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  • Convert Dynamic to Type and convert Type to Dynamic

    - by Jon Canning
    public static class DynamicExtensions     {         public static T FromDynamic<T>(this IDictionary<string, object> dictionary)         {             var bindings = new List<MemberBinding>();             foreach (var sourceProperty in typeof(T).GetProperties().Where(x => x.CanWrite))             {                 var key = dictionary.Keys.SingleOrDefault(x => x.Equals(sourceProperty.Name, StringComparison.OrdinalIgnoreCase));                 if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(key)) continue;                 var propertyValue = dictionary[key];                 bindings.Add(Expression.Bind(sourceProperty, Expression.Constant(propertyValue)));             }             Expression memberInit = Expression.MemberInit(Expression.New(typeof(T)), bindings);             return Expression.Lambda<Func<T>>(memberInit).Compile().Invoke();         }         public static dynamic ToDynamic<T>(this T obj)         {             IDictionary<string, object> expando = new ExpandoObject();             foreach (var propertyInfo in typeof(T).GetProperties())             {                 var propertyExpression = Expression.Property(Expression.Constant(obj), propertyInfo);                 var currentValue = Expression.Lambda<Func<string>>(propertyExpression).Compile().Invoke();                 expando.Add(propertyInfo.Name.ToLower(), currentValue);             }             return expando as ExpandoObject;         }     }

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  • ASP.NET Web API - Screencast series Part 4: Paging and Querying

    - by Jon Galloway
    We're continuing a six part series on ASP.NET Web API that accompanies the getting started screencast series. This is an introductory screencast series that walks through from File / New Project to some more advanced scenarios like Custom Validation and Authorization. The screencast videos are all short (3-5 minutes) and the sample code for the series is both available for download and browsable online. I did the screencasts, but the samples were written by the ASP.NET Web API team. In Part 1 we looked at what ASP.NET Web API is, why you'd care, did the File / New Project thing, and did some basic HTTP testing using browser F12 developer tools. In Part 2 we started to build up a sample that returns data from a repository in JSON format via GET methods. In Part 3, we modified data on the server using DELETE and POST methods. In Part 4, we'll extend on our simple querying methods form Part 2, adding in support for paging and querying. This part shows two approaches to querying data (paging really just being a specific querying case) - you can do it yourself using parameters passed in via querystring (as well as headers, other route parameters, cookies, etc.). You're welcome to do that if you'd like. What I think is more interesting here is that Web API actions that return IQueryable automatically support OData query syntax, making it really easy to support some common query use cases like paging and filtering. A few important things to note: This is just support for OData query syntax - you're not getting back data in OData format. The screencast demonstrates this by showing the GET methods are continuing to return the same JSON they did previously. So you don't have to "buy in" to the whole OData thing, you're just able to use the query syntax if you'd like. This isn't full OData query support - full OData query syntax includes a lot of operations and features - but it is a pretty good subset: filter, orderby, skip, and top. All you have to do to enable this OData query syntax is return an IQueryable rather than an IEnumerable. Often, that could be as simple as using the AsQueryable() extension method on your IEnumerable. Query composition support lets you layer queries intelligently. If, for instance, you had an action that showed products by category using a query in your repository, you could also support paging on top of that. The result is an expression tree that's evaluated on-demand and includes both the Web API query and the underlying query. So with all those bullet points and big words, you'd think this would be hard to hook up. Nope, all I did was change the return type from IEnumerable<Comment> to IQueryable<Comment> and convert the Get() method's IEnumerable result using the .AsQueryable() extension method. public IQueryable<Comment> GetComments() { return repository.Get().AsQueryable(); } You still need to build up the query to provide the $top and $skip on the client, but you'd need to do that regardless. Here's how that looks: $(function () { //--------------------------------------------------------- // Using Queryable to page //--------------------------------------------------------- $("#getCommentsQueryable").click(function () { viewModel.comments([]); var pageSize = $('#pageSize').val(); var pageIndex = $('#pageIndex').val(); var url = "/api/comments?$top=" + pageSize + '&$skip=' + (pageIndex * pageSize); $.getJSON(url, function (data) { // Update the Knockout model (and thus the UI) with the comments received back // from the Web API call. viewModel.comments(data); }); return false; }); }); And the neat thing is that - without any modification to our server-side code - we can modify the above jQuery call to request the comments be sorted by author: $(function () { //--------------------------------------------------------- // Using Queryable to page //--------------------------------------------------------- $("#getCommentsQueryable").click(function () { viewModel.comments([]); var pageSize = $('#pageSize').val(); var pageIndex = $('#pageIndex').val(); var url = "/api/comments?$top=" + pageSize + '&$skip=' + (pageIndex * pageSize) + '&$orderby=Author'; $.getJSON(url, function (data) { // Update the Knockout model (and thus the UI) with the comments received back // from the Web API call. viewModel.comments(data); }); return false; }); }); So if you want to make use of OData query syntax, you can. If you don't like it, you're free to hook up your filtering and paging however you think is best. Neat. In Part 5, we'll add on support for Data Annotation based validation using an Action Filter.

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  • Emphasize Some Comments - but not Dirty the Code

    - by Jon Sandness
    I'm having trouble structuring my comments at the moment. I have major sections of the code that, when scrolling through the document, I want to be able to see those stand out. Examples: This is a normal comment: int money = 100; //start out with 100 money - This is a comment to emphasize a certain part of the code: /****** Set up all the money ******/ But I don't like that this isn't very clean. Is there a standard way of setting up this type of a comment?

