I just got off a gig helping port ChessEverywhere to the Smartphone. (ChessEverywhere is a mobile universal client for various Internet chess sites — there are always real people and bots to play, normal or blitz.)
Embedded Visual C++ 3.0, Win32 drawing… It was brief, but intense. Lots of fun, took my mind off the book troubles. For the past half year, I’ve been writing a lot about the .NET Compact Framework (see the May Software Development, the new Smart Solutions, and the upcoming “Jolt Awards” article) and my standard opener has been “Last year, I worked on a .NET Compact Framework prototype while my colleagues worked with J2ME and native PalmOS. I had a radically easier time…” That prototype, no surprise, was ChessEverywhere for PocketPC Phone Edition on a beta of the .NET CF (MobilePioneer hasn’t productized it yet, but if you’re interested, ask ’em!).
Well, as much fun as I had revisiting the days of Windows programming without MFC, ATL, or support for, say, C++ exception handling (!), my experience with the Smartphone deepened my belief that the .NET CF is huge. With the .NET CF, programming mobile solutions is only occasionally harder than writing for a desktop (two silly, but real examples — rotating bitmaps and opening a COM port). Honestly, in my Big List of Programming Projects, I no longer automatically move mobile applications to the bottom of the list — .NET CF makes them absolutely approachable. I’m convinced the next five years in software will be all about mobility: handhelds, phones, and Tablets.
Anyway…I’m going to disappear for the next 2 weeks. When I get back, I’m going to redesign the site, talk to the lawyers about getting TiC# code up as quickly as possible (surely there can’t be a dispute about the ownership of the code? I wrote every freakin’ line!), try to find a paying gig — say, anyone looking for someone with Smartphone C++ experience?