D'Arcy from Winnipeg
Solution Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, and Adoption

July 2007 Entries

Exporting Excel over HTTPS - Looking for Help

I'm running into an issue trying to export a file from an ASP.NET page. When trying to export the Excel file (which is created in-code and returned in the response of the page), it works fine in HTTP...but as soon as I add an 'S' to the end, things go wonky: - It tries to download Default_aspx instead of the Excel file We monkeyed around a bit with some different code altering the Cache values and tried to see if we could set anything in IIS directly, which now has us at this: - When you try to download ......

Other Books You Should Consider Reading

With all the "Become a Better Developer" movement going around, alot has been said about which technology books should be read. I'm going to offer a few books I read that aren't technical, but are still very relevant to our field. Bad Boy Ballmer - The Man Who Rules Microsoft (Fredric Alan Maxwell) Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a HUGE Steve Ballmer fan. Sure he throws chairs at employees who leave for Google, and sure he keeps his kids from buying anything Apple...but if you want to understand ......

Microsoft Certifications: Another Reason They Matter

I was listening to a podcast recently that talked about Microsoft certifications and whether they were still relevant. Mostly the arguments revolve around whether or not these certifications are legitimately gained: are people just using brain dumps or are they studying and applying real-world knowledge to pass, and should this be a legit gauge of skills? But there's something else to consider when you're thinking about getting the latest certification, and it could directly affect how appealing ......

Becoming a Better Developer Update - Or "How to spice up baby-making sex"

You're probably looking at the title of this post wondering how spicing up baby making sex relates to becoming a better developer. First, you should really go and read George's post first to get some context around this. Read it? Great... So over the last few months I've been trying to sink my teeth into some Tech books as part of my becoming a better developer. I sympathize with George in that tech books can sometimes become difficult to plow through. To use another analogy, its like working out: ......

What was that?!....

...oh, it was just Scott Kuhl eating my dust as I SURPASS HIM TO TAKE 3rd IN THE GWB ALL TIME POST RANKINGS!

;)

D

Jimmy and Timmy Still Need Your Help!

Yes, I'm still trying to pry $20 out of your hands to help those with physical disabilities! My last post (which you can revisit here) was a success, garnering an extra $100 towards my goal (much thanks to Dave and Rob!). But that still leaves me $600 below my goal! C'mon guys, I know you all have $20 that's burning a hole in your pocket! For more info on how to help, check out www.darcylussier.com and find out how YOU can make a difference! D ......

A Review of A Fireside Chat with Justice Gray

So not only has Justice's little "Become a better developer in 6 months" garnered him the attention of Scott H., but he's now featured in one of the MSDN Canada podcasts (which you can get all the links from via Justice's site here). I thought I'd listen and offer my thoughts on the witty banter and intellectual exchange between John Bristowe and Justice Gray. Let's begin... I can picture Justice lying in bed, listening to John speak his intro over and over and over... "Oh yes John, tell me how wonderful ......

James Kovacs on Agile Development (and John Bristowe uses the word "Plethora"...I love that word..."Plethora"...)

Check out "A talk with James Kovacs on Agile Development", a great little webcast from MSDN Canada's community initiative.

You can watch it here.

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Jimmy and Timmy Need Your Help!

We're all familiar with Timmy and Jimmy, the two characters from South Park with disabilities. Although the show uses them to prove points and sometimes poke fun at humerous sterotypes, the reality is that there are people with physical disabilities who suffer in the real world every day. On August 16th, I'm going to be doing something to help these people. I've enrolled in the Easter Seals Drop Zone event. Easter Seals is a non-profit organization that provides services to those with physical handicaps ......

Infragistics Ultra Web Grid: Accessing a control from a RowEditTemplate

I have a drop down list on my Row Edit Template, but I need to bind it in the code behind to a datasource. Of course, I have no idea which controls collection I need to access: the grids, the rows, the templates...? It turns out that you access it off the Band: (DropDownList)UltraWebGrid1... Voila! Control binding goodness. D ......

Dev Teach - West Coast: Battle of the Metros!

I got a weird email this week. It was from Justice Gray, and I assumed it would be another email justifying why spending 15 minutes pruning one's eyebrows every morning helped make you happier. But I was wrong. "Guys, some stuff has come up and it looks like I won't be going to Dev Teach in Vancouver." Stunned silence. I couldn't believe what I was reading! Why would Justice so easily toss aside what will undoubtedly be THE BEST technology conference on the West Coast this year?! I was puzzled...perplexed...and ......

