Fairwell to Microsoft from David Stutz

Roy Christopher has posted his annual Summer Reading List.  Lots of tasty treats for your mind.

Roy Christopher has posted his annual Summer Reading List.  Lots of tasty treats for your mind.

Roy Christopher has posted his annual Summer Reading List.  Lots of tasty treats for your mind.

I’ve got a problem.  A problem with Outlook and Exchange.  You see I have two exchange accounts on two different servers.  This is problem that I thought was rare at first, discount but I’m finding more and more that folks who work in the consulting space are having this challenge when their clients are using MS Exchange. 

On my mac, sovaldi sale
this isn’t really a big problem because I Entourage actually supports multiple Exchange servers.

On the PC side though, sale
Outlook wants nothing to do with my multiple Exchange servers accounts.

To set up support for two accounts I had to go in to the control panel and locate the mail icon.

image

Then from there users have to figure out the very abstract user interface of what to do next.

image

Nope not “E-mail Accounts”  I need to create a new Profile.

image

I’ve already created a new profile, but this is where you’d click Add.

Give it a name that explains the account to you

image

Then you have to fill out this for and will try to auto configure your account

image

These seems to work most of the time.

So now you have two profiles.  Here’s where it gets annoying.  These profiles have no awareness of each other.  So if you get a meeting request in one and accept it, it will only be visible in that accounts calendar.

Then when you switch profiles you have no way to take that information with you.

Here’s where I’m using Google Calendar Sync.

It’s not perfect, but it does help.

image 

Once set up it will sync my Google calendar with my Outlook calendar.  Then when I switch profiles from one Outlook session to the next.  Google’s Calendar Sync stays active.  It will then begin syncing the information from my current profile.  

Of course the big issue here is that I have to continue switching my outlook profiles back and forth during the day to make sure all the information is up to date.  It’s still possible to receive a meeting request for the same time in both accounts.  Accept in one switch profiles.  Then accept in the other before Google get’s the calendars synced and I can create a conflict.

What Exchange really need to do is offer this a service feed directly from the server so that I don’t have to go through Outlook to activate all.

Phew!  That’s a lot of work just to make sure I don’t double book myself.

Of course this all gets much worse once you start to open yourself to other scheduling services like evite and upcoming.

Sometimes I have to remind myself that computers are supposed to make life easier not harder.

Roy Christopher has posted his annual Summer Reading List.  Lots of tasty treats for your mind.

Roy Christopher has posted his annual Summer Reading List.  Lots of tasty treats for your mind.

I’ve got a problem.  A problem with Outlook and Exchange.  You see I have two exchange accounts on two different servers.  This is problem that I thought was rare at first, discount but I’m finding more and more that folks who work in the consulting space are having this challenge when their clients are using MS Exchange. 

On my mac, sovaldi sale
this isn’t really a big problem because I Entourage actually supports multiple Exchange servers.

On the PC side though, sale
Outlook wants nothing to do with my multiple Exchange servers accounts.

To set up support for two accounts I had to go in to the control panel and locate the mail icon.

image

Then from there users have to figure out the very abstract user interface of what to do next.

image

Nope not “E-mail Accounts”  I need to create a new Profile.

image

I’ve already created a new profile, but this is where you’d click Add.

Give it a name that explains the account to you

image

Then you have to fill out this for and will try to auto configure your account

image

These seems to work most of the time.

So now you have two profiles.  Here’s where it gets annoying.  These profiles have no awareness of each other.  So if you get a meeting request in one and accept it, it will only be visible in that accounts calendar.

Then when you switch profiles you have no way to take that information with you.

Here’s where I’m using Google Calendar Sync.

It’s not perfect, but it does help.

image 

Once set up it will sync my Google calendar with my Outlook calendar.  Then when I switch profiles from one Outlook session to the next.  Google’s Calendar Sync stays active.  It will then begin syncing the information from my current profile.  

Of course the big issue here is that I have to continue switching my outlook profiles back and forth during the day to make sure all the information is up to date.  It’s still possible to receive a meeting request for the same time in both accounts.  Accept in one switch profiles.  Then accept in the other before Google get’s the calendars synced and I can create a conflict.

What Exchange really need to do is offer this a service feed directly from the server so that I don’t have to go through Outlook to activate all.

Phew!  That’s a lot of work just to make sure I don’t double book myself.

Of course this all gets much worse once you start to open yourself to other scheduling services like evite and upcoming.

