Category - Vista

  1. It must be nice to be an MVP (or how I stopped worrying and learned to love Vista)

    A couple weeks ago a Microsoft MVP screamed at the top of his blog that he’d give Vista 2 more weeks and then he’d leave for the murky waters of XP forever. Well some folks at Microsoft jumped onto the case and figured out the problem. I have co-workers and friends and acquaintances and people that I probably won’t ever talk to again tell me that they hate Vista so much that they’ll never use it. In some cases they never used it to begin with, but that’s a different tale. This guy rants about a sidebar app that he installed on his computer and developers jump on the case to solve the problem. I guess at the end of the day Vista doesn’t suck as long as you know people at Microsoft to help you make it work. Too bad all those other people out there will never gain the knowledge to make Vista work.

    As for the second part of his rant, he states that Windows 7 will suck simply because it is built on the same core code that Vista is built on. That tells me that he really hasn’t given Vista much of a chance. Sure, the sidebar sucks up system resources like nobody’s business, and Aero Glass also takes more than its fair share of system resources. There isn’t anything that says you have to leave them running. My wife got a new Dell computer at work the other day. She was happy that it has Office 2007 on it, but she didn’t like how slow it was. She brought it home and I turned off the sidebar and changed the system theme to Windows Classic. That computer now screams! She even said it’s faster than her old computer, but I think that’s just because she hasn’t installed iTunes yet.

    What’s the point, well the point is that the Vista core is really good. If you are contemplating a new computer you really should get Vista, but unless you have 8GB RAM and the best video card out there, I wouldn’t turn on all the goodness. Based on what I’ve seen in Vista, and remember I’ve been using Vista a lot longer than 95% of you out there, it is a killer Operating System. Windows 7 is going to kick ass based solely on what I know Vista can do. Then again, I haven’t even tried Windows 7 yet, but I’m betting I’ll have a copy in my grubby little hands in October. I’ll let you know more then.

    In the meantime, don’t believe the Apple hype. Vista is a really good operating system.

  2. More Vista RSS Stuff

    Last time I visited this topic I was miffed that the platform SDK that I had access to at the time did not include the RSS API's. They now exist and are called Web Feeds API. The problem is that they are in native COM only. There isn't a managed version of them. So I get to use interop by calling the Type Library Importer on the msfeeds.dll. Didn't they learn their lesson from DirectX that forcing developers to use a shim to the native code is a bad idea? At least I know where it is now. Perhaps I should take this opportunity to dust off my C++ skills. Why though? All the other apps I have written that I'm hoping to make use of RSS are in Managed Code.

  3. Vista {hearts} RSS… but hates developers

    The RSS platform in Vista has three parts:

    • Common Feed List
    • Common Data Store
    • Platform Sync Engine

    The data itself is structured like a directory structure. At the top is Feeds (a collection of feeds). Within Feeds there are a list of one or more folders. Each folder can contain zero or more folders and zero or more Feed. Each folder also has a folder properties.... er... properties. Each Feed has one or more Item and Feed Properties. Each item has zero or more enclosures and item properties. Each enclosure has enclosure properties.

    Looks like when a sync is performed the system will create a folder structure containing any enclosures held within the feed. That means that audio-feeds (podcasts) and video-feeds will be automatically downloaded and placed into a virtual folder. This is a very good thing for managing synchronization of these items to various devices.

    The sync engine will perform most of the really boring aspects of getting RSS feeds. Namely inserting new items, updating existing items, and ignoring the hell out of old crap. Can you tell how much I enjoy doing that part of it today?

    Everything up to this point sounds great, and it reads great on this page. Now this is where I get lost. I'm excited about it. This weekend (Labor Day weekend here in the US) I've decided that I will only run Windows Vista on my main machine. I will immerse myself in trying out all the cool things in Vista. Specifically I am looking at trying out the Auxiliary Display Platform, the MMC 3.0, and of course RSS. I installed the PSDK, and I have my trusty Beta 2 of VS 2005 all hot and ready for action. This is where the problem occurs. What is the name space for all of this cool RSS functionality? Where are they hiding it? It isn't listed in the PSDK, and I can't find any code samples anywhere on the web. Did they take it out at the last minute?