Archives / 2009 / March
  • DevConnections Spring 2009 Slides and Demos

    Apologies to those in my sessions whom I promised to upload these by the end of last week.  As often happens, things came up that prevented me from doing so, which is why I’m finally getting these uploaded after midnight almost a week after my talks (I also had to reset my Azure keys/tokens since I showed some of them during the talks).  In any event, although I didn’t have a huge turnout for my Azure talk (at 8am last Tuesday), generally the responses from the crowd seemed positive both about my sessions and the show in general.  For this show, now formal evaluations were collected, so I won’t get my usual feedback telling me I was both too advanced and too basic, but I do … more

  • CODE Magazine Upgrade

    If you’re a .NET developer, you’re probably familiar with CODE Magazine, which is pretty much the only industry magazine that isn’t owned by a large corporation, and which has always been known for delivering quality content.  Recently, the magazine upgraded its look, as you can see at right, and a refresh of the web site is imminent as well.  The most recent issue, in particular, caught my attention because it really does have some amazing content.  There’s the 2nd part of a DSL article by Neal Ford, who gave the keynote at last year’s CodeMash conference.  Ted Neward writes a new “Thoughtworking” column on the subject of languages and their future in the next five … more

  • Cannot Connect to Windows Home Server Solution

    I have an HP MediaSmart 470 Home Server (previous post) that I like very much for its ease-of-use and simple ability to back up my home network’s computers and act as a streaming media server.  However, one of my computers stopped being able to connect to it.  Since it was my laptop, and I have another WHS at my office that is also backing up the same machine, I didn’t worry too much about it, but eventually it bothered me enough to investigate and ultimately fix.  The primary culprit, it turns out, is OpenDNS. OpenDNS OpenDNS is a DNS provider that offers some additional services, such as web content filtering and anti-phishing protection.  Since our daughter is old … more

  • SDS Now Offering Real SQL

    SQL Data Services (SDS) will offer “real” relational data access in the future, according to the latest MSDN Flash newsletter I received today.  This is great news, since prior incarnations of SSDS/SDS have all been restricted to Astoria/REST implementations that required HTTP access to data.  These are fine for some scenarios, but most apps that exist or are being built today are built on relational databases (like SQL Server), and it would be nice if there were a simple way to push these up into the cloud when they needed to do so in order to achieve better scalability or availability.  According to the announcement, SDS will become the first relational database service … more

  • Azure Thermostat Service

    By now I assume most readers are familiar with Azure, Microsoft’s cloud service offering.  Azure provides theoretically limitless scalability to online applications, which can be built using existing Microsoft developer tools and skills.  As part of the deployment process for an Azure application, the number of nodes required to support the application is specified (in configuration or via the web portal).  There are two kinds of applications (referred to as Roles, unfortunately) supported with the current CTP of Azure: Web Roles and Worker Roles.  Web Roles are essentially ASP.NET applications; Worker Roles are basically constantly-running services.  An example … more

  • Azure Tooling Suggestion for Web Roles

    With Azure today, there are two projects, you can create a Web Role which is basically an ASP.NET Web Application that is configured to automatically deploy to the local dev fabric (local cloud proxy).  When you Run the application, with F5 or Ctrl-F5, it will package up the application and deploy it to your local dev fabric, along with starting other services like AzureStorage locally, so that you get a nice dev experience. However, since it’s really an ASP.NET Project under the covers, the Web Role project also supports (in the solution explorer) the Right-Click, View in Browser command that ASP.NET apps all have.  And it (mostly) works!  However, it doesn’t actually run on … more

  • ASP.NET Control Panel

    Something I think would be a nice addition to ASP.NET (ideally shipping in 4.0 or N.0, but a community effort would also work) is a control panel that can be plugged into any application.  A control panel would provide some or all of the following capabilities to a web site administrator: View Page Trace output View Recent Exceptions View Cache Contents and Clear Cache Other tasks as plugins (manage membership, db connections, whatever) With ASP.NET 1.0, support shipped out of the box for viewing a site’s trace output using an HttpHandler, by default called trace.axd.  This can provide valuable diagnostic information, and of course can be locked down using standard … more

  • Some Code Quality Links

    Caught a couple of nice links from @unclebobmartin via twitter this morning that I thought were worth sharing.  The first one is a very nice summary of the Software Craftsmanship conference that took place last week in London.  From reading this review, it sounds like there were a lot of very interesting and interactive sessions.  The author, Kerry Buckley, shows off his own mind-map of software development practices which I think is pretty cool (using Graphviz and including such things as TATFT, TDD, and YAGNI.  I’d be interested in seeing how others’ graphs differed and what a composite graph might have looked like.  I’m also intrigued by the ideas of katas for … more

  • Visual Studio Silent Crash with Designer

    If you’re encountered an issue where Visual Studio 2008 SP1 crashes silently whenever you try to open a web form or master page (which by default will open the design view), there is a hotfix that will likely solve the problem.  I ran into this recently while working on the Azure MVC templates that Jim Nakashima posted in November.  I brought this to his attention (as I’m sure others did as well) and last week he published the details of a hotfix that takes care of this (and other) issues.  Eric Hexter and Jeffrey Palermo have also confirmed that this fix has resolved issues they were seeing as well. more