Steve Wellens

Programming in the .Net environment

  • SignalR is Magic

    Recently, I attended a Twin Cities .NET User Group presentation on SignalR.  I had heard about SignalR several times and was curious.   Plus there was free pizza…<burp>.

    SignalR has revamped the way I think about web sites.   Normally, a browser requests some data and the server sends it.  Ajax allows discreet calls to avoid full post-backs and full page rendering…but it is still a “request and wait” protocol.  A web client can also poll a web server which allows the server to choose when and what to send to the clients.  But that is a kind of ‘duct-tape’ programming.   It is interesting to note that internally SignalR will fall back to polling protocols if a more modern transport isn’t supported by the browser.

    In a nutshell:  SignalR allows the server to actively push data to clients.  

    I decide to try writing my own SignalR Application:  A Live Golf Scoring system.    Here is a link to a live demo of the final application:

    Here is what the final product looks like, note there are three browsers, IE, Chrome and FF all showing the exact same data: 

  • Code Builder for jQuery AJAX (Calling Web Services)

    Getting stuck in the cycle of code-build-test, code-build-test… can drain you physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. In the back of your mind you know the clock is ticking and you are not making headway. Of course the boss keeps sticking his sweaty head into your tiny cube and asking, "Any progress?" What a jerk. The intern who is supposed to be helping you keeps asking stupid questions he could find on Google: the lazy meathead. The department secretary just told you they lost your time sheet so you'll have to fill out another one: Too bad you didn't make a copy. Your waist is getting thicker and your hair is getting thinner.

  • CSS3 box-shadow and Visual Studio Features

    A few years ago, while creating an ASP.NET web site, I decided to add a gradient border to "sex up" the look of the site. Using a sophisticated image editing program, I created a small gradient image. I made sure the ending color of the gradient matched the color of the body in the target page. Here it is:

  • Google and Bing Map APIs Compared

    At one of the local golf courses I frequent, there is an open grass field next to the course. It is about eight acres in size and mowed regularly. It is permissible to hit golf balls there—you bring and shag our own balls. My golf colleagues and I spend hours there practicing, chatting and in general just wasting time.

  • Elegance, thy Name is jQuery

    So, I'm browsing though some questions over on the Stack Overflow website and I found a good jQuery question just a few minutes old. Here is a link to it. It was a tough question; I knew that by answering it, I could learn new stuff and reinforce what I already knew: Reading is good, doing is better. Maybe I could help someone in the process too.