Thursday, December 17, 2009

Keeping up with the browsers: Firefox 3.6, Chrome 4, IE 9

Want something to play with over the holidays? If you are a web developer- and I know many of you reading Telerik Watch are- then there is a new wave of web browsers just waiting for you to kick the tires. In fact, the next wave of web browsers may be here faster than you think. Firefox's next major release, version 3.6 (codenamed Namoroka), is already in Beta 4 and it is scheduled to ship in "late 2009" (a schedule that, if it is to be met, means RTW is imminent). Google's rapidly evolving Chrome browser is currently available in its 4th major revision on Google's beta channel. And at PDC last month, we started to get some early details about Microsoft's IE 9. As a web developer, it's critical to stay at the bleeding-edge of browsers, not only to ensure your applications remain compatible, but also to start exploring the technologies of tomorrow that will enable you to do more than ever with standards-based sites. Remember, if you build a standards-based website, the browser is your application delivery platform. Changes to browsers have a BIG impact on your application. As your resident beta tester, I've been running all of the latest browser betas full-time. What follows are some early impressions and highlights so that you can confidently jump start your own exploration of the future of the web. Continue reading to learn more about the future of web browsers

Firefox 3.6 (currently Beta 4 Beta 5) Arriving roughly 6 months after FF 3.5, Firefox 3.6 is primarily aiming at continuing what its predecessor started. That means faster browser performance; increased support for HTML5 and CSS3; and more "chrome" features for users. Mozilla explicitly states that goals for FF 3.6 include improving browser start-up time and time to complete actions at significant enough level that users notice the improvement (by Mozilla standards, that means > 50ms improvement).

Firefox 3.6 is now in Beta 5 (as of today), and should be shipping RC then RTW very soon. I've been using FF 3.6 full-time since Beta 3 and I have no complaints. In general, the browser does feel a bit "snappier" and I have not had any issue with instability in the beta. And the one critical hurdle for any new version of Firefox? Does FireBug support it. Fortunately for FF 3.6, it does. Other plug-ins, like the Web Developer Toolbar and Window Resizer, do not (yet), but with Firebug, I'm okay. (On latest check, it seems even WDT is ready for 3.6, so it looks like most plug-ins are getting ready for the big release.) Verdict: FF 3.6 is a good step forward for a browser known to be slow and it further helps make HTML5 a viable standard for web development. No reason not to upgrade now. Chrome 4 (currently Beta) If it wasn't clear before, it should be clear now. Google is versioning Chrome at pace designed to mock Gmail's 5-year beta. The fourth version (!) of the just-turned one-year old browser is now available as beta, and the biggest news for this release is that the browser is now available on the Mac and Linux platforms. In addition to new platform support, Chrome 4 is adding the much needed extension support (sorry, no Firebug for Chrome yet...only Firebug lite), built-in bookmark syncing support, and improved support for CSS (proven by passing the Acid3 test). For developers, Chrome 4- like FF 3.6 and the already release Safari 4- is continuing to push support for CSS3 and HTML5. This aggressive adoption of the "next generation" standards web gives hope that 2022 will just be bad joke from the W3C. We may be able to be plugin-less RIAs after all! The extensions support is nice, too, since it opens the door to putting Chrome on par with FF for developer productivity. Verdict: Chrome 4 seems more stable than previous versions, as fast as ever, and is shaping-up to be a more "developer-friendly" browser. The OS X experience is on par with Windows, though as a OS X Safari user, Chrome seems less necessary due to Safari's already fast performance. IE 9 (currently unavailable) Ah, Internet Explorer. How I used to love thee. Really. I was a hold-out back when Firefox started sweeping the globe, insisting that tabs were for A.D.D. and that IE was all I needed for browsing the web. All it took was a few months of doing hardcore CSS development against IE6 and then viewing those results in other "standards-based" browsers for me to change my mind. IE has been playing catch-up with the other browsers for years now, trying to break from the past and better support standards rendering in a fast, secure browser. At PDC 2009, Microsoft revealed some limited details about their next attempt to catch-up. They openly acknowledged in side-by-side comparisons that IE has room for improvement next to its competitors, and they suggested that IE9 will finally put Microsoft on par for both performance and support for handling standards like CSS3. They were less clear about their plans for HTML5, but we can only assume they'll be following the lead of Firefox, Chrome, and Safari to provide as much support as possible. It's impossible to say much more about IE9 at this point since we only have a description of Microsoft's intent, but let's hope the bits rise to the challenge and do continue to right the wrongs of the past. I also hope Microsoft can find a way to develop versions of IE faster. Firefox and Chrome are showing how much faster we can adopt standards when we get used to auto-updating browsers every 6-months. If Microsoft could join that schedule, I think we'd see the evolution of web standards radically accelerate. Verdict: IE9 has a lot of promise, but so far that's all it's got. Wrap-up (There are other browsers...) On a parting note, I think it's worth at least mentioning the other two "major" browsers: Safari and Opera. Both of these browsers are a bit ahead of the curve at this point, with major releases already in production that support CSS3 and many HTML5 features. In fact, broadly speaking, WebKit (and thus Safari) is one of the leading engines for accurately processing these next-gen standards. Opera does have a Alpha preview of it's next major version (10.2), and as Opera tends to do, they are breaking new ground for a "browser." Instead of doing more refinement to their chrome (which arguably has been ahead of the game forever), they are now taking browser "applications" to the desktop with "Opera Widgets." It's cool, but it's Opera. History says- for whatever reason- that they just don't know how to find mass appeal on the desktop. Whichever browser you look at, the future is clearly headed in the same direction. All browsers are acknowledging the role they play in many daily computing activities and they are driving for maximum performance. All browsers are working hard to better support standards like CSS3 and HTML5. And all browsers are continuing to try to differentiate by building unique "chrome" features aimed at end users instead of trying to build proprietary rendering engines. The Browser War II is in full-swing. Isn't it fun?!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Q3 2009 SP1s now available, Telerik CDN live

With the Christmas holidays just around the corner, Telerik has delivered some early gifts for your immediate download and enjoyment. The first round of service packs for all of the Q3 2009 Telerik developer tools are now waiting for you download on If you've been following @Telerik on Twitter, you'd know that we've been releasing these SPs over the last week, but now all products have their updates.

