Though this is not really Visio related, I would like to talk about the Zune HD I acquired in February. So far I like the device, but as an MVP I cannot keep my mouth shut when it comes to talking about ways to improve.
The Zune designers for the desktop software should take a look at the Data Graphics in Visio. The podcast collections could be improved by adding a Data Graphic like feature to the podcast labels to indicate if it is to synced, how many times and how many podcasts are kept. The current method required you to select a collection and then click the settings button.
One of the features of PowerPoint 2010 is that you can save a presentation as a WMV file. When the file is added to the video collection on the Zune HD, the forward and backward buttons will take you to the transition point on the next or previous slides in the presentation. This makes for a very nice portable PowerPoint presentation device. Of course, you have to obey the standard presentation rules and avoid busy slides. If the slide is not readable on the Zune HD it is definitely too busy for a regular presentation.
With Office 2010, the Visio team has added some nice new features to Visio 2010. One of the new features is the ability to apply rules to a Visio diagram. As a teaser, the team has created some rules for flowcharting and laid the ground work for users to create their own rules.
Fellow Visio MVP David Parker was intrigued with this new feature that he researched it and built on this ground work and created a set of tools to make it easier to take advantage of this new capability within Visio 2010. There was enough material there for a book. In fact, he actually wrote the book on it. Currently the book is in the hands of the publishers and when it is released, it has a place on my shelf between my dog eared copies of Graham Wideman’s books and Bonnie Biafore’s Visio Bibles, next to David’s previous book on Data Visualization.
David does an excellent job covering the techniques needed to create rules and provides some good examples on how to create them. Rather than just providing tools, he actually walks you through the creation of these tools. He has also created a new website www.VisioRules.com which he plans to use as a clearing house for information and other things about the new rules feature. Currently it is only a place holder, but once it is fully up and running, it will be another website worth bookmarking.
So it sounds like we have a new slogan. It may be that “Dot Net Rocks” but “Visio RULES!”