Archives / 2003
  • MSDN ISV Deal - $375

    Microsoft has a developer special on their Empower Program. 5 MSDN Universal subscriptions for only $375. You'll get copies of most of their software with it. []

  • Shared Source Spelunking

    I've stumbled across Doxygen documentation on Rotor (a.k.a. SSCLI) on several searches for obscure .NET FCL methods, and it's really interesting. Sure it's different than the Windows .NET Framework redistributable, but I'd bet it's pretty close in most cases, and even if not it illustrates what's functionally going on since this is coded to the same spec. Looking at code that implements the .NET CLI classes tells me much more about them than documentation usually does.

  • Using T-SQL to generate ASP.NET code

    No rocket science here, but this query has saved me a lot of time. I've got it saved as a tql file in “Microsoft SQL Server\80\Tools\Templates\SQL Query Analyzer\” so I can hit 'Alt+F N' and pick it from the templates.

  • RunAware (Citrix) demo of FrontPage

    MS is advertising a demo of FrontPage on Slashdot banners (which seems brave, but I'd be more than a little surprised if it causes *nix zealots to dash off to Anyhow, the demo is using RunAware, and it's a pretty cool way to run a demo - you actually get to use the app without downloading anything (well, except for a java client applet which hosts a remote MetaFrame session). They've also got Visio and Project 2002 up there.

    I think it's a great way to try out software - you can use the whole, uncrippled application, and you don't have a big download or demo app to uninstall. I think they should throw VisualStudio up there as well.

  • ASP.NET Popup Calendar / Wizard Recommendations?

    Any recommendations on a calendar popup server control? I'd like something along the lines of the ones on the front page of Expedia. I'd looked at Peter Blum's Date Package, but it breaks Rob McLaws' 8th Rule - Must Be Self Contained. I've been using a simple Javascript solution like these, but they don't fit in well with the .NET paradigm. Perhaps if we could get Andy down to 9 hours sleep per week?

  • .ToString() vs. Convert.ToString()

    Simple tip that's saved me some time:

  • XAML Emulator?

    Wouldn't an Avalon / XAML emulator be great? Kinda like the PocketPC emulator that's part of the MS Embeded Visual Toolkit. Then those of us who didn't get to PDC, don't have Longhorn, but would love to start working with XAML could at least start getting acquainted with it.

  • ASP.NET New Web Project System

    As a full time ASP.NET developer, this is one of my favorite Whidbey features: ASP.NET offers support for File System and FTP projects, and much smoother Local IIS integration. That's going to save me tons of time and aggravation.

  • Repeater ItemCommand Won't Fire without ViewState

    There's something fishy going on between Repeater ItemCommands and ViewState. I had some asp:LinkButton controls in a HeaderTemplate that just wouldn't fire... until I enabled ViewState for the Repeater control. Once I knew that it had something to do with ViewState, I was able to see that others have run into this.

  • VS Macro won't run to EOF - RegEx Find / Replace to the rescue

    I needed to generate insert scripts using values from an Excel file - one per row, hundreds of rows. I exported to CSV, opened in VS.NET, and got ready to run a macro to pop some SQL before and after each line in the CSV. I recorded my macro and went looking for the “Run to end of file” menu item... not there! The only ways to repeat a macro for each line in a file is to hit CTRL-SHIFT-P hundreds of times or to edit the Macro manually and make it loop (which for some reason runs more slowly than typing each letter in with one finger).

  • AppSettings - External Config File

    We've been using this for several months to distinguish between Dev / QA / Prod settings - it's worked very well. This makes it easy to keep config files in source control - there's one folder (config) with dev.config, qa.config, production.config, and any others as needed. The folder is maintained in source control so it's versioned, labeled, etc. Web.config is different from server to server (refers to a different config file depending on environment), but doesn't contain any settings.

  • Automated error handling in .NET

    VB/Rig was a popular add on to Visual Basic which automated the insertion of error handling into VB code. I've worked with other add-ins for VB that did similar things, but haven't seen anything similar for .NET - c# specifically. I realize this wrapping code in Try / Catch / Finally blocks is more complex than just throwing an error handler at the end of every sub and function, but with the amount of free addins and macros people have been cranking out I'd bet one exists...

  • Splitting DotNetRocks MP3 files

    If you too like to listen to DNR in MP3 format but would like the files split into smaller files, this may help you. My car cd player can play MP3's, but if I switch CD's (or even tracks) part way through, I have to hold down the fast forward button for 10 minutes to get back to where I was at. I had a cool freeware program that did it, but when DNR switched to VBR format the freeware program choked. Here's the solution I found:

  • It all comes down to the motivation

    One of the things that irritates me is the fact that most universities teach software engineering the DOD-way...

    Wow. I've been thinking about this post since I read it a few days ago. I work for a big financial company, and I deal with this constantly - every spec, no matter how simple the subject matter, is ridiculed and written off if it's under 100 pages... but no one really reads it. Business Analysts with no real understanding of the data or systems hash how things will work before they get the technical folks involved, only to find out that they've specified an impossible solution. Don't get me wrong, I love my job, but it's definitely not the most efficient environment for building high quality software...

  • Scheduling a WebService

    How to schedule a webservice method call (using MS Task Scheduler)? The only way I could find was to create a VBS file that calls the WS, and schedule that:

  • XML - InsertSingleNode?

    It's easy to get data out from an XML doc given a path (doc.SelectSingleNode(@"/customer/address/zip"), but what about building an XML doc bit by bit? What about InsertSingleNode? There are plenty of times where programatically building an XML doc at the object level doesn't make sense or isn't possible, and plenty of cases where there isn't an object to be serialized (say, on projects I'm stepping into late in the game, or where the XML document format is dynamic).

  • SQL Buddy - Query Analyzer with Intellisense

    C# Open source version of SQL Query Analyzer with code completion - If you type in a table name and hit ctrl-space, it has a dropdown with the columns, etc. It's version .68a so they're still adding features, but it's pretty solid.
    The guys that are developing this said they welcome criticism and suggestions, so fire away if you have any. My dream feature - save all open query windows to a temp file. I hate rebooting with 12 open windows in QA... Seems like they could be easily dumped into a temp XML file with the connection and SQL text.
    Hopefully Yukon will give us this kind of fun built into VS.