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  • Exchange Out of Office Reply reset

    - by Richard West
    I have a question. We have an employee that is going to be on maternity leave for the next 8 weeks. I think that Outlook/Exchange is designed to send one out of office message to each person that sends an email to my user for the duration of the out of office reply. Meaning that if someone sends an email to my user each week they are only going to receive one out of office message - the first time they send her an e-mail. My concern is that over time people might forget that she is out of the office. Since they are not receiving any type of reply when they send an email this would seem possible. Does anyone know if Exchange ever resets the out of message notification after a certain amount of time? Like a week or so? I'm not looking for every message to get an out of office message, but I think more than one over the course of 8 weeks would be appropriate. I know that I can turn off and turn back on the out of office assistant to "reset" the replies, but I'm curious if Exchange performs a reset after a certain period of time automatically.

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  • Compiling cpp code in netbeans produce errors, how to solve it ?

    - by Rupertt Wind
    i use the netbeans with MinGW and MYSY make /debugger but when i compile a basic cpp code in it and run it it produces two erorrs this is the code runned and the output![alt text][1] box #include <iostream> void main() { cout << "Hello World!" << endl; cout << "Welcome to C++ Programming" << endl; } output is /usr/bin/make -f nbproject/Makefile-Debug.mk SUBPROJECTS= .build-conf make[1]: Entering directory `/d/Users/Home/Documents/NetBeansProjects/newApp' /usr/bin/make -f nbproject/Makefile-Debug.mk dist/Debug/MinGW-Windows/newapp.exe make[2]: Entering directory `/d/Users/Home/Documents/NetBeansProjects/newApp' mkdir -p dist/Debug/MinGW-Windows g++.exe -o dist/Debug/MinGW-Windows/newapp build/Debug/MinGW-Windows/newmain.o build/Debug/MinGW-Windows/newfile.o build/Debug/MinGW-Windows/main.o build/Debug/MinGW-Windows/newfile.o: In function `main': D:/Users/Home/Documents/NetBeansProjects/newApp/newfile.cpp:5: multiple definition of `main' build/Debug/MinGW-Windows/newmain.o:D:/Users/Home/Documents/NetBeansProjects/newApp/newmain.c:15: first defined here build/Debug/MinGW-Windows/main.o: In function `main': D:/Users/Home/Documents/NetBeansProjects/newApp/main.cpp:13: multiple definition of `main' build/Debug/MinGW-Windows/newmain.o:D:/Users/Home/Documents/NetBeansProjects/newApp/newmain.c:15: first defined here collect2: ld returned 1 exit status make[2]: *** [dist/Debug/MinGW-Windows/newapp.exe] Error 1 make[2]: Leaving directory `/d/Users/Home/Documents/NetBeansProjects/newApp' make[1]: *** [.build-conf] Error 2 make[1]: Leaving directory `/d/Users/Home/Documents/NetBeansProjects/newApp' make: *** [.build-impl] Error 2 BUILD FAILED (exit value 2, total time: 1s) how can i solve this ?

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  • Linode - Centos 5.5 -

    - by Marcus West
    Hi, I rather foolishly undertook to install a control panel on a Linode. I opted to use CentOs 5.5 (either ordinary or 64 bit) but I am like a monkey playing a reward game... I have some idea of what I am doing, but not enough.... In certain areas I am hopeless....do I install Webmin/virtualmin, or ISP Config..... ISP Config 2 or 3? I would employ someone to help, but how do i find the right person? Where can i learn the ropes on all this? There seems to be no systematic training, and even when I try to research college courses in the UK, I am none the wiser as to where I could go to learn how to run a Linux server..... Has anyone any pointers? Right now I am looking at th esecurity aspects of the server.....rkhunter , denyhosts etc... Any advice on installing and maintaining these things? Cheers marcus

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  • Problem Adding Windows 7 64-bit print drivers to 32-bit Windows 2003 Print Server

    - by Richard West
    I have installed the final RTM version of Windows 7 professional 64 bit on a test system before we begin the roll out in our company. I'm having problems connecting to several HP printers that we have on the network. These printers are being shared from a Windows 2003 server host. I have downloaded the lastest HP Universal Printer dirver, however I'm unable to add the 64 bit driver onto the 2003 server system (it's 32 bit). Does anyone have any advice on how I can get connected to these printers from the Windows 7 system?

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  • SQL Server Backup problem when browsing to the directory

    - by Richard West
    I want to allow a group (eg. 'BackupManagers') who can only preform backup and restore operations on certain databases. When creating the BackupManagers user account I checked db_backupoperator. When the user logs in to create a backup they get an error message similar to the following when the select Tasks - Backup - Click on Add in the destiantion block - click on the "..." button to browse TITLE: Locate Database Files - MYSERVER\SQL2005 E:\MSSQL\Backup Cannot access the specified path or file on the server. Verify that you have the necessary security privileges and that the path or file exists. If you know that the service account can access a specific file, type in the full path for the file in the File Name control in the Locate dialog box. I have confirmed that the user has permissions to the folder. I have even created a share to this folder and had them access it through explorer. They are able to create and delete files within the folder. I have found that if they type in the path to the file instead of using the "..." button to browse the directory tree then they can create a backup file fine. Why is the browse button not working as expected? Thanks!

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  • Windows 2008 R2 Server Core Disk Space Requirements/Recomendations

    - by Richard West
    I'm in the preparation stage to roll out a few Windows 2008 R2 Server Core in my VMware ESX environment. In looking over the documentation it looks like Server Core can operate in a little as 6.5 GB of hard drive space. Less disk space required. A Server Core installation requires only about 3.5 gigabytes (GB) of disk space to install and approximately 3 GB for operations after the installation. I am curious as to anyone’s real world experience and recommendations with regard to this requirement. Is it realistic? A little bit about our environment: Less than 25 users, and around 75 computers/servers in our current AD system. These systems will be responsible for normal AD operations and print servers for 5 printers - nothing to big here.

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  • Query data using LINQ to SQL and Entity Framework with foreign key? (Help me please)

    - by The Wind
    Hello! There is a problem I need help with your query on the data using LINQ to SQL and Entity Framework (I'm using Visual Studio 2010). My picure here: http://img.tamtay.vn/files/photo2/2010/5/28/10/962/4bff3a3b_1093f58f_untitled-1.gif I have three tables: tbl NewsDetails tblNewsCategories tblNewsInCategories (See screen 1 in my picture) Now, I want to retrieve records in the tblNewsDetails table, with condition: CategoryId=1, as the following results: (See screen 2 in my picture) But NewsID and CategoryId in tblNewsInCategories table is two foreign key, I do not see them and I do not know how to use them in your code. My code has errors: (See screen 3 in my picture) Please help me. Thanks! (I am a new member, should not have the right to insert images)

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  • Cost-effective Windows BIM Server

    - by Amy West
    What is the most cost-effective Windows server licence version for a machine to be used solely as a ArchiCAD BIM Server? We only have 3-7 simultaneously working architects that will be working with the BIM Server application at the same time. Most of the features of Windows Server 2008 are really not needed. We already have a Linux-based server that handles all the required tasks. The Web Server licence would be enough, but I believe it is not allowed to run it as an application server. Is using non-server Windows OS an option for such a task?

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  • TypeError: Error #1009 - (Null reference error) With Flash.

    - by Wind Chimez
    I am not an expert in flash, but i do work with AS and tweak Flash projects , though not having deep expertise in it. Currently i need to revamp a flash website done by one another guy, and the code base given to me, upon execution is throwing the following error. "--- TypeError: Error #1009: Cannot access a property or method of a null object reference. at NewSite_fla::MainTimeline/__setProp_ContactOutP1_ContactOut_Contents_0() at NewSite_fla::MainTimeline/frame1() --" The structure of the project is like, it has the different sections split into different movie clips. There is no single main timeline, but click actions on different areas of seperate movie clips will take them between one another. All the AS logic of event handling are written inline in FLA , no seperate Document class exists. Preloader Movie clip is the first one getting loaded. As i understood the error is getting thrown initially itself, and it is not happening due to any Action script logic written inline, because it is throwing error even before hitting the first inline AS code. I am not able to figure Out what exactly it causing the problem, or where to resolve it. I really got stuck at this point. Any help will be great.I had not seen the particular solution i am looking for anywhere yet, though Error #1009 is common. I uploaded the fla, here ( http://tinyurl.com/249e95p ), for reference.It may not be working , since the included/refered video files and all are not there, but reviwing the action code/movie clips will be possible. Please let me know if somebody will be able to trace the issue exactly.

