Archive for October, 2010

Orchard Project 0.8 released–it’s time to dig in.

The Orchard Team has been hard at work and has just released 0.8.

This is an exciting milestone because it means that both the extensibility and theming infrastructures are now in place.

That means we can start building on Orchard and expect minimal changes when Orchard goes v1.

From Bradley Millington’s announcement……

The Orchard Project team is pleased to announce the availability of the Orchard 0.8 release, which provides essential features that designers need to tailor the look-and-feel of Orchard sites. The release can be downloaded from

The Orchard 0.8 release includes a theme engine based on the new Razor syntax in ASP.NET MVC, which is an extensible object model for defining “shapes”, as well as a flexible template system for rendering those shapes. The theme engine includes support for multiple layouts and zones, a script and style sheet registration API, and more. It also includes a new default theme, “The Theme Machine”, which leverages these features and can be adapted to fit the needs of different site designs.

As if a Theme Machine isn’t cool enough, the 0.8 release also includes support for widgets – in this case, configurable UI elements, such as a tag cloud or search input, which can be easily mapped to different regions in the site (for example, a sidebar). The configuration of individual widgets and the rules about where they appear in the site are configurable from the Orchard admin panel.

For designers, this offers the flexibility to either brand individual sites or create reusable themes to be shared with others. Orchard 0.8 also includes support for packaging themes and publishing them to an online gallery feed where other users can discover and download them.

Download the updated version HERE !!!

PDC 2010 – You can watch it LIVE on line.


The Microsoft Professional Developers Conference (PDC) will be held on the Microsoft campus in Redmond, October 28th and 29th

The in-person event is sold out; however, you can still participate online via live streaming and real-time Q&A. 

This year’s announcements will focus on using Microsoft’s developer frameworks and tools to connect your desktops and devices to the next-generation of cloud services.  Steve Ballmer and Bob Muglia will keynote the event. 

The ground-breaking online broadcast will include live streaming of the keynote, as well as concurrent live streaming of sessions.

§ Live and on-demand streaming will be presented in high-definition (720p) through Silverlight’s Smooth Streaming technology.

§ Dual-screen view of speaker and their demos/code, with screen pinning and the ability to tag and bookmark video content.

§ Live, multi-language audio translation (French, Spanish, Japanese and Chinese) and live closed captioning in English.

§ Unprecedented online interaction – inline Twitter client, real-time polling and live Q&A with product teams and experts.

Join the excitement starting at 9:00 am PST on October 28th.  No registration is required.  All content is free and available for viewing live and on-demand.  Recorded and presentation content will be available for download approximately 24 hours after recording. 

Start planning your PDC10 schedule today

The PDC session guide is now live.  Browse the sessions and plan your viewing schedule. 

Follow PDC on Twitter

For the latest event news, follow us on Twitter: @PDCEvent.  Use the hash tag #PDC10 to share your tweets.

About the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference
Since 1991, the Professional Developers Conference (PDC) has been the epicenter of Microsoft’s biggest platform announcements. Sessions are highly technical, and delivered by the technology leaders and teams that conceived and built the technologies.  If you’re an advanced developer, architect or technology leader involved in making strategic technology decisions for your company or organization, you can’t afford to miss the PDC.  Learn more at

IronPython and IronRuby are two dynamic language implementations for the .NET Framework that Microsoft has incubated internally over the last few years .

Several versions of both language environments, and all of the source code, have been released under open source licenses.

Thursday, October 21, new components and project leaders were announced for IronPython and IronRuby, in an effort to increase the opportunity for community members to contribute their own code and actively participate in these projects to advance them even further.

New Components of IronPython and IronRuby

Changes have been made to the CodePlex projects for IronPython and IronRuby to make it easier for the community to be involved.

For both IronPython and IronRuby, we’ve made changes to the CodePlex projects to allow community members to make contributions without Microsoft’s involvement or sponsorship by a Microsoft employee.

We also have enabled a full release work flow to produce builds and releases straight from the CodePlex projects. (Previously, these only could easily be done from Microsoft’s own source depots. )

The community now can make source contributions to any component of IronPython and IronRuby.

In addition, we have fixed a lot of infrastructure so the community should be able to regression test all language updates using our tests.