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  • What are the advantages and disadvantages to using your real name online?

    - by Jon Purdy
    As a programmer, do you see any professional or other advantage in using your real name in online discourse, versus an invented handle? I've always gone by a single username and had my real name displayed whenever possible, for a few reasons: My interests online are almost exclusively professional and aboveboard. It constructs a search-friendly public log of all of my work, everywhere. If someone wants to contact me, there are many ways to do it. My portfolio of work is all tied to me personally. Possible cons to full disclosure include: If you feel like becoming involved in something untoward, it could be harder. The psychopath who inherits your project can more easily find out where you live. You might be spammed by people who are not worth the precious time that could be better spent writing more of the brilliant software you're famous for. Your portfolio of work is all tied to you personally. It seems, anyway, that a vast majority of StackOverflow users go by invented handles rather than real names. Notable exceptions include the best-known users, who are typically well established in the industry. But how could we ever become legendary rockstar programmers if we didn't get our names out there? Discuss.

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  • OData Mix10 &ndash; Part Dos

    - by Jon Dalberg
    The other day I had a snazzy post on fetching all the video (WMV) files from Mix ‘10. A simple, console application that grabbed the urls from the OData feed and downloaded the videos. I wanted to change that app to fire the OData query asynchronously so here’s what resulted: 1: static void Main(string[] args) 2: { 3: var mix = new Mix.EventEntities(new Uri("http://api.visitmix.com/OData.svc")); 4:   5: var temp = mix.Files.Where(f => f.TypeName == "WMV"); 6: var query = temp as DataServiceQuery<Mix.File>; 7:   8: query.BeginExecute(OnFileQueryComplete, query); 9:   10: // waiting... 11: Console.ReadLine(); 12: } 13:   14: static void OnFileQueryComplete(IAsyncResult result) 15: { 16: var query = result.AsyncState as DataServiceQuery<Mix.File>; 17: var response = query.EndExecute(result); 18:   19: var web = new WebClient(); 20:   21: var myVideos = Path.Combine(Environment.GetFolderPath(Environment.SpecialFolder.MyVideos), "Mix10"); 22:   23: Directory.CreateDirectory(myVideos); 24:   25: foreach (Mix.File f in response) 26: { 27: var fileName = new Uri(f.Url).Segments.Last(); 28: Console.WriteLine(f.Url); 29: web.DownloadFile(f.Url, Path.Combine(myVideos, fileName)); 30: } 31: } There are two important things here that are not explained well in the MSDN docs: See lines 5 and 6? That’s where I query for the WMV files and it returns an IQueryable<T>. You *have* to cast that to a DataServiceQuery<T> and then call BeginExecute. The documented example does not filter so it didn’t show that step. Line 16 shows the correct way to get the previously executed DataServiceQuery<T> from the async result. If you looked at the MSDN example docs it shows (incorrectly) just casting the result, like this: // wrong var query = result as DataServiceQuery<Mix.File>; Other than those items it is relatively straight forward and we’re all async-ified. Enjoy!

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  • Broadcom BCM4331 not working on new Mac Mini 5,1

    - by Jon
    I can't seem to get my wireless card working on my Mac Mini 5,1. Lspci returns: 03:00.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4331 802.11a/b/g/n (rev 02) But running "additional drivers" doesn't detect anything. The nm-applet menu reads "device not ready--firmware missing." What can I do to get this to work? Note, this is with 12.04.1, so many of the previous discussions (for 11.10, etc) probably don't apply here.

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  • Web Platform Installer bundles for Visual Studio 2010 SP1 - and how you can build your own WebPI bundles

