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# Monday, November 29, 2004

FYI: I've got an upcoming presentation on O-R mapping in .NET.  Here're the details:

Time:  Thursday, December 2, 2004 @ 6:00pm
Place: GulfNeTug Dot Net User Group
         Sun Hydraulics
         701 Tallevast Road
         Sarasota, FL

You've probably heard the whispers:  "Psst.  I've heard about this O-R mapping stuff..  seems kinda weird to me; surely it can't work as well as writing my own ADO.NET code..."  The answer is yes; it can and does work as well, and you don't have to bother with code generators or ongoing maintenance of ADO.NET code when you use them.  O/R mappers do ADO.NET for you, allowing you to focus on more important aspects of developing a data-driven application.

J. Ambrose Little will introduce you to the concepts behind object-relational mapping as well as illustrate those concepts by looking at the code underlying an existing O/R mapper called DataAspects.  In addition, all attendees will get a free site license of the soon-to-be-released DataAspects library to use in their own projects.

Recommended Prerequisites:
Familiarity with .NET (particularly ADO.NET) programming.
Familiarity with obejct-oriented design and programming principles.
Familiarity with relational database development, especially SQL Server 2000+.

Monday, November 29, 2004 5:03:16 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [2]  | 
# Sunday, November 28, 2004
Thoughts on the justness of the death penalty.
Sunday, November 28, 2004 7:57:40 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [4]  | 
# Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Okay, I just want to say this now, hopefully once and for all.  While I do try to read through my blogs at least once, I hardly put them through any rigorous editing process, so it is entirely possible that I'll let little grammar and possibly spelling mistakes slip through the cracks.  Considering that these are more or less equivalents of rough drafts, I don't really fault myself too much when this happens.  Because this is a fairly informal medium, I don't feel compelled to edit them thoroughly either.

Some may, in some weird way, construe my offering writing tips as an implication that I personally never make a grammatical mistake.  Anyone who has written much knows that this is never true of any writer.  So for all the smart alecs out there who might notice these mistakes, please, for the sake of everyone, just overlook them and don't bother commenting.  I'm writing in the hopes of helping people.  If you already know everything there is to know about writing, you can just ignore my blogging on the subject.  I know from experience that there are many people who could benefit from the occasional tip or two on the subject.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004 3:21:38 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 

I'll endeavor to make this brief.  Per the suggestion of one of my readers, I thought it might be a good idea to address the whole “you're“/“your” issue.  Since he brought it up, I have to say that I have actually seen this mistake fairly commonly in texts that I have edited, so it's probably good to mention it.  And while I'm at it, I'll take out the “its“/“it's“ and “they're”/”their” issues as well, since they're the same issues, more or less.  These are things that are sure to upset your editors if you overlook them.

“You're” is a contraction of “you are.”  “It's” is a contraction of “it is” or “it has.”  “They're” is a contraction of “they are.”  The apostrophe (') indicates that something's missing.  In the case of “you're” and “they're,” we're cutting out the “a” in “are.”  In the case of “it's,” we're either taking out the “i” in “is” or the “ha” in “has.”  In all cases, you can see that we are squishing two words together.  This is just a convenient way for us to represent how many English speakers speak because we tend to slur things together to speak in a more fluid and fast manner.  French is much worse about this sort of thing, but most of the languages I've studied have their share of squished words. :)

On the other hand, “your,” “their,” and “its” are all possessives.  Now if you go read that page, your head might hurt afterwards, but you should have a fairly decent grip on the idea of what a possessive is if you don't already.  The point here is not a lesson about possessives but rather to illustrate that these three words are possessives, and you need to ensure you use them as such. 

However, I don't think most people generally accidentally use “they're” or “it's” when they mean to indicate the possessive.  Usually the error is the opposite, i.e., they use “their” and “its” to indicate their related contractions.  So, for instance, when they mean to say “they are,” they might use “their”  or use “its” when they really mean “it is.” 

So if you have had this problem in the past, be sure to be extra careful when you go to use the contracted forms of those verbs.  Remember, you are squishing two words (to make a contracted verb), so you need the apostrophe to indicate that's what you're up to, to tell us that you've taken something out.  If you don't remember this, your editors will beg Zeus to strike you down in a flash of lightning.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004 8:29:40 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [1]  | 
# Monday, November 22, 2004
I do my best to offer a reasoned discussion of the issues surrounding the abortion debate.
Monday, November 22, 2004 1:29:54 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [4]  | 
# Thursday, November 18, 2004

Rocky Lhotka provides what I think is a great analysis of the hubbub surrounding service orientation/service-oriented architecture.  It's too bad that so many corporations are swallowing the hype around this and Web services in general and thus giving themselves lots of unnecessary headaches.

Thursday, November 18, 2004 1:33:35 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
Most folks don't even know that there is a difference between "that" and "which." There is...
Thursday, November 18, 2004 10:22:24 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [2]  | 
# Tuesday, November 9, 2004
Version 2.2 of NUnit adds two attributes that, at least, I find very useful--Category and Explicit.
Tuesday, November 9, 2004 8:32:35 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, November 8, 2004
Thoughts about best practices for XML comments.
Monday, November 8, 2004 12:10:10 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [2]  | 
# Sunday, November 7, 2004

This is the first in a series of tips that I've found to help me speak and write better English over the years.  Simply put, learn another language.  Yep, that's right.  Sounds a bit off the mark, but I have found that learning other languages dramatically increases my understanding of my own language. 

In fact, learning other languages helps to learn other languages, especially when they're in the same language group (e.g., the so-called Romance langauges).  Some people say learning German is hard, but I think it is one of the easiest languages for an English-speaker to learn precisely because English has very strong Germanic roots.  When speaking with and listening to my wife's family (who are native German speakers), I can't tell you how many times I've been able to guess the right word or understand the meaning of a word simply because it is so like English.

So, if you've always wanted to pick up Spanish to watch Sabado Gigante, if you want to learn Latin to read medieval philosophy, or if you want to learn Gaelic so you can sing proper mouth music, just do it.  There are tons of self-teaching resources to learn other languages, even dying ones like Scottish Gaelic. 

Even if you never speak it fluently, or even if you don't pronounce it correctly, learning another language will give you a stronger grasp over your own.  I'd recommend Latin and German especially for this purpose, but French (thanks to the Normans) will also help a lot in this respect.  But again, any language will do because it will make you more aware of the structure and peculiarities of English.

Sunday, November 7, 2004 4:28:12 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [3]  | 
# Wednesday, November 3, 2004
A comment prompts further dialogue...
Wednesday, November 3, 2004 12:24:24 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 

The opinions expressed herein are solely my own personal opinions, founded or unfounded, rational or not, and you can quote me on that.

Thanks to the good folks at dasBlog!

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