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Jay's Technical blog

PDC2008: Reactions to ASP.NET 4.0 upcoming features presentation

30 October 2008
Jay Kimble

[WARNING! This is an archived post and as such there may be things broken/missing here.. you have been warned.]

I’m listening/watching this video on Channel9 which is on the ASP.NET 4.0 preview. Scott Hunter is the main presenter (at least at the beginning). This will probably be a little different of a post by me...

  • Web Forms
    • Did he say "HTML Standards Compliant?" (cool!)
    • ClientIDs will be controlled by us (no more mangling... Hurray!)
    • Moving away from table-based controls and using CSS2 adapters (sort of... invisibly)
    • URL Routing (yawn... We have this in SP1... It’ll probably be easier to use)
    • Supposedly better View-state controls (I’m dubious about this)
      • More granular control
      • Ability to turn off Viewstate on Gridview/Listview without issues
  • Client Script
    • jQuery intellisense (did he go to a Google site?)
    • Ajax Control Toolkit will be adopted by MS (it will be a part of ASP.NET in 4.0)
      • MS will support it.
      • MS will enhance it
    • Rich Client-side templating controls (I’m already embedded in this stuff)
      • [Wow.. Bertrand is up..]
      • [I wish I could see the source code... I hope they give that away]
      • The big thing is that JS it’s pretty easy to do and it minimizes the amount code you need to write on the client
    • Phil’s demo (mentioned below) reiterates that MS Ajax and jQuery work well together
  • ASP.NET MVC [not something I’m extremely excited about, but I am interested in it]
    • Hint at a auto build of pages when you point at an object... (Dynamic Data??)
    • Ajax in MVC with MVC
      • [It’s Phil Haaack...]
      • Phil demos Partial rendering
        • returning a couple items in a JSON string
        • [Actually in some respects Ajax can be easier in an MVC app... in any MVC app not just MS' ASP.NET MVC]
        • [Phil blew up his text... I can actually read it]
        • Next demo is sort of an UpdatePanel-like demo [simple To Do list updated without a page render by the browser]
          • Uses "using Ajax.BeginForm" to define the scope of the form tag [very cool IMO]
          • BeginForm has some options that let you define what you want to happen when the form is submitted and returns and then what you can execute something after the submit is done [in this case a background call is made and a specified DOMElement is updated and then jQuery effect is called]
  • ASP.NET Dynamic Data
    • More than Scaffolding [Not to self I need to check this out some more]
      • [Scott Hunter is demoing this]
      • Demo is a blog app [same as one of the initial Rails tutorials]
      • It builds a set of templates for your data model
      • It uses these templates for the data display/edit/etc.
    • Enhancing (surprise, surprise) MVC [for those who don’t know this makes ASP.NET MVC a real competitor to Rails]
    • Supports custom Data Layer aka Business Logic Data Source
    • Better filtering
    • Better control over column order, and columns that are shown
    • Dynamic Data to ADO.NET Data Services [Pronounced "Astoria"]
    • [Another demo to show the last 3]
      • Search screen [a lot of which is automated if not all... he doesn’t show how we get here... just the code that is here]
      • Created via LinqDataSource with a where child tag that has additional child tags defining fields to search on
      • Same LinqDataSource can control the visibility of fields
    • Dynamic Data works against IQueryable Data source : LinqDataSource (EF, LINQ to SQL, etc.),  AstoriaDataSource, Business Logic DataSource (sort of like the Object DataSource except that the class is IQueryable aka usable from a LINQ query [Cool!])
  • Astoria DataSource which allows an Astoria service as the source of data in a server-side app [Yay!]
  • ASP.NET Core changes
    • Swap out the Cache mechanism via a provider mechanism [Yay!]
    • Fixes to pain points

[I skipped the questions]

The worst thing about Azure...

28 October 2008
Jay Kimble

[WARNING! This is an archived post and as such there may be things broken/missing here.. you have been warned.]

Ok, I’m digging into Azure (and this will be a really quick post) and seeing what all it is. Thus far I am intrigued (although I have seen some of this coming).  In case you aren’t following the PDC happenings, Azure is the MS OS in the clouds? More like a server in the clouds, but still. Basically they have spun a number of their server products into the clouds, so now there will (for instance) a SQL Server that is available from the cloud. I read some mentioning of SharePoint as well.

But there is one thing that I don’t like (can you feel the sarcasm)... Azure is a really cool name. The release name (after marketing screws it up) will be Microsoft Windows .Net Live Data and Internet Operating System Services Professional Version 10 (or some such nonsense).. it will be a ghastly name...

I think I will take a page out of Sam Gentile book. He says that WCF is pronounced "indigo" and I think I agree. So if you here me refer to Astoria know that I’m talking about the MS product spelled Ado.NET Data Services. And "Azure" will be the pronunciation for MS OS in the cloud offering.