    - by Jon Galloway
    Visual Studio SP1 is  now available via the Web Platform Installer, which means you've got three options: Download the 1.5 GB ISO image Run the 750KB Web Installer (which figures out what you need to download) Install via Web PI Note: I covered some tips for installing VS2010 SP1 last week - including some that apply to all of these, such as removing options you don't use prior to installing the service pack to decrease the installation time and download size. Two Visual Studio 2010 SP1 Web PI packages There are actually two WebPI packages for VS2010 SP1. There's the standard Visual Studio 2010 SP1 package [Web PI link], which includes (quoting ScottGu's post): VS2010 2010 SP1 ASP.NET MVC 3 (runtime + tools support) IIS 7.5 Express SQL Server Compact Edition 4.0 (runtime + tools support) Web Deployment 2.0 The notes on that package sum it up pretty well: Looking for the latest everything? Look no further. This will get you Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1 and the RTM releases of ASP.NET MVC 3, IIS 7.5 Express, SQL Server Compact 4.0 with tooling, and Web Deploy 2.0. It's the value meal of Microsoft products. Tell your friends! Note: This bundle includes the Visual Studio 2010 SP1 web installer, which will dynamically determine the appropriate service pack components to download and install. This is typically in the range of 200-500 MB and will take 30-60 minutes to install, depending on your machine configuration. There is also a Visual Studio 2010 SP1 Core package [Web PI link], which only includes only the SP without any of the other goodies (MVC3, IIS Express, etc.). If you're doing any web development, I'd highly recommend the main pack since it the other installs are small, simple installs, but if you're working in another space, you might want the core package. Installing via the Web Platform Installer I generally like to go with the Web PI when possible since it simplifies most software installations due to things like: Smart dependency management - installing apps or tools which have software dependencies will automatically figure out which dependencies you don't have and add them to the list (which you can review before install) Simultaneous download and install - if your install includes more than one package, it will automatically pull the dependencies first and begin installing them while downloading the others Lists the latest downloads - no need to search around, as they're all listed based on a live feed Includes open source applications - a lot of popular open source applications are included as well as Microsoft software and tools No worries about reinstallation - WebPI installations detect what you've got installed, so for instance if you've got MVC 3 installed you don't need to worry about the VS2010 SP1 package install messing anything up In addition to the links I included above, you can install the WebPI from http://www.microsoft.com/web/downloads/platform.aspx, and if you have Web PI installed you can just tap the Windows key and type "Web Platform" to bring it up in the Start search list. You'll see Visual Studio SP1 listed in the spotlight list as shown below. That's the standard package, which includes MVC 3 / IIS 7.5 Express / SQL Compact / Web Deploy. If you just want the core install, you can use the search box in the upper right corner, typing in "Visual Studio SP1" as shown. Core Install: Use Web PI or the Visual Studio Web Installer? I think the big advantage of using Web PI to install VS 2010 SP1 is that it includes the other new bits. If you're going to install the SP1 core, I don't think there's as much advantage to using Web PI, as the Web PI Core install just downloads the Visual Studio Web Installer anyways. I think Web PI makes it a little easier to find the download, but not a lot. The Visual Studio Web Installer checks dependencies, so there's no big advantage there. If you do happen to hit any problems installing Visual Studio SP1 via Web PI, I'd recommend running the Visual Studio Web Installer, then running the Web PI VS 2010 SP1 package to get all the other goodies. I talked to one person who hit some random snag, recommended that, and it worked out. Custom Web Platform Installer bundles You can create links that will launch the Web Platform Installer with a custom list of tools. You can see an example of this by clicking through on the install button at http://asp.net/downloads (cancelling the installation dialog). You'll see this in the address bar: http://www.microsoft.com/web/gallery/install.aspx?appsxml=&appid=MVC3;ASPNET;NETFramework4;SQLExpress;VWD Notice that the appid querystring parameter includes a semicolon delimited list, and you can make your own custom Web PI links with your own desired app list. I can think of a lot of cases where that would be handy: linking to a recommended software configuration from a software project or product, setting up a recommended / documented / supported install list for a software development team or IT shop, etc. For instance, here's a link that installs just VS2010 SP1 Core and the SQL CE tools: http://www.microsoft.com/web/gallery/install.aspx?appsxml=&appid=VS2010SP1Core;SQLCETools Note: If you've already got all or some of the products installed, the display will reflect that. On my dev box which has the full SP1 package, here's what the above link gives me: Here's another example - on a fresh box I created a link to install MVC 3 and the Web Farm Framework (http://www.microsoft.com/web/gallery/install.aspx?appsxml=&appid=MVC3;WebFarmFramework) and got the following items added to the cart: But where do I get the App ID's? Aha, that's the trick. You can link to a list of cool packages, but you need to know the App ID's to link to them. To figure that out, I turned on tracing in Web Platform Installer  (also handy if you're ever having trouble with a WebPI install) and from the trace logs saw that the list of packages is pulled from an XML file: DownloadManager Information: 0 : Loading product xml from: https://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9763242 DownloadManager Verbose: 0 : Connecting to https://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9763242 with (partial) headers: Referer: wpi://2.1.0.0/Microsoft Windows NT 6.1.7601 Service Pack 1 If-Modified-Since: Wed, 09 Mar 2011 14:15:27 GMT User-Agent:Platform-Installer/3.0.3.0(Microsoft Windows NT 6.1.7601 Service Pack 1) DownloadManager Information: 0 : https://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9763242 responded with 302 DownloadManager Information: 0 : Response headers: HTTP/1.1 302 Found Cache-Control: private Content-Length: 175 Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8 Expires: Wed, 09 Mar 2011 22:52:28 GMT Location: https://www.microsoft.com/web/webpi/3.0/webproductlist.xml Server: Microsoft-IIS/7.5 X-AspNet-Version: 2.0.50727 X-Powered-By: ASP.NET Date: Wed, 09 Mar 2011 22:53:27 GMT Browsing to https://www.microsoft.com/web/webpi/3.0/webproductlist.xml shows the full list. You can search through that in your browser / text editor if you'd like, open it in Excel as an XML table, etc. Here's a list of the App ID's as of today: SMO SMO32 PHP52ForIISExpress PHP53ForIISExpress StaticContent DefaultDocument DirectoryBrowse HTTPErrors HTTPRedirection ASPNET NETExtensibility ASP CGI ISAPIExtensions ISAPIFilters ServerSideIncludes HTTPLogging LoggingTools RequestMonitor Tracing CustomLogging ODBCLogging BasicAuthentication WindowsAuthentication DigestAuthentication ClientCertificateMappingAuthentication IISClientCertificateMappingAuthentication URLAuthorization RequestFiltering IPSecurity StaticContentCompression DynamicContentCompression IISManagementConsole IISManagementScriptsAndTools ManagementService MetabaseAndIIS6Compatibility WASProcessModel WASNetFxEnvironment WASConfigurationAPI IIS6WPICompatibility IIS6ScriptingTools IIS6ManagementConsole LegacyFTPServer FTPServer WebDAV LegacyFTPManagementConsole FTPExtensibility AdminPack AdvancedLogging WebFarmFrameworkNonLoc ExternalCacheNonLoc WebFarmFramework WebFarmFrameworkv2 WebFarmFrameworkv2_beta ExternalCache ECacheUpdate ARRv1 ARRv2Beta1 ARRv2Beta2 ARRv2RC ARRv2NonLoc ARRv2 ARRv2Update MVC MVCBeta MVCRC1 MVCRC2 DBManager DbManagerUpdate DynamicIPRestrictions DynamicIPRestrictionsUpdate DynamicIPRestrictionsLegacy DynamicIPRestrictionsBeta2 FTPOOB IISPowershellSnapin RemoteManager SEOToolkit VS2008RTM MySQL SQLDriverPHP52IIS SQLDriverPHP53IIS SQLDriverPHP52IISExpress SQLDriverPHP53IISExpress SQLExpress SQLManagementStudio SQLExpressAdv SQLExpressTools UrlRewrite UrlRewrite2 UrlRewrite2NonLoc UrlRewrite2RC UrlRewrite2Beta UrlRewrite10 UrlScan MVC3Installer MVC3 MVC3LocInstaller MVC3Loc MVC2 VWD VWD2010SP1Pack NETFramework4 WebMatrix WebMatrix_v1Refresh IISExpress IISExpress_v1 IIS7 AspWebPagesVS AspWebPagesVS_1_0 Plan9 Plan9Loc WebMatrix_WHP SQLCE SQLCETools SQLCEVSTools SQLCEVSTools_4_0 SQLCEVSToolsInstaller_4_0 SQLCEVSToolsInstallerNew_4_0 SQLCEVSToolsInstallerRepair_EN_4_0 SQLCEVSToolsInstallerRepair_JA_4_0 SQLCEVSToolsInstallerRepair_FR_4_0 SQLCEVSToolsInstallerRepair_DE_4_0 SQLCEVSToolsInstallerRepair_ES_4_0 SQLCEVSToolsInstallerRepair_IT_4_0 SQLCEVSToolsInstallerRepair_RU_4_0 SQLCEVSToolsInstallerRepair_KO_4_0 SQLCEVSToolsInstallerRepair_ZH_CN_4_0 SQLCEVSToolsInstallerRepair_ZH_TW_4_0 VWD2008 WebDAVOOB WDeploy WDeploy_v2 WDeployNoSMO WDeploy11 WinCache52 WinCache53 NETFramework35 WindowsImagingComponent VC9Redist NETFramework20SP2 WindowsInstaller31 PowerShell PowerShellMsu PowerShell2 WindowsInstaller45 FastCGIUpdate FastCGIBackport FastCGIIIS6 IIS51 IIS60 SQLNativeClient SQLNativeClient2008 SQLNativeClient2005 SQLCLRTypes SQLCLRTypes32 SMO_10_1 MySQLConnector PHP52 PHP53 PHPManager VSVWD2010Feature VWD2010WebFeature_0 VWD2010WebFeature_1 VWD2010WebFeature_2 VS2010SP1Prerequisite RIAServicesToolkitMay2010 Silverlight4Toolkit Silverlight4Tools VSLS SSMAMySQL WebsitePanel VS2010SP1Core VS2010SP1Installer VS2010SP1Pack MissingVWDOrVSVWD2010Feature VB2010Beta2Express VCS2010Beta2Express VC2010Beta2Express RIAServicesToolkitApr2010 VS2010Beta1 VS2010RC VS2010Beta2 VS2010Beta2Express VS2k8RTM VSCPP2k8RTM VSVB2k8RTM VSCS2k8RTM VSVWDFeature LegacyWinCache SQLExpress2005 SSMS2005

