# Friday, 01 April 2011

I just got the great news that I’m renewed as a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional). I’m of course very happy about and feel honored by it. Woohoo!!

Grz, Kris.

Friday, 01 April 2011 15:38:12 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [6]  | 
# Sunday, 06 March 2011

A couple of weeks ago I found a new shiny book in my mailbox: ASP.NET MVC2 Cookbook by Andrew Siemer and Richard Kimber. Due to a very busy schedule at work and the 2011 MVP summit in Seattle it took me a bit of time to go through it completely.



First of all, I like the cookbook approach that Packt’s been using for some time now. These books show off small examples that are reusable in most occasions of day to day development. This book is for sure no exclusion on that part so I liked it. The benefit of having short, spread over several pages, recipes is that you can simply read it when needed or go through them if you don’t have much time in a one by one fashion.

The book itself is clearly written and divided in several chapters which not only covers MVC but also topics like data storage. What I found to be great is that it also introduces tools like Automapper, NBuilder, MvcContrib, MvcSitemap, … and also makes the reader used to things like Dependency injection (by making use of Structuremap) and for example the PRG pattern (Post/Redirect/Get), Hijaxing (also called progressive enhancement or graceful degradation).

Are there downsides on this book? Well, yes. First of all it’s not for people who just want to start with ASP.NET MVC. Some being used to the technology basics will surely help to grasp this book. I would suggest making Nerddinner or MVC Music Store, both free tutorials with guiding eBook, is a must. Second is the fact that it was published a month too soon. Why? Just before this book got released Microsoft unleashed ASP.NET MVC 3 to the world. It would’ve been great if some recipes would’ve included some MVC 3 juice too. Not everyone’s using MVC 3 yet so it is great to have all things working in MVC 2 too but for the future readiness of the book it would’ve been just on spot.

Grz, Kris.

Books | MVC | Review
Sunday, 06 March 2011 14:27:55 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Saturday, 05 March 2011

Wow, I can’t believe how fast the days went after getting from Brussels to Seattle and now being back again. This year it was again a warm welcome by Microsoft’s employees, interesting keynotes and new stuff to see for what’ll be brought to the big audience in the future. I’ve seen some interesting things, some very interesting things and some very very interesting things during the last couple of days. However due to my NDA disclosure I’m not allowed to talk about it all so you’ll just have to stay put and see what cool stuff’s coming out. It’s going to be interesting for sure.

What can I talk about? Well, I met quite some familiar faces again from people all over the globe whom I unfortunately mostly only see at the MVP summit. Besides that I also got to know a bunch of new people from both Microsoft and other MVPs/ASP Insiders. Had a lot of great conversations and could finally meet the people of whom I only knew the email address so far. It’s been great knowing you all guys and girls!

Another big fun event was that we went to the Seattle Mariners. And…. I got a picture of me with their mascot, the moose:

Kris van der Mast and the Seattle Mariners Moose 

Grz, Kris.

Saturday, 05 March 2011 02:42:00 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Friday, 04 March 2011

Last year the ASP.NET team released a Sprite and Image Optimization Toolkit which allows ASP.NET web sites to be optimized for higher performance where applicable by merging images together and lowering the number of request the browser must make to serve a page. Microsoft just released a new version of the toolkit today with many enhancements including support for MVC 3 and Web Pages 1. Here is a short list of the updates:

  • Updated to support Web Pages 1 and MVC 3 (still support Web Forms as well)
  • No module registration required for machines with Web Pages 1 / MVC 3 installed, dropping assembly in BIN just works
  • Automatic namespace registration in Web Pages, dropping in BIN automatically registers the namespace
  • Fully updated documentation
  • Common helper between Web Pages and MVC 3
  • Many improvements and bug fixes since the last release

You can grab the new release via:

NuGet: http://www.nuget.org/Packages/Search?packageType=Packages&searchCategory=All+Categories&searchTerm=sprite

CodePlex: http://aspnet.codeplex.com/releases/view/61896

Grz, Kris.

Friday, 04 March 2011 00:48:00 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Saturday, 26 February 2011

Your business, your fame. That’s the title of the new Belgian Microsoft contest. It’s a great opportunity for you to learn to work with Azure, put your company in the spotlights and win! There are some cool prizes, besides eternal fame, to win.

The link where the big adventure can begin for you is: http://yourbusinessyourfame.cloudapp.net/. Good luck!

Grz, Kris.

Saturday, 26 February 2011 09:34:53 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Friday, 18 February 2011

Yesterday I attended the second edition of Microsoft WebCafe. A social get together with tech people hosted by Microsoft and each time at a different location. This time it was at the offices of Combell, an important player in the hosting market.

