Archive for the ‘ News’ Category

jQuery Accordion and Dynamic Runtime Population

As I mentioned in my last post I’m playing with this idea of building a scoring application for boxing / mma events.

I want it to be a single page web application that scales to fit phones, tablets, etc.

An event contains a number of “bouts” and each bout will be a section in a jQuery UI Accordion control.

However, as is often the case, there are a couple of real world conditions that I couldn’t find documentation of sample to demonstrate.

1.) Event event can have a different number bouts.

This means that the accordion sections have to be dynamically built at runtime in the html page.

2.) The order of the events can change right up to the event time.

This means that the USER needs to be able to change the visual sequence of the bouts.

3.) The click-able header needs to be multiple elements.

All the demos I found assumed the headers were simple H3 elements.

You can play with a working version by clicking the image below.

Note that you can not only open and close the “bouts” but you can re-order them using drag-n-drop on the title bars.

– - – THIS IS A UI PROTOTYPE – - –

FightCard- 001

Built this way I can now add the AJAX logix fo recieve a JSON package that contains the event detail and use that data to populate the event.

Here is the code as it exists so far.

<!doctype html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
<meta charset="utf-8">
<title>Fight Card</title>
<link rel="stylesheet"
 href="http://code.jquery.com/ui/1.10.4/themes/smoothness/jquery-ui.css">
<script src="http://code.jquery.com/jquery-1.9.1.js"></script>
<script src="http://code.jquery.com/ui/1.10.4/jquery-ui.js"></script>
<link rel="stylesheet" href="css/style.css">
<style>
    /* IE has layout problems when sorting  */
    .group { zoom: 1 }
</style>

<script>

//-----------------------------------------------------------+
// addBout() - Add a single node to the accordian
// TODO: add JSON object as input parameter and build the
//       bout with that data,
//-----------------------------------------------------------+
function addBout(){
    var bout =
        "<div class=\"group\">" +
            "<span class=\"handle\"> " +
                "<div class=\"table\">" +
                    "<div class=\"row\">" +
                        "<span class=\"cell width33pct align-left\">" +
                            "<strong>Blue Fighter TBD</strong>" +
                        "</span>" +
                        "<span class=\"cell align-center valign-middle\">" +
                            "vs." +
                        "</span>" +
                        "<span class=\"cell width33pct align-right\">" +
                            "<strong>Red Fighter TBD</strong>"+
                        "</span>" +
                    "</div>" +
                "</div>" +
            "</span>" +
            "<div>" +
                "<div class=\"table\">" +
                    "<div class=\"row\">" +
                        "<span class=\"cell width150 align-center\">" +
                            "<img src=\"images/silhouette.jpg\" alt=\"\">" +
                        "</span>" +
                        "<span class=\"cell align-center valign-middle\">" +
                            "Round<br />0" +
                        "</span>" +
                        "<span class=\"cell width150 align-center\">" +
                            "<img src=\"images/silhouette.jpg\" alt=\"\">" +
                        "</span>" +
                    "</div>" +
                "</div>" +
                "<span>" +
                "Mauris mauris ante, blandit et, ultrices a, suscipit , " +
                "quam. Integerut neque. <br /> Vivamus nisi metus molestie" +
                " vel, gravida in, condimentum sit amet, nunc. Nam a nibh." +
                "accordion .ui- iconDonec suscipit eros. Nam mi. Proin " +
                " viverra leo ut odio. Curabitur malesuada. Vestibulum a " +
                "velit eu ante scelerisque vulputate." +
                "</span>" +
            "</div>" +
        "</div>";
    return bout;
}

$(function() {

    $( "#accordion" )
            .accordion({
                header: "> .group > .handle",
                heightStyle: "content"
            })
            .sortable({
                axis: "y",
                handle: ".handle",
                stop: function( event, ui ) {
                    // IE doesn't register the blur event when sorting
                    // so trigger focusout handler to remove .ui-state-focus
                    ui.item.children(".handle").triggerHandler("focusout");
                }
            });

    //-----------------------------------------------------------+
    // This for loop is just for testing.
    // The real app will iterate a JSON collection and send
    // each bout node to the addBout function for insertion
    // into the accordion
    //-----------------------------------------------------------+
    for (var i=0;i<5;i++) {
    $("#accordion").append(addBout()).accordion("refresh");
    }
});
</script>

</head>

<body>

<div id="main-container" class="main-container">
    <div id="accordion">
    <!-- Bouts will be inserted here -->
    </div>
</div>

</body>
</html>

And the CSS

body {
   font-family: "Trebuchet MS","Helvetica","Arial","Verdana","sans-serif";
   font-size: 62.5%;
   background: url('../images/background.gif') repeat;
}

.main-container {
    width: 96%;
    max-width: 960px;
    min-width: 300px;
    height: 100px;
    position: absolute;
    top:20px;
    left: 0;
    right: 0;
    margin: auto;
}

/*---------------------------------------*/
/*   Styles for table like formatting.   */
/*---------------------------------------*/
.table {
    display: table;
    width: 100%;
}
.row {
    display: table-row;
}
.cell {
    display: table-cell;
}

/*---------------------------------------*/
/*   Styles for width specification.     */
/*---------------------------------------*/
.width150 {
    width: 150px;
}

.width33pct {
    width: 33%;
}

.width34pct {
    width: 34%;
}

/*---------------------------------------*/
/*   Styles for various alignments.      */
/*---------------------------------------*/
.align-right {
    text-align: right;
}
.align-left {
    text-align: left;
}
.align-center {
    text-align: center;
}

.valign-middle {
    vertical-align: middle;
}

/*-------------------------------------------*/
/*   Style overrides for jQuery accordion.   */
/*-------------------------------------------*/
.ui-state-default{
    background-color: #3173a5;
    background-image: none;body {
	font-family: "Trebuchet MS","Helvetica","Arial","Verdana","sans-serif";
	font-size: 62.5%;
    background: url('../images/background.gif') repeat;
}

.main-container {
    width: 96%;
    max-width: 960px;
    min-width: 300px;
    height: 100px;
    position: absolute;
    top:20px;
    left: 0;
    right: 0;
    margin: auto;
}

/*---------------------------------------*/
/*   Styles for table like formatting.   */
/*---------------------------------------*/
.table {
    display: table;
    width: 100%;
}
.row {
    display: table-row;
}
.cell {
    display: table-cell;
}

/*---------------------------------------*/
/*   Styles for width specification.     */
/*---------------------------------------*/
.width150 {
    width: 150px;
}

.width33pct {
    width: 33%;
}

.width34pct {
    width: 34%;
}

/*---------------------------------------*/
/*   Styles for various alignments.      */
/*---------------------------------------*/
.align-right {
    text-align: right;
}
.align-left {
    text-align: left;
}
.align-center {
    text-align: center;
}

.valign-middle {
    vertical-align: middle;
}

/*-------------------------------------------*/
/*   Style overrides for jQuery accordion.   */
/*-------------------------------------------*/
.ui-state-default{
    background-color: #3173a5;
    background-image: none;
}
.ui-accordion-header {
    background-color: #333333;
    color:  #BDC3C7;
    font-size: 16;
}

.ui-accordion-header.ui-state-active {
    background-color: #BDC3C7;
    color: #333333;
    font-size: 16;
}

}
.ui-accordion-header {
    background-color: #333333;
    color:  #BDC3C7;
    font-size: 16;
}

.ui-accordion-header.ui-state-active {
    background-color: #BDC3C7;
    color: #333333;
    font-size: 16;
}

My home office isn’t my kitchen table !

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you probably saw this morning that I’m moving on to my next career challenge – though I don’t yet know what it will be other than that I’ll be paying special attention to finding a great fit.

Though I’m not “stuck here” … I’ve worked from a “home office” for over 15 years with most of that time being based on the west coast – the opposite side of the country form which I live. (Yes, I travel :) )

A team that I’ve been talking  to about some consulting work asked me what it looks like to “work from home”.

For me, it’s a bit like any other office.

Except…….

My commute is about 30 yards. (I live on am 8 acre lot in the woods of New Hampshire and built a separate building.)

Office upstairs, gym & garage downstairs.

It has great band width, a great technical library (yes kids, I still read books printed on paper), everything except plumbing (which I had planned to before the bubble burst – add and still will some day.)

I built the building during the “dot com” boom when I was sort of a serial “start-up” guy. It was originally configured with modular capacity for up to 12 people.

HomeOffice_01

 

Yup – tons of hardware. When you do lots of competitive analyses – it helps to be able to go hands on with everything.

 

HomeOffice_02

I’ve done tons of technical “how-to” and product marketing videos and podcast so at one point I built a micro studio. Note the green screen to the left !

HomeOffice_03

It’s a great place for long hours !

HomeOffice_04

Yes, I’m sorry to my young eco-friendly friends – I’m an old guy who still prefers books printed on paper :)

Maybe an article on the “art of working remotely” might be of interest to people.

What conferences should Zend join in 2014 ?

So, one of my first tasks for 2014 is to plan what events Zend should participate in.

So, please share your thoughts.

World wide, what are the most significant……

1.) PHP Developer Conferences

2.) DevOps Conferences

3.) Multi Technology, Web and Mobile focused events.

And what are the value criteria? (Number of attendees, press coverage, etc…)

Thanks in advance !

Zend Server 6 in shared (VPS) hosting accounts.

Did you know you can get Zend Server in a VPS instance for UNDER TEN dollars a month.

I’ve posted a full tutorial HERE on Zend Developer Zone.


Zend’s growing international interest.

I don’t read Japanese but I’m pretty sure this is cool !

The Zend 2013 Kickoff in Las Vegas

My second week at Zend was spent in Las Vegas at the Zend annual kickoff.

In my career I’ve had the great fortune to work for and with many pioneers in the software development world.

Many years ago I help the position of Assistant Director of Technical Services for JPI TopSpeed and worked for Niels Jensen, the co-founder of Borland.

At Microsoft I got to spend a number of years working for Scott Guthrie (co-inventor of ASP.NET) and interacting with Anders Hejlsberg (the guy behind Turbo Pascal, Delphi and C#).

At Mozilla I worked in the realm of Mitchel Baker (Open Source pioneer and Mozilla Founder) and Brendan Eich (creator of JavaScript).

I kept with that theme in my decision to join Zend Technologies and now I have the privilege of working with Andi Gutmans  and Zeev Suraski (co-founder’s of Zend Technologies and co-developers of PHP3, based on Rasmus Lerdorf ‘s origination PHP creation.)

Andi & Zeev at the Zend 2013 Kick-off

Last week in Las Vegas, Andi outlined the business success and future of Zend as a company.

Zend’s Zeev Suraski and Guy Harpaz

Zeev Suraski (Zend CTO) and Guy Harpaz (PM for Zend Studio) were on hand to show us the awesome new versions of Zend Server and Zend Studio.

Stay tuned as I’ll be focusing a lot on the “professional” platform and IDE for enterprise PHP development in the coming weeks.

In addition to those folks, more of Zend’s executive leadership was on hand.

Zend CMO Elaine Lennox & VP of Worldwide Field Operations Siddhartha Agarwal

Zend CMO Elaine Lennox & VP of Worldwide Field Operations Siddhartha Agarwal (pictured above) were present as well.

Though I must admit that when the heads of  marketing and sales put their heads together and look like they are having that much fun – it can only mean trouble for the rest of us !

We spent three PACKED days learning about the new products, services and strategies.

But we still managed to have some fun.

Who say’s executives don’t know how to party !

Of special note is this photo of Mike Pavlak, Zend Solutions Consultant and PHP on IBMi specialist !

Mike promised to only have ONE beer on our night out on the town !

I’m thinking I’m going to have an awesome year !


Joining Zend Technologies

I was first introduced to PHP in 1998 as I had begun looking for an alternative to Microsoft’s Classic ASP and Netscape LiveWire which my consulting company was using extensively at the the time.  It was only a few years later after I had joined the Developer Tools & Platforms initiative at Microsoft that I got a call from Brian Goldfarb, who was then also at Microsoft working in the Developer Marketing group. Brian knew that I had done some PHP work prior to joining Microsoft and he was preparing for an executive briefing on “this open source web development technology” that Microsoft was worried about competing against.

For a few years I was the PHP competitive specialist at Microsoft but after a couple of years Microsoft’s PHP strategy started to evolve and the Windows division, along with the IIS team came to believe a better approach was to embrace PHP and work to make it run well on Windows. I spent six more years working with PHP on Windows. At that time, PHP worked on Windows but lacked the performance and stability needed by mission critical production applications.

I met Andi Gutmans (the co-founder of Zend Technologies) as Microsoft contacted Zend to solicit their help with improving the PHP experience on Windows. Around the same time I met Zeev Suraski (the other co-founder at Zend) at a PHP Developer’s event that we were both speaking at.

Over the years Andi and I continued to cross paths and, since Zend’s USA headquarters is in Cupertino CA, and Mozilla’s is in Mountain View, last year I was able to stop by and see the things Zend has been working on. I was amazed.

Andi introduced me to Elaine Lennox, Zend’s CMO. Conversations ensued, the timing is right and so, today I join Zend as Director of Developer Strategy.

What does that mean, exactly. Well, I’m not sure I know, (it’s my first day) but i have a few high level goals that I’ll be focusing on.

  • Helping Zend take a more active role in the PHP community as a whole.
  • Helping Enterprise PHP Developers, including over 40,000 Zend customers successfully build and manage world class applications.
  • Helping the Zend engineering teams understand PHP developer’s needs to that they can build the best possible professional PHP development products.

Ok, but what does that translate to in terms of action ?

Well, it;s only 8:00am on my first day :) but I plan to ….

  • Build a team of community rock stars
  • Build tons of great content for PHP developers
  • Build content that helps developers get the most from Zend Server (including the free version) and Zend Studio
  • Drive adoption of Zend Server FREE Edition
  • Grow DevZone
  • More, more, more…….

I’ve always been enthusiastic about PHP as a language. If you consider the trends toward mobile applications and cloud based computing, PHP presents an even more attractive choice for developers that in the “classic” era of dynamic web applications.

I’m incredibly excited. This feels not just like a great job, but a great opportunity to do exciting and significant things. I’ve spent the last 12 years of my life doing technical community building with a product influence focus, I excited about being able to immerse myself in the PHP community

So I invite you. Use the contact form here on my blog and tell me as a PHP developer or Zend Server / Studio user, what would YOU DO !

Farewell to Mozilla

Friday was my last day as a Mozilla employee.

I joined Mozilla almost 16 months ago after spending a decade at Microsoft. I wanted to move into the open source world and no organization represents open source as plainly as Mozilla, the non-profit foundation that brings us Firefox.

Mozilla is filled with wonderful people. I’ll miss many of them but one cool thing about working at Mozilla, and leaving, is that you don’t have to stop being “a Mozillian”.

I joined Mozilla to evangelise the open web. On my first day at Mozilla there were 165 full time employees. Today there are something like 750. Growth that rapid often results in turmoil and Mozilla is experiencing it’s fair share. More importantly to me is that the developer engagement team has shifted it’s focus to primarily drive developer adoption of FirefoxOS.

