Archives

Archives / 2003 / July
  • StringBuilder Size Algorithm

    When I posted about this before, someone noted that cycling through all the items would be a performance hit. Well, as you can see, I'm really only cycling thru the tables in the DataSet, and in the case of the DataReader, I'm only accessing a property that already exists.

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  • Webservices + SSL = Good or Bad?

    Right now, I have all my web services under one project, secured behind SSL. I have not decided if I want to move the to a better location, like http://webservices.interscapeusa.com, or something like that. Basically to move them out of the SSL security. Now, I'd like some opinions in terms of the effect... is the latency of SSL combined with the serialization of data into XML substantial? Is it worth it to have your data stream encrypted, or would it be better to use WSE to make sure the data is encrypted and not the whole stream? Is there something I'm not considering here? Please leave me comments, thoughts, and suggestions. Thanks.

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  • VS.NET Shortcuts

    Having just registered for and been accepted to the Visual Studio Integration Program, I've been going through the included Help collection, and found some neat little tidbits. These actually have nothing to do with the VSIP SDK, but the SDK did lead me to some great docs in the regular VS.NET 2003 Help Collection.

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  • "No-Brainer Compatibility" Explained

    For several weeks now, I've been talking about various issues in regards to component versioning and Framework compatibility. A few months ago, I got so frustrated by the issues that were raised, that I said I was going to start a task force to solve the problem. This task force was informal and basically consisted of Paul Alexander (XHEO) and I (Interscape Technologies). Over the past 6 months, I have really enjoyed working with Paul, and I am constantly amazed at the work he achieves. Together, we've been able to make some headway in the industry as a whole, and we have several extremely exciting things coming up in the future.

    The results of this work were detailed informally in my weblog, but will be published through Builder.com officially over the next 6 weeks. By the end of the week, I will have a single, final document available on my company website. For now, thought, I want to focus on the images I posted this morning, and the role they should play with your marketing.

    This overall system that I've come up with, I'm dubbing the “No-Brainer Compatibility Initiative”. This is not meant to be derrogatory by any means. It really should be a no-brainer to the people that use the reusable code that we distribute/sell regarding how it works, and which version to use it to. All too often, developers assume that the end user/other developers that will be using thair code are just as smart as they are. All too often, this is not the case. Most .NET developers are either coding newbies or coding converts. Many come from the Java realm, and just as many come from ScriptKiddieLand. Most, myself included, wouldn't know good programming methods if they came up and bit them in the ass. I'm still learning about design patterns and so forth.

    So the point is to make it blatantly obvious to anyone with an IQ above 20 which version goes with which Framework. It's not that hard. The first step is to use the Framework Compatibility Graphics (FCGs) I blogged about this morning. Roy Osherove asked me, “Where do I put these graphics... in my installer or some kind of splash screen?” My answer: “Yeah those, but first and foremost, on every product-related page of your website, your documentation, and any product related support website page.” You want to build as much awareness as humanly possible. You also want to put the graphic in an and make the link to go a page with the large version of the graphic, and explain in more detail exactly what it means. Paul and I may be coming up with standard text in the very near future, to help you guys out of you're having trouble.

    The next parts of this initiative stem my previous posts here, here, and here, and are addressed in greated detail in my Builder.com column next month. Paul has already taken these steps with XHEO|Licensing 2.0, as shown in the following screenshot:

    Is there any question from that dialog which version you should use in VS.NET 2003? I sure hope not. As a user of XHEO's products, there sure isn't for me.

    Now, this is not necessarily the best way to do it. It is, however, the best anyone has come up with so far. Try it, experiment with it, and make it better. When you do, please be sure to let me know. This is why I talk about this stuff instead of keeping it to myself.

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  • Congratulations ScottW

    I was the first to say it last time, and I'll be the first to say it again. Congratulations Scott on the new version of the Weblogs. It looks extremely professional, and I love the new selection of skins. I can't wait to pimp mine out with .NET-related graphical goodness. The new admin site is extremely clean. Now, I'm just waiting for my stats.... ;)

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  • .NET Framework Graphics - "No Brainer Compatibility"

    Paul Alexander was kind enough to put together a series of really slick graphics elements that were designed to denote which version of the .NET Framework a particular component was compiled to. This is ideal in situations where you either a) only have one compiled version of your app, or b) have separate installers for each version.

