Monday, March 19, 2007

WPF & Flex

I went to a .Net User's Group meeting about WPF tonight. The speaker was Walt Ritscher. The presentation was a pretty decent intro. I was expecting it to be quite a bit more in depth. I guess I figured .Net developers would already be up to speed on WPF and an intro presentation would be beyond them at this point. I seem to make a habit of setting my expectations a little too high for most user group presentations.

I recently signed up for a membership at, which provides instructional videos on many technical topics. The subject matter tends to lean towards creative tools (Photoshop). I've been watching the Flex training videos and I can't help notice the similarities to what Microsoft is doing with WPF. Macromedia really seemed to have missed the boat by brining application development to Flash so late in the game, but they seem to be catching up well now that Microsoft has put some fear into them. Since Adobe took over, they've kept going strong.

Of course both Flex and WPF/E are both proprietary technologies that have fairly useless free SDKs and $600 development environments for the serious user. I haven't seen any free alternatives with anything close to the capabilities. Both SVG and F3 have similar capabilities, but F3 isn't open and lacks the development tools and SVG lacks good browser support.

Oh well... guess we'll have to put up with Ajax for a few more years.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007


IntilliLang is a very cool plugin for Idea that (among other things) allows stringified code to be parsed as any other code. This means those regular expressions and html fragments you store as a Java String can be parsed, checked and auto-completed as a first-class citizen.

Jetbrains shows some very cool examples including regular expressions, javascript and el. It still has some rough edges, but once its cleaned up a bit, it could be a great tool for HQL queries and embedded SQL.