Geeks With Blogs
Nitin Reddy June 2008 Entries
When Properties Are Overkill
Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE AR-SA MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; ......

Posted On Monday, June 30, 2008 4:21 PM

Visual Studio VSS Check-in Tip
If you're using Visual Studio to check in files to VSS, the IDE will lock-up when checking in files as it has to check the status of all the files in the solution. Instead, if you know specifically which files were checked out, you can check them in individually. Another approach is to Right-click the solution and select View Pending Checkins - this opens up a dialog that works asynchronously i.e. it doesn't prevent you from working normally while it finds the list of files to be checked in. To check ......

Posted On Monday, June 30, 2008 4:19 PM

A dozen ways to set focus to an ASP.NET control
Allowing keyboard navigation and improving the User Experience for users is usually a concern for web developers. Some use Flash frontends while others go the AJAX route but in the end it's the simple things that matter, such as setting the focus to a input element on a form. Setting the focus on an ASP.NET control is quite simple in ASP.NET and there are at least half a dozen ways to do it. Through server-side ASP.NET code, you can: 1. Set the DefaultFocus property of the form (you can also do this ......

Posted On Monday, June 30, 2008 3:26 PM

Twitter Error Pages
There are two things about Twitter that have been giving it a lot of press lately - lots of downtime and really cool images on their error pages. The one thing that keeps them from getting bad press resulting from downtime is the graphic design team. As much as I like their graphics, I really hope this doesn't become a trend - replacing support engineers and developers with graphic designers. In case you haven't caught on to the Twitter wave yet, you can see the error pages here ......

Posted On Monday, June 30, 2008 1:44 PM

border-radius not coming to MS IE anytime soon
According to the CSS Compatibility report for Microsoft Internet Explorer browser version 5 to 8 published here, Microsoft doesn't intend to support the border-radius attribute of CSS 3 anytime soon - both Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 and Internet Explorer 8 RTM will not have support for the property that can save us all from having to download tiny images of curves (not *that* kind of curves!) to view rounded borders. Firefox supports the border radius, although it needs the "-moz-" prefix ......

Posted On Monday, June 30, 2008 1:21 PM

"Can you download the Internet for me?"
Back in the early days of the Internet, a few newbies who had just bought a computer would say, "Can you download the Internet for me? I'll get you all the floppies you need."

Here's a little joke that the guys at W3Schools put up about them:

Download the Internet

Posted On Monday, June 30, 2008 1:12 PM

VNC: Connecting on a non-standard port
Did you ever notice how the colon in a URL is used to separate the hostname from the port number? With VNC, the colon is used to indicate the display number, so that seemed kinda weird. To specify the port number, we have to use a double-colon... VNC uses the single-colon prefix for display number and a double-colon prefix for port number. That surely is a departure from standards :-(

Posted On Sunday, June 29, 2008 9:53 PM

jQuery
jQuery is a JavaScript library to interact with HTML, create simple animation and add AJAX capabilities. It works across browsers (don't most things do today?), and lets you do more with less. If you're in the web design & development work, you would have heard about it unless you've been living under a rock, figuratively speaking. jQuery was released in January 2006 and is licensed under the GNU GPL and MIT license. In other words, jQuery is open source and available for free! The library itself ......

Posted On Sunday, June 29, 2008 4:42 PM

Funky Error Messages
Being inspired by Twitter's error messages, I decided to write up some error messages myself...

Access Denied - You can't go there, it's too dark and creepy there!

File Not Found - We've searched, but can't find what you're looking for.

Other Error - Our engineers are scratching their heads trying to figure out the problem.

Posted On Sunday, June 29, 2008 4:18 PM

ASP:Button's UseSubmitBehavior
There's a really cool way to extend an ASP.NET button's functionality in JavaScript and that's by getting ASP.NET to render the button as an Input Button control instead of an Input Submit control - this is done by setting the UseSubmitBehavior property to False. You can call GetPostBackEventReference to get the Javascript to call the onClick event handler for the button if you need it - this is appended to the OnClientClick handler automatically. A practical usage scenario is when you want to use ......