Infragistics: Deleting New Row in UltraWebGrid Won't Fire Server Event

I was banging my head against the wall...it just didn't make sense: I have an UltraWebGrid that you can add new rows to on the client side. This works great. When a row is deleted, we have a server side event that is set to fire, and for testing purposes I just writeout the index of the row being kyboshed. But whenever I'd add a new row and then delete it, it would never fire! I tried everything, setting the event handler in code behind, resetting it in the designer...nothing worked. Hitting the ......

Derek Hatchard Sums Up Ruby Nicely

Derek Hatchard over at Ardent Dev has summed up Ruby on Rails very nicely*: "Ruby on Rails is definitely the cool new kid at school right now. Actually, RoR is like the suave, handsome quarterback type who the girls swoon over and the guys want to be until everyone finds out he lives in a rotting shed in the sticks with a goat on a leash in the yard and dad passed out in a broken rocking chair on a makeshift porch." Read the whole post here. D *Note: I'm assuming its Derek, since that has been his ......

SQL 2008 - Video Wrapup

In some previous posts I was commenting on a series of short info-videos that Microsoft has put out on SQL 2008. The last two videos are definately not geared for developers. The Enterprise Data Platform Vision describes SQL 2008 from an IT/DBA perspective. They talk about meeting needs around compliance, security, and availability. New features around failover, mirroring, pluggable cpu, and other IT speak. Although they didn't go into detail on the side of new SQL tools, they did mention that star-joins ......

Viewing the Presentation Layer as an "Application"

I'm coming up to the midway point of my "How I am becoming a better developer in 6 months.", and I have a bit of catching up to do. Oddly enough, what I should have done is add in an area called "Get my passion back", although in April I don't think I would have posted "quit my job and go independent" as one of the goals. Anyway, I had a goal of reading a couple of tech books a month, but I'm just now starting to sink my teeth into some relevent geek-reading over the last month and a half. One of ......

Sometimes the stupidest things get reported as news...

Like this story, about a man who got hit by lightning. The title of the story is "IPods and thunderstorms don't mix, doctors warn." It then goes on to explain that a man who was running in a rainstorm (as in jogging, not simply running for cover from the rain or anything) got struck by lightning that actually struck a nearby tree first and then vertically jumped to him. He happened to be wearing an IPod at the time, and the electricity shot up the headphones and damaged his ears. Of course, there ......

Dev Teach - Vancouver: Speaker Submission Extension

George spotted that the dates on the DevTeach website for the Vancouver event in November has changed (although at the time the main page still said July 15th).

I checked with a member of the speaker selection committee for the event, and the deadline for submissions has been extended to July 25th.

D



SQL 2008 - Dynamic Development

Another in the "4 Pillars" of SQL 2008 series, this one focuses on Dynamic Development. Again, its a high-level overview that really just gives you enough buzzwords to go off and start researching on Google. New development technologies were highlighted, including the Entity Data Model, LINQ, Entity SQL, and Data Shaping Services (but no demos...all just mentioned abstractly and how they fit into the new data services plan in the new offering). Although it wasn't mentioned in detail, and it may have ......

SQL 2008 - Beyond Relational

There's a video series on the SQL 2008 product site that reviews at a high level the "4 Pillars" that SQL 2008 is built upon. One of these is "Beyond Relational". This video talks about some of the new features that are part of 2008 from a data-storage and retrieval point of view. There are a bunch of new datatypes (including some updated date/time ones that increase precision), but the big one that will be touted is the filestream datatype. It was explained in the video as the "best of both worlds" ......

Just a reminder - it's not JUST about VS.NET 2008...

Although the big buzz is around VS.NET 2008 launching in the new year, there's also an updated database platform as well!

Make sure to check out the SQL Server 2008 page on Microsoft's website for updates:

https://connect.microsoft.com/SQLServer/content/content.aspx?ContentID=5395

D



Dev Teach West Coast - Call For Speakers and Deadline

Dev Teach is going to be held for the first time outside of Montreal, and it's going down this November in Vancouver, British Columbia!

There's also a call out for speakers for this event, but all submissions must be in by July 15 (this Sunday). You can review what they're looking for and how to submit the pages here.

D



Infragistics UltraWebGrid Cell.GetValue Function - Funny what a difference ( ) makes...

So I'm trying to get the value of a cell in my UltraWebGrid. I'm using this code to retrieve the cell object: oCell = row.getCellFromKey("KeyValu... But then I wanted to verify that the value coming back was correct, so I tried this: alert(oCell.getValue); What I got on my screen was a huge dialog with reams of javascript! What the...?! I looked back through the documentation...I had the method spelt right...didn't really make sense. "What if I put ( ) at the end?" I wondered... alert(oCell.getValue( ......

