# Monday, 03 January 2011

As (web)developer mainly living inside Visual Studio during the day at work I usually make use of the built in webserver of this IDE, namely Cassini. However when I close the debugging session one or more instances, especially more when I’m inside one of my test projects, keep on running. I don’t like to stop them all one by one so I created a simple file with notepad and saved it as KillAllRunningCassinis.bat. For people old enough to remember, .bat files were much used in MS-DOS but still can be used in Windows.

The content of this simple file is:

taskkill /im webdev.webserver.exe

Taskkill is a handy tool to instantly kill processes on your Windows machine. To read more about it take a look at the Technet documentation.

Grz, Kris.

Monday, 03 January 2011 21:42:53 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 16 November 2009

A while ago I already showed several handy plugins I like to use. Of course the world keeps on turning and new plugins are created or I just happen to stumble on little gems by accident. Here are some other plugins that I like to use:

Dust-me selectors: finds unused CSS selectors. It extracts all the selectors from all the stylesheets on the page you're viewing, then analyzes that page to see which of those selectors are not used. The data is then stored so that when testing subsequent pages, selectors can be crossed off the list as they're encountered. You can test pages individually, or spider an entire site, and you'll end up with a profile of which selectors are not used anywhere.

View source chart: A handy way to visualize the generated html.

viewsourcechart

Page speed: Page Speed is an open-source Firefox/Firebug Add-on. Webmasters and web developers can use Page Speed to evaluate the performance of their web pages and to get suggestions on how to improve them. A handy plugin by Google.

page-speed

Grz, Kris.

Monday, 16 November 2009 14:01:00 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 27 July 2009

Since more and more people are using ajax and as such javascript/ecmascript, you as a developer/designer need tools to make it through the day. Here are some that I like to use:

Grz, Kris.

Monday, 27 July 2009 09:16:03 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Just read on twitter that Glimmer got out today.

Taken from the release announcement:

Glimmer: a jQuery Interactive Design Tool is a prototype from the Mix Online Labs which makes jQuery accessible through a visual tool. The objective for Glimmer is pretty simple: to enable the power of jQuery through an interactive design surface. If jQuery is the "write less, do more” JavaScript library, then Glimmer is the “write none, do more” jQuery design tool. Glimmer has three core audiences: power users, designers and developers.

Get Microsoft Silverlight

This is a video overview of the features.

The team behind it had extensibility in mind so it’s possible to create custom wizards yourself. There are samples available and another great thing: the source code’s going to be available on codeplex! According to the video it’s already there but when I did a quick search I didn’t get a result yet.

Update: perhaps the video was wrong as when I downloaded the bits I noticed that there was also a download link to the source on code.msdn.microsoft.com.

I just downloaded and installed it and gave it a test spin. It looks pretty good. I hope to give a more deep dive testing next weekend.

Grz, Kris.

Glimmer | jQuery | MIX | Tools
Tuesday, 28 April 2009 20:15:34 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 24 March 2009

In case you didn’t know it yet, Microsoft released version 8 of their browser. It ships now with some handy built in developer tools. I found out about this little overview: Discovering Internet Explorer Developer Tools.

Grz, Kris.

IE | Tools
Tuesday, 24 March 2009 17:05:19 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 16 February 2009

Web developer or designers don’t only need to check their creations in Firefox but they mostly also love the browser for the simple fact that there are a ton of handy plugins available for that particular browser that makes their effort easier. The last half year I also discovered quite some interesting plugins so I thought it would be nice to share those.

Web developer toolbar. Adds a menu and a toolbar with various web developer tools.

webdevelopertoolbar

Firebug. Must have plugin which I already used a lot during my current project. Firebug integrates with Firefox to put a wealth of development tools at your fingertips while you browse. You can edit, debug, and monitor CSS, HTML, and JavaScript live in any web page...

firebug

YSlow. Integrates into Firebug. YSlow analyzes web pages and tells you why they're slow based on Yahoo's rules for high performance web sites.

1185259966 

Firescope. FireScope is a Firefox add-on that integrates with Firebug, to extend it with reference material for HTML and CSS. This is a nice tool that can help you out to search the html and css archive from the known site sitepoint.com.

