Software Architect at Genzeon Corporation in Malvern, Pennsylvania, Microsoft .NET MVP, Husband, Dad and Geek.
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Developer Platforms Must Listen Better to Developers to Grow: Study

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A thriving ecosystem of dedicated developers is needed for developer platforms to be successful.

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alvinashcraft
22 hours ago
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West Grove, PA
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Tool for previewing XAML – LiveXAML makes your life a little bit easier

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Since Xamarin.Forms was introduced many has asked for a visual designer for building user interface like the one we have for building WPF or UWP apps. But I don’t think it is many that uses it like a designer, I think it is mostly used like a previewer of the XAML that you are writing. At least I use it that way.

Xamarin has tried with Xamarin.Forms previewer, but I have never got that work in real scenarios. But it will be great if they could get it work for real. Xamarin also has the Xamarin Live Player that makes it possible to debug iOS and Android apps on a device via WiFi. You don’t even need a Mac to debug iOS apps. The only thing you need to do is to download the Xamarin Live Player app and pair it with Visual Studio (works on both PC and Mac). With Live Player you can also live view XAML views, it makes it possible to make changes and see the result on a device without redeploy it. But I have had some problems with it, it can be complicated to pair Visual Studio with the app, especially if you’re on an enterprise network. I have also facing issues with more complex scenarios, for example if I have creating my own base views. But Live Player is still in preview, so I am looking forward to a stable product.

My favorite tool right now is LiveXAML (https://livexaml.com) that makes it possible to edit XAML when you’re debugging. You just start the app and navigate to the view you want to edit. When you save the file, you will see the changes live in the app. It works both on Visual Studio for Mac and PC and on both on simulator/emulator and on real devices. It cost $240 or $24 per month. But it’s nothing seen to the time you will save when you don’t have to redeploy your app to see small UI changes.

Gorilla Player is a similar tool to LiveXAML that are free and could be worth taking a look at. But last time I used it I think it was more complicated to get it to work if you compare to LiveXAML, but they have probably improved it since I used it.

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alvinashcraft
22 hours ago
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West Grove, PA
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Go 1.10 is released

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Happy Friday, happy weekend! Today the Go team is happy to announce the release of Go 1.10. You can get it from the download page.

See the Go 1.10 release notes for all the details.

The most exciting part of this release for many people will probably be that the go tool now does automatic caching of build & test results. Of course, one of the hundreds of smaller changes may be your favorite.

To celebrate the release, Go User Groups around the world are holding release parties. See if there's one in your area, or feel free to organize one!

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this release and everyone who helped test the Go 1.10 betas and release candidates to ensure a perfect, bug-free final release. However, if you do notice any bugs or unexpected changes not noted in the release notes, be sure to file a bug.

Enjoy the weekend, and enjoy the new release!

P.S. Many of this year's Go conferences are accepting talk proposals this month. We always love to see new speakers and encourage you to think about proposing a talk. For more information, see golang.org/wiki/NewSpeakers.

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alvinashcraft
23 hours ago
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West Grove, PA
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SQL Server Operations Studio

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Since I reformatted my Surface Pro 4 so I could have my Docker running again, I also needed to recover my local SQL Server instance I like to have available on my PC.

This was a perfect time to get everything up and running, but instead of my standard way of doing this, use SQL Server Operations Studio, (SSOS).

The Lesson

Most SQL Server DBAs have a GUI took to assist in managing their database environment and unlike Oracle DBAs, (at least before multi-tenant and the cloud) it was common for SQL Server DBAs, (on average) to have considerably more databases to manage on average than Oracle DBAs have.  Some of this is due to the architectural differences, such as a single SQL Server having many user databases vs. Oracle having one database instance with many schemas inside a database.  If you visualize this difference, you realize that the maintenance and backups of each user database would be higher than the single database instance for the Oracle DBA.  These types of differences required the SQL Server DBA to rely on automation and tools to ease their day-to-day demands.

From Microsoft, the SQL Server Management Studio, (aka SSMS and who’s ancestor was called Enterprise Manager) is provided with the installation or as an add on in recent versions.  Numerous vendors have provided incredible products to monitor, manage and support 100’s to 1000’s of databases, including Idera, who I proudly serve as a 2018 ACE.

There are still presentations offered at SQL Saturdays offering tips and tricks with SSMS, even though it’s a 32-bit product, which tells you how important a management tool is to a DBAs sanity, (remember, I made my name on the Oracle side with their Enterprise Manager, so Oracle DBAs may be hesitant to admit it, but they depend on one almost as often!)  With the fact that it is a 32-bit tool and the importance of the tool, Microsoft launched SQL Server Ops Studio.  It reminds me of the love child between SSMS and the original Oracle SQL Developer, which isn’t a bad thing.  Consider what Oracle SQL Developer is today, so that’s where I’m going here.

Not Your Father’s SSMS

The first thing you notice is that you are now working with a modern application that is 64-bit and built for extensibility.  No, it doesn’t have the legacy features that many DBAs will require to get them to transition over immediately, but you can build metrics and widgets to do much of it right now.  It also supports today’s hybrid-  both Azure and On-premises environments, which is something SSMS just isn’t prepared for.

I’ve already reached out to the SSOS group on Twitter to find out how I can offer my feedback to help.  I was part of the Customer Advisory Board for Enterprise Manager before I joined Oracle on the EM team, so I’m aware that this experience could be exceptionally helpful.  It is crucial to have customer feedback to build a product to fulfill what an cloud management and infrastructure tool features.

So, if you haven’t downloaded it and tested it out, consider it.  I’ll be blogging a few posts here and there to offer some insight on my own experiences with the product going forward.



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Copyright © DBA Kevlar [SQL Server Operations Studio], All Right Reserved. 2018.

The post SQL Server Operations Studio appeared first on DBA Kevlar.

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alvinashcraft
23 hours ago
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West Grove, PA
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Shipping system fonts to GitHub.com

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System font stacks got hot about a year ago, no doubt influenced by Mark Otto's work putting them live on GitHub.

The why, to me, feels like (1) yay performance and (2) the site looks like the rest of the operating system. But to Mark:

Helvetica was created in 1957 when the personal computer was a pipe dream. Arial was created in 1982 and is available on 95% of computers across the web. Millions, if not billions, of web pages currently use this severely dated font stack to serve much younger content to much younger browsers and devices.

As display quality improves, so too must our use of those displays. System fonts like Apple’s San Francisco and Microsoft’s Segoe aim to do just that, taking advantage of retina screens, dynamic kerning, additional font-weights, and improved readability. If operating systems can take advantage of these changes, so too can our CSS.

I also like the team’s idea of adding emoji fonts at the end of the font declaration so that you have the best support possible for those too:

p { 
  font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, "Segoe UI", Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, "Fira Sans", "Droid Sans", "Helvetica Neue", Arial, sans-serif, "Apple Color Emoji", "Segoe UI Emoji", "Segoe UI Symbol";
}

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Shipping system fonts to GitHub.com is a post from CSS-Tricks

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alvinashcraft
23 hours ago
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West Grove, PA
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Testing APIs Using Postman

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Postman is one of the most efficient applications for testing RESTful APIs. Most developers write a simple test and check the result of the REST API. That is fine for a few APIs, but if we have many APIs to test it is better to automate these test cases. This post is an introduction to automated testing using a simple API. There is command line version of Postman. It is called Newman. I will also cover the procedure to test using Newman.

This post covers:

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alvinashcraft
1 day ago
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West Grove, PA
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