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  • Retiring a print server but looking for a method to confirm no one is still connecting to it

    - by Richard West
    I have a Windows 2003 print server that I need to retire. Through variaous methods (login scripts, etc) I think that I had everyone migrated off of this server and connected to the new print server. Having said that, I'd like to make sure before taking the server down :-) Is there a script that I can run to query a remote workstations in my domain to see what printer shares it is connected to?

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  • TypeError: Error #1009 - (Null reference error) With Flash.

    - by Wind Chimez
    I am not an expert in flash, but i do work with AS and tweak Flash projects , though not having deep expertise in it. Currently i need to revamp a flash website done by one another guy, and the code base given to me, upon execution is throwing the following error. "--- TypeError: Error #1009: Cannot access a property or method of a null object reference. at NewSite_fla::MainTimeline/__setProp_ContactOutP1_ContactOut_Contents_0() at NewSite_fla::MainTimeline/frame1() --" The structure of the project is like, it has the different sections split into different movie clips. There is no single main timeline, but click actions on different areas of seperate movie clips will take them between one another. All the AS logic of event handling are written inline in FLA , no seperate Document class exists. Preloader Movie clip is the first one getting loaded. As i understood the error is getting thrown initially itself, and it is not happening due to any Action script logic written inline, because it is throwing error even before hitting the first inline AS code. I am not able to figure Out what exactly it causing the problem, or where to resolve it. I setup the stuff online, for reference if anybody want to take a look at it, and here is the link.You need to have flash debugger turned ON in your browser, if need to see the exception getting triggered. http://tinyurl.com/2alvlfx I really got stuck at this point. Any help will be great.I had not seen the particular solution i am looking for anywhere yet, though Error #1009 is common.

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  • Equal Column Heights

    - by cjmcjm
    I want the east and west divs to extend down to match the height of the center div... possible? Thanks so much. .con{ padding-left: 22px; padding-right: 22px; overflow: hidden; } .col{ position: relative; float: left; } .west{ width: 7px; right: 22px; margin-left: -100%; background: url(http://www.example.com/west.png) repeat-y; padding: 0 0 0 15; } .east{ width: 7px; margin-right: -22px; background: url(http://www.example.com/east.png) repeat-y; padding: 0 15 0 0; } .center{ width: 100%; } <div class="con"> <div class="center col"> Test Text<br/> Test Text<br/> Test Text<br/> Test Text<br/> </div> <div class="west col"> </div> <div class="east col"> </div> </div>

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  • How to automatically make a change to Outlook Microsoft Exchange Proxy Settings

    - by Richard West
    I need to make a change on all computers in our domain. Specifically I need to make a change to the Microsoft Exchange Proxy Settings. Our users have Outlook 2010 installed. These setting can be mannually accessed from: Control Panel - Mail - E-mail Accounts - (Select Account) - Change Account - More Settings - Connection Tab - Exchange Proxy Settings I need to have both the "On fast networks" and "On slow networks" check boxes selected. Obviously the idea of asking my users to go through the process above to make these changes is not ideal. Therefore I looking for advice on how I can automatically push these setting to my user base. I have seached the registry but I have been unable to find the location that this setting is saved. Thanks for any help!

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  • Can't login to phpMyAdmin on a WAMP server running Windows 2008

    - by Richard West
    I am setting up a new server. I have installed Apache 2.2.17, PHP 5.3.3, MySQL 5.1.53 and phpMyAdmin 3.3.8 running on a Windows 2008 (32 bit) OS. I have configured Apache and PHP so they appear to be working fine. I have created the standard test php page with the following code and everything appears to be working fine. <?php //index.php phpinfo(); ?> I also see the mySQL and mySQLi section in the above webpage, so it appears that that I have the proper extensions loaded for mySQL access. The problem that I am having centeres around myPHPAdmin. I have this installed and I can access to the login screen at http://localhost/pma I login using "root" and the password I have setup for root. After a delay of 30 seconds or so the web page goes to a blank screen, and the url is now http://localhost/pma/index.php?token= No error is ever displayed - however nothing usable is either. I have confirmed that mySQL is running by going to the command line and logging into mySQL from there. I have double checked my configuration but I am not having any luck getting this to work. I have also disabled the Windows firewall, but that did not change anything. I installed mySQL using the standard port 3306. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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  • Can not RDP to Win 2003 box or initiate remote restart

    - by Richard West
    I've got a Windows 2003 server that's at my remote data center. This morning I tried to connect to it via RDP, but the connection fails with the following error: This computer can't connect to the remote computer. Try connecting again. If the problem continues, contact the owner of the remote computer or your network administrator. I have also trying issuing a remote shutdown/restart command using the "shutdown -i" command from my local system. No error is reported, however the system does not reboot. This server runs SQL Server 2005 and it is still fully operational and responsive to queries. I can also remotely connect to the services control panel of the remote system. Is there anything that I can try to regain control of the system, short of having an operator in the data center do a hard reboot on the server for me?

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  • Loading jQuery Consistently in a .NET Web App

