Archives / 2004 / February
  • InfoPath 2003 Hacking - Change XSN Location; DB Source

    I built a handy InfoPath form to do some data entry for the AspAlliance Ad Network back when it was still in beta over the summer of 2003.  In December, I moved my database server to a dedicated box (with new connection string settings), and around that same time I rebuilt my file server and renamed it as well.  Thus, the next time I went to use my handy InfoPath form, it informed me that the XSN file was no longer where I left it.  After some searching, I found this helpful article: Update the data source for your form and this one, which was less helpful: The first one would have helped if I hadn't moved my XSN file.  It starts off … more

  • Vault Thoughts

    Xander Sherry has a new blog and is wondering why people like Vault.  Here's my $.03. 1) It's all .NET.  I know that shouldn't really matter to me as long as it does what it says it does, but i like that. 2) It's DB-based, so it won't get corrupted or have issues with file locks like VSS does. 3) It works over the Internet - VSS doesn't. 4) It's alive and thriving.  VSS has been on 6.0x for the last decade.  Vault has gone from beta to 1.0 to 1.1, to 1.2 to 1.2.3 to 2.0 in the last year.  That's some serious activity. 5) SourceGear listens when developers tell them what they want.  They use that feedback to quickly release new and better features. more

  • I love InfoPath, but it doesn't use .NET... until now

    Check it out -- the InfoPath 2003 Toolkit for VS.NET was released a few days ago.  My biggest gripe about InfoPath is that it relies on VBScript/JavaScript and ADO for its customization (e.g. anything outside the norm you want it to do).  Well, according to the download page, the new toolkit: provides integration features and documentation that enable you to use Visual Studio .NET to create, debug, and build InfoPath projects that use Visual C# or Visual Basic .NET managed code. Nice!  However, it also requires InfoPath 2003 Service Pack 1 or later, which you can get here.  Apparently it's a preview of some of the fixes that will be in the Officie 2003 Service Pack … more

  • Outlook 2003 Calendar Living In The Past

    There's probably a way to fix this - I'm hoping someone will tell me. I have Outlook 2003.  I have the calendar set up to default to Month view.  However, it seems to always want to show me a lot of stuff in the past.  It might just be that it is showing me the whole current month, but halfway through the month I really don't care about the first half of the month, I'm much more concerned with the first half of the next month.  Is there any setting that will have it show “this week and the next 4 weeks” for the Month view?  Or some kind of custom view that it will remember? more

  • Latest TDD Tool in the NFoo series: NCover

    Everybody's talking about it, it seems (Jonathan Cogley, Jeff Key, hey, that's everybody, right?). NCover (GDN, SF) is a new tool that analyzes source code and unit tests to provide information about test coverage -- that is, how much of your code is actually being tested by your tests.  One nice feature it supports already (the SF version is 0.7 -- I haven't tried the GDN version which I just now noticed is v1.2.2) is HTML formatted reports, showing a breakdown of test coverage by namespace, with line numbers for where additional test coverage is needed.  Definitely a cool tool -- I'll write more once I've played with the GDN version. Update: Ok, I've installed the GDN NCover and … more

  • Paired Programming Analysis by the Menlo Software Factory

    Finally subscribed to Jonathan Cogley's blog and found this gem on Paired Programming: As JC notes, view the PDF not just the HTML, since it includes some pictures of how the work environment is laid out. more

  • ASP.NET Resource Kit Available

    Download the ASP.NET Resource Kit and check it out.  It's 131MB (you can also order the CD, which I imagine will probably come with MSDN or something at some point).  It's only become available for download within the hour and I'm at 5% as I write this, so obviously I haven't had time to really play with it.  It comes with a bunch of sample web apps, code samples, step-by-step guides, training videos, sample book chapters, and components from major ISVs. I'm going to take a look at it, but what I really want is the Whidbey Resource Kit...  Oh well, maybe in another 3 years... more

  • Whidbey Overview Talk in South Bend Went Pretty Well

    I spoke to about a dozen folks at the MADNUG user group this evening about Whidbey.  Borrowing heavily from Scott Guthrie's slide/demo pack that he has shown on several occasions, I did a 'whirlwind tour' of the new features that are coming.  Some of the highlights included Master Pages, Authentication Controls, built-in portal features, GridView/DetailsView, dynamic image generation support, caching enhancements (of course - my fav topic), and VS.NET IDE enhancements.  Of course, given less than 2 hours I barely scratched the surface of what's coming with Whidbey, but since none of these users had been to PDC, this was a lot of new information, and (I think) very exciting … more

  • Speaking in Redmond April 5th

    I'll be speaking in Redmond on April 5th at the .NET Developers Association user group, on Microsoft campus.  Thanks to Carl Prothman for organizing the event and inviting me.  I'll be in town for Microsoft's MVP Summit, which should be a lot of fun.  I'm speaking on Whidbey (ASP.NET/VS.NET v2) features, providing a 'whirlwind tour' of the new features in this upcoming release.  Carl and I are hoping to drag as many MVPs as we can to the event, so if you have questions about anything related to .NET or Whidbey, you'll almost certainly find a lot of helpful experts at this event.  Hope to see you there! more