1231217605 

Colorzilla. Advanced Eyedropper, ColorPicker, Page Zoomer and other colorful goodies...

943948800

Measureit. Draw out a ruler to get the pixel width and height of any elements on a webpage.

943948800 

jsview. All browsers include a "View Source" option, but none of them offer the ability to view the source code of external files. This tool makes it possible to show the external javascript and css files.

9439488001 

IE Tab. Switch to IE from within Firefox. Very handy to see how your page will be displayed in IE.

9439488002 

Greasemonkey. Allows you to customize the way a webpage displays using small bits of JavaScript.

9439488003 

Cacheviewer. This extenion is GUI Front-end of "about:cache". Allows searching and sorting memory and disk cache files.

1208074126

 

There are a myriad of other plugins and addons to be found for Firefox. These are the ones I used during the last half year. Especially Firebug and YSlow have become some of my favorite tools during web development. Firebug is the allround tool in which you can debug javascript, see the box model of an element, drill down, play with css settings like disabling or changing settings. I really recommend people checking it out. YSlow gives you a good indication where and what you can improve when performance becomes a concern to you.

Grz, Kris.

Monday, 16 February 2009 21:58:26 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [1]  | 
# Wednesday, 11 February 2009

A while ago someone from the testing came asking that a certain feature really didn’t look good in IE6. Since I’m on Vista with IE7 myself and didn’t want to go through the hassle of trying to install IE6 or start working with vpcs I decided to look around for something that could help me out. The tool I ended up with is IETester. It’s handy to use and free so I suggest you give it a try.

Btw, I was able to solve the problem quite quickly since I could now test on my own development machine and see the instant results.

Grz, Kris.

IE | Testing | Tools
Wednesday, 11 February 2009 15:08:03 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Saturday, 07 February 2009

During my years as a software engineer I encountered on several occasions during a presentation of mockups that the client thought it was the real deal already even if it only consists of something created with Visio. Try to explain afterwards, especially when you have slides on which you can click to get another slide that shows a follow up screen of something that’s expected, that this isn’t the real application, not even a demo.

Why is this? Because the screens are mostly already fully detailed with a certain look & feel or whatever the analyst cooked up. Though it may look cool during a presentation it actually creates some expectations. Mostly you don’t want this as it deprives creativity. Better is to sketch a mockup on paper and afterwards scan it and put it into the analysis document. A nice article that I enjoyed reading is how Microsoft dealt with this while creating the oxite sample program: Web Design from the Gut.

Personally I like to keep some printed papers around on my desk, especially prints that have been printed by mistake by someone or didn’t produce the wanted result but single side printed so I can still use the back, just for the purpose of sketching small things or to make small todo lists for things I’m working on (or not to forget when I’m busy doing something else).

Another program that can help you out is something that I recently got to know thanks to a colleague: Balsamiq. It’s written in flash and can host it on your desktop through AIR. Here’s a little video sample of what you can do with it:

balsamiq

Grz, Kris.

Saturday, 07 February 2009 14:42:51 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Sunday, 09 December 2007

If you want to learn a bit more about LINQ and don't directly want to use Visual Studio 2008, you can use this free tool: LINQPad. I just did a quick test run of it. The only thing at first glance that it lacks is Intellisense.

linqpadscreen

Grz, Kris.

LINQ | Tools
Sunday, 09 December 2007 19:28:53 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Sunday, 11 November 2007

Yep, you read that right: Windows Live Writer is out of beta. I've been using it for quite a while, since the betas, and found it a decent blog writer. One thing though was that it was a bit tough to include source code. Luckily it's possible to create plugins. One of those plugins is created by one of my VISUG collegues Christoph to insert, you guessed correctly, source code. You can download SyntaxColor4Writer here.

Grz, Kris.

Live | Tools
Sunday, 11 November 2007 19:34:38 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Sunday, 08 July 2007

Currently it's still in Beta phase but it sure does look promising to me after seeing this demo video: http://www.powershellanalyzer.com/demos/psaintrowmv.html.