Sometimes I have to remind myself that computers are supposed to make life easier not harder.

Roy Christopher has posted his annual Summer Reading List.  Lots of tasty treats for your mind.

I’ve got a problem.  A problem with Outlook and Exchange.  You see I have two exchange accounts on two different servers.  This is problem that I thought was rare at first, discount but I’m finding more and more that folks who work in the consulting space are having this challenge when their clients are using MS Exchange. 

On my mac, sovaldi sale
this isn’t really a big problem because I Entourage actually supports multiple Exchange servers.

On the PC side though, sale
Outlook wants nothing to do with my multiple Exchange servers accounts.

To set up support for two accounts I had to go in to the control panel and locate the mail icon.

image

Then from there users have to figure out the very abstract user interface of what to do next.

image

Nope not “E-mail Accounts”  I need to create a new Profile.

image

I’ve already created a new profile, but this is where you’d click Add.

Give it a name that explains the account to you

image

Then you have to fill out this for and will try to auto configure your account

image

These seems to work most of the time.

So now you have two profiles.  Here’s where it gets annoying.  These profiles have no awareness of each other.  So if you get a meeting request in one and accept it, it will only be visible in that accounts calendar.

Then when you switch profiles you have no way to take that information with you.

Here’s where I’m using Google Calendar Sync.

It’s not perfect, but it does help.

image 

Once set up it will sync my Google calendar with my Outlook calendar.  Then when I switch profiles from one Outlook session to the next.  Google’s Calendar Sync stays active.  It will then begin syncing the information from my current profile.  

Of course the big issue here is that I have to continue switching my outlook profiles back and forth during the day to make sure all the information is up to date.  It’s still possible to receive a meeting request for the same time in both accounts.  Accept in one switch profiles.  Then accept in the other before Google get’s the calendars synced and I can create a conflict.

What Exchange really need to do is offer this a service feed directly from the server so that I don’t have to go through Outlook to activate all.

Phew!  That’s a lot of work just to make sure I don’t double book myself.

Of course this all gets much worse once you start to open yourself to other scheduling services like evite and upcoming.

Sometimes I have to remind myself that computers are supposed to make life easier not harder.

There are more challenges when it comes to optimizing for search engines to consume your content if it is a dynamic Rich UI application that doesn’t rely on Ajax. While Google is able to pick up Flash SWF files during its crawl, malady this does not guarantee that the content is parsed correctly or given the same weight as any other file formats or a pure HTML/AJAX page. Worse, here
if the application uses a web service, try
how can it be guaranteed that all the pages are crawled and returned correctly?

In most cases you will need to make sure that the page hosting the application has some html text that describes the application and what it offers. So in essence treat the page in the same way you would HTML.

When possible expose the content of the application so that it too can be indexed.

Simple Silverlight application – XAML to XHTML with XSLT

For a Silverlight element that contains all of its content in the XAML the best method would be to transforms the XAML using XSLT into friendly XHTML. The goal is to contain the translated XAML into a <div> element that would be replaced by the Silverlight control. Search engines would find the XHTML while browsers with Silverlight installed would see the Silverlight app.

 

   1: <div id="SLHost">
   2:     <asp:Xml ID="XHTML" runat="server" DocumentSource="seo.xaml"
   3:   TransformSource="XAML2XHTML.xslt" EnableViewState="False"/>
   4:     <script type="text/JavaScript">
   5:         createSilverlight();
   6:     </script>
   7: </div>

Then use the following XAML2XHTML.xslt

   1: <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
   2:  
   3: <xsl:stylesheet version="1.0"
   4:     xmlns:sl="http://schemas.microsoft.com/client/2007"
   5:     xmlns:xsl="http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Transform"
   6:     exclude-result-prefixes="sl">
   7:  
   8:   <xsl:output omit-xml-declaration="yes" indent="yes"/>
   9:  
  10:   <xsl:template match="/">
  11:     <xsl:comment>This is the text that is in the Silverlight XAML:</xsl:comment>
  12:     <xsl:apply-templates select="*"/>
  13:   </xsl:template>
  14:  
  15:   <xsl:template match="sl:Canvas">
  16:     <div>
  17:       <xsl:apply-templates select="*"/>
  18:     </div>
  19:   </xsl:template>
  20:  
  21:   <xsl:template match="node()"/>
  22:  
  23:   <xsl:template match="sl:Image">
  24:     <div>
  25:       <img src="{@Source}"/>
  26:     </div>
  27:   </xsl:template>
  28:   <xsl:template match="sl:MediaElement">
  29:     <div class="Media">
  30:       <a href="{@Source}">Media</a>
  31:     </div>
  32:   </xsl:template>
  33:  
  34:   <xsl:template match="sl:TextBlock">
  35:     <div>
  36:       <xsl:value-of select="@Text"/>
  37:       <xsl:value-of select="text()"/>
  38:       <xsl:apply-templates select="*"/>
  39:     </div>
  40:   </xsl:template>
  41:   <xsl:template match="sl:LineBreak">
  42:     <br/>
  43:   </xsl:template>
  44:  
  45:   <xsl:template match="sl:Run">
  46:     <span>
  47:       <xsl:value-of select="@Text"/>
  48:       <xsl:value-of select="text()"/>
  49:     </span>
  50:   </xsl:template>
  51: </xsl:stylesheet>