I'll share some highlights from SP1 below, but first I want call extra attention to the new Telerik CDN (Content Delivery Network). Live with the Q3 2009 SP1 release of the RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX, this new Telerik provided CDN is a new way for you to further optimize your Telerik web applications. CDN's allow you to download CSS, JavaScript, and image resources from remote servers, putting bits closer to users (for faster access), overcoming browser concurrent request limits and improving the "shared cachability" of these bits. I'll talk more about the Telerik CDN in the future, but for now be sure to read Tsvetomir's post on the Telerik Blogs.
Finally, here are some things you don't want to miss in Q3 2009 SP1 (and a quick "official" version number reference with direct link to the release notes):
  • RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX [2009.3.1208.1]
    • [New] Telerik CDN + Auto support for CDN in "Manager" controls
    • [New] Windows 7 common skin
    • [VS Extensions] Improved support for VS2010 Beta + CDN support
    • [RadScheduler] New visual cue for non-visual appointments
    • [RadRating] New DbValue property (primarily to support DbNull values)
    • 14+ fixes for RadEditor
    • 20+ fixes for RadGrid + new "DefaultInsertValue" property
  • RadControls for WinForms [2009.3.1203.1]
    • [TPF] Animation loops now possible + More perf optimizations
    • [RadDock] Many new properties for easier config + VS 2008 Theme
    • 15+ fixes for RadGridView + New features, like select column cells on header click
  • RadControls for Silverlight/WPF [2009.3.1208.1]
    • Significantly improved VS 2010 support (Toolbox, Designer preview, Property browsing)
    • TONS(!) of improvements, fixes, and changes in RadGridView (new things like Delete key support, programatic pre-filtering support, ability to control "insert row" visibility, etc.)
    • [RadScheduler] Localization of time markers
    • [RadMenu] Fixed memory leaks
    • [RadRibbonBar] Now has a Windows 7 theme that matches Office 14
    • [RadMap] New support for OpenStreetMap + New extensibility options
    • (NOTE: To run the Q3 2009 SP1 demos locally, you need might need WCF RIA Services Beta for VS 2008 installed.)
  • [Beta] Telerik Extensions for ASP.NET MVC [2009.3.1210.1]
    • [New] Windows 7 common theme (matches Ajax theme)
    • JavaScript size and perf optimizations for all extensions
    • Items that are selected are now expanded by default
    • [Grid] 2+ columns can now be filtered
    • [Grid] Screen bounds detection for filter menu
    • [Menu, Panelbar] Hierarchal item support
    • [TabStrip] Support for nested tabstrips
  • OpenAccess ORM [2009.3.1119.1]
    • [LINQ] Server-side support for SingleOrDefault
    • [LINQ] Improved JOIN support with filtering and ordering
    • [Backend] Several fixes for SQL Server and MySql support
    • [General] Improved VS 2010 Beta support + Enhanced project wizards
  • Telerik Reporting [2009.3.1211.1]
    • Improved VS 2010 report designer support
    • [Silverlight Viewer] Many fixes and new features (like SSL support and support for Telerik themes) + New API reference
    • Minor fixes for both WinForms and WebForms viewers
    • [PDF Rendering] New support for bookmarks and document map
  • JustCode [2009.3.1211.1]
    • (While not technically a "SP1" release, there is a new build of JustCode you shouldn't miss, so I thought I'd include details.)
    • Many performance improvements across all operations
    • [New] Syntax colorization support (disabled by default for now)
    • [JavaScript] New support for "Extract Method" (covering basic scenarios)
    • 20+ fixes across C#, VB, ASP.NET, and HTML features
Phew! That's a lot of updates. Enjoy the bits!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Test Studio 2.0 webinar, Lucky license winner

If you missed today's info-packed What's New in WebUI Test Studio 2.0 webinar, you missed a great event with a valuable live Q & A. I was joined by ArtOfTest Co-Founder and CTO, Faris Sweis, who spent the majority of today's time showing-off the new features in the latest WebUI Test Studio release. We saw how the new Silverlight support makes it just as easy and intuitive to do "point and click" testing of Silverlight apps as ASP.NET/HTML applications. We saw how the new test recording tools make it easy to target specific elements in a test. And we got a good overview of how the free WebAii Testing Framework compares to WebUI Test Studio. All available (with the Q & A) on Telerik TV now!

As a reminder, WebUI Test Studio 2.0 is also available for immediate download on! Released today, you have instant access to all of the new features highlighted in today's webinar.
Finally, as part of the official launch of Test Studio 2.0, we're giving away 3 Test Studio licenses (each valued at $2500). Two will be given away as part of our Twitter and Facebook contests- visit for more details. One goes to a lucky winner from today's live webinar audience. And today's lucky winner is....
Cory Hudson!
Congrats to Cory and thanks to everyone for joining today's event. Enjoy the on-demand video and stay tuned for more Test Studio 2.0 content very soon.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

WebUI Test Studio 2.0 launches tomorrow (with webinar)

Hello again loyal Telerik Watch readers! It what has probably been the single longest stretch of "silence" on Telerik Watch in the last three years, I'm finally back in the saddle after the busy fall travel season. Good thing, too, because I'm just in time to let you know that tomorrow (Thursday) we're officially launching WebUI Test Studio 2.0!

We released a beta of WebUI Test Studio 2.0 with Q3 2009, but Thursday marks the official release. In case you missed the 2.0 release highlights (and these are truly tip of the iceberg highlights), here's a quick reminder:
  • New (industry first) point & click automated UI test support for Silverlight
  • Brand new VS UI test recorder "overlay surface" (basically, improved test recording tools)
  • New element menu & "per element" testing
  • New Translators for the RadControls for Silverlight
To help jumpstart your mastery of the new features, especially those now available for Silverlight, we're also hosting a webinar tomorrow to cover what's new in WebUI Test Studio 2.0. I'll be joined by ArtOfTest CTO Faris Sweis and together we'll show you the essentials of working with 2.0's new features.
The webinar kicks-off at our standard 11:00 AM Eastern, tomorrow, Thursday, December 10th. You can register now to save your seat, and then join us for the live event. With Faris participating, this is a great chance to come have all of your burning WebUI Test Studio (or WebAii Framework) questions answered.
Enjoy the official release bits and join us for the release webinar!
(Oh yeah! I almost forgot. We'll be giving away one WebUI Test Studio license to one lucky attendee of tomorrow's live event! Remember, WebUI Test Studio is not part of the Telerik Premium Collection, so this is a valuable $2500 prize even if you have the Telerik PC. There will be chances to win Test Studio on Twitter and Facebook, too, so don't fret if you absolutely can't make the live webinar. For everyone else, now you definitely need to go sign-up and attend!)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Telerik Watch Minute: JustCode at PDC

It's time for another "special edition" Telerik Watch Minute, this time coming to you live from the show floor at PDC 2009. This TWM was filmed shortly after the official introduction of JustCode at PDC, and in it I quickly summarize some of JustCode's more unique features and some of the launch news. True to the "original" format, this update is a little more than a minute long, so enjoy this bite-sized content and stay-tuned for more updates from PDC. Watch in full size on Telerik TV

Join me at my PDC BOF session today

In all the hustle and bustle of running from the Tulsa TechFest, to DevConnections (didn't even have time to blog this event!), to now PDC, and working hard to prepare for last night's JustCode introduction, I have simply failed to have time to bring you my usually timely announcements of upcoming events. So while I have a couple of minutes this morning, let me try to play catch-up. Today I'll be hosting a PDC Birds-of-a-Feather (BOF) session at 2:00 PM in room 309. The topic of this BOF: Should I use Silverlight, MVC, or WebForms for web UI development? If you're a .NET web developer, you are probably faced with this challenging question from time-to-time, and sometimes it can be hard to really make a "good" decision about which technology to use. The goal of today's BOF is to extract from the community the real world lessons, guidance, and "rules of thumb" can help make this decision earlier. When you leave this BOF, you should be armed with the knowledge you need to confidently plot the course for your next project without hesitation. So, whether you're full of questions or full of answers, make sure you find room 309 today at 2:00 PM and take part in the conversation! P.S. Ben Hoelting was originally scheduled to co-host this event, but due to circumstances out of his control he was unable to make it to PDC. Apologies to all of Ben's fans hoping to see him at this BOF!