  • Auto-Updating Cache Entries

    As I posted here, I'm interested in a feature of the ASP.NET Cache engine that isn't there today, and it sounds like won't be there in Whidbey.  To wit, I'd like to be able to throw something in the cache and have it periodically update itself in an offline process, rather than simply expire and force a user request to sit and wait while the data is retrieved.  I've come up with a workaround/hack that I think will let me accomplish this using the 1.x engine, and I intend to work it out in the next couple of weeks and post an article on it.  I'll probably build on my CacheConfig helper class, which I detail in this MSDN article. You'd think this would be simple.  For … more

  • Speaking in South Bend, IN

    I'll be speaking at the Michiana Area .NET Users Group (MADNUG) this Tuesday, February 17th, about Whidbey (ASP.NET / VS.NET v2).  The presentation will essentially be a 'whirlwind tour' of many of the most exciting new features in Whidbey, with the general format being slide, demo, slide, demo.  If you haven't seen Whidbey yet, or had a chance to use the tech preview (released at PDC to attendees), this should be a very exciting look into what's coming.  Thanks to Eric Landes for organizing the event and inviting me.  Hope to see you there! more

  • SourceGear Vault 2.0 Released - And Price Reduced! Eric Sink of SourceGear talks about why they've opted to drop their prices - mostly they've adopted a very reasonable volume licensing scheme which I like a lot better than their previous $400/user no-matter-how-many model.  I must admit I was one of the many whiners about their old pricing model, and it's nice to see that SourceGear as a company listens to their users' feedback (which I already knew, since I'm on their Vault discussion list).  Hmm, I'd link to their support mailing list signup page, but I can't find it.  However, I did just find their support forums, so I'll link to those... Anyway, I haven't upgraded to 2.0 of … more

  • Switching Primary Blog Locations to

    I'm going to be doing most of my blogging over at from now (well, actually a couple of weeks ago) on.  If you're subscribed to this, you should subscribe to instead/as well. Thanks!Steve Update: Updated URLs.  Also, get $5 for signing up for a new PayPal-like service I blogged about here (until end of Feb 06). more

  • Home From Vermont and Montreal

    Today was my first day back home from my trip to Vermont and Montreal to speak at user groups.  I've posted a few pictures in my gallery.  I flew in and out of Burlington, VT, which is a tiny little international airport.  I got in Saturday, saw some of downtown Burlington with Julia Lerman, my host, and her husband Richard.  They live up in the mountains about 45 minutes south of Burlington.  On Sunday, they took me snowshoe-ing up in the green mountains.  Our hike took almost four hours, and I was moderately impressed with myself since I'm not a hiker and this was my first time in snowshoes, but I managed to keep up with them.  Most of the rest of my time … more

  • Paul Vick Top 10 Rules of Performance

    I was just referred to this by Darren Neimke.  It's a great top 10 list of things to do/not to do when you're trying to increase the performance of an application.  Being a scalability and performance kind of guy, I really enjoyed the read, and must blog about it so that I can find it in the future. Top 10 Rules of Performance   more

  • Code Katas

    I found an interesting page I haven't had a chance to really play with yet, but I'm posting it here so I can find it later.  I'll comment more when I have a chance to actually go through some of these katas. PragDave's Code Kata more

  • Speaking in Montreal, Canada

    I'll be speaking at the Montreal .NET User Group hosted by Guy Barrette next Tuesday February 10th on ASP.NET Caching.  Stop by if you're in the area.  It will be downtown at the IBM building on the 19th floor, and starts at 6:30pm.  more

  • Speaking in Vermont

    I'll be speaking at the Vermont .NET User Group on Caching in ASP.NET next Monday night, February 9th, 2004.  If you're in the area, stop by and say hi. more

  • Cleveland DevDays - I'll Be There

    If you're in the Cleveland area, I encourage you to sign up now for the Cleveland DevDays event, happening on Wednesday, March 10th.  I'll be presenting there on some of the fundamentals of web-application security (in the Web Development track, obviously), and there will be a bunch of other presentations as well.  In addition to the content, one of the biggest reasons why you shouldn't miss this event is the networking opportunity it presents.  Get to know the other .NET developers in your area, exchange cards and email addresses, keep in touch - you never know when that can come in handy when you're looking for a new job, contract, or just need a quick answer to a problem … more

  • VS.NET: ASP.NET Projects as Class Library Projects Excerpt: The Web Project wizard in Visual Studio .NET is convenient for creating quick ASP.NET applications on your local machine, but in an effort to simplify your life, it also makes many decisions for you that are difficult to change if you need more flexibility. My biggest pet peeve with Web Projects is that you cannot even open a .sln file if the virtual directory mapping in IIS is not set up correctly. I also dislike the way it places .sln and .csproj | .vbproj files in a separate location from the actual source files (I understand that this is necessary to allow application creation directly on a server, but I … more

  • ASP.NET Whidbey Caching Features - Where's the Self-Renewing Feature?

    One new feature Whidbey supports is custom CacheDependencies.  Simply inherit from CacheDependency and NotifyDependencyChanged() whenever you want the cache to be invalidated -- very simple.  An old feature that has been around since 1.0 is the CacheItemRemovedCallback.  For those unfamiliar, this (still sealed) callback is executed immediately after a cache entry is invalidated.  Unfortunately, it is all but useless since the ideal purpose for such a callback would be to check and see if there is some new data available, grab it without the user having to wait for it, and re-enter it into the cache.  This series of events fails because the item is removed from the … more