    - by Rick Strahl
    One thing that frequently comes up in discussions when using jQuery is how to best load the jQuery library (as well as other commonly used and updated libraries) in a Web application. Specifically the issue is the one of versioning and making sure that you can easily update and switch versions of script files with application wide settings in one place and having your script usage reflect those settings in the entire application on all pages that use the script. Although I use jQuery as an example here, the same concepts can be applied to any script library - for example in my Web libraries I use the same approach for jQuery.ui and my own internal jQuery support library. The concepts used here can be applied both in WebForms and MVC. Loading jQuery Properly From CDN Before we look at a generic way to load jQuery via some server logic, let me first point out my preferred way to embed jQuery into the page. I use the Google CDN to load jQuery and then use a fallback URL to handle the offline or no Internet connection scenario. Why use a CDN? CDN links tend to be loaded more quickly since they are very likely to be cached in user's browsers already as jQuery CDN is used by many, many sites on the Web. Using a CDN also removes load from your Web server and puts the load bearing on the CDN provider - in this case Google - rather than on your Web site. On the downside, CDN links gives the provider (Google, Microsoft) yet another way to track users through their Web usage. Here's how I use jQuery CDN plus a fallback link on my WebLog for example: <!DOCTYPE HTML> <html> <head> <script src="//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.6.4/jquery.min.js"></script> <script> if (typeof (jQuery) == 'undefined') document.write(unescape("%3Cscript " + "src='/Weblog/wwSC.axd?r=Westwind.Web.Controls.Resources.jquery.js' %3E%3C/script%3E")); </script> <title>Rick Strahl's Web Log</title> ... </head>   You can see that the CDN is referenced first, followed by a small script block that checks to see whether jQuery was loaded (jQuery object exists). If it didn't load another script reference is added to the document dynamically pointing to a backup URL. In this case my backup URL points at a WebResource in my Westwind.Web  assembly, but the URL can also be local script like src="/scripts/jquery.min.js". Important: Use the proper Protocol/Scheme for  for CDN Urls [updated based on comments] If you're using a CDN to load an external script resource you should always make sure that the script is loaded with the same protocol as the parent page to avoid mixed content warnings by the browser. You don't want to load a script link to an http:// resource when you're on an https:// page. The easiest way to use this is by using a protocol relative URL: <script src="//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.6.4/jquery.min.js"></script> which is an easy way to load resources from other domains. This URL syntax will automatically use the parent page's protocol (or more correctly scheme). As long as the remote domains support both http:// and https:// access this should work. BTW this also works in CSS (with some limitations) and links. BTW, I didn't know about this until it was pointed out in the comments. This is a very useful feature for many things - ah the benefits of my blog to myself :-) Version Numbers When you use a CDN you notice that you have to reference a specific version of jQuery. When using local files you may not have to do this as you can rename your private copy of jQuery.js, but for CDN the references are always versioned. The version number is of course very important to ensure you getting the version you have tested with, but it's also important to the provider because it ensures that cached content is always correct. If an existing file was updated the updates might take a very long time to get past the locally cached content and won't refresh properly. The version number ensures you get the right version and not some cached content that has been changed but not updated in your cache. On the other hand version numbers also mean that once you decide to use a new version of the script you now have to change all your script references in your pages. Depending on whether you use some sort of master/layout page or not this may or may not be easy in your application. Even if you do use master/layout pages, chances are that you probably have a few of them and at the very least all of those have to be updated for the scripts. If you use individual pages for all content this issue then spreads to all of your pages. Search and Replace in Files will do the trick, but it's still something that's easy to forget and worry about. Personaly I think it makes sense to have a single place where you can specify common script libraries that you want to load and more importantly which versions thereof and where they are loaded from. Loading Scripts via Server Code Script loading has always been important to me and as long as I can remember I've always built some custom script loading routines into my Web frameworks. WebForms makes this fairly easy because it has a reasonably useful script manager (ClientScriptManager and the ScriptManager) which allow injecting script into the page easily from anywhere in the Page cycle. What's nice about these components is that they allow scripts to be injected by controls so components can wrap up complex script/resource dependencies more easily without having to require long lists of CSS/Scripts/Image includes. In MVC or pure script driven applications like Razor WebPages  the process is more raw, requiring you to embed script references in the right place. But its also more immediate - it lets you know exactly which versions of scripts to use because you have to manually embed them. In WebForms with different controls loading resources this often can get confusing because it's quite possible to load multiple versions of the same script library into a page, the results of which are less than optimal… In this post I look a simple routine that embeds jQuery into the page based on a few application wide configuration settings. It returns only a string of the script tags that can be manually embedded into a Page template. It's a small function that merely a string of the script tags shown at the begging of this post along with some options on how that string is comprised. You'll be able to specify in one place which version loads and then all places where the help function is used will automatically reflect this selection. Options allow specification of the jQuery CDN Url, the fallback Url and where jQuery should be loaded from (script folder, Resource or CDN in my case). While this is specific to jQuery you can apply this to other resources as well. For example I use a similar approach with jQuery.ui as well using practically the same semantics. Providing Resources in ControlResources In my Westwind.Web Web utility library I have a class called ControlResources which is responsible for holding resource Urls, resource IDs and string contants that reference those resource IDs. The library also provides a few helper methods for loading common scriptscripts into a Web page. There are specific versions for WebForms which use the ClientScriptManager/ScriptManager and script link methods that can be used in any .NET technology that can embed an expression into the output template (or code for that matter). The ControlResources class contains mostly static content - references to resources mostly. But it also contains a few static properties that configure script loading: A Script LoadMode (CDN, Resource, or script url) A default CDN Url A fallback url They are  static properties in the ControlResources class: public class ControlResources { /// <summary> /// Determines what location jQuery is loaded from /// </summary> public static JQueryLoadModes jQueryLoadMode = JQueryLoadModes.ContentDeliveryNetwork; /// <summary> /// jQuery CDN Url on Google /// </summary> public static string jQueryCdnUrl = "//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.6.4/jquery.min.js"; /// <summary> /// jQuery CDN Url on Google /// </summary> public static string jQueryUiCdnUrl = "//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jqueryui/1.8.16/jquery-ui.min.js"; /// <summary> /// jQuery UI fallback Url if CDN is unavailable or WebResource is used /// Note: The file needs to exist and hold the minimized version of jQuery ui /// </summary> public static string jQueryUiLocalFallbackUrl = "~/scripts/jquery-ui.min.js"; } These static properties are fixed values that can be changed at application startup to reflect your preferences. Since they're static they are application wide settings and respected across the entire Web application running. It's best to set these default in Application_Init or similar startup code if you need to change them for your application: protected void Application_Start(object sender, EventArgs e) { // Force jQuery to be loaded off Google Content Network ControlResources.jQueryLoadMode = JQueryLoadModes.ContentDeliveryNetwork; // Allow overriding of the Cdn url ControlResources.jQueryCdnUrl = "http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.6.2/jquery.min.js"; // Route to our own internal handler App.OnApplicationStart(); } With these basic settings in place you can then embed expressions into a page easily. In WebForms use: <!DOCTYPE html> <html> <head runat="server"> <%= ControlResources.jQueryLink() %> <script src="scripts/ww.jquery.min.js"></script> </head> In Razor use: <!DOCTYPE html> <html> <head> @Html.Raw(ControlResources.jQueryLink()) <script src="scripts/ww.jquery.min.js"></script> </head> Note that in Razor you need to use @Html.Raw() to force the string NOT to escape. Razor by default escapes string results and this ensures that the HTML content is properly expanded as raw HTML text. Both the WebForms and Razor output produce: <!DOCTYPE html> <html> <head> <script src="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.6.2/jquery.min.js" type="text/javascript"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> if (typeof (jQuery) == 'undefined') document.write(unescape("%3Cscript src='/WestWindWebToolkitWeb/WebResource.axd?d=-b6oWzgbpGb8uTaHDrCMv59VSmGhilZP5_T_B8anpGx7X-PmW_1eu1KoHDvox-XHqA1EEb-Tl2YAP3bBeebGN65tv-7-yAimtG4ZnoWH633pExpJor8Qp1aKbk-KQWSoNfRC7rQJHXVP4tC0reYzVw2&t=634535391996872492' type='text/javascript'%3E%3C/script%3E"));</script> <script src="scripts/ww.jquery.min.js"></script> </head> which produces the desired effect for both CDN load and fallback URL. The implementation of jQueryLink is pretty basic of course: /// <summary> /// Inserts a script link to load jQuery into the page based on the jQueryLoadModes settings /// of this class. Default load is by CDN plus WebResource fallback /// </summary> /// <param name="url"> /// An optional explicit URL to load jQuery from. Url is resolved. /// When specified no fallback is applied /// </param> /// <returns>full script tag and fallback script for jQuery to load</returns> public static string jQueryLink(JQueryLoadModes jQueryLoadMode = JQueryLoadModes.Default, string url = null) { string jQueryUrl = string.Empty; string fallbackScript = string.Empty; if (jQueryLoadMode == JQueryLoadModes.Default) jQueryLoadMode = ControlResources.jQueryLoadMode; if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(url)) jQueryUrl = WebUtils.ResolveUrl(url); else if (jQueryLoadMode == JQueryLoadModes.WebResource) { Page page = new Page(); jQueryUrl = page.ClientScript.GetWebResourceUrl(typeof(ControlResources), ControlResources.JQUERY_SCRIPT_RESOURCE); } else if (jQueryLoadMode == JQueryLoadModes.ContentDeliveryNetwork) { jQueryUrl = ControlResources.jQueryCdnUrl; if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(jQueryCdnUrl)) { // check if jquery loaded - if it didn't we're not online and use WebResource fallbackScript = @"<script type=""text/javascript"">if (typeof(jQuery) == 'undefined') document.write(unescape(""%3Cscript src='{0}' type='text/javascript'%3E%3C/script%3E""));</script>"; fallbackScript = string.Format(fallbackScript, WebUtils.ResolveUrl(ControlResources.jQueryCdnFallbackUrl)); } } string output = "<script src=\"" + jQueryUrl + "\" type=\"text/javascript\"></script>"; // add in the CDN fallback script code if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(fallbackScript)) output += "\r\n" + fallbackScript + "\r\n"; return output; } There's one dependency here on WebUtils.ResolveUrl() which resolves Urls without access to a Page/Control (another one of those features that should be in the runtime, not in the WebForms or MVC engine). You can see there's only a little bit of logic in this code that deals with potentially different load modes. I can load scripts from a Url, WebResources or - my preferred way - from CDN. Based on the static settings the scripts to embed are composed to be returned as simple string <script> tag(s). I find this extremely useful especially when I'm not connected to the internet so that I can quickly swap in a local jQuery resource instead of loading from CDN. While CDN loading with the fallback works it can be a bit slow as the CDN is probed first before the fallback kicks in. Switching quickly in one place makes this trivial. It also makes it very easy once a new version of jQuery rolls around to move up to the new version and ensure that all pages are using the new version immediately. I'm not trying to make this out as 'the' definite way to load your resources, but rather provide it here as a pointer so you can maybe apply your own logic to determine where scripts come from and how they load. You could even automate this some more by using configuration settings or reading the locations/preferences out of some sort of data/metadata store that can be dynamically updated instead via recompilation. FWIW, I use a very similar approach for loading jQuery UI and my own ww.jquery library - the same concept can be applied to any kind of script you might be loading from different locations. Hopefully some of you find this a useful addition to your toolset. Resources Google CDN for jQuery Full ControlResources Source Code ControlResource Documentation Westwind.Web NuGet This method is part of the Westwind.Web library of the West Wind Web Toolkit or you can grab the Web library from NuGet and add to your Visual Studio project. This package includes a host of Web related utilities and script support features. © Rick Strahl, West Wind Technologies, 2005-2011Posted in ASP.NET  jQuery   Tweet (function() { var po = document.createElement('script'); po.type = 'text/javascript'; po.async = true; po.src = 'https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js'; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(po, s); })();