Grz, Kris.

Sunday, 08 July 2007 09:02:30 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [1]  | 
# Tuesday, 03 April 2007

I just found out that Telerik's creating a code conversion tool: http://converter.telerik.com/. It looks pretty slick with AJAX integration. No wonder because Telerik's been very busy on that part.

Another conversion tool that I used during the last couple of years are these: C# to VB.NET and VB.NET to C#.

Update: Gill pointed out in the comments that #Develop also has this functionality.

Grz, Kris.

Technorati tags: , , ,

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Telerik | Links | Tools
Tuesday, 03 April 2007 18:24:20 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [3]  | 
# Saturday, 24 February 2007

Wow, the news just keeps coming today. I found out about this little tool SonicFileFinder.

SonicFileFinder is a free add-in for Visual Studio 2005 that allows a fast and convenient search for any file within every Project of the loaded Solution by entering the complete filename or just a part of it. The found file(s) can either be edited with a single keystroke or a Windows Explorer / CommandLine prompt can be opened at the file's location.

Grz, Kris.

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Saturday, 24 February 2007 18:49:41 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Saturday, 25 November 2006

Yesterday I attended a workshop about WPF, WCF & WF given at Ordina. One of the presenters used a little tool that I saw Ingo Rammer use also a couple of months ago. The tool itself's called ZoomIt and is able to zoom in during a presentation and also provides a pen to draw on the screen while viewing.

It's free and if you're into presenting you can definitely use such a handy tool.

Grz, Kris.

Links | Tools
Saturday, 25 November 2006 13:04:27 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Saturday, 18 November 2006

I just installed the latest tool from the Live division on my laptop: Windows Live Mail Desktop. I got 10 invitations at the moment so anyone interested of getting one, just leave a comment to this post.

At first glance I can quickly connect to my live mail/hotmail account and see the subscribed RSS feeds of my IE7 RSS platform being integrated. The look and feel, even on Windows XP, is that of Windows Vista. Nice to see that because my laptop won't be capable of displaying the Aero or Glass look in Windows Vista.

One thing I noticed is that i doesn't nicely integrate with my gmail account. Apparently it can't connect to the pop server of gmail. I hope to see this one fixed in the update of this version.

Grz, Kris.

Saturday, 18 November 2006 11:33:59 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [1]  | 
# Sunday, 29 October 2006

The freely available tool WebMatrix, which I used on my old pc to develop ASP.NET pages several years ago, came with a built in webserver, code named Cassini, so a developer could test his/her pages on the localhost.

With the .NET 2.0 framework this localhost only webserver's shipped and if you don't have Visual Studio 2005, or the free Visual Web Developer Express Edition tool (which is the follow up of WebMatrix), you can still execute your pages and view the outcome in a browser.

Here's a little guide on how to proceed:

Create a folder on your hard drive. In this example I created c:\MyASPNETPages\ where my testpage will reside. The testpage itself contains this code:

    1 <%@ Page Language="C#" %>

    2 

    3 <script runat="server">

    4 

    5     protected void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)

    6     {

    7         Label1.Text = DateTime.Now.ToShortDateString();

    8     }

    9 

   10 </script>

   11 

   12 <html>

   13 <head runat="server">

   14     <title>Test Page</title>

   15 </head>

   16 <body>

   17     <form id="form1" runat="server">

   18     <div>

   19         <asp:Label ID="Label1" runat="server" Text="Label"></asp:Label>

   20     </div>

   21     </form>

   22 </body>

   23 </html>

Now start up a DOS box (Start | Run, type in cmd followed by enter). Navigate to the folder C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727

If you don't know how to do this you can type in the following in the opened DOS box:
cd \windows\microsoft.net\framework\v2.0.50727

After that you can type in the text in bold:

C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727>webdev.webserver /port:8088 /path:
"c:\MyASPNETPages" /vpath:"/Test"

Ok what does this mean?

webdev.webserver is the executable itself with the following arguments: port, path and vpath. Port and vpath are optional parameters. After typing the previous lines in bold in and pressing enter a webserver starts up (Figure 1):


Figure 1: Started up webserver

From Figure 1 we can also see what our url will look like (http://localhost:8088/Test).
This demonstrates the purpose of the port and vpath arguments. Port is the port number on which the server will listen. The default is 80 but if you have IIS running, like me, it's better to use another number or they will conflict.

