John Mandia's Points of Interest

Learning is a never-ending adventure :D


.Net 2


Other Sites

Rainbow Related Links


Unit Testing / TDD

Useful Sites

AngularJs - Where to start?

This blog has been way too quiet so I recently decided to do a post about one of the things I've been looking into and that's AngularJs. I thought about writing it here but I wanted to try a different approach to writing a blog post and have gone for the new Markdown approach which lets me easily add and edit posts. I decided to try out and so far it's been quite a nice experience.

So long story short I may start using as my main place for posts. The AngularJs post covers a lot of useful resources and so far feedback has been good.

If you are interested in JavaScript and AngularJs please check it out at:


New ASP testing bundle being launched

Yes this blog post is related to the promotion detailed below. Just thought I would point it out :) Why post it? Well:

(1) I have heard Typemock Isolator is a good mocking framework especially when it comes to testing legacy code so I don't mind promoting it in this way

(2) I've used Rhino.Mocks in the past and like it but would like to be able to also try out Typemock (beyond a trial) so this will give me a chance to compare both.

(3) I've used NUnitASP ( support ended in Jan 2008) in the past and wanted to see what the asp testing framework was like.

(4) This promotional offer may be useful to other developers who also wanted to use TypeMock but couldn't or wouldn't buy it.

What is this new bundle/promotion:

Unit Testing ASP.NET? ASP.NET unit testing has never been this easy.

Typemock is launching a new product for ASP.NET developers – the ASP.NET Bundle - and for the launch will be giving out FREE licenses to bloggers and their readers.

The ASP.NET Bundle is the ultimate ASP.NET unit testing solution, and offers both
Typemock Isolator, a unit test tool and Ivonna, the Isolator add-on for ASP.NET unit testing, for a bargain price.

Typemock Isolator is a leading .NET unit testing tool (C# and VB.NET) for many ‘hard to test’ technologies such as SharePoint, ASP.NET, MVC, WCF, WPF, Silverlight and more. Note that for unit testing Silverlight there is an open source Isolator add-on called SilverUnit.

The first 60 bloggers who will blog this text in their blog and tell us about it, will get a Free Isolator ASP.NET Bundle license (Typemock Isolator + Ivonna). If you post this in an ASP.NET dedicated blog, you'll get a license automatically (even if more than 60 submit) during the first week of this announcement.

Also 8 bloggers will get an additional 2 licenses (each) to give away to their readers / friends.

Go ahead, click the following link for more information on how to get your free license.

Prism V2 - Composite Application Guidance for WPF and Silverlight - February 2009 - Released

I mainly do these short announcements via my twitter account but I have been looking forward to digging into Prism v2 but held off until it was released (which is now :D).

I am glad to see guidance come out that covers WPF and Silverlight and it has been good to see how Prism v2 has changed over the 10 drops they did (and the fact that they asked for feedback on their thoughts on naming conventions and the ideas they were investigating).

The prism team were also very responsive to queries (even ones sent over the weekend. Cheers!).

 Anyway this should warrant some of your time if you are interested in Silverlight and/or WPF.





Everything has its place

I had resisted signing up to Twitter as I really didn't see the point and now that my little family has grown over the festive season I have even less time (I've heard that reading tweets can become addictive :D ).

I did however see how Twitter could fit alongside my other tools/sites. Twitter will be used for short tech posts instead of this blog (I'd like to keep the points of interest posts going and add some bigger posts in the future).

So if you are interested you can follow me on

Recent tweets:

Microsoft ASP.NET MVC Beta Released!

 Another release I thought would come during the PDC has been released:

 Microsoft ASP.NET MVC Beta

 Click the link above to go to the Microsoft download page.

Some points about the release (Headings taken from the What's New section):

  • MvcFutures.dll is not included in the beta (as it wouldn't be included in the final release)
  • The Beta installer installs the ASP.NET MVC assemblies (System.Web.Mvc.dll, System.Web.Routing.dll, and System.Web.Abstractions.dll) into the GAC.
  • New Simple Membership Features in the Default Project Template
  • New Filter Types for Authorization and Exception Handling
  • New Output Cache Filter
  • Changes for ASP.NET AJAX
  • Namespaces in Routes
  • New Interface for Enhanced Testability of TempData
  • ActionInvoker Extensibility Improvements
  • ViewDataDictionary (minor change)
  • ViewEngine Improvements
  • Helper Improvements
  • Controller and Filter Improvements

Bug fixes:

  • Fixed a bug in which the ignore-routes setting (created by using the IgnoreRoute extension method) affected URL generation.
  • Fixed a view engine caching bug when the application is not in debug mode (that is, when debug="false" is set in the Web.config file). This bug occurred if different action methods in different controllers had the same name. In that case, an action method could render the view for the wrong controller.  
  • Fixed a bug in OutputCacheAttribute in which cached authenticated content did not require authentication. Even though the content is cached, if it requires authentication, the user should be required to authenticate first before seeing the cached content.
  • Fixed a bug in which RenderPartial does not work when tracing is turned on.
  • Fixed a bug in the Html.TextArea helper method in which an overload was not looking in ViewData for its value when the provided value is null.
  • Fixed the OutputCacheAttribute.CacheProfile property so that it works in Medium Trust.

If you haven't looked at ASP.NET MVC before because it was a preview I would have a look at this release to see if ASP.NET MVC is for you (or your current/future project at least :D).

 Thanks to Tomoharo Nagasawa for spotting this.


Flash Player 10 is out. A co-incidence perhaps?

It looks like Adobe have just released version 10 of their Flash Player with a bunch of enhancements. Now that Silverlight 2 is out the competition really begins.

