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Archive for August, 2008

Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2

August 28th, 2008 No comments

Yippe Ya Ya yay! Microsoft just released IE8 Beta 2 as posted on the IEBlog:

We’re excited to release IE8 Beta 2 today for public download. You can find it at http://www.microsoft.com/ie8. Please try it out!

You’ll find versions for 32- and 64-bit editions of Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Server 2008. In addition to English, IE8 Beta 2 is available in Japanese, Chinese (Simplified), and German. Additional languages will be available soon.

While Beta 1 was for developers, we think that anyone who browses or works on the web will enjoy IE8 Beta 2. Before the team blogs about our Beta 2 in detail, here’s an overview of what you’ll find in IE8.

We focused our work around three themes: everyday browsing (the things that real people do all the time), safety (the term most people use for what we’ve called ‘trustworthy’ in previous posts), and the platform (the focus of Beta 1, how developers around the world will build the next billion web pages and the next waves of great services).

Go and download a copy and try it out. While your waiting checkout the cool new features in IE8.

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Lutz Roeder’s .NET Reflector to be maintained by Red Gate Software

August 27th, 2008 1 comment

Lutz Roeder just sent the word out that he has stopped working on Reflector handing the reigns to Red Gate Software who themselves have some impressive software such as the ANTS Profiler.

After more than eight years of working on .NET Reflector, I have decided it is time to move on and explore some new opportunities.

I have reached an agreement to have Red Gate Software continue the development of .NET Reflector. Red Gate has a lot of experience creating development tools for both .NET and SQL Server. They have the resources necessary to work on new features, and Reflector fits nicely with other .NET tools the company offers.

Red Gate will continue to provide the free community version and is looking for your feedback and ideas for future versions.

For news and updates on Reflector, sign up for the .NET Developer’s Newsletter from Red Gate. To find out more about the agreement, see the interview on Simple Talk.

One of the coolest and most useful tools in anyones developer arsenal.

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.NET Framework 3.5 SP1 CLR Improvements

August 20th, 2008 No comments

Kevin Frie, the lead developer for core bits of the CLR just posted some information about the changes in .NET CLR 3.5 SP1. Heres an excerpt:

NGen infrastructure rewrite: the new infrastructure uses less memory, produces less fragmented NGen images with much better locality, and does so in dramatically less time.  What this means to you:  Installing or servicing an NGen image is much faster, and cold startup time of your NGen’ed code is better.

Framework Startup Performance Improvements: The framework is now better optimized for startup.  We’ve tweaked the framework to consider more scenarios for startup, and now layout both code & data in the framework’s NGen images more optimally.  What this means to you:  Even your JIT code starts faster!

Better OS citizenship: We’ve modified NGen to produce images that are ASLR capable, in an effort to decrease potential security attack surface area.  We’ve also started generating stacks that are always walkable using EBP-chaining for x86.  What this means to you:  Stack traces are more consistent, and NGen images aren’t as easily used to attack the system.

Better 32-bit code quality: The x86 JIT has dramatically improved inlining heuristics that result in generally better code quality, and, in particular, much lower “cost of abstraction”.  If you want to author a data type that only manipulates a single integer, you can wrap the thing in a struct, and expect similar performance to code that explicitly uses an integer.  There have also been some improvements to the ‘assertion propagation’ portion of the JIT, which means better null/range check elimination, as well as better constant propagation, and slight better ‘smarts’ in the JIT optimizer, overall.  What this means to you:  Your managed code should run slightly faster (and sometimes dramatically faster!).  Note to 64 bit junkies:  We’re working on getting x64 there, too.  The work just wasn’t quite there in time.

Whats interesting to note is that the CLR Optimisations for inlining will finally be coming to the 64bit CLR, just hope that it comes sometime sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, grab the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1.

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Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 & .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 Released!

August 12th, 2008 No comments

Finally after a long wait Microsoft have just RTM’d Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 weighing in at a hefty 851Mb (ISO). The update also includes fixes for .NET Framework 3.5, which brings some cool new features to the table.

Visual Studio 2008 SP1 delivers:

  • Improved WPF designers
  • SQL Server 2008 support
  • ADO.NET Entity Designer
  • Visual Basic and Visual C++ components and tools (including an MFC-based Office 2007 style ‘Ribbon’)
  • Visual Studio Team System Team Foundation Server (TFS) addresses customer feedback on version control usability and performance, email integration with work item tracking and full support for hosting on SQL Server 2008
  • Richer JavaScript support, enhanced AJAX and data tools, and Web site deployment improvements

The .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 delivers:

  • Performance increases between 20-45% for WPF-based applications – without having to change any code
  • WCF improvements that give developers more control over the way they access data and services
  • Streamlined installation experience for client applications
  • Improvements in the area of data platform, such as the ADO.NET Entity Framework, ADO.NET Data Services and support for SQL Server 2008’s new features

This effectively means the previous workaround for those who couldnt wait for SQL Server 2008 installation is redundant now that you can download a copy the final release!!! Yay for us!

If your like me and got down and dirty with pre-releases you’ll have to use the Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2008 Hotfix Cleanup Utility first followed by the VS2008 Preparation Tool and try the installation.

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FIX: Rule “Previous releases of Microsoft Visual Studio 2008” failed.

August 10th, 2008 82 comments

Far easier solution is given by Paul in the comments section, highly recommended you follow his suggestion.

As you may be aware, Microsoft RTM’d SQL Server 2008 a few days ago, unfortunately if you have the RTM version of Visual Studio 2008 (any edition) installed you’ll find that installing SQL Server 2008 you’ll get a nasty little surprise:

Rule “Previous releases of Microsoft Visual Studio 2008” failed.
A previous release of Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 is installed on this computer. Upgrade Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 to the SP1 before installing SQL Server 2008.

This is all explained in the KB956139 – Visual Studio 2008 SP1 may be required for SQL Server 2008 installations, there is however a fix or a workaround to installing SQL Server without the need for SP1 if you aren’t able to obtain it.

Simply customise the installer so that these components aren’t installed:

  • Management Tools
  • Integration Services
  • Business Intelligence Development Studio

Then things will chug along nicely:-)

You can download it on MSDN Subscriber Downloads or the TechNet Subscriber Downloads section. Dont forget to checkout What’s New in SQL Server 2008.

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