Monday, 16 July 2018

Is PSF for me?

MSIX's Package Support Framework was released yesterday. As this is an initial blog, I am penning down some points to touch base on basic questions around PSF

1) Who is PSF for?
2) Who can create PSF fixups?
3) What skills are needed for developing compatibility fixups?
4) Where is this technology likely to lead few years down the line?

I am sure many of you must be having these questions in mind. Having worked on a very similar product at Cloudhouse, I'll try to answer some of the basic questions to give you a quick start on the skills needed to try your hands at this new framework. I am sorry for disappointing those of you who were expecting a technical blog. We will dig into the tech details in subsequent posts.

As always, a disclaimer first. These are my personal views based on my experience and don't reflect the opinion held by Cloudhouse or Microsoft.

Continue reading full post here.

Priya Saxena.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

MSIX PSF - Promise of a New World for Migrants (Apps)

At MS Build 2018 (on 8th May), MSIX was launched with a promise of the new world (Win10) for the old legacy apps. I was one of the few partners who got a first-hand session from MSIX developers at a 2-day summit in Redmond before Build conference. At Build, the Windows team disclosed details of MSIX components including the Package Support Framework (PSF).

In this blog, we will take a closer look at what was revealed during the session at Build 2018 and do a technical dissection to see what this might lead to in future. I'll be interpreting PSF based on my experience of working with a similar software. So, few things might seem to be as if I am reading between the lines. As PSF isn't released yet, this write-up will touch base on basic concepts only. Once it gets released, I'll post subsequent blogs getting into details.

First, a disclaimer; although my day to day job involves working on similar tech at Cloudhouse and I work very closely with Microsoft's MSIX team; blogs published here don't reflect the opinion of Microsoft or my employer. I've launched this website as a community initiative to share my views and spread the word about MSIX PSF. Hence I'll be penning down my knowledge and experience on fixing legacy apps without violating my NDA. 

Now let's discuss the "What.. Why.. and How" Stuff.

Please continue reading here.

Priya Saxena.

Monday, 4 June 2018

Presenting at Women in Technology, London 2018

YES! "Women in Tech"! It's going to be as cool as the name sounds. I am glad to be part of this conference with over 100+ speakers and 4000+ attendees. BTW it's not all about women in tech, there are many interesting sessions by male presenters as well (check full agenda here). I'll be taking up a 30mins session titled "What's Next... App Portability" on 27th June @ 14:40 - 15:15 as part of Master Classes.

Presenting at E2EVC, Amsterdam 2018

I am going to attend my first E2EVC conference this month. I've heard that E2E is the most forgiving audience for beginners. Hence I'll be stepping up on the stage with a very well known speaker Remko Weijnen for a session titled "Become an App Ninja with Cloudhouse". As its a company-sponsored session, we will be doing a deep dive on Cloudhouse's application virtualization. Our presentation slot is on 9th June @16:15 - 17:00

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Azure Sphere - New Kid On The Block

WHAT?? Microsoft's own Linux distribution!! That's music to my ears. Who would have thought that Microsoft will launch its own Linux distribution? In this blog, I am penning down few thoughts which struck my mind as I was wondering what might have made them take this step. I am no expert in this, so just bouncing my thoughts from a beginner's perspective.

Firstly, why Linux kernel? Why not Windows core?

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

MSIX - First look and my two cents!

Finally, the suspense around MSIX has come to an end! Since its announcement on Windows Developer Day in March; there were many speculations around this new file format (including one by me). I was among very few technology partners who were invited to attend a 2 days packaging summit at Microsoft last week. We got a really detailed first-hand briefing by the MSIX developers. Now that it has been presented at Build2018 yesterday, I am free to write my thoughts on it in the public domain. So, here I am penning down few points which caught my eye along with my 2 cents worth of opinion on where it will be successful and which areas need a little more thought. Let's get started with some good news first.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

MSIX - The Newly Crowned King [Part2]

This is the second and final part of the series "MSIX - The New Land Registry System". Let's continue our journey from where we left in Part1; covering rest of the story 
  • Starting with a short introduction to AppX
  • Touch base on AppXUWP and Windows Store issues
  • Move on to The Rebellion phase;
  • The negotiations phase where authorities had to relax strict rules to satisfy rebel's demands; 
  • The Cops (or rather "The Secret Agents" as they kept changing their name Project C / Centennial / Desktop Bridge / Desktop App Converter), 
  • Find out where did the cops fail 
  • Finally, The Rise of MSIX

We will end this blog with my forecast on the newly crowned King - MSIX

There are lots of things to cover in this part so the blog will be a little lengthy. But I'll try to keep it as short as possible (yeah, I don't like lengthy blogs either). For those who want to read these topics in detail, I'll provide relevant links to Microsoft's website. Right, so let's get started with AppX first.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

MSIX - The New Land Registry System [Part 1]

In this blog series, I am penning down very crucial technical issues which lead to MSIX using a land registry system's analogy. Yeah, I know this sounds silly but I like comparing technology with day-to-day systems as the human brain's logic always remains the same. In this first post (part 1), we will discuss the issues with old style MSIs which lead to a new way of containerizing applications. In my next post (part 2), we will explore what challenges this new approach possessed and how it eventually evolved into MSIX.

Sunday, 8 April 2018

LinWin Experiment 1 : Virtualized WSL Launcher

In this blog, I am going to pen down my first experiment with Windows Subsystem for Linux where I virtualized WSL's launcher component. I'll start with summarizing my WSL learning (with links to Microsoft's site) and then take you through the setup and how I ended up virtualizing WSL launcher. I am yet to analyse it fully, so I'll be posting followup blogs as I move on with my experiments. I would really like to get feedback from those who experimented with WSL earlier. I've used tools like APIMonitor, WinDbgProcessHacker and Cloudhouse's Virtualization engine while trying these experiments.

WSL in a Nutshell

Windows Subsystem for Linux is a feature released in 2016 by Microsoft to run Linux binaries natively on Windows 10. I've written this blog while doing some experiments on WSL to summarise key points which I've learned. These are taken from Channel 9 videos where Microsoft's WSL team members have explained the concepts clearly. Also, Jessie Frazelle's blog is a good read to understand the internals.