Speaking in Fort Worth, TX

Well, that was two months of complete blog inactivity. I've just been focused on other things, and blogging hasn't been one of them (obviously). Generally, life has been good. I've been in a go-kart league for the last two months, and we had our last race of the season (a 100 lap marathon that lasted 34 minutes - that was pretty tiring!). I definitely want to change the blogging frequency here. In fact, after the holidays are done, I will go back into the darkness of my computer room and get this site updated once and for all so I can update the site at my leisure. For now, here's a list of things I intend to do in the future (e.g. 2004) along with some things I've been meaning to write about:

  • I've been keeping busy at the client site. The latest endeavor is looking at Compuware DevPartner Studio to gather metrics on our code. The tool is nice, but it seems to be very resistive to automation. For example, I'd love to take the coverage file I generate during the Nant build process, pull out coverage numbers, and stick them into the resulting build report. But I can't find a way to do this in DevPartner. I have been able to pull the coverage data out into a CSV file, but, again, I have to manually do this in VS .NET. If anybody from Compuware is listening or if somebody knows DevPartner really well, if you're listening, please tell me how I can do this (or please make your tools more script-friendly). And I have little interest in reverse-engineering the binary format of their coverage and performance files. It could be done, but that's like using a teaspoon to dig a ditch, and I like using my teaspoon to measure stuff when I cook.
  • If you're wondering when I'm going to update my FileGenerator assembly to match the latest version of Reflector, the answer is I have no plans to keep up. The easiest thing to do is to rebuild my assembly against the latest version, and hopefully Reflector's underlying object model didn't change ;). I'm happy to hear that people are using it, but I just don't have the time to issue a new build with every release of Reflector. That being said, I will try to update my code when I have the chance, but I make no guarantees that I will do this.
  • Suprisingly, I've received a fair amount of e-mail from people who have purchased my VB6 API book from 5 years ago looking for the source code. Apress has the rights to the book, and the source code can be found here.
  • My "Investigating .NET" series will continue. I want to get the other three chapters out by the end of February 2004. After that, I'm not sure if it'll continue. The five chapters are basically freebies, but for me to create new material would be a substantial investment of my time, and I don't know if I'll have that next year.
  • I have no plans right now to write another book any time soon. I'm mulling over some ideas, but everybody and their relatives that are in the .NET space have probably cornered all of the potential .NET 2.0 ideas along with the eventual release of Longhorn (whenever that is). Basically, I love writing, but the payoff isn't that high, and I want to make sure that the time I would invest in a book would pay off.
  • I'm thinking of starting a series of small articles on my site related to some "best practices" I've learned being a developer for the last 8 years of my life. The key reason I'd do this is simply to share whatever knowledge I've gained to others in the hopes that better code will come out of it. I've created enough crap code in my life to start making a real effort to write better code, and I've also dealt with too many crappy code bases in my life. Hopefully I can help new developers out there with some heuristics on what to do (and what not to do!).

That's pretty much it for now. I'll see you in 2004!

* Posted at 12.23.2003 03:33:33 PM CST | Link *

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