Yesterday was full of releases, and today is no difference. Not all servers of the Microsoft download center provide this information yet (you may need to refresh the page), but obviously the RC1 of Silverlight and a 1.1 Alpha refresh have been release today. Also, the Silverlight Tools for Visual Studio 2008 have been updated. Alongside that, the August Preview of Blend 2 (which can create Silverlight content) is there. And finally, there is now a July CTP of the ASP.NET AJAX Futures (part of the July CTP of the ASP.NET Futures).
There have been some announcements this weeks, and I try to sum them up. On July 10th, Microsoft issued a press statement regarding the launch event for Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008, and SQL Server 2008. The event date will take place in Los Angeles on February 27, 2008. However these launch events are often weeks or months after the product is available, at least for MSDN customers and partners; sometimes these products are already in stores by then.
I am of course most interested in Visual Studio 2008, where beta 1 is currently available. According to Scott Guthrie, beta 2 of Visual Studio 2008 ("Orcas") will be available "in the next three weeks" (relative to July 9, 2007), and will come with a go-live license. When the final product will be available is hard to say on the other hand, but I would guess either very late in 2007 or early 2008. I hope for the latter.
phpa is an interactive command line shell for PHP by David Phillips. Stefan Fischerländer, usually known as a SEO expert and Perl admirer, has patched phpa for Mac OS X and Windows (the default builds theredo not seem to support a feature required by phpa). The result: phpa-norl. Stefan successfully ran this on OS X, and I could confirm that it runs on Windows, as well:
phpa and phpa-norl come with a convenient history feature. Using it is simple: type PHP code as you go, with the following special features:
If a line ends with #, phpa/phpa-norl assumes that there is more to come
The command h gives you access to the command history, cursor keys let you navigate through it
The command q quits the application (though something like die(); also works)
Some say SVG is dead, but it has found some niches where it is quite successful. I don't currently do as much SVG as I did some time ago, but I still follow along the current discussions and events. One project I find quite interesting is the Renesis, a feature-rich SVG player that is desparately needed now that Adobe abandoned their SVG browser plugin.
Without further ado, here is a blurb from the horse's mouth:
A new release is out, Renesis Player v0.7. What's special on this version is the all-in-new Font and Text Engine which supports things like Unicode, Embedded Fonts, Text Selection, Copy to Clipboard, Text-Anchoring, Font-Stretching, Text-Decorations and much much more. The perfomance of the text engine should have improved as well. Other news are many many bugfixes and improvements based on our bugtracker as well as fixing one huge issue that caused a lot of crashes on various platforms. The next release is planned for somewhere between Juli and August 2007 and will mainly be a maintenance Release that will get a completely rewritten DOM Structure (not the EcmaScript binding!). Why should you care? As of now, inserting a lot of elements (especially text nodes) causes a lot of memory overhead and speed loss. The new structure system should shorten down the used memory to as low as 30-40% for dynamic changes as well as speed up the dynamic changes by a factor of 4-10x at a minimum so stay tuned!