Don’t get me wrong, FirefoxOS is very cool and it truly amazes me what a relatively small number of engineers have been able to accomplish so far.

To begin with, I’ve discovered that I’m not really the right personality for a non-profit. Every conversation I had with my management left me reminded that I didn’t really fit in.

I wanted to fit in, but my real reason for leaving is that, while I’ve been able to do technically interesting work at Mozilla, the best part of being a technical advisor is being able to help businesses and professionals succeed.

Focusing on FirefoxOS may someday provide that opportunity to Mozilla’s developer evangelists, but not until after it releases, after cell carriers adopt it, after it is released all over the global market and then only if it can successfully compete against Apple, Android, Microsoft and other new players like Ubuntu to succeed where other players (like WebOS) have failed.

I think FirefoxOS has a chance and I wish them well, but at this stage of my career, and given my prior career experiences, I find greater satisfaction in working with larger and more commercial (existing) audiences.

I plan to stay involved with FirefoxOS and especially the Mozilla HTML5 apps initiative, but for full time employment, I’m off to find a better fit.

I made this decision not knowing exactly what I’ll do next.

I know I plan to work on a team, rather than in a group, and that I want role where I can help my company succeed while helping my customer do amazing things !

Stay tuned – I expect to blog in a week or so about my decision !

Add the Promote MDN WordPress Plugin to your site !

Luke Crouch is one of the sharpest young guys I know. I’ve followed his work since I joined Mozilla almost a year ago and he is, as we say in the start-up world, “in my life boat”.  (If you’re not familiar with that expression, it comes from an exercise when you determine who, if you were starting another company, are the select people you would want on that adventure with you.)

Luke wrote this cool WordPress plugin to automatically like keywords in your WordPress blog posts to their documentation pages on the Mozilla Developer Network. (MDN)

I added it to my blog and it works like a charm.

Click on this image to visit the plugin download site.

Consider  adding it to your blog if you write about web development, it will be a service to your readers and will help promote the open web.


Add HTML5 Audio to your App

When we think of sound in an HTML application we might think of two things: We remember all those sites that started playing loud obnoxious background music when the page loads and then we think about music playing apps.

Sound can however be much more: when building immersive app experiences it can be a crucial attribute. It can enhance tactile feedback or communicate activity or changes in state to the user. A ping sound when a new email arrives or a dismissive sound when there was an error can make things much more obvious for the end user.

Prior to HTML5 most developers had to resort to plug-in technologies like Flash, Quicktime, Real player or Windows Media Player to play audio. These, of course, required that these technologies were installed on the users’ machines and the plugins being active.

With HTML5, we have an audio element that natively supports sound playback. As with any HTML element, you can even play nice with older technologies by providing fallback content. For example by simply linking to the audio file:


</pre>
<audio width="300" height="32" controls="controls" src="intro.mp3">
 <a href="intro.mp3">Introduction to HTML5 (10:12) - MP3 - 3.2MB</a>
 </audio>
<pre>

As not all browsers support the same audio formats (MP3 not being a free format makes it impossible to decode it in an open source browser) you can provide the same audio in different formats:

Example:


  <audio width="300" height="32" controls="controls">
     <source src="MySound.ogg" type="audio/ogg" />
     <source src="MySound.mp3" type="audio/mp3" />
     <a href="MySound.mp3">The recording - MP3 - 2.3MB</a>
   </audio>

If you really need to provide a player for all browsers – including the ones that don’t understand HTML5 – I collected some information in this blog post.

When your application checked that HTML5, Canvas and all the other things needed for your functionality is supported then backward compatibility is less of a concern, however you may still have cross-browser compatibility concerns since browser vendors are not fully converged on common feature implementation. That said, basic support for audio is available across all major browsers.

You don’t need to have an audio element in your HTML, you can also create them on the fly in your JavaScript:


   var aSound = document.createElement('audio');
   aSound.setAttribute('src', 'PlayMe.ogg');
   aSound.load()

However, there may be advantages to using the tag in your HTML.

  • Using the tag adds to the semantic integrity of your markup.
  • It makes your code easier to read and understand.
  • The tag can display controls so the user can play the audio and seek in it with native controls that are also keyboard accessible
  • The tag has an optional preload attribute that tells to the browser to load the audio before users start playing it.
  • Browsers have a distinct loading sequence of referenced assets. By leveraging that sequence, it iss possible for you to help improve the performance of your app.

Here are some examples for using the tag in HTML5.


</pre>
<audio id="MySound" width="300" height="32" src="MySound.ogg" preload="auto">
 </audio>
<pre>

In this instance the audio element is not visible and MySound.ogg will only be played by calling the play method on the element instance.

document.getElementById('MySound').play();

By adding a controls attribute you can display the player controls so that the user can play the audio file by interacting with them.


   <audio id="MySound" width="300" height="32" src="MySound.ogg"
          preload="auto" controls="controls">
 </audio>

These controls differ from browser to browser and operating system to operating system, but all have the same features as shown in the following image:

audio player with controls

You can easily hide or display the audio element’s controls whenever appropriate (like when the UI state changes) with a simple bit of JavaScript:


var myAudio = document.getElementById( "TimerBellSound" );
if ( myAudio.hasAttribute("controls") ) {
  myAudio.removeAttribute("controls") ;
}
else {
  myAudio.setAttribute("controls", "controls")
}


As Terrill Thompson explains in his blog post HERE, we can easily create a custom player as well. Not only does this provide us with the flexibility of defining our own user interface but it lets us address accessibility concerns as well. His player looks like this and has a consistent look and feel across browsers and operating systems:

So what could sound do in your app? As an example, consider the follow application prototype:

This application will be a timer for athletes. When in use, the athletes won’t be sitting in front of the device that is running the app. It will be running on their computer, tablet or phone and, while they may glance at it to check the time, for the most part they will rely on audible feedback for when to start working out, when to rest, and when to increase or decrease the intensity of their workout.

The audio element in HTML5 makes adding sound to your app both easy and straight forward.


Back to Technical Evangelism

I joined Mozilla about 5 months ago.

My manager, Stormy, warned me that getting up to speed at Mozilla would be more difficult than I expected, and of course, I didn’t really believe her. My manager at Microsoft told me the same thing on my first day of work there, and it wasn’t really true. Microsoft was just big, not hard to adjust to.

Mozilla is DIFFERENT.

When I interviewed with Mozilla, my impressions were the same as most people who are not participating Mozillians.

Mozilla makes FireFox and Thunderbird and is Open Source, does standards stuff, etc. It all sounded cool and I “thought” I “got it”, but I didn’t. In truth, I still don’t completely, but learning is fun.

During the interview process I was impressed with everyone’s passion about “The Mission”, though, even having read “The Mission Statement”, I still had no idea what it all meant. The passion, though, was clear to see.

My first day of work at Mozilla was day one of the organization’s yearly “all hands” gathering. That event lasted a week and I met literally hundreds of my new co-workers. I also came to begin to understand that “The Mission” had almost nothing to do with “products” and everything to do with helping to change the world by propelling the Open Internet.

People at Mozilla tend to be idealistic in that they believe they actually can change the world. After just spending a decade at Microsoft this seemed unrealistic to me. The funny thing is that in the short five months that I have been here at Mozilla, I’ve actually seen a number of examples where Mozilla IS changing the world !

I flew home after the ALl Hands Week and I expected that, on Monday, I would start my efforts helping people learn and use open web technologies.

Instead, by the end of that Monday, I had been hijacked to work with the Business Development Team for the new Mozilla Marketplace. It made sense, I was new – so I had time, and I do have a “technology in business” background as well as much experience consulting with organizations large and small about solving there specific problems, using specific technologies.

So, over the past five months I’ve talked with hundreds of great organizations, large and small. Organizations that are doing amazing and NEW things with the Web. I’ve attended events in the USA, England and Spain and, unexpectedly learned more than I ever expected about Mobile computing. (I was never really interested in Mobile prior to coming to Mozilla)

Now after five months – I’m getting back to “Technical Evangelism”. The Apps Business Development team has had a bit of time to catch it’s breath and start to distribute the “partner engineering” function and my hope is that this will let me detach from all the “consulting” and tech support that I’ve been going and get back to building and offering GUIDANCE.

I’ve become very passionate about both HTML5 and multi device development and I think there is great opportunity to help people that are new to HTML/JavaScript/CSS, as well as people that are experienced but adapting their skill sets to HTML5 “Apps” development.

So my plan is to continue to focus on HTML5 from an Applications perspective. You will be surprised at how much you think you can NOT do with HTML5 that you actually can do. I know I’m surprised every day.

So, how about some help ?

What questions / problems do you need solved or answered that fit in the following question/statement.

I’m building an Application using HTML 5 and I don’t think it’s possible to (fill in here).

Example: Example: Protect my source code.

I’m building an Application using HTML 5 – how do I (fill in here)?

Example: Include my Twitter Feed without a Server Proxy

I’ll post articles here on MisfitGeek.com, but I’ll also post them on Mozilla Hacks (http://hacks.mozilla.org/) you should read them on Hacks because you get articles from ALL the folks in MDN !

Choosing a CSS Framework

I’ve been building web applications since the beginning of the World Wide Web and yet I’ve never become very knowledgeable about CSS.

I’ve listened to the arguments about page layout (styles versus tables) and hacked my way through enough CSS but always found myself more frustrated than enthralled.

JavaScript frustrated me in the early days too. Compared to C++, Java, C#, etc it left “dirty” to me but I’ve grown to enjoy and embrace JavaScript and I know that I need to do the same thing with CSS.

CSS is very powerful but you need embrace it to really Grok (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grok) it.

But, I have some issues :

  • I’m in a hurry – I need to be building apps now.
  • I don’t think aesthetically – I’m a bits and bytes guy.
  • I’m a pragmatist – I don’t care about purist type elegance.

So I’m choosing a “CSS Framework”.

If you search the web you can find lots of discussions about why NOT to use a CSS framework. Purists say that a CSS Framework is a contradiction in terms, but I suspect that 99% of developers doing significant client side work are using a CSS framework, even if their framework of choice is a collection of code that they wrote themselves (as opposed to someone else’s formal framework).

There are some basic criteria when choosing any framework.

  • Rich Functionality
  • The flexibility to extend and modify features
  • Understandable code
  • Good Documentation
  • Good usage examples
  • A vibrant community
  • An implementation that works the way I want to work

When it comes to choosing a CSS framework there are some additional criteria.

  • Reset Strategy
  • Typography Implementation
  • Semantic Naming

Especially “Semantic Naming” becomes incredibly important the more complex your markup becomes.

There is a cyclic relationship between HTML Elements as Identified by “Id”, CSS Classes that are applied to those elements and the JavaScript code that is executed against those elements, often that are found by way of the classes assigned to them.

Random naming of CSS classes or a set of naming conventions that lack logical value can turn the whole stack into a mess.

So, good naming strategy is crucial to a usable CSS framework and a way to customize naming in conjunction with your application’s problem domain is even better.

There are LOTS of CSS frameworks to choose from and several dozens of blog posts on the web listing the popular ones.

Rather than enumerate all the ones that I did NOT choose, I though I’d share some reasons for choosing the one that I did choose.

My criteria seems to be best met by Blueprint CSS (http://blueprintcss.org/)

  • A CSS reset that eliminates the discrepancies across browsers.
  • CSS Reset based on Eric Meyer’s (http://meyerweb.com/eric/tools/css/reset/)
  • A solid grid that can support the most complex of layouts.
  • Typography CSS that implements a baseline grid.
  • Form styles.
  • Print styles.
  • A Plugin model and a collection of available plugins.
  • En ecosystem for use in different development. (WordPress, Drupal, etc)
  • Tools, editors, and templates.

While the checklist seems complete is the combinatorial effect that we end up being interested in.

For example, using a CSS reset by itself nullifies browser defaults (which all tend to look different to the user) but using a CSS reset by itself, especially one as complete as Eric Meyer’s, means there is a lot of default behavior to be re-defined. Of course Blueprint CSS handles this for us.

For my needs there is one more very important feature of using Blueprint CSS.
Blueprint CSS comes with a Ruby script that lets you customize Blueprint style sheets using your own semantic class names.

This isn’t a matter of purism for me. UI code and markup can get very complex and maintainability, as well as debugging, can be drastically effected by semantic naming.

Standard framework names like these :


&lt;div class=&quot;span-9 last&quot;&gt;
&lt;div class=&quot;grid_6 alpha&quot;&gt;

… are learn-able, but just have no RELATIVE meaning inside our own application.

Here is some good information on CSS Semantics and using the Blueprint CSS customizer.

http://joshuaclayton.me/blueprints_compress_a_walkthrough.html
http://www.sitepoint.com/css-frameworks-semantic-class-names/

More to come…..


How to Install Firefox Mobile on the Amazon Kindle Fire

I’m working on a review of the Kindle Fire. Though it’s taking some heat on the net right now, I love the device.

Of course, I wanted to run Firefox on it. On the Kindle Fire you install Apps from the Amazon App marketplace and not the Android Marketplace.

As of today Firefox Mobile is not in the Amazon marketplace (and yes, our team is working with Amazon to get it in there.)

Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to “side-load” apps onto the Fire.

First you need to get the Firefox Mobile Android App onto your Windows/Mac/Linux desktop.

There are a couple of ways to do this.

1.) Go to https://wiki.mozilla.org/Mobile/Platforms/Android and grab it.

2.) I wanted to be sure to test the version I’m running on my phone so I went the other way.

  1. On my Android phone I installed “Astro File Manager” from the App Store.
  2. It automatically configured itself to do backups to my MicroSD card.
  3. In Astro File manager I ran the “Application Backup” function and selected the Firefox Mobile App.
  4. When done, I pulled the SD card and inserted it into my laptop using my MicroSD / USB adapter.
  5. I copped Firefox-2011110417.apk from the MicroSD card to my desktop.
  6. I plugged in my Kindle Fire and copied the Firefox-2011110417.apk file from my desktop to the kindle.
  7. Then on the Kindle Fire I just ran “Easy Installer” to install Firefox Mobile
  8. Viola !

With Firefox running on my Amazon Kindle Fire I can start writing a full review.

First Impressions of Samsung Galaxy Tablet

Mozilla is doing a ton of interesting work in mobile space and since Android is a pretty open mobile platform, lot of the work starts there. For example, I’m running Firefox on my Android tablet.

My first introduction to Android was less than stellar. I bought an early Android tablet, a Cruz, and it was pretty terrible. It was SLOW and there was little useful in the app store, and the battery life was terrible, among other problems.

The Galaxy Tab is different. Both the hardware and the Android OS have come  a long way.

In fact, I’m writing this in a WordPress management app on the Galaxy tab.

The hardware is better than the iPad and the Android Honeycome OS has many nice little features and usability enhancements too. The app store has become huge and most of the “must have” apps from my iPad are available for Android so i was up and running quckly.

