Microsoft Changing Stance on IE8 Default “Mode”

This is a change that rings throughout all the fiefdoms of Nerdland!

In a post on the IEBlog (I got there from theRegister), Dean Hachamovitch posts:

We’ve decided that IE8 will, by default, interpret web content in the most standards compliant way it can. This decision is a change from what we’ve posted previously.

This is good.

But now we’re done with that, take a look at the IEBlog. It’s good!

They are posting frequently, they use nice images, and what they post is actually interesting. I’m adding it to my NetVibes.

Something New At Microsoft

I don’t normally pimp other stuff. Wait. That’s not right. I DO normally pimp other stuff.

A guy I give a fair bit of reading time too is Scoble. He’s posted about a new project at Microsoft here. It sounds pretty exciting, but I’m a hype-monkey, so go see for yourself.

Course, there’s nothing concrete there, because he’s under some kind of Cone of Silence. Man that was a cool invention, how much fun would it be to have one in your office, and pretend to be the chief and Max.

Personally I’m also excited about the next few months Clarion-wise. Some of my projects are coming to fruition, and one will be completed (according to the milestones which are never wrong). I’ve not had an actual completed project in a fair while. Saying that I realise completed is a hard category to obtain.

Nevertheless, it is an exciting time. There’s a lot, a LOT, of cool stuff happening throughout the dev world, and I hope Clarion will be some of that.

Clarion raised me and I turned out Clarion (I just used this homer quote in a forum, but it’s so good I’ll use it again).

Crazy Talk

So now, Microsoft goes and bids for Yahoo. The world is crumbling. From what I read, Balmer seemed like a child .. "Google sucks .. because .. they suck .. you know, they think they’re so big .. they suck .. we’re number 1 .. GO TEAM!!"


Things kicked up a notch. Work has begun on the big contract. It’s cool. I’m going to be able to lash out and buy PDF Tools. I’m looking at a really funky support system .. and while building it myself has a big draw .. this thing is already awesome out of the box and costs a few hundred. I couldn’t replicate it’s functionality in ten times that many hours (that fit into it’s price).

The new Robin Hood was on last night (Sunday)!! What’s doing? I heard nothing about it. Caught the tail-end of the episode, and was laughing my head off. I love it that they really are doing the most ridiculous stunts, and yet I find it awesome. Over acting, deus ex machina all over the place (I think I got that right), and a really lame bunch of stories. But they really .. REALLY .. work for me.

Anyway, I have things to do. About four gazillion. No .. four.

The _Can_ Code Good

 Windows Live Writer is now fired up on my pc (thanks John, I should have followed your lead a while back), and is kicking.

I’ve changed my entire process twice in the last couple of months.

Until today, Writely was the new blogging tool of choice. However, as readers of previous posts would be aware, I had run into a couple of problems, and had to edit the posts once they were in Dev Dawn (WordPress Driven).

WLW has none of the same problems, as far as my limited experience tells me.

Inserting Links in WLW uses the same keyboard shortcut (<ctrl>K) as Writely.


One _tiny_ niggle is that when tabbing into the Link URL, I’d like it to not do a Select All, but bring me to the end of the "http://" string. So I can continue to type without moving my hand to the arrow keys. Small niggle, and doesn’t detract from the allure of this system.

Inserting Images is much the same (<ctrl> L).

There’s a couple of points that have me really excited about WLW.

  1. It’s back on my harddrive. Now this ramifies (not really a word) into one of the other points below, but it also isn’t necessarily good. One thing I liked about using Writely is that my documents were stored where I could access them anywhere. However, in my current vocation, I’m pretty much using the same laptop 23 hours a day. So that’s not as big a deal as it could be for me.
  2. You have a much faster editing process. Not so much load time, but the use of keyboard shortcuts and the layout of WLW allows for a faster composing time. I’ll go over the layout in a moment.
  3. And lastly, most importantly for this little black duck .. I can SnagIt, save, and put it in the post STRAIGHT AWAY. Now, of course, this could have kind of happened earlier .. but with far more hassle.  WLW allows me to simply insert the image that I’ve just saved into the post, and at the end, I don’t have to worry about ftp-ing up the images, which is how I used to do it.

See, I’m old school like that. I like to have control over what is going on. Very retentive of me I know .. but still, it takes something of a bolt from the heavens to shake me. Of course, my searching out cool stuff also helps. I’m quite happy to jump in if it’s working. And it seems WLW is working.

As an aside (I should have done this pre-install), but I’m going to read the Licence Agreement you agree to when installing WLW. Hopefully nothing bad in there.

Anyway, moving along.

I’m doing this a little backwards, but here’s WLW with this post in motion.


As I write this, I’m experimenting. Images have a bunch of very cool options to fiddle with. But before that .. you need to see the interface with more clarity than the above screen.


Hmmm. This is the top left corner. Still doesn’t seem like I’ve got the hang of SnagIt-ing stuff .. this looks decidedly blurred.


