Architecture Chat #24

Good turn-out for the Architecture chat last week... thanks for coming along all (I believe there was 8 of us)

What we talked about:

Jabber / XMPP got a brief mention - as I'm currently investigating it for some side-projects as a scalable way to interact with a cloud of servers/devices... but nobody else had much interest/experience so we moved on.

Silverlight 2.0
beta's - talked briefly about beta 1 and upcoming beta 2 - including
Deep Zoom
and the NBC Olympics silverlight player which looks to deliver a better experience then TV ever could.

We also had an in-depth discussion around the woes of working with/without app-domains and loading and unloading assemblies from either disk or byte arrays into the current app domain, security implications etc.

Bunch of points were made, and it was a pretty interesting discussion:

  • Briefly discussed Cecil - The swiss army knife of IL :)
  • PostSharp - which provides an interesting tool set for implementing AOP and other concepts (such as software transactional memory).
  • Garbage collection of types.
  • .Net Framework 3.5 add-in system (System.AddIn & System.AddIn.Contract) - we also posed the question, can it run without the 3.5 framework
  • installed - a quick reverse engineer and compile via .Net reflector in VS2005 suggests that yes, yes it can work quite well without the rest of the the 3.5 libraries.
  • Altering IL at run-time, and the ruby-like concepts of a class is "never done" down to the concept of being able to break apart a routine at runtime and alter the IL, and where JIT'ing fits into the life cycle of IL and Execution.

Automatic unit test generation got a mention - I had a total mind blank and couldn't remember the name of the product (which we have discussed in the past) - which of course was pex... Sadly still no public beta for us to try yet!

Amazon web services - we discussed the dev pay limited beta (takes the pain out of dealing with customers/billing when developing apps for
/S3) - this included discussing the development of applications for the "cloud" and what opportunities exist when leveraging the Amazon services, including the recently added support for persistent local disks to the EC2 platform.

Also in relation to EC2 we discussed writing apps for EC2 using C#/Mono - this led to a discussion on the state of Mono, i.e. where it's .Net 3.5 support is at and if/when WPF might be ported to Mono.

Thanks for all coming along, the next meeting is slated to be next Thursday, May 1st.

Written on April 23, 2008