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  • Where does ASP.NET Web API Fit?

    - by Rick Strahl
    With the pending release of ASP.NET MVC 4 and the new ASP.NET Web API, there has been a lot of discussion of where the new Web API technology fits in the ASP.NET Web stack. There are a lot of choices to build HTTP based applications available now on the stack - we've come a long way from when WebForms and Http Handlers/Modules where the only real options. Today we have WebForms, MVC, ASP.NET Web Pages, ASP.NET AJAX, WCF REST and now Web API as well as the core ASP.NET runtime to choose to build HTTP content with. Web API definitely squarely addresses the 'API' aspect - building consumable services - rather than HTML content, but even to that end there are a lot of choices you have today. So where does Web API fit, and when doesn't it? But before we get into that discussion, let's talk about what a Web API is and why we should care. What's a Web API? HTTP 'APIs' (Microsoft's new terminology for a service I guess)  are becoming increasingly more important with the rise of the many devices in use today. Most mobile devices like phones and tablets run Apps that are using data retrieved from the Web over HTTP. Desktop applications are also moving in this direction with more and more online content and synching moving into even traditional desktop applications. The pending Windows 8 release promises an app like platform for both the desktop and other devices, that also emphasizes consuming data from the Cloud. Likewise many Web browser hosted applications these days are relying on rich client functionality to create and manipulate the browser user interface, using AJAX rather than server generated HTML data to load up the user interface with data. These mobile or rich Web applications use their HTTP connection to return data rather than HTML markup in the form of JSON or XML typically. But an API can also serve other kinds of data, like images or other binary files, or even text data and HTML (although that's less common). A Web API is what feeds rich applications with data. ASP.NET Web API aims to service this particular segment of Web development by providing easy semantics to route and handle incoming requests and an easy to use platform to serve HTTP data in just about any content format you choose to create and serve from the server. But .NET already has various HTTP Platforms The .NET stack already includes a number of technologies that provide the ability to create HTTP service back ends, and it has done so since the very beginnings of the .NET platform. From raw HTTP Handlers and Modules in the core ASP.NET runtime, to high level platforms like ASP.NET MVC, Web Forms, ASP.NET AJAX and the WCF REST engine (which technically is not ASP.NET, but can integrate with it), you've always been able to handle just about any kind of HTTP request and response with ASP.NET. The beauty of the raw ASP.NET platform is that it provides you everything you need to build just about any type of HTTP application you can dream up from low level APIs/custom engines to high level HTML generation engine. ASP.NET as a core platform clearly has stood the test of time 10+ years later and all other frameworks like Web API are built on top of this ASP.NET core. However, although it's possible to create Web APIs / Services using any of the existing out of box .NET technologies, none of them have been a really nice fit for building arbitrary HTTP based APIs. Sure, you can use an HttpHandler to create just about anything, but you have to build a lot of plumbing to build something more complex like a comprehensive API that serves a variety of requests, handles multiple output formats and can easily pass data up to the server in a variety of ways. Likewise you can use ASP.NET MVC to handle routing and creating content in various formats fairly easily, but it doesn't provide a great way to automatically negotiate content types and serve various content formats directly (it's possible to do with some plumbing code of your own but not built in). Prior to Web API, Microsoft's main push for HTTP services has been WCF REST, which was always an awkward technology that had a severe personality conflict, not being clear on whether it wanted to be part of WCF or purely a separate technology. In the end it didn't do either WCF compatibility or WCF agnostic pure HTTP operation very well, which made for a very developer-unfriendly environment. Personally I didn't like any of the implementations at the time, so much so that I ended up building my own HTTP service engine (as part of the West Wind Web Toolkit), as have a few other third party tools that provided much better integration and ease of use. With the release of Web API for the first time I feel that I can finally use the tools in the box and not have to worry about creating and maintaining my own toolkit as Web API addresses just about all the features I implemented on my own and much more. ASP.NET Web API provides a better HTTP Experience ASP.NET Web API differentiates itself from the previous Microsoft in-box HTTP service solutions in that it was built from the ground up around the HTTP protocol and its messaging semantics. Unlike WCF REST or ASP.NET AJAX with ASMX, it’s a brand new platform rather than bolted on technology that is supposed to work in the context of an existing framework. The strength of the new ASP.NET Web API is that it combines the best features of the platforms that came before it, to provide a comprehensive and very usable HTTP platform. Because it's based on ASP.NET and borrows a lot of concepts from ASP.NET MVC, Web API should be immediately familiar and comfortable to most ASP.NET developers. Here are some of the features that Web API provides that I like: Strong Support for URL Routing to produce clean URLs using familiar MVC style routing semantics Content Negotiation based on Accept headers for request and response serialization Support for a host of supported output formats including JSON, XML, ATOM Strong default support for REST semantics but they are optional Easily extensible Formatter support to add new input/output types Deep support for more advanced HTTP features via HttpResponseMessage and HttpRequestMessage classes and strongly typed Enums to describe many HTTP operations Convention based design that drives you into doing the right thing for HTTP Services Very extensible, based on MVC like extensibility model of Formatters and Filters Self-hostable in non-Web applications  Testable using testing concepts similar to MVC Web API is meant to handle any kind of HTTP input and produce output and status codes using the full spectrum of HTTP functionality available in a straight forward and flexible manner. Looking at the list above you can see that a lot of functionality is very similar to ASP.NET MVC, so many ASP.NET developers should feel quite comfortable with the concepts of Web API. The Routing and core infrastructure of Web API are very similar to how MVC works providing many of the benefits of MVC, but with focus on HTTP access and manipulation in Controller methods rather than HTML generation in MVC. There’s much improved support for content negotiation based on HTTP Accept headers with the framework capable of detecting automatically what content the client is sending and requesting and serving the appropriate data format in return. This seems like such a little and obvious thing, but it's really important. Today's service backends often are used by multiple clients/applications and being able to choose the right data format for what fits best for the client is very important. While previous solutions were able to accomplish this using a variety of mixed features of WCF and ASP.NET, Web API combines all this functionality into a single robust server side HTTP framework that intrinsically understands the HTTP semantics and subtly drives you in the right direction for most operations. And when you need to customize or do something that is not built in, there are lots of hooks and overrides for most behaviors, and even many low level hook points that allow you to plug in custom functionality with relatively little effort. No Brainers for Web API There are a few scenarios that are a slam dunk for Web API. If your primary