2008

Is Google Gears safe?

I imagine that is the question most users will ask when they see this dialog box: google gears dialog box There are a couple of things I don't like about this dialog. First, the website is defined only by a URL. The problem is, it's a plain http connection so there's no SSL certificate involved, so I can't easily check the …
Tim Anderson, 02 Apr 2008

Soviet-era JCP needs change, concedes top commissar

Just over six months into the job, Java Community Process chairman Patrick Curran has reached a firm conclusion on his organization: "We have to change," he said. "No more smoke-filled rooms." The context for Curran's comments was the recent QCon event, where Spring framework father Rod Johnson had just likened the JCP to a …
Tim Anderson, 21 Mar 2008
Microsoft .NET logo

No Borg-like release train for Ruby on .NET

Microsoft hopes to deliver the .NET-tuned implementation of the phenomenally popular Ruby, IronRuby 1.0, by the end of this year. There's a ton of work left between then and now, though, and project manager John Lam isn't falling for that old Redmond trick of committing to a date and then watching the software slide out of view …
Tim Anderson, 17 Mar 2008

Microsoft reveals its database for the cloud

The announcement of Microsoft's SQL Server Data Services was almost buried near the end of chief software architect Ray Ozzie's Mix 08 keynote last week. It was a curious move for an offering that, as Microsoft's database service for the internet, marks the company's foray into database-based utility computing and promises an …
Tim Anderson, 10 Mar 2008

Silverlight 2.0 data and web services explained

Microsoft Silverlight team member Eugene Osovetsky has explained to a packed Mix 08 session how Silverlight 2.0, released as beta on Wednesday, interacts with external data and web services. No surprise: the first thing we saw was based on the Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), Microsoft's universal .NET web services API. …
Tim Anderson, 06 Mar 2008
Microsoft .NET logo

Cut to the Web Server Core: Windows Server 2008

Windows Server 2008, due for its official launch today, is a major upgrade for Microsoft's server platform, the first for around five years. Requiring a graphical user interface (GUI) on a server operating system always seemed odd, even back in 1993 when Microsoft released Windows NT 3.1. It has taken Microsoft until now to …
Tim Anderson, 27 Feb 2008

Hyper-V in Server 2008 RTM doesn't like non-US locales

Hyper-V is Microsoft's whizzy new virtual server manager, which uses new virtualization features in recent Intel and AMD processors so support more efficient virtual machines. Intel's extensions are called Intel Virtualization Technology (Intel-VT), formerly code-named Vanderpool, while AMD's extensions are called AMD …
Tim Anderson, 11 Feb 2008

How to speed up Windows Vista: official and unofficial tips

Microsoft has published an article on speeding up Vista, aimed at general users. It's not too bad. Here's the summary: Delete programs you never use Limit how many programs load at startup Defragment your hard drive Clean up your hard disk Run fewer programs at the same time Turn off visual effects Restart regularly Add …
Tim Anderson, 30 Jan 2008

Nokia acquires Trolltech

Nokia is to acquire Trolltech, makers of the popular cross-platform Qt GUI API and widget set. Qt (Cute Toolkit) is used by KDE, one of the two most widely used Linux desktops. It is also used in many cross-platform applications. The announcement states that Qt will continue to be open source: We will continue to actively …
Tim Anderson, 28 Jan 2008
Microsoft .NET logo

Get stuck in to Visual Studio 2008

Visual Studio is more than an integrated development environment. It is a strategic tool intended to promote the Microsoft platform. As such, the latest version of this IDE - released to MSDN subscribers late last month and due for widespread availability next February - draws together several different themes. One is Windows …
Tim Anderson, 18 Dec 2007
Amazon logo 75

Amazon SimpleDB: a database server for the internet

Amazon has announced SimpleDB, the latest addition to what is becoming an extensive suite of web services aimed at developers. It is now in beta. Why bother with SimpleDB, when seemingly every web server on the planet already has access to a free instance of MySQL? Perhaps the main reason is scalability. If demand spikes, …
Tim Anderson, 17 Dec 2007
Microsoft .NET logo

