My Favorite Features: Entity Framework Code First and ASP.NET Web API

Great overview of the EF5 release with summary and coding samples.

Jason Zander:

New features in Entity Framework 5:

  • Enum support is a long awaited feature for EF and allows you to have enum properties in your domain classes. EF5 makes enum support available in the EF Designer and Code First.
  • Table-valued functions in an existing database can now be included in models that are created using the EF Designer.
  • Spatial data types can now be exposed in your model using the DbGeography and DbGeometry types. Spatial data can be included in models created with the EF Designer or Code First.
  • EF5 also includes some significant performance improvements which you can find out more about on the ADO.NET Blog.

The EF Designer, which is included in Visual Studio 2012, also has some new features:

  • Models can now be split up into multiple diagrams, which is great for working with larger models. You can also apply coloring to entities to help identify subsections of your model.

  • Improvements to the wizard that reverse engineers a model from a database make it easier and quicker to batch import stored procedures for querying data.

A Universe From Nothing

Lawrence Krauss gives a talk on our current picture of the universe, how it will end, and how it could have come from nothing. Krauss is the author of many bestselling books on Physics and Cosmology, including “The Physics of Star Trek.”

Making money with your apps through the Windows Store

With more than 630 million licenses sold to date, across 200+ countries and regions around the world, Windows has an unrivaled global reach. Combined with the flexibility of monetization options that the Store provides, Windows 8 represents the single biggest developer opportunity for any platform.

We look forward to seeing the apps you create!

Windows 8 GPU acceleration: good news for Metro

Direct2D is a 2D graphics API that is built on top of Direct3D, enabling it to take advantage of the powerful GPU hardware that is now a feature of every PC. It allows programmers to deal with 2D concepts-lines, rectangles, ellipses-and converts them behind the scenes into the fundamental 3D objects, points, lines, and triangles, so that the GPU can draw them.

Here, here.

Microsoft’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Decade

John Biggs for TechCrunch:

Microsoft had many wins. The Xbox is a notable success and Windows 8 could lead to a sea change in user interface and user experience. However, given the steady stream of duds popped out by MS over the past few years - Zune, C#, Vista, and the Kin phone family (not to mention their insistent failure to capitalize on touch or web infrastructure servers) - it’s not hard to see why the bloom is off the Microsoft rose. The company is huge - 94,290 according to the official ledger - and as Kurt Eichenwald notes in Vanity Fair, the company’s strange bell curve ranking system has frustrated their best and brightest engineers. Freshly minted MBAs and CS majors have been shown, time and time again, that there is no value in going after Microsoft millions when Google and the rest of Silicon Valley is right down the coast.

Serious bile from Techcrunch (and vanity fair). They seem to completely overlook the enterprise software market (where Microsoft dominates) to focus on consumer and startup technologies. Fair enough that Microsoft struggles in these areas, but at least paint a complete picture.

By the way, C# is ranked 5th in the Tiobe programming index. Failure, eh?

The discovery of the Higgs Boson? Garrett Lisi explains