Archive for the ‘ Community’ Category

Calling all PHP developers – voice your opinion on app development


If you haven’t already taken our quick 2-3 minute survey, here’s your opportunity to give us some feedback on:

Why you think app releases fail?
What do you plan to work on in 2013?
Which is your all-time favorite science fiction movie or TV series?

By taking this survey you’ll be entered in a drawing for your chance to win either a $50 Amazon gift card and a large elePHPant, or one of five $25 Amazon gift cards and a small elePHPant.

CLICK HERE to take the survey !! ]

Survey deadline: February 22, 2013

A few Mozillians to read and follow.

I’ve had lots of requests from my readers for recommendations of folks at Mozilla to follow.  Great to see so many people interested in broadening their horizons.

I’ll be building blog roles and lists on twitter but to get you started, here is a list. If you follow them, say hi and let them know how you found them !

Stormy Peters

Christian Heilmann

Robert Nyman

Rob Hawkes

Jay Patel

Eric Shepherd

Paul Rouget

Janet Swisher

Havi Hoffman

35 Developer Learning Pain Points

A few weeks ago I asked developers to tell me what heir top “learning pain points” were.

I got GREAT input that I intend to use to drive much of the guidance that I will build in 2011.

Below is a list of the top results.

Please feel free to add or comment.


1.) Choosing between Web Forms, MVC, WebMatrix or something else entirely.

2.) Choose Windows Forms, WPF, Silverlight or something else for desktop development. 

3.) Choosing a data access method (ADO.NET, LINQ to Objects, LINQ to SQL, Entity Framework, NHibernate, embedded SQL) and how to use that choice in application architecture. What are the good practices, should I use binding? Etc.?

4.) Choosing between ASMX or WCF (When SHOULD I use WCF)

5.) Determining the right practices and patterns for development.

6.) Finding examples of non-trivial applications with great documentation and tutorials.

7.) How to build, consume, and manage Reusable Code (Libraries, Frameworks, Controls).

8.) Microsoft guidance focuses on HOW, but not when and why. Proved “Best Practices”.

9.) Moving from WebForms Controls to JavaScript (jQuery) (How, Why, and When to choose which.)

10.) Show me how to do Grids and all other WeForms control functions in jQuery.

11.) Should I choose jQuery or ASP.NET AJAX (and how do I use jQuery to do all the things that I used to do in ASP.NET AJAX and the Ajax Control Toolkit.

12.) Deciding whether to use Silverlight in an ASP.Net app.

13.) Complete guidance on REST with samples of working will all major REST APIs (Twitter, Facebook, etc.)

14.) How to do OO Design & Coding with .NET (I never really had to learn)

15.) Changing our development practices to follow more of a TDD model.

16.) Source code management tool options. VSTS and cheaper solutions (CVN)

17.) How do implement a true and Abstract DAL 

18.) How to build a good BLL with validation (required fields, etc…) in front of an Entity Framework DAL.

19.) I need a complete strategy for SEO. Microsoft has some tools, but no complete story!

20.) How do I design and build for high performance and how to I troubleshoot performance problems.

21.) Understanding stateless application development. WebForms handled “state” for me. MVC and WebMatrix don’t.

22.) Building a business case for management to migrate a Classic ASP (VBScript) (90% of app) to ASP.Net MVC instead of ASP.Net WebForms (10% of app).

23.) Building a business case for migrating Classic ASP to ASP.Net (Choosing MVC or WebForms)

24.) How to understand and get started with ASP.NET MVC. (I’ve been an ASP.NET developer for years and have looked at the MVC samples but it’s too complex and requires advanced OO skills.)

25.) Application deployment is a mess. Which versions of .NET, IIS, SQL ? How to automate deployment? What works side-by-side? How to manage SQL schema updates.

26.) Should I use Stored Procedures or not now that we have LINQ and EF? How do I manage versioning of Stored Procs if I use them.

27.) I need to understand and use the ASP.Net security model, providers, etc.

28.) I need to understand How the .net framework versions work (and don’t work) together.

29.) I need detailed guidance about how to make my (web) application multi lingual. Should I use resource files, a SQL Database?

30.) ASP.NET Membership and Profile management is far too weak. Show my how to take both to the next level and highly customize them.

31.) My team has major confusion over dataset binding in controls versus lists / listview, use of business objects and all the choices. Which controls are best to use for what user interface types and what is the best way to use data with those controls.

32.) Help me learn how to deal with service binding and endpoint configuration headaches in my ASP.NET application; especially when developing on localhost (http) and deploying to a secure environment (https)… resulting in "works on my machine" syndrome.

33.) I need to understand the UpdatePanel (AJAX) and how it affects the page life cycle, security, and interaction between multiple UpdatePanels on same Page. Should I even be using the UpdatePanel? Is it going away? What is Microsoft’s plan for their AJAX stuff which seems to be going away and being replaced by jQuery.

34.) Now that we’re doing more client side coding I need to really understand ViewState. It seems like a black box.

35.) How should I keeping up with new releases? How do I decide when to move to new versions.


Technorati Tags: ,,Learvning

ASP.NET Developers–What are your FIVE biggest learning pain points ?

Ok ASP.NET Dudes and Dudettes…..

From a learning perspective, can you share with me your 5 current “Learning Pain Points” ?