One gripe is that there doesn’t seem to be an obvious way to distinguish between phone apps and a tablet friendly apps so some app experiences stink on the tablet. For example, Tweetdeck, which i use on my iPhone, iPad, Windows, Mac and Linux sucks on Honeycomb because it’s single column. Not a huge deal though since there were several multicolumn alternatives.

Oh, and it has front and back cameras to you can include photos (I’ll try it here) as wall as video conference via Skype and such)

image

So, in near future I’ll try some web app testing on the Galaxy.

In the mean time I’ll try to figure out how to do spell checking in this WordPress app – sorry for the spelling in this post :-O

Weekly Links– 2010_31 (50 for Web Devs & Other Geeks)

Software Developer Links of the Week.
  1. Google has started working on a Chrome mechanism to let extensions download items from a Web page
  2. Windows Azure – Authenticate ASP.Net Azure Web Application using Google Credentials
  3. How open source is transforming the publishing industry
  4. 10 freeware to boost office productivity
  5. Are frameworks making developers dumb?
  6. Poll: What is the future of desktop app development?
  7. American IT workers file suit for jobs lost due to outsourcing
  8. How to Communicate between two Local Silverlight Applications?
  9. HTML5 WebWorkers Experiment
  10. Offline Gmail Desktop App Tutorial
  11. Configuring Flash Builder 4.5 for iOS Development
  12. How to Validate ASP.NET Web Forms Using a Business Rules Engine
  13. Consuming a Web Service .NET with VB6.0 App
  14. New HP TouchPad owners go get your free 50GB of lifetime cloud storage
  15. Deloitte: 4G could produce 771,000 new jobs in U.S. by 2016
  16. Skype Acquiring Startup GroupMe for Group Text Messaging
  17. Installing Linux on old PC’s
  18. Domain Name Suggests New Kindle Will Have Stylus
  19. Scott Guthrie to Lead Azure Application Platform Team
  20. Survey Reveals Shifting Cloud Attitudes
  21. Best practices to architect applications in the IBM Cloud
  22. 11 ways to get more traffic to your web site
  23. Silverlight Toolkit Samples Application
  24. Desktop Google Reader written with WPF
  25. Will Microsoft compensation changes help retain employees? We’ll find out soon Read the rest of this entry »

Weekly Links– 2010_30 (50 for Web Devs & Other Geeks)

Software Developer Links of the Week.
  1. IBM executive says PC era is in its twilight
  2. Better web font loading with JavaScript
  3. In JavaScript, curly brace placement matters: An example
  4. The pros and cons of developing a complete Javascript UI
  5. Toshiba Thrive Tablet
  6. Should Microsoft make a break with the past and drop legacy support?
  7. Apple’s EU legal win could prevent all OEMs from building tablets
  8. Kindle Cloud Reader: Amazon’s answer to Apple’s app restriction
  9. Safari Omnibar solves the search two-step
  10. Nintendo has good reason to not develop for iOS
  11. Google’s Motorola acquisition: Nail in the Android patent coffin?
  12. Firefox 6 available ahead of official launch
  13. Key Process Patterns
  14. Use jQuery.extend() and Ajax to “construct” your JavaScript Objects from Server Objects
  15. The Biggest Changes in C++11 (and Why You Should Care)
  16. Lessons from Amazon Cloud Lightning Strike Outage
  17. Getting Started With Android App Development: Eclipse and the Android SDK
  18. Generating Code Using Text Template Transformation Toolkit (T4)
  19. Windows Laptop Makers Can’t Catch Up to the MacBook Air
  20. 10 things you can do to improve your Web site right now
  21. Cloud Storage Studio
  22. Android Tablets Grab 20 Percent of Market Share
  23. Visual Studio Asynchronous Programming Videos
  24. 10 basic search engine optimization tips
  25. Engineer of original IBM PC declares end of PC era

    Read the rest of this entry »

Weekly Links– 2010_27 (50 for Web Devs & Other Geeks)

Software Developer Links of the Week.
  1. The Dangers of HTML5: WebSockets and Stable Standards
  2. The Complete Datagrid (Alphabetic and Customized Paging )
  3. HTTP Data Client – Web Scraping
  4. Page Speed Service: Web performance, delivered
  5. Forget eight cores. AMD is planning a 10-core desktop CPU for 2012.
  6. What if Chromebooks were made by Apple?
  7. Sun CEO explicitly endorsed Java’s use in Android: What do you say now Oracle?
  8. Scoop: Oracle scrubs site of embarrassing Java blog
  9. Juniper Networks adds former Microsoft president Muglia to the management ranks
  10. Microsoft updates Azure tookit for Apple’s iOS to support federation with Facebook, Google and more
  11. Microsoft and SUSE extend Microsoft’s controversial Novell Linux pact
  12. Too much JavaScript
  13. Easily write GPU accelerated programs
  14. 20 Database Design Best Practices
  15. Booting to the web
  16. Web Operations 101 For Developers
  17. Integrate Facebook logins in your Android app
  18. Poll: What’s the best route to writing mobile apps?
  19. Social coding — the next wave in development
  20. Cengage brings content, apps, and learning platforms to Moodle
  21. Google and OK Go team up in HTML 5 interactive video
  22. Windows 7 On The MacBook Air: Don’t Go There
  23. HTML5: Attributes, semantic markup, redefined elements
  24. Amazon, others cave to Apple on in-app purchases today, HTML5 tomorrow
  25. Experiment with the Latest HTML5 Technologies
    Read the rest of this entry »

Weekly Links– 2010_26 (50 for Web Devs & Other Geeks)

Software Developer Links of the Week.
  1. Amazon Tablet Set to Battle iPad in Fall
  2. HTML5: The next generation of web design
  3. Chromebooks: Not Flops!
  4. What is Microsoft Lightswitch ?
  5. HP officially launches webOS TouchPad … again?
  6. Microsoft offering $250,000 reward for Rustock botnet info
  7. Microsoft moves forward with ‘Roslyn’ compiler as a service project
  8. A Facebook warning call: NYT says Google+ gets privacy right
  9. With Borders dead, what’s going to happen with Kobo?
  10. Dual-boot your Nook Color with Android using a micro-SD card, $35
  11. iPad tweak adds support for multiple users
  12. Archos’ G9 tablets get release date, priced starting at $300
  13. Released Mvc Controls Toolkit 1.2.0 RTW
  14. The next battlefield: Cyberspace and military readiness
  15. Cloud Security Debate Continues
  16. Companies: Hire social media strategists and let loose cannons fly
  17. Social coding — the next wave in development
  18. Mono, open-source .NET for Android, Linux and iOS, lives on
  19. SUSE Studio 1.2 ships, SUSE Linux chief to roll out full cloud strategy soon
  20. CSS3 Preview: Tables and Grids
  21. A Sneak Peak: Google+ Resources for Web Developers
  22. Review : Alienware M11x
  23. Don’t look now, but Microsoft is starting to morph into a three-headed cash cow
  24. Bare Bones Software’s BBEdit 10 re-writes the text editor
  25. JSON.SQL: A CLR-resident JSON serializer/deserializer for SQL Server
    Read the rest of this entry »

Consuming a POX WebService in .NET and C# – Searching ISBN Numbers.

I own literally thousands of books, both paper and electronic. So many, in fact, that it can be tough to remember if I own a particular title.

So I started playing with the idea of writing a personal library manager (Using WPF and C#)

Service Oriented Application Design has been around for a long time and I’ve been working with “Web Services” for more than a decade. Microsoft made web services use easy with the introduction of the first version of .NET, but the web services mechanism in ASP.NET is primarily wired for SOAP / WSDL. That’s fine and those technologies work great, but SOAP is overkill for many (most) of the RCP style service method calls that so many application need to make.

In recent years there has been a migration to AJAX services that return JSON (JavaScript Object Notation), but sometimes XML is the better choice.

POX = Plain Old XML

So in my playing with ideas for a personal library manager I found ISBNDB.com which has both free and paid accounts that let you search the entire ISBN Database via a URL endpoint.

But, it does NOT support SOAP/WSDL.

You use the service by making an HTTP request to a parameterized URL like this:

http://isbndb.com/api/books.xml?access_key=XXXXXXXX&index1=isbn&value1=9999999999

Where  XXXXXXXX is an access key provided when you register for an account and where 9999999999 is an ISBN number.

The service returns POX (Plain Old XML) as in the folloing actual response from the server.


<ISBNdb server_time='2011-08-01T23:00:52Z'>
    <BookList total_results='1' page_size='10' page_number='1'
	                                          shown_results='1'>
        <BookData book_id='101_secrets_of_highly_effective_speakers_3rd_ed'
                           isbn='1570232296' isbn13='9781570232299'>
            <Title>
                101 Secrets of Highly Effective Speakers, 3rd Edition
            </Title>
            <TitleLong>
                101 Secrets of Highly Effective Speakers, 3rd Edition:
                Controlling Fear, Commanding Attention
            </TitleLong>
            <AuthorsText>Caryl R Krannich,</AuthorsText>
            <PublisherText publisher_id='impact_publications'>
                Impact Publications
            </PublisherText>
        </BookData>
    </BookList>
</ISBNdb>

Note that I’ve formated the XML for displpay purposes.

Read the rest of this entry »

MisfitGeek.com, MSJoe.com – did you notice I’m schizophrenic ?

A year and a half ago I changed my domain name from MisfitGeek.com to MSJoe.com.

There were a number of influences that predicated this change and one day I’ll write the whole story (but not in the near future :) )

My server log analysis shows that I still get TONS of inbound links for the domain name MisfitGeek.com.

I never really liked the MSjoe idea, but it was necessary at the time so….

MisfitGeek.com is BACK. In fact both domain names will continue to work. ALL links and RSS feeds will still work.

If you didn’t notice, good. I got it right.

Web Application Configuration Analyzer 2.0

The Web Application Configuration Analyzer (WACA) is a tool that scans a server against a set of best practices recommended for pre-production and production servers.

The list of best practices is derived from the Microsoft Information Security & Risk Management Deployment Review Standards used internally at Microsoft to harden production and pre-production environments for line of business applications.

The Deployment Review standards themselves were derived from content released by Microsoft Patterns & Practices, in particular: Improving Web Application Security: Threats and Countermeasures available at: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms994921.aspx.

It uses an agent-less scan that requires the user to have admin privileges on the target server, as well as any SQL Server instances running on that machine.  It can be used by developers to ensure that their codebase works within a secure / hardened environment (although many of the checks are not as applicable for developers).


Features


  • Scan a machine for more than 159 rules.
  • Suppressions – you can now suppress any rule you feel is not appropriate for your scan.
  • Saving of suppression files – once you set up a suppression list you want to use you can save it off for future uses.
  • You can change the suppressions and regenerate the report without needing to re-run the scan.
  • Reporting – Updated the reporting section to include suppression information so you know what passed, failed, was not applicable and what was suppressed.
  • Multiple reports – you can view multiple scans of the same machine or view a single machine’s scan and compare it to other machines.
  • Generate HTML based reports
  • Compare two scans to view the differences
  • Export to the Microsoft RED format.
  • Export results to Excel
  • Export results to Team Foundation Server
  • Scan multiple systems and SQL instances in one bulk scan.

 

-> Download Now <-

Microsoft Expanding Interoperability to Community Linux

This morning Microsoft announced that, with immediate effect, it will support Windows Server2008 R2 Hyper-V running CentOS, a popular Linux distribution for hosters. This was the number one requirement for interoperability that we heard from that community.

“This development enables our hosting partners to consolidate their mixed Windows and Linux infrastructure on Windows Server Hyper-V; reducing cost and complexity, while betting on an enterprise class virtualization platform. I want to thank the Microsoft Open Source Technology Center for the work they have done with the community to make this possible,” Sandy Gupta, a general manager in Microsoft’s Open Solutions Group, said in a blog post.

Gupta will also be delivering a keynote address at the opening day of the Open Source Business Conference (OSBC) in San Francisco today. During the keynote he, along with his colleague Fabio Cunha, will demonstrate the cross-platform architecture of Microsoft’s Private Cloud.

“We will show implementation that supports multiple hypervisors and delivers a platform for the transformation of a heterogeneous IT infrastructure into an automated mixed source Cloud infrastructure. Fabio will show demos of various cross-platform capabilities of System Center Operations Manager, System Center Orchestrator, and also how customers can use a single pane of glass to deploy patches and updates across Windows and Linux Servers,” Gupta said.

You can read the full announcement here at the “Openness at Microsoft” blog.

This is just another example of how Microsoft continues to work on becoming more open in how we develop solutions; work with the open source communities; and how we’re making mixed source solutions a reality for businesses as they transition to the Cloud.  You can read more on work being done towards cloud computing from this week’s TechEd conference in Atlanta.

But there’s more to be done, especially as we think about the evolution of Cloud architectures and the growth of IT in emerging markets.

“We like to think that we have a mature IT ecosystem today, but in many ways, it is still in its infancy and there is a lot more scope of IT Automation is the promise of the cloud. Technologies continue to emerge and evolve. Innovation cycles are becoming shorter. Businesses are increasingly dependent on, and demanding of, their IT resources. There are many challenges – and opportunities – ahead of us. Competition is healthy, but collaboration will be the tide that raises all boats,” Gupta said.

Weekly Links– 2010_17 (50 for Web Devs & Other Geeks)

Software Developer Links of the Week.
  1. Ajax Handling in ASP.NET by jQuery
  2. Microsoft Patterns & Practices Project Silk 
  3. Karl Shifflett Introduction of Project Silk
  4. Project Silk Mileage Stats Application – 5 Minute Video
  5. Asus Eee Pad Transformer starts shipping on April 26; $399
  6. MVVM Light for Silverlight and WPF
  7. Amazon rumored to release Samsung-built tablet this summer
  8. Berners-Lee: Work is needed to harmonise HTML 5
  9. Novell’s Moonlight shines on Google Android
  10. Mobile development 101: What you need to know
  11. Entity Framework Using Asp.Net MVP
  12. Orchard 1.1: what’s in it for developers?
  13. Converting SVG to XAML with IE9 and the Microsoft XPS Document Writer
  14. Microsoft: 350 million licenses of Windows 7 sold in 18 months
  15. Security lessons still lacking for computer science grads
  16. RESTful ASP.NET WCF / jQuery – JSON Service with GET, POST, PUT and DELETE
  17. Calling a Web Service from the Client Side Using the AJAX Extension Toolkit
  18. Securely Passing Identity Tokens Between Websites
  19. WebSockets, RIA/JS and WCF Web API at MIX, a whole lotta love for the web
  20. Restricting Input in HTML Textboxes to Numeric Values
  21. Seven lessons to learn from Amazon’s outage
  22. Kinect for Xbox 360 Moves to Windows with upcoming SDK
  23. TechEd 2011 Developer Birds-of-a-Feather Session List
  24. Amazon Kindle eBooks targeted by scammers
  25. Nook Color gets official update to make it a real Android tablet
    Read the rest of this entry »

Join the Open Source Un-Contest and Get a Free eBook from O’Reilly

A little while back I posted about the DEVELOPERS UN CONTEST !

