Robert Robbins

A blog about using ASP.NET for web applications and my work experiences

  • SSIS Package - User Variables

    A SSIS (SQL Server Integration Services) package is very useful if you want to export data from your database. Recently I wanted to pass some input parameters to my SSIS package and had to struggle to figure out how this can be done. This really isn't very well documented and you can't find detailed instructions on the Internet so I thought I'd blog about it. Get a load of how complicated it turned out to be!

  • Book Review: ASP.NET 3.5 Application Architecture and Design

    I recently read a new book published by Packt Publishing, “ASP.NET 3.5 Application Architecture and Design” by Vivek Thakur. I've noticed a lot of articles and blog posts about design patterns and domain models in the ASP.NET community but it really mystified me until I read this book. Although many of the blog posts I've read have tried to be an introduction to design patterns, I'd have to say they all did a poor job compared to Vivek Thakur's book which explains it all in plain English. I learned how application architecture applies to web development and what advantages it is meant to offer.

  • CSS Computed Styles

    I have not been blogging here because I've been doing a lot of web design research lately which does not involve ASP.NET. I'm really slacking off on improving my programming skills. I went on a fabulous vacation and never came back mentally. However I'm still making the effort to master web design so I will share some of my recent discoveries.

  • Vlogging Web Development

    The web site I've been working on, Vloggerheads, will be opened to the public tomorrow. You can view the videos and blogs but you won't be able to comment or post videos unless you request membership and are approved. You might want to check out the video of the shrine that was built to me or the many videos thanking me for adding much needed features to the site. LOL

  • JavaScript XML Cheat Sheet

    Recently I was working on some complicated JavaScript to nest unordered lists and list items to match an Atom feed's XML structure. I had to spend an entire day researching JavaScript's XML parsing capabilities because there is no place on the Internet where this information is gathered to my satisfaction. I created a JavaScript cheat sheet on XML for my notes. I thought I would share it with you in order to get some feedback for improving my notes. Let me know if you know of a JavaScript library that eases the pain of working with XML in JavaScript. jQuery is somewhat useful for this if you use its DOM selectors on an XML document instead of the web page document. var entryNode = $('entry',xmlDoc).eq(5);

  • Threaded Comment System

    I'm currently working on threaded comment systems. Comment threads allow you to reply to a comment. This is a feature that the users are clamoring for on Vloggerheads because it is a popular feature on YouTube .  Even the trolls are wondering when we are going to have this feature. One of the more amusing aspects of this project is the ongoing video commentary from the peanut gallery. It is like having Bill O'Reilly doing vicious news reports about the progress, or lack of progress, of your project.

  • How To Add A New Property To The AJAX Calendar Control

    I've finally gotten around to using something from the AJAX Control Toolkit in an actual project. My client was dissatisfied with the <asp:calendar> control so I offered to AJAX enable the site and replace it with the fancier Calendar control from the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit. Naturally the client found something he wanted to work a little different. This calendar control was for entering your birth date and he did not want the user to scroll back decades to find that date. He wanted the calendar to show up with the 1990-1999 decade already visible so the user could start from there. Fortunately I remembered that the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit comes with all the source code so you can customize it to suite your needs.

  • Vloggerheads - The Social Networking Revolt

    I'm finally working on a project with the potential to be a really high profile web site. I've offered my services as a volunteer programmer to the web site which is being built on the Ning social networking platform. This site is an attempt by prominent vloggers from YouTube and LiveVideo to take control of their community.

  • Lagging Behind The ASP.NET World

    Since we have not moved to Visual Studio 2008 at work, I have been unable to keep up with the progress in ASP.NET technology. I can't get into Silverlight 2.0 or ASP.NET MVC without Visual Studio 2008.