1.) Choosing between ASP.NET MVC, Web Forms, and WebMatrix

2.) Integrating jQuery into my ASP.NET Application ?

3.) Building REUSABLE code libraries ?

4.) Learning how to implement REST based Features in ASP.NET

5.) Deciding whether to use Silverlight in my ASP.NET Application.

I just made those up but you get the idea.

You can post YOUR 5 here or send them to my at this link –

THANKS for your input !

Free Tools from Telerik TOMORROW ONLY !

I wanted to let my readers know about a cool giveaway for .NET developers happening tomorrow (July 22, 2010).

Tomorrow only, Telerik will be giving away free licenses for JustCode and JustMock to EVERYONE that attends their  “What’s New” webinar.

Anyone that registers for the free event and joins live at 11:00 AM Eastern tomorrow will get the free licenses. That’s $500 of free software for attending a simple web event.

More details are on Todd’s blog at :

The direct registration link for the webinar is:

If you are a Senior .NET Developer in the RI area ….

Becker Professional Search is looking for a Sr.Net Developer for a $2 Billion dollar client located in Northern, RI .

Skill requirements

  • 5 or more years of related development experience.
  • Technical proficiency in ASP, .NET, C#, SQL (MS SQL SERVER). XML, VB.NET, Javascript, HTML, CSS, AJAX,
  • Object Oriented Analysis and Design and Visual Source Safe.

Also desired

  • Proficiency in ASP Classic
  • Adobe Dreamweaver
  • User Interface Design
  • Cross Platform/Browser
  • Flash, Photoshop and/or Fireworks.

Interested parties may contact Patrick Halpin at

Updated Web Community Application

I’ve posted the first set of minor updates to my new Web Community Application Project at

Updates include….

  • Migrated to ASP.NET 4Beta.
  • Add Daily News Updated and Downloads Page.
  • Add Membership & Rolls with SQL Express.
  • Add Global Properties like Site Name, Slogan.
  • Refractor Controls and MasterPage.

Note that the code for each update is downloadable.


Use this code at your own risk. I, and Microsoft, make absolutely NO expressed or implied warranty what so ever.

This sample code is provided for your enjoyment, it is not supported and it is not official Microsoft “best practice”.

I offer it only for any learning value you may derive from it.

You can find a link to the updates page on the top menu at


Technorati Tags: Microsoft ASP.NET NETOOP Source Code

Help me decide what to focus on for thenext 6 months.

Please take this poll !

Lets build an Application Together.

  • Really, I should say, lets DESIGN an application together since I’m going to do most of the building so that I can record How-Do-I videos along the way.

The idea is to build a feature rich application and use it’s construction as a collaborative learning process as much as possible. (Features, design decisions, code and test practices, etc.)

The application will be a “Sports Community Portal”. I have several reasons for choosing this for the basis of the project.

  • I can use a subject matter that I know and love (Fighting Sports) and my knowledge of the subject matter will help with create great use-cases, object models, and data models as well as features and functionality that will easily map to any type of “community”.
  • The application will allow us to “stretch” the functionality to include things like multi-media, social networking, rich profiling, geo-aware, varies types of ecommerce features and more.
  • As a “Community Portal” the application will be easy to adapt for anyone who wants to use it as a basis for they own web site.


Here are some of the considerations.

  • Open Source (MSPL) Source code in C# and VB
  • Will be built on ASP.NET 3.5 SP1 (4.0)
  • Will work with SQL Server 2008 including SQL Express
  • Will not use any non-free 3rd party “parts”.
  • Can be built using Visual Studio Express

I think it’s also important to note that this is a LEARNING application and it is NOT a Microsoft product, the application will NOT be a Microsoft “best practice” example. It’s just Joe’s code ( I reserve the right to write code that the ALT.NET guys this sucks !)

I’ve added a couple of new features to

If you think you might like to participate PLEASE READ THIS ENTRY COMPLEATLY !

I’ve created a Wiki at

… and a forum at 

Each requires SEPERATE registration and the Wiki REQUIRES me to approve your membership.


Technical questions or other queries and discussions on general ASP.NET of anything that is not on-topic related to this project will be deleted and the user’s account removed. (That’s what is for!)

I’ll be starting design documents on the wiki soon.

The first design topic for your consideration has to do with Membership.

This community portal will support multiple self selecting role types. (There will also be admin, etc, but those will not be self selecting.)

  • Athlete
  • Fan
  • Coach
  • Promoter
  • Manager

Each role selection will be bound to a mandatory profile “object”.

Meaning if you add yourself to, for example, the Athlete role, you will the be required to fill out the athlete “profile” (Age, Weight, Fight Record, Etc.)

Lets try to use the Wiki here to collaborate on this feature. The idea is to design a feature and then implement.

Please feel free to join the collaboration.

Technorati Tags: ,,

Hire Jay the Developer !

I’ve met Jay Harris several times, seem him present, looked at his code, etc……

He’s in Michigan, if you are there too, or hire remote devs, I suggest you have a chat with him !!

Here is his BLURB.

