Things I Mean to Know

I regularly listen to podcasts in the car. One of the podcasts I follow is This American Life. Sometime ago they put out an episode titled “Things I Mean to Know“. This triggered me into creating a list for myself. Not necessarily to blog about it, but to have a grand feeling of what technologies I can say I do know something about and what not.

Funnily the podcast goes into quite the opposite opinion; that such lists are just a burden. During my work I regularly speak to customers, partners and other technical people. Usually new technologies come up and I want to be able to have at least a general idea what it is about!

So here a broad list of Things I Mean to know; mostly pulled from Gartner. (story behind)

  • Data science and big data
  • Quantum computing
  • Digital twin
  • Serverless, edge computing and IoT platforms
  • Volumetric displays (Holograms)
  • Deep learning, machine learning

This post is a reminder for myself to report back to you, my readers, about what I’ve learned and to explain what is worth diving into or what can be ignored.

In another future post I will dive into things I’ve already digged into last year (2017) and that I’m currently experimenting with; Things I’ve Learned About.

Quick FBX Inspector

This week I came across a simple option to inspect FBX files, something I’ve always wanted to have. It’s not a native solution or does not have fancy GUI or has a 3D viewer. It’s a framework to use the FBX SDK using .NET. The sample that comes with it, does just what I need!

At Soltegro we’re working with BIM models in the form of Revit, Navisworks or AutoCAD files. Each of these pieces of software can transform these files into FBX files, however they all do it differently. And to that end I’m looking for a way to inspect the FBX files, and it’s internal tree, before importing them into Unreal Engine 4.

You can find the tool on GitHub; https://github.com/Kolky/ManagedFBX. Thanks to returnString for the first version. 

I’ve modified it slightly to support the FBX SDK 2016 v1.1 used by Unreal Engine 4.16. And made it support FbxProperties and expanded the sample to be more versatile. I might add a WPF version of the Sample and also more FBX info in the future. But for now it does what I need!

Managed FBX Sample

AnyStatus ‘support for Jenkins MultiBranch’

Two weeks ago I came across a plugin for Visual Studio; AnyStatus. It gives you the ability to keep track of all kinds of services/servers while working in Visual Studio. It lacked the ability to track Jenkins MultiBranch projects, what we use a lot at my work; Soltegro. Since the API was straightforward and freely available in GitHub, I decided to develop it myself. And as of this week it has been merged into the Plugins dll; Pull Request 4.

The code could use some extra work, when the API introduces a better way for managing and creating sub-items. There is still discussions going on about this; Issue 2.

Allium ‘Google Analytics v3 Tracker in C#’

Lately I’ve been looking into NuGet packages and libraries on GitHub to add Google Analytics tracking in .NET WPF applications. There are quite some that offer ways to do this, see the links at the end. They all however have their limitations; either they lack support for WPF (and it’s hard to add) or they use older versions of the Google Measurements Protocol. It’s a shame that Google hasn’t released a tracking library itself! Their Analytics Reporting API is quite good!

So I’ve decided to create my own solution, Allium. As of right now, it is still WIP and untested.

Here is however an extremely simple usage example, which will not change much during development;


using (var session = new AnalyticsSession("UA-XXXXX-YY"))
{
  session.TrackScreenViewHit("ThisWindow");
}

Inspired by;