 

Handling more advanced Silverlight applications

How do you design an application that could have dynamic content and robust interaction while at the same time enable a web crawler to understand and categorize the underlying content correctly? Unfortunately there is no simple answer or single correct answer. It depends highly on the application’s purpose. In some situations there will be no way to offer the content of the application up to spider outside of the application. In this case it’s best to have as much meta information on the page hosting the application as possible. By following the standard HTML methods in this document you can still extend the indexability of your application by making sure external links are properly formatted and that high ranking sites link to your application.

Detect and Serve

It requires a little more work up front from a development standpoint to go this route, but if you really have a strong need to get the content in your application indexed then this will be the best approach. The goal is to develop the code of the site to be delivered in multiple formats based on the user agent that is accessing the content. This isn’t all that uncommon anyway with the large range of browser and devices out there that are consuming the web already. Most applications are built with the data stored separately from the interaction in a database or local XML document. The site would have to be built so that it can serve up HTML pages for those who don’t have Flex/Flash/Silverlight installed. Plus, we could potentially change these pages for mobile devices like the iPhone that don’t yet support Flash or Silverlight.

It’s also recommend to have some enticement or value proposition to explain to real users why it would be beneficial to add the plug-ins required to get the optimal experience.

The goal would be to have clients that have the plug-in or runtime installed, would be provided the rich interaction. On those that don’t, a functional page in HTML will be provided. More importantly, to the search engines, these pages that are generated will be tagged and indexed correctly, making the content of our applications visible and increase their visibility.

Roy Christopher has posted his annual Summer Reading List.  Lots of tasty treats for your mind.

Roy Christopher has posted his annual Summer Reading List.  Lots of tasty treats for your mind.

I’ve got a problem.  A problem with Outlook and Exchange.  You see I have two exchange accounts on two different servers.  This is problem that I thought was rare at first, discount but I’m finding more and more that folks who work in the consulting space are having this challenge when their clients are using MS Exchange. 

On my mac, sovaldi sale
this isn’t really a big problem because I Entourage actually supports multiple Exchange servers.

On the PC side though, sale
Outlook wants nothing to do with my multiple Exchange servers accounts.

To set up support for two accounts I had to go in to the control panel and locate the mail icon.

image

Then from there users have to figure out the very abstract user interface of what to do next.

image

Nope not “E-mail Accounts”  I need to create a new Profile.

image

I’ve already created a new profile, but this is where you’d click Add.

Give it a name that explains the account to you

image

Then you have to fill out this for and will try to auto configure your account

image

These seems to work most of the time.

So now you have two profiles.  Here’s where it gets annoying.  These profiles have no awareness of each other.  So if you get a meeting request in one and accept it, it will only be visible in that accounts calendar.

Then when you switch profiles you have no way to take that information with you.

Here’s where I’m using Google Calendar Sync.

It’s not perfect, but it does help.

image 

Once set up it will sync my Google calendar with my Outlook calendar.  Then when I switch profiles from one Outlook session to the next.  Google’s Calendar Sync stays active.  It will then begin syncing the information from my current profile.  

Of course the big issue here is that I have to continue switching my outlook profiles back and forth during the day to make sure all the information is up to date.  It’s still possible to receive a meeting request for the same time in both accounts.  Accept in one switch profiles.  Then accept in the other before Google get’s the calendars synced and I can create a conflict.

What Exchange really need to do is offer this a service feed directly from the server so that I don’t have to go through Outlook to activate all.

Phew!  That’s a lot of work just to make sure I don’t double book myself.

Of course this all gets much worse once you start to open yourself to other scheduling services like evite and upcoming.