Contribute a theme, module, or package for any Open Source .NET project – or an Open Source NuGet package and now you can get a free eBook (JanJune 2011)

Just send me your email and a link to information about your contribution.

Developers ! Join the UN-Contest and Win, well, nothing !

This spring I wanted to run a contest for ASP.NET developers to drive contributions to Open Source projects.

I found a couple of xBox 360s, Kinects, and a bunch of software to give away to the winners.

Because there are lots of laws around how contests need to be run in order make sure everything is on the up-and-up, I contacted Microsoft’s legal department just to make sure I would be in compliance.

Ouch……

Now, I’d really like to inject a lawyer joke or two here or add a wisecrack about the attorney’s genetic proclivity to prevent anyone around then from getting any work done, but I’ve been trying to be more socially correct this year.

However, in the interest of protecting the company’s “six” I single person can not run a contest. In fact, what the lawyers told me I had to do was hire a third party to host and run the contest for me.

Duh !

So, I can’t have a contest, but I still want to rally .NET developers around some new Open Source contributions.

So, I thought I’d see if YOU ALL would agree to participate in an UN-CONTEST !

UNCONTEST – As in NOT a conference !

WIN NOTHING !

But maybe as a community we can do something cool.

HERE ARE THE RULES :

Wait…..  Since it’s not a contest, there are no rules.

But here is what I hope you will do…..

Write something open source !

A theme, module, plugin, etc. for any application that is (or will be after you write it) deployed with Microsoft WebMatrix, The Microsoft Web Platform Installer or Nugget.

Then EMAIL ME !

Once I get the first one I’ll create a page to post the new creations, I’ll blog and tweet about your work and get other folks at Microsoft to do the same.

You can even put a PayPal badge on your blog/site so anyone who really loves your work can decide to give you a dollar !

Readers of my blog will be able to decide which submissions they like best.

I’ll show them off all around Microsoft.

You’ll become a (more) famous developer.

So, pick an application like Orchard, BlogEngine.net, Umbraco, etc and create a theme or module or create a NuGet Package and email me the details.

I’ll blog and tweet about the submissions and I’ll do blog posts about my favorites.

Are you up to the challenge of a bit of Microsoft based Open Source ?

Please Tweet this & Blog it, pass it along. Lets see how many new “things” we can list by the end of June !

Weekly Links– 2010_12 (50 for Web Devs & Other Geeks)

Software Developer Links of the Week.
  1. ILSpy – open-source .NET assembly browser and decompiler
  2. jQuery Validation with ASP.NET
  3. HTML5 – The new input types
  4. Creating and Using a jQuery Plug-in in ASP.NET Web Forms
  5. Visual Studio 2010 enhancements
  6. Custom ASP.NET Membership Providers
  7. Unobtrusive jQuery Validation Using MVC3 and Razor
  8. Python Tools for Visual Studio – Beta
  9. T4 vs Razor – what’s the skinny?
  10. Open Source Fest at MIX11 – 30 Projects and Counting
  11. Dispelling Common C++ Class Myths
  12. Windows Phone 7 Apps at Warp Speed
  13. Browser Global Stat Counter
  14. ASP.NET MVC Editable DataTable with JQuery
  15. 8 Essential Developer Apps for Multiple Platforms
  16. Custom JavaScript Event Manager
  17. Installing WordPress on Windows
  18. Survey – Technology grads not ready for resurgent economy
  19. Free Version of Silverlight Spy
  20. Toad for SQL Server FREEWARE
  21. MVC3 control Profile with action filter
  22. MEF with ASP.NET – “Hello World!”
  23. Download a local NuGet repository using Nuget
  24. The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs (PDF)
  25. Tips on installing Visual Studio 2010 SP1
  26. Internet Explorer 9 Security Part 1: Enhanced Memory Protections
  27. Overview of the Windows Phone 7 Execution Model
  28. Are Apps Killing the Internet?
  29. .NET Framework: Task Parallel Library Dataflow
  30. ASP.NET OO SessionWrapper
  31. Optimizing WCF Web Service Performance
  32. WCF Request Throttling and Server Scalability
  33. WCF Performance Tuning
  34. Tips for Windows Server 2008 and IIS7 Tuning
  35. Using a Radio Button in a GridView
  36. Lync for Windows Phone
  37. SQLAuthority on Microsoft SQL Server Compact 4.0
  38. Cloud-Based Collaboration with SharePoint Online
  39. Adobe Converts Flash to HTML5 With Wallaby
  40. New XML Standard for Super-Fast, Lightweight Applications Announced by W3C
  41. All the Windows Phone 7 Development Essentials in One Guide
  42. Is Microsoft killing off the Zune hardware? Microsoft responds
  43. Master of the Web HTML 5 Game
  44. Installing 32-bit IE 9 on 64-bit Windows
  45. Asynchronous WCF HTTP Module/Handler for IIS7 for Better Server Scalability
  46. The fastest way to resize images from ASP.NET
  47. John Papa – I Missed the Visual Studio Productivity Tools
  48. The BIG browser benchmark!
  49. Lexar releases the first 128GB SDXC memory cards
  50. Microsoft Office 2010 Developer Map

Weekly Links– 2010_11 (50 Links for Web Devs & Geeks)

Software Developer Links of the Week.
  1. Employee Info ASP.NET Starter Kit
  2. Inside Visual Studio LightSwitch
  3. NodeJS – The Node Ahead: JavaScript leaps from browser into future
  4. Pushing the Limits of HTML5 in Gaming and Music
  5. Creating Shortened URLs
  6. Visual Studio 2010 SP1 IIS Express Integration
  7. Working with URL Routing in ASP.NET Framework 4.0
  8. WordCampTV – Michael Palermo: Good Bye IE6, Hello IE9
  9. Apps market set to be worth over $38 billion in 2015
  10. Microsoft P&P Project Silk – Guidance for Silky Smooth Web Sites (HIGHLY Recommended)
  11. CodePress Online Real Time Syntax Highlighting Editor
  12. HTML TextArea with syntax highlighting
  13. Microsoft Web Platform Installer APIs: Install a product from a custom feed.
  14. Microsoft Launches HTML5 Web Developer Competition
  15. Ajax.org Offers Cloud-Based Dev Platform for Javascript, HTML 5
  16. To Do: Create an Azure-integrated Windows 7 Phone App
  17. Just how many mobiles can use HTML5 anyway?
  18. Microsoft’s Bing overtakes Yahoo for the first time
  19. Using an MVC PartialView With jQuery Templates Plugin
  20. The Composite C1 Open Source CMS
  21. Sencha Touch Mobile JavaScript Framework
  22. Internet Explorer gains Web browser market share from Firefox
  23. Video – Man upgrades Windows 1.0 to Windows 7
  24. The Top 10 Considerations for Cloud Computing
  25. How to Build Mobile Websites with ASP.NET MVC 2 and Visual Studio 2010
  26. Sprite and Image Optimization Preview 3
  27. Phone Gap – Open Source Mobile App Platform
  28. Visual Basic Windows Phone 7 (Developer) Series
  29. Goodbye Outsourcing, Hello Insourcing: A Trend Rises
  30. The 7 deadly sins of software development
  31. Oracle spurns Ruby devs for Java love
  32. Creating Smooth Streaming Video Solutions with Silverlight & IIS Media Services
  33. All About Microsoft: CodeTracker
  34. Complex Technical Demos Using Local Source Control
  35. Installing NuGet on VS2010 (first blood)
  36. How to Take Advantage of the IIS 7.0 Integrated Pipeline
  37. Defining Default Content For A Razor Layout Section
  38. IE6 Countdown
  39. Is the future of gaming HTML5?
  40. The Future of CSS: Finally, Sane Layout Tools
  41. Google Says Goodbye to Black Hat SEO
  42. JScript IntelliSense Overview
  43. Native Extensions For Microsoft Silverlight
  44. Progressive enhancement tutorial with ASP.NET MVC 3 and jQuery
  45. ASP.NET Routing Debugger
  46. ViewSonic’s 10.1-inch ViewPad 10 tablet now available
  47. Tools For jQuery Application Architecture – The Printable Chart
  48. Lightweight JavaScript inheritance APIs
  49. What’s so good about jQuery?
  50. HTTP Status Code Index

LightSwitch Beta 2 Launches

LightSwitch is an interesting “App Builder” that you may want to know about.

Get started learning: http://msdn.com/lightswitch.

For more information please see the following resources.

On Twitter follow hash tags #VisualStudio #LightSwitch

Mix 2011 Sessions Posted–Meet me at MIX !

The first batch of sessions for MIX 2011 have been announced.

I’m listed them below. As it is every year, MIX is shaping up to be a GREAT conversion.

If you haven’t already registered, pehaps this will push you over the edge.

SEE YOU THERE !!!

XNA Game Studio for Fun, Profit, Danger, Excitement and Windows Phone 7 Games with Rob Miles

Ever wonder what it takes to create a top game for Windows Phone 7? Rob will show you how easy it is to get XNA programs running, whether you are a C# and Visual Studio newbie or a grizzled veteran of .NET. You will find out how to use the touch and accelerometer sensors and how to add a smattering of physics to your games. All the demos will be provided with full source so you can take them away and use them to begin creating your own games based on the abilities of this wonderful device. If you want to know how to take game ideas and give them life then this session is for you. And you might be in danger of winning the odd prize. Which should be exciting.

Flickr API: Tap into Billions of Photos for Windows Phone 7 with Markus Spiering

Do you want your app to integrate with one of the world’s leading photo sharing site? The Flickr for Windows Phone 7 app is a full featured mobile application that is pushing the boundaries of UX design and is 100% built on Flickr’s API methods that are available for developers. This talk will introduce the mobile app, highlight some of the complex design decisions, and provide insights into the Flickr API methods. Attendees will learn how to enrich their applications using Flickr’s rich content via the Flickr APIs.

HTML5 Canvas Mastery with Lanny McNie and Shawn Blais

In this boot camp we will take a comprehensive look at everything from simple shape and image drawing, to advanced techniques for building interactive experiences and games. We will also look at available tools to streamline development, and share some helpful tips on implementation, performance, and optimization. Lanny McNie and Shawn Blais are senior developers at gskinner.com, a leading interactive production shop focused on providing cutting-edge experiences in HTML5, Flash, iOS, and Android.

Introducing Microsoft Media Platform with Alex Zambelli
The Microsoft platform for delivery of video and rich media experiences has fundamentally changed and grown significantly since the introduction of Silverlight and IIS Media Services several years ago. Come learn about the encoding tools, digital rights management components, transcoding services, player development frameworks, analytics tools, content management systems and other tools and frameworks which comprise the Microsoft Media Platform (MMP).

Good JavaScript Habits for C# Developers with Elijah Manor
It seems that far too many people come to jQuery thinking that their previous knowledge with object-oriented languages like C# or Java will help them be successful at client-side scripting. In many cases, you can be successful with this approach, however, the more JavaScript you write you will inevitably find yourself uncovering strange bugs because you didn’t take time to learn JavaScript properly. This session is targeted for developers that use jQuery, but haven’t invested adequate time to learn some of the foundational JavaScript concepts that differ from C#. If you would like to avoid some of these common mistakes when bringing your existing expertise to JavaScript, then please join me as I try to explain some of the differences.

Read the rest of this entry »

W3C Acknowledges Web Tracking Protection Proposal from Microsoft.

Today the W3C announced that it has formally acknowledged Microsoft’s proposal on a common W3C standard for Web Tracking Protection.

Privacy on the web is a great candidate for standardization, given the concern that consumers, academics and governments worldwide have expressed, as highlighted in today’s blog by Dean Hachamovitch, the Corporate Vice President for Internet Explorer. 

The Web Tracking Protection specification is designed to help users block content associated with online tracking, and the proposal has two parts:

 

  • Filter lists, which can enforce user privacy preferences by preventing the user agent from making unwanted requests to Web servers that track users.
  • A user preference, which is conveyed by an HTTP header and a DOM property, to be used by Websites and pages to respect the user’s privacy.

These technologies can be used to enhance privacy protection for users, and provide access to content and services that respect user privacy preferences. 

Microsoft is implementing Tracking Protection Lists in IE9 RC, which expresses both user intent as well as a way to enforce this by the user.

Read more about this on the IE blog, on the W3C blog and the Interop@MS blog.

Nice to see Microsoft continue to deepen its work with the open standards community.

Come to MIX & show off your .NET Open Source App

Have you got an open source project you are proud of? Heading to MIX11? Well good news …. Open Source Fest Registration is now Open! 

Rules and registration info HERE – HTTP://jpapa.me/osfmix11

SEE YOU THERE !

WS-I Completes Web Services Interoperability Standards Work

I read this a couple of weeks ago.

Soon I’ll be posting about a lot about Client / Service development for web development. The very nature of that model (Ajax) will cause some focus on REST style APs but we shouldn’t forget about SOAP and the WS-I extensions.

SOAP and the WS-I extensions solve many difficult service oriented problems that are VERY difficult to address from scratch.

If you’re new to the WS-I work, here are some highlight inks.

You can read the whole press release [ HERE ]

Do you know about the Microsoft All-In-One Code Framework

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The Microsoft All-In-One Code Framework is a free, centralized code sample library provided by the Microsoft Community team. Our goal is to provide typical code samples for all Microsoft development technologies.
What is it ?
The All-In-One Code Framework team listens to developers’ pains in MSDN forums, social media and various developer communities and writes code samples based on developers’ frequently asked programming tasks, and allows developers to download them with a short code sample publishing cycle.
Additionally, the team offers an innovated free code sample request service.
The reason why this service was created was to provide personalized and connected services to the developer community. This is a new way to listen to our customer needs and reduces the amount of effort needed for developers to complete their work.

Check out these Videos !

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Get The Code You Need & Save Your Keyboard!

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Get the Code You Need & Get some Sleep!

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Get the Code You Need & …………………………

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Get the Code You Need & Save Your Brain!

Here is some of the Feedback we’ve received !!!

“The samples could definitely spare you from some horrible bugs”

- Kate Gregory (Regional Director/MVP, Microsoft)

“An innovative piece of work that makes developers’ life much easier”

- Arjun Bahree (Practice Leadership, Wipro Infotech, past Microsoft Sr. Solutions Architect & Lead)

“Devs will easily understand the contents offered in the package”

- Softpedia News

Here are some additional resources

OneCode on The Garage

OneCode Public site

OneCode KB articles in collaboration with Product Quality & Online (PQO) Content team

OneCode Internal site (with internal docs, workspace, reports, etc)

Join OneCode Special Interest Group Sign up to receive project updates

OneCode Feedback All-In-One Code Framework alias

OneCode Project Group

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.

Resources

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 www.wikibhasha.org.

Check out the story on http://research.microsoft.com and WikiMedia Foundation writing about it on http://blog.wikimedia.org.

Apigee – Analytics and Protection for APIs and Mashups

I thought this was a cool idea ad thought I’d share it.

