September 2003 - Posts
Scott Hanselman blogs about SpamSoap, a server side Spam filter solution that doesn’t need to be installed on your email host. You can do this by routing your email (by changing your MX record) to the SpamSoap Servers, and they filter the spam for you. They redirect the good stuff to the original email account, and the suspected spam to a spam email account. Sounds like a great solution. I use Webhosting4Life and since they don’t offer spam filtering, this solution would solve that problem. The only issue I have is the price. At $25/month SpamSoap is more expensive than my hosting provider.
Adobe finally announced the release of the new Adobe Creative Suite. Like Microsoft’s Office suite, but for graphics design, it combines the previously separate products of Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign and others into 2 suite levels, Standard and Professional. Hit the Adobe site to find out more. As someone who occasionally works with the folks at Adobe, all I can say right now is that you should be prepared to be impressed. As soon as I get word that I could talk about specific features I will definitely let everyone know some of the cool things I did with Illustrator.
My 2 most recent GotDotNet samples, Extending Enums and Encrypted ConnectionStrings, have finally been updated. Thanks to some help and feedback from Steve Maine I got down to adding caching support to both of these samples. When it was all said and done, the caching was easy to implement. For some reason I had it stuck in my head that I was going to use System.Web’s caching, and I didn’t want to do that because I didn’t want to rely on running within ASP.Net (although I think you can use it outside of ASP.Net, but I haven’t check into it). Since the only classes that will need to access the cached info are the classes that create the objects, I really only needed to create a private, static hashtable within the ConnectionString class and the DalParameter class, and cache either the ConnectionStringDictionary object or the AttributeSettings object. It works like a charm and only needed minor code adjustments. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it when I first wrote it. I think it was partially because I was over complicating the caching. Most of the times, simpler is better.
And then benefit of the caching? Well in the Extending Enums example, it was originally about 10 times slower than using a bunch of static methods (the old school way). With the caching it is only 2 times slower, and I think it could actually be faster in the cases where there are a lot of stored procedure parameters, but I need to run tests to prove it. Basically if you had about 500 parameters (which isn’t out of the ballpark in larger systems), you would need 500 static methods using the old school method, but using enums, you don’t get additional methods, just additional enum entries (and additional cached Attributes). Once I do the tests I’ll let everyone know.
From the feedback it looks like the proposed PDC Bloggers Party is a go, but it will take some coordination effort on my part. To help make myself a little more accessible I’ll pull a Don Smith and release my IM id to the general public. I only use MSN IM, and the id is don_xml plus the obligatory @hotmail.com at the end (hopefully that little redirection confused the spam bots out there).
Geez, has it been a week since I posted something? I guess I’ve been busy.
With the PDC only a month away, and lots of supplemental events popping up, I thought I throw out the idea of a PDC Blogger Party. Something along the lines of the famous blogging dinners, but later in the night, and with some good music. The timing depends a lot of other events (especially the Blogger BOF ), but my first idea is to have it Monday night at the Viper Room (the famous Hollywood niteclub owned by Johnny Depp). Scheduled for that night is the infamous 80’s metal “cover” band Metal Shop. They are supposed to be a blast, and a must see for anyone that lived thru the 80’s.
If there are any other suggestions/ideas let me know and I’ll try to coordinate them.
If you happen to be in the NJ Area on October 2nd, you may want to stop by the NJMSDEV meeting and check out my presentation “Fun with Attribute Based Programming – Extending Enums”. It is based on my article and GotDotNet sample of the same name, and would be a great time to ask any questions that you may have on this topic.
Here's the description:
Fun With Attribute Based Programming - Extending Enums
Attribute based programming is a model by which you add metadata to a class, which allows it to change its behavior based on the metadata. One way I use it is to extend enumerations, so that they can contain more info than just a name and a value pair. A great example is how we create stored procedure parameters in our data access layer. We created a standard list of parameters that can be passed into and out of stored procs, using standard names, and data types. This way when you see a parameter name Foo, you can guarantee that it is exactly the same as someone else’s definition of Foo. The old school approach to this is to create a utility class with a bunch of static methods that you would call to create each stored procedure parameters.
Rory doesn’t shy away from asking the hard questions, and this time it is a real brain twister – “Why do you code?”
Well, why do I code? I’ve thought about for a long time (way before Rory asked), and when I distilled it to the most basic level, I came up with one reason, it makes me happy. It could be because that I like solving puzzles, or that coding attracts other people that think like I do, or that I like change, or that I’m focused on the future. But, essentially I code because it makes me happy.
Now, why did I decide to go by the name Don XML? Well way back in 1999, while I was still coding in VB 6, I was introduced to XML, and after struggling for a couple months to grasp the essence of it, all of a sudden it clicked, and it was like I was a born-again coder, I saw all my development projects in terms of XML. It got so bad that whenever we had architectural meetings, I would bring up XML as a solution to the problem, and the others sort of gave me the nickname. Eventually I learned to temper my use of XML to places that it really made sense, but the nickname stuck. Since at that time the internet was really the only place to go to get up to date info on XML, and the discussion groups like VBXML.com were the place to be, I started to hang out there. I also new about the merits of name recognition, and with years of experience with people slaughtering the Hungarian spelling of my Slovak last name, I knew that I’d need use something else to distinguish myself from all the other Dons. I toyed with the idea of creating a last name that phonetically sounded like XML (aka Exemelle), but don’t go that route, and just choose the nickname.
Now to hand it off to you: Why do you code?
For those of you that care, I’ll be at staying at the Whilshire Grand for the PDC, and the place will be rockin’.
Top Reasons to stay at the Whilshire Grand:
- Closest hotel to the Convention Center
- Wireless Internet Access throughout the hotel
- 4 restaurants and the Point Moorea Lounge – since downtown LA closes up early, you need some place to hang after the PDC ends for the night.
The 3rd annual XML for Financial Services conference is scheduled for Jan. 26-28, 2004, at the Flathotel in New York City. It will concentrate on maximizing interoperability, efficiency and cost savings thru integrated XML-based web services. All the presentations have not been announced yet, but I will be giving the following Post-Conference Workshop:
Creating Data Driven Graphics with SVG
If it sounds a bit similar to my presentation back at XMLDevCon, it should, but it will be updated to included the new some RCC examples, and more than likely some of the new Longhorn stuff, too (depending on what is publicly available at that time).
The majority of the conference will focus on web services and security, along with presentations on some of the Financial XML based languages.
If you want more info hit the XML for Financial Services site. It will be updated as more info becomes available.
Follow up to my previous post.
If you have already registered for the PDC, are a MSDN Universal subscriber, and didn’t take advantage of the $300 discount (in addition to the early registration discount), you can get still get the discount. All you have to do is to email them (via the standard questions address of firstname.lastname@example.org) with you invoice number (you can get it from the return visit page) and your subscriber id number.
Thanks to everyone for all their feedback and help.
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