Posted On Sunday, June 29, 2008 3:32 PM

LLBLGen's LINQ emulation with Operator Overloading
LLBLGen Pro uses operator overloading for a really cool purpose - to emulate LINQ in .NET 2.0 when it comes to specifying predicates. With LLBLGen Pro, you can specify predicates for filtering data within the database, which isn't the same as retrieving all the data to the application server and filtering it with a DataSet. Most projects today are still based on .NET 2.0 because management is too skeptical about the benefits versus the costs of moving to .NET 3.5. That's where LLBLGen Pro helps make ......

Posted On Sunday, June 29, 2008 2:41 PM

Compressed Stream: GZipStream
With an increasing number of users for an application, an increase in bandwidth usage translates into increased costs for network connectivity. To reduce these costs, it is possible to compress some of the data being sent across. In ASP.NET, you can compress data that you write to a stream using the GZipStream and the DeflateStream classes. These classes are, from a develoepr's perspective, simply wrappers over the actual stream classes. You can use the Read and the Write methods to retrieve and ......

Posted On Saturday, June 28, 2008 7:55 PM

Visual Studio 2008 Head Content Placeholder
In Visual Studio 2008, the IDE now adds a content placeholder in the header of the master page document by default. In Visual Studio 2005, the IDE would only add the content placeholder within the form tag in the document body and would display the squiggly underline if you tried to add one into the header although it would still compile and run perfectly well ......

Posted On Friday, June 27, 2008 11:00 PM

ASP.NET Wiki is down
The ASP.NET Wiki is down today. It just displays a big Service Unavailable message with an HTTP Error 503. If you've been running 32-bit and 64-bit assemblies on IIS and get the Service Unavailable 503 message on your server, David Wang has a blog entry about it here ......

Posted On Friday, June 27, 2008 8:09 AM

Rounded corners in CSS3
Getting rounded corners in CSS3 would be as simple as setting the border-radius attribute. Mozilla Firefox and WebKit-based browsers support the border radius, although with a non-standard attribute names: -moz-border-radius and -webkit-border-radius (yes, with the leading hyphen) I've tried it on Firefox 3 and find the anti-aliasing to be a bit too fuzzy. Internet Explorer 7 doesn't support it yet though. Opera 9.5 doesn't seem to support it either. There are a lot of other cool effects provided ......

Posted On Thursday, June 26, 2008 2:51 PM

RoundedCornersExtender causes focus loss
We recently had a developer on-board our project team who used every control he possibly could from the AJAX Control Toolkit. It was kinda cool but there were a couple of bugs that came along on a piggy-back ride with some of the controls. This week, we just realised some of the pages had textboxes that didn't have focus by default. After a 3 hour effort, we realised it was due to the rounded corner extender that we applied on the panels. Getting rid of the rounded corner extender got the page working ......

Posted On Thursday, June 26, 2008 1:05 PM

RoundedCornersExtender may cause missing borders
If you've been encountering missing borders when using the RoundedCornersExtender, it may be because the panel you're applying the RoundedCornersExtender to may be enclosed within a container that is unable to provide the space for the border to appear. Simply add padding via the CSS attribute to the container for the border to appear. Example (before): <table> <tr> <td> <asp:Panel ID="myPanel1" runat="server"> &nbsp; </asp:Panel> <ajaxToolkit:RoundedCorn... ......

Posted On Thursday, June 26, 2008 10:19 AM

Win XP SP3 needs SP1 or SP2
I got an old laptop back from the dead by installing Windows XP on it. It had a corrupt filesystem so pretty much nothing on it was usable. After getting Windows XP (no Service Packs) running from the restore/recovery disks, I got the setup of Windows XP Service Pack 3 and tried installing it. The setup complained with the error message indicating that it needed at least Service Pack 1 installed. Now, I didn't have Service Pack 1 or Service Pack 2 around because all my computers have restore/recovery ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 25, 2008 11:49 PM