Apigee is a website that provides analytics, protection and control for APIs.  Apigee enables API providers to understand usage, protect their app, and enforce API terms of use.  Developers using APIs can use Apigee to get visibility into the actual service levels of the APIs they consume.

http://apigee.com/

Teach, Learn and Play with Small Basic from Microsoft DevLabs

This week someone referred me to this blog post about Small Basic.

What a cool idea for playing teaching beginners of kids about programming or just playing around.

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You can even build Silverlight application with it and “Graduate” your Small Basic” code to Visual Basic.net / Visual Studio

You can even share your work on the site like this Tetris Game written in Small Basic.

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What fun !

The Misfit Geek Podcast on Zune Social

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Yes, the MisfitGeek Podcast still lives.

I’ve recovered from a catastrophic audio hardware failure and learned how to record podcast interviews over Skype.

I’ve got several scheduled and they should start appearing here soon.

In the meantime I thought I’d share that that the Podcast is now listed on Zune Social.

YOU can check it out on Zune Social [ HERE

If you have show suggestions for me PLEASE send them to me [ HERE ]

Facebook Toolkit for Microsoft Developers

Build your own FaceBook applications with ASP.NET, ASP.NET MVC, WinForms or Silverlight !

Read More

Download the SDK

  • Facebook.dll: This is the main assembly that will be used by all applications. This has all the logic to handle communication with the Facebook application. This assembly also has specific support of XAML applications (Silverlight and WPF) to enhance the Facebook platform to make databinding and data caching easier.
  • Facebook.Silverlight.dll: This is the Silverlight version of the main assembly that will be used by all Silverlight applications. This has all the logic to handle communication with the Facebook application. This assembly also has specific support of XAML applications to enhance the Facebook platform to make databinding and data caching easier. The REST API in this assembly is Asynchronous only.
  • Facebook.Web.dll: This assembly should be used by Canvas applications. The main functionality supported in this assembly is to encapsulate the handshake between the Facebook application and a canvas application (both FBML and IFrame)
  • Facebook.Web.Mvc.dll: Provide a support building canvas applications using ASP.NET MVC. Separated from Facebook.Web.dll to avoid all developers from needing to install the MVC bits.
  • Facebook.Winforms.dll: This assembly provides support for writing Facebook applications using Winform technology. This provides a Component that wraps the API to make it easier to use from Winforms. This also contains some user controls to help display Facebook data easily. 

Web Deployment Tool has gone RTW

After 2 years of development and lots of customer feedback, Microsoft is proud to announce that the Web Deployment Tool has gone  RTW version 1.0!

You can now download the RTW version and use it in production, and it is fully supported by Microsoft Support.

Install our 1.0 RTW release from http://www.iis.net/webdeploymenttool, available in x86 and x64.

Version 1.0, includes the following components:

  • Powerful APIs that allow you to deploy, sync and migrate web applications on IIS, and perform granular operations like changing IP bindings, site names and changing file structures on the fly. You can also create a new provider to sync a new type of resource.
  • Command-line tool (msdeploy.exe) that allows you to perform all the same operations available in the APIs.
  • User interface built into IIS Manager 7.0 on Vista, Windows 2008 and Windows 7 that allows you to create packages (zip files containing IIS config, content, databases and more) and install them.
  • Delegation framework and service built into IIS 7.0 that allows you to delegate tasks like installing applications and databases without requiring them to be administrators on the box.
  • Remote administrative service that works on IIS 6.0 and 7.0 to allow server-level synchronization by administrators.

So, what can you do with these components?

  • Migrate Web applications from IIS 6.0. Simplify the planning of your IIS 6.0 to IIS 7.0 migrations by determining incompatibilities and previewing the proposed changes before starting the process. Learning about any potential issues in advance gives you the chance to take corrective measures and simplifies migration.
  • Synchronize your server farm. Synchronize between IIS 6.0 > IIS 6.0 or IIS 7.0, and only sync the differences. The tool simplifies the synchronization process by automatically determining the configuration, content and certificates to be synchronized for a Web site. Optionally, specify additional resources for sync, including databases, COM objects, GAC assemblies and registry settings.
  • Package, archive and deploy Web applications. Package configuration and content of Web applications, including databases, and then use the packages for storage or redeployment. These packages can be deployed using IIS Manager without requiring administrative privileges. The tool integrates with Visual Studio 2010 to help developers streamline the deployment of Web applications to the Web server. The tool also integrates with the Web Platform Installer to allow you to simply and easily install community web applications.

Some of our favorite customer scenarios include:

  • Create application packages that contain all of the IIS config, content, databases and more, including parameters so that when the server admin installs the package, they are prompted to fill in parameters like SQL Server connection string.
  • Build an automated deployment system using our APIs, cmd-line or the Visual Studio integration, so that you can deploy daily from test to staging to production.
  • Allow your developers to directly deploy to the staging server without admin intervention, and lock down exactly what they can change (mark a folder as an app but not change the site’s binding).
  • Replace Application Center with a set of scripts or programs that call our APIs or cmd-line to sync multiple servers in a web farm.
  • Build a roll-back solution by taking a package of your live app, deploying the app_v2 package created in your dev environment, and checking for failures. In case of failures, automatically apply the v1 package or backup that you took.

 

Technorati Tags: Microsoft IIS Deployment

Microsoft Launches an Independent, Non Profit Open Source Foundation

The headlines this morning suggested hell is freezing over and pigs have begun taking flight :)

From the NEW www.CodePlex.org …..

The CodePlex Foundation, a non-profit foundation formed with the mission of enabling the exchange of code and understanding among software companies and open source communities, launched today, September 10, 2009.

Keep your eyes on http://codeplex.org/ !!!

Technorati Tags:

.NETOOP Global Statics Update

With lots of great feedback I’ve modified the “SiteGlobalSettings” class I wrote about earlier.

Though it still uses global static but the values are stored in a Global Resource File.

This affords us the superior performance of the mechanism, keeps the “editable” nature of the data, and keeps the simple API based initialization will facilitate multi-cultural implementation when we get there. (Cultural neutral settings can be stored in a single .resx where as language specific entries can be stored in language specific resource files.)

So, I created a Resource file and a sample entry…..

7-9-2009 10-21-23 AM 

7-9-2009 10-22-05 AM

The class code remains the same except for the property initialization.

   1:  public static class SiteGlobalSettings
   2:  {
   3:      static public string MySiteName { get; set; }
   4:      static public string MySiteOwner { get; set; }
   5:   
   6:      static SiteGlobalSettings()
   7:      {
   8:          try
   9:          {
  10:          MySiteName = (String)HttpContext.GetGlobalResourceObject("AppResources",
  11:                                                                    "SiteName");
  12:          }
  13:          catch
  14:          {
  15:              MySiteName = "*NETOOP.";
  16:          }
  17:      }
  18:  }

Technorati Tags: ,ASP.NETOOP,

Prism Training Class July 7-9

.NET Guru, David Platt (of Rolling Thunder) and author of Introducing Microsoft.NET, Programming CAB and SCSF, and Why Software Sucks is giving an online training for Prism 2.0!

It’s a three day course to be held July 7-9, and looks like it covers everything from the goals and basic architecture of Prism, to modularity, UI composition, pub-sub eventing, and services – everything you need to get up and running with Prism.

Check out the course details here, and the detailed course syllabus here.

David is a lively and knowledgeable speaker so it should be fun too.

Announcing the re-release of MSDN Code Search Preview

 Find More Code Samples on MSDN using MSDN Code Search Preview…

After design revisions to the UI, the addition of MSDN Code Gallery and CodePlex content, and an updated feed from the MSDN Library, MSDN Code Search Preview is now capable of delivering more code samples via search

How to Use MSDN Code Search Preview

MSDN Code Search Preview is accessible through MSDN Search as a “filter” when using site search.  Just type your code search query and click the “Code Search” button next to the search bar to optimize your experience for code search and find code samples from MSDN Code Gallery, CodePlex, and the MSDN Library: 

MSDN-Code-Search-001

The advancements we’ve made to MSDN Code Search Preview can help customers find more code samples across our sites.  The improvements we’ve made are evident in the following example, which compares Google Code Search to MSDN Code Search Preview:

http://msdn.krugle.com/

10 skills developers will need in the next five years

According to TechRepublic……

1: One of the “Big Three” (.NET, Java, PHP)

2: Rich Internet Applications (RIAs)

3: Web developmentWeb

4: Web services (REST, SOAP, JSON, XML)

5: Soft skills

6: One dynamic and/or functional programming language

7: Agile methodologies

8: Domain knowledge

9: Development “hygiene”

10: Mobile development

You can read the whole article [ HERE ]

MaximumASP Delivers Double Computing Power On Virtual Dedicated Hosting Plan

 I host several sites (including this blog) at MaximumASP and have migrated to MaxV – and it ROCKS !!!!

Full review coming soon, but becuase I’m having such a great experience with the Hyper-V based hosting I wanted to let you know about it.

There is nothing like RDP access to your web server !!!!!!

MaxV Plan B upgrade now available for free 30 day trial offer

LOUISVILLE, Ky.(January 23, 2009) — MaximumASP, a Microsoft Gold Certified Provider of web hosting and IT services, today announced that it will provide free 30 day introductory accounts on their MaxV platform featuring Windows Server 2008® Hyper-V™ virtualization technology. The introductory offers include a choice of either a MaxV Plan A or Plan B Virtual Dedicated Hosting Plan.

MaxV Virtual Dedicated Plans are hosted on either WS 2008 or 2003 Operating Systems with 32- and 64-Bit Editions. MaxV supports SQL Server 2008 and 2005, or high-performance Shared SQL servers are also available. High Availability, Intelligent Monitoring, Recurrent Backups and Scalability are all included on the MaxV platform.

Wade Lewis, Managing Partner of MaximumASP said, “As the need to reduce costs, simplify management, and establish sustainable computing practices continues to grow, we will continue to provide only the best growth path options for our customers.”

The MaxV dynamic IT infrastructure will support virtualization strategies across sever workloads, desktop applications, and both physical and virtual assets.The light overhead, efficient design, overall completeness and proven performance of MaxV also make it the right virtualization choice for server consolidation, disaster recovery and production servers with live applications and data.

Dominic Foster, CTO of MaximumASP said, “MaximumASP is built around a simple guiding principle: investing the resources and time to do hosting and IT services well so our customers have the time to do what they do well. In the case of MaxV developers can tap into our resources to maximize their coding efficiency and reduce the cost of development by building on existing, extensible components without having to build anything from scratch.”

Customers can take advantage of MaxV today by visiting www.maximumasp.com/maxv

About MaximumASP

MaximumASP based in Louisville, Kentucky. was founded in 2000 as an outsourcing firm for Microsoft Windows based hosting and IT services. The company currently hosts more than 48,000 domains for customers in over 60 countries. With a strong focus on hosting solutions that combine advanced monitoring and management tools, MaximumASP has become a top choice for Microsoft developers seeking a robust hosting platform for mission-critical web applications. For more information visit www.maximumasp.com

Microsoft Code Name “Geneva”

This weekend I played with Geneva.

Microsoft code name “Geneva”, an open platform for simplified user access based on claims.  This release consists of three components:  Geneva Framework for .NET developers, Geneva Server for IT Pros, and Windows CardSpace Geneva for users. 

[ Click HERE for more information ]

Tandem Server – Free Web Site Management Application

I love good Web / CMS applications, but there aren’t too many written for ASP.NET.

I thought I’d share one I just found and am having some fun with.

Check it out.

Looks Cool !

http://tandemserver.org/

Public Training Class on Prism

 .NET Guru, David Platt (of Rolling Thunder) and author of Introducing Microsoft.NET, Programming CAB and SCSF, and Why Software Sucks is giving an online training for Prism 2.0!

It’s a three day course to be held May 18-20, and looks like it covers everything from the goals and basic architecture of Prism, to modularity, UI composition, pub-sub eventing, and services – everything you need to get up and running with Prism.

Check out the course details here, and the detailed course syllabus here.

David is a lively and knowledgeable speaker so it should be fun too.

Microsoft Elevate America

Here is an interesting opportunity for career development for Technical Professionals.

Microsoft is partnering with governments, private, public and community organizations to launch Elevate America; free and low cost resources that provide the skills, training and certifications needed for people of all ages who are preparing for job opportunities in today’s changing economy.

[ Click HERE for more information ]

SQL Data Services – SQL Server in the Cloud !

REALLY distributed architectures are playing a bigger and bigger role in application development these days and Azure is an exciting bit of “Cloud” based technology.

Check out …..

SQL Data Services

Microsoft® SQL Data Services (SDS) offers highly scalable and Internet-facing distributed database services in the cloud for storing and processing relational queries. SDS can help you develop and provision new applications quickly with REST and SOAP based web protocols. The services are built on robust SQL Server database and Windows Server technologies, providing high availability and security.

Get Started

Composite Application Guidance for WPF and Silverlight v2.0 (PRISM)

The wizards over in the Microsoft patterns & practices group have been at it again and released ….

The Composite Application Guidance for WPF and Silverlight v2.0 (PRISM)

Goals of This Release

Prism 1.0 shipped in July 2008 with support for WPF. This release takes the composite line of business scenarios and provides guidance on how to extend the scenario to Silverlight by:

· Providing guidance on building modular and composite Silverlight applications.

· Simplifying the composition of the user interface.

· Providing guidance and light tooling on reusing code between Silverlight and WPF.

Getting Started

The Composite Application Guidance is for building modular applications using WPF or Silverlight. You should consider using the Composite Application Guidance in any of the following scenarios:

· You are building a application that presents information from multiple sources through an integrated user interface.

· You are developing, testing, and deploying modules independently of the other modules.

· Your application will add more views and more functionality over the coming years.

· You must be able to change the application quickly and safely to meet emergent business requirements.

· Your application is being developed by multiple collaborating teams.

· Your application targets both WPF and Silverlight, and you want to share as much code as possible between the two platforms.

The following topics may help in understanding the guidance and how it applies to your scenarios:

· When to use this guidance

· Intended audience

· Evaluating the Composite Application Guidance

· Modularity design concept

· UI composition design concept

Videos and Presentations

Channel 9 videos

    http://channel9.msdn.com/shows/Continuum/Prismv2/)

    http://channel9.msdn.com/posts/akMSFT/

For More Info ….

http://www.microsoft.com/compositewpf

http://www.codeplex.com/prism

Most fired workers steal data on way out the door.

I’m abut short on time to focus on Developer Security these days but still try to stay informed.

I found this article a bit scary and wanted to share it….

February 23, 2009 (Network World) A survey of 945 individuals who were laid off, fired or quit their jobs in the past 12 months shows that 59% admitted to stealing company data and 67% used their former company’s confidential information to leverage a new job.

That’s according to the "Jobs at Risk = Data at Risk" survey published Monday by Ponemon Institute LLC. The research firm found that 61% of respondents who felt negatively about the company took data, while only 26% of those with a favorable view did. Only 31% of those surveyed said they had "trust" in their former employer to "act with integrity and fairness," 25% were "unsure" and 44% did not have trust.

