Express Yourself

Microsoft is working to finish its Expression line of tools. Last week, the company released a near-final version of Expression Blend, which helps developers build Vista and XP interfaces. This week, a near-final version of Expression Design, a graphics program, was shipped.

I haven't fiddled with any of these little beauties yet. Have you? Let us know what you think at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Microsoft Comes Clean on AJAX
Microsoft this week promised to support and promote AJAX interoperability by joining the OpenAJAX Alliance. If all parties truly cooperate, then Microsoft's ASP.NET AJAX (I had to use the caps lock to type that name!) will work with AJAX tools from other vendors.

This also shows that Microsoft is serious about Web 2.0-style development. In fact, if you really think about it, Microsoft has a broader range of Web 2.0 development tools than Google. Here's what Google offers in this area.

Redmond Developer News Executive Editor Jeff Schwartz has the deets here.

No Hiding from AIM
Here's a technology I don't think I need and know I don't want. By figuring out what wireless router you're using, AOL's instant messaging service can let your friends (and your boss) know exactly where you are.

This reminds me of all the hype around presence, when we were all supposed to fall in love with the notion of knowing if our co-workers were in the office, on the phone or in the john. It's not enough that we are tethered to work through cell phones, BlackBerrys and home broadband connections -- now our every physical move is to be known, as well?

Doug's Mailbag: WebEx vs. Live Meeting, FoxPro Alternative
In the battle of the Web conferencing tools, Live Meeting and WebEx are neck-and-neck -- today, anyway:

We used WebEx for a couple of years, and the quality of service deteriorated badly toward the end of our stay in 2005. We would routinely (as in more than 50 percent of the meetings, from various locations around the country) have client hangs, disconnections, PowerPoint rendering errors, audio drops, poor audio quality, recording failures, etc. And along with all of that, the customer service was incredibly bad. We finally had to punt. We looked at a couple of different providers and settled on Live Meeting. LM has been infinitely better. There are still things to complain about, and the learning curve was non-trivial, but at least the service works.
-Gil

My company has a corporate account with WebEx, so I'm partial to it. However, I do use Live Meeting from time to time. Overall, I'd say WebEx has the edge.
-Rich

So, is there life after FoxPro? This reader stays optimistic:

I must admit the death of FoxPro saddens me. I left A-T's dBase for FoxPro and it served me well for many years. I graduated from FP to a relatively unknown (but rather amazing) cross-platform RDBMS called 4th Dimension, or 4D. As FoxPro developers search for a vibrant, growing alternative, I hope they are as fortunate as I was in finding 4D.
-Robert

Got something to add? Let me have it; comment below or drop me a line at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.

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