IronRuby Tools for Visual Studio

Microsoft has already released the IronPython Tools for Visual Studio that were developed under Apache 2.0 and on Thursday, October 21, we released the prototype code for IronRuby Tools for Visual Studio.

Microsoft has received great early feedback on the IronPython language service for Visual Studio, and we expect similar feedback for the IronRuby tools.

Releasing these components under the Apache 2.0 license allows community members to use the functionality and also contribute to the IronPython and IronRuby language services.

Looking forward, Microsoft has done a lot of ground work for the next version of IronPython (v2.7) and IronRuby (v1.9).

Project Leaders of IronPython and IronRuby

New project leaders external to Microsoft will take over the IronPython and IronRuby projects and provide leadership going forward.

The IronPython project will have Miguel de Icaza, Michael Foord, Jeff Hardy, and Jimmy Schementi as Coordinators. Miguel de Icaza and Jimmy Schementi will be the Coordinators of IronRuby. 

All of them have worked with or on the Iron projects since their inception.

Additional Information

The CLR has always been a great environment for dynamic languages and over the last several years Microsoft has built out additional dynamic language support for the .NET Framework through efforts like the Dynamic Language Runtime (DLR) and language implementations on top of the DLR. The DLR shipped earlier this year as a built-in component of .NET Framework 4, and there are now have several great language implementations built on top of it. 

The IronPython and IronRuby projects began as an effort to improve support for dynamic languages in the .NET Framework and to diversify Microsoft’s portfolio of programming languages.

These language projects have helped thousands of people since they began, and they have added value to the .NET Framework. 

They helped create the Dynamic Language Runtime in the .NET Framework 4, on which we have also built C#s new ‘dynamic’ keyword and improved Visual Basic’s late-binding support.  

Microsoft will continue to invest in making the .NET Framework a great runtime environment for dynamic languages going forward.


WikiBhasha – a multilingual content creation tool for Wikipedia

Microsoft Research announces the availability of WikiBhasha – a multilingual content creation tool for Wikipedia – in collaboration with WikiMedia Foundation.

Try it out on

Check out the story on and WikiMedia Foundation writing about it on

Doug Holland has released an updated code snippets set for C# developers using Visual Studio 2010 on CodePlex.

The project was formerly known as CodePlex.Snippets and the version for VS2008 had nearly 5,000 downloads.

Check it out at :

Also, check out an  associated project:

VSTemplates ss under development and today provides StyleCop compliant versions of the Visual Studio Project & Item templates for standard C# projects, Silverlight projects, Silverlight for Windows Phone 7 projects.

Doug will refactoring additional templates for ASP.NET etc. over the coming few weeks.

Download them and send feedback to Doug via twitter at @dougholland and use twitter use the tags #vssnippets and #vstemplates.

A quick list of resources Developers using IIS

Overview –

Feature Training – 

IIS 7 Operations Guide –

Docs –

Accessing Online Help –

ASP.Net & PHP Support

Building and Running ASP.NET Applications –

Planning Your IIS 7 Architecture

IIS7.x configuration reference is here

Achieving High Availability and Scalability – ARR and NLB –—arr-and-nlb/


Thanks to Zoher Bharmal (Support Engineer IIS/ASP.NET) for this list.

WebMatrix Stack

Building ASP.NET Web Pages using the Razor Syntax (PDF Book) :

ASP.NET Web Pages With Razor Syntax – Book -  Beta 2 – PDF

Microsoft on line resources :

WebMatrix on the ASP.NET Community Site

WebMatrix on the IIS.NET Community Site

Full project downloads on the Microsoft Download Center

Using WebMatrix Beta 2

Create an ASP.NET Website from Scratch

How to Choose a Template and Create a New Website Using WebMatrix Beta

Add and Edit ASP.NET Web Pages

Download and Install an ASP.NET Application

Analyze Requests to your Website

Make your Website SEO friendly

Publish a Website

Migrate a Database to SQL Server

Download and Install a PHP Application

Create a Website from a Gallery Application (WordPress)

WebMatrix Beta 2 Release Readme

ASP.NET Web Pages with Razor Syntax Beta 2 (individual tutorials from the book above).

Get the Code Samples Download!

Get the eBook Download!