focus of an application or even a part of an application is some sort of API then Web API makes great sense. HTTP ServicesIf you're building a comprehensive HTTP API that is to be consumed over the Web, Web API is a perfect fit. You can isolate the logic in Web API and build your application as a service breaking out the logic into controllers as needed. Because the primary interface is the service there's no confusion of what should go where (MVC or API). Perfect fit. Primary AJAX BackendsIf you're building rich client Web applications that are relying heavily on AJAX callbacks to serve its data, Web API is also a slam dunk. Again because much if not most of the business logic will probably end up in your Web API service logic, there's no confusion over where logic should go and there's no duplication. In Single Page Applications (SPA), typically there's very little HTML based logic served other than bringing up a shell UI and then filling the data from the server with AJAX which means the business logic required for data retrieval and data acceptance and validation too lives in the Web API. Perfect fit. Generic HTTP EndpointsAnother good fit are generic HTTP endpoints that to serve data or handle 'utility' type functionality in typical Web applications. If you need to implement an image server, or an upload handler in the past I'd implement that as an HTTP handler. With Web API you now have a well defined place where you can implement these types of generic 'services' in a location that can easily add endpoints (via Controller methods) or separated out as more full featured APIs. Granted this could be done with MVC as well, but Web API seems a clearer and more well defined place to store generic application services. This is one thing I used to do a lot of in my own libraries and Web API addresses this nicely. Great fit. Mixed HTML and AJAX Applications: Not a clear Choice  For all the commonality that Web API and MVC share they are fundamentally different platforms that are independent of each other. A lot of people have asked when does it make sense to use MVC vs. Web API when you're dealing with typical Web application that creates HTML and also uses AJAX functionality for rich functionality. While it's easy to say that all 'service'/AJAX logic should go into a Web API and all HTML related generation into MVC, that can often result in a lot of code duplication. Also MVC supports JSON and XML result data fairly easily as well so there's some confusion where that 'trigger point' is of when you should switch to Web API vs. just implementing functionality as part of MVC controllers. Ultimately there's a tradeoff between isolation of functionality and duplication. A good rule of thumb I think works is that if a large chunk of the application's functionality serves data Web API is a good choice, but if you have a couple of small AJAX requests to serve data to a grid or autocomplete box it'd be overkill to separate out that logic into a separate Web API controller. Web API does add overhead to your application (it's yet another framework that sits on top of core ASP.NET) so it should be worth it .Keep in mind that MVC can generate HTML and JSON/XML and just about any other content easily and that functionality is not going away, so just because you Web API is there it doesn't mean you have to use it. Web API is not a full replacement for MVC obviously either since there's not the same level of support to feed HTML from Web API controllers (although you can host a RazorEngine easily enough if you really want to go that route) so if you're HTML is part of your API or application in general MVC is still a better choice either alone or in combination with Web API. I suspect (and hope) that in the future Web API's functionality will merge even closer with MVC so that you might even be able to mix functionality of both into single Controllers so that you don't have to make any trade offs, but at the moment that's not the case. Some Issues To think about Web API is similar to MVC but not the Same Although Web API looks a lot like MVC it's not the same and some common functionality of MVC behaves differently in Web API. For example, the way single POST variables are handled is different than MVC and doesn't lend itself particularly well to some AJAX scenarios with POST data. Code Duplication I already touched on this in the Mixed HTML and Web API section, but if you build an MVC application that also exposes a Web API it's quite likely that you end up duplicating a bunch of code and - potentially - infrastructure. You may have to create authentication logic both for an HTML application and for the Web API which might need something different altogether. More often than not though the same logic is used, and there's no easy way to share. If you implement an MVC ActionFilter and you want that same functionality in your Web API you'll end up creating the filter twice. AJAX Data or AJAX HTML On a recent post's comments, David made some really good points regarding the commonality of MVC and Web API's and its place. One comment that caught my eye was a little more generic, regarding data services vs. HTML services. David says: I see a lot of merit in the combination of Knockout.js, client side templates and view models, calling Web API for a responsive UI, but sometimes late at night that still leaves me wondering why I would no longer be using some of the nice tooling and features that have evolved in MVC ;-) You know what - I can totally relate to that. On the last Web based mobile app I worked on, we decided to serve HTML partials to the client via AJAX for many (but not all!) things, rather than sending down raw data to inject into the DOM on the client via templating or direct manipulation. While there are definitely more bytes on the wire, with this, the overhead ended up being actually fairly small if you keep the 'data' requests small and atomic. Performance was often made up by the lack of client side rendering of HTML. Server rendered HTML for AJAX templating gives so much better infrastructure support without having to screw around with 20 mismatched client libraries. Especially with MVC and partials it's pretty easy to break out your HTML logic into very small, atomic chunks, so it's actually easy to create small rendering islands that can be used via composition on the server, or via AJAX calls to small, tight partials that return HTML to the client. Although this is often frowned upon as to 'heavy', it worked really well in terms of developer effort as well as providing surprisingly good performance on devices. There's still plenty of jQuery and AJAX logic happening on the client but it's more manageable in small doses rather than trying to do the entire UI composition with JavaScript and/or 'not-quite-there-yet' template engines that are very difficult to debug. This is not an issue directly related to Web API of course, but something to think about especially for AJAX or SPA style applications. Summary Web API is a great new addition to the ASP.NET platform and it addresses a serious need for consolidation of a lot of half-baked HTTP service API technologies that came before it. Web API feels 'right', and hits the right combination of usability and flexibility at least for me and it's a good fit for true API scenarios. However, just because a new platform is available it doesn't meant that other tools or tech that came before it should be discarded or even upgraded to the new platform. There's nothing wrong with continuing to use MVC controller methods to handle API tasks if that's what your app is running now - there's very little to be gained by upgrading to Web API just because. But going forward Web API clearly is the way to go, when building HTTP data interfaces and it's good to see that Microsoft got this one right - it was sorely needed! Resources ASP.NET Web API AspConf Ask the Experts Session (first 5 minutes) © Rick Strahl, West Wind Technologies, 2005-2012Posted in Web Api   Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); (function() { var po = document.createElement('script'); po.type = 'text/javascript'; po.async = true; po.src = 'https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js'; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(po, s); })();