Sometimes I have to remind myself that computers are supposed to make life easier not harder.

Roy Christopher has posted his annual Summer Reading List.  Lots of tasty treats for your mind.

I’ve got a problem.  A problem with Outlook and Exchange.  You see I have two exchange accounts on two different servers.  This is problem that I thought was rare at first, discount but I’m finding more and more that folks who work in the consulting space are having this challenge when their clients are using MS Exchange. 

On my mac, sovaldi sale
this isn’t really a big problem because I Entourage actually supports multiple Exchange servers.

On the PC side though, sale
Outlook wants nothing to do with my multiple Exchange servers accounts.

To set up support for two accounts I had to go in to the control panel and locate the mail icon.

image

Then from there users have to figure out the very abstract user interface of what to do next.

image

Nope not “E-mail Accounts”  I need to create a new Profile.

image

I’ve already created a new profile, but this is where you’d click Add.

Give it a name that explains the account to you

image

Then you have to fill out this for and will try to auto configure your account

image

These seems to work most of the time.

So now you have two profiles.  Here’s where it gets annoying.  These profiles have no awareness of each other.  So if you get a meeting request in one and accept it, it will only be visible in that accounts calendar.

Then when you switch profiles you have no way to take that information with you.

Here’s where I’m using Google Calendar Sync.

It’s not perfect, but it does help.

image 

Once set up it will sync my Google calendar with my Outlook calendar.  Then when I switch profiles from one Outlook session to the next.  Google’s Calendar Sync stays active.  It will then begin syncing the information from my current profile.  

Of course the big issue here is that I have to continue switching my outlook profiles back and forth during the day to make sure all the information is up to date.  It’s still possible to receive a meeting request for the same time in both accounts.  Accept in one switch profiles.  Then accept in the other before Google get’s the calendars synced and I can create a conflict.

What Exchange really need to do is offer this a service feed directly from the server so that I don’t have to go through Outlook to activate all.

Phew!  That’s a lot of work just to make sure I don’t double book myself.

Of course this all gets much worse once you start to open yourself to other scheduling services like evite and upcoming.

Sometimes I have to remind myself that computers are supposed to make life easier not harder.

There are more challenges when it comes to optimizing for search engines to consume your content if it is a dynamic Rich UI application that doesn’t rely on Ajax. While Google is able to pick up Flash SWF files during its crawl, malady this does not guarantee that the content is parsed correctly or given the same weight as any other file formats or a pure HTML/AJAX page. Worse, here
if the application uses a web service, try
how can it be guaranteed that all the pages are crawled and returned correctly?

In most cases you will need to make sure that the page hosting the application has some html text that describes the application and what it offers. So in essence treat the page in the same way you would HTML.

When possible expose the content of the application so that it too can be indexed.

Simple Silverlight application – XAML to XHTML with XSLT

For a Silverlight element that contains all of its content in the XAML the best method would be to transforms the XAML using XSLT into friendly XHTML. The goal is to contain the translated XAML into a <div> element that would be replaced by the Silverlight control. Search engines would find the XHTML while browsers with Silverlight installed would see the Silverlight app.

 

   1: <div id="SLHost">
   2:     <asp:Xml ID="XHTML" runat="server" DocumentSource="seo.xaml"
   3:   TransformSource="XAML2XHTML.xslt" EnableViewState="False"/>
   4:     <script type="text/JavaScript">
   5:         createSilverlight();
   6:     </script>
   7: </div>

