March 2006 - Posts

Creating Gadgets in Atlas
Monday, March 27, 2006 8:43 AM

I was chatting to Darren Neimke over the weekend very briefly about some Atlas things and he mentioned that he would have a post on gadgets coming up soon. His post will no doubt have more detail than mine, but I thought I'd mention this anyway. I hadn't played much with Gadgets but after talking with Darren, thought I'd give it a shot.

I am constantly amazed at just how functional and easy working with Atlas is, and gadgets are no exception.

Note that the Gadget I am creating here is actually quite useless, but the concept will be the same for all Gadgets.

So first to creating the Gadget, my markup is as follows (after creating a blank Atlas web site from the template):

<atlas:Gadget ID="g1" runat="server" Description="test gadget" Title="My Test Gadget">
      <span>this is a test gadget</span><br
      <input type="button" id="btn" value="my button"

As I mentioned, not exactly a wonder-gadget. To verify that the gadget worked I loaded the page in a browser and it displayed fine. Furthemore, I could view the 'manifest' of the gadget by appending '?gadget=true' which shows a page of XML displaying some RSS feed details about the gadget.

And really thats it. I can now add this gadget to a site like and thats exactly what I did. I wont go into those details, you can follow the instructions from the Atlas documentation about it located here ( Simply substitue the RSS feed gadget name with your URL gadget details where appropriate (as the example uses an RSSFeed gadget to demonstrate adding a gadget to

Now I have my wonder-gadget added to Easy and simple. Again, kudos to the Atlas (and the team for this piece of functionality. I like it and will be devoting some time to thinking up funky gadgets to create.

by Glav | with no comments
Bit old but....ASP.NET Podcast Show #40 - Udi Dahan - The Software Simplist
Thursday, March 23, 2006 9:25 PM

This should have gone up a week or two ago, but here it is anyway....(Sorry Wally)

ASP.NET Podcast Show #40 - Udi Dahan - The Software Simplist

Subscribe - The way to do things

Download - Uncool and boring.

ASP.NET Podcast Original Url.

Show Notes:

by Glav | with no comments
Site Update - Atlas enabled
Wednesday, March 22, 2006 1:19 PM

I have spent a little time updating my personal website ( as of late. Firstly to make some management and administration items a little easier for myself (as its actually getting some interest and a healthy number of hits) and secondly, I wanted to Atlas enable the site with the latest March CTP bits.

I wanted to ensure it was 'Atlas ready' as I have some features planned that will involve the Atlas bits. To verify this I used Atlas to allow asynchronous loading of the download items list ( using an Atlas UpdatePanel and UpdateProgress control.

Also, just because I can and its so easy, I wanted to enable some drag and drop functionality, which I did for the header and footer graphics on the site. So if you visit the site, the header graphic that contains the links for the site, can be dragged and dropped almost anywhere on the page. Its more of a UI Glitz thing and I dont really intend it to be a super feature, but thought I would leave it that way just to play with it for a while. This was using the Atlas DragOverlayExtender control to do this.

What I did find out though, is that the styling of the site was really hard to get right (and its not quite right yet, but useable) once an element has been drag'n'drop enabled using the DragOverlayExtender control.

The Personal Web Site starter kit (which my site uses) has some weird styling elements which went a little wacky once I enabled the header and footer for drag and drop support.
Morale: Watch your styling on the elements you intend to enable for Drag'n'drop using the DragOverlayExtender. If you have some weird margin settings, or display settings, then you may see some unexpected results once enabled, which can affect the entire page.

Note: Feel free to visit the site ( and start dragging the header and footer controls around. I have not implemented the ability to save positions of these items as its really just a 'play thing' for now.

SecurePasswordTextBox update
Tuesday, March 14, 2006 10:22 PM

Since there has been so much interest in the SecurePasswordTextBox control (see my previous post and ), I thought I would take the time to iron out the bugs. When I first released it, I performed minimal testing (i.e. about 15 minutes worth) and just thought if anybody else is interested, then I might put some real effort in.