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  • Setting up and using Bing Translate API Service for Machine Translation

    - by Rick Strahl
    Last week I spent quite a bit of time trying to set up the Bing Translate API service. I can honestly say this was one of the most screwed up developer experiences I've had in a long while - specifically related to the byzantine sign up process that Microsoft has in place. Not only is it nearly impossible to find decent documentation on the required signup process, some of the links in the docs are just plain wrong, and some of the account pages you need to access the actual account information once signed up are not linked anywhere from the administration UI. To make things even harder is the fact that the APIs changed a while back, with a completely new authentication scheme that's described and not directly linked documentation topic also made for a very frustrating search experience. It's a bummer that this is the case too, because the actual API itself is easy to use and works very well - fast and reasonably accurate (as accurate as you can expect machine translation to be). But the sign up process is a pain in the ass doubtlessly leaving many people giving up in frustration. In this post I'll try to hit all the points needed to set up to use the Bing Translate API in one place since such a document seems to be missing from Microsoft. Hopefully the API folks at Microsoft will get their shit together and actually provide this sort of info on their site… Signing Up The first step required is to create a Windows Azure MarketPlace account. Go to: https://datamarket.azure.com/ Sign in with your Windows Live Id If you don't have an account you will be taken to a registration page which you have to fill out. Follow the links and complete the registration. Once you're signed in you can start adding services. Click on the Data Link on the main page Select Microsoft Translator from the list This adds the Microsoft Bing Translator to your services. Pricing The page shows the pricing matrix and the free service which provides 2 megabytes for translations a month for free. Prices go up steeply from there. Pricing is determined by actual bytes of the result translations used. Max translations are 1000 characters so at minimum this means you get around 2000 translations a month for free. However most translations are probable much less so you can expect larger number of translations to go through. For testing or low volume translations this should be just fine. Once signed up there are no further instructions and you're left in limbo on the MS site. Register your Application Once you've created the Data association with Translator the next step is registering your application. To do this you need to access your developer account. Go to https://datamarket.azure.com/developer/applications/register Provide a ClientId, which is effectively the unique string identifier for your application (not your customer id!) Provide your name The client secret was auto-created and this becomes your 'password' For the redirect url provide any https url: https://microsoft.com works Give this application a description of your choice so you can identify it in the list of apps Now, once you've registered your application, keep track of the ClientId and ClientSecret - those are the two keys you need to authenticate before you can call the Translate API. Oddly the applications page is hidden from the Azure Portal UI. I couldn't find a direct link from anywhere on the site back to this page where I can examine my developer application keys. To find them you can go to: https://datamarket.azure.com/developer/applications You can come back here to look at your registered applications and pick up the ClientID and ClientSecret. Fun eh? But we're now ready to actually call the API and do some translating. Using the Bing Translate API The good news is that after this signup hell, using the API is pretty straightforward. To use the translation API you'll need to actually use two services: You need to call an authentication API service first, before you can call the actual translator API. These two APIs live on different domains, and the authentication API returns JSON data while the translator service returns XML. So much for consistency. Authentication The first step is authentication. The service uses oAuth authentication with a  bearer token that has to be passed to the translator API. The authentication call retrieves the oAuth token that you can then use with the translate API call. The bearer token has a short 10 minute life time, so while you can cache it for successive calls, the token can't be cached for long periods. This means for Web backend requests you typically will have to authenticate each time unless you build a more elaborate caching scheme that takes the timeout into account (perhaps using the ASP.NET Cache object). For low volume operations you can probably get away with simply calling the auth API for every translation you do. To call the Authentication API use code like this:/// /// Retrieves an oAuth authentication token to be used on the translate /// API request. The result string needs to be passed as a bearer token /// to the translate API. /// /// You can find client ID and Secret (or register a new one) at: /// https://datamarket.azure.com/developer/applications/ /// /// The client ID of your application /// The client secret or password /// public string GetBingAuthToken(string clientId = null, string clientSecret = null) { string authBaseUrl = https://datamarket.accesscontrol.windows.net/v2/OAuth2-13; if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(clientId) || string.IsNullOrEmpty(clientSecret)) { ErrorMessage = Resources.Resources.Client_Id_and_Client_Secret_must_be_provided; return null; } var postData = string.Format("grant_type=client_credentials&client_id={0}" + "&client_secret={1}" + "&scope=http://api.microsofttranslator.com", HttpUtility.UrlEncode(clientId), HttpUtility.UrlEncode(clientSecret)); // POST Auth data to the oauth API string res, token; try { var web = new WebClient(); web.Encoding = Encoding.UTF8; res = web.UploadString(authBaseUrl, postData); } catch (Exception ex) { ErrorMessage = ex.GetBaseException().Message; return null; } var ser = new JavaScriptSerializer(); var auth = ser.Deserialize<BingAuth>(res); if (auth == null) return null; token = auth.access_token; return token; } private class BingAuth { public string token_type { get; set; } public string access_token { get; set; } } This code basically takes the client id and secret and posts it at the oAuth endpoint which returns a JSON string. Here I use the JavaScript serializer to deserialize the JSON into a custom object I created just for deserialization. You can also use JSON.NET and dynamic deserialization if you are already using JSON.NET in your app in which case you don't need the extra type. In my library that houses this component I don't, so I just rely on the built in serializer. The auth method returns a long base64 encoded string which can be used as a bearer token in the translate API call. Translation Once you have the authentication token you can use it to pass to the translate API. The auth token is passed as an Authorization header and the value is prefixed with a 'Bearer ' prefix for the string. Here's what the simple Translate API call looks like:/// /// Uses the Bing API service to perform translation /// Bing can translate up to 1000 characters. /// /// Requires that you provide a CLientId and ClientSecret /// or set the configuration values for these two. /// /// More info on setup: /// http://www.west-wind.com/weblog/ /// /// Text to translate /// Two letter culture name /// Two letter culture name /// Pass an access token retrieved with GetBingAuthToken. /// If not passed the default keys from .config file are used if any /// public string TranslateBing(string text, string fromCulture, string toCulture, string accessToken = null) { string serviceUrl = "http://api.microsofttranslator.com/V2/Http.svc/Translate"; if (accessToken == null) { accessToken = GetBingAuthToken(); if (accessToken == null) return null; } string res; try { var web = new WebClient(); web.Headers.Add("Authorization", "Bearer " + accessToken); string ct = "text/plain"; string postData = string.Format("?text={0}&from={1}&to={2}&contentType={3}", HttpUtility.UrlEncode(text), fromCulture, toCulture, HttpUtility.UrlEncode(ct)); web.Encoding = Encoding.UTF8; res = web.DownloadString(serviceUrl + postData); } catch (Exception e) { ErrorMessage = e.GetBaseException().Message; return null; } // result is a single XML Element fragment var doc = new XmlDocument(); doc.LoadXml(res); return doc.DocumentElement.InnerText; } The first of this code deals with ensuring the auth token exists. You can either pass the token into the method manually or let the method automatically retrieve the auth code on its own. In my case I'm using this inside of a Web application and in that situation I simply need to re-authenticate every time as there's no convenient way to manage the lifetime of the auth cookie. The auth token is added as an Authorization HTTP header prefixed with 'Bearer ' and attached to the request. The text to translate, the from and to language codes and a result format are passed on the query string of this HTTP GET request against the Translate API. The translate API returns an XML string which contains a single element with the translated string. Using the Wrapper Methods It should be pretty obvious how to use these two methods but here are a couple of test methods that demonstrate the two usage scenarios:[TestMethod] public void TranslateBingWithAuthTest() { var translate = new TranslationServices(); string clientId = DbResourceConfiguration.Current.BingClientId; string clientSecret = DbResourceConfiguration.Current.BingClientSecret; string auth = translate.GetBingAuthToken(clientId, clientSecret); Assert.IsNotNull(auth); string text = translate.TranslateBing("Hello World we're back home!", "en", "de",auth); Assert.IsNotNull(text, translate.ErrorMessage); Console.WriteLine(text); } [TestMethod] public void TranslateBingIntegratedTest() { var translate = new TranslationServices(); string text = translate.TranslateBing("Hello World we're back home!","en","de"); Assert.IsNotNull(text, translate.ErrorMessage); Console.WriteLine(text); } Other API Methods The Translate API has a number of methods available and this one is the simplest one but probably also the most common one that translates a single string. You can find additional methods for this API here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff512419.aspx Soap and AJAX APIs are also available and documented on MSDN: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd576287.aspx These links will be your starting points for calling other methods in this API. Dual Interface I've talked about my database driven localization provider here in the past, and it's for this tool that I added the Bing localization support. Basically I have a localization administration form that allows me to translate individual strings right out of the UI, using both Google and Bing APIs: As you can see in this example, the results from Google and Bing can vary quite a bit - in this case Google is stumped while Bing actually generated a valid translation. At other times it's the other way around - it's pretty useful to see multiple translations at the same time. Here I can choose from one of the values and driectly embed them into the translated text field. Lost in Translation There you have it. As I mentioned using the API once you have all the bureaucratic crap out of the way calling the APIs is fairly straight forward and reasonably fast, even if you have to call the Auth API for every call. Hopefully this post will help out a few of you trying to navigate the Microsoft bureaucracy, at least until next time Microsoft upends everything and introduces new ways to sign up again. Until then - happy translating… Related Posts Translation method Source on Github Translating with Google Translate without Google API Keys Creating a data-driven ASP.NET Resource Provider© Rick Strahl, West Wind Technologies, 2005-2013Posted in Localization  ASP.NET  .NET   Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); (function() { var po = document.createElement('script'); po.type = 'text/javascript'; po.async = true; po.src = 'https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js'; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(po, s); })();

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  • Are you cashing in on the MVP complimentary subscriptions ?

