January 2004 - Posts

WebFA Down, Permanently
31 January 04 11:55 PM | mhawley | with no comments

Tonight I had to make the hard decision to shut my free online family album service down.  I decided that since it has had very little usage over the last few months, that I'm wasting money on hosting fees.  For those who have never been to http://www.webfa.com, this site - dubbed WebFA - was my senior multi-media project I created in Oct-Dec. of 2002.  It was a GREAT learning tool, as .NET 1.0 was in its infancy stages, and a GREAT way to show off my skills to my professor.  The site was fun, to both use and build...however pulling the plug was the right thing. 

If you would like a copy of the source code...well, too bad.  After several server, and workstation rebuilds, I lost all code to the site...thus making any updates impossible.  I do, however, have the SQL code (well its still on the database) as well as HTML markup...but without the good 'ol VB.NET code behinds, the sites useless.  If you would like a working copy, I can give you what I have...however, I suggest going to something like nGallery, as it has code.

So long, fair well...(song fading as you see the website fading into the horizon).

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Release: Excentrics World Custom Controls 1.9
31 January 04 12:57 PM | mhawley | 2 comment(s)

The long awaited 1.9 release of my Custom Controls has finally came, and gone.  Today I released this version that contains huge improvments over version 1.8.2, as well as 2 new controls, Accordion Panel and Empty DataGrid.  To download these controls, please visit Excentrics World

Now, for the good stuff, the changes:

Bread Crumb Trail:
- Added SessionName to allow for multiple bread crumbs in a site.
- Added Reset method to reset the crumbs, viewstate, and session.

Calendar Popup:
- Fixed Text not being applied to AlternateText of the Image.
- Fixed toggling of Enabled on postbacks with DisableTextboxEntry true not allowing manual entry.
- Fixed DropDownLists and ListBoxes not being hidden correctly if more than 1 form exists.
- Fixed VisibleDate not being set correctly when date exceeds the lower or upper bound date.
- Added Holiday collection, Holidays, that will allow you to add special dates or holidays.
- Added ability to bind data to the Holidays Collection using HolidayDataSource, HolidayDataMember, and HolidayDataField
- Added Button and Image display type.  This will not display the date to the user.
- Added NextMonthImageUrl, PreviousMonthImageUrl, NextYearImageUrl, PreviousYearImageUrl properties to set the prev/next month and year links as images.
- Added Reset methods to reset the date.

Collapsable Panel:
- Fixed OnInit method calling OnLoad method inadvertantly.
- Fixed Collapsed being overriden by loading the view state after it has changed from a previous postback.
- Fixed Image or Expand/Collapse text not showing when displayed on the left.
- Fixed support for Opera based browsers.
- Added Sliding effect for IE based browsers.
- Added CollapsedTitleStyle for varying the style for collapsed and expanded views.
- Added JavascriptOnToggleFunction for processing custom javascript logic when toggled.

Faq Repeater:
- Fixed javascript not being inserted when no data exists.
- Fixed javascript error being displayed when no data exists.

Masked Text Box:
- Fixed support for Opera, AutoFillMask is disabled for Opera browsers.
- Fixed overwriting of onfocus and onchange attributes.
- Added IsRequired, RequiredErrorMessage, and RequiredErrorText.
- Added ValidatorStyle for the RegEx and Required Validators.

Multi-Text List Controls:
- Fixed values not being bound when in a DataGrid.

Numeric Box:
- Fixed support for Opera browsers.
- Added ability to accept 1 or 2 characters for the dollar sign.
- Added RawText property that retrieves the text without any currency formatting.
- Added PlacesBeforeDecimal to handle the number of numbers can be entered prior to the decimal point.

Ordered List Box:
- Added SortOrder property and Sort method.
- Added LinkAlignment that allows you to define which side the links are located.
- Added DisplayAsButtons that will show buttons instead of links or images.

Time Picker:
- Fixed Text not being applied to AlternateText of the Image.
- Fixed SelectedTime not correct upon postback.
- Fixed Javascript error when ShowClearTimeText=true and EnableHideDropDown=true
- Added Button and Image type.  This will not display the time to the user.
- Added OneMinute to the TimeInterval enumeration.
- Added Reset methods to reset the time.

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Plugin Release: NewsGator NNTP Plugin v0.4
28 January 04 04:33 PM | mhawley | 9 comment(s)
Version 0.4 of the NewsGator NNTP Plugin to allow posting to newsgroups has been released. This version includes even more tight integration with NewsGator, eliminating the need of ever configuring your authentication credentials in multiple places. An option has also been added to the configuration section, that will allow you to be prompted each time you post to a newsgroup, even if you're responding to a post. I have also added the ability to post to multiple newsgroups, and increased the error handling to be more descriptive and useful. Lastly, I've fixed a bug that displayed the headers as part of the body when viewed in Outlook Express.