Click [ HERE ] to read the Computerworld Article

The Microsoft Expression Gallery

You know the Expression Suite !  Tools for building the UI “experience”.

Well know there is a gallery of designs created by YOU !

Check them out here…..

http://gallery.expression.microsoft.com/

The gallery is currently in BETA – but full functionality will be finished SOON !!

The Microsoft Social Desktop

As the line between “Web Application” and “Windows Client Application” continues to blur those clever rascals at Microsoft Research have been prototyping a new “Social Desktop

From Microsoft Research …..

The Social Desktop blends the Web and PC by embedding Web oriented sharing inside your desktop,  allowing every document to have the ability to have a backing social URL for sharing without having to upload or copy or move it from it’s natural location. This url provides access not just to the file, but to a built in social experience which includes a rich preview of each item, comments, related items, tags, etc. Whenever friends comment with this social link via the web browser, the conversation is also available directly in Windows, and vice versa.

http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/projects/socialdesktop/

Are you bring the web to your WPF or Windows Forms application and integrating ASP.NET, WCF, Live or Azure services ?

Write and let me know.

SQL to Europe ?

SQL Server is the power that drives our applications.

I’ve never been to a bad PASS meeting, I’ve also never been to Germany :)

I found flights from the American East Coast to Germany for $720

Will I see you there ??

http://www.european-pass-conference.com/

Introducing .NET Shout Out

Kazi Manzur Rashid has recently launched a new Community Site for .NET developers http://dotnetshoutout.com

It’s a categorized, hand picked index of .NET info, which is cool enough, but there is a really interesting aspect.

1.) It’s an ASP.NET MVC application

2.) It’s based on an Open Source CodePlex.com project  KiGG (http://codplex.com/KiGG).  KiGG was the first starter kit for ASP.NET MVC.

Check it out!

Infragistics Gives Us Quince – The User Experience Patterns Explorer

Infragistics has made the Quince UX patterns explorer available for free to the development community. 

Quince is an online repository of the world’s most useful and usable UX patterns focused on creating superior user experiences where you can go to enhance your own UX designs.

Free and open, anybody can contribute to Quince and grow the UX pattern body of knowledge.  It is all about giving you the UX pattern resource you need to create great UX designs for your end users.

http://www.infragistics.com/hot/quince.aspx

http://quince.infragistics.com

Announcing The Microsoft Web Platform Installer

The Microsoft Web Platform Installer is a free tool that makes it simple to download and install the latest components of the Microsoft Web Platform, including Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0 and 7.0, SQL Server 2008 Express, .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 and Visual Web Developer 2008 Express SP1. The Web Platform Installer offers a single installer to help you obtain the software you need to build and run a complete Web solution on the Microsoft Web platform, whether you are using Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, or Windows Server 2008. In addition, the Web Platform Installer checks online to ensure the most current versions and new additions to the Microsoft Web Platform are downloaded.

[ Click HERE to get it. ]

AppDev learning now online.

AppDev learning now online – Complete library for $45 per course

Introducing AppDev OnDemand – immediate online access to award-winning learning for the latest Microsoft technologies. Get up to speed quickly in SharePoint 2007, Visual Studio 2005 and 2008, SQL Server 2005 and 2008, and more from AppDev, the nation’s leader in developer training. Get one year full access to our entire course library for just $2,995.

AppDev OnDemand delivers immediate online access to in-depth, practical learning for the latest Microsoft technologies, including SharePoint, SQL Server and Visual Studio. Featuring the same award-winning content from our popular CD-ROM and DVD-ROM training, AppDev OnDemand brings a full year of step-by-step instruction by Microsoft MVP instructors right to each users desktop, complete with hands-on lab exercises, sample code, printable courseware and pre/post exams. Individual courses, targeted libraries, and the complete 60+ course library (including free upgrades) are now available.

[ Click HERE for more info. ]

Electric Rain Harmony Flash SWF-to-XAML Converter

I stumbled across this today.

Their web site says …..

Electric Rain Harmony provides designers and developers with a fast and easy way to convert existing Flash SWF files (graphics and simple animations*) into Microsoft-based XAML mark-up for immediate use in the Microsoft WFP and Silverlight (formally WPF/E) platforms.

Looks interesting. Anyone try it ?

http://www.erain.com/

Free C# and VB Coding Standards Reference Documents

Clint Edmonson has gifted us for the holidays with free coding standards documents for C# and VB.

[ GET THEM HERE ]

Expression Studio 1/2 Off !

If your building web applications on the Microsoft Platform then sooner or later you’re gonna have to get rich!

Rich, as in RIA :)

The Expression suite of tools really helps with this whether you are designing web pages, doing media or graphics, or designing Silverlight and WPF UIs.

I just found out the the Microsoft On-Line Store is running a 50 Percent Off Sale on Expression Studio.

Click HERE to give yourself a ho9liday present !

Splendid CRM turns 3 – Adds Microsoft WindowsWorkflow Foundation Support

SplendidCRM Software, Inc., a  provider of Microsoft-centric Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions for open-source use, announced the launch of Version 3.0 of SplendidCRM.

The release of Version 3.0 marks a milestone as it introduces the SplendidCRM Workflow Engine as a flagship feature in the new SplendidCRM Enterprise product.

“For many companies, workflow is a critical feature and we are pleased to be able to tightly integrate SplendidCRM with Microsoft Windows Workflow Foundation,” said Paul Rony, President of SplendidCRM.

The Community version is FREE !

http://www.splendidcrm.com/

LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT One-Kit Wonders

I started looking at Lego Mindstorms becauseI thought the robotic nature would make it interesting for some presentations that I have to give on programming to people who know very little about computers and are not programmers.

This book was a super “Jump Start” that includes 10 quick projects so you can dive right into it.

It’s a quick, understandable read. AND FUN !

You can get it HERE.

MSR Asirra – Prove your user is human !

Every one has used CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) or HIP (Human Interactive Proof).

Captcha is usually numbers and letters and the more obscure they are to prevent programmatic interpretation, the more difficult to read.

Microsoft Research has an interesting alternative.

Asirra (Animal Species Image Recognition for Restricting Access) is a HIP that works by asking users to identify photographs of cats and dogs.

You can get a complete description and implementation guidance at http://research.microsoft.com/asirra/.

But remember, it’s still beta !

.NET Gets a NEW LOOK !

Check it out ! .NET Gets a new Logo ! Keep your eyes out for the new branding this week at #PDC 2008 !

Sara Ford Visual Studio Book Signing at #PDC 2008

 Monday here at PDC in Los Angeles, Sara Ford will be doing a book signing of her new book with coppies available at 20% discount and proceeds going to a great cause.

[ You can get the book HERE ]

[ You can read about Sara's book related scholarship charity HERE ]

Artinsoft Aggiorno fixes your web pages.

If you read my blog you probably know that I’m a total tools junkie.

I never blog about a tool that I haven’t actually played with and I don’t write about tools based on a “trial” install.

Recently the guys at Artinsoft let me know about Aggiorno.

I’ve known the Artinsoft guys for many years (and not just because some of the principals are in Coasta Rica and once sent me the best coffee on the PLANET !)

The Artinsoft guys are experts at converting your applications from one technology to another. (Like convert your Java application to a .NET application.)

So I was really interested in their foray into the “product” space.

Even though I’ve only started playing with it, I’m already convinced it’s impressive enough to blog about. It leverages Artinsoft’s “conversion” expertise but in this case convert your web page into a BETTER web page.

It takes your web page and fixes errors, removes the use of deprecated constructs, restructures your syntax for XHTLM compliance and more.

It’s even IE 8 “smart”.

There is even a FREE Express Version (Get it HERE)

Learn all about it at http://www.aggiorno.com/ and feel free to send me your experiences !

When do we start opening MICROSOFT Stores :)

This is the recently opened Apple store here in Boston.

I can’t wait for until the Microsoft store opens, or the Zune Store, or the Windows store :)

The Official Scoop ……………. 

Are you a student and passionate about Information Technology?  Then don’t miss the opportunity to participate in the 2009 Imagine Cup IT Challenge for a chance to make a difference in the world, add more technical skills to your resume and win a trip to the finals in Egypt.  

Are you interested in certification?  IT Challenge quizzes are like mini-certification exams.  Use them as practice exams or to gauge your certification prowess.  NEW!  Take advantage of the free Microsoft Learning resources for certification prep and training —over 100 hours of free e-learning and certification prep! 

The Imagine Cup IT Challenge 

IT Students: Do you understand the art and science of developing, deploying, configuring and maintaining IT systems that are efficient, robust, and secure?  In addition to analysis and decision-making processes, this invitational challenges you to demonstrate proficiency in the science of networks, databases, and servers.  Take the IT Challenge today!  There are four themed first round quizzes to choose from.

Remember, every eligible entrant that achieves a valid score of 50% or higher on any single Round 1 quiz (as determined by us) will advance to compete in Round 2 of the Invitational.  Anyone that completes (and passes) all 4 content quizzes, gets a “certificate of achievement” from Microsoft.  So take a shot at changing the world today!  

For more information, free learning resources or to register for the Imagine Cup IT Challenge, click here!  

Now in its seventh year, the Imagine Cup is a global student technology competition focused on finding solutions to real-world issues. The competition encourages the world’s most talented software designers, programmers, game developers, photographers, filmmakers and IT students to tackle the toughest problems (per the United Nations’ Millennium Goals) facing the world today. 

We’re the world’s premier student technology competition and we invite you to join us! www.imaginecup.com 

Imagine Cup 2009 Sponsors: 

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Work on a CodePlex Project and WIN !

Create an Open Source ASP.NET AJAX server control on CodePlex and win a book !

[ Click HERE for all the details. ]

I’m Deep Fried – It’s live today !

The Deep Fried Bytes guys caught  up with me at DevLink and we had a talk about developer security needs, mistakes, activities, etc !

Listen Here http://deepfriedbytes.com/

I’m on the .NET Coffee Break – Wednesday September 3rd

9:00AM PST – Virtually live from Ireland:)

Click HERE http://developers.ie/webcasts.aspx for more info !

Free Edition of Kentico CMS for everyone!

Kentico CMS Free Edition

Since the free license for .NET User Groups was very successful, we decided to release a Free Edition of Kentico CMS for everyone!

It can be used for both personal and commercial projects. It’s intended for smaller corporate sites, on-line communities and personal sites (it also supports blogging).

The Free Edition supports:

- WYSIWYG editing

- Rapid web site development without complex programming

- SEO-friendly URLs

- Open API and detailed documentation

- Flexible menu controls

- News

- Blogs

- RSS feeds

- Forums

- Polls

- On-line forms

- Product catalog with shopping cart and PayPal support

- Image gallery

… and it comes with 3 starter sites – Corporate Site, E-commerce Site and Personal Site.

The Free Edition is limited to 1 administrator, 1 editor, 1000 pages and 100 site members, plus there are some limits for particular modules (http://www.kentico.com/cms-asp-net-features/Feature-Matrix.aspx) and a requirement to keep Powered by Kentico logo on the web site.

The Free Edition can be downloaded at http://www.kentico.com/Download/Free-edition.aspx.

Visit us at PDC

Kentico will be exhibiting at this year’s PDC in L.A, please be sure to stop by at booth #419!

Here are some site using Kentico !

http://chennaiitpro.net

http://www.acsug.co.nz

http://www.FLPSUG.com

http://www.madnug.net

http://www.chadnug.com

http://mankatodotnet.com

http://www.dotnetbuzzdelhi.com

How to Program Visual Basic 2008 – a master text.

Deitel books are great learning tools and often used as course text or soup to nuts learning guides.

Also the physical quality of the book (printing, paper choice, color, etc) make it a collectors item if your a book lover)

I had the pleasure of being a technical reviewer on this one (though the way these guys write there isn’t much review to do :)

This book includes coverage of the new features in ASP.NET 3.5, Web Services, Silverlight, Winforms, LINQ, WPF and More.

Get more info here: http://www.deitel.com/books/vb2008htp/

Twitter Said To Be Abandoning Ruby on Rails

Not really “new” news but I stumbled across this while trying to figure out why Twitter seems to be down every day these days.

http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/05/01/twitter-said-to-be-abandoning-ruby-on-rails/

“We’re hearing this from multiple sources: After nearly two years of high profile scaling problems, Twitter is planning to abandon Ruby on Rails as their web framework and start from scratch with PHP or Java (another solution is to stick with the Ruby language and move away from the Rails framework).”

Its hard to know in a scenario like this if it’s the architecture, the framework, runtime issues, etc.

Anyone know the specifics behind Twitters performance issues ?

Summer ASP.NET Missions

Spring is ugly in my job. From early March until late June I’m on the road. Conferences, Meetings, etc.

Then when I finally get done my spring traveling…. There is “make up” work to do.

I have to “make it up” to my two little princess and my wife. Work my way through a whole spring filled “Honey Do List”.

And then, there is the repair work. Winter is hard on everything. There is lots to do on the house, my office building, the yard, etc. after the winter weather (and my pack of German Shepherds) does its winter damage.

And then of course there is the work I have to do on my body. After nearly four months on the road I’m left feeling old, fat, ad out of shape. At 47 by body brings me new challenges and as someone who spent his whole life in a kickboxing gym, my metabolism refuses to adjust to a sedentary lifestyle.

Well, I’m caught up !

For the rest of the summer and fall I’m going to be primarily focused on developing developer training and guidance in the form of Videos and Webcasts on the following topics.

  • Web Security – The first of these videos will be up later this week and the series will continue. The topics will be of interest to ASP.NET developers as well as Slveright developers, IIS users, and Rich Client Developers using REST and SOAP services.
  • Data Access – BOTH ADO.NET and LINQ (and not JUST to Microsoft SQL Server).
  • Dynamic Data – The cool new technology for ASP.NET Developers.
  • Web Forms – With all the hype around ASP.NET MVC, I think it’s important to focus on the Web UI technology that MOST of us will continue to be using :)

Comments, Suggestions ?

[ Use the "Email Me" Link HERE them to me. ]

Who’s Watching What You’re Watching?

From – http://www.vistanews.com/

According to the Broadband Report, as of last March 57% of U.S. households had broadband Internet. These high speed connections make it possible to enjoy multi-media applications, something that doesn’t work well – if at all – over slow dialup connections. And Internet users are taking advantage of that capability. By March 2008, more than 78 million videos had been uploaded to YouTube, the popular video sharing web site that was created in 2005 by three former employees of PayPal and was acquired by Google a year later. This means more than 150,000 videos are uploaded every day. http://www.vistanews.com/IB5SB2/080710-YouTube-Statistics

Many of these are relatively short, homemade video clips that people take of themselves, their kids, their pets or whatever else they find interesting. The proliferation of cell phone cameras that can record short videos has made it very easy for just about anyone to become a “roving reporter.” Your YouTube account includes a feature that lets you create a mobile profile on the site and then get a special email address to which you can send your videos as MMS messages from your cell phone. You just enter your mobile phone number and provider name. You can also watch videos on your browser-equipped cell phone. Just go to http://m.youtube.com.

