Santiago, Chile, 64-bit Advantage event

29. June 2006 08:10 by Jaguilar in General  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)

Last week we had the final scheduled 64-bit Advantage event in Santiago, Chile. It was an incredible success. The people and organization were really happy with the results. It is a shame that there are very few events like it in Latin America

One of the things that really caught my attention was the fact that there was a well-known (not to us) Linux user/advocate in the audience. The good thing is that he gave us a very positive review for the event, and mentioned that he was surprised of the professionalism we displayed when confronted with cross-platform questions, and how we even address the availability of certain technologies on other platforms (such as POSIX Threads, polymorphic types, etc).

By the way, if you have a chance, go and visit Santiago. It is a beautiful city, the people are amazing, and I can't even start talking about the food, especially seafood. Just remeber to visit Costa Rica first, of course. :-)

Thanks to Christian, Wilson, José, Katina, and the rest of the organization for the hard work and dedication that went into making this event happen!!

HP and Intel Developer Workshop in Seattle

29. May 2006 05:29 by Jaguilar in General  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)

In a couple of weeks I'll be teaching some of the lessons at the HP and Intel Developer Workshop in Seattle, WA. The workshop will take place on June 13-15. As with the previous workshop, in Dallas, this is a great oppotunity to port your code to 64-bit windows on the Itanium platform. You'll be surprised that it may be easier to port your source code than it looks - in Dallas we had a guy that ported his code in about an hour! Then again, we've been working with a company for about two years on the port - can't tell you who it is, but if you knew, you'll see why it is taking so long.

The Workshop has all sorts of nice perks. In addition to the quality training given by yours truly and my coworkers, you can also also take with you the Itanium server that you use during the class. You can read all the benefits about it on the Workshop's web page.

Visual Basic Webcasts

26. May 2006 12:59 by Jaguilar in General  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)

In the next few weeks I'll be doing several webcasts for Microsoft Latin America. They are about Visual Basic 6.0 to Visual Basic .NET migrations, and will be given in spanish.

The first presentation will be this Friday, and it is called Why consider a project to upgrade from Visual Basic 6.0 to Visual Basic .NET?. In this presentation, we'll talk about the business and technological factors that influence the decision to upgrade an application. The second one is about Understanding the Upgrade Wizard, in which we'll talk about the process of upgrading an application from Visual Basic 6.0 to Visual Basic .NET.

Some other webcasts are planned, but there's no date assigned yet. As soon as there is, I'll post all the information here.


No, there's no mixing of J# and Windows Forms components

25. May 2006 09:56 by Jaguilar in General  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)

We have been aware of that fact for a while, but we tried anyway - and it doesn't work. The main issue is that the components were implemented separately, and respond to different object hierarchies. Windows Forms receive components that extend the System.Windows.Forms.Control class, while Java containers receive objects that extend from javax.swing.JComponent. This causes an incompatibility, as the code will not even compile when you add an object from the "other" hierarchy, as shown in the following example. Trying to compile this code:

      JFrame frame = new JFrame("HelloWorldSwing");
      ComboBox cb = new ComboBox();

will give you this compilation error:

      Cannot find method 'add(System.Windows.Forms.ComboBox)' in 'java.awt.Container'

The exact same thing happens when you try to add a J# Component to a Windows Form. There are of course technical reasons for this, like the fact that the J# runtime was developed independently, thus components expect a different environment when being drawn, and that it uses a different event handling mechanism (based on Java instead of .NET). But it is a bummer not being able to use a JTable and, for example, a DateTimePicker side-by-side.

On Visual J#, Swing support and supplemental UI libraries

25. May 2006 06:32 by Jaguilar in General  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

A colleague of mine passed me this great link, which details the differences in API support between the different versions of Java, including J#. This is a great resource if you're considering moving your Java application to J# 2005, as it will tell you exactly which packages will give you a headache.

It is also worth mentioning that if you're working with Visual J#, the Supplemental UI Library is a must. This library includes an implementation of several Swing classes and packages, plus some support for additional classes added to the java.util.* package since JDK 1.2 (remember that J# supports the JDK up to 1.1.4). This Supplemental Library is already included in the Microsoft Visual J# Version 2.0 Redistributable Package.

And don't forget that there's a Visual J# 2005 Express Edition as well!!

PowerShell (formely Monad) RC1 OUT!!