 

After starting the webserver I can easily navigate to my webpage by typing in the url in the address bar of my browser: http://localhost:8088/Test/

As you would've expected I get to see the current date displayed in my page.

If I ommit the vpath argument it would default to "/", meaning that I can navigate to my pages by just typing in this in the address bar: http://localhost:8088/test.aspx

Grz, Kris.

Sunday, 29 October 2006 13:05:19 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 23 October 2006

I installed IE7 last week and really enjoy it. This morning I took a look at the on10 site of Microsoft and saw the video about addons for IE. I like the inline search capability of FireFox and when I saw there's an addon for IE available I immediately installed it. It's a bit of a shame that it isn't the default search functionality in IE but the addon does the work :-).

Taken from the website: Inline Search is an extremely useful free add-on for Internet Explorer that mimics Firefox's search behavior, it turns searching into a Web page into a non modal research experience coupled with a search as you type facility. It integrates flawlessly into IE (version 5.5 or above), giving it that little extra that makes you a lot more efficient when you are looking for a specific piece of information.

You can download the addon here.

Grz, Kris.

IE | Tools
Monday, 23 October 2006 09:40:02 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 11 October 2006

Just noticed on the blog of Microsoft watch that there's a a comparison made, by Microsoft, for their own Visual Studio to Dreamweaver (former Macromedia, currently Adobe).

The comparison page can be found here.

Grz, Kris.

Wednesday, 11 October 2006 08:01:31 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Sunday, 24 September 2006

I guess I'm one of those people who like to experiment with new tools. For my feedreading I used google feedreader, RSS bandit, omea reader and yesterday evening I found out about this new feedreader called Greatnews. I didn't have a lot of time to experiment with it but it looks promissing. It supports labelling, of which I'm a fan, and it also stores the downloaded content on the hard drive so you can reread it even when you're offline.

If you want to learn more about you can take a look at the feature list.

Grz, Kris.

Sunday, 24 September 2006 09:10:44 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Thursday, 17 August 2006

Hi,

I'm just testing out Windows Live Writer. A completely new tool by Microsoft, still in Beta but it works already great with dasBlog. You can also extend it with extra plugins (1). It still lacks some extra's but I already like the nice integration with dasBlog. Even the Categories are available.

Update: There are already some nice plugins available on CodePlex: Window Live Writer Plugins, Flickr4Writer and Tag4Writer.
Update 2: It seems another VISUG member also has created a plugin for Live Writer: SyntaxColor4Writer.

Grz, Kris.

(1): windows live writer plugins: flickr and tagging and Write a Windows Live Writer plugin using C#.

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Thursday, 17 August 2006 18:24:39 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 17 July 2006

I just found out about this site. It's an overview of free/payware widgets/addins: Team System Widgets.

Grz, Kris.

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Monday, 17 July 2006 07:09:40 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Friday, 30 June 2006

Today, in the afternoon, I went to the first part, the next one's tomorrow, about Visual Team System 2005 an event by VISUG of which I'm a member. Thanks to the people from Microsoft we also got a new book to read for free: Wrox' Professional Visual Studio 2005 Team System.

Wrox Professional Visual Studio 2005 Team System

The presentation is given by Steven Wilsens, whom is a Team System MVP and will be joining Microsoft in a while.

I'm looking forward to the next part of the event.

Grz, Kris.

Books | Tools | VS.NET
Friday, 30 June 2006 21:23:17 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 31 May 2006

I've read some good feedback on this tool before and also installed it at work where I use SQL Server 2005 Management studio on a daily basis.
Once you get used to Intellisense in visual studio.net you always get that creepy feeling: where's Intellisense when you want to query your database? Well, SQL Prompt fills that gap and saves you valuable time while developing or creating another inner join. The tool can be downloaded here for free until September 1st 2006.

Wednesday, 31 May 2006 20:04:51 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  |