    - by Tarun Arora
    The two most asked questions in the Microsoft technology communities around the Microsoft MVP program are, 1. How do I become a Microsoft MVP? 2. What benefits do I get as an MVP? The answer to the first question has been well answered here. In this blog post, I’ll try and answer the second question.           Please find a comprehensive list of Not for Resale personal subscriptions of various products that Microsoft MVP’s are eligible for Product Description Details JetBrains Resharper, dotTrace, dotCover & WebStorm  https://www.jetbrains.com/resharper/buy/mvp.html RedGate Sql server development, database administration, .net development, azure development (merged with Cerebrata), mySQL development, Oracle development http://www.red-gate.com/community/mvp-program Pluralsight Pluralsight on demand training http://blog.pluralsight.com/2011/02/28/pluralsight-for-mvp/ Cerebrata Cloud storage studio and Azure Diagnostic Manager (part of redgate now) https://www.cerebrata.com/Offers/mvp.aspx Telerik Telerik Ultimate collection & Telerik TeamPulse http://blogs.telerik.com/blogs/posts/11-03-01/telerik-gift-for-microsoft-mvps.aspx Developer Express DevEx controls http://www.devexpress.com/Home/Community/mvp.xml InnerWorking 600 hours of .net training catalogue http://www.innerworkings.com/mvp Typemock Typemock Isolator, Typemock Isolator for Sharepoint developers, Typemock Isolator for web developers, TestDriven.NET http://www.typemock.com/mvp SpeakFlow A suite of tools for creating, managing, and delivering non-linear presentations http://www.speakflow.com/ TechSmith Camtasia Studio, SnagIt, screen cast http://www.techsmith.com/camtasia.html Altova Altova XML spy http://www.altova.com/xml-editor/ Visual SVN VisualSVN Subversion integration plug-in for Visual Studio http://www.visualsvn.com/visualsvn/purchase/mvp/ PreEmptive Solution Professional PreEmptive Analytics, Dotfuscator http://www.preemptive.com/landing/mvp Armadillo Armadillo Adaptive Bug Prevention http://www.armadilloverdrive.com/ IS Decisions NFR license to Userlock, RemoteExec, FileAudit & WinReporter http://www.isdecisions.com/download/mvp-mct-program.htm Idera SQL tools http://www.idera.com/Content/Home.aspx West Wind Help Builder Help builder solution http://www.west-wind.com/weblog/posts/2005/Mar/09/Are-you-a-Microsoft-MVP-Get-a-FREE-copy-of-West-Wind-Html-Help-Builder Bamboo Sharepoint tools http://community.bamboosolutions.com/blogs/partner-advantage-program/archive/2008/08/01/partner-advantage-program-mvp.aspx Nitriq Nitriq code analysis http://blog.nitriq.com/FreeLicensesForMicrosoftMVPs.aspx ByteScout Components, Libraries and Developer Tools http://bytescout.com/buy/purchase_nfr_for_mvp.html YourKit Java and .net Profiler http://yourkit.com/.net/profiler/index.jsp Aspose .NET components http://www.aspose.com/corporate/community/2012_05_08_nfr-licenses-for-community-leaders.aspx Apart from google bing fu; stackoverflow and breathtech were a great help in compiling the above list. If you know of any other benefits, offers or complimentary subscriptions on offer for MVPs not cover in the list above, please add to the comment thread and I’ll have it updated in the list. Enjoy

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  • Making Sense of ASP.NET Paths

    - by Renso
    Making Sense of ASP.NET Paths ASP.Net includes quite a plethora of properties to retrieve path information about the current request, control and application. There's a ton of information available about paths on the Request object, some of it appearing to overlap and some of it buried several levels down, and it can be confusing to find just the right path that you are looking for. To keep things straight I thought it a good idea to summarize the path options along with descriptions and example paths. I wrote a post about this a long time ago in 2004 and I find myself frequently going back to that page to quickly figure out which path I’m looking for in processing the current URL. Apparently a lot of people must be doing the same, because the original post is the second most visited even to this date on this blog to the tune of nearly 500 hits per day. So, I decided to update and expand a bit on the original post with a little more information and clarification based on the original comments. Request Object Paths Available Here's a list of the Path related properties on the Request object (and the Page object). Assume a path like http://www.west-wind.com/webstore/admin/paths.aspx for the paths below where webstore is the name of the virtual. Request Property Description and Value ApplicationPath Returns the web root-relative logical path to the virtual root of this app. /webstore/ PhysicalApplicationPath Returns local file system path of the virtual root for this app. c:\inetpub\wwwroot\webstore PhysicalPath Returns the local file system path to the current script or path. c:\inetpub\wwwroot\webstore\admin\paths.aspx Path FilePath CurrentExecutionFilePath All of these return the full root relative logical path to the script page including path and scriptname. CurrentExcecutionFilePath will return the ‘current’ request path after a Transfer/Execute call while FilePath will always return the original request’s path. /webstore/admin/paths.aspx AppRelativeCurrentExecutionFilePath Returns an ASP.NET root relative virtual path to the script or path for the current request. If in  a Transfer/Execute call the transferred Path is returned. ~/admin/paths.aspx PathInfo Returns any extra path following the script name. If no extra path is provided returns the root-relative path (returns text in red below). string.Empty if no PathInfo is available. /webstore/admin/paths.aspx/ExtraPathInfo RawUrl Returns the full root relative URL including querystring and extra path as a string. /webstore/admin/paths.aspx?sku=wwhelp40 Url Returns a fully qualified URL including querystring and extra path. Note this is a Uri instance rather than string. http://www.west-wind.com/webstore/admin/paths.aspx?sku=wwhelp40 UrlReferrer The fully qualified URL of the page that sent the request. This is also a Uri instance and this value is null if the page was directly accessed by typing into the address bar or using an HttpClient based Referrer client Http header. http://www.west-wind.com/webstore/default.aspx?Info Control.TemplateSourceDirectory Returns the logical path to the folder of the page, master or user control on which it is called. This is useful if you need to know the path only to a Page or control from within the control. For non-file controls this returns the Page path. /webstore/admin/ As you can see there’s a ton of information available there for each of the three common path formats: Physical Path is an OS type path that points to a path or file on disk. Logical Path is a Web path that is relative to the Web server’s root. It includes the virtual plus the application relative path. ~/ (Root-relative) Path is an ASP.NET specific path that includes ~/ to indicate the virtual root Web path. ASP.NET can convert virtual paths into either logical paths using Control.ResolveUrl(), or physical paths using Server.MapPath(). Root relative paths are useful for specifying portable URLs that don’t rely on relative directory structures and very useful from within control or component code. You should be able to get any necessary format from ASP.NET from just about any path or script using these mechanisms. ~/ Root Relative Paths and ResolveUrl() and ResolveClientUrl() ASP.NET supports root-relative virtual path syntax in most of its URL properties in Web Forms. So you can easily specify a root relative path in a control rather than a location relative path: <asp:Image runat="server" ID="imgHelp" ImageUrl="~/images/help.gif" /> ASP.NET internally resolves this URL by using ResolveUrl("~/images/help.gif") to arrive at the root-relative URL of /webstore/images/help.gif which uses the Request.ApplicationPath as the basepath to replace the ~. By convention any custom Web controls also should use ResolveUrl() on URL properties to provide the same functionality. In your own code you can use Page.ResolveUrl() or Control.ResolveUrl() to accomplish the same thing: string imgPath = this.ResolveUrl("~/images/help.gif"); imgHelp.ImageUrl = imgPath; Unfortunately ResolveUrl() is limited to WebForm pages, so if you’re in an HttpHandler or Module it’s not available. ASP.NET Mvc also has it’s own more generic version of ResolveUrl in Url.Decode: <script src="<%= Url.Content("~/scripts/new.js") %>" type="text/javascript"></script> which is part of the UrlHelper class. In ASP.NET MVC the above sort of syntax is actually even more crucial than in WebForms due to the fact that views are not referencing specific pages but rather are often path based which can lead to various variations on how a particular view is referenced. In a Module or Handler code Control.ResolveUrl() unfortunately is not available which in retrospect seems like an odd design choice – URL resolution really should happen on a Request basis not as part of the Page framework. Luckily you can also rely on the static VirtualPathUtility class: string path = VirtualPathUtility.ToAbsolute("~/admin/paths.aspx"); VirtualPathUtility also many other quite useful methods for dealing with paths and converting between the various kinds of paths supported. One thing to watch out for is that ToAbsolute() will throw an exception if a query string is provided and doesn’t work on fully qualified URLs. I wrote about this topic with a custom solution that works fully qualified URLs and query strings here (check comments for some interesting discussions too). Similar to ResolveUrl() is ResolveClientUrl() which creates a fully qualified HTTP path that includes the protocol and domain name. It’s rare that this full resolution is needed but can be useful in some scenarios. Mapping Virtual Paths to Physical Paths with Server.MapPath() If you need to map root relative or current folder relative URLs to physical URLs or you can use HttpContext.Current.Server.MapPath(). Inside of a Page you can do the following: string physicalPath = Server.MapPath("~/scripts/ww.jquery.js")); MapPath is pretty flexible and it understands both ASP.NET style virtual paths as well as plain relative paths, so the following also works. string physicalPath = Server.MapPath("scripts/silverlight.js"); as well as dot relative syntax: string physicalPath = Server.MapPath("../scripts/jquery.js"); Once you have the physical path you can perform standard System.IO Path and File operations on the file. Remember with physical paths and IO or copy operations you need to make sure you have permissions to access files and folders based on the Web server user account that is active (NETWORK SERVICE, ASPNET typically). Note the Server.MapPath will not map up beyond the virtual root of the application for security reasons. Server and Host Information Between these settings you can get all the information you may need to figure out where you are at and to build new Url if necessary. If you need to build a URL completely from scratch you can get access to information about the server you are accessing: Server Variable Function and Example SERVER_NAME The of the domain or IP Address wwww.west-wind.com or 127.0.0.1 SERVER_PORT The port that the request runs under. 80 SERVER_PORT_SECURE Determines whether https: was used. 0 or 1 APPL_MD_PATH ADSI DirectoryServices path to the virtual root directory. Note that LM typically doesn’t work for ADSI access so you should replace that with LOCALHOST or the machine’s NetBios name. /LM/W3SVC/1/ROOT/webstore Request.Url and Uri Parsing If you still need more control over the current request URL or  you need to create new URLs from an existing one, the current Request.Url Uri property offers a lot of control. Using the Uri class and UriBuilder makes it easy to retrieve parts of a URL and create new URLs based on existing URL. The UriBuilder class is the preferred way to create URLs – much preferable over creating URIs via string concatenation. Uri Property Function Scheme The URL scheme or protocol prefix. http or https Port The port if specifically specified. DnsSafeHost The domain name or local host NetBios machine name www.west-wind.com or rasnote LocalPath The full path of the URL including script name and extra PathInfo. /webstore/admin/paths.aspx Query The query string if any ?id=1 The Uri class itself is great for retrieving Uri parts, but most of the properties are read only if you need to modify a URL in order to change it you can use the UriBuilder class to load up an existing URL and modify it to create a new one. Here are a few common operations I’ve needed to do to get specific URLs: Convert the Request URL to an SSL/HTTPS link For example to take the current request URL and converted  it to a secure URL can be done like this: UriBuilder build = new UriBuilder(Request.Url); build.Scheme = "https"; build.Port = -1; // don't inject portUri newUri = build.Uri; string newUrl = build.ToString(); Retrieve the fully qualified URL without a QueryString AFAIK, there’s no native routine to retrieve the current request URL without the query string. It’s easy to do with UriBuilder however: UriBuilder builder = newUriBuilder(Request.Url); builder.Query = ""; stringlogicalPathWithoutQuery = builder.ToString();

