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September 2008 - Posts

AJAX Control Toolkit - Tab Control - Themes

This excellent post will show you all the css required to customize the different parts of the excellent TabContaine Ajax control.



Posted: Sep 08 2008, 03:48 PM by | with no comments
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SQL Server 2008 - Merge Statement

In this article Nidal Arabi examines the usage of a SQL Server 2008 feature named Merge statement. It is a new T-SQL Statement that allows you to perform join of tables and then apply one of three different operations on the result set. He demonstrates the concepts with the help of step-by-step explanations accompanied by relevant SQL statements.



Slider AJAX control in ASP.NET 2.0 and C#

In this article Joe Maguire will explain how you can easily create an AJAX enabled web site within Visual Studio 2005 utilizing C# and how to utilize the AJAX framework to add a simple control from the list of controls available in the AJAX Control Toolkit.
The AJAX control we will be working with in this article will be the “Slider” control. We will also learn that the Slider control can be manipulated via its properties to display horizontal or vertical as well as allowing you to have incremental steps or a smooth non-step motion.



Posted: Sep 08 2008, 03:32 PM by | with no comments
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Progressbar for long running scripts

I have been looking, to no avail, for an easy way to show a progress bar in ASP.NET that can be updated with C# code-behind, so this one built by Wayne Redelinghuys might be useful to other developers who need to show the progress of a long running code snippet.



Posted: Sep 08 2008, 03:29 PM by | with no comments
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GoogleMap control


Wraps Google Maps API as ASP.NET custom control.
Offers extremely easy and fast way of adding Google Maps API support on your ASP.NET pages.



Posted: Sep 08 2008, 11:50 AM by | with no comments
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The .Net Coffee Break Show 5 - Ajax Data Binding with Dino Esposito invites all our members to attend our regular webcast.
 Dino Esposito
Our next speaker is Dino Esposito, with a talk on AJAX Data Binding.
Dino is the author of Programming ASP.NET 3.5 Core Reference (Microsoft Press, 2008) and other best-selling books such as Introducing ASP.NET AJAX (Microsoft Press, 2007) and Programming Microsoft ASP.NET 2.0 Applications-Advanced Topics (Microsoft Press, 2006). He's also the author of the "Cutting Edge" column on MSDN Magazine and a frequent speaker at industry events worldwide, including Microsoft TechEd, DevConnections and in Europe, DevWeek and Basta.

ASP.NET AJAX excels at connecting client code with remote services, but it doesn't provide just as yet an as much excellent mechanism to consume downloaded data within the client browser.

No doubts that this aspect of AJAX programming will be greatly improved in the near future; however, for the time being, ASP.NET AJAX doesn't offer a UI model as rich and well done as the server-side service model. In this webcast, dino will discuss client-side templates and data binding for an effective and JavaScript-powered consumption of server data.

This will be broadcast live on Tuesday 9th of September at 11:00 (Irish time!)

All the connection details to the show will be sent to you a few days prior to the start of the webcast.

This event is free but you need to visit our new Webcasts section to register!


Google Chrome

So not really a big surprise but Google launch a new browser today called Chrome.

Now one question to my future self: When I am going to get some sleep?

Not only I have to struggle with two main browsers and their different versions and different OS, now one more on the way?

Crazy world. I might just drop dead one day, totally exhausted!

Check here the live Chrome Press Conference. Seems to be only for PC at the moment.

Download soon here

Update: What puzzle me is  for me the first time I think Google going public on thier launch with a live conference. Not only that, but also put their developers in front of a camera instead of the usual Eric and Larry.
Maybe something new in their PR approach?

The demo is going well, but so far I am not totally impressed. Wait and see...

Update 2: Well it didn't take long, just downloaded Chrome and installed, curious to have a go.


Silverlight - It's too damn complicated to setup :-(

I start by saying I like XAML, and the whole idea of rich web application in my projects. However my recent experience with Silverlight has been tarnished by a lack of good implementation procedure by Microsoft.

In one project, I wanted to convince my colleagues that Sileverlight is the coolest thing on earth, well not so fast!