Telerik introduces JustCode at PDC 2009

After months of speculation, we have lifted the "veil of secrecy" surrounding our new product. Last night at PDC, we introduced to the world JustCode. JustCode is a Visual Studio productivity add-in, designed to help you just write code faster. For Telerik, this really completes the "circle of productivity" for many application developers. For UI productivity, we offer all our UI components for all major Microsoft platforms. For data layer productivity, we offer OpenAccess ORM. For testing productivity, we offer WebAii Framework and WebUI Test Studio. What we failed to offer any help for was writing the code that really creates value for your apps- your domain logic code. JustCode now closes that gap and delivers support for all of your coding tasks. When we set-out to create JustCode (and I should mention, we started by acquiring a company that's invested 4+ years of effort and PhD academic research in to building the core engine in JustCode), we defined three key goals for our initial efforts:

  • We need a productivity tool that is fast! It cannot be allowed to slow down Visual Studio in the slightest. It needs to load fast (even with large projects). It needs to execute its anlaysis fast (across entire solutions). And it needs to install and update fast (the plug-in is auto-updating).
  • We need a productivity tool that provides assistance across all languages modern .NET developers are working with, especially C#, VB, XAML, ASPX, HTML, and JavaScript! Our JavaScript support is where we really think you'll find a new level of productivity in this early release. You can finally use a tool that analyzes your JS code, highlights errors, provides quick code navigation (like GoToSymbol), and quick JS refactorings.
  • We need a tool that doesn't interrupt "normal" coding. We need an unobtrusive tool that helps us "just code" without constantly bombarding us with dialogs or distracting animations. The whole idea of JustCode is that it "invisibly" blends in to your development process, providing things like in-line refactoring without breaking your mental train of thought. Less is more with JustCode UX.
There are obviously lots of details we look forward to talking more about now that the product is public. Stay tuned to Telerik Watch and the Telerik Blogs for much more over the coming weeks. You can also already check-out a host of videos covering JustCode on Telerik TV. For now, download the beta on and give it a try. Our team will be working hard to respond to all feedback between now and the official release in Q1 2010, and you can expect to see regular updates every few weeks leading-up to the official release (which the auto-updating plug-in will make it easy for you to install). We're excited to bring this new product to you and we hope you enjoy being even more productive as you just write code...with JustCode!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Random Online Utility: Omega.MSSQL for Azure

Two ROUs in one week?! I'm working overtime for you this week and I have another very cool (and free) Random Online Utility to share. This time, the tool is called Omega.MSSQL and it is from a company called Cerebrata (based in India).

I found this tool while looking for something that would let me browse the objects in my SQL Azure databases. As you may be aware, the current version of SQL Azure does not support the Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio object browser. There are some "hacks" that allow you to use SSMS to query Azure, but it's far from the visual tool I wanted.
Omega.MSSQL fits the bill perfectly. Cerebrata has made this tool for a while (it seems) for standard use with SQL Server, but their recent update enables full compatibility with SQL Azure. The tool is web-based, so no installs required, and it is currently free of charge. You just visit the log-in page, input your SQL Azure instance details, and then browse your objects (assuming you've configured your SQL Azure firewall, too). You can browse most object types and you can even perform actions like creating and dropping tables.
Coincidentally, Steven Forte recently highlighted another tool you can use to browse and query objects in SQL Azure, called Gem Query. This tool is Windows-based, so it does require an install, and it offers much better querying tools than Omega.MSSQL. It does not, however, seem to offer as much help for performing schema operations (like drop table), so I still prefer Omega for that.
Both tools are free, though, and both are great help if you're starting to work more regularly with SQL Azure. And since OpenAccess ORM now supports Azure, I'm sure you've got even more incentive to start developing for the cloud!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Webinar Replay: What's New in AJAX and MVC in Q3 2009

Another day, another Q3 2009 Release Week Webinar. Today we covered what's new in the RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX and the Telerik Extensions for ASP.NET MVC. Literally hundreds of people tuned-in live to see what we are shipping in this release, so a big thanks to all of you for participating in our Q3 2009 release. The webinar was recorded, processed, and it is now available on Telerik TV for your on-demand viewing pleasure (in addition to being embedded above).
The webinar starts by covering what's new in the AJAX controls, focusing on the three new controls (Rating, SiteMap, and ListView + DataPager) and the major enhancements to the existing controls. After some demos and a look at the ListView design-time, we move on to discuss the Telerik Extensions for MVC. We look at the new demos, go through step-by-step adding the Extensions to a MVC project, and then wrap-up with some follow-up resources.
Enjoy the webinar content and to those of you that attended live, we'll be announcing today's "webinar winner" on Twitter very soon (@toddanglin)! Today's winner will get a Telerik Premium Collection license.

Join me at the Tulsa TechFest tomorrow

While this week is dominated by Q3 2009 release activity (clearly), I've still managed to find a way to hop on a plane and participate in this Friday's Tulsa TechFest 2009! Tulsa TechFest is one of the larger TechFests in the US (they have a stated goal of 1,000 (!) attendees this year), which is pretty incredible considering the size and location of Tulsa (population 592k). The event is virtually free for all attendees. Admittance costs either $2 or you can choose to bring and donate two canned goods for the local food bank (great idea, especially around this time of year).

I last spoke at Tulsa TechFest waaaay back in 2006. It was actually my first speaking gig for Telerik, and it was before I was a paid company man. It will be fun to go back and speak this year (even if I'll be thoroughly exhausted by Q3).
I'll be delivering three sessions this Friday:
  • What's New in Silverlight 3.0? 9:00 AM, SL & WPF Track
  • Being Productive with MVC: Telerik Open Source Extensions for MVC 10:30 AM, Agile, Frameworks, and Patterns Track
  • Rich Islands of Functionality: Silverlight in ASP.NET 1:00 PM, SL & WPF Track
If you're in the Tulsa area or traveling-in for the event, be sure to stop by and say hello. I'd love to meet and I'll be more than happy to chat about all of the fun new stuff Telerik just released in Q3 2009. See you tomorrow in Tulsa!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Webinar Replay: What's New in Q3 2009

Miss the first of the Q3 '09 Release Week Webinars today? Catch-up now by watching the recorded on-demand version now available on Telerik TV (and above). Today's webinar provided an overview of the Q3 2009 release and took a closer look at the new features in OpenAccess ORM and WebUI Test Studio. This is the first of five planned webinars, so don't miss the next event, which is going to cover the new stuff in the RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX and MVC.

Q3 2009 is live!

In case you haven't visited today, or joined me for the kick-off Release Week Webinar, or if you're part of the 50%+ that don't use Twitter, I'm pleased to announce that the Telerik Q3 2009 release is now live and available for immediate download on! This is the 3rd and final major release of this calendar year and as you know by now, it's a big release. All 7 (really, 8, if you count TFS tools) products in the Telerik Premium Collection have been updated and all of the new bits are available today.

