# Wednesday, 31 January 2007

Site update using RssToolkit

I finally updated my website some. I now use the RssToolkit from Dmitry Robsman to display my latest blog posts on the front page of my business website (www.develop-one.com).

The RssToolkit allows you to define an RssDataSource using drag-and-drop, just enter the url of the feed and create a gridview which binds against the RssDataSource. It's great!

The code has been updated since last year, but it runs like a charm!

Go to: http://blogs.msdn.com/dmitryr/archive/2006/03/26/561200.aspx

The project has been moved from Dmitry's blog to CodePlex. Go to: http://www.codeplex.com/ASPNETRSSToolkit.

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My hosting provider send me an email today informing me that ASP.NET AJAX 1.0 is now available to all DiscountASP.NET customers. I guess I'll have to put some AJAX in my site, just because I can :-)

The message did contain an interesting warning though:

Microsoft officially released ASP.NET AJAX 1.0 and we have installed AJAX 1.0 in the webserver GAC.
More Info | KB Q10460)

Note: Microsoft has yanked out some features from the AJAX RTM and used the same version number for both v1.0 and the RTM. If you built apps with the RTM, they may not be backward compatible.

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# Wednesday, 24 January 2007

ASP.NET AJAX v1.0 is available for download

ASP.NET AJAX v1.0 is available for download!

Go to: http://ajax.asp.net/default.aspx?tabid=47


"ASP.NET AJAX is a free framework for quickly creating a new generation of more efficient, more interactive and highly-personalized Web experiences that work across all the most popular browsers.

With ASP.NET AJAX, you can:

  • Create next-generation interfaces with reusable AJAX components.
  • Enhance existing Web pages using powerful AJAX controls with support for all modern browsers.
  • Continue using Visual Studio 2005 to take your ASP.NET 2.0 sites to the next level.
  • Access remote services and data directly from the browser without writing a ton of complicated script.
  • Enjoy the benefits of a free framework with 24x7 technical support provided by Microsoft."
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# Tuesday, 23 January 2007

A movie is never finished, only abandoned.

Mark Gibbs has a cool column on Network World where he compares a quote by George Lucas with developing software.

George Lucas has been quoted as saying that "A movie is never finished, only abandoned."

Software is never finished, it is release when deemed usable and new versions appear as features get added and bugs get fixed.

George is, as far as I know, one of the first directors to release new and improved versions of Star Wars, adding scenes as if he was adding features.

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Ask the Export booth at Portland launch event

I'll be working the Ask the Expert booth at the Windows Vista lauch event in Portland, ME. Hope to see you there!

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# Wednesday, 17 January 2007

Running 64bit

Yesterday I reinstalled my new laptop with Vista x64. I figured since the Centrino Duo processor is 64bit I should at least run a 64bit operating system.

Ofcourse I forgot to backup my email and my last backup was a couple of days old. Hope I didn't loose anything too important, anyway. A bunch of stuff doesn't run on 64bit.

For instance the driver for my Linksys iPhone doesn't work, luckily my laptop has build in speaker and microphone, nevertheless I logged a support mail at Linksys, let's see what happens.

Microsoft Office 2007 runs like a charm on 64bit. Cool!

Next I discovered that I need a 64bit version of VirtualPC. No problem, just downloaded the VirtualPC 2007 x64 beta and installed it. My heart started beating a little faster when I remembered I had at least one virtual machine in saved state mode. Guess what? No problem! Just added the existing Virtual Machine, it recognized my save state and booted like a charm!

Windows Live Toolbar has some issues in 64bit. It seems that some of the toolbar buttons, most importantly the 'MSN Weather' button does not install :-(  Luckily my Windows Live Favorites is working though!

Plaxo (www.plaxo.com) runs fine on Outlook 2007 so that's great too.

My NVidia driver is working, but the fancy desktop management stuff doesn't install :-(

All in all I'm pretty pleased with how things are running.

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Next meeting Maine Developer Network: 27th of February 2007

I'll be doing two sessions at the next meeting of the Maine Developer Network user group.

Go to: http://www.maine-devnet.org/Home/Default.aspx to sign up!