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  • Salt and hash a password in .NET

    - by Jon Canning
    I endeavoured to follow the CrackStation rules: Salted Password Hashing - Doing it Right    public class SaltedHash     {         public string Hash { get; private set; }         public string Salt { get; private set; }         public SaltedHash(string password)         {             var saltBytes = new byte[32];             new RNGCryptoServiceProvider().GetNonZeroBytes(saltBytes);             Salt = ConvertToBase64String(saltBytes);             var passwordAndSaltBytes = Concat(password, saltBytes);             Hash = ComputeHash(passwordAndSaltBytes);         }         static string ConvertToBase64String(byte[] bytes)         {             return Convert.ToBase64String(bytes);         }         static string ComputeHash(byte[] bytes)         {             return ConvertToBase64String(SHA256.Create().ComputeHash(bytes));         }         static byte[] Concat(string password, byte[] saltBytes)         {             var passwordBytes = Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(password);             return passwordBytes.Concat(saltBytes).ToArray();         }         public static bool Verify(string salt, string hash, string password)         {             var saltBytes = Convert.FromBase64String(salt);             var passwordAndSaltBytes = Concat(password, saltBytes);             var hashAttempt = ComputeHash(passwordAndSaltBytes);             return hash == hashAttempt;         }     }

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  • Universal navigation menu across domains - would it be considered duplicate content?

    - by Jon Harley
    Across different sites on different second-level domains exists a universal navigation bar with a collection of roughly 30 links. This universal bar is exactly the same for every page on each domain. The bar's HTML, CSS and JavaScript are all stored in a subfolder for each domain and the HTML is embedded upon serving the page and is not being injected on the client side. None of the links use any rel directives and are as vanilla as can be. My question is about Google's duplicate content rule. Would something like this be considered duplicate content? Matt Cutt's blog post about duplicate content mentions boilerplate repetition, but then he mentions lengthy legalese. Since the text in this universal bar is brief and uses common terms, I wonder if this same rule applies. If this is considered duplicate content, what would be a good way to correct the problem?

