Farewell Bob Pappas

Today was Bob‘s last day at Microsoft. He was the project manager of Sketch Flow and his contribution will be remembered. Bob leaves to join Apple where he will work on iPhoto and he will be replaced by Dave Carley as project manager of Sketch Flow. For those who didn’t know Sketch Flow is developed almost exclusively here in Minnesota.

Farewell Bob and good luck Dave!


This is a photo of some of the Microsoft Twin Cities Development Center bowling at Bryant Lake Bowl. Bob stands at the left.

Morcheeba at First Avenue

Last night I went to see one of my favorite bands of the 90’s, Morcheeba. I spent many hours listening to Big Calm and it’s one of my favorite all time albums. Last night I finally got to fulfill my long time wish to see them live and they didn’t disappoint. Skye’s voice sounded exactly like it does in their recordings; smoky, sensual and in a word sultry. Here are a few images I snapped with my cell phone.


Here is my all time favorite Morcheeba song, The Sea:

Emerging Languages Conference

I sometimes think about what I would have done with the $5,000 Jeff Atwood gave away to the ScrewTurn Wiki project if he had given it to me instead. Here was what they had to say about using the money.

The grant money is still untouched. It’s not easy to use it. Website hosting fees are fully covered by ads and donations, and there are no other direct expenses to cover. I thought it would be cool to launch a small contest with prizes for the best plugins and/or themes, but that is not easy because of some laws we have here in Italy that render the handling of a contest quite complex.

What would you suggest?

A part of me wonders if it wouldn’t have turned out similarly for me.

But days like this make me realize that I would spend that money to go to Portland and attend the Emerging Languages Conference. I also had the experience of creating my own logos for MetaSharp which I would have happily paid an artist to make for me instead (which I think turned out pretty well despite my not being an artist).

Here it is, btw.


Anyway, in addition to sounding really interesting the people of the emerging languages conference apparently have a great sense of humor as well. Here is one of my new favorite quotes taken from the newly created google group:

That’s the beauty of functional programming — you can almost say
anything and make it sound good.  For example, I fully plan to support
higher-order gouda.

– Fogus

I tried to tweet this but Fogus irreverently failed to contain his wit to less that 140 characters. Also… check out coffee script, very cool.

Non Linear Presentation using SketchFlow

I’m giving a talk tonight on MetaSharp and I’ve decided to use SketchFlow instead of Powerpoint to present my talking points. The topic is complex and I want the audience to be more interactive and I want to be able to be flexible in how deep into a topic I can go without having to skip over slides. I’ve never done this before, or seen it before so I have no idea what to expect but I’m going to give it a try.

The people at the TCLangUG tend to be more interactive and fun than your typical straight presentation crowd anyway, so this should be a good forum for experimentation like this.

Anyway, I thought the map that SketchFlow makes of all the screens is pretty neat so I thought I’d put a snapshot of it here.


The white screen is the starting point and the various colors and layers are screens going deep and depper into a particular topic. The blue lines are connections between concepts.

While running the SketchFlow player I can use back and forward browser like buttons to navigate as well as use this exact map to jump to topics. I also have a list of all connections available and even some interactive controls on the screen itself that allow me to jump directly to a subject. This should be interesting!

MetaSharp at the Twin Cities Languages User Group

This thursday I will be presenting MetaSharp to the TCLangUG. It should be pretty interesting and you should stop by if you can!

Here are the details:


MetaSharp is a developer tool designed to assist in the creation of programming languages. Using MetaSharp’s fully extensible, pipelined transformation engine you can easily create your own domain specific languages or general purpose programming languages.


Justin Chase is a software developer from St. Paul MN and works for Microsoft on the Expressionteam. In addition to loving WPF and Xaml and Expression Studio he has special interests in domain specific languages and games.


5:45 pm at Magenic, in Golden Valley.