The day Microsoft 'embraced and extended' Java

It's early December 1995 and it has been a heady few days for Java. IBM and Adobe Systems have agreed to license this strange and embryonic new software that Sun Microsystems keeps telling us can be "written once and run anywhere". Two days before, Sun and Netscape had announced JavaScript that - according to the press release …
Tim Anderson, 07 Dec 2007

Vista vs XP performance: Some informal tests

After posting about the inadequacy of a recent test report I thought it would be interesting to conduct my own informal tests of Vista vs XP performance. I do not run a computer laboratory, but I guess my tests have the benefit of being real-world. I tested several conditions on three computers. On two of them I was able to test …
Tim Anderson, 04 Dec 2007

CodeGear bets on Application Factories to transform JBuilder

CodeGear is betting on something called Application Factories to distinguish its Eclipse-based JBuilder developer suite from the rest of the Java tools herd. Application Factories will be part of JBuilder 2008, now going into beta, and be "a major leap in development paradigm" according to CodeGear principal architect Ravi …
Tim Anderson, 03 Dec 2007
Stop sign

Zoho users logging into other accounts by accident

Zoho users beware. There appears to be a nasty bug whereby a user logs in with their own credentials, but finds themselves logged into another user's account. I have the last couple of weeks experienced that I get logged on into another account that I do not know! I can see the other account documents. Just a few minutes ago I …
Tim Anderson, 30 Nov 2007
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Project Astoria a hit at TechEd

There was a buzz last week at TechEd about Project Astoria. The reason is that it promises to simplify development of web applications that deal with data - which is most of them. Astoria is a REST API for ADO.NET, and hooks into the new Entity Framework object-relational mapping layer. Therefore, it solves two problems in one …
Tim Anderson, 13 Nov 2007
Warning Go

Microsoft Search Server 2008 takes on Google Mini, promotes SharePoint

Microsoft has announced Search Server 2008, a search engine based on SharePoint Server and SQL Server. There are two editions, a free Express version and a paid for variant (price not yet determined) which supports high availability and load balancing on a server farm. They will be released in the first half of 2008, and a …
Tim Anderson, 06 Nov 2007
Microsoft .NET logo

Microsoft lifts Visual Studio usage restrictions

Microsoft partners are now free to extend Visual Studio to target non-Microsoft platforms according to Microsoft's developer division corporate vice president S. Somasegar. "We never had any licence restriction on the product itself," he told El Reg. "Individual developers have done whatever they wanted to do. We had a …
Tim Anderson, 05 Nov 2007
Microsoft .NET logo

Visual Studio 2008 release by end November, Sync Framework announced

Microsoft has announced that Visual Studio 2008 will be available to MSDN subscribers "by the end of November 2007". I'm a little disappointed not to find the RTM build here at Tech-Ed, but that's not long to wait. Along with Visual Studio we get .NET Framework 3.5. The package includes LINQ (Language Integrated Query), and full …
Tim Anderson, 05 Nov 2007

How ASP.NET began in Java

A bit of nostalgia for you. Cast your minds back to 1999 or thereabouts. Microsoft is finishing off IIS 4.0 and there is no such thing as C# or ASP.NET. However, there are rumours that Microsoft is creating a Java-like platform codenamed "Cool", in the aftermath of a dispute with Sun that was making it impossible to use Java …
Tim Anderson, 30 Oct 2007
question mark teaser 75

OOXML vs ODF: where next for interoperability?

Gary Edwards of the Open Document Foundation has a fascinating post on the important of Microsoft Office compatibility to the success of the ISO-approved Open Document formats. It is in places a rare voice of sanity: People continue to insist that if only Microsoft would implement ODF natively in MSOffice, we could all hop on …
Tim Anderson, 25 Oct 2007
Microsoft .NET logo

Considering Microsoft’s 'rift with the web'

I enjoy the SmoothSpan blog but I’m not convinced by this article on Microsoft’s rift with the web. Bob Warfield says: Ever since their spat with Sun over Java, Microsoft has been on an increasingly proprietary path called .NET. I am not sure why .NET is "increasingly" proprietary. Why is it more proprietary now than it …
Tim Anderson, 23 Oct 2007
question mark teaser 75

Adobe: friend or enemy of open source, open standards?

