Third Best New Zealander…

After Neil Finn, JD comes Nas. She is smart and really funny.

She’s started her blog, Flickr’ng and met her hero all in the same week. Not to mention something with fish. Here she is choosing lunch, or finding Nemo. Or probably both.

Mmmm, fish

WPF and Silverlight for Designers. Removing the “bloke-i-ness” of Silverlight and making it real.  Excellent topic Nas.  I am watching!

Tool of choice: Windows LiveWriter

I’ve been dog-fooding (that is, internally testing) Windows LiveWriter – for creating editing and posting to my three Blogs. Install, and it just works.

Tim Heuer’s Flickr4Writer plugin is a must-have. A major time saver.

There are many positive stories about LiveWriter, this however James Clarke’s takes the cake: JetFuel: Silverlight plugin for LiveWriter.  Something else to play with!

AUReMIX07 Silverlight Video


Watch the video here of Frank Arrigo and Monique Eagles here. Yes, you will need to install Silverlight.

This is my first experiment with Silverlight and the Microsoft Expression set of tools. Using the inbuilt players in Media Encoder saved many days/hours of hand coding; yet I am sure there is more in there that will tickle out over coming weeks.

NOTE: Silverlight 1.1 is alpha-release!

Workflow (all on Vista Ultimate):

  • Edited footage in Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0
  • Export Sequence from Premiere Pro using Adobe Media Encoder 960×720 WMV9/WMA9, very light compression.
  • Import into Microsoft Expression Media Encoder (May preview)
  • Export footage as VC-1 Web Server High Speed (using a normal web server). This setting is 640×480. Obviously, I could compress this more.
  • Edit the Default.html to correctly reference EmePlayer.js (note: this got me for an hour. Linux web servers are case-sensitive, and the Default.html points to emeplayer.js. 404! Bug reported)
  • FTP files to directory onto (could have used Expression Web, but I was debugging the problem with upper/lower case file naming above)

Thoughts? Comments?  I only have Silverlight 1.1 alpha installed. I’ve tested in Windows IE/FireFox and MacOS X 10.4 Safari/Firefox. The Mac’s audio might be out-of-sync. Again, this is reported.


John Lam and Jim Hugunin: DLR Presentation

Microsoft’s John Lam and Jim Hugunin go large with the DLR at MIX07. Here are my notes whilst listening and watching the presentation:

What to expect: a Mac, TextMate, Javascript, Python, Ruby, Safari and Silverlight.  TextMate equals text editing. Silverlight is not binary, its just XML and text. You can break it apart and look at the gooeyness inside. And some friendly Microsoft people bantering about Ruby vs Python.

And DLR is going Open Source, like IronPython.

What strikes me the most is that the language that people are comfortable with: Javascript, Python, Ruby, C# – you can code your client side in the same language as server side.

Also, having Ruby instantiate Javascript and call functions. Wow. With a C# object doing UI. Technorati via XML through Yahoo!Pipes to JSON to Silverlight on a Mac. Retrieving from the JSON object deserialised and queried via LINQ.

Let alone doing Basic, with REM and all.

In their only Powerpoint slide, Jim details the performance gains of IronPython on the CLR engine. I wonder if the perf gains are going to match to Ruby, too? Is the DLR/CLR going to be the saviour of the scaling bumps of Ruby?

Parts of the DLR (from Jim Hugunin at end of video):

  1. Dynamic type system, shared object system
  2. Shared hosting API; host one, get all of ’em. ruby bits are coming together now.
  3. Bunch of helpers for compiler writers, so dynamic language runs fast

Question: can use DLR inside console, ASP.NET?

Answer: yes, you can use DLR anywhere you are using .NET. More constrained in Silverlight, due to the sandbox.

Question: is it compiling an assembly, or executing script

Answer: Dynamic methods in .NET 2.0, for code generation lazily; and is a dynamic method. Only held whilst there is a live reference. ASP.NET scenarios with stress test not held onto. Not using method rental; System.Reflection.EmitDynamicMethod

Question: JScript.NET vs. new Dynamic Language Jscript?

Answer: Developer want language purity, not tight integration and following .NET. So follow the ECMA 3.0 spec. That’s Javascript. vs. Ruby “freelove” specification of Ruby is its implementation, not a specification document.

Microsoft has changed, big time. My head is spinning.

By the light of Dynamic Silverlight

Keeping secrets is tough. Hearing about the Dynamic Language Runtime (DLR) from John Lam in February this year was one of those secrets that kept well.

John Udell interviewed John Lam, and has a backgrounder here. Some in the Ruby community didn’t see this coming.

Jim Hugunin has a posting on the new DLR, open source nature of the DLR on his “Thinking Dynamically” blog.

In addition to the Silverlight release, we’ve also made the full source code for both IronPython and all of the new DLR platform code available on codeplex under the BSD-style Microsoft Permissive License. All of that code can be downloaded today as part of the IronPython project at

The reality of being able to debug Ruby in a client-side UI framework on Safari on a Mac using Microsoft Silverlight tickles me, and others, greatly.

Blog from the keynote today, with all the ups-and-downs. Good to see I am not the only one who craves demos and has subversive thoughts in the midst of formal sessions.

Ryan Stewart has comments, and further links. The DLR adds 400K (what the!) to the Silverlight download. Wow.

zdnet has a sort of transcript of the Q&A that occured with Mike Arrington, Ray Ozzie and Scottgu.

Does Microsoft get Web 2.0? Yes.

Doing more than Dumb Video

Dumb Video is hard. You spend all your time editing, fixing audio, encoding and uploading.

Smart Video is going to be easy with this Microsoft Silverlight stuff. URLs, chapters, and deeper sub-tagging. All these ideas are flowing through my mind from this conversation from Uncle Dave, the Life Kludger.

Imagine a canvas of videos and podcasts. Zoom into one, and see the “sub-tags” or links to other videos, or general searches. Sort of a doing what HTML does for text for other, non-textual content.

Time to learn some new stuff.

Another Monday, Too Much Software


Well, it’s not quite a normal Monday. Today is the first day of NAB2007, Las Vegas in the US.

Apple has new software toys. Shame I don’t do production on a Mac.

Adobe has pre-release Premiere Pro and AfterEffects CS3 to help you use up spare bandwidth.

And Microsoft has announced something new called Silverlight! Well, actually it’s that strangely named WPF/e with a name that actually works.

Additional (6:30pm)