London .NET user group 27th November

The line up is out. I’ll confirm venue details soon. Feel free to sign up.

Time 18:30 – 21:30

Office as a development platform with Visual Studio 2008 – Daniel Moth The 2007 Microsoft Office System is extensible like never before. In this session we’ll look at the numerous ways to extend the various Office applications such as Word, Excel, Outlook and others. Customisations demonstrated will include the new designers and
templates for the Ribbon, Actions Pane, Task Pane, Content Controls and Form Regions. This will all be done in managed code from within Visual Studio 2008 and we will also see how to interop in both directions with VBA code.

All aboard the Monorail – Ian Cooper
WebForms have been to bedrock of ASP.NET development for the last four years, but the success of Ruby on Rails, and the growth of TDD, has created fresh interest in the MVC approach for building web sites. In this presentation we look at both the pattern and the open source project MonoRail which provides a new and popular way to build

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DDD6 registration is now live

Just to let you know that registration for DDD6 is now live. Usually it fills up fast, so you may want to register now. There is a little bit of lag getting the agenda up… soon.

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Uncle Bob on writing acceptance tests

Uncle Bob has posted about the old saw of whether acceptance tests should precede unit tests or vice-versa. He comes down on the side of writing the acceptance tests first, and he follows the XP approach of customers writing the acceptance tests at the beginning of the iteration for developers to implement when they begin work on  a story.

We’re still bad at this and tend to lean toward both developers writing acceptance tests and acceptance tests are coded after the unit tests. I know, bad Ian no biscuit.

We have never really got on with FIT. The idea, that we have a format we can exchange tests descriptions with customers in, is great, but the implementation is clunky and constrained. We have tended to rely on homebrew front ends that exercise specific scenarios, calling into our back-end. Similar in principles to FIT, but different in execution. But that can add a lot of effort. So I’m more and more interested in some of the tools emerging from BDD like NBehave as they, to me, seem to be a better way of expressing the acceptance test requirements.

Greg Young had an interesting post recently about the relationship between BDD and DDDs ubiquitous language btw and particularly the danger that BDD may inhibit the formation of DDD’s ubiquitous language because communication about the model is expressed via BDD’s abstraction and not the shared abstraction of the domain. Food for thought, though I’m not sure that we do not actually have two distinct domain languages in play: one concerned with how we validate the other.

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DDD6 voting is now open

As I am sure many of you know, the community sets the agenda for DDD6. The proposed sessions are now in and submission is closed. So now it is time to vote on what you want to see on the day. Go here to vote for the sessions you want to see.
I have a session on Monorail and one on n-tier architecture for the LINQ world, but there is a pretty good smorgasboard of sessions there for you to choose from.
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London .NET User Group 25th October

Location: TonyBee Hall
Time: 18:30 – 21:30
The Importance of Application Security
Chris Seary
‘Why is application security so important now? Chris will discuss why the onus is on developers to produce secure systems.
We’ll look at what hackers can do with a system improperly secured, and how to protect it.
Many organisations have raised their security baseline over the last few years, and developers need to be aware of this. Chris will guide you through the most common pitfalls of commercially produced applications so you don’t make the same mistakes.’
An overview of WPF – the end of Windows Forms?
Oliver Sturm
Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) is an important pillar of Microsoft’s new and upcoming development platform. It’s available today as part of .NET 3, but its importance will grow considerably with the release of Visual Studio 2008 very close. Other tools like Expression Blend complete the picture, providing functionality but at the same time adding complexity to the development environment. This session shows what the framework contains and how to use it in your applications, as well as shedding some light on Microsoft’s ideas of software development tomorrow.
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London AltNetConf?

So one positive take from the altnetconf is the suggestion that folks hold their own local altnetconf. Franchising the idea seems to be a good way too avoid accusations of elitism and empower instead. I have been talking about an Agile and Open source conference next year, but it make some sense to look at this meme as well. Obviously there is crossover in format with BarCamp, but I don’t think that having a .NET focused event as well would hurt as I suspect we don’t draw the same audience. With Tech Ed and DDD on the horizon I suspect that it makes no sense to hold this before next year, but we could think about putting one on in January 2008.


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The ALT.NET crew seem to have had a successful conference in the US. On a basic level it is great to see people holding a successful conference for .NET developers focused on Agile and Open source. Craig and I have been discussing doing something along that line in the UK next year.
But I have posted before that I have some misgivings around movements and some folks have already been alienated, which is worrying. Still it is early days, and I have a lot of respect for folks like Jeremy Miller so I am hopeful it can be a powerful way of packaging up ideas instead of something elitist.
Martin Fowler, who attended, mentioned the question of ALT.NET user groups came up and whether they should be seperate from existing groups.
My feeling is that the goal of any ALT.NET movement must surely be to spread its ideas, not just to the faithful, but to the wide audience, and that the audience of any user group, who are by their attendance likely to be motivated developers to start with, is an ideal one for the ALT.NET message.
The London .NET user group has certainly always has a focus on ALT.NET. Over the years we have had (October 2006: TDD, September 2006: Agile OO design, May 2006: NHibernate, July 2006: eXtreme.NET (XP), July 2005: XP Planning game, May 2005: NMock, May 2005: FIT, January 2005: NHibernate, March 2004: Design Patterns , September 2003: Test-Driven Development).
So, for sure, the London .NET user group is also the London ALT.NET user group. And if that appeals so be it. But we are a broad church and I hope that we appeal to all .NET developers, so I’m happy to just use LDNUG for now.
Craig and I have been considering what to call our conference. I’m not sure about the ALT.NET tag. Some folks have suggested Pragmatic.NET (shades of The Pragmatic Programmer), although we also quite like Indie .NET to convey the idea of picking up on stuff from outside the big house.
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