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May 2004 - Posts

DevCampus Departments RFC

I'm about to finalize the Department Listing for DevCampus, so I thought I would post the list of departments here in case anyone would like to suggest an additional one or has general comments and/or questions about them. So, here they are, in random order:

  • Programming Languages
  • Internet Development
  • Database Technologies
  • Development Methodologies
  • Scripting Languages / Technologies
  • Computer Graphics
  • Architecture
  • Source Code Management Systems (should be interesting now w/ VS.NET 2005 Team System)
  • Software Project Management
  • Systems Engineering
  • Industry Certifications
  • Software Development Platforms
  • User Interface Design
  • Thinking Outside the Cubicle (opinions, rants, etc.)

I'll also post this information over at the DevCampus Orkut community - if you'd like an invite to Orkut to join, let me know.

Hacking the Code

The other day I received my copy of Hacking the Code and so far I'm enjoying it quite a bit. On the cover it says, “ASP.NET Web Application Security” but let me tell you, the ideas and topics discussed go far beyond just ASP.NET and web applications. I just finished reading the first chapter, “Managing Users” which was about 50 pages and went very deep into implementing secure password schemes. I had heard some of the advice before but, also picked up a few things I hadn't thought about before, which is always good. I like coming away from reading security books aware of some new security issues I didn't know about before. So far, it seems like a book I would definitely recommend , in addition to Writing Secure Code, 2nd Edition to anyone interested in learning more about coding and security. I'd also recommend Dana Epp's Security Blog.

Another thing I like about the book is that it refers to actual websites that you can go take a look at, right now, with your browser. Some are used as good examples, some as bad examples. Even better, at the end of each chapter, the book contains a security checklist and a coding conventions checklist that you can reference while writing code of your own. Nice bonus.

The whole book comes in at under 450 pages, short enough to tackle in a couple of weekends. It's been a while for me since I read a tech book so I'm glad the first one I decided to read has been able to keep my interest.

Database Naming Conventions, Part Deux

A couple of weeks ago I posted about database naming conventions, asking if anyone knew of a good website or resource that detailed naming conventions for database objects. Since I didn't receive much feedback, I decided to strike out on my own in search of something. Even with help from Google, I found less than half a dozen “good” resources that discussed naming database objects. In each case, the convention seemed skewed towards SQL Server, Oracle, or some other database system. So, I decided to aggregate what I found and add some of my own opinions, to produce my own naming convention. I've come to the conclusion that there can't be a single naming convention that can be taken as pure gospel. There's just too many ways to come up with good names. Having said that, I think what I've come up with makes good logical sense and will raise very few problems, if any.

It can be found here.

Please, if you have some time, skim over it and let me know what you think. This is the type of content I would like to publish for DevCampus, so the content is going to be influenced by the feedback from the community. If you spot any holes in the naming convention, I'd love to hear about it. My next project for database naming conventions is going to be creating some subsets of guidelines that are DBMS specific for SQL Server, Oracle, and Access. I intentionally left out naming conventions for objects like “Queries” in Access as I wanted to keep this first draft DBMS neutral.

UPDATE: Upon receiving helpful feedback and comments (thanks people) and exchanging emails with a few people, I've changed some of the rules and updated the version to 1.1

Awesome collection of Web UI Widgets

I just received word today from Ed Boelzner that his collection of Web UI widgets are now available for purchase at his website, Stedy.com. He's now made them available as ASP.NET controls that you can bind to XML data so you can drag n drop them from the vs.net toolbar. Trust me, they're very cool - you owe it to yourself to at least check them out if you're doing any kind of web application projects.

I used his 2k3Select, 2k3Menu, 2k3MenuSelect, and 2k3Toolbar (Button Bar) widgets for a project I've previously mentioned here on my blog. Yes, they're IE only since they make use of behaviors but, I don't think you can do what he's done without using behaviors.

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