To help you start checking-out the new Q3 2009 bits, I've rounded-up some links that you may find useful:
Updated Q3 '09 Online Demos [Learn by Example]
Updated Online Docs [Learn by Reading]
New Q3 2009 Videos on Telerik TV [Learn by Watching] [Much more coming very soon]
Download Q3 2009 Bits: Free Trials / Licensed Code
Helpful Q3 2009 Blog Posts
Enjoy the Q3 2009 updates and don't miss all of the contests and webinars this week designed to help you maximize your success with the Telerik tools!

Telerik Extensions for MVC Unofficial FAQs, Part II

After we released the first preview of our new UI Extensions for ASP.NET MVC in August, there were naturally many questions surrounding the release. Why is Telerik building MVC Extensions? What does this mean for WebForms? Are the Extensions for MVC really open source? To help address some of the burning questions, I created a complete list of answers in Part 1 of my "Unofficial FAQs" for MVC. Many of those answers remain valid today with the release of Q3 2009, but there are some new questions that I'm starting to see asked multiple times.

So, it's time for Part 2 of the Unofficial FAQs. In this post, I'll try to provide answers to many of the new questions surrounding Telerik's updated release of the Extensions for ASP.NET MVC and hopefully help curb the rumor mill. If you have an unanswered question, send it to me on Twitter (@toddanglin) and I'll update this post.
Q: What's new in this release of the Extensions for ASP.NET MVC?
The Q3 2009 release marks the introduction of the first Telerik UI Extensions for ASP.NET MVC. In our CTP, we introduced the core framework (the server-side fluent API) that the new Extensions are built on, but we did not introduce any Telerik crafted UI rendering. This release builds on the work of the CTP and ships four new UI Extensions for MVC: Grid, TabStrip, Menu, and PanelBar. You can see all of the new Extensions in action in the online demos.
Q: What does the "beta" tag mean on this release?
If you remember the transition for the RadControls for ASP.NET to the RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX ("Prometheus"), you may remember that we kept the beta tag on the suite until our transition was complete. The beta tag in this case implies that the suite is not final. The controls in the suite are not beta quality. They are tested, production-ready UI components.
We will likely keep the beta tag on the suite for at least the next one or two releases. Once we have added more UI Extensions to the suite and it represents a more complete LOB toolbox offering, we'll remove the beta tag. Of course, these are open source controls, so you can always modify the current versions if you find some bug or issue you want changed during our "beta" period.
Q: What happened to the jQueryUI wrappers?
As we outlined in our CTP FAQs, the jQueryUI wrappers were merely proofs of concept, a way for us to show-off the more important server-side fluent API without building our own rendering. The jQueryUI wrapper source remains on CodePlex and we encourage the community to pick-up and extend the wrappers if they are valuable to MVC projects. Going forward, Telerik will not be actively updating or supporting the jQueryUI wrappers.
Q: Are the Extensions still open source?
Definitely! Keeping the UI Extensions for ASP.NET MVC open source has always been a primary goal for our project. We know that the MVC community thrives on open source projects and software, so as a good .NET citizen we wanted to ensure our time saving UI Extensions were freely available to this community. With the Q1 2010 release, the Telerik Extensions will ship under a dual licensing model:
  • GPLv2 - This is a very popular and common open source license (I've seen some stats that say 70% of OSS is GPL licensed). It allows you to freely use the Telerik Extensions for ASP.NET MVC in any project. The only restriction is that you cannot redistribute software that uses GPL code under a more restrictive license (like a "proprietary" license). For that, we offer a...
  • Commercial License - The commercial license provides you (today) with at least two very important benefits: 1) it grants you access to Telerik's legendary support, and 2) it gives you a legal (and lawyer pleasing) way to use the Telerik Extensions in proprietary, redistributed software.
Q: Why did you go with the GPL license vs. alternatives like MIT or LGPL?
We spent a long time evaluating all open source license alternatives. We had many lengthy internal discussions, and at the end of the day we settled on the GPL for a few key reasons:
  • GPL is a popular and widely used open source license (Linux is licensed under the GPL) that many businesses already know how to understand (read: the lawyers have already approved the GPL)
  • GPL has a good "philosophy." It basically says, if you want to use our generosity to build software, all we require is that you pay it forward (i.e. keep your software free). If you instead want to make money off of your software, then we are now in a commercial relationship, and we simply ask that you pay us for our work just as you expect to be paid for your proprietary software.
  • GPL is the most community friendly open source license in that it ensures the "intent" of open source developers is respected. That is, open source licenses are for open source developers. If you are a commercial developer, you need a commercial license.
Other OSS licenses like LGPL and MIT are good and definitely more liberal, but they can more easily be abused. Our goal is to support the OSS community with free software, and continue to provide well supported, commercial software to commercial developers.
Q: I still don't get the GPL. Is my software "infected" or not if I use the Extensions?
The best way to understand the impact of GPL on your software is to follow this simple decision tree:
  1. Do you plan to redistribute your software? -->NO: GPL will have no impact on your software -->YES: ====>Commercial? GPL is not ideal. Purchase a Telerik Commercial license. ====>Open source? GPL is fine as long as your OSS license is compatible.
Q: Is the commercial license for the Extensions part of my Premium Collection?
Yes! So, if you're a Premium Collection subscriber, you don't have to worry about the GPL vs. Commerical license question. You've already got a commercial license (when it's introduced in Q1), so feel free to use the Telerik Extensions wherever you need them.
Q: Why would I buy the commercial license? How much is it on its own?
As we've outlined above, the commercial license is for commercial software first and foremost. There are other reasons you may want to buy a license, though, such as:
  • Access to Telerik's premium support
  • Access to Major Release and Service Pack builds (OSS project will only receive Major release builds)
  • Ability to use Extensions in closed-source/proprietary projects
Pricing will be set in Q1 2010, but it will likely be on par with the other UI suite licenses.
Q: Is the standalone commercial license available with Q3?
Since we only have four controls in this release, we have decided to wait for the Q1 2010 release before offering a standalone (i.e. not part of the Premium Collection) license for MVC.
Q: So, there is no commercial license in Q3? What is the "Beta Go-Live" license?
Correct, the Q1 2010 release will be the first to ship with the commercial standalone license. In Q3, the Extensions ship as both GPLv2 and "Beta Go-Live." The Beta Go-Live license allows you to use the Extensions in your project while you wait for the Q1 2010 release.
Q: Is the source available for the latest release?
Yes. The full source for the Telerik Extensions ships with every download. You can find the source in the Source > Telerik.Web.Mvc folder. The Q3 2009 are also available on CodePlex if you prefer to download from that location.
Q: Do you ship any themes with the Telerik Extensions?
Definitely. We have prepared 13 common skins for all UI Extensions that have been designed to closely match the skins of the RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX. The AJAX and MVC controls do not share skins, but we have created skins with the same names and look-and-feel so that you can easily build "hybrid" applications that leverage the best of MVC and WebForms.
Q: What version of the ASP.NET MVC framework to the Extensions require?
The current Extensions target the officially release ASP.NET MVC v1 framework. That means you need .NET 3.5 and ASP.NET MVC 1.0 to use the Telerik Extensions. We are already experimenting with the ASP.NET MVC 2 betas, and we plan to target that framework after it is released by Microsoft.
Q: Is there an installer for the Q3 2009 MVC release?
There is no installer for the Telerik Extensions in Q3. The download is a simple ZIP archive that contains all required assemblies, documentation, examples, and source. To work with the Telerik Extensions in Visual Studio, simply add the DLLs to your project and follow the guidance in the docs for configuring your MVC web.config file.
We do plan to ship a simple installer by Q1 2010, but for Q3 we wanted to focus our efforts on the completeness and quality of the shipping UI Extensions (primarily, Grid).
Q: What's next for the Telerik Extensions for ASP.NET MVC?
Now that we have released our first four UI components, we will continue to build on this progress to ship a more complete LOB toolbox for MVC in Q1 and Q2 2010. First-up will be a focus on delivering editing support in the Grid, which will also force us to address a number of controls required to serve as column editors (such as date pickers, calendars, input controls, etc.). Plans for Q1 and Q2 are still being discussed, though, so make sure you share your feedback on the Telerik MVC forums! Your feedback will have a huge impact on our direction for the next release.