Pirate Speak
Hi-ho! I have just found a service to translate English into scurvy pirate lin'o. It be at http://postlikeapirate.com . It can message directly to twittArrr, PirateSpace or email too. Errr... what I meant to say is: Hi! I have just found a service to translate English into Pirate lingo. It is at http://postlikeapirate.com . It can post directly to twitter, myspace or email too ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 25, 2008 2:06 PM

Firefox 3 for an IE Developer
If you've been targeting your applications at MS Internet Explorer, you've probably been getting requests to support Firefore 3 since it's got over 8 million downloads (which hopefully translates into 8 million users) worldwide. When starting off with web development for Firefox 3, you'll probably want to get the Firebug and Web Developer add-ons. They have a different feature set than the Internet Explorer Web Development toolbar so you'll probably have moments of doh-I-had-it-in-IE or cool!-IE-didnt-have-this. ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 25, 2008 7:20 AM

Emailed Document Blocked
I've known GMail to block executable files as attachments so I sent across a help file to a co-worker with a Hotmail account. I haven't used Hotmail in a while so I'm not aware of the latest 'upgrades' that they provide but they've decided to incorporate a few GMail-like (or Outlook-like) blocking features too. Now, blocking an executable is understandable, but a simple CHM help file is blocked too. To an end user, a CHM file is just another document - it is comparable to an MS Word document or Adobe ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 25, 2008 1:05 AM

Refactoring: Assignment Reversal
If you've been creating ASP.NET web applications long enough, you'll find that the most repetitive tasks are creating form fields based on database tables, adding validators and their associated callout extenders, and assigning values to controls in the Page_Load method and assigning them back to the objects in the event handlers. The one feature I've been hoping to see in Visual Studio is the ability to refactor code by inverting assignments i.e. turning a = b into b = a, so I can copy across most ......

Posted On Tuesday, June 24, 2008 3:57 AM

Nero Scout takes over the computer
I had a process called NMIndexStoreSvr.exe that took up 180MB of memory on my computer, bringing it to a screeching halt. It was Nero Scout looking around for media on the computer. I killed the process and disabled Nero Scout. That should teach those baddies that try to take over my computer

Posted On Monday, June 23, 2008 12:05 PM

'Symlinks' in Windows
If you're a fan of symbolic links in *nix, you'll probably be excited to know that we've got them in the Windows world too (and they're called NTFS junction points). The reason most people haven't heard of them yet is because the Windows installation doesn't include the tools to work with them - you have to acquire them either as a Resource Kit or by downloading SysInternals Junction. For most people, Windows shortcuts are good enough since you can just click on them and they mimic the behavior of ......

Posted On Monday, June 23, 2008 9:57 AM

Microsoft Buggy Studio 2008
Microsoft Visual Studio is a really buggy IDE for ASP.NET development and it gets annoying at some point. A co-worker at the office has dubbed it 'Microsoft Buggy Studio'. I've seriously thought about switching to Java development where we have the likes of NetBeans and Borland JBuilder. What keeps me from doing that? Getting a job as a Java developer is a mission impossible in a city where pretty much all software development is based on Microsoft .NET or uses something like Oracle Forms.

Posted On Monday, June 23, 2008 7:23 AM

Mars Pathfinder
The most popular robot that made it on another planet was the Mars Pathfinder. It's pretty much something that you would see at a science fair with a few modifications to meet environmental constraints. The Mars Pathfinder used the VxWorks Operating System. The hardware was a IBM 6000 RISC processor with 128MB RAM. The software was written in C and Assembly Language using the XLC compiler from IBM. You can get more information about the physical characteristics of the Mars Pathfinder at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wik... ......

Posted On Monday, June 23, 2008 2:56 AM

Edit-and-Continue For Web Application Projects
Just in case you didn't know, Visual Studio has Edit-and-Continue support for Web Application projects too. Go to the web application project properties, click the Web tab and check the Enable Edit and Continue checkbox. Have you ever wondered why Microsoft doesn't leave the Edit-and-Continue option for Web Application Projects enabled by default ......