Topic       : Implementing application logic in .NET 2.0
Speaker     : Mark Blomsma
Date        : February 27th, 2007
Time        : 10:00 - 12:00
Location    : TBA
Description : This session will be about implementing business logic in .NET 2.0. We'll look at and discuss various architectural issues and how to implement design patterns to help create a blueprint of our application. We'll look at choosing and implementing an exception handling strategy and we'll look at various ways data can flow through our application. Lastly we'll look the Smart Client Software Factory and the guidance offered by the Microsoft Patterns and Practices Group.

Topic       : Developing Windows Vista Q&A
Speaker     : Mark Blomsma
Date        : February 27th, 2007
Time        : 12:30 - 13:30 (possibly longer)
Location    : TBA
Description : Question and Answers session about various aspects of developing for Windows Vista. Send in any questions you want answered to mark.blomsma@develop-one.com.
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Windows Vista, Office 2007 and Exchange 2007 event in Maine

The Windows Vista, Office 2007 and Exchange 2007 Launch Event in Maine will be held on the 13th of February 2007 in Portland, ME.


Portland Marriott at Sable Oaks
200 Sable Oaks Drive
South Portland Maine 04106
United States

There will be Developer, IT Pro and manager sessions!

Sign up: http://www.microsoft.com/business/launch2007/signup/default.mspx

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# Tuesday, 16 January 2007

IE7 automatic login

Our usergroup (the SDN) uses a sharepoint site to communicate amongst the guys organizing the events. Great tool. Internet Explorer however kept asking me to re-enter my password. The solution appears to be to add the site your list of Intranet sites.

Below a screenshot of how to do that:

Next make sure that you've enabled automatic logon in the security settings of your Local Intranet Zone (this is default).

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# Monday, 15 January 2007

Running Vista on my new laptop

My new laptop arrived this weekend, after removing the usual junk I sat down and installed Windows Vista, Office 2007 and VirtualPC 2007 (RC). I have to say it's running like a charm!

Laptop specs: Latitude D820, Intel Core 2 Duo T7200, 2.00GHz, 667Mhz 4M L2 Cache, Dual Core, 15.4 inch Wide Screen WUXGA LCD (1920x1200), 4.0GB of memory, 512MB NVIDIA Quadro NVS 120M TurboCache, 100GB Hard Drive 9.5MM 7200RPM.

With a docking station I have my 20inch regular screen to run Vista in dual screen mode. Excellent :-)

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# Wednesday, 10 January 2007

Suggestion: Improve the documentation feature of Visual Studio.

I've submitted another suggestion on the VS2005 feedback site:

Improve the documentation feature of Visual Studio.

Right now in ASP.NET you can switch between 2 views: design and code.

Similarly I would like to be able, for a *.cs file to switch between code and documentation.

This would improve the usefulness of the documentation, by making the documentation more visible the quality go up, because developers will put more effort into it.

Again, feel free to vote for this feature if you think it is a good idea: https://connect.microsoft.com/VisualStudio/feedback/ViewFeedback.aspx?FeedbackID=251027

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Custom AutoFormat for ASP.NET tables and calendar controls

Sadly it does not appear to be possible to define a custom AutoFormat scheme for Visual Studio. I'd love to be able to implement a customers presentation guide line as a scheme so when I add a new table to a page I can just select AutoFormat and choose 'Develop-One Corporate color' :-)

I've submitted this as a suggestion on the Microsoft feedback site. Feel free to vote for it: https://connect.microsoft.com/VisualStudio/feedback/ViewFeedback.aspx?FeedbackID=250988

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# Tuesday, 02 January 2007

MVP Award 2007

The day started off great! Just received an email informing me I've been awarded the MVP Award 2007.

Thanks to my MVP contact person Gerard Verbrugge and the whole MVP team at Microsoft!!!!

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# Monday, 01 January 2007
# Saturday, 23 December 2006

Microsoft® Visual Studio® 2005 Service Pack 1

Microsoft® Visual Studio® 2005 Service Pack 1 is now available as a download from MSDN.