    I spent the past few hours cleaning up Paul's Illustrator file. It's really slick now, because you can show and hide different layers to produce different graphics depending on your needs. In the file he gave me had the whole graphics as entirely separate elements.

    I'm callling them "Framework Compatibility Graphics", and here's what they look like:





    Interscape and Xheo together are proposing this to the community as a standard for denoting Framework compatibility. To accelerate this process, we have created a Zip file archive with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop versions for these graphics. You can download it here. The archive contains 3 different sizes for each graphic (except the smallest size does not have the faded version, it was impractical). We highly encourage everyone to take advantage of this immediately. The better we, as developers, educate our customers, the better it will be for everyone.

    UPDATE: The archive contains gif files at three different sizes, so you don't have to mess with the PSD or AI files if you don't want to. The sizes are shown here:

    Small:
    Medium:
    Large:

    I'll be talking more about this over the next several days, and how to effectively brand your products with these logos. I'll also talk about how they fit into the overall versioning strategy that Interscape and XHEO is pushing.

    Special thanks goes out to Paul at Xheo.com for taking the time to create these graphics. He did an outstanding job.

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  • Special Thanks

    I'd like to take a minute to give a special thanks to Roy Osherove for his assistance this morning in tracking down a particularly nasty bug in my XML format support for GenX.NET this morning. I'll go into specific details later about what happened, and what a still unexplained nuisance, but I can finally grab a quick nap, knowing that the code for GenX.NET is now officially 100% complete.

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  • Great Idea for an MS Product

    My friend Brian had a great idea for an MS Product today. I've dubbed it "CleanSlate". CleanSlate would basically be a hard-drive image on DVD of a system preinstalled with the following, configured to MS best practices:

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  • Your TabletPC Thoughts?

    OK. I'm gonna do it. I'm gonna buy a TabletPC. Confronted with the hideous thought of spending the next 6 hours reading documentation on all the Alpha and Beta software I got from MS this week, I cannot think of any other way.

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  • Cool StringBuilder Tip

    One of the great things about the StringBuilder is it's ability to dynamically resize itself for situations where it is dealing with large strings. It was very helpful in building GenX.NET, especially since I wasn't always going to be writing to the file system anymore. Back in the 2.0 days, each time I loaded up a new line, I wrote it to the file system, so performace wasn't really a factor. Now it is. The problem is, however, that this dynamic resizing can sometimes come at a performance hit IF you are adding to your string beyond 1000x.

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  • *Dumbfounded*

    Did any of you guys know that the DropDownList control has a new property in VS.NET 2003? It's called SelectedValue, and it gets the value of the selected item, or sets the value to an item based on a string.

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  • The Relentless Pursuit of Excellence

    I was at Starbucks for a decent part of the evening tonight, doing what I had hoped to be the last of my famous JPCRs (Java-Powered Code Review) for GenX.NET 3.0. Fortunately, I was wrong, it will not be my last review for this release. I say fortunately, tho I have been up for the past 6 hours making changes to the entire architecture AGAIN, because it is definitely for the better. I don't know what it is about White Chocolate Mocha Expresso that gets my brain going, but I think I'm hooked for life.

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  • Blogging For Exposure

    So you're blogging. That's really great. You can say you have these altruistic motives for doing so, but at the end of the day, you're doing it to get exposure. This is especially critical in the .NET community, as there are hundreds of thousands of us lowly code monkeys vying for attention. So how do you make yourself stand out from the crowd?

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  • Welcome New .NET Blogger

    I'd like to take this opportunity to personally welcome Paul Alexander to the fold. For those of you that don't know, Paul is President of Xheo.com... that company that brings you the best software licensing system on earth. The stuff that this guy does with .NET just blows my mind. Paul is a close, personal friend of mine, and I'm glad he's taking the leap into the world of blogging.

