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On the Ledge The general evolution (and occasional regression) of a .NET developer September 2009 Entries
Code Standards Can Kill You
First of all, the folks I used to work with will be glad to know that Panda Express is selling their Orange Chicken sauce at their restaurants. Unfortunately, it does not come in 2 liter bottles or six packs. On topic, the posts I've made here lately have gotten me thinking about the idea behind standards and/or best practices. I noticed a refrain in many of my posts, although it was unintentional - the idea that a given situation dictates the best solution as opposed to taking a pre-determined solution ......

Posted On Monday, September 28, 2009 2:20 PM

Custom User Settings and the Cache
We get Flumphs from several, different providers. Each provider has various settings that the system uses for them - particular URL routes, specific timeouts, etc. In the old Proxy, anything that absolutely had to be client-specific was stored in a configuration file. The timeout limit was universal. Here's the kicker - the only thing in the Flumph that gets sent to us that clues us into the provider is the structure of the XML. Since our Flumph providers delight in sending their own formats, we ......

Posted On Friday, September 25, 2009 10:51 AM

Asynchronicity, Too
You guys have heard the song "Synchronicity 2," right? Am I the only person who thinks Sting did that song for his own amusement? Cackling in his lush, vaguely European voice at the fans scrambling to figure out the deeper meaning between a harried husband going through his day and the Loch Ness Monster getting his killing on. I can just see him laughing atop his enormous piles of money as people make connections with Carl Jung and nod their heads sagely at the unique, but highly apt, metaphor. Ah, ......

Posted On Thursday, September 24, 2009 1:18 PM

Logging with log4net
log4net is a great little logging library. There seem to be some mixed results out there as to whether or not it outperforms the Enterprise Library's Logging Application Block, although it appears to me the general findings are that log4net is faster. For me, I guess it would come down to how badly I wanted integration with the rest of the Enterprise Library. If that's not a priority, log4net can be a lightweight, fast way to get logging going in your application. Once you've got the library in your ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 23, 2009 10:42 AM

Proxy Problems
My first actual project with regard to our systems was to write a new Proxy. I'm going to have to be a little ambiguous, once again, because I don't want to give away any proprietary or quasi-proprietary information. One of our major systems serves as a sort of brokerage for Flumphs (I'm going to compensate for being ambiguous by being completely ridiculous about it). Flumph providers constantly feed our system with information about new Flumphs. Flumph-consumers have given us their criteria they ......

Posted On Tuesday, September 22, 2009 9:51 AM

Culture Club
The first bug I was asked to fix, here, was a bug in the Q Framework. Our websites use a little pop-up, calendar datepicker (I believe it's the jQuery datepicker, but I'd have to check). The problem we were experiencing is when we added a UK client. As most of you know, the UK displays dates in DD-MM-YYYY format as opposed to the US MM-DD-YYYY format. This trivial detail actually has a wide range of implications. First of all, any US-oriented datepicker is going to have a conniption if you pass it ......

Posted On Monday, September 21, 2009 1:16 PM

Pathfinder and the Zombie Apocalypse
I tend to always have side projects going on. I think many developers are like this, either because we want to learn new things or have the opportunity to work on things that directly interest us or to make a little extra cash. Two of my side projects are the Pathfinder Project and Zombie Apocalypse. Pathfinder Project There are two kinds of companies in the world: the ones that listen to what consumers want and give it to them, and the ones that shove what they want to give you down your thoat and ......

Posted On Friday, September 18, 2009 1:09 PM

Creating Attributes
EDIT: Lesson learned. Don't copy and paste code from Visual Studio into this blog. This was something I did not know how to do until I started working here, and since learning it, I've been finding uses for it all over the place, both in my work projects and in my own projects. In previous posts, I talked about how we often use attributes to store metadata as opposed to getting those values from a database or an XML/config file of some kind. Metadata is something that comes up in virtually every ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 16, 2009 9:26 AM

Alexander the Great's Code Samples
One of my friends read my last post and, after an analogy involving candy stores and Japanese wrappers (or was it Japanese rappers? I think both would have worked), I decided it might be a good idea to put up some sample code to demonstrate some of the things I was talking about. I'm going to use some test code from the MVC module - mostly because I'm the most deeply into that code right now, but also because writing my own MVC framework makes me look like a total stud. At least to people who consider ......

Posted On Tuesday, September 15, 2009 1:18 PM

Alexander the Great and Systems Architecture
All right, so it may have been a day or two since my last post. I was hoping I'd have the option to post-date to make it look like I was a much more diligent blogger than I really am, but oh well. Apart from just wanting to look like I blog more regularly than once a quarter, there's actually a lot of material to cover. I'm not sure exactly how I want to accomplish this, so there might be a spate of blogs close together just to cover all the things I've worked on so far and the challenges involved. ......

Posted On Tuesday, September 15, 2009 9:58 AM

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