Javier G. Lozano News Feed 
Monday, November 05, 2007  |  From Javier G. Lozano

I was looking at my blog posts numbers and I must say, they're pretty sad.  In the past three months, I've had 15 posts...For those of you that are regular readers, thanks for sticking around.  Honestly, I've been pretty busy with my and with , that I've had little time to do interesting blog posts.  Don't worry, I have some really good posts that I need to finish up and publish.

Another reason, which is a little less obvious, is that twitter is taking up most of my "random" blog posts.  If you , you know what I'm talking about.  To me, twitter is a simple way to publish my "random" content to the cloud.  During , and I referred to twitter as the Human Service Bus (HSB).  Why?  Well, you place a message (tweet) into the bus (twitter) and anybody who's listening can choose to pick it up.  Strangely enough, I've had some pretty good conversations on twitter.  The only thing about them is that the response is a little delayed.  But I guess that's what happens when you place a tweet on the bus.  Anyway, I blame twitter...yeah, cheap excuse.  ;-)

Are you on twitter?  If so, how do you use/abuse it?

Monday, November 05, 2007  |  From Javier G. Lozano

On Wednesday, November 7th, I will be presenting about Silverlight to our user group in Des Moines.  Here's the info:


This is an overview presentation of the feature set that both Silverlight v1.0 and v1.1 have to offer to developers.

We will also cover some of the current tools available for both designers and developers to create Silverlight applications.

What is Silverlight?

Microsoft® Silverlight™ is a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering the next generation of .NET based media experiences and rich interactive applications for the Web.  Silverlight offers a flexible programming model that supports AJAX, VB, C#, Python, and Ruby, and integrates with existing Web applications.

Silverlight supports fast, cost-effective delivery of high-quality video to all major browsers running on the Mac OS or Windows.

The layout of the presentation is a "how-to" overview on the tools available to developers and designers. I also plan on doing a little "surprise" demo ... that I could hopefully fit into the presentation.

If you don't have anything going on Wednesday night, stop on by at the and say hi!

Friday, October 19, 2007  |  From Javier G. Lozano

I would like to apologize for those who wanted to attend my presentation on Software Factories at , but unfortunately due to technical difficulties, I missed my stand-by flight into Tulsa.  When I spoke with the nice people at they couldn't guarantee me making into Tulsa into sometime late this evening.

However, for those of you wanting my slides, you can download them from the link at the bottom of this post.  Also, , I will be doing a webcast series on the Software Factories on .

Friday, October 19, 2007  |  From Javier G. Lozano

.  One of the first things that I thought about is how are other people out there (both technical and non-technical) are going to use it.  I've been looking at for a while and thought it was a pretty cool way to gather information.  To me the one thing it lacked was the presentation of the information (what good is the info if I can't get to it effectively?).  So last night I decided to do a little video that compares both Popfly and Yahoo! Pipes trying to "solve" the same problem.  The if you want to check out (or just check out the player below):


<embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/HVAQI3u4PVc" width="425" height="350" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"> </embed>

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Friday, October 19, 2007  |  From Javier G. Lozano

Well, unfortunately, I couldn't make my standby flight to Tulsa this evening, so I'm stuck in Des Moines for the evening.  Not a bad thing being stuck at home, though.  I'm confirmed for a flight at 6:30 AM tomorrow to Dallas/Tulsa.  From the looks of it, I will be arriving at 12:30 PM..30 minutes before my talk so I'm not sure how that's going to work.

I contacted David Walker already and gave him a heads up to see if could switch my time with somebody else.  Hopefully things can work out for both parties.

Oh, the joys of traveling for conferences!!

Friday, October 19, 2007  |  From Javier G. Lozano

First, to all of you that attended my HDC presentation on Software Factories, THANK YOU!  I hope that as promised, the "Ah, Ha!" factor was high.  Also, I would like to apologize for the issues I ran into with the VPC and the demos.  I had tried the demo before with only two VS2005 instances running and had no issues with it...Apparently, four instances of VS2005 running concurrently is too much for VPC.

