Wednesday, 6 June 2007


ScottJust getting started with LinkedIn. Looks like a superb professional networking tool. Here I am; View Scott Findlater's profile on LinkedIn

Monday, 2 April 2007

Winforms datasource runtime change

ScottSimply put, i wanted to change the datasource of a binding source at runtime. The design behind this is a tab control where all tabs share a common control, therefore the common control needs to be context sensitive to the selected tab so as to display the correct data. Simple enough!!! So why does the code below through generic event handler exceptions???

_MyBindingSource.Clear() // Clears the binding source.
_MyBindingSource.DataSource = CurrentTabContextSensitiveData.
_MyBindingSource.RefreshBindings() // Common control to refresh the bound data.


_MyBindingSource.DataSource = null;
_MyBindingSource.DataSource = CurrentTabContextSensitiveData.
_MyBindingSource.RefreshBindings() // Common control to refresh the bound data.

I dont know why these code samples cause generic exceptions!!

The code that does actually work is;
_MyBindingSource = new BindingSource();
_MyBindingSource.DataSource = CurrentTabContextSensitiveData.
_MyBindingSource.RefreshBindings() // Common control to refresh the bound data.

I hate it when a solutions is found but cant be fully explained or understood. Any ideas out there????

Sunday, 4 February 2007


Jeff Attended the first WebDD event at Reading on Saturday and it was tops :)

Spent the whole day in Chicago 1 where Scott Gu was presenting but it was a bit of a mission to get a seat!! They really should of guessed that everyone would have wanted to attend his sessions and used both Chicago 1 & 2 to get everyone in. I think a lot of people were turned away to all 4 of his sessions. All of his sessions were recorded though so I'm sure they will be posted on the WebDD site at some point soon.

His first two sessions were a part 1 & 2 of building a complete website from end to end using ASP.NET 2.0, AJAX, VS2005 & IIS7. Most of the stuff in these sessions was quite simple but I found the info on IIS7 really good as I haven't used or read up on this new version yet. He also showed some good tips and tricks which are all on his site.

His next session was a sneak peak at the next version on Visual Studio code named "Orcas". This was a really interesting session, he was using a very recent build which he said will be public download in a couple of weeks (I think i will be installing this :)). The main cool points were:
  • Backward compatibility with v2.0, v3.0 and the new v3.5 of the framework.
  • Inclusion of all the Expression Web features (I think he even said this will be in the Express edition!!) I really like the CSS features, I think these will really help me :) We now have a split screen mode with design and code, and its a lot quicker to switch between the two!!
  • Full support for AJAX including Javascript intellisense and debug :)
  • Full support for LINQ and BLINQ :)
  • plus loads more stuff I can't remember now!!!

The next session was by a guy from Telerik on creating AJAX extender controls. Unfortunately the guy was quiet and had quite a strong foreign accent which made him hard to understand!! However he really did know his stuff!! The session was in-depth, with lots of code and quite interesting - I need to go through the AJAX clientside framework because I didn't really understand this part of the talk!!

The final session was back over to Scott (he probably needed the break as he re-ran his last session through lunch for those who couldn't get in the room!! He did mention he done a webcast - so look out for that :)) This session was on WPF/E and he showed some excellent demos and ran through the code step by step. He showed us this really cool vista emulator done in WPF/E over here, its in some foriegn language, he didn't seem to know who the author was but it was quite funny and shows the power of this technology!! I want to try and use this for a video player in my project but he did say it will only play WMV format, which is an awesome codec (HD 720p quality with low bandwith) but might cause me some problems :(

Scott said he will be posting all his slides and code on his site at some point.

We also all got a free copy of Expression Web which was cool, got a few other bits of swag which is always a bonus :)

A really good event, I think Scott being there really made it for me :) But I will defiantly be signing up again for WebDD2!!

Thursday, 11 January 2007

Lack of posts - my bad :(

Jeff Just want to say sorry for the lack of good blogs lately, had lots on at work (classic excuss!!) I have got a long list of things i want to blog, just need to get round to it!!

Back to it....

Wednesday, 10 January 2007

We've moved our blog


We decided to take the hit and move our blog from our own hosting server to the blogsport domain. We took the hit as some of the new blogger features (namely the widget framework) can not be used if you host your blog off their servers via ftp. We really wanted to tag all our blogs and create a tag cloud and this was easy with the new blogger features.

