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So I tried live streaming last night...

What fun!

The interesting twist is that I wasn't gaming! I did it for software development!

It's probably not a new concept, but I came about the idea of streaming my coding sessions while talking with my wife about my presentations and community involvement. A really good friend of mine streams his League of Legends sessions and seems to have a lot of fun doing it.  The sensation I got was similar to back in my early internet-faring days as I became aware of the breadth of people online.

My project of choice for this is kind of nice because it plays back into the streaming audience interest. Obviously to stream, you have to run some kind of source on your machine and the biggest game in town is something called OBS Studio. One neat feature of OBS Studio is that it allows you to configure a web-browser based overlay for your stream that simply inlines a web page into your stream.
This has caused a proliferation of web-based stream widget providers all vying for streamers to us…
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The Cons, Winnipeg's New Splash Pads

I never had the chance to be ungrateful, the new splash pad at Kildare and Wabasha isn't a splash pad at all.  It was taken away from us and replaced with an "aquatic park", a little bit of wordsmithing designed to gloss over the fact that an open piece of our community has been replaced with yet another closed gate.

As I write this post now, I can hear it already: "Taken away, what?! It's a new water park, you're so..."
Sure, some might reach for that tired recrimination, which is why I started this blog post by dismissing such a premise.  To be fair however, I offer the response: Don't spoil this discussion with nonsense.
You see, I was grateful before the renovations happened.  The communal service on offer was adequate and I never complained about it or saw it as flawed.  Don't believe me? Here, this is a cute google-generated animation of my son enjoying the splash pad in 2014.

Today we took the kids to see if we could spend some time at th…

Building .NET Core Nuget Packages

My last blog post was on building and publishing npm packages, specifically for typescript projects. In my opinion, packages are an important fundamental unit in software development. They sit at the confluence of technical competence and collaboration, and represent something the software community should be proud of.
Most of the time, you're going to be creating software packages once you're comfortable with some essential pillars: CodingProject structureSoftware architectureBuildingDeliveryCommunityLicensing
After I got my npm package up and running, my next task was to do the same thing with my C# libraries. Similar to protoculture, I have made a library called praxis.  This is done by leveraging the services and tooling known in the .NET ecosystem as nuget.


In this case, praxis abstracts many of the concepts and functionality I require when producing server projects. It builds on top of ASP.NET Core, so in that sense you can almost think of it as a framework-framework. The…

Making TypeScript npm Packages

If you've landed here, I can only assume you're like me and see packages as the highest form of sophistication in software development.  In that same vein, I bet at some point in the past you've wished you could start applying DRY principles to your client-side efforts.  I know for myself, I don't enjoy writing the same application bootstrap code constantly and so recently, I was motivated to codify it.

This body of understanding has taken me quite some while to figure out, hopefully what I share here is helpful enough to get you up to speed.  No post is complete without some kind of example, so throughout I'm going to reference a package I've just finished putting together called protoculture.

Briefly described, protoculture encapsulates all the common bootstrap and conventions I've been using while developing TypeScript apps that use React and Redux.  Honestly, I've already gotten a lot of benefit out of putting this package together, but nothing about…

Hey look, a tech company from Winnipeg on TV!

My wife likes to catch up on her Dragon's Den and it makes for pretty good background listening while I study in the next room. The episode she was watching tonight featured an app called musi made by some local Winnipeg talent.  Cool, right?!

Not quite.
On the TV As I started to tune in, I heard the most important question get asked which was how they sourced their content.  The presentation could have ended after that question was answered.  It was all I needed to know to put together a guess in my head as to what they were doing.  With my skepticism locked in, I paused what I was working on to watch the rest, hoping that at least one of the dragons could pick up on the warning signs I - as a developer - was hearing.

Right away, numbers of downloads predictably made an appearance.  Nothing about active user base.  Then the amount of time spent developing and cost to operate came up.  Only $25 dollars for a single server and everyone was just blown away - who are these geniuses?

Wh…

From PHP to ASP.net - Tooling & Workflows

Probably the first thing to be remarked when coming from any environment to .net is going to be the tightly integrated tooling.

When I used to do PHP in the late 90s early 00s, it was pretty much whatever text editor I could get my hands on.  There were some non-free IDEs, but none that were easily obtained or as impressive as Visual Studio, which also wasn't free until around 2006.

Despite the differences though, Visual Studio has always been first class.  When the same people making the languages are also making the tools, you can expect a lot of extra convenience.  One thing that's kept my interest is that despite the tight coupling, most everything is still quite generalized, unlike 4GL environments like Delphi.
Contrast .net with PHP where all you get the language and are responsible for building your stack upwards from there.  Not that our favourite friends LAMP and LEPP aren't just as mature.  Things like PHPstorm have come along to give that first class feeling but…

From PHP to ASP.net - Introduction

My first real successes with server programming were back in 1998 when I started tinkering with PHP.  Back then, ASP was at version 2.0 and was - similar to PHP - a way to mix markup and scripting.  Both tended to yield some fairly interesting results and I'd say for the most part, both were quite comparable.

As such, even back then I had a choice.  I could focus my tinkering on the Microsoft based tools, or I could try my hand at this thing called open source I'd been hearing about. I had everything I needed to succeed in both spaces. I could either download everything for free or I had complete access to a set of MSDN discs in a binder with a cover like this:


If I wanted to build ASP scripts that spoke to Access or SQL databases, it wouldn't have been a problem.  In some ways, I even tried, installing all the tools and trying out the environments. Each time however, I abandoned the effort because I felt like I couldn't tinker my way into it.
So, Instead I ended up ch…