I’m sitting in a session at Adobe Max Europe listening to Senior Product Manager Laurel Reitman talking about what a great open platform Adobe is creating. She refers to the open sourcing of the Flex SDK; the open bug database for Flex; the ISO standardization programme for PDF; the donation of source code to Tamarin, the …
Tim Anderson, 18 Oct 2007

We'll beat Microsoft and Sun, says Adobe's chief software architect

And so to Barcelona for Adobe Max 2007 Europe, the company's developer conference, where we caught up with chief software architect Kevin Lynch. We asked him to explain Adobe's platform ambitions. He was happy to oblige. “The Rich Internet Application movement was something that we were working on back in 2001. We coined the …
Tim Anderson, 18 Oct 2007

MS shines Silverlight into thin AIR (and kicks 'beaten up' Google Gears)

At the Mix07 conference in London last week, Scott Guthrie, co-inventor of ASP.NET and Microsoft's general manager for the technology, presented the latest plans for ASP.NET and Silverlight and took a swipe at the competition in the process. Version 1.1 of Silverlight is set for release during 2008, and looks compelling for . …
Tim Anderson, 17 Sep 2007

PHP takes aim at Radar

PHP is wildly popular in the open source community, but less so in the enterprise. These things are hard to measure, but one indicator is job vacancies. According to ITjobswatch, there are nearly four times as many jobs for ASP.NET developers as for PHP, and even more for Java. PHP sponsor Zend Technologies wants to change that …
Tim Anderson, 23 Jul 2007
For sale sign

CodeGear: still for sale

Keeping up with Borland’s corporate plans is a challenge. In early 2006, it said it would sell its IDE tools business, including the Delphi and JBuilder products. Nine months later it formed CodeGear, but as a wholly-owned subsidiary, saying that nobody came up with a good enough offer. “It was obvious that the positive cash …
Tim Anderson, 10 Jun 2007
The Register breaking news

AccuRev streams ahead

Think streams, not files. That is the key concept of AccuRev, a source-code management system which is winning praise for its innovative and effective approach. "Streams are high-level objects almost like containers for versions of files, but they are the main objects in the system," says vice president of technology Brad Hart …
Tim Anderson, 04 Jun 2007

Google: We like the web the way it is

“We feel very strongly about this being an industry effort and being a standard. We want this to be the one way that developers can add offline capabilities to their applications,” says Jeff Huger, Google’s VP of engineering, during the keynote for the company’s global Developer Day. A mood shot from Google Dev Day Google Dev …
Tim Anderson, 01 Jun 2007

Microsoft polishes the Silverlight

Despite the early batch of criticism that Microsoft’s Silverlight has already generated, there is still much to interest applications developers in its arrival as a beta product, as well as issues for them to ponder, not least being whether Flash is still the better option for now. The key interest, particularly in Microsoft’s …
Tim Anderson, 01 May 2007
The Register breaking news

Inside Amazon's web services

In 2006, Amazon.com launched several web services aimed at developers: the Simple Storage Service (S3) offering unlimited internet storage, the Simple Queue Service for reliable message delivery, and the Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) which lets developer create and manage virtual server instances programmatically. They are …
Tim Anderson, 15 Apr 2007

Microsoft’s software factories

At Microsoft’s Architect Insight conference in Wales this month, Microsoft software architect Jack Greenfield tells us about a BMW factory which rarely makes the same car twice. It is an example of mass customization, handling millions of variations within an automated process. Could the same apply to software development? “I …
Tim Anderson, 27 Mar 2007
The Register breaking news

Delphi - or not Delphi

Borland’s wholly-owned spinoff CodeGear is releasing Delphi for PHP, claimed to be the first RAD visual PHP development environment. PHP 5.0 is required. The product is jointly developed by CodeGear and qadram software and is essentially the first production version of qadram’s qstudio, which never made it past pre-beta. The …
Tim Anderson, 26 Feb 2007
The Register breaking news