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  • My New Nifty Desktop

    Everyone's been going nuts over Tony Pino's desktop lately in the .NET Desktops contest, myself included. I was more taken by his graphics work than anything else. Well, he was kind enough to hook me up with the picture file, and a tip on how he did it.

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  • Circular References

    Putting the finishing touches on GenX.NET 3.0, and I have stumbled across a disturbing problem. I KNOW that the architecture is not good enough yet. I want to be able to have the data transformation engine completely separate from the data transformation formats, which I have done already. There is a huge problem tho. I hope I can explain it adequately.

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  • New Blogs Announcement

    I've been expanding my blogging to talk about other aspects of my life. You may have noticed in my news section, I quietly posted links to my new blogs a few weeks ago. While I'm still working on some new templates (namely one that looks like my company website for my corporate blog) I'm going to go ahead and announce that they're out there.

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  • Can't See Past The End of My TaskVision

    OK, so I wanted to start implementing a simple system for managing my projects, without the expense of MS Project. I also wanted something that I could access on my Pocket PC. So I downloaded and installed the MS TaskVision client and server programs...

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  • VPN Heaven

    I FINALLY got the VPN running on my network. Why haven't I tried these things sooner? This is SO COOL. Now I can browse my web servers like my desktop is in my datacenter....

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  • My 200th Post

    As I blogged about earlier, the other day I sat down and cranked out 3 articles for my Builder.com column. They all had to deal with versioning, and they were all based on conversations I had on my blog. I sent Paul Alexander from Xheo.com (someone get this guy a blog already!) my article on SxS versioning and the Framework, which stemmed from a heated debate with Frans Bourma, and he replied with this single comment.

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  • Windows Mobile 2003 SDK

    I'm logged into my MSN Messenger account from a virtual Windows Mobile 2003 Phone from within VS.NET. HOW FREAKIN COOL IS THAT?

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  • StrongBad's Desktop

    "My desktop, eh? You know, a clean desktop is one of the most important aspects of computing today. I mean, look at my deskop:

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  • Productive Evening

    I just got back from another java powered evening at Starbucks. Man why am I so productive there? Must be because it's pretty distraction-free. You might go, "WTF is that guy talking about, there are tons of distractions there. Like hot girls." See, I've found this great example about how my brain works, and I'm gonna share it with you.

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  • The Best Just Got Better

    I just got an e-mail that ASPnetMenu has released a new version a few days ago. Excerpt from the e-mail I received:

    Feature Highlights
    • Industry-First Navigation Features: Automatic highlighting of the selected path, with support for ItemSelected and ChildItemSelected styles; Paths can be selected through URLs, query string parameters, or ASP.NET postbacks; new support for a host of navigation methods;
    • New Tab Strip Interface: An extra user control is included to enable multi-level Tab Strip navigation types;
    • IE5 on Mac: Full support is now provided for Internet Explorer version 5.1 on Macintosh;
    • Rendering over Windowed Objects: Menus are now properly rendered over any windowed object, including Flash movies, Java applets, or any custom ActiveX object;
    • New Examples: The number of examples included with the product has been expanded greatly -- with new design and programming examples, and an all-new set of navigation examples;
    This control has always been the best IMO, and I think it's really cool of them to release it as V1.1, meaning it's free for all existing users. I would HIGHLY recommend you get started on it today. While you're at it, you should be using RichContentRotator too. All the pizazz of Flash without the need for a plugin. DHTML does the trick :).

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  • Holy Speech Enabled Websites Batman!

    Amid much fanfare, the next release of the .NET Speech SDK (now entitled Speech Application SDK) Beta 3 is available. It's not downloadable, and requires VS.NET 2003 (no surprise there), but they've added a ton of killer new features, not the least of which is PocketPC support (I KNEW there was a reason I bought my iPaq... now if I could just get Windows Mobile 2003...)

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  • Neat Little Tip....

    I was reading this free chapter from OReilly on "Mastering VS.NET", and I came across an interesting little factiod:

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  • MS' IE Division should pay attention to this...

    My friend Dalton just pointed me to a browser based on the IE engine (so it requires IE to be installed. It does everything you wished IE would do, including popup-blocking and tabbed-browsing. It's called MyIE2, and it just might find it's way into my laptop today.

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