Go to: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=BB4A75AB-E2D4-4C96-B39D-37BAF6B5B1DC&mg_id=10055&displaylang=en

Service Pack 1 also provides over 70 improvements for common development scenarios including:

  • New processor support (e.g., Core Duo) for code generation and profiling
  • Performance and scale improvements in Team Foundation Server
  • Team Foundation Server integration with Excel 2007 and Project 2007
  • Tool support for occasionally connected devices and SQL Server Compact Edition
  • Additional support for project file based Web applications
  • Windows Embedded 6.0 platform and tools support

The complete release notes can be found at http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/928957/.

As it turns out, it's pretty unclear what has been fixed in this service pack. The 'What's New in Visual Studio 2005 SP1' page doesn't provide any information. Back in September Somasegar promised to provide a list of fixes, but in his post about the release of SP1 he makes no mention of what has been fixed.

Update: a list of fixes in Visual Studio 2005 SP1 can be found at: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/918526/en-us


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# Wednesday, 20 December 2006


A friend of mine in India had some problems with calling a Java web service from .NET 2.0 using web references generated using Visual Studio 2005. Some serialization error occured, but the message was very much useless.

I recommended using WSCF to them and as it turns out the WSCF gave a much more detailed message pinpointing the error to a namespace issue on the Java side.

WSCF is a tool created by Thinktecture supporting the Web Service Contract First approach to developing web services.

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# Tuesday, 19 December 2006

Search Engine

I guess not all search engines have to have a boring interface: http://www.msdewey.com/

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# Thursday, 14 December 2006

Microsoft Robotics Studio

Microsoft has released version 1.0 of Microsoft Robotics Studio.

The Microsoft Robotics Studio delivers in three areas of software:

  1. A scalable, extensible runtime architecture that can span a wide variety of hardware and devices. The programming interface can be used to create applications to drive robots using 8-bit or 16-bit processors (from a connected PC) as well as 32-bit systems with multi-core processors; and devices from simple touch sensors to laser distance finding devices.
  2. A set of useful tools that make programming and debugging robot applications scenarios easier. These include a high resolution visual simulation environment that integrates software physics supplied by the Ageia Technologies PhysX engine.
    While Microsoft Robotics Studio can be used with programming languages such as those included in Microsoft Visual Studio and Microsoft Visual Studio Express, also included is a new visual programming language that enables the creation of applications using a simple drag-and-drop interface.
  3. A set of useful technology libraries services to help developers get started with writing robot applications, and tutorials which illustrate the basics of how to get started in a variety of programming languages.

Read more: http://msdn.microsoft.com/robotics/getstarted/v1_0/default.aspx

With Microsoft Robotics Studio, robotics applications can be developed using a selection of programming languages, including those in Microsoft Visual Studio® and Microsoft Visual Studio Express languages (Visual C#® and Visual Basic®), which are free to download, as well as Microsoft IronPython. Third-party languages that support the Microsoft Robotics Studio services-based architecture are also supported.

Ofcourse the most interesting part to me is the fact that it can all be done with C#, the language and tool I love most :-)

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Microsoft Patch Tuesday

Microsoft Patch Tuesday has come and gone. I'm running IE7 so I guess I don't need to worry. Application Development Trends mentions a tiny possibility of VS2005 being attacked, but you have to be an idiot to get caught. Here's what they say about the IE patches:

IE Patches
Microsoft today also issued a
cumulative patch that addresses at least four serious vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer versions 5.01 and 6. The vulnerabilities -- which are susceptible to memory corruption and information disclosure exploits -- affect IE's script handling, DHTML scripting and Temporary Internet File features. At least two of them, a Script Error Handling Memory Corruption Error and a DHTML Script Function Memory Corruption Error, could allow attackers to execute code on -- and gain control over -- vulnerable systems.

All Windows versions running Internet Explorer 5.01 or 6.0 are affected by the vulnerability. Internet Explorer 7.0 is not affected, Microsoft said.

Nice to see that a newer version of IE finally delivers better security, from this article I gather that IE6 was not much of an improvement over IE5.01 which I think was released in 1998!?

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# Monday, 11 December 2006

Hurray Marcel

Just wanted to congratulate my buddy Marcel Meijer on becoming C# Groupleader within the SDN.

Congratulations dude!!!

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