Join Q3 2009 Release Week Kick-off Webinar Today

Get the Q3 2009 Release Week started right with today's kick-off webinar! Hosted by yours truly, today's webinar will provide a high-level overview of the Q3 2009 release, drawing your attention to the major improvements across all Telerik products in the Premium Collection. It's the easiest way to get oriented to the new bits.

Today's webinar will also dive-in and focus in more depth on the new features in OpenAccess ORM and WebUI Test Studio in Q3 2009. Both of these products have some exciting new features in Q3, and today's webinar is your chance to learn about the newness and see some of the features demo'd live in Visual Studio.
It all starts at 11:00 AM Eastern (see timezone conversions below) today!
Don't forget, by attending today's webinar, you'll be in the drawing for one of two Telerik Premium Collections going out to attendees of this kick-off event!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Tweet and Win, Q3 2009 Telerik Twitter Contest

With Telerik's Q3 2009 Release Week set to kick-off tomorrow, it's time to introduce this release's Twitter Contest! Just as we did during Q2 this year, the official release Twitter contest is your chance to have some fun mentioning your favorite Telerik products while earning chances at winning Telerik prizes. This is a great chance for those of you that can't attend the upcoming Release Week Webinars to have a shot at some of this week's prizes.

Here are the contest guidelines for Q3 2009:
  • Tweet your favorite Telerik product or feature (or coming Q3 feature!) between Wednesday, November 4th and midnight (Eastern) on Thursday, November 12th
  • Include #telerikq309 in your tweet (must be there to be eligible)
  • Follow the official @Telerik
That's it! Two winners will be announced on Friday, November 13th. Each winner will receive a Telerik Premium Collection ($1300 value) or, for existing customers, an extension to their current license. Of course, only one entry per Twitter account will be counted, so no spam.
Have fun being creative with your tweets. Winners will be selected at random, but we always enjoy reading and featuring the most creative tweets. And to stay plugged-in to all of the latest Telerik tweets during Q3, don't miss the newly created Telerik Twitter list:
This list features many of the Telerik tweeters that primarily publish Telerik updates. It's a convenient one-stop list for all of your important Telerik Twitter updates. Enjoy the list. Enjoy the tweets. And very soon, get ready to enjoy Q3 2009!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Random Online Utility: TeraCopy

It's only been 9 months since I last encountered a random utility program that I enjoyed enough to stop and bring your attention to it (in this running "series" of Random Online Utilities). This time the helpful little program is called TeraCopy.

As a remote Telerik office with HQ in Sofia, Bulgaria, I often find myself trying to download large files over a Windows network that may experience intermittent communication errors (due to VPN disconnects, local Internet issues, etc.). This can lead to some pretty frustrating experiences. Imagine trying to download a 2GB ISO only to have a network communication error throw away the hours of waiting because your VPN decided to reset. Not cool...
TeraCopy is the best utility I've found to address the problem. It is a free utility app that supports most versions of Windows (including Win7 32/64 bit) and provides "resilience" to network file copying that Windows (frankly) should have out of the box. It supports queuing, pausing, resuming, and auto error recovery for any Windows file copy operations. In fact, if enabled, TeraCopy will automatically intercept all copy operations without requiring any additional action on your part. It's like Internet Download Manager (my preferred web download manager) for Windows.
Now, I know some of you will be quick to reference RoboCopy, Microsoft's built-in support for more robust network file copying. While true that RoboCopy does do a better job than built-in Windows copying, out-of-the-box it is a command line only tool, which makes it less than convenient for everyday network copying. There are GUIs for RoboCopy, too, but I find TeraCopy to be more minimalistic and transparent- just the way a great random utility should be!

DevReach Follow-up Part II, Sights and Sounds

As promised last week, Part II of my DevReach 2009 conference follow-up. This time I bring you the sights and sounds of DevReach in a quick Telerik Watch Minute update. DevReach firmly established itself this year as one of the premiere .NET conferences for Eastern and Central Europe this year (despite the economy's woes), and this quick video helps transport you to the event. Enjoy the clips of the conference and start making plans to join us next year for DevReach 2010!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Q3 2009 Release Week kicks-off November 4th, Free Daily Webinars

Does everybody know what time it is? No, it's not Tool Time, it's Telerik Q3 2009 release time! After months of working hard to build one of the biggest releases (again) in company history, Q3 2009 is now almost ready for its big moment in the spotlight. Every product line in the Telerik Premium Collection will be touched in this update, and many will be seeing new controls and new industry-first features. In short, there's a lot of new and exciting things to check-out in this release.

To help you discover the cool stuff faster and to ensure you know how to use it, we will once again be hosting a free "Webinar Week" with the Q3 2009 release. As with the first two webinar weeks earlier this year, the Q3 2009 Webinar Week will feature a new webinar everyday at 11 AM Eastern that introduces you to new features in one or more of the Telerik products. The first release kick-off webinar will be next Wednesday, November 4th.
There will be 5 webinars you can attend during this release week series, and at each you have a shot at winning a Telerik Premium Collection license ($1300 value). We'll be selecting random winners from the attendees of each LIVE event (must show-up to qualify) and announcing winners on Twitter. Here's the schedule of webinars that will give you your chances at winning:
  • Wednesday, Nov 4th What's New in Q3 2009 Overview + WebUI Test Studio and OpenAccess ORM Register Now
  • Thursday, Nov 5th What's New in the RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX + ASP.NET MVC Register Now
  • Friday, Nov 6th What's New in the RadControls for Silverlight and WPF Register Now
  • Monday, Nov 9th What's New in the RadControls for WinForms Register Now
  • Tuesday, Nov 10th What's New in Telerik Reporting Register Now
If you can't attend the live events, we will of course be recording the webinars and posting them to Telerik TV for on-demand viewing. We'll also be running some additional contests to give you shots at winning prizes if you can't make the webinars.
So, register for the webinars now and join us for the Release Week fun starting next Wednesday! It's the best way to get started with all the new bits shipping next week.
P.S. Because many have asked for it in the past, here's a timezone translation of our 11 AM Eastern webinar start time. Mark you calendar correctly!
Eastern 11:00 AM
Central 10:00 AM
Pacific 8:00 AM
Germany 5:00 PM
Sofia 6:00 PM
New Zealand 5:00 AM

Thursday, October 22, 2009

New articles published on Ajax performance and futures

If you are going to be "prolific" and live up to a company motto of "deliver more than expected," you have to multi-task. So somewhere in the middle of preparing a dozen sessions to present this fall, I also found time to author a couple of articles for some well know (in the developer world, at least) publications. Specifically, I have recently published articles in Dr. Dobb's and .NET Developer Journal.

