August 2003 - Posts

Accessible Datagrids -- at last!

One of the biggest complaint I've heard about the ASP.NET Datagrid is that it doesn't render accessible HTML, for instance, having TH elements for the header items.  This is especially bothersome to those are required by governments or others to have all of their HTML code meet accessibility standards.  So imagine my delight when reading this KB article today:  FIX: DataGrid Made Compliant with Section 508 of the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) Guidelines  Now, you still have to install a HotFix, and the behavior is turned off by default, but this is very good news for the Datagrid community.  (Is there such a thing?  Well, I guess somebody reads my blog)

Passed onto me by David Gardiner, who attended my Datagrid talk at Tech Ed Australia.  Thanks David!

Update:  Apparently SharpReader didn't like me having TH (with the brackets) tags in my post body, once I removed the brackets, formatting seemed to go back to normal.

HierarGrid

Denis Bauer has just posted a new article on AspAlliance about his HierarGrid control.  This is a very nice control for displaying hierarchical relationships in a Datagrid, including the ability to expand and collapse child rows (client-side).

TechEd Joggers

I got up this morning and had an early jog along the Brisbane River.  There are city parks that go all along the river, with separate adjacent paths for pedestrians and cyclists.  There were a lot of people out jogging around at 6am, including a “Fitness Boot Camp”.  I sure am glad that guy wasn't yelling at me to do some pushups :) Picture from city website:

I also went by the "Kangaroo Point Cliffs", which are setup for rockclimbing:

Survived my talk!

Hey, so I made it through my big speech today without throwing up or anything :)  It was a big crowd, maybe 200 people all-in-all, and I think that it went pretty well.  The room was gigantic, so I could barely even see the people up in the nosebleed seats, and it was a little difficult to hear some of the questions.  I actually got done with all of my material early and had a lot of time left over for questions, which worked out well because the attendees had some very interesting questions.  We had a good cross-section of a lot of the more challenging things that people are doing with Datagrids.

Now that that's over with, I can begin procrastinating preparing for my new talk next week in New Zealand, “Building Application Back-Ends Quickly”.

P.S.  I also note that as of today, the New Zealand Tech Ed Bloggers list now has more bloggers listed than the Australians!

Please, go to Brian's talk.

I just read Brian's post about being in the same timeslot as me, and I implore you all that are here, please go to Brian's talk!  I peeked in the room that I'm supposed to speak in, and it holds like a thousand people.  If anywhere close to that many show up, I'll probably throw up, so please go see Brian!

IWI 202 Introduction to InfoPath

I went to the InfoPath Overview yesterday, presented by Shiraz Cupula. It was a high-level overview, which was fine for me because I didn't know very much about InfoPath. But the talk got me pretty interested, so now I'm really interested to try it out.

Highlights:

  • Rich forms interface.  In one example, Shiraz clicked “Yes“ on an option, and another section of the form appeared, asking for additional information.
  • Part of the Office suite
  • Particularly useful for collecting information that is currently going onto paper forms.
  • Rich-text editing
  • Conditional formatting
  • Immediate validation, either against the schema, or a web service
  • All input and output is Xml
  • Can retrieve data from a database
  • “Premier smart client for Xml Web Services“
  • Support for digital signatures
  • Rich text areas grow automatically
  • Can use the form offline, then submit to online backend later on, web service, database, or BizTalk

P.S. I tried to setup InfoPath to be my blog editor, submitting to Scott's web service, but I keep getting an error message, “The parameter is incorrect”, but it doesn't tell me *which* parameter.  Does anyone have this working currently, and want to share their form?

Procrastination, Xml, and Tim Walters

My Advanced Datagrids talk is tomorrow, but I'm a terrible procrastinator and am still working up some of the demos for the presentation.  At the request of Tim Walters, I've just added an Xml demo.  If anyone else has any particular requests for things you'd like to see in a Datagrid demo, please let me know.  I also just noticed that Tim is begging me for a link :)

And Tim has finally signed up for Tech Ed Bloggers, so there will now be 5 of us, not a bad start.  I'm hoping too that some more people sign up next week for New Zealand, so far I'm the only one.

Adam Cogan and Rules to Better Websites

Last night at the Welcome Reception here at Tech Ed Australia, I met lots of interesting people, including Adam Cogan, who is a very funny guy by the way.  Adam has a great page on his site called “Rules to Better Websites”, definitely worth checking out.  He also mentioned he's thinking of making these rules available as an RSS feed as he updates the list, hopefully he will!

Australia Day 1

Today so far we've had a Staff Briefing to get ready for the week, and the conference delegates begin coming in at 3PM this afternoon.  Next I'm signed up to work at the Hands-On Lab from 3-6PM, which ought to be quite an adventure since that's midnight to 3am Dallas time, and I'm still not fully adjusted.  After that is the Welcome Reception, which hopefully includes food.  I also had to turn in my slides today--there's a guy who checks through them for branding/trademark stuff and puts them in the proper template.  But they've agreed to let me keep my pink slides, yay!  Thanks Derek!

I'm disappointed that there aren't more Tech Ed Bloggers signed up yet for Australia.  Plus, I haven't yet met the other two that are signed up on there--Hi Frank and Tyson, wherever you are!  I may try to work in some mention of blogging during my speech on Tuesday, maybe I can try to drum up some interest down here.

No sign of the wallet/phone yet, I just got off the phone with the Auckland police again.

Anybody seen my wallet?

Travel is always quite an adventure, isn't it?  I've made it safely to Brisbane, Australia, but unfortunately my wallet and cellphone departed at our stopover in Auckland.  I've outdone even my usual absent-mindedness with this one, but maybe it'll turn up sometime before I head back to Auckland on Thursday for the New Zealand Tech Ed.  And if anybody's at the Auckland airport near Gate 10 and sees a black wallet/phone combo, let me know.  :)

I'm loving Australia so far, Brisbane is a beautiful city, and the people have all been incredibly nice.  The Quantas flight kept us well-fed the whole way, and you've just gotta feel safe on any airplane that has an upstairs.  The weather is very nice, a little cooler than Texas, but very sunny and beautiful.  My goal now is to well-enough with my speech so that they invite me back for next year, I'd love to come down here every year.

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