Archives / 2003 / November
  • ASP.NET Popup Calendar / Wizard Recommendations?

    Any recommendations on a calendar popup server control? I'd like something along the lines of the ones on the front page of Expedia. I'd looked at Peter Blum's Date Package, but it breaks Rob McLaws' 8th Rule - Must Be Self Contained. I've been using a simple Javascript solution like these, but they don't fit in well with the .NET paradigm. Perhaps if we could get Andy down to 9 hours sleep per week?

    While I'm on it, anyone got a good webform wizard approach? I'm eagerly anticipating the asp:wizard control in Whidbey, but I can't wait that long. I've used sequential pages which used a database session dictionary in ASP, and I'm sure a big page with hidden / shown panels would work fine. What's the best way to handle this until we get the asp:wizard, though?


  • .ToString() vs. Convert.ToString()

    Simple tip that's saved me some time:

    //This will set the variable test to null:
    string test = Convert.ToString(ConfigurationSettings.AppSettings["Missing.Value"]);

    //This will throw an exception:
    string test = ConfigurationSettings.AppSettings["Missing.Value"].ToString();

    The problem with the second statement is that null doesn't have a .ToString() method.
    Either situation can be handled, but most of the time it's a lot cleaner to check for a null than to raise the exception.


  • Util - BgInfo

    BgInfo (Background Info) is a cool, free tool from the good folks at SysInternals that shows computer info on the desktop:

    Especially handy if you work on multiple desktops or servers. Very configurable, can run at startup or periodically update. Just writes to desktop bitmap, so it doesn't consume any additional resources.