Adobe takes on Java and .NET

Adobe Flash came from nowhere to become the obvious choice for embedding video into websites, despite the presence of well-established alternatives including Real, Windows Media and Quicktime. Could it have a similar impact on client application development? Last month Adobe’s Ben Forsaith ran a Flex 2 workshop for the press, …
Tim Anderson, 06 Feb 2007
The Register breaking news

Keeping CodeGear was a no-brainer - sez Borland

Why did Borland change its mind about selling off its IDE tools to a third-party? According to Mike Hulme, Borland’s senior director of product marketing, it was a simple decision. “The one-time cash-flow from the sale did not match what we think we can get from an overall profitable business. It’s a no-brainer to say that it’s …
Tim Anderson, 17 Nov 2006
The Register breaking news

C# pulling ahead of Java

C# has come a long way since it emerged from Microsoft's mythical "Project Cool" back in 2000. It is the primary language of Microsoft .NET, and has pulled ahead of Visual Basic among professional Windows programmers. At last week's Tech-Ed conference in Barcelona, C#'s lead architect Anders Hejlsberg drew large audiences for …
Tim Anderson, 14 Nov 2006
The Register breaking news

Software bad across the board

The security problems that hit the headlines are those in web browsers and operating systems, but application security is in many cases a bigger risk. I spoke to Mike Armistead (vice president, products) at Fortify Software, specialists in software security solutions, takes a far broader view of where the risks lie. "Most of …
Tim Anderson, 06 Nov 2006
The Register breaking news

Borland goes for ALM 2.0

Nine months ago, Borland announced it was spinning off its IDE tools into a separate business to focus on ALM (Application Lifecycle Management) products and services. The divestment is taking longer than planned and, as I write, the Borland Developer Tools Group is still part of Borland. But is the focus on ALM still on track …
Tim Anderson, 23 Oct 2006
The Register breaking news

Developing for Vista

The imminent arrival of Windows Vista is a mixed blessing for developers. The good bit is lots of new features to play with, along with better security and an updated user interface. The downside is compatibility problems, and with the challenge of meeting expectations for well-behaved, good-looking Vista applications. There is …
Tim Anderson, 22 Sep 2006
The Register breaking news

Getting to grips with Callisto

Eclipse is not just a Java IDE, it is a tools platform, which supports an increasing number of projects. The broad scope of these was apparent in Callisto, the code name for a set of simultaneous project releases earlier this summer. There are 10 projects in Callisto, including Java and C++ development tools, visual editors, …
Tim Anderson, 29 Aug 2006

Sun: We're happy with Eclipse, honest...

The executive director of the Eclipse Foundation, Mike Milinkovich, recently told us that "We don't really have a relationship with Sun...I've made numerous entreaties to try to engage Sun with Eclipse, from Jonathan Schwartz down, and I've never had anything other than 'thanks for calling'." Sun's Dan Roberts, director of …
Tim Anderson, 24 Jul 2006

Eclipse: We don’t have a relationship with Sun

Prospects of a thaw between Sun and the Eclipse Foundation seem as slim as ever, judging by remarks made to The Register by Eclipse executive director Mike Milinkovich. Sun owns the Java standard, while the Eclipse Foundation produces the most popular set of Java development tools. According to a December 2005 survey by BZ …
Tim Anderson, 17 Jul 2006
The Register breaking news

Hands on with Microsoft Team System

Historically, Microsoft has shown little interest in application lifecycle tools. The company was content to make Visual Studio extensible, and have third-parties fill the gap between a single-developer IDE and a manageable software development process. The one concession to team development was Visual SourceSafe, a bundled …
Tim Anderson, 12 May 2006
The Register breaking news

Two practical opinions of Microsoft Team System

EDS has been testing Team System since its early betas, and now has three live projects on the system. What does it like? “The integration aspect, the fact that there’s less context-switching between applications is very important. The extensibility is very important, either through third-parties or by doing our own stuff. …
Tim Anderson, 11 May 2006