# Thursday, December 07, 2006

Yesterday evening I attended an MSDN Technical Evening about VSTO 2005 Second Edition presented by Patrick Tisseghem of the company U2U. Although it's been a very long time since I developed some small things with VSTO it was an interesting meeting to attend. Especially when you look at what's available with the latest VSTO, although for the real cool stuff it seems we have to wait for the Orcas Release of Visual Studio. We saw several techniques, the good and the bad, of creating a simple add in for Office 2007 and how to make one for Outlook. One of my collegues, one that almost whole the time spends his development time with Office, was glad to hear that VBA isn't the big thing anymore but .NET languages like C# and VB.NET are the way to go.

Grz, Kris.

MSDN | Office
Thursday, December 07, 2006 7:06:39 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Sunday, December 03, 2006

Today I went to see the A & B ranked badminton competitors in the Flemish Badminton Championship with my badminton partner Guy, who's also a friend of mine for more than 26 years now. Since I play the sport myself it was nice to see the people who are far better than me at work. I just like to play it recreational, although we also go for the win of course :-). Nothing as good as playing a couple of sets against equals after a day of sitting in front of a computer screen.

If you don't know the sport or haven't tried it yet I can really recommend it. It requires technique, you use practically every musscle in your body and it helps you to focus better.

You can learn more about it on wikipedia.

Grz, Kris.

Sunday, December 03, 2006 8:48:44 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Saturday, November 25, 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, November 25, 2006 1:04:27 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Sunday, November 19, 2006

I noticed yesterday that MSDN has got a new breadcrumb navigation bar. What I like about it is that one can hover over a previous "crumb" and get related information to navigate to. I like it!

Grz, Kris.

Sunday, November 19, 2006 9:54:26 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Saturday, November 18, 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, November 18, 2006 11:33:59 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [1]  | 
# Thursday, November 09, 2006

Well, after a couple of hours a sleep, I went out with some of the collegues (but didn't make it as late as some others ;-)), I decided to attend the following courses:

  • ADO.NET 2.0 tips and tricks:
  • WCF Building secure , reliable and transacted distributed services: okay this session was a bit too deep for me at the moment because I didn't play around with the bits before.
  • Hands on lab: since I couldn't really follow the last session I thought to go out for hands on lab on WCF. Unfortunately it didn't work after typing all that code. Even the "ask the experts" guys couldn't find what went wrong. Too bad but I hope to have some time to install the final bits of .NET 3.0 the next week and play around with the RTM bits.
  • White board discussion about AJAX by Shawn Burke: my first white board discussion and it went pretty well. I was one of the guys asking the most questions about why the betas are using prototypes instead of closures for example. If you're interested: they did it because it performs better and is much easier to debug, especially to hook up debuggers in visual studio.
  • Creating custom activities for WF: interesting session and I really would love to get my hands dirty on this new stuff. The last year and a half I spent my time creating a rules engine for our client with .NET 2.0. Man, why couldn't WF be there in that time frame?? Really it would've made the lives of the team a lot easier.

After the sessions there was time for a country drink sponsored by Microsoft. We were put together with the delegates from Luxembourg and France. The pub could have been better but heck there was sangria, beer and tappas. Also a lot of known faces/collegues to talk to. Our little after party was in the Hard Rock cafe in pretty Barcelona.

Well, that's the wrap up for the second day.

Grz, Kris.

Thursday, November 09, 2006 2:24:00 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Our first day is over so I guess it's about time to write something about it.

The keynote was very interesting with several great speakers showing emerging technologies like AJAX, LINQ, Office 2007 with some custom made side panels for Excel. The WPF part of the keynote was like WOW. The AJAX part showed drag & drop behavior and the simplicity of the UpdatePanel for a clothing shop where a customer could drag clothes over a model and via the UpdatePanel it got refreshed without flickering or any noticeable delay. Smooth!

The first session was "Developing rich web applications with AJAX" which was more of a small introduction about the capabilities of the product.

The second session, "Developer and Designer AJAX bliss with Visual Studio and Expression", was kind of a dissapointment for most attendees because the largest part of the session was actually about the new product Expression and only a small part was about AJAX. The session itself can be found here.

The third session, "ASP.NET AJAX, tips & tricks", was a very interesting session, showing that since recently localization is part of the game. The profileservice was shown and how to create your own Extender control.

The fourth session by Kimberly Tripp called "SQL Server 2005 optimizing procedural code", was also interesting. Although I'm not really into SQL Server stuff that deep I did learn some nice commands and optimization stuff that I would like to check out on books online afterwards. If you ever have the chance to see Kimberly give a presentationm just go. She's a very good speaker and really knows her stuff. She's got a dedicated site available: http://www.sqlskills.com/.

Another opportunity for me was to speak with Fredrik Normen, who's also a moderator on the ASP.NET forums like me. Nice to see some people that I've only know from the community in real life.

Grz, Kris.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006 6:30:13 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 

The last couple of weeks I got several questions about my article on creating custom macros for dasBlog. The biggest problem seems to be that most people run dasBlog under ASP.NET 1.1 while the macros were created in .NET 2.0. Xerratus made an article about it a while ago but I would like to point out to it since it's not an isolated story. The article can be found here: DasBlog custom macros "error" solved.

Grz, Kris.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006 6:22:26 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, November 06, 2006

My collegue and I arrived in Barcelona after a flight of about 2 hours. The registration went smoothly and I'm really looking forward to the sessions that'll start tomorrow. The hotel itself, in the center of the city Barcolona, is new since the beginning of this year and is quite comfortable. The internet connection however in the hotel is a bit slow but it can keep up with my typing ;-). The weather is also a lot better than in Belgium so the next thing we'll be doing is to take a peek in what Barcolena has to offer.

Grz, Kris.


Monday, November 06, 2006 4:42:09 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Sunday, October 29, 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#" %>


    3 <script runat="server">


    5     protected void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)

    6     {

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

    8     }


   10 </script>


   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, October 29, 2006 1:05:19 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  |