Posted On Monday, June 23, 2008 1:00 AM

OpenSuSe 11 installer looks like the Vista installer
Open SUSE Installer Resembles Windows Vista Installer

Every other day, something springs up in the Linux world that looks very similar to something Microsoft cooks up. Check out the OpenSuSe 11 installer above that reminds you of the Windows Vista installer. Isn't that particular bout of 'inspiration' also referred to as stealing intellectual property?

Posted On Sunday, June 22, 2008 2:37 AM

Using the HTTP Listener Class
Since Windows XP Service Pack 2, there's been a buddy living in the system called Http.sys. IIS and SQL Server both interact with this kernel-mode HTTP listener to receive and response to HTTP requests. Within the .NET framework, you can build your own application to interact with HTTP requests using the HttpListener class, which is simply managed code built over the Http.sys API. The code to work with the HttpListener class is quite simple, as illustrated with this example: System.Net.HttpListener ......

Posted On Sunday, June 22, 2008 2:36 AM

OpenTTD
I just came across an extension to Transport Tycoon Deluxe called OpenTTD - it adds multiplayer support (beyond 2 players that the original has) and you can play on the Internet servers too. It's like the Multi Theft Auto equivalent for Transport Tycoon. You can get it from the official OpenTTD site at: http://www.openttd.org/ ......

Posted On Sunday, June 22, 2008 2:35 AM

Firefox Record At 8m Downloads
Firefox 3 has had over 8 million downloads. You can get the statistics by geographic location on the Firefox site at:
http://www.spreadfirefox.com/en-US/worldrecord/

Posted On Wednesday, June 18, 2008 1:07 PM

Examining the StringBuilder Class
I don't know what it was, perhaps sheer boredom or perhaps the desire to explore, but I set out to examine the StringBuilder in .NET today. A StringBuilder is used when you need performance with modifying strings within your application. The performance comes from the dynamic extension of the string, rather than creating a new string object each time a modification is made. This behavior is due to immutable nature of the .NET string. Running a performance test to compare the string class with the ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 18, 2008 12:06 PM

RDP Problems with XP SP3?
Some users on the network have reported problems with Remote Desktop after installing Windows XP Service Pack 3. I couldn't get too many details since I'm in the software development division and the problems are reported to the technical support division and a rollback was already performed for the affected users. My Remote Desktop seems to be working just fine. In fact, I've also got the username and saved credentials information from the SP3 version as seen in this screenshot: Has anyone else ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 18, 2008 5:41 AM

Firefox 3 Download Day Update #2
The download count for Firefox 3 is at 5.4 million. With about 9 hours to go, it could go above 7 million - that's 7 million users for Firefox 3 on the day of the release! The count for India, which was around 24,000 five hours ago is now at 47,602. UAE was at 1,401 and is now at 3,659. The U.S. was at 1.1 million and is now at 2.1 million. A few users were unable to download Firefox 3 off the official site - they aren't included in the count unless they get it from the Mozilla servers. The guys ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 18, 2008 4:30 AM

Firefox 3 Download Day Update
The Firefox 3 download count just went over 3.7 million. When I checked the number of downloads in the United Arab Emirates (west of India, sharing a border with Oman and Saudi Arabia) at 8:15am this morning, the count was at 1401 and right now at 9:15am the count is at 1913 - that's 512 downloads in one hour!

I started a download too this morning, but I got just 5MB of the setup and so got a corrupted file. I wonder if it would double-count if I downloaded again.

Posted On Wednesday, June 18, 2008 12:17 AM

'Target-less' ModalPopupExtender
When using the ModalPopupExtender in the AJAX Control Toolkit, you have to set the TargetControlID to a control that will be used to open the popup, such as a link button or a button control.

To open the popups only through code, you can create a dummy panel and assign it's ID to the ModalPopupExtender. Make sure you don't set the Visible property to false - if you want to prevent the dummy panel from affecting the layout, set the style property to "display: none;" instead.

Posted On Tuesday, June 17, 2008 3:42 AM

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