Monthly Archives: April 2006

If you ever wondered what happened to the IE6 Team after 2001 and what AvalonWindows Presentation Foundation has got to do with that, you gotta watch this Channel 9 interview with Michael Wallent. The title of this blog entry is courtesy of natesmith.

Michael Wallent headed the development of Internet Explorer for a long time and was once known as the "DHTML Dude". He is now responsible for WPF. In the past I had put together in my mind bits and pieces of this story from different sources and formed an idea of what happened with the DHTML platform and how it lead to WPF. It's great to now hear it directly from the horse's mouth.

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The new Rabobank.nl web site (www.rabobank.nl) won the Usability Award 2006 today. This yearly award goes to the most usable* web site in the Netherlands.

As you can imagine this made quite a lot of team members at the Rabobank happy today. Here's what the Rabobank had to say about winning the award.

*) You had to be nominated and get to the short-list in order to win. There might be even more usable web sites out there that were not nominated 😉

I forgot to mention this on my blog before, but last Tuesday I released a new version 0.5.2.0 of my RollingFileTraceListener extension to Enterprise Library 2.0. It contains no new functionality, but it does contain a fix for a problem that was reported to me.

The latest version, documentation and the download link can always be found in this article on my blog.

You can also find the RollingFileTraceListener as a GotDotNet user sample.

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Ever since confessing I am being attracted to the dark side, I have hated the idea of having to give up the case sensitivity that I know and love from such languages as C#, Java, C++ and JavaScript.

But on Michael Kaplan's blog I found something that might puzzle even the most addicted VB fan. What does this code print when run?

Module Module1

    Sub Main()
        Call Pröcedure1()
    End Sub

    Sub Pröcedure1()
        Console.WriteLine("Schrödinger's cat is not dead.")
    End Sub

    Sub PRÖCEDURE1()
        Console.WriteLine("Schrödinger's cat is dead.")
    End Sub

End Module

Nope, it doesn't produce a compiler error as you might expect. Give your guess here as a comment and then head over to Michael's blog for the answer. To try it out yourself in Visual Studio copy-and-paste the code in Module1.vb in a freshly created Visual Basic console application project.

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Yesterday I got back from Turkey where I went to see the total solar eclipse of March 29, 2006. I saw the total eclipse of August 11, 1999 in Hungary even though the sky was cloudy at the time. Again it was an amazing experience. A couple of people in the group I was traveling with, went to see the eclipse of 1999 in Northern France. But at the moment supreme the eclipse was obscured by clouds. This time around there were some clouds as well. Fortunately not at the moment of totality at 14:02 (local time), so we got a clear view of the sun's corona.

We were positioned at a hill near the small town of Karaburna at the center line of the eclipse. It was very nice to mingle with the local people and to experience their reaction to the spectacle as well. Our trip was organized by the Dutch travel organization SNP. The Dutch science journalist and author Govert Schilling went with us to explain the phenomenon. He told us what things to pay attention to in the 3-4 minutes of totality and he helped us creating filters for cameras and binoculars to watch the sun while it was partially or not eclipsed.

Here is a picture that I managed to take with my Canon EOS 20D camera with a Canon EF 70-300mm 1:4.5-5.6 DO IS USM zoomlens. The picture was taken at 300mm, F/6.3, 1/320 sec, 1600 ISO.

Picture taken by Erwyn van der Meer of the totally eclipsed sun in Turkey on March 29, 2006

As you can see the picture is a bit noisy. The corona was in fact bright enough to have taken the picture at a lower ISO setting (meaning less noise) and with a longer shutter speed. But I did not want to take any chances in advance. Maybe I will go and see the eclipse of 2009 in Shanghai and will have a better shot then 😉

If you want to have a feel of what experiencing this total solar eclipse was like, you can check out the recorded webcast from Side, Turkey by a crew from the Exploratorium in San Francisco.

You can also view an amazing picture taken from space of the shadow cast by the moon on the earth's surface on a NASA website.