Friday, October 30, 2009

Dynamics AX 6.0: A look at MFP's write up on the AXModel concept

Here is a great article you can’t miss that takes a look at AXModel concept in Dynamics AX 6.0

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Facebook Bugs !

We live in a world of internet. A life that is lived on clouds. Clouds are everywhere. No matter you is a PC or a MAC. No wonder you use internet from home or from office or maybe you are one of those approximately 13% of the world's population who are reachable 24/7.
We being so much indulged with internet that this world has now become a global village. And off course a part of global social community. And whenever it comes to communicate socially over this cloud, several names pop up into our minds. Such as... Hi5, My Space, Orkut ... and more interestingly... Facebook!
As a matter of fact, Facebook has now become one of the most highly addictive and interactive social community web sites, where people communicate, collaborate and interact to the people who share common interest. With over 300 million active users, facebook stands the "The fastest growing demographic is those 35 years old and older".
However, as a matter of fact, good and bad are two sides of a same coin. And hence, facebook does have a couple of bugs that annoy every user of its. If not every user is annoyed, then I must say most of them certainly are. Facebook is also blessed with lots of bugs and breaches that users would like to fix. Facebook itself knows the importance of it and they keep an eye on it via bug tracking system for facebook developers and also public groups for users to suggest bugs that annoy each time. 
Ever since I read an article from Andrew Mager about the 5 most annoying facebook bugs I was wondering if facebook would start providing an "official feedback" link at the bottom of every home page. Instead, facebook seems quite satisfied with the user interface and features they provide irrespective of audience opinion.

Let’s start by discussing some of the facebook bugs.
First and the foremost... facebook seems to have lost the original idea behind it. Whenever I log on, and I see my home page with lots and lots of shared videos. What is it? A video sharing portal? Then why is you tube there?
Moreover, when I log in, the first thing I am supposed to see is my Wall for posts of what people have written in and what is being happening around. However, unfortunately wall is on your profile page not on your home page. So if you are not visiting your own profile, there are obvious chances you can miss some of important messages.
Every profile on facebook has an average of 130 friends. Therefore, it comes to manage them through Friends lists. This is a great feature of facebook. You can easily categorize your friends in your friend list and easily add or modify permissions or access and view control to various links of your profile. However, this management doesn't seem that much easy and handy. There are times when you have added thousands of friends just to get a handsome amount for any specific game or so (remember, you cannot add friends more than 5001 :)). You would then require deleting them as well. For that you may want to delete the whole list, or maybe a few from that list. But unfortunately when you come to any specific list, there is no "remove" button next to every friend in that list. The remove button is only available if you see "All connections" or "Friends" list. Since "All connections" shows every of your friend than how can you supposed to delete the list at once. Or multiple at a single click?
And one more thing, you can never see list of people who are actually your friends. Because whenever you visit your friend list, it will show all your friends plus the pending friend requests. Therefore you will always get trouble accessing your friend list.
Furthermore, the worst bug so far is with the messaging feature. If you have mistakenly sent a message to a group of people then there is no way you can remove any specific people from that thread or simply stop the thread. This is absolutely terrible! And certainly, there is no BCC feature available in facebook inbox.
Facebook is an outstanding web app, though. There are always bugs in any software application. But as far as I know, bugs are fixable. So have your say and comment on if you have also come across any Facebook Bug!!!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Bing is Bingo …!!!

Bing on it!