Jay Harris is a senior .NET software consultant, developer, blogger, and community leader in south-east Michigan, and in search of new employment opportunities. His past projects include multimedia and RIA applications, eCommerce sites, learning management systems, and Fortune 500 branding strategies, all leading to a proficiency in both C# and VB.NET, JavaScript, CSS, and other web-based and RIA technologies. He is also an expert in build automation and continuous integration. In the community, he serves as a speaker, as the president of Ann Arbor .Net Developers, and was co-lead event organizer for Lansing Give Camp. If you would like to know more, or to get a copy of his resume, please contact Jay at and check out his blog at

PLEASE NOTE: Jay did not request this blog post and I am unable to post recommendations for folks who I do not actually know. Please don’t ask.

Code Camp Guatemala09

I’m making a virtual appearance at the Ineta LatAm Code Camp

I’m presenting on ASP.NET Secure Development – (In English 🙂

Are you interested in “virtual events” !! ????

[ Click HERE to grao the PowerPoint from this presentation. ]

JOB – Are you a NH Developer Guru and Entrepreneur ?

 Brick River Technologies in Exeter, NH is looking for an experienced web developer that can also help out with multiple functions of our small organization.

You need to be a seasoned developer, but also have business experience and be able to play a role in the organization’s strategy, finances, sales and marketing, and product support.

You should be creative, energetic, and enthusiastic and willing to wear many hats.

From a development perspective, you should have many years of experience building data-driven websites using Microsoft technologies including MS SQL Server, IIS, Classic ASP, ASP.NET and ASP.NET MVC. You should also be able to code websites freehand using HTML and CSS. You must be familiar with best practices around design, development, and user interface, and have EXAMPLES of your work.

Our flagship product is a content management system written in a combination of ASP.NET MVC and Classic ASP. You also need to be well-rounded as we often build sites using other frameworks or tools such as Expression Engine.

We are looking for a senior level developer with at least 5 years of real world experience developing data driven websites.

We offer a competitive package with a starting salary ranging from $70K to $90K, in addition to medical benefits and 401K plan.

If interested, send a current resume and cover letter explaining why you are the right candidate for the job. In addition, be prepared to provide samples of your work, both from a user interface perspective and a development perspective.

  • Compensation: $70 to $90K plus medical benefits
  • This job is ON SITE IN EXITER NH ! (We can NOT provide relocation assistance.
  • US Citizenship REQUIRED – we can not provide Visa or Green Card Support.
  • (FTE) Principals only. Contractors & Recruiters, please don’t contact this job poster.
  • Email – Please, no phone calls about this job!

Making my blog more than a blog.

One of the reasons that I moved to GraffitiCMS was to make my blog more than a blog ! In fact, to make it a SITE!

If you read my blog via an RSS reader. Please stop by “in person” from time to time. I’m adding stuff that’s NOT in the feed. (Like “What am I currently reading”.)


My move to Graffiti

Technorati Tags: ,,

Many folks have asked me to share the results of the evaluation that resulted in my choice of Graffiti to power, so here it is.

My blog ran on .text until it was orphaned when it’s author went to Telligent to work on Community Server. It’s since been forked by Microsoft’s own Phil Haack – see Subtext.

I tried the 1st version of Community Server but it was just way more than I needed for a blog.

At the time I was doing some Podcast work and Subtext (at the time) lacked support for RSS Enclosures so I moved to DasBlog.

At some point I migrated to – which I loved, but I had lots of little “issues”. I couldn’t find a theme that I liked; I also felt that, though it had many slick features, it was missing some niceties. Adding permanent content on the home page required editing the theme, which meant switching themes was a pain, etc. Though it was fast and had good support for static pages, eventually, my frustrations brought me back to DasBlog.

DasBlog has served me well, but then I had started to have some performance issues.

I run my log in a Hyper-V Instance at MaximumASP. I have between 6/7 hundred posts, most have images, and nothing has been really optimized.

DasBlog uses .xml file based storage and I started to find that comment administration had become VERY Slow. Since I moderate comments on my blog and since DasBlog lacks any batch moderation feature (difficult with an .xml based storage mechanism) the performance issue I was having became a problem.

There was also another factor that was asking me to consider a move. I want to publish more.

Code, snippets, etc….. But Microsoft has been experiencing an increased attack phenomenon of late. It seems like former MVPs (perhaps pissed off about the “former” and the ALT.NETers seem to have taken to attacking everything coming out of DevDiv these days. They expect PERFECTION in version 1.

The result is, we need to be more careful about publishing things like code, whitepapers, non “Product” applications, etc.

We need to have a “review and rework” process for just about everything, this takes time and more time means more expense and less productivity. The end result can’t help but be a decrerase in resources for the development community.

So, to avoid have to go through “process” when I just want to publish some sample code, I’ll do ot on my blog. (My code may suck, don’t blame Microsoft, I know many of my readers are way smarter than I am, if my code sucks, instead of telling me how much it sucks, fix it and I’ll post YOUR code instead J )

Now I know that I can “blog” code, but I wanted the ability to have “permanent” landing pages for certain things.

So…. I went on a search for an engine to meet my needs.

It went something like this…..

1.) WordPress.

WordPress is a GREAT application, but it’s written in PHP. Though I do a lot of work in PHP I strongly prefer to do new development in .NET and I want to be able to extent by publishing platform with .NET code.

I thought about it long and hard, but ultimately wanted a pure .NET solution.

2.) DasBlog

Since I’ve used DasBlog so much, and since its open source, I thought I might “start over” with Das Blog. Obviously, DasBlog works well; Scott Hansleman wrote it and uses it for his own blog. But, I want things that Scott hasn’t added yet so I kept looking.


