Wednesday, 20 September 2006

Petition to rename .NET Framework 3.0

As soon as I heard that Microsoft were changing the name WinFX, an umbrella name for Avalon, Indigo – oh, excuse me, Windows Presentation Foundation and Windows Communication Foundation – and Windows Workflow, to .NET Framework 3.0, I thought it was an incredibly bad idea.

The trouble is that it confuses everybody. I’ve seen people commenting that they’ll delay moving to .NET 2.0 ‘because .NET 3.0 is just around the corner.’ They then get horribly confused – and normally angry – when you tell them that the CLR, BCL, Windows Forms, ASP.NET and the language compilers are completely unchanged in ‘.NET 3.0’ from .NET 2.0.

Someone’s started a petition to name it back to WinFX. I don’t care what name it has – does it even need an umbrella name? Can we not call the three subsystems by their own names? Even better, their codenames which despite not being descriptive were at least easy to say! Do I really need to even install WCF and WF just to get a WPF application to work?

What I suspect it does mean is that versions of .NET after 3.0 simply won’t install or work on Windows before XP SP2, Server 2003 SP1, or Vista. That’s a huge compatibility loss – .NET 2.0 works right back to Windows 98 and NT 4.0. Or, if new versions of the CLR and BCL will install and work on older operating systems, they’ll have another stupid naming decision to make.

It also means that even for downlevel systems, the new installers will be even more humungous than ever for the One That Is To Come After. People still complain about the size of the Framework installer; most end users will never have a web server installed on their machine – security considerations would suggest that they shouldn’t – so why in hell does .NET Framework include and install ASP.NET on every single box? This leads to people asking about and trying to invent jerry-rigged systems to either try to link the framework into their binaries or ship only bits of the Framework. It’s a recipe for disaster come servicing time.

Please, if you value everyone’s sanity, sign this petition. It probably won’t do any good but you can at least say you spoke up against the insanity.

Tuesday, 19 September 2006

Biometric scanners not particularly reliable

Dana Epp posted a movie from Mythbusters cracking a fingerprint ‘lock’.

Not exactly secure.

Watch now. (YouTube, may get taken down when someone spots the copyright violation. What the hell, it’s Talk Like A Pirate Day. Arrr!)

Sunday, 10 September 2006

Missing font on Vista RC1

Anyone reading this blog from Windows Vista (Pre-RC1 build 5536 or RC1 build 5600) might notice a slight difference in appearance between Vista and XP. What is it?

They forgot to include Trebuchet MS Italic!

Windows Vista instead installs two copies of Trebuchet MS Bold Italic. When called upon to produce Trebuchet MS Italic, the Windows TrueType/OpenType renderer instead simply slants a copy of Trebuchet MS. This doesn't look very good - there's a reason that Vincent Connare drew a true italic.

I remember reporting a bug on Pre-RC1, but since I can't access the feedback site (being part of the Customer Preview Program rather than a 'beta tester', a differentiation that seems a little bizarre – do Microsoft not want bug reports from CPP members?) I don't know if anything's being done.

Perhaps Michael Kaplan could see what's happening here (although he does use Tahoma 'Italic' on his blog ;-) – there is no true italic for Tahoma).