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  • Recommendations for books and training resources covering for Design for Programmers

    - by Jon Hopkins
    Off the back of one of the answers to this question (currently the second highest scoring), it made me think, what's the best way to get developers up to speed on good basic design principals. I'm not talking about making them into graphic designers but some developers almost take pride in ugly UIs, seeing them as unimportant next to the functionality. What primarily interested in are the graphic design elements rather than the usability aspects which is pretty well covered by books such as Don't Make Me Think. Use of white space, emphasis, font selection and a million other things I'm probably not even aware of. I know people are often seen as artistic or not artistic but surely the basics can be taught and someone has written a book covering this?

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  • Recover files in Ubuntu from USB stick

    - by Jon
    I have Ubuntu 11.04 running from a USB stick. I think I ran some updates in terminal and now it has a kernel panic during boot up. Is there a way I can get hold of files I saved when Ubuntu was working? I just managed to watch the booot screen and it looks as if there are some errors saying there is no room to write to disk however my USB stick has 5GB free UPDATE: Here is what I see when I plug the USB stick into Windows

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  • How can I get multitouch enabled on my Sentelic touchpad (msi x350 notebook)?

    - by Jon
    I understand my MSI x350 notebook comes with a Sentelic trackpad, which supports multi-touch (according to the MSI website). Is there a way to enable multitouch on Ubuntu? I've been having difficulty finding info about this on google, and since it's not a synaptics touchpad I haven't been able to find much info in ubuntu docs. My mouse preferences doesn't have a trackpad tab like it does on, say, a Macbook. Running "xinput list" returns: FSPPS/2 Sentelic FingerSensingPad id=11 And in my Xorg.0.log: [ 17.481] (II) config/udev: Adding input device FSPPS/2 Sentelic FingerSensingPad (/dev/input/event6) [ 17.481] () FSPPS/2 Sentelic FingerSensingPad: Applying InputClass "evdev pointer catchall" [ 17.481] () FSPPS/2 Sentelic FingerSensingPad: always reports core events [ 17.481] () FSPPS/2 Sentelic FingerSensingPad: Device: "/dev/input/event6" [ 17.500] (II) FSPPS/2 Sentelic FingerSensingPad: Found 11 mouse buttons [ 17.500] (II) FSPPS/2 Sentelic FingerSensingPad: Found scroll wheel(s) [ 17.500] (II) FSPPS/2 Sentelic FingerSensingPad: Found relative axes [ 17.500] (II) FSPPS/2 Sentelic FingerSensingPad: Found x and y relative axes [ 17.500] (II) FSPPS/2 Sentelic FingerSensingPad: Configuring as mouse [ 17.500] () FSPPS/2 Sentelic FingerSensingPad: YAxisMapping: buttons 4 and 5 [ 17.500] (**) FSPPS/2 Sentelic FingerSensingPad: EmulateWheelButton: 4, EmulateWheelInertia: 10, EmulateWheelTimeout: 200 [ 17.500] (II) XINPUT: Adding extended input device "FSPPS/2 Sentelic FingerSensingPad" (type: MOUSE) [ 17.500] (II) FSPPS/2 Sentelic FingerSensingPad: initialized for relative axes. [ 17.500] (II) config/udev: Adding input device FSPPS/2 Sentelic FingerSensingPad (/dev/input/mouse0)

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  • Are there any non-self-taught famous programmers? [closed]

    - by Jon Purdy
    It seems to me that being a self-taught programmer has significant advantages over picking it up only in higher education. Not only does a self-taught developer have a headstart on their 10 000-odd hours of mastery, but their hobby demonstrates genuine interest. This will likely lead to a process of continuous self-improvement over their career, not to mention increased likelihood of producing personal projects that are worthy of fame. A programmer who spends four years in study (not nearly all of which is going to be directly concerned with programming) has far less leisure to explore and learn independently than does a developer who starts college with even a few years of dedicated hobbyist study. I wonder whether there are any famed developers who had no exposure to programming before deciding to study it in university. I simply doubt that an 18-year-old has the capacity to become a brilliant programmer with no prior experience, but that seems like an awfully elitist and unpleasant view, so I'd like to be proven wrong.

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  • What to look for in a free hosting plan? [duplicate]

    - by Jon
    This question already has an answer here: How to find web hosting that meets my requirements? 5 answers I have a test website that's hosted on a free plan by Zymic. At the moment I'm typing, it and my site is down. I don't want to let my clients down in the future. It's been down for over 2 days. I thought it was a coding problem at first, and then found out I couldn't connect to my server. Zymic had very good reviews, and its downtime was OK (not high or low), but now I want to change my web host. What should I look for (besides downtime guarantee)? Also, do you have any suggestions that with all the benefits? Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.

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  • Universal navigation menu across domains

    - by Jon Harley
    I'd like to start by saying that I've searched for hours and could not find a definitive answer to my question. Across different sites on different second-level domains exists a universal navigation bar with a collection of roughly 30 links. This universal bar is exactly the same for every page on each domain. The bar's HTML, CSS and JavaScript are all stored in a subfolder for each domain and the HTML is embedded upon serving the page and is not being injected on the client side. None of the links use any rel directives and are as vanilla as can be. My question is about Google's duplicate content rule. Would something like this be considered duplicate content? Matt Cutt's blog post about duplicate content mentions boilerplate repetition, but then he mentions lengthy legalese. Since the text in this universal bar is brief and uses common terms, I wonder if this same rule applies. If this is considered duplicate content, what would be a good way to correct the problem? Thank you for your help.

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  • Has any language become greatly popular for something other than its intended purpose?