I’m a Fan. It’s fast, it’s clever, and it supports stand alone “pages”, but……

Its default storage mechanism is .xml (like DasBlog). There is apparently a SQL provider option but I couldn’t find much info about it. Though the community seems to be growing, the themeing options seem to be the same as when I tried it before. is defiantly in my future, it’s free, open source, and the “current” community favorite.

But I decided to keep looking.

4.) Dot Net Nuke.

I have to admit that I haven’t historically been a DNN fan.

It’s a pretty heavyweight framework, but it’s not a publishing platform as compared with thinks think Nuke, Drupal, Joomla, etc.

It’s pretty good if you really know what end result you are looking for but, though it’s “free”, there is a heavy commercial circumference around DNN and most of the plug in functionality I would be interested in is neither free or cheap.

The free DNN blog module seemed “ok” but seemed to be not too much more than a post container. I “guessed” that real customization would be a pretty big investment.

So, I decided to continue my search while making a mental note that DNN has come a lone way and I need to re educate myself to using the latest version.

5.) SharePoint

SharePoint has come a long way…… but not far enough for my need.

The biggest disqualifier is that there still seem to be difficulties using MS AJAX, the ACT and some 3rd party controls.

Since SharePoint is developed in the Microsoft Office Organization (not NDP, where I hang my hat), I decided to avoid the complexities.

Maybe someday I’ll do Developer Community work for the Sharepoint team J

6.) Umbraco.

I know, there are some good .NET CMS projects happening. I though about Kentico, Mojo, Rainbow (eek), and Sitefinity.

But, the only one that I really looked into was Umbraco.

Why ?

Well, first it’s free and open source but with real commercial support available ($$$)

Second, the guy who wrote Umbraco (Niels Hartvig)was at MIX this year and we were able to get him to come and give my team an in-depth demo of Umbraco.

Now, we are NOT an easy crowd (Me, Tim Heuer, Scoot Hansleman, Jesse Liberty, Simon Muzio), but Neils did a great job. We hammered him. “Show how to do THIS ?”. “Why did you do that THAT way ?”

Let me tell you, I WANTED to use Umbraco. I WILL use it for future projects, but not this one.

My reasons are these ……

· It’s flexible, really flexible. I’m sort of in a hurry. Umbraco wants to be embraced.

· I couldn’t find a BlogML importer. (I’ve since found one

· Lack of canned themes (though I found some

7.) Telligent Community Server

Before evaluating CS I rejected Graffiti CMS, but since you are reading this served up by Graffiti, I’ll leave that part of the story for last.

I know that CS is not Open Source but it’s free for developer communities, it’s “the standard”, and has an avid ecosystem.

I was pretty much set when I got coached by former softie, ASP.NET Guru and Telligent CEO Rob Howard who told me that the NEXT version of CS really won’t be satisfying for use by a single publisher and he really encouraged me back to Graffiti.

8.) When Graffiti first came out I wanted to like it, but I didn’t.

It was my fault. I think, in hind sight, I just wanted Graffiti to work like stuff I already new (Nuke / Drupal / Joomla / WordPress)…. It didn’t.

Plus, Graffiti came out of the gate to a lot of fanfare. Then, wham, bang, boom….. nothin’ !

Well, not really nothing, just s few quiet some-things. (Version 1.1 & 1.2 that included not only fixes but new features.)

2 new releases from a growing company on second (and lower end) product is actually pretty good, but we all want everything yesterday so expectations were high.

Though no one from Telligent has told me this, I’m sure the economy problems got in the way a bit. Telligent had to do some reorganizing of staff to cut costs. Everyone think that once you get venture capital the money worries are over, but just the opposite is true.

Once you take VC money, you’re on the clock ! There are people (with control) watching when you spend and were (and sometimes second guessing your decisions) and the investors are tracking what you are doing with their money against revenue to make sure you are on track to make their investment a good one. The plunging economy (as an excuse) is of no interest to your investors, they just want to make sure you are gonna get them their money back.

Still, I’ve heard the community chatter that Graffiti is an orphaned product.

Being an old timer and being connected to the community has one or two advantages (to offset all the disadvantages ) and one is that I have access to decision makers, so I connected with Rob and asked him outright. (See Rob’s recent blog on the topic here

Graffiti is planned, alive and well. Some additional resources are scheduled and Rob & Company are still passionate about Graffiti CMS.

So, I installed it again and committed to take a real good look at it.

Install is REALLY easy and there are multiple data storage options. The default is VistaDB with is fast, easy, and requires no additional “server” software to be installed. SQL Server is supported so I can always migrate if circumstances require it.

Once installed on my local dev machine I needed to import data from my old site ( and (DasBlog) has a BlogML exporter and Graffiti CMS has a BlogML importer and they both worked flawlessly. (And if you’ve worked with BlogML importers and exporters you know this is not always the case.)

Graffiti CMS has a DasBlog importer, so I gave it a try. Kaa-Boom. Crash! (I think it was a NULL Object Reference). So, I remembered there was a DasBlog BlogML utility on the MSDN Code Gallery ( so I tried it.

Kaboom ! Similar crash.

Well, to make a long story short, before I started to moderate comments I got lots of junk comments including comments in apparently unsupported character sets and a few hacking attempts. Some of the older comments were causing any type of I/O of the DasBlog .xml content files to induce fits.