The articles both cover areas that are within my primary realm of "expertise" (which is web development), but with two distinct approaches:
  • Practical Approaches for Optimizing Web Site Performance (written for .NET Developer Journal) covers tips and tricks for optimizing standards-based websites. Most of the tips are applicable to all websites, though there is some ASP.NET specific advice towards the end. Great resource if you're starting to "tune" your website for performance.
  • Ajax, RIAs, and the Future of Web Development (written for Dr. Dobb's), meanwhile, takes more of a "strategic" look at the future of web development, analyzing trends in web technologies to better understand what the future of web development will look like over the next 18 to 24 months. If you want to know what will shape the future of web development- the technologies you need to start studying now so you can get ahead of the curve- this article is for you.
Both are obviously required reading if you're a web developer, but I imagine that desktop developers, brain surgeons, and even small children will enjoy these articles. Be sure to share the links with your friends and stay tuned for more articles from the "industry influencers" at Telerik coming to another well-known publication near you.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Important releases from Microsoft you may have missed

If you've not been keeping-up with the Microsoft blogs lately, there's a good chance you have missed some pretty cool releases from the folks up in Redmond. Microsoft's been busy releasing betas and CTPs and altogether new tools for developers, and primarily web developers at that. In typical "Microsoft of today" fashion, all of these releases are free, and most of them are available with source code on CodePlex.

What have you missed?
  1. ASP.NET AJAX 4.0 Preview 6 - This is the client-side portion of ASP.NET 4.0 that includes all of the cool news things like client-side templates, client-side data context, and client-side "controls." I've been using and demoing these bits since Preview 4, and I think they are one of my favorite new features in ASP.NET 4.0. You can use them today, though, since all you need are the new JavaScript files. Download on CodePlex.
  2. Microsoft Ajax Minifier - One thing that jQuery has bested Microsoft on for quite some time is library size. jQuery is about 50 KB in its commonly distributed "minified" format, Microsoft Ajax is about 100 KB. The new MAM tool helps close that gap by providing build-time support for minifying any JavaScript file, including Microsoft's Ajax libraries. It's not the first JavaScript minifier, but MSFT is claiming it is one of the most efficient, and the MSBuild scripts don't hurt its likability, either. Download on CodePlex.
  3. ASP.NET MVC 2 Preview 2 - The second update to the ASP.NET MVC v2 project is now available. Preview 2 adds support for things like "Areas," model validation providers, and client-side input validation. Phil does a better job elaborating. If you're an ASP.NET MVC convert (or fan) and you want to get your hands on the latest and greatest, the source is now available (as usual) on CodePlex.
  4. ASP.NET MVC 2 Upgrade Tool - Just squeezing-in before the bell for this blog post, Microsofty Eilon Lipton has also just released a simple tool that helps you upgrade ASP.NET MVC 1 projects to ASP.NET MVC 2. Simple tool, but helpful perhaps for any of you ready to upgrade your MVC 1 sites to a preview framework...Download from his blog.
  5. Ajax Control Toolkit - Do you use the Microsoft Ajax Control Toolkit? If so, you might want to check out their latest release (published earlier this month). It contains a few new controls- SeaDragon control (for Deep Zoom images) and AsyncFileUpload- and a lot of bug fixes. The controls and the source are...everyone now...available for download on CodePlex.
  6. Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 - Last but certainly not least (and just publicly revealed), Microsoft is finally releasing a broad, public beta of Visual Studio 2010. Beta 2 will be broadly available tomorrow (Wednesday) and it will be your chance to start playing with all of the goodies in .NET 4.0. VS 2010 also sports a pretty nice visual makeover (new logo below), so unlike the upgrade experiences from VS.NET to VS 2008 ("Okay...looks...the same..."), you'll instantly notice that VS 2k10 is a major upgrade. Details on Hanselman's blog. Download from Microsoft.
And I think that's all for October. I could be wrong. Microsoft is updating at a furious pace as we head towards PDC, so it is tough to keep-up. At the very least, this is a great collection of updates any ASP.NET developer should check-out. Grab the updates from Microsoft and try them out this week...because in a few weeks, you'll have lots of new Telerik code to play with!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Q3 2009 betas available now, Official release soon (update)

While I may be busy galloping around the world speaking at different events this fall, that hasn't slowed down the Telerik dev teams from marching forward with Q3 2009. The third and final major release of the year is rapidly approaching and that means that now is your last chance to download some Q3 betas and start previewing for yourself what the new release will deliver.

Late last week, Telerik shipped the final two three betas that will be available before the official Q3 2009 release:
Both of these suites are shipping new controls in Q3, and both are pushing hard to maximize performance on their platforms. For example, all of the RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX will be getting a performance boost in Q3 (about 30%) because our dev team has refactored out almost all reflection-based code in the source. The RadControls for Silverlight, meanwhile, will also be getting a boost due to radically revamped UI virtualization techniques in controls like RadGridView.
I will post more details on each suite later this week as I spend more time previewing the upcoming Q3 bits, but for now, grab the betas and share your feedback. This is your chance to let us know what we should tweak before the bits are "official," so download the betas and share your thoughts in the forums!
RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX Beta
RadControls for XAML Beta 2
[Side Note: This does mean that there will not be time for betas for the RadControls for WinForms, Telerik Reporting, OpenAccess ORM, or WebUI Test Studio. Fear not! There are very cool things coming in those suites, too. More details later this week.]
UPDATE: Somehow I missed the fact that the RadControls for WinForms would also be releasing a beta, available today! Beta details below:
RadControls for WinForms Beta 1

Sunday, October 18, 2009

DevReach Follow-up, Part I

Hello from Bulgaria! This update comes to you direct from Telerik HQ in cold, wet Sofia, Bulgaria. I am seated high atop the Telerik building listening to the sounds of buses and cars cruise by on the wet streets below as I get prepared for a busy week with the local teams, and I figured it was high-time I broke my blog "travel silence" to bring you a quick update.

