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September 2007 - Posts

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09-23-2007, 10:11 PM

Microsoft Passes the OpenAjax InteropFest Test

Recently Bertrand posted OpenAjax InteropFest 1.0: Microsoft's entry . The OpenAjax's InteropFest 's goal is to demonstrate how different Ajax libraries can be parts of the OpenAjax ecosystem and interact with each other through the OpenAjax hub . Read all the details, including sample code in Bertand's blog post.. Read More...
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Starter Kit for Facebook.NET

Sharing a link to a starter kit for Facebook.NET, and a new release of Facebook.NET (0.2.1.0) itself. Read More...
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AJAX Control Toolkit 10920 Released!

I know, I know, we were a whole week late from our original date. What kind of show are we running around here anyway? :) S Seriously there's a lot of big fixes in here - almost 1000 votes worth - including some much-requested Calendar work (thanks Ron ). One of the thing the team has been working really hard on is a new testing framework for the Toolkit - one that lets us define tests much more easily so we can broaden our test coverage. The new framework and harness is super cool - but it's a bunch of new code so we're still smoothing out some of the bumps. For several days we thought we were close to getting it perfect, and wanted it to be included with this release. This went on for a few days and it was clear we were spending much more...
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Multi-threaded Debugging in Visual Studio 2008

This might be old news but it was a treat for me. In debugging some multithreaded code recently got to use the improved debugger support for threads in Visual Studio 2008 (I'm running Beta 2) that John Robbins blogged about last month and Soma blogged last week . Take a look at the IDE screenshot below (click to Zoom). There's a few cool and subtle things going on here. Take a look at the current instruction location in yellow. It's right at the end of the CheckDependancyCallback method - but see the gray highlight with the squiggly "thread" in the margin? That's the current location of another thread of execution. You can name your threads now just by entering their name in the Threads toolbox window, and some threads without names will get...
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OpenAjax InteropFest 1.0: Microsoft's entry

Yesterday I got to write our entry in OpenAjax's InteropFest . The goal of this event is to demonstrate how different Ajax libraries can be parts of the OpenAjax ecosystem and interact with each other through the OpenAjax hub . The currently central feature of the hub is to expose a publish/subscribe message bus so that both producers and consumers of events can speak through a third party that is neutral to specific Ajax implementations. The OpenAjax Alliance provides a template for demo applications that shows a live data source feeding fake stock quotes through the hub to a visual component that then renders them. I've chosen to modify the live data source to be a Microsoft Ajax-style component. The visual component would not have been as...
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09-21-2007, 4:31 AM

Tip/Trick: Automating Dev, QA, Staging, and Production Web.Config Settings with VS 2005

One of the questions I get asked fairly regularly is: "how can I can easily change different configuration settings in my web.config file based on whether my application is in a dev, qa, staging or production mode?" The most common scenario for this is one where an application uses different database connection-strings for testing and production purposes. It turns out you can easily automate this configuration process within the Visual Studio build environment (and do so in a way that works both within the IDE, as well as with command-line/automated builds). Below are the high-level steps you take to do this. They work with both VS 2005 and VS 2008. Use ASP.NET Web Application Projects (which have MSBuild based project files) Open the VS Configuration...
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Managing Multiple Configuration File Environments with Pre-Build Events

ScottGu mentioned an idea to me last week that he'd had for managing configuration files like web.config depending on what the current build config is. Bil Simser mentioned one part of this in January and Rob Chartier offered batch file help on a mailing list in June. Since ScottGu is busy Managing Generally (he IS the General Manager) so I said I'd prove the concept for him. Here's the general idea. It's not too hard. I'll use an ASP.NET Web Site and web.config as an example, but this will work with most any kind of project, exe's or .dll's. 1. From Visual Studio, go File | New Project, and select ASP.NET Web Application. Note: Do NOT "New Web Site" as we want a .csproj and we're going to use a Pre-Build Event, not supported by Web Sites. I...
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09-21-2007, 12:48 AM

I have a theory... help me prove it!

I have a theory that you can't build amazingly great products if you don't deeply know the customer. An d the best way to get the visceral and lasting impression is to physically go see the customer work in their own environment. This where I need your help. I am looking to get smarter about the way custom application development in small business really works. While Microsoft has some great feedback channels for large ISVs and large business. The small business is a slightly harder area for us because of its breath. My, somewhat crazy, idea is to get folks from my team physically outside of the Microsoft campus and get a first hand experience of what life is like for folks doing custom application development in small businesses. To make the...
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09-20-2007, 3:24 AM

The new C# ?? null coalescing operator (and using it with LINQ)

One of the subtle (but cool) new language features in the VS 2008 version of C# is the ?? "null coalescing" operator. This provides a nice, terse way to check whether a value is null, and if so return an alternate value. Simple Example Usages Several folks have blogged about the ?? operator in the past - read here , here , here , and here for some previous examples on how to use it. Simply put, the ?? operator checks whether the value provided on the left side of the expression is null, and if so it returns an alternate value indicated by the right side of the expression. If the value provided on the left side of the expression isn't null, then it returns the original value. For example, let's assume we have a string variable "message". We could...
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09-20-2007, 2:45 AM

Microsoft @ AJAXWorld

While I am bummed that I am not able to go to AJAXWorld this time, I am super excited about some of the great stuff I see going on there. Joe Stagner is going to give a killer keynote on "AJAX in the balance". Joe totally gets open source, standards and sometimes, the need for full bet-your-business 24x7 support. I can't wait to see what he does with this thing. In addition, there looks like a bunch of cool sessions: Jesse Liberty - on building Silverlight applications sessions Joe Stagner on the ASP.NET AJAX platform Patrick Ruzand on ASP.NET AJAX Controls... Robert Boedigheimer on the ASP.NET AJAX Control toolkit Dave Wright - on building Cloud Data Services with "Astoria" Dave Wolf (from Cynergy) - will talk about rich user experience on...

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