But, I’m tenacious. The one really nice thing about Das Blogs .xml file storage is that each DAY has 2 .xml files. One is for Posts and one is for Comments.

So, I moved the files to the import directory and imported them one day at a time. When the importer crashed, I simply deleted the comments file for that day and imported only the POSTS file. It worked fine.

Now that I had my own real data into Graffiti, I could really start to see if it would handle my needs.

Graffiti is NOT a blogging engine. It’s a publishing platform it is a “light weight” CMS with strong blogging features.

First I needed to pick a theme. I did, and you are looking at it, but I don’t really like this theme. It’s not “me”, but, Graffiti themes have specific functionality. I’ll need to get back to my theme as I want a different look and there are some features I need.

The first is the categories widget is incomplete (for my needs).

In Graffiti, content is assigned to categories (or they are uncategorized), and blog posts go in the blog category.

Other stuff goes in a non-blog category. (Code Snippets, Videos, Etc.)

Each category has it’s own RSS feed.

Problem. Each item of content can only be assigned to a SINGLE category. This is a problem for me because I need to be able to select specific posts to be syndicated to specific Microsoft developer web properties. (Silverlight related posts might need to get syndicated to for example.)

Enter “Tags”. In Graffiti, I can tag a piece of content with as many “tags” as I like.

Problem. Graffiti CMS does support RSS feeds by Tag.

This began to look like a real showstopper for me. I know that Graffiti was built to be extended and since the data was in a VDB database I was sure I could figure out how to create an RSS feed by tag, but how much work would it be for me to learn the Graffiti API, understand the Database Schema and write the code to pull the feed that I needed.

Enter the sheer power that is Twitter. (I often say that if it weren’t for Twitter I’d have no social life what-so-ever.)

First I started Tweeting about stuff I was trying to do with Graffiti. Terri Morton (former Graffiti PM at Telligent and now helping keep up and running at Neudesic) was full of answers for me. (Supporting a product she no longer worked on from a company she no longer works for.)

Still, this apparent RSS inflexibility was a show stopper for me.

I “could” have still used Graffiti and come up with a category strategy that I could stick to for my RSS needs but it really wouldn’t be ideal. Still, it would work until I could figure out a better solution.

Then, I got a Tweet from my new hero, Scott Watermasysk.

Scott tweeted me this ….

@MisfitGeek drop this into your Graffiti site: Then just do tagrss.ashx?tag=tagname

…. And this …..

@MisfitGeek if you have access to ISAPI Rewrite, pretty urls: RewriteRule ^/tags/(.+)/feed/ /tagrss.ashx?tag=$1 [NC]

He wrote the RSS by Tag handler on his lunch break !!!!!!!!!

This experienced proved a couple things to me.

1.) If you “grock” GraffitiCMS the custom extensions capability is huge, and this is something I need.

2.) The “core” Graffiti CMS guys are proud of their work and very active.


I’ve been on Graffiti CMS a week and I still like it a lot.

Bacuase it’s “different” than what I’m used to it’s taking me some time to get up to speed.

Though not Open Source the extensibility model is powerful and I’m looking forward to build some customization.

Please feel free to send me thought and suggestions. The CONTACT link now works all the time as my inbound messages from the contact form are now 4 times what they were pre-Graffiti !


Starting a Podcast


Enough people have asked me about it so I’m starting a podcast.

I “think” my first interview will be with Rob Howard from Telligent on the future of Graffiti CMS.

If you have questions for Rob, or topic requests for Podcasts, please contact me via the contact like.

ASP.NET How-Do-I Videos – Why video learning is BEST for some people !

I recently got this from an ASP.NET Developer !

Hey Joe:

I am working through your Ajax SlideShow video and just wanted to let you know these videos are great! Thanks for making them! I try to learn from books and tutorials as much as possible, and I find a lot of books frustrating because they show “snippets” as opposed to building an example step-by-step. Your videos are excellent at that!

Not only did this make my week,  (It’s great when you get to HEAR that your work is helpful and has value) but it highlighted for me what I’ve been thinking for years. People prefer learn different things in ways.

Now that Simon is back from his amazing sabbatical, and I;ve hadled back the day-to-day operation of the ASP.NET and properties, I’m excited to get back to generating content.

So, GUIDE ME ! Email me and tell me how you like to learn and what topics would would find most valuable.

IIS Application Request Routing (ARR)

I’ve been spending  a good deal of time focusing on performance issues lately. When your web properties count annual page views in the BILLIONS, it’s inevitable.

IIS 7 has great, often overlooked, granularity feature to help you hone performance and the IIS team continues to deliver in the performance space.

Check out ARR !

Application Request Routing (ARR) enables Web server administrators and hosting providers and to increase Web application reliability and scalability through rule-based routing and load balancing of HTTP server requests.

With ARR, administrators can optimize resource utilization for application servers to reduce management costs for Web farms and shared hosting environments.

 The first video in a series that I’m doing for the IIS / Hosting team on developing in a Shared Hosting Environment is now available.

[ Click HERE to watch. ]

New, What’s NEW RSS feed on !

Now one feed for all the new Articles, News Items, and Microsoft Blog Posts from !

