Archives / 2003 / December
  • Some good XAML / Avalon overviews

    I wanted to find out what XAML is good for so I've been hunting stuff about Avalon and XAML the last days. I found a couple of good ones here:

    I'm really impressed by the new graphics capabilities in Avalon, but XAML itself still gives me headache. I do hope for a good designer tool so I don't have to battle with the markup language myself more than adding an event or two. I wasn't sure what XAML was good for first, but separating the code and presentation is never a bad thing to do.

    The only thing I don't like at the moment about XAML is the ability to put code in the markup. I wish they could get rid of that and make XAML cleaner.

  • Snow, snow, snow...

    It's been snowing all day today, and it's still coming down. The kids love it - it will be a white Christmas for sure :)

  • How can XAML be of good use to me?

    The work-day is almost over me, I'm off to a friend of mine for some sauna and cold beer. Just to "prepare" somewhat for the christmas party later this evening :)

    I looked at and listened to Chris and Don and their MSDN TV holiday special. I'm no emacs fan, but it was quite fun to see Don type away like that. A few typing errors now and then, but Don doesn't really need IntelliSense :) XAML still looks scary to me... I still have to figure out how XAML can be of good use to me in my everday work as a programmer and systems architect doing ASP.NET applications.

    If anyone can tell me or knows of a good URL with intro to XAML, please comment!

  • [RotK] WOW!

    What a trip!

    'nuf said

  • [Books] Just got "A First Look at ASP.NET v. 2.0"

    Just got the book I'm going to read during the x-mas holidays. Now, if only the darn DVD with Longhorn and Whidbey I ordered from Microsoft could show up sometime! I got the book last night, so I have only read the first chapter yet. But the book looks promising and a good introduction to the new stuff in Whidbey for us poor bastards that didn't make it to the PDC.

    The book has a comfortable size, almost 500 pages but still doesn't feel bulky, so it's no problem to bring it with you. Contains a lot of screenshots, code snippets and tables with properties and seems to cover some of the more cooler new parts of ASP.NET 2.0.

  • [RotK] 24 hours left...

    Sorry for the off-topic, but I have to strut around a bit :) My brother in law surprised me today with a ticket for me for the opening of the Return of the King movie tomorrow. Yay! I thought all tickets were gone already and I had planned to go some day after x-mas. Yummy!!

  • How to see your GAC-assemblies in the "add reference" dialog

    IMHO it's a pity that you don't see every GAC-installed assembly when you do "add reference" from Visual Studio, and I couldn't find much information in the VS documentation about this. So I Googled around a bit and found these ways (I haven't tried them yet):

    • Put a copy of your assembly in C:\WINNT\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v1.0.3705  or  C:\WINNT\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v1.1.4322 or wherever your framework is installed
    • Add a new registry key under one of the following registry paths with a default value that points at the location of your assemblies.:
      • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\.NETFramework\AssemblyFolders  (I found WSE, NUnit and the Primary Interop Assemblies here).
      • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\VisualStudio\7.1\AssemblyFolders (this is for VS.NET 2003 I think)
      • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\VisualStudio\7.0\AssemblyFolders (this is for VS.NET 2002 I think)
    • Put a copy of the assembly in the directory C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio\Common7\IDE\PublicAssemblies or, if you got VS.NET 2003, in the C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003\Common7\IDE\PublicAssemblies directory.

    I'm not sure yet, what the best choice is. According to the readme-file in the PublicAssemblies-directory:

    "The PublicAssemblies folder is designed to contain managed assemblies that run within the development environment and are typically called from macros, add-ins, and other user code. The assemblies in this directory are displayed in the Project Add References dialog box and the Object Browser's Component Selector dialog box. For example, COM interoperability wrappers for automation object models (e.g. vslangproj.dll) should be installed in the PublicAssemblies folder."

    I'll try the different options and see what happens, but I think I prefer to put my assemblies into a directory of my own, like C:\MyGACFiles\ and then add a "MyGACFiles" key to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\.NETFramework\AssemblyFolders section.

    Anyone with good experience with this? Is it changed in Whidbey so that you get a list of GAC-ed assemblies in the "add reference" dialog?

  • [SoapExtension] I did it again :(

    This is the second time I try to test a SoapExtension class by calling a web service method from a browser! *hit self*

    I've written the tiniest SoapExtension that captures web service exceptions, then publish it through my modified variant of Microsoft's Exception Management Application Block. Without comments and stuff it looks like this:

           public class SoapExceptionHandler : SoapExtension



                  public override object GetInitializer( LogicalMethodInfo methodInfo, SoapExtensionAttribute attribute)


                         //not used

                         return null;



                  public override object GetInitializer(Type WebServiceType)


                         //not used

                         return null;



                  public override void Initialize(object initializer)


                         //not used



                  public override void ProcessMessage(SoapMessage message)




                               case SoapMessageStage.AfterSerialize:

                                      if(message.Exception != null)







    That's all you need. Register the SoapExtension to "listen" to the entire virtual root like this:




          <add type="ExceptionManagement.SoapExceptionHandler,ExceptionManagement" priority="1" group="0" />




    UPDATE: Got rid of some source, just to shorten the post somewhat.