In a society where everyone longs for his or her fifteen minutes of fame, YouTube gives us what we want. Aspiring stand-up comedians can get an instant audience, or you can share the video of your wedding with thousands of strangers around the world. Your creative efforts don’t exist in a vacuum, either. Those who view the videos can assign ratings to them so you know exactly where you stand (or don’t).

Not all the videos that are uploaded to YouTube are originals, though. Looking for that Macbook Air commercial with the “New Soul” song? A quick search on YouTube will bring it up for you in all its glory. Or you might prefer this parody: http://www.vistanews.com/IB5SB2/080710-Parody

Or you can click on the News and Politics category for news clips of everything from President Bush’s last State of the Union address to Associated Press footage of the recent Colombia hostage rescue.

You might be wondering whether some of these videos might be copyrighted, and in fact many of them are, and are posted on YouTube without the permission of the copyright owner. And that brings us to our latest controversy. Although some companies don’t seem to mind having their material reposted to YouTube – and may even encourage it, for the publicity – others aren’t so happy.
In 2007, Viacom (the media conglomerate that owns MTV, Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks movie studio, among others) invoked the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) against YouTube, demanding that they take down more than 100,000 videos that Viacom claimed had been posted in violation of copyright laws. Viacom also filed a $1 billion lawsuit against Google/YouTube.
As part of that lawsuit, Viacom asked for the log-in names and IP addresses of YouTube users and records of who watched what videos. And last week, U.S. District Court judge Louis Stanton granted that request, ordering YouTube to turn over their database logs to Viacom. Despite many protests from organizations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the judge dismissed concerns about user privacy. http://www.vistanews.com/IB5SB2/080710-YouTube-User-History

Viacom’s allegations of copyright infringement seem particularly egregious in light of the accusation from one film maker that Viacom tried to sue him for posting his own video on YouTube, which Viacom had used on their TV commercial without his permission. You can read his blog post about that here: http://www.vistanews.com/IB5SB2/080710-Viacom-Copyright

The lawsuit against YouTube is important because it could set a precedent regarding the responsibility of a web site for content that’s posted by others, as well as defining what is and isn’t “fair use” when it comes to capturing snippets of a TV program or other copyrighted video. The DMCA includes a “safe harbor” provision that exempts hosting companies from liability for copyright infringement – if the hosting company removes the material when notified that it’s in violation of the copyright laws. YouTube contends that they comply with this requirement and also have other measures, such as the 10 minute limit on videos, that discourage copyright infringement.

If Viacom wins this one, it could open up a much bigger can of worms. A new interpretation of the DMCA safe harbor provision could affect more than just video hosting sites. Web sites that host discussion forums might be held liable for what users post there; this would probably cause many of the online forums to simply disappear.

But regardless of the outcome of the suit, YouTube’s users have already lost. The twelve terabytes of log data that Google must now turn over to Viacom contains viewers’ log-in IDs and IP addresses, the time each viewer began watching and the video that he watched. The judge seems to think this information can’t be used to identify individual users, but how many people do you know who use their names or some variation thereof as their log-in names on web sites like YouTube? And even if you don’t, an IP address can be tracked back through the ISP to the user account to which it was assigned at a particular time unless that user goes to the effort of using anonymizer services, something that the vast majority of casual users don’t do.

There has been no indication at this time that Viacom or anyone else intends to go after the users who watched copyrighted video clips, but who knows? Who would have thought the RIAA would sue grandmothers and 9 year old kids for illegal sharing of music? And even if that doesn’t happen, does it make you a little nervous that someone is going over the records of what you watched and when?

Tell us what you think. Does Viacom, as a copyright owner, have the right to demand not only that YouTube take down the videos that belong to them (a reasonable request) but also that YouTube provide them with information about the viewers who watched those videos? Should YouTube or any other web site hosting content that’s uploaded by its visitors bear the responsibility for that content if it violates laws? Would it bother you to have the records of your viewing habits made part of a court proceeding, or do you subscribe to the “if you aren’t doing anything wrong, you don’t have anything to worry about” philosophy? Should video sharing sites such as YouTube be restricted to homemade videos only? Or should the “fair use” provisions of the copyright law allow you to post small portions of a TV show, news program, etc.?

BlogEngine.NET 1.4 released

Check out the New features in BlogEngine.NET 1.4

New database provider
BlogEngine.NET now works with most commercial and open source databases such as MySQL, SQL Server, VistaDB and many others. This allow you to use practically any database supported by your hosting provider. You can still use XML files if you don’t want to use a database.

Drag ‘n drop widgets
Widgets are the pieces of content most often located at the sidebar. It could be a list of recent posts, latest tweets from Twitter or anything else. You can drag and drop the widgets around in your sidebar and modify the content of them directly on the front-page. The widget works independently of the theme you are using as long as it is implemented in the theme. In BlogEngine.NET it is implemented in the Standard and Indigo themes and many more themes with widgets will be available for download very soon at the BlogEngine.NET website.

Extension settings
The new settings model for extensions have been upgraded to give you a much better experience using third-party extensions. For extension developers, it has never been easier to store your settings and let the user change them from the admin section. The same settings model is used by the widgets as well.

Web 3.0 improvements
BlogEngine.NET 1.4 makes full use of many semantic formats and technologies such as FOAF, SIOC and APML. It means that the content stored in your BlogEngine.NET installation will be fully portable and auto-discoverable. It is possible to filter the RSS feeds based on the visitor’s interest defined in her APML file or do a site search with it as well. Read more the APML filtering in BlogEngine.NET.

Author profiles
By utilizing the ASP.NET profile provider it is now possible to let all authors maintain their own profile. This is used in the FOAF document and widget/extension developers can take full advantage of the profiles to provide new exciting visualizations and functionality.

Other new features

  • Tag selector when adding new posts
  • Subcategories
  • Password encryption
  • Improved live comment preview
  • Hierarchical pages in the control panel
  • Smarter comment spam protection
  • Link collection widget
  • Various performance improvements
  • and much more…

Check it out at http://dotnetblogengine.net/

Aggiorno – Improving the web one tag at a time.

That’s there motto anyway.

It’s actually a very interesting product from my friends at ArtinSoft.

  • Add Alternate Text To Image
  • Assign Tab Index
  • Convert Text To XHTML List
  • Convert Text To XHTML Paragraphs
  • Extract And Merge Inline Style
  • Fix Deprecated Elements For XHTML Compliance
  • Replace CENTER Tag By Inline CSS
  • Replace FONT Tag By Inline CSS
  • Update Deprecated Attributes
  • Update Other Deprecated Tags
  • Fix Syntax Errors For XHTML Compliance
  • Fixed Malformed Entities
  • Replace Characters With Entities
  • Make Tags Lowercase
  • Make Attributes Values Quoted
  • Use Default Attribute Values
  • Fix Tag Structure For XHTML Compliance

 

Aggiorno is an extension to Visual Studio 2005 and 2008. Find out more about Aggiorno here

Microsoft Surface Video

Most people haven’t had a chance to play with Microsoft Surface.

It’s one of the coolest technologies in a long time !

[ Click HERE to watch the video. ]

ComponentArt releases Charting 2008.1

ComponentArt releases Charting 2008.1, introducing advanced AJAX interactivity, dual 3D rendering engines, and a wealth of core charting features.

Grate for AJAX style data visualization !

Visit the Charting Gallery for live demos.

DevExpress cleans up with ASPnet Pro Magazine Readers Choice Awards.

This years Reader’s Choice Awards conducted by ASPnet Pro Magazine showed some great appreciation for DevExpress’ recent work.

Their awards included…..

Product of the Year – DXperience ASP.NET

Best Component Set – DXperience ASP.NET

Best Grid – ASPxGridView Suite

Best Add-In – CodeRush with Refactor! Pro

Best Printing/Reporting Tool – XtraReports Suite

Best Charting – XtraCharts Suite

Best Navigation Suite – ASPxperience Suite / ASPxNavBar

Best Online Editor – ASPxHTML Editor

Best Scheduling/Calendar Tool – ASPxScheduler Suite

Check them out at: www.devexpress.com

Build a game, try to win some of $75,000 in prizes.

Today the XNA Team has launched Dream-Build-Play 2008.

In Dream-Build-Play 2008 you can build your dream game to compete with other game developers around the world.  This year’s contest will feature Xbox360 development only and to ensure that everyone has access we will be giving away one free 12-Month XNA Creators Club Trial membership to everyone that registers.  Contestants will compete for $75,000 in prizes and the bragging rights to say their game was the best.  Additionally, one of the top ten finalists will win an opportunity for an Xbox LIVE publishing contract.  For more information log on to www.dreambuildplay.com

  The XNA team has launched Dream-Build-Play 2008. 

· $75,000 in prizes and the chance to receive an Xbox Live Arcade Contract.

· Create and deploy Xbox360 games using XNA Game Studio 2.0

· Everyone who registers will receive a FREE 12-Month Trial Creator Club Membership

Microsoft Silverlight Streaming offers free and inexpensive hosting services that make exposing your video and audio content as easy as pie.

An article by Rob Blackwell

Read the article HERE at Devx!

Revving up for Technorati !

Click on my Technorati Profile ?

Practice Your Japanese on my Blog

Thanks to the awesome folks at Microsoft Japan….

My blog will now be available in Japanese.

http://blogs.msdn.com/JoeInJapanese/

Thanks to Seiichi Sato for taking the lead !!

Announcing: Visual Studio extensions for SharePoint – Developer User Guide

Microsoft is pleased to announce the release of the User Guide, Samples and Walkthroughs for the Visual Studio 2005 extensions for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, v1.1. The Visual Studio 2005 extensions for SharePoint were released back in Feb 2008 and an update for Visual Studio 2008 is planned for release in June 2008.

The user guide is downloadable here and represents approx 200 pages of documentation applicable to both the 2005 and the 2008 release of the Visual Studio extensions for SharePoint. The user guide contains an introduction to using the Visual Studio extensions for SharePoint, and it contains walkthrough samples for each of the project templates that are supplied with the Visual Studio extensions for SharePoint. These are the document sections:

  1. Starting out in SharePoint Development
    An introductory guide.
  2. Walkthrough of the VSeWSS User Interface including the WSP View
    A description of the user interface elements. The WSP view is a new tool panel which helps you put together the deployment package for SharePoint projects.
  3. The Team Site Project
    A walkthrough and complete sample.
  4. The Blank Site Project
    A walkthrough and complete sample.
  5. The List Definition Project
    A walkthrough and complete sample.
  6. The Web Part Project
    A walkthrough and complete sample.
  7. The Workflow Projects
    A walkthrough and complete sample for each of Sequential and State machine workflows. Although these project templates are not shipped with VSeWSS we added them for completeness. They are included in Visual Studio 2008 and are available for Visual Studio 2005 in the Windows SharePoint Services SDK.
  8. Project Item Templates
    A description and usage for each of the project item templates. Essentially the project templates are largely empty templates with default project items contained.
  9. Best Practices with VSeWSS
    A collection of suggestions for working with the tool.
  10. Changes from 1.0 to 1.1
    A list of what was improved. There were lots of improvements from V1.0 of VSeWSS

Here’s what the default install directory looks like on my machine. I’m running Windows Server 2008.

Once you unzip the Samples you can see these sub directories. Each sample is a completed example which the User Guide contains a walkthrough (similar to a Hands-on Lab) for. Each sample is in both C# and VB.NET.

To use this user guide you will need the following on your machine or on a Virtual PC image.

  1. Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008
  2. .NET Framework 3.0 – no charge download
  3. Visual Studio 2005 Professional or greater – trial available
  4. Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 SP1 – no charge download
  5. Windows SharePoint Services SDK 1.3 – no charge download
  6. Visual Studio 2005 extensions for .NET 3.0, Windows Workflow Foundation – no charge download
  7. Visual Studio 2005 extensions for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, v1.1 – no charge download

This post swiped from http://blogs.msdn.com/pandrew/

Tutorials at – Defaultdotaspx.com

 Cool Name Huh ?

Mustafa Basgun has created a pretty cool info site for ASP.NET Developers

Click [ HERE ] to pay him a visit!

May 5, 2008 (Computerworld) Web 2.0 software developers ranked Microsoft‘s MSN/Live Windows developer program higher than competing programs offered by Internet leaders Google, Yahoo, Amazon, eBay, Facebook and PayPal, according to results of an Evans Data Corp. report released today.

[ Read more HERE. ]

eWeek Says – Scott Guthrie the 28th most influential person in IT !

… or so says eWeek. [ HERE ]

Scott is in fine company with 10 of the 100 most important (according to eWeek) being Microsofties.

3. Steve Ballmer
CEO, Microsoft

6. Jean-Philippe Courtois
President, Microsoft International, Microsoft

12. Kevin Turner
COO, Microsoft

13. Ray Ozzie
Chief software architect, Microsoft

26. Bob Muglia
Senior vice president, Server and Tools Business, Microsoft

28. Scott Guthrie
Corporate vice president, .Net Developer Platform, Microsoft

37. Michael Howard
Principal security program manager, Microsoft

46. Tony Scott
CIO, Microsoft

67. Bill Hilf
Director of platform strategy, Microsoft

82. Bronwen Matthews
Security program manager, Microsoft

Now, we developers know Scott is WAY higher than 28 :)

Programmers – Start ‘em young ?

 Say hello to Alice. [ More info here. ]

From their web site……

In Alice’s interactive interface, students drag and drop graphic tiles to create a program, where the instructions correspond to standard statements in a production oriented programming language, such as Java, C++, and C#. Alice allows students to immediately see how their animation programs run, enabling them to easily understand the relationship between the programming statements and the behavior of objects in their animation. By manipulating the objects in their virtual world, students gain experience with all the programming constructs typically taught in an introductory programming course.

Do you translate ScottGu’s blog in your head ?

Why not do it in writing.

Scott’s blog is one of the most widely read developer blogs in the world and is already translated into a few non-English languages.

·         Blog Posts in Chinese

·         Blog Posts in Japanese

·         Blog Posts in Spanish

Would you like to translate Scott’s Blog into YOUR language on weblogs.asp.net? Virtually bring Scott to you country !

http://weblogs.asp.net/Portuguese ??

http://weblogs.asp.net/french ??

http://weblogs.asp.net/klingon ?? : )

Click HERE and email me to volunteer!

New ASP.NET Technologies Released around MIX08

Scott Galloway, PM Extraordinaire on the UI team, compiled this cool list of resources concerning the cool stuff for Web Developers at MIX08.

