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December 2011 - Posts

POP Forums v9.1.1 posted, update fixes bug in previous release

There was a problem in v9.1.0 that prevented user views of a topic to be registered, meaning the "new topic" indicator would continue to glow "new" even though the user had viewed it. This has been fixed in v9.1.1.

See the previous post about the new version. Get the bits here. Sorry for the bug... I didn't have solid testing around this particular feature. I do now!

Microsoft uses open source? OMG, LOL and what not

Sometimes I read something in the "tech press" about Microsoft and get endlessly annoyed. I may have decided to leave the company, but quite honestly it's a lot like the feeling you get when you graduate from college. For better or worse, it'll always be a part of you and you'll always identify yourself as some part of it.

So ZDNet posts some drivel about blogs and such from Microsoft, and gets it wrong right off the bat:

"But the Microsoft blogs are the 'official' place to get detailed information; sometimes prepared and checked by the lawyers, more often posted directly by the developers working on the technology."

Really? I know a lot of people who work at Microsoft who have blogs, and they're not bouncing anything off of lawyers. Believe it or not, the company generally seemed to trust people to not do stupid things. The company is not as dumb and slow as people might like to think. It's also worth mentioning that many Microsoft employees host and pay for their own blogs, and a lot of people on these blog sites (MSDN,, etc.) don't work there at all.

That was just the part setting the tone that annoyed me. It was later in the piece where they express shock and awe (and then backtrack) over the use of open source at Microsoft.

"There's always a lot of suspicion when Microsoft is involved with open source, but this is a classic example of what open source is really good for..."

I hate that statement, because it comes off as an underhanded compliment. I read, "The evil Microsoft is trying to crush something, but it's cool because open source is a good force in the universe." There is not "always" suspicion, just suspicion when you're link-baiting. Mission accomplished.

Let me break it down for you in real terms. People like Matt (the developer who posted his experience about developing and deploying RequestReduce) at Microsoft are not cogs in the machine who mindlessly do as they're told and chant "developers developers" all day. In fact, Matt was one of the guys I worked with. We'd all go to lunch together (we had a DL called "deveats") and talk about whatever, make fun of our coworkers and often talk about poop (several of us had young children). We used all kinds of open source stuff in our apps, and obviously many of us contribute to, or maintain OSS projects. And by the way, the people who work there are probably smarter than everyone you work with, but would never admit to it.

My point is that actual human beings work at Microsoft, and this perpetual stereotype of the evil Uncle Fester working at the top to crush everyone is stupid and lame. It's also very tired. For all of the unfounded toxicity directed at Microsoft, the same people sure do get excited to see it on your resume.

POP Forums v9.1.0 has been posted to CodePlex!

Finally! After moving, being a dad and engaging in a great deal of home improvement, I finally managed to find time to an update out to POP Forums. I hope to not be that guy anymore, going forever between updates.

Release Notes

This is the first release for the ASP.NET MVC3 version of POP Forums. It is feature complete, stable, and ready for feedback. For previous release notes, see previous releases.

Check out the live preview:

Setup instructions are available in the documentation section.


If you're upgrading from v9.0 to v9.1, simply replace the existing files. You'll also have to run the PopForums4.0to4.1.sql SQL script against your existing database. That script can be found in the database project. It adds a single field to the pf_Forum table.

What's New?

  • New "adapter" interface for forums. Using the IForumAdapter interface, a developer can plug-in code that alters the model and/or resulting view on topic lists and the actual threads. For example, you might add to or alter the model, then present a different view to display the data. See the comments on the IForumAdapter interface for more information.
  • Also new, users starting a reply will see a button indicating that they can load any new posts that have occurred since they started writing their apply, so they don't miss any of the conversation.
  • Fix: Moderating topic title doesn't update the UrlName.
  • SEO enhancement: Page links in topics and forums include rel="next" and rel="prev" to tell search engines there's more to look at.
  • Fix: User post list had broken markup, preventing topic preview.
  • Fix: Added missing permission checking on action methods to preview or load individual posts.
  • User name in top nav now acts as a link to the user's profile.
  • Fix: Cache key for caching view post roles was incorrect.

What's Next?

Next batch of work will include an extensible "vote up" system to measure the usefulness of a post, and recognize users who have popular posts. The idea will be to make it open enough to work with any "scoring" actions you might develop in your site.

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