January 2005 - Posts

Web Service / WSE Resources
Wednesday, January 12, 2005 12:44 PM
Just saw a post from Brian Groth regarding a new tool from MS researh called TulaFale, dealing with securing of web services. While I haven't yet tried the tool (but I do intend to), the page listed above for downloading the TulaFale tool also contains an absolute wealth of links to resources dealing with web services and security related aspects. I recommend visiting the page if for nothing else other than the resources listed on the page.
by Glav | with no comments
Masterpage Feedback
Monday, January 10, 2005 1:33 PM

You may have already learned of this, but the ASP.NET team would like your feedback on what Materpage templates you would like to see. Brian Goldfarb is trying to spec this out ASAP so if you have an opinion and want it heard please post to his blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/bgold/archive/2005/01/07/348656.aspx

As much feedback as possible is required to more accurately guage what people want, so please take the time to post your thoughts.

by Glav | with no comments
New Site, "WS-Test", bits and pieces...
Sunday, January 9, 2005 5:33 PM

I have finally put up a personal site devoted to technical content, all of which is pretty much ASP.NET and Web Service related. It contains links to technical articles that I have written, tools and code samples that I have released into the community (for such things as DPAPI, Web Service compression among others... full source code incl, please visit my Downloads section for full details) and an area that is titled "WS-Test". No, its not yet another standard in the WS-* family, its simply an area that provides simple web services for accessing, verification of operation and educational purposes when coming to terms with web services, SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) and WSE2 (Web Service Enhancements).

While I was learning about web services, there were various samples, but not too many places to actually test against a working sample, without spending some time getting the sample itself working, which can be problematic, particularly when dealing with WSE/WSE2. I wanted to say, play with the client part of authentication first, then deal with the service part of that conversation separately. To that end, the site currently provides three simple web services:

Simple PING Test - the most basic of web services, accepting no arguments and returning a string containing UTC time.

SOA Simple PING Test - same as above, but follows the SOA principles of conversation by having the return type wrapped in a complex type. The the more code oriented among us, it means the response is returned as an object containing the return data. This concept is drawn upon from Christian Weyer's excellent examples and ideas on web services.

SOA Simple Ping Test with Username token for authentication - this has the same response has the SOA Ping test above, however it uses WSE2 and will only accept requests with the correct username/password combination. The message needs to be signed and encrypted with the Username token created using this username/password combination. It only accepts a username of 'pinguser' and a password of 'pingpassword'.

Further services will be added as in time to deal with various aspects of messaging, more authentication/authorisation techniques and whatever else people may request. Ofcourse, full source code is provided for each service, as well as a working consumer for the WSE2 PING based service.

Please visit the WS-Test area of my site for further details on all these services if you are interested.

There is not a huge amount of content there, nor will there ever be a comprehensive repository of all things technical, but more content will be added as time progresses, and hopefully you may find something useful there.

http://www.theglavs.com - Portal Entry
http://www.theglavs.com/GlavTech - Direct entry to the technical site.

My New O2 XDA IIs
Sunday, January 2, 2005 3:36 PM

As a nice start to the new year, I have got myself a shiny new O2 XDA IIs PDA device. Its a real change from my previous device, a Sony-Ericsson P800 which was (and still is) a pretty cool and functional device. It has since been superseded by the Sony-Ericsson P910i which was my other choice in upgrades, apart from the O2. I originally purchased a P800 device because of its excellent form factor combined with functionality. Lots of connectivity all in a convenient phone sized device. However, I found that I used the PDA functionality a lot, and had a number of eBooks which I would read, and found the small size somewhat hard to deal with. The O2's larger screen (and much clearer IMO, even than the P910i) is much easier to read, especially for the eBooks and my most favourite viewer/eBook reader Repligo.

The O2 is a brilliant device, WiFi is excellent and "just worked" with my home Wireless network. Windows Mobile 2003 second edition is very powerful and full featured, organiser and contacts perform almost like to desktop versions so its very familiar. It also comes with .Net compact framework, something I was sorely missing on the P800/P910i (which uses Symbian UIQ).

I will say that the UIQ (P800/P910i) devices do seem to have slightly better idea on useability in small but I think important areas. For example, there is no battery icon that is displayed on the main screen showing your battery levels. Sure, you can go to the battery option and check out the levels, or download software to install and display this icon (as I have done) but I consider this a pretty valuable (albeit small) feature. I like to be able to group my applications as well and it doesn't appear too obvious to me at this point how to do this, whereas on the P800, this operation took seconds. Also (and this may be just me), I have yet to be able to workout how to add a task/reminder that reminds me at a specific time on a particular day. I can set appointments, but I dont necessarily want it taking up time in my calendar, I just want the task to popup and remind me at a particular time that I need to do something. I can do this in Outlook tasks quite easily, and it will sync to the device fine, and execute appropriately. However, to do this within the device itself id still a mystery to me. It will allow me to set the date but no time....? I know I am missing something obvious. Hopefully somebody will point out what a doofus I am being.

I also scored a Bluetooth headset for hands free operation, and by default, instant membership into the "Super Geek/Dork" club. It also works well and was a breeze to set up.

All in all, I love this device. It has bucket loads of power and flexibility and... oh yes I almost forgot, the slide out keyboard is pretty awesome. Handwriting recognition (particularly the Transcriber) is absolutely fantastic IMHO.

Would love to hear any tips from others who have similar devices.

P.S. I found it different that you need to make sure the device does not go without power for extended periods of time. Unlike the P800/P900 which does't care as everything is written to memory stick, the XDA can lose its contents if left unpowered for too long (ie. all its installed applications apart from those supplied in ROM). Not a real big deal, but a shift in operation from the way I am used to.

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