December 2003 - Posts

Although December 31st is just a simple, normal day for me, I want to wish you all the best for 2004.

Maybe it's some "abnormality of informatic guys" like I am, but let's start the year with a little piece of C# :-):

using System;

 

class Test2004

{

  public static void Main()

  {

    TimeSpan ts = DateTime.Now - new DateTime(2004,1,1);

    int s = (int) ts.TotalSeconds;

    Console.WriteLine((s > 0 ? "Happy 2004!" : "Still " + -s + " seconds till 2004"));

  }

}

Or, to say it with XAML:

<Canvas ID="root" xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/2003/xaml" mlns:def="Definition">
<Button ID="button" Click="Button_Click">Fiesta 2004</Button>
 
<def:Code>
  <![CDATA[
 
    void Button_Click(object sender, ClickEventArgs e)
    {
        TimeSpan ts = DateTime.Now - new DateTime(2004,1,1);

        if (ts.TotalSeconds > 0)
        {
           button.Background = Brushes.Green;
           button.Content = "Happy 2004!";
        }
        else
        {
           button.Background = Brushes.Red;

           button.Content = "Still " + ts.TotalSeconds + " seconds to go";
        }
    }
  ]]>
</def:Code>
</Canvas>

Have a great year with Whidbey, XAML , Yukon, Longhorn, BizTalk 2004, MOM 2004, ... and many others!

?>

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Be sure to check this out! It takes only 20 minutes and it's really worth to take a look at. The magic duo Don Box and Chris Anderson will show you how the XAML programming model (which will be introduced in Longhorn) can be used for more than some UI stuff in Avalon. Just to give an example: Did you know you can embed C# code in a XAML (XML-based) file?

At the end of this special MSDN TV episode you can enjoy the musical talents of Chris and Don in a nice "Microsoft-fashion" :-). I'm sure now you'll never forget about the three pillars of Longhorn: Avalon, WinFS, Indigo...

Just click this link http://msdn.microsoft.com/msdntv/episode.aspx?xml=episodes/en/20031218XAMLDB/manifest.xml... Enjoy your Christmas holidays and a happy 2004!

Cheers,
Bart

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You can read my latest article covering HTTP Handlers in ASP.NET on our local MSDN website via this link. In the article I'm explaining how to work with the equivalent of ISAPI extensions in ASP.NET, i.e. HTTP Handlers:

  • how to create a new extension and map this extension to the ASP.NET runtime?
  • developing and configuring your HTTP Handler
  • replacing the .jpg extension with your own handler to enable the dynamic creation of thumbnails
  • how to display a photo gallery on a folder containing pictures

In the last part of the article I do some performance testing and I'm introducing the use of the ASP.NET cache to improve the performance of our thumbnail generation handler.

Cheers,

Bart

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Last week I received the book "A first look at ASP.NET v2.0" written by Alex Homer, Dave Sussman and Rob Howard via Proxis. Cool stuff! I recommend everyone who's working with ASP.NET today to read this book. I've almost finished my first reading of the book :-). My favorite topics are:

  • Master pages
  • Dynamic compilation
  • Better configuration tools and extended web.config
  • Code-free databinding (this one really rocks, reducing the lines of code dramatically) using the GridView and DetailsView controls
  • Support for new datasources, e.g. Access (ideal for entry level apps) --> where did we see this before? ASP.NET Web Matrix?
  • Navigation framework and XML sitemap
  • Membership API and the role manager + personalization
  • The provider design pattern
  • Themes, portal framwork, web parts, and so much more
  • URL mapping and cross-page posting
  • A bunch of new controls

And of course, how can I forget, the new caching features (my favorite topic): database cache invalidation, custom cache dependencies and post-cache substitution. Thanks again Rob and the whole ASP.NET team :-)

I'll try to finish my first reading tonight and tomorrow I'll kick off with the second reading, writing some great examples in Whidbey. Enjoy it, it's really worth to buy the book (it's really not that expensive): more info here!

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