Microsoft Web Application Installer

The Web Application Installer Beta is designed to help get you up and running with the most widely used Web Applications freely available for your Windows Server. Web AI provides support for popular ASP.Net and PHP Web applications including Graffiti, DotNetNuke, WordPress, Drupal, OSCommerce and more. With just a few simple clicks, Web AI will check your machine for the necessary pre-requisites, download these applications from their source location in the community, walk you through basic configuration items and then install them on your computer.

Listen in on .NET Developer Experts Conversations.

Check out the .NET Developer “Buzz”

Or just find a bunch of smart folks to follow on Twitter.

Streamlining the ask Joe for help process.

I get between 500 and 1000 email a day.

Many, MANY, are from developers asking for help.

Now before anyone gets angry, I love helping developers solve problems.

But… Lately I’ve been getting more and more “unnecessary” questions.

My problem with this is that I spend several hours answering these email every day and taking the time to answer questions that could have been easily answered with a little proactivity on the part of the asker, means that I have far less time to work on the harder questions that folks really can’t solve without a little help.

If your question is for an opinion like what’s the best approach to do something or what book do you suggest, then by all means ask away.

If you want help writing code, I thought I’d write some guidelines to the process of emailing a question.

1.    Try stuff BEFORE you email.

2.    SEARCH FIRST – Before your email, please use the search engine of your choice to look for an answer. It’s staggering the number of times I get an email question and I find the answer on the first page of search engine results. I know it’s easier to just send an email, but it’s only easier for the person on the SENDING end.

3.    Check – there are tons of samples, videos and tutorials.

4.    Read the error messages if your project doesn’t build, a little research on the message will likely reveal the result.

5.    Ask in the forums. Yes, it’s slower but asking 1-on-1 is selfish because it helps only you. Taking the time to ask in the forums contributes to the community.
6.    If you have done all that and still have a problem then by all means contact me.

7.    Please don’t PM me – even if I get your message, I don’t get your email address to reply to.

8.    Send me direct email at my address or via the contact option on this website.

9.    Explain your question IN DETAIL. Include the problem or question and any error messages; explain what is happening and how it differs from the behavior that you desire.

10.    Remember, sentences have periods and email has paragraphs. If you cannot write the explanation clearly, there is little chance that I can help you since I won’t understand your issue. To my non-English speaking friends, PLEASE take extra care in your translations so that I can be off accurate help.

11.    Please send code ONLY as follows.

a.    Send a Zip file of a complete solution directory that is buildable in Visual Studio or Visual Web Developer 2008. (I do not have ready access to any other versions at the moment.)
b.    DO NOT paste code into your email !!!!
c.    Do not send code that does not compile.
d.    Do not send projects that to not build (unless that is the issue.)

12.    If you are asking for help with a behavioral problem in your code, I probably can’t help you if I can’t run your code.  This means creating a local database etc. before you email the project.

13.    Once you have a solution, please go back to the forums and post the solution so that anyone else who has the problem later will find the answer.

Following these steps will help reduce my email to the questions that don’t have readily found answers and will give me the time to help ell the developers who really need it.

Many thanks in advance. – What’s Missing ?

Next week I have a week full of meetings on things like.

  • The Next Version of Web Forms
  • Dynamic Data and
  • ASP.NET 4.0

But the BIG part of the week will be spent on strategic planning for web sites in the coming year.

We want to answer questions like ….

  • What’s the NEXT great multi-media experience for developers ?
  • What social networking features are missing and wanted on ?
  • What improvements do we need to blogs, forums, RSS, etc.?
  • What’s missing that developers really want?
  • What’s broken and needs to be fixed?

So, while I’m thinking about it THIS week, why not send me an email (use th elink on this page) and let me know what YOU think of the subject !

I’m with the Thirsty Developer

While in Chicago to speak at PHP | Tek, I got to do a Podcast (in a bar) with on of the The Thirsty Developers

I hope you will [ CLICK HERE ] and listen !

Join us with a Blog on !

Just go HERE and make your request –

Would you like to Blog with Scott Guthrie ??

Just make your request here –

The ASP.NET Aggregate RSS Feed – Why YOUR post is missing.

Some of you have noticed 🙂 there are a number of new bloggers on

Some are adding great posts of technical value.

Others are posting less useful information like letting us know that the overslept today.

Thanks to all of you have have emailed me to share your frustrations (ScottGu included.)

I’ve been doing feature planning for some time to add much greater “Social Networking” functionality to including blog and post rating and a variety of related RSS features.

Unfortunately,  developer resources are limited, etc, etc, etc.

In the mean time, if you are a brand new blogger and have noticed that your blog posts are not appearing in the main aggregation, it’s because you made a non technical post and included it in the main feed, and it got some negative attention.

As a compromise, I’ll be manually tailoring the aggregate RSS feed to filter out blogs that are still “learning the ropes”.

Don’t worry if you get filtered, it’s just temporary until the community is ready for you 🙂

To avoid this, simply keep your non-technical posts out of the aggregate feed.

It’s easy to do !

When you write a new blog post, BEFORE YOU CLICK PUBLISH !, hit the advanced options tab and click NO next to “Publish to sites aggregate list.”

The old timers here will love you for it ! – New Blogger Feed Growth

Growing an on-line community is hard.

At we spend LOTS of time thinking about how to continue to grow the ASP.NET community and continue to add value.

One of the necessary factors in growing an on-line community is to add members and recently we’ve added about 150 bloggers.