    - by Jon Purdy
    Take this scenario: A programmer creates a language to solve some problem. He then releases this language to help others solve problems like it. Another programmer discovers it's actually much better for some different category of problems. By virtue of this new application, the language then becomes popular for that application primarily. Are there any instances of this actually occurring? Put another way, does the intended purpose of a language have any bearing on how it's actually used, or whether it becomes popular? Is it even important that a language have an advertised purpose?

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  • Using OData to get Mix10 files

    - by Jon Dalberg
    There has been a lot of talk around OData lately (go to odata.org for more information) and I wanted to get all the videos from Mix ‘10: two great tastes that taste great together. Luckily, Mix has exposed the ‘10 sessions via OData at http://api.visitmix.com/OData.svc, now all I have to do is slap together a bit of code to fetch the videos. Step 1 (cut a hole in the box) Create a new console application and add a new service reference. Step 2 (put your junk in the box) Write a smidgen of code: 1: static void Main(string[] args) 2: { 3: var mix = new Mix.EventEntities(new Uri("http://api.visitmix.com/OData.svc")); 4:   5: var files = from f in mix.Files 6: where f.TypeName == "WMV" 7: select f; 8:   9: var web = new WebClient(); 10: 11: var myVideos = Path.Combine(Environment.GetFolderPath(Environment.SpecialFolder.MyVideos), "Mix10"); 12:   13: Directory.CreateDirectory(myVideos); 14:   15: files.ToList().ForEach(f => { 16: var fileName = new Uri(f.Url).Segments.Last(); 17: Console.WriteLine(f.Url); 18: web.DownloadFile(f.Url, Path.Combine(myVideos, fileName)); 19: }); 20: } Step 3 (have her open the box) Compile and run. As you can see, the client reference created for the OData service handles almost everything for me. Yeah, I know there is some batch file to download the files, but it relies on cUrl being on the machine – and I wanted an excuse to work with an OData service. Enjoy!

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  • OData &ndash; The easiest service I can create: now with updates

    - by Jon Dalberg
    The other day I created a simple NastyWord service exposed via OData. It was read-only and used an in-memory backing store for the words. Today I’ll modify it to use a file instead of a list and I’ll accept new nasty words by implementing IUpdatable directly. The first thing to do is enable the service to accept new entries. This is done at configuration time by adding the “WriteAppend” access rule: 1: public class NastyWords : DataService<NastyWordsDataSource> 2: { 3: // This method is called only once to initialize service-wide policies. 4: public static void InitializeService(DataServiceConfiguration config) 5: { 6: config.SetEntitySetAccessRule("*", EntitySetRights.AllRead | EntitySetRights.WriteAppend); 7: config.DataServiceBehavior.MaxProtocolVersion = DataServiceProtocolVersion.V2; 8: } 9: }   Next I placed a file, NastyWords.txt, in the “App_Data” folder and added a few *choice* words to start. This required one simple change to our NastyWordDataSource.cs file: 1: public NastyWordsDataSource() 2: { 3: UpdateFromSource(); 4: } 5:   6: private void UpdateFromSource() 7: { 8: var words = File.ReadAllLines(pathToFile); 9: NastyWords = (from w in words 10: select new NastyWord { Word = w }).AsQueryable(); 11: }   Nothing too shocking here, just reading each line from the NastyWords.txt file and exposing them. Next, I implemented IUpdatable which comes with a boat-load of methods. We don’t need all of them for now since we are only concerned with allowing new values. Here are the methods we must implement, all the others throw a NotImplementedException: 1: public object CreateResource(string containerName, string fullTypeName) 2: { 3: var nastyWord = new NastyWord(); 4: pendingUpdates.Add(nastyWord); 5: return nastyWord; 6: } 7:   8: public object ResolveResource(object resource) 9: { 10: return resource; 11: } 12:   13: public void SaveChanges() 14: { 15: var intersect = (from w in pendingUpdates 16: select w.Word).Intersect(from n in NastyWords 17: select n.Word); 18:   19: if (intersect.Count() > 0) 20: throw new DataServiceException(500, "duplicate entry"); 21:   22: var lines = from w in pendingUpdates 23: select w.Word; 24:   25: File.AppendAllLines(pathToFile, 26: lines, 27: Encoding.UTF8); 28:   29: pendingUpdates.Clear(); 30:   31: UpdateFromSource(); 32: } 33:   34: public void SetValue(object targetResource, string propertyName, object propertyValue) 35: { 36: targetResource.GetType().GetProperty(propertyName).SetValue(targetResource, propertyValue, null); 37: }   I use a simple list to contain the pending updates and only commit them when the “SaveChanges” method is called. Here’s the order these methods are called in our service during an insert: CreateResource – here we just instantiate a new NastyWord and stick a reference to it in our pending updates list. SetValue – this is where the “Word” property of the NastyWord instance is set. SaveChanges – get the list of pending updates, barfing on duplicates, write them to the file and clear our pending list. ResolveResource – the newly created resource will be returned directly here since we aren’t dealing with “handles” to objects but the actual objects themselves. Not too bad, eh? I didn’t find this documented anywhere but a little bit of digging in the OData spec and use of Fiddler made it pretty easy to figure out. Here is some client code which would add a new nasty word: 1: static void Main(string[] args) 2: { 3: var svc = new ServiceReference1.NastyWordsDataSource(new Uri("http://localhost.:60921/NastyWords.svc")); 4: svc.AddToNastyWords(new ServiceReference1.NastyWord() { Word = "shat" }); 5:   6: svc.SaveChanges(); 7: }   Here’s all of the code so far for to implement the service: 1: using System; 2: using System.Collections.Generic; 3: using System.Data.Services; 4: using System.Data.Services.Common; 5: using System.Linq; 6: using System.ServiceModel.Web; 7: using System.Web; 8: using System.IO; 9: using System.Text; 10:   11: namespace ONasty 12: { 13: [DataServiceKey("Word")] 14: public class NastyWord 15: { 16: public string Word { get; set; } 17: } 18:   19: public class NastyWordsDataSource : IUpdatable 20: { 21: private List<NastyWord> pendingUpdates = new List<NastyWord>(); 22: private string pathToFile = @"path to your\App_Data\NastyWords.txt"; 23:   24: public NastyWordsDataSource() 25: { 26: UpdateFromSource(); 27: } 28:   29: private void UpdateFromSource() 30: { 31: var words = File.ReadAllLines(pathToFile); 32: NastyWords = (from w in words 33: select new NastyWord { Word = w }).AsQueryable(); 34: } 35:   36: public IQueryable<NastyWord> NastyWords { get; private set; } 37:   38: public void AddReferenceToCollection(object targetResource, string propertyName, object resourceToBeAdded) 39: { 40: throw new NotImplementedException(); 41: } 42:   43: public void ClearChanges() 44: { 45: pendingUpdates.Clear(); 46: } 47:   48: public object CreateResource(string containerName, string fullTypeName) 49: { 50: var nastyWord = new NastyWord(); 51: pendingUpdates.Add(nastyWord); 52: return nastyWord; 53: } 54:   55: public void DeleteResource(object targetResource) 56: { 57: throw new NotImplementedException(); 58: } 59:   60: public object GetResource(IQueryable query, string fullTypeName) 61: { 62: throw new NotImplementedException(); 63: } 64:   65: public object GetValue(object targetResource, string propertyName) 66: { 67: throw new NotImplementedException(); 68: } 69:   70: public void RemoveReferenceFromCollection(object targetResource, string propertyName, object resourceToBeRemoved) 71: { 72: throw new NotImplementedException(); 73: } 74:   75: public object ResetResource(object resource) 76: { 77: throw new NotImplementedException(); 78: } 79:   80: public object ResolveResource(object resource) 81: { 82: return resource; 83: } 84:   85: public void SaveChanges() 86: { 87: var intersect = (from w in pendingUpdates 88: select w.Word).Intersect(from n in NastyWords 89: select n.Word); 90:   91: if (intersect.Count() > 0) 92: throw new DataServiceException(500, "duplicate entry"); 93:   94: var lines = from w in pendingUpdates 95: select w.Word; 96:   97: File.AppendAllLines(pathToFile, 98: lines, 99: Encoding.UTF8); 100:   101: pendingUpdates.Clear(); 102:   103: UpdateFromSource(); 104: } 105:   106: public void SetReference(object targetResource, string propertyName, object propertyValue) 107: { 108: throw new NotImplementedException(); 109: } 110:   111: public void SetValue(object targetResource, string propertyName, object propertyValue) 112: { 113: targetResource.GetType().GetProperty(propertyName).SetValue(targetResource, propertyValue, null); 114: } 115: } 116:   117: public class NastyWords : DataService<NastyWordsDataSource> 118: { 119: // This method is called only once to initialize service-wide policies. 120: public static void InitializeService(DataServiceConfiguration config) 121: { 122: config.SetEntitySetAccessRule("*", EntitySetRights.AllRead | EntitySetRights.WriteAppend); 123: config.DataServiceBehavior.MaxProtocolVersion = DataServiceProtocolVersion.V2; 124: } 125: } 126: } Next time we’ll allow removing nasty words. Enjoy!