Then use the following XAML2XHTML.xslt

   1: <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
   2:  
   3: <xsl:stylesheet version="1.0"
   4:     xmlns:sl="http://schemas.microsoft.com/client/2007"
   5:     xmlns:xsl="http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Transform"
   6:     exclude-result-prefixes="sl">
   7:  
   8:   <xsl:output omit-xml-declaration="yes" indent="yes"/>
   9:  
  10:   <xsl:template match="/">
  11:     <xsl:comment>This is the text that is in the Silverlight XAML:</xsl:comment>
  12:     <xsl:apply-templates select="*"/>
  13:   </xsl:template>
  14:  
  15:   <xsl:template match="sl:Canvas">
  16:     <div>
  17:       <xsl:apply-templates select="*"/>
  18:     </div>
  19:   </xsl:template>
  20:  
  21:   <xsl:template match="node()"/>
  22:  
  23:   <xsl:template match="sl:Image">
  24:     <div>
  25:       <img src="{@Source}"/>
  26:     </div>
  27:   </xsl:template>
  28:   <xsl:template match="sl:MediaElement">
  29:     <div class="Media">
  30:       <a href="{@Source}">Media</a>
  31:     </div>
  32:   </xsl:template>
  33:  
  34:   <xsl:template match="sl:TextBlock">
  35:     <div>
  36:       <xsl:value-of select="@Text"/>
  37:       <xsl:value-of select="text()"/>
  38:       <xsl:apply-templates select="*"/>
  39:     </div>
  40:   </xsl:template>
  41:   <xsl:template match="sl:LineBreak">
  42:     <br/>
  43:   </xsl:template>
  44:  
  45:   <xsl:template match="sl:Run">
  46:     <span>
  47:       <xsl:value-of select="@Text"/>
  48:       <xsl:value-of select="text()"/>
  49:     </span>
  50:   </xsl:template>
  51: </xsl:stylesheet>

 

Handling more advanced Silverlight applications

How do you design an application that could have dynamic content and robust interaction while at the same time enable a web crawler to understand and categorize the underlying content correctly? Unfortunately there is no simple answer or single correct answer. It depends highly on the application’s purpose. In some situations there will be no way to offer the content of the application up to spider outside of the application. In this case it’s best to have as much meta information on the page hosting the application as possible. By following the standard HTML methods in this document you can still extend the indexability of your application by making sure external links are properly formatted and that high ranking sites link to your application.

Detect and Serve

It requires a little more work up front from a development standpoint to go this route, but if you really have a strong need to get the content in your application indexed then this will be the best approach. The goal is to develop the code of the site to be delivered in multiple formats based on the user agent that is accessing the content. This isn’t all that uncommon anyway with the large range of browser and devices out there that are consuming the web already. Most applications are built with the data stored separately from the interaction in a database or local XML document. The site would have to be built so that it can serve up HTML pages for those who don’t have Flex/Flash/Silverlight installed. Plus, we could potentially change these pages for mobile devices like the iPhone that don’t yet support Flash or Silverlight.

It’s also recommend to have some enticement or value proposition to explain to real users why it would be beneficial to add the plug-ins required to get the optimal experience.

The goal would be to have clients that have the plug-in or runtime installed, would be provided the rich interaction. On those that don’t, a functional page in HTML will be provided. More importantly, to the search engines, these pages that are generated will be tagged and indexed correctly, making the content of our applications visible and increase their visibility.

This letter from David Stutz is back from 2003, drugs but still seems to me to be relevant. I found this via a post by Cory on BoingBoing.

Read on and enjoy

Digging in against open source commoditization won’t work – it would be like digging in against the Internet, web which Microsoft tried for a while before getting wise. Any move towards cutting off alternatives by limiting interoperability or integration options would be fraught with danger, since it would enrage customers, accelerate the divergence of the open source platform, and have other undesirable results. Despite this, Microsoft is at risk of following this path, due to the corporate delusion that goes by many names: “better together,” “unified platform,” and “integrated software.” There is false hope in Redmond that these outmoded approaches to software integration will attract and keep international markets, governments, academics, and most importantly, innovators, safely within the Microsoft sphere of influence. But they won’t.

Exciting new networked applications are being written. Time is not standing still. Microsoft must survive and prosper by learning from the open source software movement and by borrowing from and improving its techniques. Open source software is as large and powerful a wave as the Internet was, and is rapidly accreting into a legitimate alternative to Windows. It can and should be harnessed. To avoid dire consequences, Microsoft should favor an approach that tolerates and embraces the diversity of the open source approach, especially when network-based integration is involved. There are many clever and motivated people out there, who have many different reasons to avoid buying directly into a Microsoft proprietary stack. Microsoft must employ diplomacy to woo these accounts; stubborn insistence will be both counterproductive and ineffective. Microsoft cannot prosper during the open source wave as an island, with a defenses built out of litigation and proprietary protocols.

I think it’s taken many years, but it does feel like Microsoft is starting to actually do just this.

I have often wondered why they don’t open up their free software to public as open source or shared source. I’d start with the web technologies Internet Explorer, Messenger, and all the Live services applications.

1 thought on “Fairwell to Microsoft from David Stutz”

  1. Yes, I to think MS should abandon its highly sucessful busines model for the marginally sucessful model of Open Source … I also thinkg Apple should stop making the IPhone and IPod and concentrate on Apple TV. What are you thinking?

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