There have been some mixed reactions to this growth. Many folks are glad to see the ASP.NET blog ecosystem finally adding new bloggers.

Still, a few folks long for the older, quieter feeds 🙂

The first thing that I encourage you to consider is that “new blogger glut” will soon subside. The enthusiasm  of all the new bloggers is great and many folks are posting away like crazy. It takes time to become an effective blogger, figuring out what kinds of things people find useful and what they don’t.

Natural selection will tailor the aggregate feed according to the wishes of the community at large in a short time.

What’s more, MANY of the new bloggers are developers of significant accomplishment who will, as their “real jobs” afford them the time to do, add very useful information to the growing knowledge base at

If you really don’t want “new blogger” posts in your feed from you can do this……

If you do this, don’t forget to visit the home page so that you can start to pick out the new bloggers that you do want to subscribe to.

Also, you can get the “new bloggers at” in a separate feed here.


New Bloggers – You don’t HAVE to include your posts in the general feed.

Set the Aggregate List option to “No” on your post and it won’t appear in the site’s aggregate feed.

In the long term, I’m working of a collection of interesting options for tailoring feeds.

But… I need your help !

  • Start by linking to the blogs that you read or like from your own blog or web page.
  • Feel free to start with mine at 🙂
  • Use whatever social networking link rating mechanism you like to link to good posts ! (Digg, etc.)
  • Add comments to the posts that are useful to you. (Both activities will provide use with useful statistics)
  • Email me your suggestions

Some of the things I’m considering for helping the best blogs bubble to the top.

  • Member rated “Best Posts” Feed and Page
  • Member Rated “Best Blogs” Feed and Page
  • Keyword  / Tag  Filtered Feeds
  • A Member “My Feeds” feature (an aggregate of the feeds you choose.)
  • A “Share Your OPLM List (Like Amazon Lists)

In addition to emailing me your suggestions about how to implement the best feed options on our site(s), please respectfully help educate the new bloggers on how to become GREAT bloggers. They have decided to start blogging because they WANT to contribute. It would be a shame to scare them away with the rudeness that sometime accompanies on-line frustrations.

Example: Don’t tell them, “your code sucks”, take a few minutes to post your “improvements” or comment on what you think might make the code better.

Also, remember what you think sucks might be exactly what someone else needed.

Growth is always a bit painful, but in this case it’s a “chicken or the egg” type question. To increase the VALUE (which is our goal) we need to grow the community, as we grow the community, we need to tailor the quality, but we need to do it as a community.

I hope folks with strong opinions will share them with me  I’m really hoping 2008 is a year where we collaboratively take Microsoft online communities to a new level of value for all of us.

I’m here…. I’m listening !

Get a Blog on ASP.NET

Just make your request here –

Get aBlog on ASP.NET

Just make your request HERE –

Check Out Omar’s Home Page

I came across Omar Al Zabir’s website which he built several years ago.

It’s a Windows 2000 UI in the browser.

As we extend our web applications with AJAX, Silverlight, etc. I found this a great reminder of how far you can go with HTML & JavaScript when we really wrap our heads around them and exercise some creativity.

Cool work Omar !

Bipin Joshi’s New Free ASP.NET Article Site

One of my friends in India has launched a new website where he will be publishing free .NET programming articles.

His first article is on building custom ASP.NET Server controls.

Check it out here :

Do you PASS ?


My buddy Steve Simon has recently formed an official PASS (Professional Association for SQL  Server) Chapter in Providence RI.

They meet on the second Wednesday of every month at the New England Institute of Technology in Warwick, Rhode Island from 6:00PM to 9:00PM. Click here to become a member.

Russ Returns to Boston !


10/24 – Waltham, Mass Microsoft Office MPR, 6:30-8:30 pm (Pizza, Beverages & Giveaways.)


Topic: It’s All About The Tools – Episode 1

Organized by Ronald Thibeau, John Ross, Dan Stolts MVP and Microsoft’s Neal Wadhwani


Registration Link:


Location: Microsoft

201 Jones Road, 6th floor

Waltham, MA 02451


Also, don’t forget MSDN event (VS 2008, Silverlight/AJAX, Astoria) in Boston the next day on 10/25

Would you like to Blog with Scott Guthrie ??

Wanna Blog with Scott ?????

We’re going to start adding blogs from developers like YOU to

Just make your request at and the team will get you set up.

What was your longest coding session.

The MSDNEvents folks ( have a survey on their home page hat asks what people’s longest session at the keyboard was.

A whopping 28 percent indicated that had spent over 24 hours in front of their computer.

18% said their longest session was less then 10 hours !!!!! (Who do they work for?)

Go over and add your vote.

What’s the best free Multi-Blogging Engine for ASP.NET

I want to build a community on ASP.NET technology and I need a multi blogging engine.

What are my options.

Community Server IS NOT FREE !

There is NO free version of community server for public facing community sites with moire than 10 blogs.

Please suggest away.

Can you suggest a 3rd party video library ?

I need a VB and C# callable library that I can use to take .wmv files and create different AV formats of the same video.

I want to save as :

.wmv (different resolution for Zune)

.mp4 (iPod Video and PSP)

Flash Video

.mp3 (Audio Only)

.wma (Audio Only)

And perhaps .mpeg, .mov and .avi

I’ve found one such library but I’m wondering if there is something better.

