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DeltaEngine

New exDream.com website is now online!

by Benjamin Nitschke 29. October 2009 23:07

exDream

Well, after working on this thing for a week on and off (so many other things going on, more about that in the future), here is our new website for exDream GmbH. As you probably noticed right away, the startpage is basically my old blog from http://BenjaminNitschke.com or http://abi.exdream.com. Now it is all here and everyone at our company can blog here (lets just hope someone actually gets over himself and really starts writing some stuff). I will also merge some other blog stuff into here soon (e.g. the MobileBits blog).

 

While the Games and Gallery sites are still work in progress (they will be up and running till the end of this week however), you can visit our Forum and finally talk back. We had an exDream Forum back in 2000, then the ArenaWars.net Forum in 2004, but we never invested much time or effort into them, especially not if the Forum was over at some other website. Now we host everything ourself and the whole team is involved. Everyone can blog, we all got Forum Accounts and the chances if you ask us something are now much higher that there will be someone reading and answering it :)

 

But please keep in mind that the site is still a work in progress and you can still find issues, which are trying to fix right now (for example the forum registration is retarded right now, it expects you to have a mega-secure password, which most people are not willing to remember ^^ this will change soon so you can have your abcdef passwords again, lol).

 

Since not only this site, but also the blog looks a lot different, you might have noticed that this is not longer done with the dasBlog project, but instead we are using BlogEngine.NET now and some other cool projects like YAF (YetAnotherForum.NET) for the Forum. I will blog about the conversion process soon, there are lots of interesting tricks to learn.

Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2

by Benjamin Nitschke 19. October 2009 23:13
Today Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 came out on MSDN. A public version (of Express I guess) will come out on Wednesday, check Microsofts website for that or go to the Visual Studio 2010 site.

I just tried to open a VS2008 solution with about 20 projects and it worked right out of the box. The loadup seems to be a little bit slow, but everything after that was snappy so far. Will report tomorrow more details. For now I like it :)

Update 2009-10-20: After we worked we worked today with Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 exclusively we were pretty happy at the office with it. Most plugins like TestDriven, AnkhSvn, VisualSvn, etc. worked fine, but there is still no support for CodeRush in VS2010. And since everyone in our team is using my CR_Commenter a lot plus the refactorings and helpers of CodeRush and Refactor, you really notice if those are missing. There is also sometimes some strange lag (especially at startup), but overall VS2010 Beta 2 runs pretty good. It is a lot better than Beta1 and there are even a lot of areas which are faster than in VS2008 (e.g. the Add References dialog is now lighting fast, Rico Mariani - the performance god - worked on this ^^). But for us it seems we are less productive with VS2010 because our plugins we need most, do not work yet. It seems we have to wait till March 2010, when VS2010 is coming out, then CodeRush 10 will be available too.

VS2010 gives us a big plus with its new features and improvements and I really like working on Websites, Databases and dynamic language features, plus there is also that Parallelism thing (hello Task Parallel Library) that is getting more and more important every day. But the missing CR_Commenter and CodeRush (and some other minor addins and CodeRush plugins) give us minus two points, resulting in an overall worse situation. That's why we will stick with VS2008 for now. I will personally work on both VS2008 (older projects) and VS2010 (new stuff), but our team decided that we will keep our engine in VS2008 for now as we can just write and test code faster this way right now. And once I got more people convinced how cool the new dynamic language features are, they will get hooked too. Maybe by doing some useful tool. I also want to dig into MEF (Managed Extensibility Framework) sometime soon and maybe rewrite my good old CR_Commenter with all the feature requests I collected in the last years (without CodeRush this time, it just takes too long IMO to wait for them to get VS2010 ready).

What to do if you hate Skype's stupid Copy+Paste as much as I do

by Benjamin Nitschke 11. October 2009 23:09
I wanted to blog about many other things (we tried git again, fun of the gold-master stress from the last weeks, fun games like Prototype or League of Legends), but there wasn't much time and after working for 14 hours or more I did not have the energy to blog or think straight for that matter. Hopefully the next few months will be less stressful and leave more time for blogging fun :)

Anyway, let's get back to the issue: For a long time I hated Skype's chatting functions, but in the last few years most of my contacts have switched from ICQ, MSN, etc. to Skype, which made it the most important chat messenger for me nowadays. Skype is great for making calls, but chatting sucks so much, I can't even remember where to begin complaining. Messages are not delivered instantly, sometimes you have to wait for minutes even though both users are online. Even worse, if someone is NOT online the message will not be delivered until you both are online together again (which sometimes can be days and then the context is totally gone).

But most of all I hate copy+pasting. This is especially annoying since we use Skype for copying code or error messages around, group chat is pretty cool with all the programmers, but it would be better if we could actually use copy+paste in a more decent way.

Since I have been using Miranda IM for the last 7 or so years (mostly for ICQ, but also for some other protocols), the natural choice was to try out a Skype plugin for Miranda. This plugin has not be updated for over a year, but it still works, just not very well. Another problem I constantly have with Miranda is the disconnects, especially with the ICQ protocol. The KeepStatus plugin (and others) help a bit, but recently I have gotten more and more annoyed with Miranda just not working as it should (disconnects and stays disconnected). Also Miranda is a nice small program, but in the last 4 years I don't feel it has changed much, maybe it is time to try something new.

Since I am too lazy to search and evaluate all available Instant Messengers I just browsed my server setup files directory for messengers and found the good old Trillian, which I used last in 2002, when it was still in 0.73 beta (wow, 7 years ago). After installing Trillian 4.0 and using a lot of the protocols it already provides out of the box, I was pretty amazed to have all my ICQ, MSN, Google Talk, Skype, Trillian, Twitter, Email, IRC, etc. Accounts wired up together into one slick interface. Remember I only wanted to use Skype with better copy+pasting and I can do all that (the chat interface is nicely configurable and copying text is easy as pie as it should be, and Skype can still be used side by side), but Trillian can do so much more. Not bad, not bad. Will try it a little more the next days and hopefully still like it (don't want to change).

The interface of Trillian still looks a little restarted (I think thats why I stopped using it back in 2002), but at least it can be configured to be less shiny and more useful. After a while I hopefully get used to it. The Ads are also annoying. I think they are only in the free version, they are also not as annoying as in the official ICQ version, that is just monkey business to use and even for monkeys I would consider that animal cruelty. I also had to disable most notifications, the app was constantly blinking around, I want something less intrusive. But overall I am happy with it, maybe I will now even use the other protocols more often (but I don't think I will start twittering, still dislike all that boring chat).

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this blog are own personal opinions and do not represent the companies view.
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