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Step 1 - Place foot in mouth
28 January 04 03:01 PM | mhawley | 1 comment(s)
Well, after my rant on how OE doesn't support the full RFC850 spec, I did some more testing, debugging, whatever you want to call it, and determined that there was a hidden new line character appended to the end of the Message-ID which was causing the headaches. So, I guess OE was doing things right, it was just that darn extra character throwing things off. So, now would be the time to grab my foot and stick it firmly within my mouth!
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Outlook Express Not following RFC Spec
28 January 04 01:01 PM | mhawley | 2 comment(s)
During my development of the NNTP plugin for NewsGator, I've come across a problem when viewing replied messages in Outlook Express. Per the RFC850 spec., if replying to a message in a newsgroup, you should add a new header named "References" that points to the Message-ID of the message being replied to. This header is then used to group messages within groups so its easier to keep track of threads.

This is all fine and dandy, except for the fact that Outlook Express doesn't recognize the References header, or even want to use it. I realize that this header is optional, but for OE to ignore it completely and chunk the rest of the headers into the body of the message when displaying, is just crazy. Due to my assumptions that OE wasn't implementing the spec entirely, I decided to play around with it some more....and it turns out that when OE replies to messages, it never appends the "References" header. Furthermore, it seems that OE groups messages based on subject only. I've found this to be the case, as I've posted several new messages with the same header, and whatta ya know, they get grouped together.

So, just to make sure that I wasn't crazy, I set out to find a few USENET readers. Well, all that I tested implemented the sepc properly, and grouped them based on the "References" header, and not on the subject. To me, this is a bug or an oversight by the team building Outlook Express...and I wouldn't mind if it got fixed (as well as many other people out there).
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Plugin Release: NewsGator NNTP Plugin v0.3
27 January 04 03:04 PM | mhawley | 2 comment(s)
Version 0.3 of the NewsGator NNTP Plugin to allow posting to newsgroups has been released. This version includes a tight integration with NewsGator subscriptions, however password prompting is still necessary for server authentication (if required). Due to the integration, the configuration screens for servers and their newsgroups have been removed. This version also tweaked the HTML cleanup to represent messages more accurately.

This version also includes an extension to NewsGator, that appends required information to the post when processing feeds from newsgroups. This allows for a no prompt reply (unless needing to authenticate) to the newsgroup. A big thanks goes out to Greg for his help on the extension, as I'm not an avid Outlook programmer.

Plans for the next version include no prompting for passwords to authenticated newsgroups and a 1.0 branding of the plugin.

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Its a Scary Day.
26 January 04 04:02 PM | mhawley | 5 comment(s)
Why is it a scary day? Well, I just got an email with an attachment. So? Whats your point...well a few things:

1. The email was from someone I didn't know, no biggie I get these all the time for support.
2. No subject. Well, this isn't always a problem, since I know some users just don't know that the cursor starts at the subject line 99% of the time.
3. The email said "test". Huh, now thats a bugger, I guess it worked?
4. There was an attached file, a zipped one - wow someone sent me pictures?

Well, if you haven't figured it out yet, I've finally seen something I've been dreading for the longest time, a zipped-up virus attached to an email. Why is this so important, though...it can pass through almost all server based virus scanners scanning emails as they come across. So, as I quickly alerted my employer (which then sent out a company wide email stating roughly the same thing), I wanted to alert the community as well. Be alarmed if you receive an email from someone you don't know that has a zipped attachment...especially if the attachment contains a .pif file.

UPDATE: CNet is reporting this virus now, be warned! (story)
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MikeRoweSoft Settled
26 January 04 12:56 PM | mhawley | 2 comment(s)
Yup, thats right...its finally over. As the story describes, Mike Rowe settled for a certification course, subscription to MSDN, free trip to Developer Network Research Tech Fest, and an Xbox all for the domain name transfer to MS. MS was also kind enough to pay any expesnes incurred during this ordeal as well as helping him setup his new website - http://www.MikeRoweForums.com. Good to see that Mke won this battle, Rock on!
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NNTP Plugin Close to New Release
26 January 04 11:06 AM | mhawley | with no comments
I've been working very closely with Greg at NewsGator to integrate the NNTP Plugin more closely with NewsGator over the last few days. This morning I was able to put the integration with NewsGator subscriptions and posting, eliminating the need to setup your servers manually. Although this is close to release, I'm waiting on some more help from Greg to help when needing to authenticate to the news server. My gut feeling is that once that code is in place, I will be releasing this as v1.0. So, stay tuned for more updates.
SNL Skit - Funniest thing EVER
23 January 04 10:56 AM | mhawley | with no comments
This is by far the funniest SNL skit I've seen. Turn your sound up and get read to laugh!
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