Very impressed with the user experience at Tumblr
23 July 09 02:49 AM | alexcampbell | with no comments
After using many different blog platforms over the year, I've finally found one that I actually like: Tumblr. It puts Wordpress to shame, and makes Community Server look like a bloated monster.

Check out my Tumblr blog here: Alex Campbell.

One of the things that I like so much is that Tumblr combines blogging with Twitter-like functionality such as Following. So every time you log into Tumblr you can browse through all of the cool Tumblr blogs you're following.
Chop or Champion - Sport opinion website using ASP.Net MVC, ADO.Net Data Entities, and JQuery AJAX
31 May 09 06:06 AM | alexcampbell | with no comments

I've just launched my first website using two very interesting new Microsoft technologies - ASP.Net MVC and ADO.Net Data Entities. It's called Chop or Champion.

Since I no longer do software development on a day to day basis, it's not easy for me to get back into the swing of it. This project has been a lot easier, since I absolutely love MVC. I always found Webforms a bit clunky and too loosely coupled. Codebehinds suck. For me, MVC makes development fun for the first time in years.

When you combine MVC with the ADO.Net Data Entity framework, you get a very efficient development environment. My only complaint is that adding/removing columns and then refreshing the data model seems to break everything. But this is easily fixed by deleting and recreating the data model in Visual Studio.

Some parts of the site have a pretty complex data model. I had never used LINQ before when I started this project, so there was a pretty steep learning curve. It took a while to figure out how to do things like nested subqueries and complex joins, sorting by subqueries etc. I nearly resorted to using Views a few times when I couldn't figure out how to do these things, but in the end I was able to get the LINQ right. So there is absolutely no raw SQL in the project at all.

Overall, I would highly recommend this as the model for future ASP.Net web development.

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LinkButtons in UpdatePanel cause full postback unless you give them IDs
08 March 08 08:25 PM | alexcampbell | 2 comment(s)

After tearing my hair out for half an hour, I have just figured out the painfully simple solution to a frustrating problem with UpdatePanels,Repeaters and LinkButtons.

The scenario: you have a Repeater in an UpdatePanel with LinkButtons in each RepeaterItem.  The LinkButtons fire Repeater.ItemCommand.  The problem is that every time you click on the LinkButton the page does a full postback - defeating the purpose of the UpdatePanel.

The solution: put IDs on your LinkButtons.  All of a sudden your LinkButtons are firing nice async partial-page postbacks.

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Facebook says
02 March 08 04:24 AM | alexcampbell | 1 comment(s)

I was just checking out how something works in Facebook's IE7 stylesheet, and found the first few lines amusing:

/*  ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    Facebook | IE7/PC Hacks |
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------  */

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