Microsoft Bing! (Formerly code named: Kumo) is perhaps the much anticipated search engine, that finally we can witness a tough competition with Google Search this time. As a matter of fact, Microsoft doesn’t see Bing as the Google killer. However; as I see, Bing has so much more to deliver than classic Google search. Let’s start what I liked when I “Binged on it”.
First of all, let’s don’t get indulge into the technical specs of what Bing has. I’d rather start off with some low level eye catchers. Well, the main screen, the dashboard, the main dock. You may call it anything, but Bing starts its magic right from there. The main screen certainly has the simple textbox with a search button. Just like one of any other dozen search engines we’ve already seen, but the cool thing is, that likewise Live Search, its first page has a cool beautiful background which comes at random and providing a couple of info boxes on it. This is an interesting feature for general knowledge that most of the home users would really appreciate. Then you land on search results page, it’s full of interesting UI features, which surely decrease your search time and effort. This includes on mouse over popup that shows the snippet of target page. And of-course there is the search history on left navigation pane that is always there for quick referencing. Furthermore, what I have witnessed so far using Bing is that, Microsoft has really improved on the content that appears on search result. I searched me for instance, and when Google search return several different ‘Atif’s’, Bing has quite relevant results including, and which is more surprising. All in all, it’s a decent approach that is worth to give a try. For any further information you can “bing on ‘Bing’ as well” ;)
In a couple of articles and blogs, what I came to know that Microsoft believes that Bing is just the starter to the new paradigm of searching. Though Google search may have so many other features to provide but as a matter of fact Bing also have a long way to go as far as software maturity level is concerned. As a final word, next time when you need to ‘Google’ something, you better try to ‘Bing on it’ ;-)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Programming: Are you mad??

Well, I am a programmer, I build software, and I’m lovin’ it.

But, hey, what if someone ask me to be a programmer? How anyone can be a programmer different than others? What actually makes you a Geek?

Dear readers, I’m not a very old programmer; neither I have made apps like Microsoft Windows or Google Search Engine. But if someone come to me and ask for my advice, “hey, can I go for software engineering?” I will surely reply, “ARE YOU MAD?”

This somehow sounds a bit weird, but that’s the way it is. Programming is a passion and it definitely needs madness. So my answer continues that until you are mad about it, you can’t be a geek programmer. And, to be a Geek, you don’t need to make gigantic apps; all you need is passion, and madness about programming. If you are loving your PC more than your pet or your car, than you are definitely geeks. But if you get tired after writing thousands of lines of code in a day, then you better find yourself another profession.

If you turn the pages of history, you might remember the virtual machine boom in some 1960's, then sometime later the internet boom, then the GUI change, then comes Java craze followed by .NET bubble burst earlier this century. A few years after that there came rich internet application blast and now a days the hype of cloud computing. Every now and then software development is changing its paradigm almost completely. The learning curve for software developers shoots like Mount Everest after every year or two, much unlike other living professions like doctors or building constructors. So if you are joining our software fraternity, you make yourself sure that whatever you learn is going to expire in a year. So again it needs madness to stay updated. This is certainly not my pessimistic approach; it’s a ground reality that no one can deny. It’s not warning, its motivation, rather, as a matter of fact it’s only your perception; either you see a glass half empty or a glass half filled.

Dear readers, what makes you a different programmer among all? there are several reasons. In my case, the foremost reason, I like programming irrespective of development platform or language. As you see, if you are calling yourself a software engineer or programmer, than what I personally believe is that there must not be any further definition that you are a Java developer or .net developer. You are programmer, and you should know how to program or what to program.

The other reason, I can write better Google queries. there are millions of gigs of lines of codes always available to help you out, but what matters most is how u find the relevant information that you need. Yes, software fraternity is quite helpful and open to share knowledge, so should you.

Another fruitful suggestion, add some of key blogs and news letters to your RSS feeds, so that you can always stay in touch what is being happening in the software fraternity.

Well, to conclude, you might remember Morpheus quote: “there is always a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.” But the problem is, there is no path actually, there are only pathways. Programming is just like mathematics, in both the cases you have an objective to achieve and a set of rules, but the choice is yours to adopt which pathway. There is nothing like good or nothing like bad, its only the requirement that makes it useful or useless.

Happy Programming !!!

courtesy: also published as a detailed article "Crazy about coding: What it takes to be a serious software programmer" by me in February 2009 issue of Spider Magazine - Pakistan's largest selling IT magazine ( |

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Atif Siddiqui - Technology Evangelist

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