Archives / 2004 / May
  • TechEd Thursday

    One of the best sessions I attended this week was this morning... VS.NET 2005 IDE Enhancements.  Features that I loved...

    • Class Designer
    • Enhanced Class Viewer
    • Refactoring
    • Debugging features
    • Snippets
    • Error List / Task List

    After TechEd, most of the crowd headed over to SeaWorld.  I was hanging out with internationally famous Simon Allardice.  Here is a picture of us while at SeaWorld...


  • TechEd Wednesday

    Today I spent most of the day at the Regional Director booth.  Scott Cate and I handed out almost a thousand kbAlertz shirts.  After the convention, I attended a party at a place called Dick's Last Resort.  It was a blast!  I spent most of my evening with Ben Miller, Microsoft MVP Lead.  Here is a photo of him while we were playing pool...

    I also found out that Scott Cate is quite the player himself...



    I don't know how long this site has been around, but I stumbled upon it while reading some user group emails.


  • Virtual TechEd 2004

    Keep in mind, I am at TechEd this week.  However, I just spent the last hour or so reading the amazing amount of blogs written so far.  I feel like I have learned more from the blogs than attending the sessions!  So for those of you who were unable to attend, you can show up at Virtual TechEd by going to any of the following links...

    TechEd Bloggers
    Weblogs @ ASP.NET
    Weblogs @ MSDN


  • TechEd Tuesday

    The one theme that is ringing true at this event is how important it is to meet your peers.  I am continually impressed with not only the talent, but how friendly everyone is.  It shouldn't shock me that developers who are brilliant can also be kind and fun to hang around with... but it does.

    After the sessions were over, MSDN threw a party.  In the very crowded room, I happened upon the famous Hamid of Axosoft based in Phoenix (like me!).  Here is a glimpse of that party with Scott Cate, Scott Water, and the folks with Axosoft...



  • TechEd Monday

    Today I served my duty at cabanas 5 & 6.  My official duty was to answer questions regarding C#.  As I am hanging out, I noticed a particular individual I was able to ask some C# questions myself...


    Anders Hejlsberg walked in, and a group of us asked several questions regarding current and future implementations.

    My notebook gave me trouble all day... Once it actually behaved, I took off with Scott Cate, Scott Watermasysk, and Rob Howard for a dinner around the corner from the W. Scott Watermasysk helped me through URL rewriting by pointing me to a fabulous article by Steve Smith.


  • TechEd Sunday

    This was a great day.  After the Regional Director's summit, I attended a training on what to expect as a staff member here at TechEd.  Here is a look at the typical profile one may expect at these events:

    After some training, I was able to hang out with members of the XML team at Microsoft.  Here is a photo including Mark Fussell, Christoph Schittko, Irwin Dolobowsky, and myself:

    The weather here in San Diego is wonderful. We ate a terrific meal, and I suggested a fine merlot to complement the experience. Hey, why not another bottle?


  • Microsoft Regional Director Summit

    I am sitting down with fellow Microsoft Regional Directors from around the world.  In preparation for my staffing responsibilities for TechEd 2004, I will be meeting with Microsoft product teams.  I am currently listening to a session on evangilism... I just saw a new video explaining the RD program.  I will post the 'commercial' once I get my hands on it.  As I find out cool things this week, I will keep the blogs flowing...


  • Hanging out with Scott(s)

    I am hanging out with Scott Cate and Scott Watermasysk at the W in San Diego.  After talking with Scott Watermasysk, I have added categories to my blogs.  Here he is hard at work at the hotel:



  • Resolving entities when loading XmlDocument

    Recently I needed to place special characters in an xml document.  I had to put the &trade and &reg into the text of an attribute.  When I loaded the xml into XmlDocument, I received an exception:

    Reference to undeclared entity

    To solve this I added the following to the top of my xml file:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
    <!DOCTYPE documentElement [
     <!ENTITY reg "®">
     <!ENTITY trade "™">

    This allowed for the parsing of the document, since now the entities were declared...


  • Getting the absolute path in ASP.NET

    Typically when we create ASP.NET applications, we are developing against a virtual directory.  However, when we deploy our app to a production web server, it is likely set up as a web site.  This can have an impact on href assignments when using absolute paths.  In order for paths to be consistant between virtual directories and web sites, I created a helper method that will work in either environment.  Here is the code:


    1:     public static string GetPathFromRoot(string pathWithoutRoot) 
    2: {
    3: string _ApplicationPath =
    4: HttpContext.Current.Request.ApplicationPath;
    6: System.Text.StringBuilder _PathToReturn =
    7: new System.Text.StringBuilder(_ApplicationPath);
    9: if (!pathWithoutRoot.StartsWith("/") && !_ApplicationPath.EndsWith("/"))
    10: {
    11: _PathToReturn.Append("/");
    12: }
    14: _PathToReturn.Append(pathWithoutRoot);
    16: return _PathToReturn.ToString();
    18: }// GetPathFromRoot



    I place this method in my global.asax.cs file.


  • A night with Scott Guthrie

    Last night was our super user group meeting - guest speaker Scott Guthrie.  He did the ASP.NET Roadshow for us here in Phoenix.  We had more people show for his presentation than DevDays!!!  All went well thanks to our community super-star, Scott Cate.  Also cool to hang out with Dan Wahlin, who admitted to actually reading my blogs.  I urged him to start blogging as well.  Anyway, the samples from the presentation are available at Scotts web site,


  • Authentication issue with session state

    Today I am teaching the ASP.NET (2310B) course from Microsoft.  In the module on state management, one of my students stumbled across a peculiar behavior.   Here is the setting…

    Web.config(just relevant content)

     1:     <configuration>
    2: <system.web>
    3: <identity impersonate="true" />
    4: <authentication mode="Windows" />
    5: <authorization>
    6: <deny users="?" /> <!-- Allow all users -->
    7: </authorization>
    8: <sessionState
    9: mode="SQLServer"
    10: stateConnectionString="tcpip="
    11: sqlConnectionString="data source=;integrated security=SSPI;"
    12: cookieless="false"
    13: timeout="20"
    14: />
    15: </system.web>
    16: </configuration>
    As seen above, the application is denying anonymous users, and enforcing Windows authentication. The application is also using the identity element on line 3 to execute in the context of the current Windows user. All of the code in the application making database calls (using windows authentication) works as expected. However, after executing the InstallSqlState.sql script, and using session state, the application threw an exception that the anonymous user (IUSR_blahblahblah) does not have permission with SQL Server.

    What I determined from this is that the call for session state data apparently happens prior to the authentication check in the pipeline. To resolve this, the web application in IIS could simply disable the anonymous account, or the connection string could use a SQL login instead of windows authentication.


  • Google this!

    I have just realized the power of Google with weblogs!  The other day I was talking with Robert McLaws about blogging in general, and he told me that he blogs everything so that it can be searchable by Google.  Just provide the weblog name as a search context, followed by any keywords.