Random Personal Life Quips...the Movie Post

No shop talk on this post...just strictly personal stuff, but hopefully somewhat entertaining (kind of like how Chris's posts are always entertaining...although I always feel guilty reading them and enjoying his humor because I know it always comes at his expense...). My wife and I do movie night every Tuesday (the theatres here offer a free popcorn/drink with each movie ticket, so its a great excuse...but really, even if they didn't offer it, its great to set aside a night with your honey and spend ......

AJAX Calendar Control and Drop Lists

Working on a web app, and we're using the AJAX Toolkit's Calendar control for selecting a date. I have a few drop down lists on the screen, but whenever I click the Cal control (which displays overtop of the drop lists), the drop lists appear on top of it...until the month is changed, and then it displays properly. I remember running into this sort of thing with DDL's earlier in my adventures with asp.net, and I remembered z-index settings to be the solution. Not so in this case. I came accross Scott ......

Infragistics Installation on Vista

I had to install the latest Infragistics ASP.NET suite of controls for testing, but ran into an odd problem: every time I went to install, I'd get an error right at the end telling me very ambiguously that there was a "fatal error" and that the "product wasn't installed due to an error". Great...thanks. Doing what any other good geek would do, I began to investigate this obvious issue with Infragistics and Vista online, hunting for any article that could shed some light on what the obscure error ......

A New Reason To Travel To North Dakota!

Manitoba (the province in Canada that I'm in...no, contrary to popular belief and the fact that all media from the US talks about Canada as one big glob, we do actually have seperate areas that we call "provinces"...well, we also have three territories too...but anyway)...let me start again... Manitoba is just above North Dakota, and as such they are our main destination for any sort of US based shopping trips (we may have Walmart, but we don't have Super Target). For most of my life, hearing that ......

Microsoft Dropping VUE and Using Prometric Exclusively for Certification

Trika Harms zum Spreckel (that's a kick ass name) has posted on her blog about how Microsoft is dropping VUE as a testing provider after August of this year. You can read her blog post here. Trika, btw, is on the Microsoft Marketing Communications team (see her about page here). Thanks to Kay for originally posting this tidbit (you can read Kay's blog here). My personal thought? Whatever...it doesn't really affect me. Testing centers for either VUE or Prometric are available in Winnipeg, so there's ......

Wake up Montreal...0-2 is Unacceptable

The first quarter looked promising for the Alouettes tonight, but the rest of the game was horrible. There's no reason that they should have lost, and its unfathomable to think that a team with as much talent as the Als shouldn't have to rely on their place-kicker to score the bulk of points for them in any game. The running game was almost non-existent. With a guy like Robert Edwards in your backfield, you should be running plays that just eat up the field. But they didn't, and it showed. The passing ......

The Uber-ASP.NET 2.0 Membership, Roles, Forms Auth, and Security Resources Blog Post

No, it's not MY post...its Scott Guthrie's. And its packed with tonnes of goodness!

Check it out here.

D



Oh Infragistics, how silly you are ("Unable to locate license assembly" issue)

So I started getting the "Unable to locate license assembly" error from the web project I'm on, which is an Infragistics exception. I scour the web quickly and find "reinstall the product" all over the place. Seriously, reinstall the product? Wouldn't it have installed properly the first time? What could be different? This can't possibly wor.... Wow...it worked. Reinstalling the suite actually fixed the issue. I'm happy, and yet I feel dirty at the same time... D ......

VS.NET Complaining About Program Files\MSBuild\Microsoft\VisualStudio\v8.0\WebApplications...

Ran into an issue at work today (first day of being a FULLY INDEPENDANT CONTRACTOR btw...fitting that this is Independence Day...)...for whatever reason, I couldn't load a web app in vs.net because it couldn't find a file located in the path mentioned in the title of this blog. I Googled and found a few different workarounds, but the one that worked for me was just uninstalling and reinstalling the ASP.NET web project add-in for VS.NET 2005. Nothing special about the setup either...I guess something ......

Transformers Review

Go see this movie. No really...go see it. Stop reading this, get in your car, and go see the movie. Are you still here? Ok, fine...you need more convincing. I understand. This movie takes the legendary Transformers mantra and dutifully brings it into 2007. The story is somewhat altered from the original: In the original, the Ark crashes to Earth and all the autobots/decepticons are knocked out/in stasis/whatever...they're OUT. Fast forward a few million years (thousands if you're a creationist), ......

Obligatory iPhone Post

Since EVERYONE seems to be posting something to do with the iPhone, I figured I should jump on the bandwagon. A recent episode of Systm (on Revision3) had the hosts purchase an iPhone...and then proceed to KICK THE LIVING S**T OUT OF IT! I kid you not...the first few minutes look good...and then they start dropping it, scratching the screen with keys, and then ripping it apart to have a look at the guts. Hey, better on their dime than on yours (I was actually very curious to know how durable that ......