All suggestions welcome. Just use the comment box or email Joe.Stagner [at] Microsoft [dot] com


I need a WEB DESIGNER !!!

Being a good web designer requires some artistic tendencies.

I have none !  I think most developers lack real artistic abilities. Maybe being able to use the logical engineering part of the brain is mutually exclusive from using the artistic part.

I’ve been getting lots of email from developers asking for guidance on doing good DESIGN when using ASP.NET.

If you’re a designer, you know the questions. DIV versus Table? CSS in ASP.NET, etc.

Do you have some ASP.NET Visual DESIGN topics that you are especially good at?

Let’s web cast them.

Contact me and I’ll host you in a Live-From-Redmond Webcast on Design.

The web cast will get linked from

Great way for independent designers to show off their skills.

Contest for highest attendance.

Calling Web Dev MVP’s

Are you a Microsoft MVP or RD ??

Wanna show off your tech skills to the developer world ?

Pick ONE COOL THING and I’ll host you to show it off in one of my Live-From-Redmond Webcasts.

Just email me !!!

I’ve been tagged.

Susan Wisowaty, my friend and former team mate on the MSDN Events team has TAGGED me. Tagging is a bit like a chain letter, but with some redeeming social value.

The idea is that after reveling five things about yourself you get to compel 5 other people to do the same.


  1. As a young hungry dude I won 54 of 58 Kickboxing matches and won minor titles in three countries, fighting primarily in Australia (Where I lived in 1978 & 79) and Malaysia (which was a very cheap and short flight from the coast of Australia).
  2. I was married, became a father, and got divorced all before my 21st birthday. In the years that followed, in order to try and survive the financial disaster that divorce can create, I had funny work situations. At one time I worked 3 jobs at the same time totally as much as 20 hours a day and I never had a whole day off from all three jobs. I slept in “shifts” and, lacking a driver’s license, I RAN to and from jobs. (Sometimes 15 miles a day.) Some of the non-professional jobs included working as a bouncer in Boston’s Combat Zone, and moonlighting as a “dancer” 🙂
  3. In my early 30’s I suffered from severe depression that eventually required pharmaceutical treatment. I’ve been taking an anti-depressant for 10 years and every time I stop, it takes about 6 weeks and I start feeling symptoms like the inability to concentrate, poor short term memory, a decrease in patience.
  4. I am a former Marine and I used to work in two different Law Enforce capacities. I trained Law Enforcement Officer’s in unarmed tactics and I helped build Patterns Analysis systems use by Special Investigative Units including the FBI, CIA, DEA, INS, DOD, and the US Military.
  5. While the story of my young life is packed with adventure, mischief, and accomplishment. I believe that the only thing of real importance that I will ever do is Love my wife and children. Being a great dad and husband is both the hardest and the best job I’ve ever had.

OK, Now I’ll tag five people.

  1. My boss Simon Muzio – never hurts to know your Boss’s secrets.
  2. Rick Samona – because he needs to start bogging again and I KNOW the dude has SECRETS.
  3. Rory Blyth – Even though he’s already been Tagged – as the new C9 guy his life is an open book and if you know ROry AT ALL (sorry for the caps Rory) – you know that he has way more then 5 interesting secrets.
  4. Bill Steele – Just because he’s a smart guy with a twisted sense of humor.
  5. Carey Lee Rush – A lifelong musician and friend, he was a long time body-guard client of mine when he was a big time Rock-n-roller, he’s still a musician and now a bleeding heart liberal (which I forgive him for) – but I’m tagging him because you NEVER know what he’ll say. (WARNING – His blog may contain PG13 content.)

Choppy Audio watching How-Do-I Videos ?

Make sure you install the fix at

Thanks to PhilC for the link.

Which features are missing from Visual Web Developer Express?

 (via Mikhail Arkhipov )

Can I use Visual Web Developer Express for the project I am planning? Do I need to buy Visual Studio or is free Express edition sufficient for my needs? Which features are missing from Visual Web Developer Express?

Here is what is not in VWD Express:

1. Extensibility. In Express edition you cannot install and use Web Application Projects, Web Deployment Projects, CSS Properties Window, HTML/ASP.NET Spell Checker, ReSharper and any other add-on or third party tool.

2. Class Libraries. VWD Express only supports a single type of project: Web site. You cannot add a Class Library project or a Web Controls Library project to the solution. Class libraries are popular way to sharing business logic code or any other utility code.

3. Source Code Control. SCC is crucial in team development. I can’t imagine my life as professional developer without good Source Code Control system that provides me with change history, branches, merges, etc.

4. Accessibility checker. If you are developing Web sites that must be accessible, Accessibility Checker is indispensible tool.

5. Automatig generation of resources for localization. If your Web must be localized in multiple languages, you do want to have this feature.

6. Attach debugger to a process. If you need to step through code in existing classic ASP pages in order to understand how it works or you have to maintain classic ASP pages, you need ASP debugging which requires ability to attach debugger to a running process.

7. Native code debugging. Some legacy code, especially in classic ASP code may be using COM objects written in C++. Mixed mode debugging is not supported in Express.

All of the above is available in the Visual Studio Standard Edition. However, Professional Edition gives you XSLT debugging, extensive database tools, it comes with SQL 2005 Developer Edition (as opposed to SQL Express in VS Standard and below) and Crystal Reports.