TUX Meeting 3 - Nov. 12th

22 October 2008
Jay Kimble

[WARNING! This is an archived post and as such there may be things broken/missing here.. you have been warned.]

Our next meeting will be on Wed. Nov. 12th. The responses that we got for changing the meeting was inconclusive (so we’ll talk about it next meeting feel free to email me if you can’t make it).

We’re trying a small experiment for the next meeting. We are doing an "Implementation meeting" which is to say "Show us your UI and why you think it provides a good UX! (or maybe it doesn’t and you need advice)" Shawn will also do a short designer-friendly topic (not sure what he’s doing, but the big block of time is for your stuff). So that means, email me if you want to show something. Don’t worry if you think you won’t be that good of a speaker or if you think it achieves some technical excellence (none of us do). Don’t worry about showing us the inner workings that your company would rather it was kept secret (cause we don’t want to know). So join us! It will be fun.

Also, if you’d like to present on a topic, let us know. We more than open to let local folks (and first timers) come in and talk. Remember though, topics need to try to be DevSigner-friendly (So no talks on "how to build an ASMX web service using nothing but a socket control")

Also if you have an idea for something you would like to see... let us know. We have a set of resources who could research your topic (or maybe just build it from their own knowledge) and will present it.

At some point when INETA finally contacts us back (since their web site is thoroughly broken for signing up) we’ll be bringing in the occasional INETA speaker.

Data and Services With Silverlight 2 review...

21 October 2008
Jay Kimble

[WARNING! This is an archived post and as such there may be things broken/missing here.. you have been warned.]

[First of all THIS is my 500th post... nothing more to say there... except that it took me a lot longer than many of my blogging heroes, but this is the pace I have to take and not have lousy content... and yes, sometimes I’ve blogged too often and proved that too often for me == lousy content]

So last night I finished "Data and Services With Silverlight 2" by John Papa. You may be wondering how I could have finished this book since it hasn’t been published. Well, I’m a tech reviewer for the book. I had a lot of the ancillary skills necessary to tech review this book (rudimentary Silverlight 2, REST experience, Web Services experience, and Linq to SQL experience... my Ajax knowledge also came in handy)... the cool part was that while I had enough experience to bring to the table as far as tech reviewing the book, but there was a wealth of information that I knew nothing about. I mean I had wired up a SL2 app to a REST service which was cool, but I knew nothing about XAML Data Binding (which makes the wiring simple... not much effort at all); the WCF stack was something I had limited knowledge of (and now I fell fairly confident having an intelligent discussion about it)

So, needless to say, I learned a lot... I mean a LOT! This book is excellent! It is the one Silverlight2 book that you as an app developer MUST have on your shelf. It will teach you all the business development stuff you need to not only build Silverlight apps today, but will also empower you to make good services/data decisions that will help you build Silverlight apps tomorrow (if you are -- like me -- delaying to build that app).

I know I’m partial as I was a tech reviewer, but it’s the book I’ll be telling all my friends to get. As a business developer you must get it.

Now, that I’ve talked it up, let me tell you what it is NOT. It is not a complete intro of Silverlight 2. It’s a focused book that is about the convergence of the MS Data Frameworks, the MS Services stack (WCF, Web Services, ADO.NET Data Services, etc.), and Silverlight 2 and how they all inter-operate together. It’s practical... if you are trying to say use WCF with Silverlight 2, it will walk you through what you need to do... Wanna ship Entities across the wire to your SL2 app? It’s got that too. You’ll probably need to read the first couple chapters (to learn about XAML Binding and basic services)  and then you can skip around to read up on stuff that is more toward your interests/needs (or you can do like me and read the entire thing and grow in knowledge)


If you want a fuller intro to Silverlight 2, I would recommend that you check out "Hello Silverlight2" by Bill Reiss and Dave Campbell. I honestly haven’t read it, but from what Bill has told me it sounds like an easy book to read/learn from... (Besides I know Bill and I know where his Silverlight2 knowledge is... )

Dear Google/Live Search/Yahoo Search/And anyone else

21 October 2008
Jay Kimble

[WARNING! This is an archived post and as such there may be things broken/missing here.. you have been warned.]

I have been a big fan of your services for a long time and have used each of you off and on. Google right now you have my business and that ad revenue you currently get from me using your search may be in jeopardy.

The first one of you to ban (yes, ban!) people like Experts-exchange or SqlServerCentral from all searches where I am looking for a tech answer will get my business... Seriously, they are a bane to your business as they pollute the search results.

Whenever I click on a link that implies that there is an answer waiting for me and I find a page describing what could be my problem and then an invitation to join or sign up for a trial, absolutely ticks me off! These folks are a blight IMO...

[Maybe I should create a little SL2 app with Live Search and auto remove these sites from the results... Seriously it ticks me off...]

You have been forewarned. I will move on to the next decent search engine that eliminates crap like this when I need an IT/Dev answer (because I don’t want to join and be spammed or to pay to get info).

Signed your friend,