Archives / 2015
  • NSession is quietly marching towards 1.0 release

    My open source project NSession has be around for several years. It allows ASP classic pages to access ASP.NET out-of-process session states the same way that ASP.NET pages access them. Recently, there are a large number of users migrating from Windows 2003 to Windows Server 2008/2012 and encountered an incompatibility with ASP.NET 4.5. I was contacted by users daily publicly or privately. I decided to make additional effort to put finishing touch on it to make it a 1.0 product.

    In release, I had:

    • Fixed the compatibility issues with 4.5.
    • Improved the documents.
    • Reduced hacking to make it less likely to encounter compatibility problem with future versions of ASP.NET.

    In release, I had:

    • Added support for SQL Server session state so that it supports all the built-in out-of-proc session states in ASP.NET and is feature complete for 1.0 release.
    • Added a diagnostic check list and a diagnostic tool.

    Before 1.0 release, I will continue improving installation experience, fixing bugs reported and will do some performance testing.

    Beyond 1.0, I will start designing adapter interface to support custom session states. Please visit the project site to propose custom session state providers to support in the work items area.

  • First look at the Visual Studio Tools for Apache Cordova CTP 3.1

    The company that I worked for had an old cross-platform mobile app developed by an outside contractor using PhoneGap 1.0. When I was asked to look at the app a few months ago, I had great difficulty collecting large number of moving pieces: PhoneGap, Android SDK and emulator. When I saw Visual Studio Tools for Apache Cordova (I will call it VSTAC in the remaining of this post), I decide to give it a try since it attempts to install a large number of third-party software for me.

    The journey is not exactly easy, but it is certainly far easier than collecting all the pieces myself with the excellent installation document from MSDN. The result is more than pleasant. Here are some of my findings:

    1) After the installation, I could not even get a hello world app to work. It turns out that I had an older version of Nods.js. VSTAC skipped node.js installation. After I uninstall the old node.js and reinstall with the one linked from the VSTAC installation page, I was able to get hello world to work.

    2) I was surprise to see the Ripple emulator which I was not aware of previously. The Ripple emulator is very fast and VSTAC provides excellent debugging experience.

    3) I had to clear my Apache Cordova cache a few times. This and some other useful items are documented in FAQ. Also visit known issues.

    4) The application connects to an old soap web services developed with WCF. It does not support CORS. So I had to use Ripple proxy to connect to it but I kept getting 400 error. Fortunately, I was able to hack Ripple proxy to make it work.

    5) I then tried to run the app in Google Android emulator. VSTAC supports this scenario as well. I had to uninstall and reinstall some Android SDK components following this and this directions. Then I had to run AVD Manager to create and start a device. Then I had to update my display driver to make sure I have compatible OpenGL ES driver installed. After that, the Google emulator ran beautifully. It was not as fast as Ripple but is acceptable.

    So at the end, I want to give a big thank you to the Microsoft VSTAC team. I know this is not easy but the excellent document got me through. It certainly saved me lots of time.