That’s the left hand, with the Sidebar.


And the bottom left has the information text.

Okay, I’m going to forge ahead despite the lack of my SnagIt-ing skill.

Notice something about the images?


You get a cool watermark effect! Very nice. This is very cool (although it’s just a text message). I mean, think about the Branding the little joschmo like me can do. I get to brand all images that go into the posts now. All of them.

Let’s now, after the excitement, let’s go back to the beginning. With the disclaimer that I’m discovering this as I write this post.





The one point I’d make here is I definately want the auto-save turned on. Without a doubt there will come more than one time when something wicked walks this way and screws up what I’m writing.

Blog This


The first option is to tell WLW what to do with the posting functionality by default. Because you can have multiple Blog Accounts (another great, but obviously expected feature), you might want it to prompt you, or to use the most recent.

Additionally, the current Blog Account is very easily changed, up in the right-hand corner.


You simply select the Blog Account you want.


You can see underneath are the Supported Content Types.

Customising the HTML allows some pretty cool freedom.


You’ve got the HTML itself,


And then the Template Parameters,


Which can be easily added into the HTML template.

Very cool.



I liked the look of this plugin .. means one more thing I don’t have to worry about on the WordPress end. We’ll see how it goes.

Web Proxy


Kept it small, cause it doesn’t affect how I’m writing.

Ping Servers


This is nice too. Really, the guys at MS have taken a look at the cool functionality in the blog engines, and made sure some of the best bits are in WLW. Cheers and hats off to you fellows (both guys and dolls).

This is turning into a monster post. I’m going to push the rest to another post, where we’ll look at the Imaging options, and some other stuff that I find out about before then.

‘Nuff Said,

Leaving The Nest

I imagine it would be easier to leave Microsoft now than it was ten, even five years ago. The cosmic forces have shifted. But not entirely. There is still a great deal of prestige and weight behind the big guru, and walking away from a high-profile job would leave behind a lot of wonderful opportunities.

Robert Scoble (Scobleizer) has left the building.

Opportunity is what he did it for though. To keep excited. There’s a great little exit-interview (Microsoft Watch) that popped up today, well, technically yesterday for us yobbos is ozland and all counterparts.

It’s good to read about a guy who has made blogging into something important in a business sense. And by that, I don’t mean breaking through and getting ten thousand dollhairs a month from Google Adsense.

I mean, he’s made businesses actually put time into researching blogging, making it part of their overall plans, their strategies, etc etc.

It’s healthy reading.

Nuff for now ..

Not The big Bad Wolf No More

Microsoft have been the beaten pinata for many years now, with increasing frequency. However, I think in the last year or so, with the rise of Google slowed with various amounts of bad press, they are no longer just the big bad wolf. They still might be that, but there’s a couple of youngsters joining them. And the wolf is showing some cunning.

Acquiring Winternals (and SysInternals) might be seen as a loss for the community, but I’m of a mind to think it’s a pretty smart move. Mark (on his blog) seems to truly believe in making Windows a better product. I hope this happens.

The one object of issue in my mind is the massive inertia of Microsoft. Sure, acquiring Mark and Bryce (although the blog doesn’t say Bryce is joining the move) is a great strategic decision. They have developed some great, even awesome :), tools.

But can they actually make a change?

Well, I think so. There is a shift, possibly small, but it’s happening. If Microsoft continue to acquire agressively, then perhaps they are changing the way they work. Maybe with the passing of Bill it’s no longer a totalitarian government. Maybe they see the mistakes made and are actually changing (not just wanting to change).

Here’s to Microsoft becoming more agile and making Windows a better product with each passing day.

The Art of Scrummaging

Eweek has an article up about Microsoft lauding the ‘Scrum’ Method for software development. It’s a pretty cool read, especially with the rugby imagery. Heh, think of it. It’s introducing a hard-man sporting analogy into a world that’s typically being not-so-hard-man. Not that I’m saying anything here … but it’s cool.

The actual workings of the method are good. 15 minute meetings each day, and self-organisation being the real power behind it. Just like a scrum. If the tight five (5-10) aren’t pulling their weight, then the scrum loses power and direction. It’s a great analogy, and a great looking system. I guess we’ll see how it works out.

It’s also good to think about new ways of approaching development. Team structure is so very important. If we are ad-hoc about the structure, and just have a meeting to go through the motions, then we’re missing some vital strengths that can be gotten from proper team structure. If, for example, you took on the Scrum method, then it would be a simple thing to maintain short-term purpose. You have a period (thirty-days) for the next step in the project. That is what the focus is on.

The other side is that you might lose sight of the larger picture. But that’s fixed simply by having a "brains-trust" meeting at the end of every segment. To look again at the larger picture.

I guess for most managers, it’s wishful thinking to have the time to think these things through, but it’d be worth it. If not for your own understanding, for the sake of the project you are currently working on.