After a very friendly welcome, and good catering, it was first a social interacting time. Then during a half hour 3 short sessions passed by which were about several topics:

  • Scaling in the cloud
  • mijnTVgids, an application for different mobile devices
  • Discovering interesting people at Microsoft Belgium

Then a break of about another half hour with social interaction and another 3 sessions:

  • iRail Windows Phone 7 application
  • Umbraco, a short introduction
  • 10 minutes to discover Microsoft Web apps & tools

I got to know new people, had fun and got some nice and short demos. An evening well spent and I’m already looking forward going to the next edition.

Grz, Kris.

Friday, 18 February 2011 13:21:00 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 01 February 2011
Last week a Scott Hanselman came to Belgium for the first Webcamps. I could only attend the first 2 hours due to client obligations but I was glad to see quite some familiar faces and Scott performing in his usual way during the first part of the whole show. Luckily for everyone who couldn’t attend, or only partially like myself, the entire day got recorded. You can watch the shows here
Tuesday, 01 February 2011 01:13:00 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 19 January 2011

It was lingering for some time but I finally made it across the border of the magical number of 150.000 recognition points over at the ASP.NET forums. I’m glad I did as it shows the appreciation of those thousands of people I have helped out in the past trying to find their solution for their problems. I don’t know to how many applications my answers made a difference in order to get things done and shipped with happy customers as an end result but I’m sure it were more than just a few.


Grz, Kris.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011 15:38:32 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [4]  | 
# 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]  | 
# Saturday, 01 January 2011

People tend to write things down after events and in the mean time like to write down what they hope or expect in the future. I’m no exception on that part so here goes:



2010 was certainly an exciting year for travelling. I went to several places I’ve never been before or heard about before. Others were places I wanted to visit since I was kid:

  • USA: I went first to the MVP summit in Washington state, then took the plane to Arizona and with a big hired SUV Kurt Claeys (a former colleague of mine) toured around in several states (Arizone, Utah, Nevada, California). We visited the Grand canyon, Monument valley, Antelope canyon, Bryce canyon, Zion and from Las Vegas we also visited Death valley and the Hoover dam. It was quite a great trip though sometimes pretty cold (-20°C) but we had fun and great views. Definitely a great trip!
  • Lebanon: this was certainly a revelation to me. A country with rich culture, ancient buildings, tasty food (I got introduced to the traditional food of the country from day 1 by my friends and was very fond of the tabbouleh, knefeh and the zaatar w jebneh). The places that impressed me were certainly Baalbeck and the Jeita grottos. I was amazed to see how modern Beirut itself was. Certainly worth more visits in the future as I met quite a lot of very nice people I would like to see again.
  • Turkey: Ah, some well deserved vacation. Well vacation, our vacation was so immensely stuffed with things to do and to see that we hardly got time to sleep or to relax. It was a great vacation though especially the jeep safari.
  • France: Paris… As I recently got to hear from a guy presenting: it’s at the end of the parking to the right when you come from Antwerp… Well a parking that took me like 4 hours driving but it was certainly worth the effort. A couple of my best friends moved there so I got my personal city guides in this beautiful city which, I know it sounds strange, never visited before.


Even though I got very busy due to work I like to keep connected with my friends, even though they live far away from home. In 2010 I also got to know a lot of new people whom I hope to see again soon in the future. Especially in Lebanon I got to know a lot of interesting people.

Presentations, courses, community work and user groups

2010 sure was an exciting time for me. I gave the following presentations:

During the year I also gave several courses for Ordina, the company I work for:

  • Programming in ASP.NET 2.0 and 3.5 and ajax
  • Creating custom controls in ASP.NET
  • Hands on guide to best practices in ASP.NET
  • SAP integration via WCF in .NET applications

I’ve been around since July first 2002 on the ASP.NET forums and still continue to date to try to give help to others in need being both an answerer and moderator. Also this year I started out on stackoverflow, another vibrant community site for technical questions.

I also got renewed in April as an MVP for ASP.NET. An award of which I’m very proud.

In September I also became one of the board members of Azug, the Belgian Windows Azure User Group.


There are quite a lot of things that I’ve planned for the coming year and if all come true then some big life changing events are to be expected. Don’t worry, I’ll keep you up to date when the time’s right.

Personally I already lost 5 kg since August and I hope to continue a further loss on that part. I also plan to go sporting more during the week as well. I hope to travel again and see more of my friends at the same time. I also wish to give even more presentations and courses as I like to do them a lot. I’ll stay close to the community and you’ll mostly see me as usual at technical sessions. Either giving them or listening and learning from others.

Furthermore I wish everyone the best of health and love for the coming year.

Grz, Kris.

Saturday, 01 January 2011 19:03:00 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  |