MrDave's (David Yack) WebLog

December 2003 - Posts

Snowboard Therapy and .NET Project Templates

If you haven't tried Snowboard Therapy - I highly recommend it...Here's how it works - you simply tell your boss or clients that you are going to Snowboard Therapy.  By the time they realize what it means you will be half way down from Peak #8

Ok, on a more serious note - is it just me or do others think it would be valuable for Microsoft to invest more time in making Project Templates easier to make?  What do I mean by a project template?  The process of starting a new project from visual studio and having VS create a set of initial files and directories for you. 

Now that .NET is a couple years old - we all should have some fairly routine things we do when we start new projects - We also should be able to easily create page / class templates that allows us to produce consistent looking pages / classes.  I think we all customize the “basic” web form  - why not make it easier to do than figure out what files to modify in the VC#wizards directory.

For those of you who have never dived into the black hole of templates here's a recent article that discusses it that reminded me how much of a black hole it really is! http://aspalliance.com/309 

 

Warning leaving this page will lose data...

Ok, well leaving this page won't lose data but woudn't it be nice if there was a page level property NavigationWarnUser=true that would warn the user if they changed any input field on the form and are about to navigate away from the page?  Who has the asp.net 3.0 wish list?

Has anyone come up with a nice reusable framework for handling this? 

In theory you could package up some generic rountines that would grab all the values form input fields on load of the page, then upon unload compare and prompt the user.  The big challenge I see is the fact that control over the unload process is more of a notification than a change to do anything.

Anyone have some great ideas on this one?

 

Intellesense for JavaScript Files

It would be nice if the next version of Visual Studio provided Intellesense for JavaScript (.js) files.

It's interesting that its there if you do script inline on an aspx page - but not for the standalone files

Why I won't have a Smartphone for Christmas

First of all - I'm an easy sell for any new gadget.

After seeing the new Motorola MPX 200 Smart phone release I had to get one

Things I didn't checkout before placing my order...
 - They released in 2003 a 2002 version  - No .NET :(
 - AT&T's coverage - Did I mention there new GSM Network sucks?
 - AT&T's customer service - after a week still couldn't login to their website due to errors

Other than the fact that the phone did not have .NET on it - I really liked the ability to sync with Outlook and carry my schedule on one device.  I love my IPAQ - but its to big to take with me on a regular basis.

While waiting for my phone to arrive I realized it was the 2002 version and the 2003 had not been released and that doing .NET Development was not possible.  I was bummed but rationalized that I could still do development on my IPAQ and 2003 version should be out sometime in 2004!

I researched other options - Verizion has a Samsung I600 - which also runs the 2002 OS but I didn't want to switch carriers....Again! One bad experience every six months is all I can handle!  After all over 10 dropped calls in a 60 mile drive to Denver is enough to make anyone check to see if cell phones can truly "fly".

I looked at the Microsoft Smart phone dev kit for $499 - but it was a big phone and didn't appear to be capable of actual use.

I know I'm unrealistic - but is it too much to ask for a .NET enabled Smart phone that I can actually use and develop on?  Ok call me impatient...cause I am!

The most comical part of the whole thing - is as I'm preparing to call AT&T to cancel service and return my mpx200 before the 30 days we received an e-mail from our local AT&T sales rep.  Tell us about their new "EDGE" network (Uses same GSM network as the mpx200) and how their data speeds our out of this world and our business should switch.  All I could think of is what happens when you fall off the "EDGE"?   I was nice and didn't burst her bubble and let her know how well the “New Network“ really works!  I guess in all fairness - if you didn't travel, stayed in one place that had a good signal you might have great service!

So what’s the bottom line?  If you want a small PDA to carry around your schedule that sometimes has phone signal - the mpx 200 is great!

My advice - wait till the next generation comes out or hope that Microsoft Santa drops you a prototype in the mail!

 

From one TimeZone to the next...

So is it just me or is it hard to find a good design pattern for handling user time zone differences in ASP.NET?

For conversation sake - your server is in mountain time and stores a record with 5pm

User in central time visits your site and sees it as 5pm, but that's really 6pm central.

What you really want to do is show the user 6pm!

So back to my original question - is there not a good design pattern for handling time zone differences?

Dataset Errors and Finding Needles in a haystack...

System.ArgumentException: These columns don't currently have unique values.
   at System.Data.ConstraintCollection.AddUniqueConstraint(UniqueConstraint constraint)
   at System.Data.ConstraintCollection.Add(Constraint constraint)
   at System.Data.DataTable.set_PrimaryKey(DataColumn[] value)

Usually these are caused by not having a fully qualified key - but it sure would be nice to have a useful message generated when the error occurs because of the data

For Example:

System.ArgumentException: These columns don't currently have unique values. Row#20 Key Value=“ABC“
   at System.Data.ConstraintCollection.AddUniqueConstraint(UniqueConstraint constraint)
   at System.Data.ConstraintCollection.Add(Constraint constraint)
   at System.Data.DataTable.set_PrimaryKey(DataColumn[] value)

ASP.Net Road Show/ Rob Howard and Tim Huckaby

Yesterday Colorado had a .NET earthquake as Rob Howard presented to a full room in Denver as part of the ASP.NET Road Show.

In the evening Rob and Tim Huckaby (INETA) presented to the SouthColorado.Net user group. 

Huge thanks to Rob and Tim for visiting our group!

Both are really good speakers - don't miss seeing them if you have a chance.

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