Now that the foundation is laid (a subset of the .net runtime across browsers and operating systems) it will be interesting to see how regular future releases are as the competition heats up. The introduction of Silverlight is good for us but also good for Flash developers as it encourages Adobe to continuously look at ways in which they can improve their Flash/Air offering. Will we see Silverlight enhancements every year (e.g. announced at Mix) or sooner? The fact that the Silverlight player updates itself may make this more likely than not.

I’m looking forward to the PDC to see what is planned for future releases (printing support would be nice ;-) ).



Silverlight 2 is out, a question and the BBC iPlayer

Well I think most blogs already have this covered but Silverlight 2 is out!

One question I asked (after I said congratulations on the release of course :D) was:

I have a question regarding a point made in the press release:

"Improved server scalability and expanded advertiser support. This includes new streaming and progressive download capabilities, superior search engine optimization techniques, and next-generation in-stream advertising support."

My question is about the "superior search engine optimization techniques" part. I am assuming you mean superior to Flash? I don't really care if it was meant to imply Flash or something else (don't want to kick that discussion off :D) but I can imagine that a lot of thought was given to what should be included in the press release and I was just wondering if there was more information about these superior search engine optimization techniques?

This is an area that interests me a lot so I was just wondering if something new has been added recently to Silverlight or if a document/whitepaper/article was published that I somehow missed?

Anyone else know if there is something I missed (I know there are ways of making Silverlight SEO friendly and I have mentioned them in the past but I was wondering if I missed something new)?

So the bbc iplayer will be a Flash/Air based implementation (The bbc got complaints that the iplayer only worked on certain operating systems). It is a shame Silverlight wasn't picked as that would have been a great win (in terms of increasing the installed base of Silverlight and in terms of a great case study on the power of Silverlight). The one thing really missing I guess is Linux support (I don't think the BBC could go with Moonlight for that side of things just yet). Who knows maybe everything isn't set in stone yet :D



Silverlight 2 RTW out tomorrow - October 14th!

In my last points of interest post I mentioned that an announcement was going to be made today. I thought it would either be a release date announcement (if they were going to miss the PDC) or that Silverlight was actually released. Well it appears it is not out now but will be by the end of tomorrow.

Looking forward to it.

Thanks to Ken Cox for spotting this first.

Press Release available from here.


Points of interest #11 - Silverlight, Open Source

I've decided to restart my "Points of interest" posts. To get the ball rolling I'll start off small:

 Open Source

  •  Old news but Jitterbit 2.0 was released in August.

    The Jitterbit Integration Solution combines intuitive integration design with robust functionality and scalable performance. Jitterbit is designed to handle the most complex integration challenges between legacy, enterprise and On-Demand applications, including Business Process Fusion, ETL, SaaS, and SOA. The Jitterbit Solution enables organizations to unite their independent applications and data in record time and for the lowest total cost of ownership in the industry.

    Not specific to .Net but may prove useful for those looking for a way of performing an integration between multiple systems without having to create something yourself or purchase a licence.

  • In September Solr 1.3 was released.

    Solr is an open source enterprise search server based on the Lucene Java search library, with XML/HTTP and JSON APIs, hit highlighting, faceted search, caching, replication, a web administration interface and many more features. It runs in a Java servlet container such as Tomcat.

    Again not specific to .Net but very useful. Was just thinking about the possibility of a database (whatever your preference), Jitterbit, Solr and a Silverlight front end.........talking about Silverlight.............



  • Big news coming this Monday about Silverlight!!

    Can't remember the source (sorry! please add it as a comment and I'll add your link) but someone mentioned that he monitors Microsoft's press pass releases and came across this:

    Microsoft Corp. will hold a teleconference with Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president of the .NET Developer Division at Microsoft. Guthrie will make a significant announcement related to Microsoft Silverlight.

    Now this could be that Silverlight is released or a date is announced. I'm not 100% sure on it being a release announcement as it has only been a few weeks since RC1 came out and people are still busy updating their beta 2 projects.  I hope if it is a date announcement it isn't something along the lines of December 08 (or Mix 09 :D). I assumed it would be released at the PDC but if they are running late then this would make a date announcement essential in order to manage expectations. Out of the two options I think I would prefer it to be an announcement that Silverlight is now live. The argument for that is that they want to make sure other PDC announcements do not get drowned out with news that Silverlight has been released.

That's all for now.
RIA and Search Engine Optimisation......Adobe leading the charge

I've often commented on my wish for the Silverlight team to focus a little more on Search Engine Optimisation (and printing support....but that's a topic for another day) as I feel that this is one area that could put off a lot of business users (yes you can argue that it is an application and if your application is content rich then possibly your application should be built in with occassional use of Silverlight to add "islands of richness").

There are ways of having a search engine friendly Silverlight application (my plan was to have something more solid by now but life has been is however still on my todo list :D) but I was/am hoping that it does get some attention either now or in the near future.

Looks like Adobe are aiming to do this:

"Adobe Flash Technology Enhances Search Results for Dynamic Content and Rich Internet Applications

Adobe Systems Incorporated (ADBE) today announced the company is teaming up with search industry leaders to dramatically improve search results of dynamic Web content and rich Internet applications (RIAs). Adobe is providing optimized Adobe® Flash® Player technology to Google and Yahoo! to enhance search engine indexing of the Flash file format (SWF) and uncover information that is currently undiscoverable by search engines. "
I know the team are busy and they only have so much time/resource etc and I really do think they are doing a great job I just wish this and printing support (sorry couldn't resist) got some attention instead of focusing on X number of controls (Third Party Vendors will fill any gap soon enough).

Update: more information about this for those of you who are interested.


More Posts Next page »