Archives / 2008 / August
  • Speaking at DevReach in Bulgaria

    I'm very excited to be speaking at the DevReach conference in Bulgaria in October.  It will be my first international conference speaking experience (though I spoke to a user group in Moscow last year - my first international talk).  I'm told this show is great, with a lot of good content and a lot of fun.  I know most of the speakers, and I have to say that (with the possible exception of me) it's a very impressive lineup.  I'm really looking forward to it, and I hope to meet a lot of new people and put faces to names with some of the folks in Eastern Europe with whom I've corresponded only by email. I'll be giving a 2-part talk on Pragmatic ASP.NET Tips, Tricks and … more

  • Render Control as String

    When working with AJAX and Web Services it's often nice to be able to render ASP.NET controls as strings, so the rendered HTML can be sent back to the client to replace the contents of a <div> or something like that.  The standard way of achieving this is to use the RenderControl() method, exposed by all ASP.NET controls.  Unfortunately, the RenderControl() method doesn't simply return a string - that would be too easy.  Instead, it takes in an HtmlTextWriter which it will render the control into.  No problem, just new one of those up and... not so fast.  You can't actually create an instance of an HtmlTextWriter without first having a TextWriter.  And … more

  • Testing Legacy Code

    Oren wrote today about a fun problem he'd run into with trying to TDD some changes to some code about which many of his assumptions were proving incorrect.  The problem is that each test he wrote that verified one of his assumptions needed to later be fixed when he found the underlying assumption wasn't true.  The result was a lot of thrashing and not a lot of productivity.  The solution in this case for him was to worry first about just verifying that the code does what it does.  This caught my eye because yesterday I was talking about this very thing with Brendan and the name used by Feathers in Working Effectively with Legacy Code (my review) eluded me.  And of … more

  • Recent Podcasts

    My recent DotNetRocks interview with Carl Franklin and Mark Dunn is live now.  The three of us discuss our experiences as small business owners.  I also did a show with Craig over at Polymorphic Podcast last week that should be live next week on caching and performance with ASP.NET.  I did a similar caching show last year on dnrTV that runs through some nice demos and has sample code with it, but the show with Craig for PP adds a few more things (though without the screencast and demo code - audio only).  I appreciate all feedback and hope you enjoy the shows! more

  • DotNetRocks Talk on Business and Entrepreneurship

    A couple of weeks ago I did a DotNetRocks show with Carl Franklin and Mark Dunn in which we discussed our collective experiences with running our own businesses.  We had a good time and shared some of our lessons learned.  In some ways it was similar to the discussions Julie Lerman and I have proctored a couple of times as Birds of a Feather talks at TechEd shows.  Toward the end of the show, I recommended a book that I think any would-be entrepreneur should read, which is: The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It This book does a great job of explaining the difference between being really good at and passionate about a particular … more

  • Client Cache Headers

    Anybody who's talked to me about web programming in the last 5 years or so knows that I'm a big fan of caching.  However, in most of my presentations on ASP.NET caching, I don't get into the client side of things.  Mainly this is because ASP.NET is a server-side technology and there's plenty of cool stuff to talk about on the server with regard to caching, and I truly think that's where the biggest performance wins are to be had (i.e. reducing expensive calls to databases and web services). That said, a lot of bandwidth can be saved and the perceived performance of individual pages can be greatly improved with some client side caching.  What I mean by client side is within the … more

  • SQL Server 2008 Ships

    Microsoft has released SQL Server 2008 officially, according to this press release.  The software is currently available to MSDN and TechNet subscribers: SQL Server 2008 is now available to MSDN and TechNet subscribers and will be available for evaluation download on Aug. 7, 2008. SQL Server 2008 Express and SQL Server Compact editions are available for free download today at As previously announced, pricing for SQL Server will not increase with SQL Server 2008. More information is available at Read the full press release for more details, or hop out to MSDN and begin downloading now before … more