August 2007 Archives

Skype Woes

Skype seems to have been having trouble this morning.  At first I thought it was a set of Windows Vista Updates I'd applied - but when the problem started affecting my hardware based Skype phone as well my suspicions went to my ISP.  I was thinking that they were doing some traffic shaping or something to Skype traffic.  Finally, after talking with a fellow Skype user (over an old fashioned POTS line) who was also having login problems I figured it must be Skype itself - and turns out it is.  The fault is apparently "software related" and they did some planned maintenance yesterday - coincidence?

Funny how long it took me to realize it was Skype to blame, must show how reliable the service has been so far.  Interestingly, when I called my ISP (Nildram) to ask if they'd did any traffic shaping they said that they did but that VoIP, Skype, and VPN traffic are all prioritized on my line during working hours.  That's actually quite reassuring and makes me like Nildram even more.

Update:  Skype is back up and running, with a few details posted as to what caused the problem.  Interestingly they are spinning it as that the software fault on Skype's servers was triggered by lots of Windows computers rebooting for patch Tuesday - not sure what I think about that.

Paul Julius just announced that RC3 of CruiseControl 2.7.1 has been released from the Agile 2007 conference.  From my point of view this is fantastic news, because it includes a patch I submitted to the project to include integration between CruiseControl and Team Foundation Server.  Previously this was available from our website but from 2.7.1 onwards it will be included in the base CruiseControl distribution.

If you have an existing CruiseControl build process then this makes it really simple to migrate your source control over to TFS.  Combined with the TFS Ant tasks we make freely available you should be good to go. Note that both the CruiseControl integration and the Ant tasks require a version of the TFS Command Line Client be installed on your build server.  We've tested them against the standard Microsoft tf.exe for Windows build servers and our own tf command line client that works cross-platform.

Thanks to Dan Rollo and the rest of the CruiseControl team for checking over and committing my patch, which got assigned the rather ominous issue number of CC-666 ;-)

I Love Resharper


As I've mentioned before, I love Resharper from those crazily clever folks at JetBrains.  Today I installed an Early Access version of 3.0.2 into Visual Studio 2008 and all the goodness has returned.  No need to write a Using statement again, error highlighting in C# without needing a build, the good old Ctrl-Shift-N keyboard shortcut among others.  The 3.0.2 release has come a long way since the 2.5 release that I had been previously using, there are increased coding best practises and some nicer inline static anaylsis.  The plug-in is also much more friendly in how it takes over any Visual Studio shortcuts and means that I don't have to re-train the old muscle memory when switching between keyboard shortcuts for actions in Eclipse and Visual Studio.

If you are spending all your day in Visual Studio then I urge you to take a look at Resharper.  Personally, I find the increase in productivity well worth it, not to mention the increase in code quality that you get as a result.

Yesterday I sat down with my freshly downloaded Orcas Beta 2 media (thanks to the Secure Content Downloader from the good folks at Microsoft Research in Cambridge) and upgraded our production TFS instance.  The good news is that the set-up process in Beta 2 is miles better than it was in earlier versions of TFS - it even handled the upgrade of my database for me.  As someone who has been through manual database upgrades from TFS 2005 Beta 2 -> Beta 3 -> Beta 3R -> RC -> RTM -> TFS 2008 Beta 1, having it all done for me was just fantastic.

Performance wise, things seem to be a lot better than TFS 2005 SP1.  Other good news is that the existing Teamprise clients (including the recently shipped 2.2 release) versions talk to TFS 2008 just fine thanks to the fantastic work the TFS team have done to ensure backwards compatibility.  Obviously our clients do not yet take advantage of some of the new TFS 2008 functionality - but the performance improvements made on the server definitely come through.

The only minor issue we came across was one to do with our reports being displayed in our WSS 2.0 portal (see Tim Noonan's blog for the fix).

Anyway - thought I'd spread some positive news about the recent TFS Beta, I'll let you know how we get on.


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