Right after my presentation, I confirmed with Steve Loethen, a co-host of Code To Live, about coming up with the webcast series on Software Factories. I still to work out the details for the layout of the content (yes, as you all know there's tons!) and I'll start doing my Camtasia videos.

Once again, to all those in attendance, thanks for coming!  See you next year at HDC '08!

Files: Powerpoint Presentation (~2.5 MB)

Thursday, October 18, 2007  |  From Javier G. Lozano

Today Microsoft is announcing that Popfly will be going into public beta.  So for those you that had requested to sign up for the beta, no worries!  You can automatically login without a hassle! (Pretty sweet, huh?) And for those of you that haven't signed up or don't know anything about it, just to go http://popfly.com and login with Passport.

Here's a brief description of what Popfly:

It's a Silverlight 1.0 application to create a really slick UI that allows you to use drag-and-drop tools to build some cool things.  It also includes support for Vista Sidebar and Live Gadgets.  For those dev geeks out there, you can use Visual Studio for editing Popfly pages - any page, any markup.  There are tons of example widgets that Popfly also includes in its gallery. 

What are some of the cool things you can do with Popfly?

1.  You can add some Popfly widget's to your web site, Facebook page or Windows Live Spaces page through a Popfly mashup.  Examples: game, content aggregators and streaming video.

2.  You can build your homepage inside of Popfly! This is great if you have a club, team, or social group that wants a great experience for folks that visit - Popfly will offer over 150 different themes, 10 different styles, and 30 unique color schemes.  Add things like photos, schedules from an RSS feed, video of games and meetings, Virtual Earth maps and directions, and more.  With NO CODE! ;-)

3.  Popfly also makes it easy to create and share slideshows using pictures from Flickr, Windows Live Spaces, Facebook, and more.

4. Popfly allows you to create mashups that shows what you are "digging" on Digg.com, maybe what you are buying or selling on eBay, the highlight video of your awesome kill in Halo 3 or your game score, what Facebook events you are attending, Twitter info, and more.

The possibilities are just about endless. And to make things even better and encourage you to explore all of those possibilities and share them with others, we are having a contest you can get involved with to show your wicked mashup skills - it's called appropriately enough - "Mashup and Win".  Eternal glory can be yours when you are declared the winner of the ultimate mashup challenge (and a great prize ain't too shabby either).  Make sure you keep your eye posted on the Popfly team blog since they will be posting some great content on using all the cool new features in Popfly over the coming days.

Mashup and Win Contest - How to Play

1. Sign up at popfly.com

2. Create a Popfly Mashup

3. Blog and link back to your Popfly Mashup

4. Tag blog for Technorati PopflyHDC07 (http://www.technorati.com/tag/PopflyHDC07)

5. Comment on Jeff Brand's blog post about Popfly and your mashup entry and link back to your blog

6. Have fun!

Rules, terms, and all that jazz: create a Popfly Mashup and submit it on SlickThought.Net as a comment to this blog post by October 31st for a chance to win a Zune 2.0 or an Xbox 360 Halo 3 Special Edition. Community leaders from Iowa and Nebraska – the fine folks that brought you Heartland Developers Conference – will review submissions and chose a winner by November 9th. The winning Mashup will be the most innovative, creative, and cool: the best Mashup will present content in the most unique way.

Both Jeff Brand and Denny Boynton have blogged about this release as well.  Check out Jeff's post and Denny's post!

Also, here's a list of other bloggers talking about it!

  • http://slickthought.net
  • http://blogs.msdn.com/benko
  • http://popflyteam.spaces.live.com/

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  • Monday, October 08, 2007  |  From Javier G. Lozano

    I apologize for not being "active" on blogging for the past four weeks.  Back in September 9th, I started a wellness program here in Des Moines, called Farrell's Extreme Bodyshaping (FXB).  The program is Monday through Saturday for 10 weeks.  You heard right, 6 days a week for 10 weeks...  The program is laid out as follows:

    • Kickboxing (cardio) 3 times per week for 45 minutes.