First the project: simple task, adding an audio player to a podcast page. Quite easy, in the past I will have to create a Windows Media Player
 object in the web page, plus eventually an 'embed' tag for Mozilla browsers.

Done that before, wanted to do something more universal working with Apple browsers for example. Flash and Silverlight promise just that. I choosed Silverlight, and the recent version 2 (still in Beta).

1st try, the ASP.Net Media Player control:

Well work fine with Internet Explorer 6, and Firefox 2. However with Firefox 3 caramba!. I discovered quickly that the control use Silverlight but only 1.0 or 1.1 not 2.0.
Worst, with Vista the play and pause buttons don
t work at all. I tried everything no hope.

2nd try, with Silverlight.js for the detection part

It's really sad that the Media player control has not been updated by Microsoft in the recent 3.5 Service Pack 1. It's now really useless. I even changed the 'version' attribute to 2.0. Try it for a laugh! You will have the standard generic Silverlight logo asking you to download and install the version... 1.1 Alpha!

So then I entered in a very depressive mood with the plug-in detection. With Flash, it has always been quite straightforward, an icon or a linked text, then you are sent to Adobe to download and install the plug in. You don
t even have to restart your browser a refresh is enough.
You have the FULL control on the implementation and you can make it clear for your users on the 'why I need this damn thing to open this video?'
With Silverlight, nope. It's not for technophobes. Microsoft has decided they know more than you regarding the way to tell that you need to download something. They automatically put a big huge icon in your face without any explanation at all to tell your grandmother what the hell to do with this bluish Silverlight logo? Super.. what?

d loved to add my own touch, an help button, a new logo, no hope.

Now look you have two solutions, sort of hacks really, and not really to use.

The first one is to implement a Silverlight Javascript API (check here for more details). Whatever I did with this thing, I never passed the test with Firefox or IE 7. Look like it works only with Silverlight 1.0 or 1.1.

3rd try, a Silverlight control

Thanks to Tim Heuer, I found some interesting information on his blog, like this one regarding Firefox 3 issue with Silverlight 2, or this one regarding a way to detect Silverlight other than Javascript using a hack with the Object tag.

Following Tim advice I downloaded the video player he developed in XAML. It's surely cool stuff but for some strange reasons I couldn't get the project working with my own stream. All the time the control bar disappeared after clicking on the play button.

I managed to get it right with a few changes in the Xaml Media controls, basically by changing everything which look to stretch any media element.

Now I say Microsoft has to hurry up if they want the web developers to adopt quickly Silverlight. They claim Silverlight 2 Beta is not officially compatible with Firefox 3 and we have to wait for the release version. Well sorry for them, but the Mozilla team is pushing hard their Firefox 2 users to upgrade quickly so it
s really time to do something.

The other matter is to get a much cleaner way to implement easily Silverlight 2 on an ASPX page. Why not doing something like the Listview, with a template part where we can put our own installation links?

 they have to make sure the Media player ASP.Net user control continue to be updated or maybe put it back to the Ajax Control Toolkit as an open source project, to be sure the community can improve it.

I believe those issues need to be address in a very short timeframe, otherwise Silverlight success seems compromised, exception maybe for some niche applications.

Posted: Sep 02 2008, 05:26 PM by | with 5 comment(s)
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The .Net Coffee Break Show 4 - ASP.NET Dynamic Data invites everyone to attend our regular webcast.

Our next speaker is Joe Stagner, with a talk on ASP.NET Dynamic Data.
Joe StagnerJoe is a Senior Program Manager in Microsoft Corporation’s Developer Tools and Platform Group and has been with Microsoft since 2001 focusing on highly scalable and performant web application architectures, multiplatform interoperability and software security. Joe brings 30 years technical and business strategy experience to Microsoft which affords him a unique experiential perspective.

ASP.NET Dynamic Data is one of the quickest means to build functional data-driven web applications. It ships as an extension to ASP.NET and it can ‘dynamically’ display web pages and supports CRUD operations against a variety of data object models, without having to create pages manually.


This will be broadcast live on Wednesday 3rd of September at 15:00 (Irish time!)

All the connection details to the show will be sent to you a few days prior to the start of the webcast.

This event is free but you need to visit our new Webcasts section to register!


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