Archives / 2005
  • PDC 2005, Day 3 @ 1:44 pm (Windows Compute Cluster Solution)

    One of the keynote presentations today was on Windows Compute Cluster Solution.  Now, I've been working with Windows Clusters in a High Availability environment for some time now, so I've been very interested in what Microsoft's message was going to be in this product space.  Microsoft has been getting their lunch handed to them in this area by Linux clusters for a long, long time.  While it is currently possible to build High Performance Clusters on Windows without the Compute Cluster Solution, it is certainly not straightforward.

  • PDC 2005, Day 1 @ 1:21 pm

    Well, everyone else has been posting about the PDC - I thought that I would have written by now, but I haven't really seen anything that is really exciting.  So far, most everything seems to be a refinement of things introduced in PDC 2003. 

    Oh, Office 12 was mentioned.  Since use Office as a glorified Wordpad.exe, that's really not that exciting.

    I am currently sitting in the session, "High Performance Computing with Windows Server Compute Cluster Solution."  It's a slide-show fest, with very little demo or bits to see.  This session is a basic review of of Clustering, and is mostly review if you are familiar with these concepts.

    There's actually very little about what microsoft is doing in this space, and more about what high performance clustering actually is.  I'm still not impressed.  Show me, don't slide-show me.

  • MSDN Documentation

    So, over the last couple of years, I've been what I consider a 'defender' of MSDN documentation.  After all, the docs are miles ahead of what they used to be.

  • Pet Peeve # 49,253

    After all of these years, the Win32 API still does not provide a mechanism for updating a System or User Environment Variable.

  • My Wix Journey - Day 29 @ 12:42pm EDT

    One more complaint about Windows Installer DLL Custom Actions.  If an entry point is not found, then Windows Installer generates a generic error, 1723.  This is pretty much the same error for any problem running the DLL.  As it's pretty simple for the Windows Installer team to know if the dll entry point wasn't found, why couldn't they generate a more explicit error message, or even log more detailed information in the MSI log?

  • My Wix Journey - Day 16 @ 9:26pm EDT

    Despite the lack of blog posts, I've really been immersed in WiX.  I'm learning to love and hate this project.  I really love the XML declarative style of creating MSIs.  I really hate the fact that WiX wraps the abomination known as Windows installer. 

  • My Wix Journey - Day 7 @ 8:43pm EDT

    WiX has a Visual Studio Plugin codename 'Votive'.  This project enables you to edit WiX scripts from within the Visual Studio IDE.  It's rather convenient to click "Build" from within Visual Studio.  The best part of Votive is that you don't need to author build scripts to get an .msi file from WiX.  Just build the project, and you are on your way.

  • My Wix Journey - Day 3 @ 10:54pm EDT

    I had planned a post on how to extract Installshield Dialogs from an existing setup, for use with WiX, but I'll have to postpone that entry.  I had an unscheduled event take up most of my day.

  • My Wix Journey - Day 1 @ 3:23pm EDT

    I'm about to begin what I'll call the "Journey of WiX".  My intent is to chronicle my story during the next month. I will be converting a rather complicated InstallShield setup to a WiX based setup.  I'll share my trials and tribulations, along with my successes, for the next month of this project.

  • Mark custom .NET Exceptions as [Serializable]

    The two people that read my blog (besides my sister) know this already, but if you author a class library, please mark all classes deriving from Exception (or even better, ApplicationException) as [Serializable].  If I am using your library on the other side of a remoting channel, non-Serializable exceptions will cause me much heartache.

  • Web Scraping in ASP.NET

    I know that there are other samples of web scraping out there, but here's mine.  One of my customers asked me how to scrape our ASP.NET Web application, so I though that I might post the example code.  I like the viewstate regex - it's my first time using lookarounds in a regular expression.

  • The Wild, Wild West - Undocumented APIs

    Larry Osterman and Raymond Chen are constantly pointing out that third party developers use undocumented APIs and implementation side effects of the Windows APIs, and other OS internal details.  A common refrain among developers is that such things shouldn't be done, and Microsoft shouldn't be afraid to 'break' applications that dare to use undocumented features.

  • SQL Server 2005 will be 'slipstreamable'

    So, while looking for information on the upcoming SQL Server 2000 SP4 release, I noticed that SQL Server 2005 is 'slipstreamable'.  I'm pretty certain that most of the developers here don't really care, but I am also responsible for the build / release cycle on my dev team. Slipstreaming almost crosses over into the 'must have' category.

  • WS-SecureConversation - A Per User Story

    As I mentioned a few posts ago, I’ve been spending some time with WSE 2.0.  One of the cool things in the new WS-* specs is WS-SecureConversation.  SecureConversation maintains the ability to enforce authentication and authorization at a per call basis, while lowering the runtime burden of actually performing a full authentication for each round trip call. I’m not going to go too far into details here, as there’s plenty of information on WS-SecureConversation available on the web.

  • I'm looking at WSE 2.0 SP2

    I've recently been spending some quality time with WSE 2.0 SP2, and let me tell you, this wiz-bang framework provides a lot of bang for the buck.  I've implemented a prototype communications layer for our application, replacing our custom TCP based RPC mechanism with a SOAP / WSE Framework.  Lots of 'interesting' steps along the way.  I'll expand on these later, but my initial impressions are:

  • Updating the Path environment variable from nAnt scripts, Redux...

    A few weeks ago, I posted a mechanism for updating an environment variable from nAnt scripts.  I had done my google-due-dilligence, and still had not found a way to accomplish this task, so I decided to share my quick and dirty solution here at the "Occasional Clue"...

    Apparently, I wasn't the only one to notice this deficiency in nAnt, and the issue came up on the nAnt-Users mailing list.  Ian McClean jumped to the rescue, providing a better solution than mine (There's no permalink, look for "Setting Environment Variables with NAnt").