      • Punches:  jabs, hooks, cross punches, upper-cuts.
      • Knees: high, medium, low and side.
      • Kicks: side kicks, front, back, crescent and the always fun round-house.
      • Cardio Maintenance: jumping jacks, grasshopers, mountain climbers, quick feet, push-ups and jumping squats.
    • Bands (resistance/weight) 3 times per week for 1 hour

      • .Upper Body: Shoulders, biceps, triceps, etc.
      • Lower Body: Thighs, calfs, etc.
      • Resistance Maintenance: push-ups, crunches, planks and (my least favorite) running.

    All of this happens at 5 AM so I can easily fit it into my schedule.  What this means is that I'm usually out (literally) by 9:30 PM (aka, prime "playing around" & "blogging" time).  On the upside, I am able to do 75 push-ups in a minute, have tons of (new) eneregy and have lost almost 10 lbs (but gained ...however, I still pass out at 9:30 PM.

    This is something I've been wanting to do for the past couple of months (not this specific program, but a program to help me get in shape).  What do you guys do to try to stay in shape?

    Wednesday, October 03, 2007  |  From Javier G. Lozano

    That's right, you heard it!  Scott Guthrie and Scott Hanselman have both talked about it (Scott even has a podcast on it).  Microsoft will release the source code & debug symbols for debugging purposes for the following .NET libraries under the Microsoft Reference License (MS-RL):

    • Base Class Libraries
    • ASP.NET
    • Windows Forms
    • ADO.NET
    • XML
    • WPF

    They plan on adding more libraries in the months to come, such as WCF, Workflow, LINQ.

    I'm not sure about you, but this IS HUGE!  Way to go, MS!  Taking a step in the right direction to aide both developers, vendors and partners.  To me this release of the code just make the platform a lot strong for adoption by removing some barriers/hesitations people might have with .NET as product.

    I wonder how this will affect the work the Mono guys have been doing?

    Sunday, September 30, 2007  |  From Javier G. Lozano

    Steve Loethen (DE) and Josh Holmes (AE) started up a new video series on Channel9 called Code To Live, a series about you and your work in the circus we call "our job."  I'm pretty impressed, these guys already have  4 shows out on their site, with tons more on the way.  Also, as Denny Boynton (AE) blogs, they're looking for people for future episodes.

    If you get the chance, check out it out.  And don't let their costumes (leather jackets and biker wear) scare you, in reality they're both pretty nice guys.

    Thursday, September 13, 2007  |  From Javier G. Lozano

    Once again, Dave Bost, has blogged about a Halo3 pre-release party the MS Evangelism Team in Chicago is hosting on September 24th, 2007...for those of you paying attention that's a day before the Halo3 release date.  If you're interested in attending, SPACE IS LIMITED, check out Dave's post on the matter.

    ...Now, if I only had an XBOX 360...or even better, if I only had the TIME to play an XBOX 360...yeah, that would be nice! ;-)

    Tuesday, September 11, 2007  |  From Javier G. Lozano

    Dave Bost, DE for IL, IN, WI and former golfing partner, invited me through Facebook to the SilverlightDevCamp in Chicago, IL.  For those of you in the area or interested in attending this FR-EE event, here's the info from Dave's blog post:

    On Friday, September 28th and Saturday, September 29th, Clarity Consulting will host a Silverlight DevCamp at their offices in the Loop. This is a great opportunity for people interested in Silverlight to come together and hack out an application or two.

    DevCamps are similar to BarCamps in that it’s a casual gathering of like minded individuals. BarCamps tend to have many different conversations, covering several different topics. DevCamps, however, focus on a particular technology with the idea of producing one to many applications by the end of camp.