As you know, I am in the middle of the busy "fall travel season," and since I'm in Bulgaria, that means it's time for DevReach 2009. The conference went down last week and it was a great event! Despite the economic turmoil plaguing many events this year, DevReach was as strong as ever, with over 450 attendees packing the two days of sessions delivered by "first class" speakers. Everyone from Richard Campbell to Shawn Wildermuth to Tim Huckaby, Chris Sells, and Kent Alstead (and many others) trekked to the capital of Bulgaria to put on a good show.
I, of course, joined this stellar cast of speakers as the "outlier." I presented three sessions this year at DevReach:
  • Maximizing Ajax Performance with REAL Ajax
  • Building a Common Data Layer for ASP.NET and Silverlight
  • Will It Blend? Building Websites with All Flavors of ASP.NET
All of the sessions were well attended and everyone seemed to have a "good enough" time. The most popular session this year (of mine)? Probably "Will It Blend." A big thanks to everyone that came-out to my sessions and for putting-up with my random Texas trivia. Hopefully you all had a good time and managed to learn something (even if only how great Texas is) at each of my sessions.
I captured some video from around the conference I'll be working to transform in to a new TWM as soon as I can. Stay tuned for that "Part II" update. Until then, enjoy the resources below from my sessions and then watch for more updates as "Fall Travel Season" wears on. Next-stop: Q3 2009 release week!
Maximizing Ajax Performance with REAL Ajax
Will It Blend? Building Websites with All Flavors of ASP.NET
Building a Common Data Layer for ASP.NET and Silverlight
[Slides] [Code coming soon...]

Friday, October 09, 2009

Fall Travel Season 2009, Where in the world is Telerik

For a few weeks now I've been blaming the mysterious "Fall Travel Season" as the root cause of some of my blogging delays. So, it's high time I introduce and describe the 2009 Fall Travel Season at Telerik.

For those not aware, .NET conferences and events tend to happen in "clusters." There are a lot of events in the spring, very few (though there are some good ones) in the summer, and then a lot in the fall. During these times, those of us that speak at a lot of conferences say goodbye to our loved ones and hit the road for a couple months.
My participation this fall will cover 6 events and span 15 sessions delivered in 2 countries and 5 states. My full schedule:
  1. Houston TechFest 2009, Sept. 26th
  2. SW Florida Code Camp, Oct. 3rd
  3. DevReach 2009, Sofia, Bulgaria, Oct 12 - 13
  4. Tulsa TechFest 2009, Nov 6th
  5. DevConnections Fall 2009, Las Vegas, NV, Nov 10 - 12th
  6. PDC 2009, Los Angeles, CA, Nov 19 - 22nd
My sessions at these events will cover everything from Silverlight to ASP.NET AJAX performance to building common data layers for web applications. After each event, I do my best to post the slides and code to Telerik Watch, so check back often this fall for updates that contain bits, slides, and wrap-up notes. And, in case you've never caught my sessions in the past, I always try to give away some Telerik swag (yes, I'll bribe you to attend). If you're at one of these events, check out my sessions for an extra chance at winning.
I'm not the only person traveling at Telerik this fall, though. Telerik all-star Stephen Forte is also on a whirlwind tour of US and European speaking stops. Check-out his blog for a full list of travel dates and sessions. Gabe Sumner will also be at a few additional CMS events this fall as our resident Sitefinity Evangelist, so check his Sitefinity Watch for travel and speaking updates.
As you can see, plenty of opportunities to visit with Telerik this fall no matter where you're located around the globe. We always love to meet fans (and critics), so be sure to stop us and say hello. For now, I've got to wrap-up this quick visit to Telerik Boston and get ready for the long flight to HQ in Sofia. Next update on the other side of the globe.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

RadGrid optimization webinar on Telerik TV

Did you miss last week's RadGrid for ASP.NET AJAX optimization webinar? Then don't miss this recorded video. This session covers the basics of optimizing RadGrid for ASP.NET AJAX and introduces a handful of techniques you can use to make your ASP.NET pages with RadGrids faster. Catch the video above and grab the session slides and demo code below. Enjoy!

SW Florida Code Camp 2009 wrap-up

The fall travel season is swinging in to full gear and already blog posts are getting behind (which reminds me, I need to create a post about the "fall travel season"...). Kicking-off the season of conference travel was last weekend's trip to Fort Myers, Florida for the SW Florida Code Camp. A full-day Saturday event held on the campus of Florida Gulf Coast University, the 2nd Annual SWFLCC brought out almost 150 people to engage in .NET learning.

This was my first trip to the SWFLCC and it was a great time! I presented 3.5 sessions- 3 scheduled + 1 "pinch hit" for a speaker that had a family emergency. My sessions were packed to capacity, and aside from some slow morning grogginess during my 8:30 AM slot, the audiences were very involved with great questions. To everyone that attended my sessions, a big thanks for coming out and being involved! Hope you learned something.
For sessions, I covered a lot of ground, with topics ranging from Silverlight to MVC to Dynamic Data. You can grab all of the slides from this even below along with relevant demo code. Enjoy the resources and stay tuned for an updated list of my conference stops this fall.
Rich Islands of Functionality: Silverlight in ASP.NET
Will It Blend? Building Websites with All Flavors of ASP.NET
Being Productive with ASP.NET MVC: Telerik Open Source Extensions for MVC
P.S. Big congrats to John Dunagan for playing such a big role in the success of this year's event! John is doing a great job unifying the .NET community in SW Florida, and with a little encouragement, I think he could expand SWFLCC to 300 people next year. Easily.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

RadGrid optimization webinar tomorrow, Register today

If you're like most developers using the RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX, you're probably using RadGrid, Telerik's flagship grid component for the standards-based web. RadGrid allows you to do some incredible things in web applications without requiring you to write much (or any, in some cases) code. At some point, we've probably all experienced how RadGrid can help you create a ASP.NET page with data display, paging, filtering, grouping, editing, and "pretty styling" in a matter of minutes. We marveled at its ease of use and its ability to make us look like "super" developers to our bosses and clients.

But as any application (and developer) matures, your focus shifts from "create features fast" to "make the website as fast as possible." Fortunately, RadGrid can evolve with you. While the "codeless" approach allows you to maximize productivity, there are tons of techniques that you can employ to maximize performance.
It's exactly that path towards performance optimization that we'll explore in tomorrow's Weekly Webinar. Join me at 11:00 AM Eastern, tomorrow, Thursday, October 1st for the first part of an in-depth look specifically covering RadGrid for ASP.NET AJAX optimization strategies. We'll set the stage for optimizing RadGrid and explore at least five optimization techniques that you can begin using in your projects today for improved performance. It'll be fast, but it'll be fun. See you in the morning!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Houston TechFest 2009 wrap-up, Slides and Code

This past Saturday played host to the 3rd (4th?) annual Houston TechFest, and this year's event was record setting! There were well over 1200 people registered for this year's event, and- if I've heard the reports correctly- almost 1,000 people joined in the day of technology festivities at the University of Houston. That makes this easily the most attended TechFest in Houston to date and it also makes Houston TechFest one of the largest "regional events" in the US!

