Weblogs at Harvard Law School

Damian gave a quick overview about weblogs earlier.  For those who want to know even more, Dave Winer has a document posted at Weblogs At Harvard Law entitled What Makes a Weblog a Weblog.  One part of interest is the section comparing weblogs to Vignette and Wikis.

2003 Salary Survey

ComputerWorld's 2003 Salary Survey is now available online. The detailed numbers are available after a free registration, but here are a couple of points of interest for the SQL Server community.

Trying out Newsgator

A few months ago, I was introduced to the concept of RSS feeds by a weekly humor email list that I subscribe to called This Is True.  I read up on the idea and learned about this aggregator software that plugs into Outlook called Newsgator.  Imagine my surprise a couple of months later when the SQLTeam Weblogs were launched, with RSS feed as an option.  I was still unconvinced, but now I had a news service that I was checking on a daily or more frequent basis, so the benefits of this technology started becoming apparent.

Then, I made the mistake of chatting with Damian Maclennan about it.  He was using Newsgator, and looking into other things that could be done with the RSS feed.  His interest and excitement got me thinking about it more and more.  And as you are all probably aware of, it was like any new gadget...the more you think about it, the more you're sure you HAVE TO have it.  And then Damian put the final nail in when he told me I could post to my blog by using Newsgator instead of the web form.  This just seemed to good to be true.  I mean, how convenient is that?  It's just like writing an email, and TA-DA!

So, here I am, testing it out for the first time, hoping it all works fine, and giving you a live review at the same time.  So, if you're reading this, consider the test a success.

More Musings on Yukon

Reading through the DBA Overview of Yukon whitepaper that Graz mentions in his blog, there were a few items that really jumped out at me.  Here are a few thoughts:

  • Dedicated Administrator Connection:  Sounds like a cool feature, always allowing a sysadmin to connect even to a "hung" server.  But you'd better really lockdown those sysadmin logins tight.
  • Recursive Queries:  May be a blessing for people designing hierarchical systems.  May also be a horrid curse.  I can see this leading to a nasty infinite loop with one little slip.  Looking forward to an article by Rob some day...
  • PIVOT and UNPIVOT:  I'm liking this one.  Hopefully it will be as useful as I imagine.  But unfortunately, it will make another of Rob's articles obsolete.  I have done some really cool things in Excel using pivot tables that query directly out of the SQL Server, and now perhaps that will be even easier or more efficient.  BTW, if you've never used Excel pivot tables, check them out.  They have great WOW factor for management.
  • Try...Catch:  This is the one I've been waiting for.  Finally we get some serious error trapping ability within SQL Server.  I just recently got into Java development where try...catch is used and it has been wonderful.  How many times have we seen in the forums a question about somebody's stored procedure that wasn't reporting errors properly, only to find that they were doing an IF @@ERROR test too late in the code.
  • New Data Types:  Date and UTCDateTime will be useful.  I've never been a big fan of XML.  I think it's a useful structure at times but got WAY over-hyped.  Reminded me of the whole dot-com boom...too much hype.

Well, that's the big news as far as I'm concerned.  Looking forward to the PASS Community Summit coming up in a couple of weeks.