    This particular DevCamp invites designers and developers to come together and see what they can do in 2-days. We kick-off the camp on Friday with a few discussions on Silverlight as well as some brain storming of what applications we want to build. That leaves Saturday for a full on hack-day where designers and developers will team up to build the applications of their choice. Saturday will culminate with Demo Happy Hour where each team will be given 5-minutes to demo their particular application. And… to make things just a bit more interesting, we will be awarding some unbelievable prizes for the top teams.

    If you’re interested in attending, be sure to head on over to the sign up sheet and add your name.

    Unfortunately, I will not be able to make (I WISH I COULD, TRUST ME!) but I'm sure it's going to be great!

    Sunday, August 19, 2007  |  From Javier G. Lozano

    Well, it's been a crazy past couple of weeks for me (actually, it has been a couple of months).  I find it humorous that about a year ago, I wrote about a new job venture I started.  Unfortunately, that did not last long.  Did I do something wrong?  Was I fired?  No, none of that.  My employer just took a different direction on their project and that direction did not fit my career plans. 

    Originally I was brought in to help them transition to .NET and re-design their legacy VB6/Oracle system.  As the project progressed,  I ran into a lot of resistance on trying to change the current process.  You may ask, was the process wrong?  No, it wasn't.  All I was trying to do is ask "why do you do it that way?" and try to introduce and have them adopt a predictable, reusable one.  In other words, I wanted to focus on the main business problem than the peripheral technology wars.  That's it.

    So along came a hippo....huh?  That's right, a long came a hippo, a flying one at that, that provided an opportunity to be part of something greater than myself or a team.  It was to be part of product and its story.  It has been several years since I've been a part of a software shop atmosphere were a team worked together to a deliver a product that would hopefully solve a user's need.  The more I learned about the hippo, the more I became interested and excited.

    So here I am now, a member of the crew.  The what? ... come again?  This paragraph explains it better:

    A large plodding mammal in excess of 2-tons with delicate wings sprouting from the rear quarters ain't exactly normal. 
    But neither are we.  We are different than your run-of-the-mill website developer.  We believe that a website
    should first and foremost meet the functional requirements of the business it represents.  But there's no reason
    it needs to look like everyone else's stale site.  Why not give it a little zip, a little pizazz, some personality?

    Don't get us wrong, we don't mind, in fact we enjoy, doing traditional sites - after all, we've got to pay the bills like
    everyone else (and feed the hippo!)  In fact there are instances when creating a whiz-bang site with twirling logos and all
    the bells and whistles just isn't appropriate or feasible.  However, give us a chance and we'll throw in some clever ideas
    and interesting graphics that might dazzle you.  We can do things that you never dreamed of - like make a hippo fly.

    We're nothing more than some web & designer geeks having a good time building sites and software!  I'm really excited about what will come out of a group of people that love and enjoy their profession...perhaps some WPF and Silverlight? ;-)

    Monday, August 13, 2007  |  From Javier G. Lozano

    For the past couple of weeks, I've been looking for the "right" laptop to use for home/work/dev/play.  I started to look at the Dell XPS M1330, their new slim 13.3" laptops, and was not too satisfied with their hardware/price ratio ... good hardware but too high of a price.  So then I started looking at refurbished Dells and quickly came to the same conclusion.  I was looking for the following things on a laptop:

    • Fast CPU - I want to do software virtualization (aka, VPCs).
    • Lots of RAM - (same reasons as above)
    • Descent size HD - (same reasons as above)

     comically suggested, you should check out the s (MBPs).  At first, I dimissed the comment...why would I buy a MacBook?  I'm a Windows guy...and that's when I started questioning reality... just kidding, not really.

