Eric Richards' place of techno (as in technology) happiness, rants, and corporate love.

Browsing Posts published in March, 2006

One of the new blogs I’ve started reading, The Daily WTF, has a great entry today: The Spider of Doom

Beware of what UI and chrome you put into your web forms as verbs – GoogleBot will go through each link and if “Delete” or some other destructive entry is there, Poof! Because the bot is going to go through everything that looks like a link.

I worried about this w/ Google accelerator (or whatever that was) because it would prefetch pages for you based on what you’re currently reading. Eeeeeyeah, maybe you don’t want that if some of those links are destructive.

Wow, here’s a preview of the InfoPath 2007 client that we’re busy finishing up: Microsoft Office InfoPath 2007 Highlights – nice to see that the Outlook / InfoPath integration is pulled out as reason #1 to upgrade. Yeah!

And we also have information on Microsoft Office Forms Server 2007 Highlights as well.

So to heck with all that news back and forth about when Office 2007 is shipping blah blah. We’re dogfooding this stuff everyday and soon the public Beta will be out.

Go ahead and pop some fab popcorn and watch the demo. It shows getting a form designed, deploying it out via email and the forms server, receiving the forms back into Outlook (where you can get a great view into your data just through Outlook columns) and then exporting those items into Excel for deeper analysis.

Woof! Now that’s some great integration!

Sarah types out a “Hi!” to me in: Sarah Sosiak: If Google can’t see you, does that mean you don’t exist?. “Hi!” back to you, Sarah.

I started a Blog going a while back, partly to have a way to share stuff I didn’t mind be public and partly to increase my search results as I tried out the technology. Seems as though there are plenty of “Eric Richards” in the world. In a way, there’s safety in obscurity should you not want to be Googled, but then again I’d get the occasional odd question about whether I played a certain instrument or not. Mis-Googling is probalby another problem you don’t see talked about much.

With blogging as the new hotness, the search engines seemed to start giving higher preference to blogs over static web pages. I also updated my template to have some meta-keywords. And my little domain has been around since 2001 so that age starts raising it up in some results.

So now “Eric Richards” is #6 on Google and four of the first five results on And #2 on Yahoo. It’s interesting that the Technorati blog finder is very, very high in both the Google and results (I registered my “Eric Richards”ness on Technorati). I’ve also registered my feeds on about every blog search engine I can find.

So, good results. No spamming required! :-)

Okay, the part of this post (InfoPath Lookups Resolved) that made me most embarrassed?

Now, and this is hysterical, Click OK. Click OK. Click OK. Click OK. Click OK. Click OK. Click OK. Click OK. Click OK.

Certainly something to keep in mind, especially the part where you have to do it three more times and ice your clickin’ finger.

Well, I might have to push the big pause button on my lust for the SanDisk Sansa e270: SanDisk Sansa e270 (6GB) Reviews. MP3 players Reviews by CNET. Not an awful review (8/10) but not a glowing review, either. I especially dislike how you have to use software for loading the photos and videos.

I really want a hard-disk free MP3 player, preferably with a voice recorder. I don’t care as much about photos and videos. I guess I’ll round up some reviews for the SanDisk C100 series.

While I read Jeremy Zawodny’s blog for Yahoo/Technical insights, he also blogs about aviation and something like this pops up:F-16 Bird Strike Video (by Jeremy Zawodny)

Heck of a video. My Dad is a retired Army Aviator and it’s amazing the amount of training you have to go through so that you can be cool and do the right thing under all sort of circumstances when things go wrong.

Small story: I needed to go to freshman orientation at my new college. I lived in Texas and my school was in Alabama. My Dad had a friend who loaned us his very nice plane to make the trip. Life is good. Look at all of those pretty lakes below us as we climb up and up to get on the flight plan.

At some elevation, the engine dies. No sputtering, no fight. Just shuts off. It was very quiet. My body and mind shifts suddenly to the most serious state of existence I’ve about ever had. I lose total interest in the Coca-Cola in my hand.

After a very long couple of seconds, Dad calmly reaches over and flips a switch. The engine is going again.


Huh, indeed. We go for a bit more and the engine cuts off again. Once more, Dad leans over and flips a switch and the engine starts going again. At this point, my serious mind has switched to scoping out big lakes for a water landing.

“If it does it a third time, we’ll go back,” my Dad says.

