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July 2011 - Posts

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Future Orchard Part 3: Autoroute

The way URLs work in Orchard today is fine for the simplest sites but it's not very customizable and comes with a number of challenges. Let's look at how it works today. Let's start with a plain page: Once you're done typing a title, when you tab out of the title field, an ajax request is fired that asks the server to do a fake publication of the page and get a slug out of the title. This happens in the Routable part, and it is extensible by implementing ISlugEventHandler. There are a few problems with this. First, the fake publication is creating some noise for subscribers to the publication event. It would be better unfortunately to do away with the nice ajax behavior. Second, it becomes really hairy once you introduce containers...
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07-30-2011, 5:34 PM

MisfitGeek.com, MSJoe.com – did you notice I’m schizophrenic ?

A year and a half ago I changed my domain name from MisfitGeek.com to MSJoe.com. There were a number of influences that predicated this change and one day I’ll write the whole story (but not in the near future ) My server log analysis shows that I still get TONS of inbound links for the [...] Read More...
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07-30-2011, 2:50 PM

Building a Training Calendar Application

I spent some time with the VP of an interesting company recently. The company is pretty good size (several hundred million dollars in revenue and many hundreds of employees). The company sells products, services, and training. The training segment of the business represents a very small percentage of the actual corporate revenue but is a [...] Read More...
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07-29-2011, 1:01 PM

Weekly Links– 2010_25 (50 for Web Devs & Other Geeks)

Software Developer Links of the Week. Symantec Compares Apple’s iOS and Android Security How to Create a Podcast RSS Feed in .NET Android for .NET Developers – Custom Dialogs and Local Storage Why your next language better be C++ Poll: Are you nervous about your applications’ security? Socket Programming in C# Google+ vs. Facebook: See [...] Read More...
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Future Orchard Part 2: more Tokens

This is part 2 for this post … Before I show some more advanced features of Tokens, I should probably say a word about why exactly we think we need this feature. In a CMS, there are many places where you need to build strings from some static but configurable part and a number of values that come from the environment. In the first post in this series , I used the rather silly example of Mad Libs because I thought it was a fun and light-hearted way of explaining the technology. But obviously we are not building the feature to play silly word games, we are building it because we need it to build other cool stuff. Real applications include: e-mail formatting : this does not require full templating but always involves inserting values from various...
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CoffeeScript, Sass and LESS support for Visual Studio and ASP.NET with the Mindscape Web Workbench

There's some really impressive stuff happening in the .NET Community lately. Folks are reaching outside their standard built-in tools and pulling inspiration from everywhere. It's been said that (some) Microsoft developers don't like to use tools or technologies that aren't built in to Visual Studio. However, myself and others have been pushing the concept of LEGO blocks snapping together. Rather than thinking of Visual Studio as a giant single block, consider it as a small block amongst many others. Feel empowered to choose the technologies that work for you and discarding the ones that don't. I talked about this LEGO analogy in my DevDays keynote in The Netherlands earlier in the year . Snap in tools like the HTML5 Web...
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Future Orchard Part 1: Introducing Tokens

After a long phase of cleanup on the new Orchard 2.0, we are now busy designing new features. We are focusing on a few foundational pieces, and on enabling e-commerce on top of the platform. In this post, I'm going to expose the basics of the preliminary design for one new foundational piece: Tokens. You could technically confuse Tokens with a fancy String.Format, or with a very lightweight templating solution, but you'd be slightly wrong in both cases. Its usage is what sets it apart from both. You will use tokens whenever you need to build a string by inserting named environmental variables into a string that has placeholders. That is it. No code, no loops, no ifs, just formatted substitution, but really the keyword here is environmental...
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NuGet Package of the Week #9 - ASP.NET MiniProfiler from StackExchange rocks your world

I LOVE great debugging tools. Anything that makes it easier for me to make a site correct and fast is glorious. I've talked about Glimpse , an excellent firebug-like debugger for ASP.NET MVC, and I've talked about ELMAH , and amazing logger and error handler. Now the triad is complete with MiniProfiler , my Package of the Week #9. Yes, #9. I'm counting "System.Web.Providers" as #8, so phooey. ;) Hey, have you implemented the NuGet Action Plan ? Get on it, it'll take only 5 minutes: NuGet Action Plan - Upgrade to 1.4, Setup Automatic Updates, Get NuGet Package Explorer . NuGet 1.4 is out, so make sure you're set to automatically update! The Backstory: I was thinking since the NuGet .NET package management site is...
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07-15-2011, 2:04 PM

Weekly Links– 2010_24 (50 for Web Devs & Other Geeks)

Software Developer Links of the Week. Why is JSON so popular? Developers want out of the syntax business. Is Microsoft Blowing Smoke When It Says It Won’t Be Hurt By the Cloud? Adobe gives designers the Edge with HTML 5 tool Overview of oData Protocol for Windows Phone Microsoft Sponsors NodeJS for Windows Making sense [...] Read More...
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Model Metadata and Validation Localization using Conventions

By default, ASP.NET MVC leverages Data Annotations to provide validation. The approach is easy to get started with and allows the validation applied on the server to “float” to the client without any extra work. However, once you get localization involved, using Data Annotations can really clutter your models. For example, the following is a simple model class with two properties. public class Character { public string FirstName { get; set; } public string LastName { get; set; } } Nothing to write home about, but it is nice, clean, and simple. To make it more useful, I’ll add validation and format how the properties are displayed. public class Character { [Display(Name= "First Name" )] [Required] [StringLength(50)]] public string FirstName...

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