April 2007 - Posts

AjaxTrans is a free online translator. It automatically translates words while you are typing (AJAX) in the language of your choice.

www.ajaxtrans.com

Ok it has nothing to do with .NET, but it is a really nice tool, very efficient.

It sits on top of my IE favorites links and I use it every day, to write on this blog for example, because english is far from my mother tongue...

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FlashControl is an ASP.NET 2.0 server control that allow you to add Flash movies (swf files) in your aspx pages. It removes the "Click to activate and use this control" message.

This control has some great features:

  • Remove "Click to activate and use this control" message
  • ASP.NET AJAX enabled! (works inside an AJAX UpdatePanel)
  • Auto detect browsers and render proper client code
  • Enable full screen Flash movies
  • Support all Flash properties (Width, Height, Src, FlashVars, PluginsPage, Loop, Menu, Scale, BgColor, SwLiveConnect, Quality, Play, Base, Align, SAlign, WMode, etc...)
  • FlashVars GUI editor
  • XHTML compliance mode
  • Support ASP.NET 2.0 Theme and skins
  • Full Visual Studio designer support (Smart tag, Custom Designer, Custom Editors)

FlashControl is available at www.flash-control.net

 

 

...You look out the window on April 12th and see this:

April snow in Montreal

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I am currently teaching an ASP.NET 2.0 course in Quebec city. I like it because each time I give a training I learn something (and so do my trainees I hope...). This time I learnt something new about the ViewState.

When ViewState in your page become very large it can be a problem as some firewalls and proxies will prevent access to pages containing such huge ViewState sizes. For this purpose ASP.NET 2.0 introduces the ViewState Chunking mechanism. But the first thing I would say is if your ViewState is that big ask yourself why, and the way to optimize (maybe disabling?) it.

So ASP.NET 2.0 enables to split the ViewState's single hidden field into several using the MaxPageStateFieldLength property in the web.config <pages> section. This indicates the maximum bytes size allowed for one viewstate hidden field. If the real size exceeds the value then viewstate is splitted in multiple fields. By default, the attribute is set to -1 which means that no maximum size is defined.

Sample ViewState before: 
<input type="hidden" name="__VIEWSTATE" id="__VIEWSTATE"
value="/wEPDwUKLTk2Njk3OTQxNg9kFgICAw9kFgICCQ88KwANAGQYAQUJR3Jp
ZFZpZXcxD2dk4sjERFfnDXV/hMFGAL10HQUnZbk="
/>

Then set in web.config:
<pages maxPageStateFieldLength="40">

Sample ViewState After :
<input type="hidden" name="__VIEWSTATEFIELDCOUNT" id="__VIEWSTATEFIELDCOUNT"
value="3" />
<input type="hidden" name="__VIEWSTATE"
id="__VIEWSTATE" value="/wEPDwUKLTk2Njk3OTQxNg9kFgICAw9kFgICCQ88" />
<input type="hidden" name="__VIEWSTATE1"
id="__VIEWSTATE1" value="KwANAGQYAQUJR3JpZFZpZXcxD2dk4sjERFfnDXV/" />
<input type="hidden" name="__VIEWSTATE2"
id="__VIEWSTATE2" value="hMFGAL10HQUnZbk=" />

Please note THIS IS NOT a way to optimize ViewState size!! This is a way to fix a possible technical problem with huge ViewState size and firewall.

Culture Explorer 2.0 is an amazing Windows Form application that lets you explore the cultures that are supported by the .NET Framework 2.0. It provides details for each culture such as date, time, number, currency formating, calendar information...
It also support .NET 2.0 features such as custom cultures.

I tested it and let me say that the author did a really good job!
The UI is nice, it is free and C# source code is provided!

Culture Explorer 2.0 

Read the full post with nice screenshots from the author Michael S. Kaplan :
http://blogs.msdn.com/michkap/archive/2006/12/20/1328701.aspx


Download it :
http://www.gotdotnet.com/Community/UserSamples/Details.aspx?SampleGuid=B778FF2C-9142-4769-839A-094F51A6F9F4

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It is next Thursday in Montreal!

MSDN Developer Night In Canada

The event is full but I maybe there is a waiting list... also check out the other canadian cities : Mississauga and Victoria.

A new Microsoft event in Montreal, April 19, 2007 6:15 PM :

"The Exciting Adventures of the Microsoft Application Platform Developer"

The purpose of this event is to demonstrate how the Microsoft Application Platform provides a robust and secure foundation for building data-driven applications and Web sites. Specifically, this session will examine some of the tools and technologies available for developers including Visual Studio Team System for Database Professionals and examine some of the exciting new features of ADO.NET.

**PLEASE NOTE: This presentation will be given in French with English content**

Register Online:
http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032330936&Culture=en-CA

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For those who wonder how to become an MVP (but you do not become an MVP, you are awarded by the community), here is a post from Sean O'Driscoll, the General Manager of Community Support and MVP:

http://communitygrouptherapy.com/2007/03/20/finally-revealed-the-secret-criteria-for-the-microsoft-mvp-award/

This is more fun than serious, anyway I'll finish with a quote I found on a blog:
“MVPs don’t really try to be MVPs…it’s just who they are - they love to help people with technology.”
That's it.

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Good news, Enterprise Library 3.0 has just shipped!

This new release of Enterprise Library includes (bold = new):

  • Caching Application Block
  • Cryptography Application Block
  • Data Access Application Block
  • Exception Handling Application Block
  • Logging Application Block
  • Policy Injection Application Block
  • Security Application Block
  • Validation Application Block

It also comes with an Application Block Software Factory to create new blocks, and a Visual Studio-integrated Configuration Editor to edit Enterprise Library configuration files directly within Visual Studio.

Another good news is there are no breaking changes in the core APIs and upgrading existing Enterprise Library 2.0 applications should just be a matter of replacing the DLLs and updating the version numbers in the configuration files.

Read the full post here :
http://blogs.msdn.com/tomholl/archive/2007/04/05/just-released-enterprise-library-3-0-april-2007.aspx

Download it there :
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=62ef5f79-daf2-43af-9897-d926f03b9e60&displaylang=en

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We were waiting for it for a while, here is the official photo taken during the MVP Summit 2007 at Seattle in march :
The pictures with all Canadian MVPs after Bill Gates' keynote! This was huge!!

Sea of Red at the Summit

Read my older post: Canadians rules the MVP Summit!

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