‘Oh, hell,’ my inner voice says, ‘God gave you a break. God even gave you a second break. God might be too busy giving people who aren’t pushing their luck to give you a third break.’

The engine cuts off again.

In a way, it was a relief. For that moment of time that I waited to see whether the engine would start again I at least knew we were heading back. The engine did start again and we went back to the Huntsville airport and procured a different plane.

The problem? The plane’s owner pretty much used it for puddle-jumping around the area and really hadn’t had it up at a high elevation for a long time. At a certain altitude, the fuel-pump failed and no more gas for the engine.

My Dad was flipping the switch to engage the electric fuel-pump to get the engine going again. His training kicked in automatically and it was no big deal. For him.

All was well and we made our trip and back in the other plane. That was one of the big three adventures I remember flying around with my Dad (there were actually four but I slept through one of them). All in all, he was as cool as a cucumber and I never got beyond seriously concerned.

Though I never finished that Coke.

Glad to see I have at least one bit of resonating with Tim Bray: ongoing – ETech – On Attention. One thing I’m looking forward to is scouring the eTech 2006 post-event crumbs and blog postings to see if I can conjure up some “Aha!” moments around attention.

Perl I got. HTTP + HTML I got. Python I’m getting. Attention… I understand the concept and how showing up on tech.memeorandum or such represents a level of attention and building influence built by a non-discriminating community… but then what? It allows me to get more $$$ from my ads? I get a good book deal? I can influence trends? Maybe I’m being too capitalistic, but what is the currency of the attention economy and what is the goods / wealth I’m accumulating?

Oh, Dave Winer had a great post that seems to have gone into the bit-bucket: Is Microsoft subordinate to O’Reilly? It was super. It’s still in the BlogLines cache (always a good place to go should there be an interesting blog or post that has gone all 404).

A snippet:

It’s unfortunate when this monoculture spreads to others, probably innocently,
without them understanding that’s what’s happening. Last night I had a phone
talk with Frank X. Shaw, at Waggener-Edstrom, Microsoft’s public relations firm.
I explained that the program at their Mix 06 conference reads like the program
at an O’Reilly conference. This is too bad, because Microsoft has its own
independent view of this stuff and are not captive to O’Reilly’s limited
thinking, but probably unknowingly, they have limited their conference to the
O’Reilly view.

As I’ve said before, I dislike the negative energy O’Reilly has towards most Microsoft technology. It’s O’Reilly’s right, of course. Tim is helping to craft the Alpha Geek culture and doing his best to ensure it’s Microsoft free, except for those cases where it’s profitable to O’Reilly.

What kind of leader does it take to crowd the Alpha Geeks around Microsoft technology?

Sort of a backwards comparison of InfoPath and XAML shows up here: XSLT in the .NET Framework: Data Binding and Control Creation at the Same Time. My comment is below.

XAML is a lot of things. Including being able to create a form-like experience. As I mention below, I can appreciate the frustration developers sometime have figuring out all the Microsoft overlapping technologies and which are the most appropriate for their situation. Sometimes InfoPath. Sometimes not InfoPath.

InfoPath is not going to be replaced by XAML. But you might see people using XAML technology for form-filling applications. And that’s okay. And hopefully appropriate.


Disclosure: I work on InfoPath.

InfoPath is by no means a stop-gap measure awaiting XAML. In some ways, it’s too bad that Microsoft has so many different technologies for doing similar things (e.g., forms) but it’s better than coming up with the uber-form package that probably is so complicated and full of comprises that it pleases no one.

InfoPath is super-appropriate for the Enterprise environment, especially for people already with the Office Pro Enterprise license. It’s in there.

With Office 2007, we have the Forms Server for filling out forms in IE or Firefox. And the InfoPath rich-client control is now hostable (yay COM!) showing up in more and more products like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. And we have a fantastic Outlook integration story.

XAML and Office? That’s not on my radar. But right now I’m focused on getting InfoPath 2007 wrapped up, polished, and exploding out of the door.

Always good to know while it’s worth something: T-Mobile Free Wi-Fi Weekends, Awareness – go there and find the login instructions for getting Wi-Fi on the weekend (say, at Starbucks or Borders or such). Basically:

Go to: and get SMS’d your login code. Good for cheap people like me that occasionally find themselves stranded with a gadget near Starbucks.