Well since then it was featured in an MSDN webcast by Dan Sellers of Microsoft and I have received almost 300 downloads in a short span of time. So just as a quick courtesy note, it has now been updated to V1.1 and works (AFAIK) 100%. Previous versions didn't handle certain situations property where text in the middle was selected and you typed a character, it would simply append the char and not do a replacement (thanks Nick :-) )

All is now well. Go grab it from here

For those unaware, its a Windows Forms TextBox control that uses the .Net V2 SecureString class to store its contents. Basically, you now have a UI control that allows directly entry into this secure string class and makes it useable from a windows UI perspective. (See my previous post for a full explanation.)

My SecurePasswordTextBox control is famous.
Sunday, March 12, 2006 3:50 PM

Recently, I developed a version of a textbox that uses the SecureString class for its internal storage, called the SecurePasswordTextBox (can be downloaded here ). Its actually been used in a webcast by a guy called Dan Sellers in MSDN Canada. Check out the post here ( ).

The webcast itself can be viewed here ( ).

Note: The SecurePasswordTextBox is still a bit raw and ha some issues. Now that I have submitted the las chapter of my book, I will endeavor to fix those issues and get out a much better, more robust version.

by Glav | with no comments
Final Chapter is in!
Sunday, March 12, 2006 3:30 PM

Well a milestone has been reached for me. I just submitted my final chapter for the upcoming book on "Beginning AJAX on ASP.NET" that I working on with Wally McClure, Scott Cate, and most recently Craig Shoemaker.

Its a big load off my mind. Work is not yet complete with the revision period coming up but at least all my chapters have been submitted. It means I can spend some time back on email lists, working on new community projects and a whole bunch of my regular stuff.


Online Security Chats
Sunday, March 5, 2006 7:38 PM

If you are interested in Security, then try not to miss the upcoming Security chats being held towards the end of this month and the beginning of April. The URL for these chats is here and feature one my good friend Rocky Heckman. Rocky is one of readify's security guys (well actualy readify's main security guru) and knows his security stuff.

These chats are geared towards Australian timezones, however anyone can join in. The topics include:

Building and Managing a resilient Active Directory Infrastructure - Level 300 (27 March 2005) : with Jeff Alexander

Building Identity Provisioning Solutions - Level 400 (28 March 2005) : with Michael Kleef

Building Identity Provisioning Solutions - Level 400 (28 March 2005) : with Michael Kleef

Protect your Applications: Strategies that Can be Applied to Applications (3 April 2005) : with Graham Elliot & Rocky Heckman

Creating Reliable and Robust Applications with Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005 (5 April 2005) : with Andrew Coates

Hope to see you there!
by Glav | with no comments
ASP.NET Podcast Show #38 - Anand on the GridView and Wally on VB.NET 2005 My Namespaces
Friday, March 3, 2006 7:25 AM

Wally has pushed show #38 out the door. This one includes Anand Narayanaswamy talking about the Gridview control. One thing to note is that the sound quality with Anand is very poor so please bear with it.


Show notes on the site.

Show Notes:
Joe Healy

    • Developer Evangelist for Microsoft in Florida.
    • Orlando CodeCamp.
  • David Silverlight.
  • What's happened recently.
    • Atlas Wiki for January 2006 CTP.
    • First draft of my chapters are in.
    • Working out like crazy.
    • Tshirts.
  • My Namespace.
    • My.Application.Log.WriteEntry() vs. System.Diagnostics.EventLog.WriteEntry().
    • GetEnvironmentVariable().
    • My.User.Name() vs. System.Environment.UserName().
    • My.Computer.Audio.Play() vs. System.Media.SoundPlayer().
  • GridView by Anand Narayanaswamy.  Sample Files
    • GridView replaces ASP.NET 1.1 DataGrid control
    • GridView is a new addition to ASP.NET 2.0
    • Easy to configure and use with built-in smart tag
    • Ability to edit, update and delete records without a single line of code
    • Quick paging and sorting functionality
    • Supports Access, SQL Server 2000 or 2005, Oracle, XML data files
    • Separate control for accessing each databases
    • Implement search capabilities on your applications within seconds
  • INETA Speaker's Bureau.
by Glav | with no comments
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