25. April 2006 13:04 by Jaguilar in General  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

Today Microsoft announced the release of Powershell RC1. This is a task-oriented shell, formerly known as Monad. I saw a very impressive demo a couple of weeks ago at the Longhorn Server SDR, and, as a UNIX shell geek, I have to admit that I am in love with it.

I definitely love the way you work with objects and properties, instead of having to parse a text entry to obtain some information. I always keep forgetting if it is cut -c 10-17 or 9-16 or some other variation.. I can now do a File.Name on a shell script - how cool is that!!

Another thing is that it really enforces the naming conventions when you create a new command, or CmdLet as they’re know in MonadSpeak. ALL cmdlets have to be named in the form verb-noun, so they are easy to remember and you can also figure out what they do very easily. For example, if you want you cmdlet to be called get-ewis, you create a .NET class and define it in the following way: 

namespace ais.samples
   [Cmdlet(VerbsCommon.Get, "ewis")]
   public class GetEWIsCommand: Cmdlet

 By doing it this way, there is no possibility of creating strange-sounding names - you never name you cmdlet explicitly, you just describe the verb and noun that you'll use. You could still create a cmdlet with a weird combination of verb-noun, but it would require a deliberate effort to mislead your users.

 And, finally, you are working with the complete .NET object model. This gives all the power of the .NET framework on the command line.

We were also told at the SDR that new servers coming out of Redmond will have their admin tools based on Powershell (can't get used to the name..), starting with Exchange 12. Servers that are currently close to release won’t support it because of scheduling issues, but we were assured future versions will. At last, Windows will be manageable from the command line - and with the Server Core capability coming out, that will become a big deal.

The press release for Mon..Powershell is here, and you can download RC1 here.

JLCA Training still online

25. April 2006 09:11 by Jaguilar in General  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)

An version of the JLCA training is still available online from Microsoft's website here. It has a chapter on the JLCA Companion, and also includes a chapter on migrating BEA's technologies.

Check it out.

Yes, there is hope for SWT to .NET migrations

20. April 2006 17:05 by Jaguilar in General  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)

SWT is a commonly used Java GUI framework, brought to the masses by the Eclipse project. Every once in a while there is customer that wants to migrate from a SWT-based application to C# using the JLCA, but so far this conversion required a significant effort in order to build the necessary infrastructure.

Well, now there's hope. I just noticed that the good guys at ICSharpCode have a version of SWT for .NET, called the Sharp Widget Toolkit (SharpWT or #WT). With this library and the JLCA Companion, we should be able to automate the conversion of a significant portion of SWT-based application, and get them up and running on .NET very quickly. Based on their previous work, the SharpWT library should be very high quality - they also developed the #ziplib library, to which we've often converted the* classes, and other projects you can check out on their website.

So, there you have it - there is hope for SWT to .NET migrations. ;o)

Sql Server 2005 SP1 is out

19. April 2006 17:58 by Jaguilar in General  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

Today Microsoft released Sql Server 2005 SP1. Along with fixed issues, they added:

  • Support for Database Mirroring
  • SQL Server Management Studio Express
  • Additional options for ISVs

You can check out the press release here, and download it here. The link takes you to the x86, x64 and IA64 editions of the update.

Visual Studio Express now (and forever) free!!

19. April 2006 17:34 by Jaguilar in General  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

Microsoft announced today that all Visual Studio Express editions will be available at no extra cost. Up until today, you could download them for free, but they would be available for a price (around $50) later in the year. I recommend that you check them out - after all, they're free and almost fully featured.

There's also some interesting stuff being done with those editions. You can check out the press release here.

Dallas Workshop Wrapup

13. April 2006 00:55 by Jaguilar in General  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

The 64-bit workshop in Dallas last week was a great success. We had 7 people porting their applications to Itanium systems. Of the seven, three managed to port their apps - one was a C# application that was ported in 15 minutes!! Another participant ported his C++ application to Visual Studio .NET 2005, but didn't have the Itanium compilers installed. So let's make it 3.5 ports. :o)

So we can say we had a 50% success rate. Great workshop, can't wait for the next one!!

Proven Techniques to automatically convert your J2EE code to C# and .NET

4. April 2006 03:07 by Jaguilar in General  //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments (0)

The recording for the webcast I gave last week, titled "Proven Techniques to automatically convert your J2EE code to C# and .NET", is now available! You can check it out here.