And thanks to sponsors, like Telerik, the event was once again 100% free to attendees (with a provided lunch)! Obviously, a great place to be if you are a .NET (or Java or whatever else was covered on Saturday) developer. At the Telerik "micro-booth" I had a great time meeting a lot of you and introducing you to the All-in-one .NET Toolbox.
Usually I like to "pre-promote" my attendance at these events on Telerik Watch, but time escaped me last week to update the blogs (all the more reason to follow me on Twitter for "quick updates"). So instead, a quick post-event recap:
I presented three sessions on Saturday: one-and-a-half on Silverlight, one-and-a-half on ASP.NET/Ajax ("havles" because one session talked about using Silverlight in ASP.NET, so it covered both technologies). All of the sessions were well attended and (with the help of some t-shirt bribes) all were very interactive. Big thanks to those of you that attended all of my sessions on Saturday! I don't know if I could even tolerate 4 hours of listening to me...
As promised, I am making the slides and code from the sessions available for everyone here. Find my full session list with accompanying resources below. Until next year, make sure you stay plugged-in to the Houston .NET community through the area DNUGs, like NHDNUG in my neck of The Woods!
What's New in Silverlight 3 [Sept09 update]
Rich Islands of Functionality: Silverlight in ASP.NET
Maximizing ASP.NET Performance with REAL Ajax

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Telerik Watch Minute: Silverlight Q3 2009 Beta and Other News

After another "too busy for my own good"-induced hiatus, I'm back with another Telerik Watch Minute! And this one hearkens back to the "good 'ol days" - short and sweet with a mix of news and demos. In this quick 8-minute update, I'll wrap-up a number of announcements Telerik has made over the last few weeks and do a quick demo highlighting some of the new controls found in the Q3 2009 Beta 1 for the RadControls for Silverlight. What more needs to be said? I guess for your convenience, here are some clickable links for the URLs mentioned in the video: Telerik Extensions for ASP.NET MVC Silverlight Beta Demos Updated Visual Style Builder Guess the Product Video Watch in full size on Telerik TV

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

First Q3 2009 Beta shipping tomorrow, RadControls for XAML (update)

Looking for a way to get over the midweek hump? How about a freshly minted beta from Telerik to play with? Tomorrow, Wednesday Thursday [UPDATE 2: problems solved, beta now available], Telerik will be shipping the first of the Q3 2009 betas. Tomorrow's beta will focus exlusively on previewing some of the new controls and features that will be part of the Q3 2009 RadControls for Silvelright and RadControls for WPF (remember, these suites share the same codebase and API). Among the things that will be featured in the Beta1 release:

  • New Controls (for Silverlight and WPF)
    • TileView - a flexible, animated, lightweight layout container
    • OutlookBar - a new UI component intended to provide functionality similar to (you guessed it) the panel bar in Outlook.
    • RibbonBar - Telerik's first RibbonBar for XAML (SL only)
    • Coverflow - All new and leveraging the 2D perspective engine in Silverlight 3 (SL only)
  • Improvements
    • TabControl - will get support for overflowing and scrolling tabs
    • Scheduler - will get new timeline view and resource grouping
    • Window - will get added to the WPF suite (already exists for Silverlight) (Oops! Window already exists for WPF. What I meant was...)
    • Docking - will get added to the WPF suite (already exists for Silverlight)
And that's just the quick highlights. Stay tuned for more details, previews, and videos once the beta ships. You can already preview some of these controls on the Silverlight and WPF road maps.
This beta will not preview all new functionality destined for the XAML suites in Q3, so you can expect to see more new controls (like RadMap) and features in Beta2 and in the final release. In our aim to incorporate as much feedback as possible in to the Q3 release, though, we're releasing Beta 1 with plenty of time for you to check it out and tell us what you think. Speak now or forever enjoy the Q3 2009 release in peace! (At least until Q1 2010...)
UPDATE: The betas for both WPF and Silverlight are now available for immediate download. Look for the "Beta version available" link under the WPF and Silverlight product downloads.

Austin DNUG Ajax talk wrap-up, Reminder to check your spare tire pressure

After a quick 6-hour round-trip to Austin, I'm back in Houston and ready with some wrap-up thoughts (and slides) from my talk at last night's Austin .NET Users Group meeting. First, let me thank everyone that came-out for the event (including the "jQuery mafia")! I had a great time and I hope you were all able to learn something about Ajax as we weaved our way through JavaScript, jQuery, and ASP.NET AJAX 4.0. If you didn't learn anything and you hated the session...I'm sorry?

Really, I expected the session to crash and burn. Not becuase I wasn't prepared or because I didn't have confidence in the topic, but because I had a "bad omen" on the way to Austin. In the middle of my trek from Houston to Austin, located in nowhere Texas, traveling at 80 MPH (129 kph, for the rest of the world), I blew a tire. Fortunately, my "fancy dancy" car quickly informed me of the tire pressure issue and I was able to put my mechanical skills to good use and change my tire in 15 minutes flat, but something "unexpected" like that just throws-off your A-game as a speaker.
Fortunately, A-game or not, the session went well and I made it back to Houston with all four tires inflated. As a word to the wise (especially since I just got lucky on this point), take this post a chance to check the pressure of your spare tire. You never know when you're going to need it...
Maximizing Real Ajax Performance

Monday, September 14, 2009

Join me at the Austin DNUG tonight!

Are you in the Austin, Texas area? Got plans tonight? Break them.

Very soon I'll be hitting the road and making the trek over from Houston to Austin to present at tonight's Austin .NET User Group meeting. I've been to Austin a few times this year to talk about various Microsoft technologies, but this time I'm focusing on my home turf: Ajax.
Specifically, we'll be talking about how you can (and should) maximize "real" Ajax performance in ASP.NET. "Real Ajax?" you say. Yes, real Ajax. If you're using UpdatePanels and you think you're using Ajax, think again. All will be explained at tonight's DNUG (and again at the Houston TechFest, DevReach, and DevConnections if you miss tonight's presentation).
Things get kicked-off at 5:30 PM at the Microsoft offices in Austin. Check out the ADNUG website for all the details and directions. See you tonight!

Twitter Approved: Telerik TFS tools

While Twitter only represents a small part of the overall developer community, it's still useful as way to get the "pulse" on a specific topic. It's especially interesting to watch the chatter after Telerik makes announcements. Will the modern Caesar "collective" of our time give Telerik a thumbs-up or thumbs-down?

I'm happy to report that the new TFS Work Item Manager and Project Dashboard have been received with thumbs-up. Some live reports from the Twitter front-lines:
  • oising: Free WPF-based TFS work item management tools from telerik (great for codeplex folks!)
  • bjuris: Really slick looking TFS app from Telerik
  • tommynorman: Very cool TFS tool from Telerik. And it is free!
  • damonpayne: Consensus around the office is that the Telerik work item manager is 1,000x better for TFS than the interface built into visual studio
  • CalebJenkins: TFS WorkItem tools from Telerik look sweet!
  • JasonBarile: The new Telerik TFS Workitem Manager and Project Dashboard betas are pretty cool.
  • drub0y: Wow! Telerik released AWESOME work item manager and dashboard apps (WPF based) for TFS... and they're FREE!
  • terziev: Pretty exciting to see the WIM and Dashboard go public. Had been waiting for that for a long time. #telerik #tfs #wim
  • caffeinatedgeek: FREE TFS TOOLS: Check out the Telerik Work Item Manager and Project Dashboard that #Imaginet built for #Telerik
Thanks to everyone for the positive feedback! We hope you enjoy these free tools and find them helpful in your own daily TFS workflows. If you want more help getting started with Telerik's TFS tools, don't miss the new videos on Telerik TV created by Microsoft RD and Imaginets CEO Joel Semeniuk: