Infragistics insights - tech news roundup

DevToolsGuy / Friday, January 23, 2015

We’re used to an undercurrent of competition in the struggle over tech world dominance, but this week things flared up following Google’s publication of a security flaw in Windows. Microsoft hit back, saying they were on the brink of releasing a patch to cover for the fault and criticised Google for exposing paying customers to security risks. For their part, Google reiterated that they had highlighted the flaw months earlier and were simply applying the rules of Project Zero, which gives tech companies ninety days to resolve faults in their programming.

Whether Google has a right to police other companies and if they were in the wrong to post details of the flaw online will be the focus of much discussion. Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

For those of us working in the development industry, it’s been an interesting week with some significant new releases. We’ve been paying particular attention to Microsoft’s new.NET framework patch, as well as jQuery releases and HTML updates.

.NET Framework 4.5.2

Microsoft recently announced that .NET Framework 4.5.2 would be made available. In the run up to its release, there was some concern about the patch and whether it would be of any value.

Throughout 2014 many of Microsoft’s patches and upgrades contained bugs or simply didn't work, so concern about whether this recent release would be any better was understandable. The Corporation has come under criticism for their patches over the last few years with the blame being placed on layoffs at Microsoft and a conspiracy to push customers onto the cloud. Whatever the cause of these issues, this latest update seems to have received a cautious welcome with only minor hiccups reported during its deployment.

So what does the new patch do? By and large, the update will improve functionality with .NET 4.+ and patch up a number of bugs. Supported on Windows 8 and 8.1, Windows 7 SP1, Vista SP2 (among others), it should make debugging easier and offers better tracing capabilities. Visual Studio developers will like the fact that it includes an update for ASP.NET; these new APIs are intended to improve on PreSendRequestHeaders and PreSendRequestContent events.

For those working on high resolution screens, you’ll be pleased to hear that Glyphs and Icons will be more easily visible. These screenshots on Microsoft's blog show how warning signs and drop down arrows are now a lot easier to see (equaling far less eye-strain!).

.NET Framework 4.5.2 is ‘in-place’, meaning it will be compatible with earlier versions of .NET Framework 4.+. You therefore won’t have to rebuild or restructure your codes. That said, it will include changes that can block functioning of certain applications, so make sure you’re up to date about how and when this will be the case.

It’s also worth noting that Microsoft will be ending support for .NET 4.5.1 and earlier versions of .NET 4. from January 2016. Looking forward, bear in mind that Microsoft see .NET 4.6+ as the future, so it’ll be worth investigating, because at some point upgrading will become inevitable.

jQuery recent releases

We all received an early Christmas present with the release of jQuery 1.11.2 and 2.1.3 in December. This is a Safari fail-safe edition and will be very welcome to developers who’ve been waiting a long time for jQuery updates. The update included a number of improvements, several bug fixes and aimed to smooth down cross-browser development.

However, the major fix was a workaround for a serious query Selector bug in Safari 8.0 and 7.1. jQuery explained that they received very little guidance from Apple when it came to fixing the bug, but that their patch should make up for the issues anyway. You can get 1.11.2 here and 2.1.3  here.

What’s new in HTML?

Last week was also a busy day for HTML - Mozilla announced the release of version 35.0 of Firefox which includes a raft of improvements, new tools and bug fixes. Focusing specifically on HTML this means:

  • Added support for the CSS Font loading API
  • Resource Timing API implemented
  • CSS filters enabled by default
  • Changed JavaScript ‘let’ semantics to match the ES6 specifications

Looking forward

With all these new developments it’s exciting to see how they’ll be adopted by the developer community, what achievements they’ll have and what problems they might throw up. We’re looking forward to following developments with these new offerings and will be tracking how they settle in.

Over the coming months we’ll be publishing a weekly round-up of tech news related to our work here at Infragistics. Let us know what you think about this week’s developments in the comments section below and tell us what you want to hear more about going forward.