The webcast is mostly about the techniques we have developed here at ArtinSoft to succesfully peform migration projects using the Java Language Conversion Assitant and the JLCA Companion. When performing J2EE to .NET migration there are several things that you have to keep in mind - for example, J2EE applications often rely on third-party components. These components are usually not migrated automatically by the JLCA, since there is no way to include all these APIs in it. By using  product like the JLCA Companion, you can automate the migration of these components, siginificantly speeding up your migration efforts by reducing the amount of manual work you need to perform. In the webcast, we show you a smalll demo of the JLCA Companion, how it works, and how it can be used in your migratino projects.

In the web cast, we also cover:

  • An overview of the nxt initiative by Microsoft
  • An overview of ArtinSoft and ArtinSoft's migration expertise
  • Why should ISV consider automated software migration when moving to a new platform
  • A summary of various Java to .NET concepts
  • A detailed description of the migration process followed here at ArtinSoft, using the JLCA Companion
  • And, finally, we have two live demos, one about using the JLCA Companion, and another one about a complete migration of a web application that is accomplished in just a few minutes!!

So, check it out, and enjoy :-).

HP/Intel Developer Workshop in Dallas

28. March 2006 09:52 by Jaguilar in General  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

ArtinSoft has been involved with 64-bit awareness and training programs for well over a year now - last year we worked on the Route 64 program, and we are currently working on the succesor to Route 64, called 64-bit Advantage. Because of our involvement in this programs, we're also doing the Windows 64-bit tracks of both the Itanium Solutions Alliance's Developer Days and for the HP and Intel Itanium workshops.

Next week there's one such workshop in Dallas. I'll be at the HP and Intel® Developer Workshop, taking place in Dallas, TX, from April 4-6, doing the Windows track.

Some of the perks of the workshop include (from their website):

  • Three days of interactive lectures
  • An HP Integrity rx2620 server (yes, you get a server with the registration fee)
  • A license for the Intel Development Tools
  • Addtional developer resources
The cost of the registration is well worth it, in my opinion. And the subjects we cover during the sessions are very interesting as well - you should learn quite a bit, plus you get the oportunity to try to port your own code to 64-bit, using native hardware!


23. March 2006 13:01 by Jaguilar in General  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)

I will be giving a live webcast next week!!

The webcast is titled Proven Techniques to automatically convert your J2EE code to C# and .NET, and it is as part of Microsoft's nxt initiative, aimed at moving ISVs to Microsoft's platforms.

The webcast is next Tuesday at 10:00AM PST. You can register for the event here: Event Link

Costa Rica and Technology

22. March 2006 09:06 by Jaguilar in General  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

For those of you who didn't know, ArtinSoft's main operation is based in San Jose, Costa Rica. Here in Costa Rica we've been on a technology boom in the last few years, starting with Intel opening up a big plant here in the country and with the appearance of several software companies doing business abroad during the 90's. There's a lot of outsourced development going on around here, and people everywhere in the world are taking notice.
Here is a nice article at the Los Angeles Times that talks about the phenomenon. There's a couple of quotes from our CEO, Dr. Carlos Araya, and from our Project Director, Roberto Leiton, in the article.

Enjoy the read: Costa Rica Rides High-Tech Wave

Vista Release date

21. March 2006 14:44 by Jaguilar in General  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)
Yep, it is official. Vista will not be widely available until January 2007. It will be available for corporate customers on November 2006, so there's still a chance that I'll be able to get my hands on it before Christmas :-)
Press Release

Atlas for ASP.NET available!!!

21. March 2006 11:35 by Jaguilar in General  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)
The Atlas framework is now available!!
For those of you that are not familiar with Atlas, it is an AJAX-based framework for ASP.NET. I've been playing with it a little bit, and it has a lot of potential for bringing rich, interactive Web 2.0 technolgies to the mainstream. There's a nice video demonstration on the Atlas website that will give you a better idea of how it works.
I recommend you give it a try!

Welcome to my blog!

21. March 2006 10:21 by Jaguilar in General  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

Hi All!

Welcome to my brand-new blog. Even though I have been blogging for the last few weeks on the 64-bit Advantage site, I finally decided to have my own blog. I work in the consulting side of the company here at ArtinSoft, so I will be mainly blogging about my experiences with customers. I will also be talking about the different technologies we get to work with here at ArtinSoft.

If you have any particular interest on which you want me to comment or research, feel free to leave a comment!!