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  • Android - Rendering HUD View to SurfaceView

    - by Jon
    I have developed a relatively simple game in android, to get my head around it all, and on the back of it developed a crude game engine (in the loosest sense!). I use a SurfaceView and canvas (no OpenGL) - I'll cross that bridge another time! I have implemented a game HUD, title screens etc. by overlaying standard Android view widgets over my SurfaceView. This all works reasonably well maintaining an acceptable frame-rate, but it is a simple game with not a lot happening on or off screen. What I am wondering now is whether one could (and whether one would get any advantage by) drawing all my views to the one SurfaceView, all controlled by the main game thread. At the moment I have handlers flinging messages around and runOnUiThreads here, there and everywhere. Quite cumbersome. Any thoughts on this would be much appreciated (before I perhaps waste time trying to do it!)

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  • Desktop switcher appears to be broken for quick double-switches

    - by Jon Blackburn
    I'm wondering if anyone else has seen this. I have three virtual desktops aligned in a horizontal row. In the middle desktop I have only a single application window. I have keyboard shortcuts mapping to navigate between the desktops. Obviously, I never use the up/down arrows because I only have one row of workspaces. Here's the problem, which only started to happen after I installed 12.04.1: When I rapidly hit to go from workspace 1 to workspace 3, the window on workspace 2 gets moved to workspace 1. I have checked using both Unity and Gnome3, and the behavior is the same under both. If I change back to the default workspace setup (a 2x2 grid of desktops) things seem to settle down (i.e., no wandering windows). Not every type of application window behaves the same way. I couldn't get a Chrome browser to jump from 2 to 1, but both Terminal and Terminator exhibit the behavior. Any thoughts? Better workarounds? Thanks in advance.