Getting Started with WebMatrix Beta and ASP.NET Web Pages

Introduction to ASP.NET Web Programming Using the Razor Syntax

Creating a Consistent Look

Working with Forms

Working with Data

Displaying Data in a Grid

Displaying Data in a Chart

Working with Files

Working with Images

Working with Video

Adding Email to Your Web Site

Adding Search to Your Web Site

Adding Social Networking to Your Web Site

Analyzing Traffic

Caching to Improve the Performance of Your Website

Adding Security and Membership

Introduction to Debugging

Customizing Site-Wide Behavior

ASP.NET API Quick Reference

ASP.NET Web Pages Visual Basic

Using IIS Developer Express

IIS Developer Express Overview

Use the Windows System Tray to Manage Websites and Applications

Use the Command Line to Run a WebMatrix Site or Application

Thanks to Wade Pickett for compiling this list !

Eclipse Plug-In for PHP Developers using Azure CTP

Today the Microsoft Interoperability Technical Strategy team is shipping a new Community Technology Preview (October 2010 CTP) of the Windows Azure Tools for Eclipse for PHP.

This Eclipse plug-in provides PHP developers using Eclipse with tools to create and deploy web applications targeting Windows Azure.

Brian Swan has developed a complete tutorial “Using the Windows Azure Tools For Eclipse with PHP

Exploring Orchard’s Content Types

The Orchard Project Beta ( was announced some time ago and I’ve been working with it since.

One of the special challenges in building a framework that can be used as a “Content Management System” is that WHAT content the end user will manage can’t really be known at development time.

Orchard takes a flexible approach to solving this problem by supporting both user defined content types as well as user defined “field” types”.

Here is a very basic walkthrough. As I continue to explore the Orchard Project I’ll blog more advanced usage of these features (bike extending custom field types.)

To get started we have to enable “Orchard Content Types’ in our Orchard installation.

If you have not already set up an instance or the Orchard project, there are detailed instructions on doing so here>

Once you are set up and running, go to your site and log in with the administrator account you set up during installation.

Click on the admin link and select “Features” in the Site Configuration section of the main admin menu to get to the features admin section shown below.


In the “Orchard Content Types” box, click “Enable”.


Now that Orchard Content Types are enabled, click in the “Manage Content Types” administration link in the Content section of the admin menu.


Note that we can create new content TYPES or we can manage “Content PARTS”.

Content “Types” aggregate “Content Parts”.

If you click the “Content Parts” link you can see the parts that are defined by default.


We could create a custom part with some UI specifics ….


We could also create custom “fields” for use in our content types.


To create a custom content type go back to the “Manage Content Types” and add a new one.


After pressing “Create” I have a content type named “Presenters”.


The custom content type is created using fields and / or parts.


Above I add a “Custom Field” called “Years at Microsoft”.


Then I select the “Parts” that I want to include in this content type.

When I click save, the UI shows me the parts that have been added to my custom type and adds a “Create” item to the admin menu for the custom type that I just created.


If I click on that link I can create an instance of my custom type.

Note that I have a title, a “routable field” etc because I specified these parts as components of my custom type.


Once I’ve added an instance of my custom type that instance is part of my Orchard Web Site.


This quick walk through is a VERY simple introduction to Orchard Content types but hopefully you can get a feel for how powerful and flexible the user definable content type system is.

The more I work with Orchard, the more excited I get about it. I hope your install it and have a test drive yourself.

Going to TechEd Middle East 2011 ?

Registration is now open for TechEd Middle East 2011. 

I have made so many On-Line friends from the Middle East over the years !

I wish I were going to TechEd Dubai this year !

Maybe NEXT year I can get a session but in the mean time – here is the official info.

Let me know if you’re going and plan to blog / tweet about it !

Tech·Ed is Microsoft’s premier technical education event providing the most comprehensive technical training on Microsoft’s suite of products, technologies, solutions and services and takes place in Dubai, March 8 – 10, 2011.

· Hear about the future of Microsoft’s products and technologies directly from the Microsoft leadership team in the keynote

· Choose from 200 technical sessions delivered by Microsoft and industry experts

· Touch the technology through more than 40 PC-based instructor-led training labs

· Ask your questions at the NEW Ask The Experts forum

· Meet with product experts and see product demos at the Technical Learning Centre

· Explore industry solutions at the Tech·Ed Expo

Benefit from the Super Saver registration fee of only $795 for all registrations before 31 December 2010.