We used this post to help us write the cloud so all credit goes to the author - thanks :)

Also thanks to Scott for doing all the boring moving and tagging of our blogs - I was more the project manager!!! (or to put it another way did nothing!!) We did both muck in learning the widget framework though - some cool stuff there :)

Tuesday, 5 December 2006

DDD4 Wrap up

JeffAttended my 3rd DDD day on Saturday and these days just keep getting bigger and better :) The only down side of this one was the lack of SWAG :( I think Richard and Dave had it all for there session on Tech Ed 2006!!!

Went this year with Ben who is a Microsoft student partner for University of Hertfordshire where he is in his final year of his Computer Science degree :)

Arrived nice and early for the egg, bacon, and sausage baps - yummy :) Then headed into the first session I chose entitled 'How to write crap code in C#' by Ben Lamb. Unfortunately this session was not as great as I expected, I think Ben has a lot of knowledge but came across quite nervous and difficult to follow at times due to this. I feel for him though because I would be nervous in front of 120 people!! He covered a few simple anti-patterns including string concatenation, threading, and throwing errors. He managed to dramatically slow processing down by concatenating strings instead of using the new string builder - there was a huge difference in this. So defiantly use the string builder if your are performing a lost of string concatenation.

Next I joined Dave Verwer for his presentation titled 'Ruby on Rails for .NET Developers'. This was a fantastic introduction session to the dynamic Ruby language and the Rails framework. I defiantly see this technology as a start of a more dynamic like language trend. I think the power and RAD type capabilities of this language and framework are fantastic, he demonstrated how easy it is to create a database and web form in a matter of minutes :) I defiantly see this complementing an AGILE type methodology. I really liked the way it creates a strict model for you to develop within by creating template folders and files and leads you to develop within a tried and tested fashion. People may argue that this is too much hand holding and forcing you to develop in a certain way, however i believe the benefits of being able to pick up any Ruby project and understand the structure straight away is defiantly a win :) I also like the way it encourages the separation of the dev, test and production environments. My only worry is its performance issues, ability to create an n-tier architecture and how it is not fully support the Microsoft platform which could be a show stopper for some companies heavily tied to MS technologies. I think it could be great to quickly knock something up in a virtual machine though :)

Next I went to session called 'But it works on my PC! or continuous integration to improve software quality' by Richard Fennell. This was a great session that introduced you to the great mindset of continuous integration that I am totally a fan of and I'm currently trying to implement myself. He demoed Cruise Control which looks like a fantastic open source piece of software which with little configuration will do a great job of handling your automated builds and testing. It works well the MS Source Safe but he also showed you how to setup automated builds in TFS but this looked a little more clunky and not supported out of the box. He mentioned a new TFS plugin for Cruise Control that will give the best of both worlds.

Next was a lunch and time for the groktalks and Park Bench activities. These were great but I think the popularity was underestimated as there were too many people for the area where the speakers were placed. I could hardly see what they were demoing let alone hear what they were saying. I spoke to Mike Taulty whilst one speaker was on and he came up with a game where he would guess what the speakers were saying :) I think next time they should use a bigger area and a mic, I don't think a room would be a good idea as it would be too formal :)

I really liked the Park Bench concept, this is where 4 people sit in front of a gathered crowed and take any questions. If you make a statement of think you have a better answer one of the people on the bench have to get up and let you sit down to say your bit. This really lets everyone get involved and say there bit, a nice community type discussion :)

After lunch I want into the session by Abid Quereshi on an 'Introduction to Aspect Oriented Programming' which was quite in depth and I must admit most of it went over my head - partly because we got some bad seat, I was feeling tired after lunch and that I think he emphasized too much on the theory. However it was a great session and in a nut shell was all around the declarative model of programming which produces cleaner and more coherent code.

The final session was titled 'DataAccess Layers - Convenience vs. Control and Performance?' by Daniel Fisher and was the one session I was really looking forward to. Unfortunately Ed Gibson decided to do his usual FBI talk 5min before the session was going to start - I didn't attend this as I have listened to him twice already this year and once you've heard it once you defiantly don't want to hear him talk about small children again :) Then the projector wouldn't work properly so the session was cut short to about 30 min which means he really had to rush this as it was a shame as it looked like he had a good framework. He did say to email him if you would like a copy of the code, so I might just do that :)

Overall great day though and i look forward to DDD5 :)

They did announce a WebDD day on 3rd of February 2007 which is going to be a similar day focused on web development. Will defiantly be attending this one. They also mentioned that MS will be doing a Vista launch on 19th & 20th January 2007 at Reading so look out for this one as its rumoured they will be giving away some copies of the OS :)