You can also posthumously attend MIX08 here http://visitmix.com/

Downloads:

- MVC Preview 2 is live at:

o English – United States

o http://download.microsoft.com/download/7/9/a/79a7153c-4cb4-4898-a984-6f01d565cba9/AspNetMVCPreview2-setup.msi

- Silverlight tools (includes the ASP.NET server controls for Silverlight) is live at:

o http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=E0BAE58E-9C0B-4090-A1DB-F134D9F095FD&displaylang=en

- ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions Preview (December) Download page is updated and live at:

o http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=a9c6bc06-b894-4b11-8300-35bd2f8fc908&displaylang=en

ASP.NET Updates:

- ASP.NET home page announcement:

o http://www.asp.net/

- ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions download “page” is updated and live at:

o http://www.asp.net/downloads/3.5-extensions/

- ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions quickstarts is live at:

o http://quickstarts.asp.net/3-5-extensions/default.aspx

- ASP.NET MIX readme is live at:

o http://www.asp.net/downloads/3.5-extensions/readme/Preview2.aspx

- Forums Updates are live:

o http://forums.asp.net/default.aspx?GroupID=7. New ASP.NET server controls for Silverlight forum added.

o http://forums.asp.net/1147.aspx

- Videos are new and live at:

o http://www.asp.net/learn/3.5-extensions-videos/default.aspx#mvc

New Video Comments Feature on www.ASP.net

We’ve added a new comments feature to all the Videos posted at www.ASP.net .

Complete with a RSS feed for the comments.

Check it out and tell us what you think !

Telligent (Rob Howard & Team) Releases Graffiti CMS

Microsoft and Telligent go way back. Rob Howard (the owner of Telligent) wrote the original ASP.NET forums code way back wen he worked at Microsoft with Scott Guthrie.

 Telligent makes Community Server, and all of my Team’s web properties (www.asp.net, www.iis.net, www.windowsclient.net, www.silverlight.net) are built on top of Community Server code base.

Telligent just released GraffitiCMS – there is a free version for non-commercial use and commercial use versions start at $399.

Check it out at : http://graffiticms.com/

I’m joining Technorati….

I’m not going to work for them, but I got a challenge to work the ratings on Technorati.

To help me get started – please click and Visit My Technorati Profile

A Must Have MSDN Reader !

 We’re Web Developers…. But there is still a place for rich client apps.

recently we published a “Syndicated Client Starter Kit” over on www.WindowsClient.net (my team owns that site too. )

In the showcase for that starter kit there is an AWESOME MSDN Reader application.

ITS FREE – Install it !

http://windowsclient.net/wpf/starter-kits/sce.aspx

Axosoft – PureChat

 Axosoft is a really interesting company and I’ve been using OnTime for a couple of years now.

They have just released a Chat Application, Single  User is FREE – Unlimited is on sale for $99

Visitors to your ASP.NET web site are presented with this simple and straightforward chat client. It’s made to be super easy to use while also providing users with visual cues that help them follow the conversation.

  • Depending on your preference, users can chat instantly or provide name and topic prior to chat.
  • Color-coded messages: user, operator and system notifications
  • Custom skins / logo images via simple css edits
  • “Operator is typing…” indicator
  • End-of-chat rating (optional)
  • End-of-chat print / save options
  • Opportunity to send an email in case an operator does not respond
  • Send web page links

PureChat is written entirely with C# and javascript, against the 2.0 .NET framework. It uses Microsoft’s ASP.Net AJAX, as well as selected controls from the AJAX Control Toolkit.

Check it out here – AxoSoft PureChat !

Microsoft to open first East Coast research lab in Cambridge

 Boston.com is reporting today that Microsoft will open a research lab in Boston (Just down the road from me.)

Microsoft Corp., building up its long-term research capability at a time when other corporate research powerhouses have scaled back, is set to disclose today that it will open a laboratory at its new offices in Cambridge this summer.

The Microsoft Research New England lab, to be led by veteran Microsoft researcher Jennifer Chayes, will focus on the intersection of computer science and social science, and seek to tap into the expertise of academic researchers in the Boston area and worldwide. It will be the company’s sixth research center and its first on the East Coast.”

Click HERE to read the whole article.

Visual Studio 2008 and .NET 3.5 RELEASED !

 It’s HERE !

And we did TONS of videos to show you all the cool new stuff (I did 8 myself!)

http://asp.net/downloads/vs2008/

I have a New Blog Engine and RSS FEED

 I started with .Text and it served me well.

When .Text was folded into CommunityServer, it was time for a change.  I considered community server. You have to know it’s a great product (and I’m using it elsewhere) but it was too much for my meager single blogging needs. (Note: The Telligent guys are working on a more “personal” product called Graffiti – Click Here to Sign Up to be Notified about the Private Beta)

While I use DasBlog on a couple of other projects (and I LOVE it), I wanted a database backend. I chose Subtext. And it has also served me well. But alas, my needs have outgrown SubText and I’ve been pestering SubText’s principal (Phil Haack) too much. Especially since Phil now works at Microsoft.

Subtext has an active community, a good themes selection etc. but it lacked some features that I was needing and I couldn’t get the BlogML export to work.

Meanwhile Mads Kristensen has been emailing me about the progress of the BlogEngine.NET team.

It’s a young project, but looks very well thought out, so after some research I thought I’d give it a try.

BUT, I had a big problem. Subtext kept crashing when I tried to export the data and I really could NOT lose all my posts and start over. I did that when I switched from .Text and my readers were not happy.

I emailed Mads to see if maybe there was a tool or he had some code I could start with. He pointed me to Al Nyveldt who he called THE Import/Export Guy.

Al is my new Hero !!!!

He offered to do the conversion for me. He did in a day what it would have taken me ages to do. And my new boog is up and running on BlogEngine.NET – THANKS AL and MADS !

A few observations.

  • SPEED – It’s FAST FAST FAST !
  • Features – lots of cool stuff.
  • Pages – I can now ad static pages easily in the context of my blog.
  • Good code !  I’ve started to look at the code as I want to write some additions. It’s well written and easy to understand.
  • Themes – too few!.

So …….

If you read me with an RSS Client, please change the feed : Subscribe to JoeOn.net

Build some dark colored full width themes for BE.NET.

I’d do it myself but I have no artistic ability at all.

Contribute and Win stuff at DotNetSlackers

Have a chance to win stuff like this just by posting at DotNetSlackers.

Telerik RadControls for ASP.NET – Worth 799US$

XBox 360 Elite – Worth 449US$

Second Prize

The second prize winner will receive a redgate ANTS Profiler Pro license and a book of “The ASP.NET 2.0 Anthology: 101 Essential Tips, Tricks & Hacks” worth in total of 534.95US$. Sponsored by Redgate Software.

http://dotnetslackers.com/contest/peers/

Assembly for .NET Programmers

For us old timers that miss ASM, now we can code assembly for .NET.

Check it out here.

http://www.viksoe.dk/code/asmil.htm

Assemblyfor .NET Programmers

 For us old timers that miss ASM, now we can code assembly for .NET.

Check it out here.

http://www.viksoe.dk/code/asmil.htm

Jumptree – Why we chose ASP.NET to run our startup!

Check out this interesting post on wy Jumptree selected ASP.NET as the technology on wich to base their internet startup !

http://blog.jumptree.com/2007/why-we-chose-aspnet-to-run-our-startup/

Getting Ready for Visual Studio 2008 and .NET 3.5

Over the next few weeks I’ll be heads down recording How-Do-I Videos to be released for the “ORCAS” Launch.

I’ll be primarly focusing on what’s new for Web Developers.

By now you’ve had a peek or seen some previews, maybe even installed it and gotten started yourself.

Since I mostly work for you folks – please tell me what VS2008 NEW features your interested in having me do videos on.

Fill in the blank……

How-Do-I [xxxxxxxxxxx] in Visual Studio 2008 ?

Microsoft appointed to OpenAJAX Steering Committee

During the week of October 1-5, the members of OpenAjax Alliance voted to fill three open slots in their seven-person Steering Committee. The members elected Microsoft, Nexaweb and TIBCO, who will serve two-year terms (from Oct 2007 to Oct 2009). Nexaweb and TIBCO were incumbents. Microsoft joins the Steering Committee for the first time. Many thanks to them for volunteering their services to the community. These three companies join Dojo Foundation, Eclipse Foundation and IBM, whose terms last until Oct 2008.

http://www.openajax.org/blogs/?p=41

Microsoft to release .NET Framework Library Source Code

ScottGu announced today!

Not only a huge boon for debugging, but greatly for those of us that just HAVE TO get under the covers of stuff.

Read all about it here:

http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2007/10/03/releasing-the-source-code-for-the-net-framework-libraries.aspx

Moving to BlogEngine.NET

Cool details on my experience coming soon !

Microsoft Passes OpenAjax Alliance Interop Tests

A number of folks at Microsoft like Bertrand Le Roy have been working for some time to insure interop with our AJAX technologies.

Read about their successes here.

http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2187997,00.asp

http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2105689,00.asp

Microsoft Project Code Names ?

Ever wonder what that new project name at Microsoft stands for ?

Ever get confused about what something you learned about “turned into” at release time.

There is a Wikipedia page !!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Microsoft_codenames

Umbraco – The OTHER .NET Based CMS :)

V3 Released

===========

Finally after more than 18 months of development, umbraco v3 was released in the beginning of the summer. Yesterday, v3.0.2 was released and now v3 is rock solid stable.

 

It offers more than 500 improvements, including:

 

- Much easier install

- A true managed .NET 2.0 application

- A new stunning standard compliant WYSIWYG editor

- Support for editing content in Microsoft Word 2007

- Full support for ASP.NET AJAX

- Better overview of available packages (extensions) via a

  build-in, browsable package repository

 

More info on http://umbraco.org

www.WindowsClient.net

WindowsClient .Net Launches.

Now that Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) is enjoying adoption for developing rich client based UIs, “WindowsForms” is only part of the story.

Check out the NEW WEB SITE – WindowsClient.net

FACTIOD : The USA’s poor Internet Access !

The USA is only 20th in the world in broadband penetration. (Luxembourg just surpassed us.)

Dr. Dobbs issues on-line.

Logo_ddj

Dr. Dobb’s is one of the longest standing developer magazines.

Read issues on line here.

http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cmp/ddj0407/index.php

Microsoft joins OpenAjax Alliance

Today we announced that Microsoft has joined the OpenAjax alliance.  

The OpenAjax alliance is a group of vendors, open source projects and companies using AJAX that are focused on developing common AJAX standards and ensuring interoperability across different AJAX frameworks, tools and technologies.  Joining the group will help ensure that the Microsoft AJAX Library and ASP.NET 2.0 AJAX Extensions integrate well with other AJAX frameworks and server technologies.  

Interoperability has always been a key ASP.NET AJAX deliverable. We made the client-side Microsoft AJAX Library work seamlessly with other server frameworks from the very beginning, and during the beta we went through and renamed several JavaScript classes/functions to avoid collisions with other frameworks (for example: $() to $get() and Sys.Debug). Through the OpenAjax Alliance we will partner with other industry leaders to provide even deeper interoperability in a way that continues to benefit all developers on all platforms.

Bertrand Le Roy from the ASP.NET Team will be representing Microsoft in the organization’s upcoming meetings.  Stay tuned to his blog to stay up to date.

Rory versus Scoble – Full Contact Blogging.

Rory and (Robert) Scoble are at war.

In my time at Microsoft I’ve gotten to know both of them. I “lovingly” tell you they’re both egomaniacs (as am I!)

Rory and I have have found much to argue about. I think because we are so different, but many mutual acquaintances say it’s because we are alike apart from the decades that separate us in age.

Scoble has taken to bashing Microsoft these days and Rory is taking him to the woodshed for it. Robert, your opinions have made you famous, but when some one with comparatively little business experience (and I don’t mean that as an insult, but even using my own experiences as a comparative benchmark, I believe this is accurate), leaves a company and them makes a big deal about what a mess your “old” company is and how you have the answers…….

Well, it reads like pure sensationalism intended only to place your non-profitable company on the media coattails of your former employer.

Robert deserves credit for his accomplishments while at Microsoft, but his contentions about “discoveries” are, shall I say, “creative writing”, many of us were doing what he takes credit for inventing back then. He just had the luxury of getting allot of funding.

http://scobleizer.com Would likely have a very small fraction of it’s readership had he not had the luxury of Microsoft’s budget and properties to promote it, and in my opinion, http://scobleizer.com declines steadily in relevance since his departure from Microsoft.

While Rory (tung in cheek) refers to himself as the Smartest Man on the Planet, he doesn’t take himself so seriously. In fact, Rory doesn’t misrepresent himself as a business guru.

In the years that I’ve known him, I’ve often found Rory to be infuriating, but I have always found him to be honest.

Rory’s work on C9 is comedy, documentary, entertainment, news even.

I personally appreciate Rory’s humility in the grand scheme of things relative to Microsoft and the world of Technical Business.

I also admire him for taking pride in the company that has given him opportunities and for taking issue with Roberts insults.

I think Robert could bite the hand the fed him with a little more grace, whatever we aren’t perfect at, nobody was listening to Scoble until Microsoft took him public.

Chris Morrow / MaximumASP Videos – with the new MS Web Manager !

 My buddy Chris Morrow, over at MaximumASP has been doing some of his own How-Do-I Videos. 

Chris is an expert in ASP.NET hosting technology. 

Here is a list of his videos (Check out the page HERE.) 

1. Deploy your applications to your beta account using FTP via Visual Studio 2005 or Visual Web Developer Express 

 
http://www.maximumasp.com/videos/public/ftpdeployment/ftpdeployment.html
  

2. Connect to your database using Visual Studio 2005 or Visual Web Developer Express 

http://www.maximumasp.com/videos/public/connecttodatabase/connecttodatabase.html  

3. Connect using the Microsoft Web Manager
Note: You’ll need to download the client before connecting.
http://www.maximumasp.com/videos/public/mswebmgr/mswebmgr.html 

Microsoft Web Manager download available at:
  

4. Create Request Tracing Rules, and Access the Logs 

The trace rule example is silly however it’s meant to show you how to create a quick rule that will create an immediate entry when you hit any page in your beta site. We have configured each account to create up to 25 trace files, and a maximum of 256 kilobytes per file so you can use the feature without concern of violating the disk quota threshhold. 

http://www.maximumasp.com/videos/public/freb/freb.html
 

Scott Guthrie is a Video Combat Droid :)

Check out the episode done with WPF/e HERE.

And read Scott Blog pos about it HERE.

Shared ASP.NET Hosting Prices and Hosted PHP on Windows

Check there folks out !

http://www.easycgi.com/

The hosting team at Microsoft has been wokring HARD in recent years to help pull down the cost of Microsoft products for hosters.

The goal has been to afford Hosting companies the ability to offer shared hosting packages on the Microsoft platform on par (price and performance wise) to other Web platforms.

EasyCGI just registered in the ASP.NET hosting directory.

I ca’t vouce for their serivce as I don’t have anything hosted with them, but look at their programs.

ASP.NET hosting starting at $7.96 per month with single click nstallation of popular .NET apps like DotNetNuke and COmmunity Server.

Cool !

.Text is out, Subtext is in.

Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet so today I attempted the upgrade from my .Text powered blog to SubText.

Subtext was a piece of cake to install and configure, but the data import failed (and failed, and failed). To be fair, it’s possible that this issue was not in the data migration code but rather my host configuration or bacuse I had additional tables in my implementation.

So, I’m starting with a clean slate.

My old content is archived at http://blogs.msdn.com/joestagner

Post blast to fololow !