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  • eBook editions of programming books

    - by Jon Hopkins
    (I'll get my justification for why this is on topic in early: programming books tend to have fairly specific formatting needs - code samples, tables, images and graphs - which are not common to all book types and are not necessarily well handled by eBook readers. Similarly they're used in different ways - you often dip in and out rather than read cover to cover.) I've just noticed that Don't Make Me Think by Steve Krug is available as an eBook edition for the Kindle (and presumably also for other readers) which set me thinking. There are certain advantages to eBook readers for tech books - primarily that you can carry a massive library of what would be heavy physical books around very easily. The downside is that certain eBook readers allegedly aren't particularly well equipped to cope with tables, code samples and so on and a book like Don't Make Me Think presumably makes extensive use of these sorts of things. So, the question, what are your experiences of reading and using programming books on an eBook reader and would you recommend it? I'm specifically interested in the latest generation Kindle but happy to hear about all devices - might be useful to state which one you use in the answer.

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  • Standards for how developers work on their own workstations

    - by Jon Hopkins
    We've just come across one of those situations which occasionally comes up when a developer goes off sick for a few days mid-project. There were a few questions about whether he'd committed the latest version of his code or whether there was something more recent on his local machine we should be looking at, and we had a delivery to a customer pending so we couldn't wait for him to return. One of the other developers logged on as him to see and found a mess of workspaces, many seemingly of the same projects, with timestamps that made it unclear which one was "current" (he was prototyping some bits on versions of the project other than his "core" one). Obviously this is a pain in the neck, however the alternative (which would seem to be strict standards for how each developer works on their own machine to ensure that any other developer can pick things up with a minimum of effort) is likely to break many developers personal work flows and lead to inefficiency on an individual level. I'm not talking about standards for checked-in code, or even general development standards, I'm talking about how a developer works locally, a domain generally considered (in my experience) to be almost entirely under the developers own control. So how do you handle situations like this? Are the one of those things that just happens and you have to deal with, the price you pay for developers being allowed to work in the way that best suits them? Or do you ask developers to adhere to standards in this area - use of specific directories, naming standards, notes on a wiki or whatever? And if so what do your standards cover, how strict are they, how do you police them and so on? Or is there another solution I'm missing? [Assume for the sake of argument that the developer can not be contacted to talk through what he was doing here - even if he could knowing and describing which workspace is which from memory isn't going to be simple and flawless and sometimes people genuinely can't be contacted and I'd like a solution which covers all eventualities.]

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  • OData &ndash; The easiest service I can create

    - by Jon Dalberg
    I wanted to create an OData service with the least amount of code so I fired up Visual Studio and got cracking. I decided to serve up a list of naughty words and make them read-only. Create a new web project. I created an empty MVC 2 application but MVC is not required for OData. Add a new WCF Data Service to the project. I named mine NastyWords.svc since I’m serving up a list of nasty words. Add a class to expose via the service: NastyWord 1: [DataServiceKey("Word")] 2: public class NastyWord 3: { 4: public string Word { get; set; } 5: }   I need to be able to uniquely identify instances of NastyWords for the DataService so I used the DataServiceKey attribute with the “Word” property as the key. I could have added an “ID” property which would have uniquely identified them and would then not need the “DataServiceKey” attribute because the DataService would apply some reflection and heuristics to guess at which property would be the unique identifier. However, the words themselves are unique so adding an “ID” property would be redundantly repetitive. Then I created a data source to expose my NastyWord objects to the service. This is just a simple class with IQueryable<T> properties exposing the entities for my service: 1: public class NastyWordsDataSource 2: { 3: private static IList<NastyWord> words = new List<NastyWord> 4: { 5: new NastyWord{ Word="crap"}, 6: new NastyWord{ Word="darn"}, 7: new NastyWord{ Word="hell"}, 8: new NastyWord{ Word="shucks"} 9: }; 10:   11: public NastyWordsDataSource() 12: { 13: NastyWords = words.AsQueryable(); 14: } 15:   16: public IQueryable<NastyWord> NastyWords { get; private set; } 17: }   Now I can go to the NastyWords.svc class and tell it which data source to use and which entities to expose: 1: public class NastyWords : DataService<NastyWordsDataSource> 2: { 3: // This method is called only once to initialize service-wide policies. 4: public static void InitializeService(DataServiceConfiguration config) 5: { 6: config.SetEntitySetAccessRule("*", EntitySetRights.AllRead); 7: config.DataServiceBehavior.MaxProtocolVersion = DataServiceProtocolVersion.V2; 8: } 9: }   Compile and browse to my NastWords.svc and weep with joy Now I can query my service just like any other OData service. Next time, I’ll modify this service to allow updates to sent so I can build up my list of nasty words. Enjoy!

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  • Multi-lingual error messages and error numbers

    - by Jon Hopkins
    So we're looking at the possibility of porting our software to support multiple languages and one of the areas we're going to have to deal with is error messages and other notifications. These obviously have to be reported to the users in their own language. Our team (largely) only speak English and even if we were all multi-lingual we're looking at selling to a wide range of countries and could never expect to have a reasonable number of people speaking all languages (we're a small company). The obvious way to get round the language issue when errors or other messages we may get asked about which are being reported is error numbers which would be consistent across language. While these are going to exist in the backend (if only as key on the error message), I'd really rather not throw them at users if we don't have to but I don't have any other solution. Anyone have any useful suggestions for alternatives?

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  • The Written Roles of Chief Technology Officer

    - by Jon Hopkins
    A follow up to this question: The Written Roles of Software Development Manager What is the role and what are the responsibilities of a CTO when it's done well, with particular reference to how it might pertain to a programmer with aspirations towards this sort of position? (Reason for asking - it's one potential career destination for programmers looking to move away from a purely hands-on role and for those with this sort of ambition it's worth knowing what it actually entails).

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