Yes, it’s been quieter than usual around here…

As some may have noticed, the quantity of my blogging output has dropped precipitously in the past few months. This hasn’t been due to a lack of interest in blogging, instead several big things have been going on in my life that have conspired to limit the available time for blogging.

One of the “big things” is some new stuff I’ve been heads-down on doing while I’m at work and which I’ll talk about over time as it becomes more solid and public. But work aside, there is also a “big thing” going on in my personal life that’s going to have some (understandably) far-reaching implications.

After a considerable amount of thought, my wife Andrea and I have decided to adopt. Although this is the first time I’ve discussed it here, we’re actually pretty far into the process–this past winter we decided we wanted to adopt internationally from Guatemala (Andrea’s mom is from Panama, and we originally wanted to adopt from there, but Guatemala was much more hospitable to international adoption than Panama). We started the considerable amount of paperwork required, figuring that we would be done with it by the early summer, which would result in a referral sometime in the late summer/early fall. However, things have moved a bit more quickly than that.

Our social worker (who did our home study to make sure we weren’t axe murderers) recommended that if we were even the slightest bit interested in adopting twins, we should go ahead and do all the paperwork twice so that we would be already approved in the unlikely event that twins became available. Since we were willing to consider it we did two of everything, notarized, certified, the works. Then, just as we were about 2/3rds the way through preparing our paperwork, we got an extremely unexpected call: twin boys had just been born, and we were the only couple that our lawyer was working with that were considering twins. (Also, the fact that they were two boys had something to do with it; according to several people I’ve talked to, international adoptions appear to heavily favor girls.)

After a bit of soul searching as to whether we were ready to take on twins, we decided we were and wanted to do it. What followed was a mad rush to finish the paperwork and get it off to Guatemala, which we did in early June. Now, it’s basically a waiting game as the paperwork wends its way through the legal system in Guatemala. Bureaucracy being what it is, it’s just a big question mark: could be the end of the year, could be into next year, just hard to know.

As you can imagine, though, once the paperwork was done, the second phase of work began in earnest: preparing the house for the arrival of two babies. This has been the major project of the summer and has meant that a lot of that discretionary time that I’d devote to blogging has been consumed elsewhere. (Of course, when the kids get here then the real work begins and who knows what time I’ll have for blogging!) So that’s a big reason why it’s been quiet here–I expect things will pick up in the fall until whenever we’re blessed with the chance to go pick the kids up!

All in all, it’s hugely exciting and we can’t wait to get them here. But between that and work, blogging may suffer for some time until things settle down into more of a routine. I appreciate everyone’s patience!

Testing separating my work life from my private life

My blog is syndicated on the MSDN Visual Basic developer center (http://msdn.microsoft.com/vb), which is great because it drives traffic here but is bad because it means that all my personal posts show up there as well. I don’t think everyone who goes to the developer center really cares that much about my personal life… After a little hacking on .Text, I think I’ve got it set up properly such that only posts tagged as “Visual Basic” will show up in the VB developer center. So, I hope, this post won’t show up there. If it doesn’t, then I’ll test it the other way (i.e. make sure that my VB posts do show up there)…

VB 2005 Performance QFE released…

Despite the fact that we made what I still feel is a solid release, we’ve been clearly seeing some customers having problems with the performance of the VB 2005 compiler when used on large VB projects. In response to a number of problems that we’ve isolated, we’ve released a QFE that addresses many of the major problems people are having. To quote the announcement in the forums:

We’ve received feedback, both directly from developers and in the forums, regarding slow performance of the Visual Basic 2005 IDE in certain situations (larger projects, projects with many errors, etc.).

I’m sorry that these issues made it to production and degraded the performance of the IDE. The Visual Basic Performance team is working hard to address these issues via hotfixes and the upcoming Visual Basic 2005 SP1 while we work on engineering changes to make sure that issues such as these never make it into a shipping product in the future.

Based on this feedback and forum posts, we’ve been working with customers to address these performance issues.  We recently released a performance hotfix to address the following areas of Visual Basic 2005 performance:

  1. Improves the performance of single-stepping (F10) debugging.
  2. Improves the performance of Task/Error List Refresh.
  3. Improves the performance of Intellisense.

You can learn more about this hotfix in the KB 920805 article (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/920805/en-us). In order to get this hotfix, you need to contact support and reference KB 920805.  Details on contacting support can be found at http://support.microsoft.com/contactus/?ws=support.

Note that this hotfix rolls up all performance hotfixes to date, so installing this hotfix will give you the best IDE performance. 

Again, we appreciate your feedback and we thank you for your patience while we address these issues. Please contact vbperf@microsoft.com if you continue to see issues after applying this hotfix.

Thanks,

            Chris Mayo
            Visual Basic Performance Program Manager

As Chris says, these hotfixes (which you currently have to go through support to get, so we can track the QFEs we’re handing out) will be rolled into SP1. I encourage people to email vbperf@microsoft.com if you are having performance problems that aren’t addressed by the QFE so we can work on isolating the problems you’re seeing and get them fixed.