Plip's Weblog

Phil Winstanley - British .NET chap based in Lancashire. Enjoys tea and tech. Working for Microsoft.

April 2004 - Posts

Are you a Developer in the North of England (UK)?

A group of us on the MsWebDev -- UK Community for Microsoft Platform Web Developers and Programmers e-mail list are trying to get a User Group or some sort of "Geek Meet" going.

We're gaging interest at the moment, and are looking for anyone that's interested in attending a North West meeting, probably in the Manchester area.

There is also a User Group that happens in London, although I've not attended it seems to be very popular, so we're hoping there will be similar interest in the frozen north.

There is no Venue yet, and no Date, but we're hoping to get one going very soon (within the next few weeks!).

Proposed talks thus far include: -

  • An Introduction to ASP.NET 2.0 and Visual Studio .NET 2005
  • Preparing your ASP.NET 1.0/1.1 Applications for ASP.NET 2.0 Migration

If anyone is interested in attending, or has any questions, either join the MsWebDev -- UK Community for Microsoft Platform Web Developers and Programmers e-mail list, drop me an e-mail to or leave your contact details in the Comments section below, and I'll get in touch by e-mail when something is decided.

Posted: Apr 25 2004, 11:50 AM by Plip | with 5 comment(s)
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Tracing in ASP.NET 2.0

I've put together a quick piece on Tracing in ASP.NET 2.0, you can read it here: -

Let me know what you think or if there is anything else you'd like to see covered. That goes for all ASP.NET 2.0 and Visual Studio .NET 2005 features.

Posted: Apr 20 2004, 08:29 PM by Plip | with no comments
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Error Reporting in ASP.NET - New Release

I've put together a new realease of the code for the Error Reporting class I talk about here 

Changes: -

1. Code refactored, now much cleaner and easier to understand.
2. Response Cookies collection added.
3. Request Headers collection added.
4. Tested with .NET 1.0, 1.1 and 2.0.
5. Cookie Drill Down added.
6. Cache Enhancements.
7. State Bag Enhancements, more support for specific types, DataTable, XmlDocument etc.
8. Sample e-mails from all three .NET Framework versions included.
9. Readme Document Added.
10. Sample Usage File (WebForm1.aspx.cs) added.

I'd love some feedback on other ways to clean up the code, to see the two versions side by side, the URLS are: -

Can anyone think of any other ways to clean it up?



Posted: Apr 17 2004, 12:39 AM by Plip | with 20 comment(s)
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Localization in ASP.NET 2.0 - Application Level Resources

The second article in my Localization series is here, this piece discusses the Application scope support in ASP.NET and the code changes in accessing Local Resources.

Posted: Apr 15 2004, 09:54 PM by Plip | with no comments
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Localization in ASP.NET 2.0

I've put together an Article on Localizing Applications on ASP.NET 2.0, in this piece I discuss how it's possible to create Localized web sites without writing a single line of code.

Posted: Apr 14 2004, 08:37 PM by Plip | with 2 comment(s)
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Strongly Typed Objects - I've lost a battle, but will win the war.

I've just had a ... discussion with my boss at work over the advantages and disadvantages of using Strongly Typed Objects, wether to use a DAL or have all the T-SQL inline (sprocs) *YUCK*, and where to do the caching (or rather what to cache).

He's of the opinion that the designers should be able to use the IDE to do all the work on web sites, I disagreed stating that while that would be nice they will always need a programmer involved, otherwise what's the point of having us here?

So who's the winner? Me with the above, or Him with his Typed DataSet's?

Who pays me? *Grumble*

I'm lucky that my Boss is one of the most knowledgeable chaps I know, he's always willing to run a test to see which is faster, easier etc, as opposed to just putting his foot down.

I have managed to get a comprimise, we're going to sit down as a team and bring together the three different Used Car Search systems we have inhouse at Portfolio Europe under one design. Currently we have Typed DataSet's, Untyped DataSet's and my beautiful Strongly Typed Objects.

I know what's coming in .NET 2.0, so I KNOW I'm on the right track ;)

I'll let you know who wins the argument.

Posted: Apr 13 2004, 02:10 PM by Plip | with 4 comment(s)
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Problems with the current Localization Framework in ASP.NET and what's coming in ASP.NET 2.0

Localization is an area of the .NET Framework that is very close to my heart.

  • I've suffered having to Restart IIS on machines with hundreds of sites, just to replace one .resource file because "Access is denied" (XCopy my arse.)
  • I've complained at having to recompile a .resource file because someone in marketing wasn't quite happy with the Dutch version of a sentence.
  • I've fumed at the translation people after uploading a resource file, only to discover some of the text was now so long it threw the formatting of a web site out.
  • I've been dismayed at the fact a Text file used to generate .resource files has come back in completely the wrong format meaning I've had to spend an hour or so cleaning it up so that it will compile.

In short, I hate the current implementation of Localization in the .NET Framework.

I'm currently in a very lucky position with .NET 2.0 (and specifically ASP.NET 2.0) in that I'm reviewing the functionality of Localization within the framework, the work the ASP.NET team has done so far is to be honest a *massive* leap in the right direction. However I don't think it's currently addressing the main issue with Localization, which is nothing to do with the Technology, but in fact Developers still have to be involved with the Translation process.

Here's what I'd love to see come out of Microsoft, and perhaps if they can't do it we (the community) could get together and build a Localization Framework that address the problems we as developers face each day. I'm drawing on experience with not only ASP.NET applications but also the development of Computer Games and the Localization issues they face. I'd like to know the problems you've had with Localizing applications in ASP.NET - let me know, we might collectively be able to make a difference for the next version.

Posted: Apr 11 2004, 10:04 AM by Plip | with 6 comment(s)
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Article: Creating Cache Items that are Dependant on your Stored Procedure Parameters

Another unpublished article I found hidden away in "My Docuemnts", rummaging around in here is like shoving your hand down the back of the sofa ...

The article was written but never published, I think it was posted to one of the Database lists over at ASP Advice but can't remember.

Anyway, if you want to take a peek at how I do dataset caching in one of my application frameworks here's the article on Creating Cache Items that are Dependant on your Stored Procedure Parameters

I apologise again, it's got all the Word muff in it still.

Posted: Apr 11 2004, 09:46 AM by Plip | with no comments
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Article: Tracing in ASP.NET

I've just been rummaging through the "My Documents" folder on my machine and I discovered an unpublished article on Tracing in ASP.NET.

It's by far not comprehensive, but I thought I'd share just in case anyone gleamed any use from it.

Sorry it's got all the Word Garbage in there so the HTML is quite heavy to download, it just looks pants without the Word Garbage in there.

Posted: Apr 11 2004, 09:36 AM by Plip | with no comments
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Using Strongly Typed Objects and Collections to replace DataSet’s in your .NET applications

I've put the first four articles on the subject of using Drtongly Strongly typed objects to represent your business Data on to my blog, they are as follows: -

Part 1: Reasons for the Switch

Part 2: The Strongly Typed Object

Part 3: Populating Objects and Collections from Databases

Part 4: Sorting and Filtering Strongly Typed Collections

As ever, if you have any questions, queries or suggestions please don't hesitate to get in touch either via the contact form or directly to

Posted: Apr 11 2004, 09:26 AM by Plip | with 4 comment(s)
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