A very good post on “The Curious Schemer” points out one of the “features” of JSON I had rather glossed over – even if it is supported by my .NET JSON writing class. It is the JSON object without a “name” tag. These can be happily supported within an array of such objects (as you could see in my sample code) but any object outside of an array must have a name string. You can read the explanation if you follow the link above.
The Coding Horror at Microsoft.
I posted a couple of short comments recently that have (gently I hope) knocked Jeff Atwood but his “Giving Up on Microsoft” is right on the money and well written to boot.
I quote: “As a software developer, you're doing yourself a disservice by pledging allegiance to anything other than yourself and your craft-- whether it's Microsoft or the principle of free software. Stop with the us vs. them mentality. Let go of the partisanship. We're all in this thing together.” Spot On I say!
An interesting link from the article to Mike Gunderloy’s "A Fresh Cup". I can respect what Mike is doing but I can’t find respect for his apparent beliefs. There is no place for belief systems in software (or any other aspect of life) – we need to break out of this medieval thought pattern.
One of the joys of working with corporate clients on .NET projects is that you can rely upon your customer’s IT support team to ensure that your target client machines have the appropriate .NET Framework installed (or whatever runtime you are using) and that the required database technology is in place and functional. You can implement central error logging, silent code updates and installing an executable is the just a “copy” process. Outside of that world, you need a modern up-to-date installation program.
I have long been a fan of the Nullsoft Scriptable Install System available for download from SourceForge and have used it successfully for quite complex installation tasks. I can thoroughly recommend this package. I have often suggested it to others still struggling with the dreadful install packages generated by Visual Studio 6 for VB Classic applications. However, a link from Dr Dobbs site drew my attention to the WiX open source toolset for building .msi Windows installers. This again is available at SourceForge and looks a good candidate for even the most complex installation requirements – including creating SQL databases and installing Windows services. So two great free and open source installers ready to take on the toughest Windows installation challenges.
Labels: JSON Installers