    I first started looking at the since it can run both Tiger (OSX) and Vista with the aid of .  Unfortantelly, a new MBP is too rich for my blood...so my I started looking at refurbished MBPs.  That's when I ran into this one .  After a quick glance on it, I knew that this was the machine I was looking for since it met my needs/requirements and was within my budget....the only problem was, could I switch to OSX after working with Windows for soo long?  Also, how can I do .NET development without having any MS tooling that works on a OSX?  I started to get disappointed...until I met, .  Check out the image below:

    Currently here's what's running along side OSX:

    • Vista x86 - I had trouble using Boot Camp's drivers with Vista x64.
    • Office 2007
    • VS2008 - On my OSX Dock
    • .NET Framework 3.5
    • FeedDemon - On my OSX Dock
    • Zune Software

    Best part yet?  If I want avoid the virtualization overhead (there isn't any noticeable kind) I can boot natively into Vista and be up in no time (1 min boot time).

    Thursday, April 05, 2007  |  From Javier G. Lozano


    Another lesser known of the *DD approaches for design and development.  Essentially, the design of your application is driven by the ineptitude of the people developing it (aka, your employees).

    It's a sad realization when you (as the employer) realize that you could've gotten the same product if you would have applied the Infinite Monkey Theorem with a time constraint.


    Thursday, April 05, 2007  |  From Javier G. Lozano

    First I would like to personally thank Evan Hennis for having the courage to step to the podium and present WPF to the IADNUG.  Also, for those of you that attended, I will like to apologize for the technical difficulties we had with the projector and demos.  I'm very glad that at least we could get one laptop to work (although, it was hard to read at times).

    Also, if any of you out there are interested in presenting to the UG on any topic, please let me know!  I would like to start a community serving community series for the group (if anyone is interested).

    Tuesday, April 03, 2007  |  From Javier G. Lozano

    Well, I've finally had it with my current install of .Text (.9.4.something) that I decided to upgrade to SubText.  The SubText engine has a lot more features (and available code base) that I can definitely use going forward.  Unfortunatelly, I was not able to use the .Text Import feature of SubText to pull my data in.  I kept getting an error during the import process.  So instead, I just whipped up some T-SQL scripts to pull the data over.  I still need to fix the referral data, but that's for another day.

    What do you guys think about the new blog?

    Tuesday, April 03, 2007  |  From Javier G. Lozano

    This is just a test post...please ignore.


    - Javier

    Monday, April 02, 2007  |  From Javier G. Lozano

    Today, I spent the better part of my morning trying to troubleshoot a problem with COM interop within a WCF service. Here's the situation... 

    We currently have a legacy COM (VB6) component that creates a CSV file containing data needed to generate a PDF.  Unfortunately, we don't have the time to re-write this component to .NET, so we have to make due for now.   

    I first tried the component within a standard WinForm, and I was able to create/invoke it with no problems.  With this success, I proceeded to use said component within a WCF service so it could be exposed within our intranet (netTcpBinding).  However, whenever the service received a request, the component would always hang during its "Initialize" method (this does nothing more that creates an Oracle session so it can start the retrieval of data).

    Being a bit confused as the reason for the hanging, I started to check out whether the data being sent across the wire was valid.  After realizing it wasn't the data, I decided to ask Google for some help.  I was imediatelly attracted to this post on the MSDN Forums that tackled the same issue.  How could I've not think of that?!?  Of course!  The WinForm ran as STA while the WCF service runs as MTA for their threads.  So, I proceeded to create a new thread within my service and specified its apartment state to STA.  Unfortunatelly, that didn't work.  So I proceeded to get a bit creative with the problem.

    I took the original WinForm application and made it run as MTA.  After doing this both at the application and thread level (once again, by creating a new thread), I realized that it still worked correctly under the WinForm application.  However, when I tried doing the same work-around within the WCF service, the request still hung.  Arrgg!!

    I came up with a messy hack to work around it (basically created an external COM host and ran the code within it) but I'm still not sure what the true issue is.  Have any of you run into the same issue?  If so, did you fix it?

    Sunday, April 01, 2007  |  From Javier G. Lozano

    Nick already posted about Google's April Fool's joke.  However, while looking around and clicking on the URLs, I found they have a couple more out there.

     Javier G. Lozano News Feed 

    Last edited Dec 7, 2006 at 11:16 PM by codeplexadmin, version 1


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