  • Got 1st kyu grade in aikido!

    Yay, I managed to get my 1 kyu grade on Saturday! That's the grade before the black belt. I'm student in Iyasaka Aikido Kobayashi Dojo in Stockholm, and I was dead nervous. I have to remember to drink more water before the grading next time, because I had be uke (get thrown around) for two other guys before it was my turn, and I was pretty tired and my head had started to ache. Dojo rules says you don't drink water during practice, especially not during grading :)

  • [refactoring] Coming soon - VB Refactory from Xtreme Simplicity

    From the Xtreme Simplicity home page:

    "As part of our strategy to be the premiere refactoring solution for Visual Studio .NET, Xtreme Simplicity will soon be releasing a refactoring add-in for Visual Basic. Soon the powerful code-restructuring and metrics which have proved most popular with C# programmers will be available for Visual Basic. If you are interested in participating in our alpha testing program or wish to be notified when VB Refactory is released contact us at "

    UPDATE: I've been told now that this message has been on their website for ages :( Besides, the function to get an evaluation key seems broken. They've apparently ran out of evaluation keys???

    "Sorry. There are currently no evaluation keys available. This is a temporary problem that will be corrected as soon as possible. If you fill in the following form, we will contact you when licenses are available. Alternatively, you can place an order, and we'll send you an activation code right away..."

    Yeah, sure... 

  • "MSDN Just Published" should have categories

    I wish "MSDN Just Published" had categories. The RSS feed gives us lots of good stuff, but I'm not interesting in everything published. I just saw the title "Stress Testing: Using Modular Stress Test to Test Platforms and Components" and thought it interesting. That was until I saw it was for Windows CE :/

    They could perhaps use one of the topmost breadcrumbs as category, in this case "Mobile and Embedded Development". Shouldn't be too hard to add.

  • FxCop on MSDN TV

    Ah great! I've seen the FxCop tool, but I've not had the time to have a look at it yet. Nice of them to make a webcast of it.

    "Michael Murray and Jeffrey Van Gogh from the CLR Team describe FxCop, the freely-available code analysis tool from Microsoft."
  • The dynamic image control in Whidbey will be useful

    I've been having fun with the powerful graphics libraries in .NET to generate a map of a small medieval village for a role playing game I'm writing on my (non-existing) spare time. Yeah, a good old pen and paper and dice style RPG. Anyway, that new .ASIX image generator control in Whidbey will be useful for this application. You can have a look at a beta version of my "village generator" by clicking at the image below. It's in Swedish, but just press the button and a new village will be generated.

    My good friend Tomas Arfert drew the images for me :)

  • Will Whidbey take away the fun?

    I've been watching a couple of the Whidbey presentations ScottGu did at the PDC, and I'm really impressed by the powerful controls that's going to be shipped...and concerned. Will Whidbey take away the fun from developing a web application when you can do so many things by just drag-dropping controls and set their properties? Is it just me having this feeling?

    It's not that I'm not looking forward to get my hands on some of the new features and controls, like the Cache with database dependency and so on, I really do. I spend a lot of time going through and refactoring other peoples ASP.NET code, and finding bugs in a system made up from a lot of server controls with lots of properties set on them may be a bit trickier. Perhaps I'm just sad because now when these powerful features and functions are part of Whidbey, I can throw some of my old ASP.NET components and solutions out of the window.

    Perhaps I should just shut up, be happy that we now can deliver systems even faster to customers, concentrate on the layering and architecture, code providers and say something in a year or so when we've delivered the first Whidbey-based project or two...

    What do you say? Is it just me?

  • Watching ScottGu's ASP.NET 2.0 presentation from the PDC

    As the subject/title says, I'm listening to and looking at ScottGu's ASP.NET 2.0 presentation from the PDC. I was glad to see all those presentations available as streams, really good. I've not counted them all, but there must be hundreds of presentations available with audio, power-point slides and video of code demos etc. Thumbs up from all of us who couldn't attend the PDC this year!

    Minor grumbling update: Scott's presentation has died on me a couple of times now, in the middle of the code demos, which is just one long session and can't be fast forwded :/      I had to delete the temporary files, and once I had to delete the cookies to get it running again :(    Pity...

  • Don't you hate to do administrative work?

    Administrative work must be one of the worst punishments there is for a programmer. I'd rather refactor 10.000 lines of code than fill out another database request form - yes, a non-electronic paper form to get database space... amazing!

    'nuf said