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  • Building a jQuery Plug-in to make an HTML Table scrollable

    - by Rick Strahl
    Today I got a call from a customer and we were looking over an older application that uses a lot of tables to display financial and other assorted data. The application is mostly meta-data driven with lots of layout formatting automatically driven through meta data rather than through explicit hand coded HTML layouts. One of the problems in this apps are tables that display a non-fixed amount of data. The users of this app don't want to use paging to see more data, but instead want to display overflow data using a scrollbar. Many of the forms are very densely populated, often with multiple data tables that display a few rows of data in the UI at the most. This sort of layout does not lend itself well to paging, but works much better with scrollable data. Unfortunately scrollable tables are not easily created. HTML Tables are mangy beasts as anybody who's done any sort of Web development knows. Tables are finicky when it comes to styling and layout, and they have many funky quirks, especially when it comes to scrolling both of the table rows themselves or even the child columns. There's no built-in way to make tables scroll and to lock headers while you do, and while you can embed a table (or anything really) into a scrolling div with something like this: <div style="position:relative; overflow: hidden; overflow-y: scroll; height: 200px; width: 400px;"> <table id="table" style="width: 100%" class="blackborder" > <thead> <tr class="gridheader"> <th>Column 1</th> <th>Column 2</th> <th>Column 3</th> <th >Column 4</th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td>Column 1 Content</td> <td>Column 2 Content</td> <td>Column 3 Content</td> <td>Column 4 Content</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Column 1 Content</td> <td>Column 2 Content</td> <td>Column 3 Content</td> <td>Column 4 Content</td> </tr> … </tbody> </table> </div> </div> that won't give a very satisfying visual experience: Both the header and body scroll which looks odd. You lose context as soon as the header scrolls off the top and when you reach the bottom of the list the bottom outline of the table shows which also looks off. The the side bar shows all the way down the length of the table yet another visual miscue. In a pinch this will work, but it's ugly. What's out there? Before we go further here you should know that there are a few capable grid plug-ins out there already. Among them: Flexigrid (can work of any table as well as with AJAX data) jQuery Scrollable Table Plug-in (feature similar to what I need but not quite) jqGrid (mostly an Ajax Grid which is very powerful and works very well) But in the end none of them fit the bill of what I needed in this situation. All of these require custom CSS and some of them are fairly complex to restyle. Others are AJAX only or work better with AJAX loaded data. However, I need to actually try (as much as possible) to maintain the original styling of the tables without requiring extensive re-styling. Building the makeTableScrollable() Plug-in To make a table scrollable requires rearranging the table a bit. In the plug-in I built I create two <div> tags and split the table into two: one for the table header and one for the table body. The bottom <div> tag then contains only the table's row data and can be scrolled while the header stays fixed. Using jQuery the basic idea is pretty simple: You create the divs, copy the original table into the bottom, then clone the table, clear all content append the <thead> section, into new table and then copy that table into the second header <div>. Easy as pie, right? Unfortunately it's a bit more complicated than that as it's tricky to get the width of the table right to account for the scrollbar (by adding a small column) and making sure the borders properly line up for the two tables. A lot of style settings have to be made to ensure the table is a fixed size, to remove and reattach borders, to add extra space to allow for the scrollbar and so forth. The end result of my plug-in is a table with a scrollbar. Using the same table I used earlier the result looks like this: To create it, I use the following jQuery plug-in logic to select my table and run the makeTableScrollable() plug-in against the selector: $("#table").makeTableScrollable( { cssClass:"blackborder"} ); Without much further ado, here's the short code for the plug-in: (function ($) { $.fn.makeTableScrollable = function (options) { return this.each(function () { var $table = $(this); var opt = { // height of the table height: "250px", // right padding added to support the scrollbar rightPadding: "10px", // cssclass used for the wrapper div cssClass: "" } $.extend(opt, options); var $thead = $table.find("thead"); var $ths = $thead.find("th"); var id = $table.attr("id"); var cssClass = $table.attr("class"); if (!id) id = "_table_" + new Date().getMilliseconds().ToString(); $table.width("+=" + opt.rightPadding); $table.css("border-width", 0); // add a column to all rows of the table var first = true; $table.find("tr").each(function () { var row = $(this); if (first) { row.append($("<th>").width(opt.rightPadding)); first = false; } else row.append($("<td>").width(opt.rightPadding)); }); // force full sizing on each of the th elemnts $ths.each(function () { var $th = $(this); $th.css("width", $th.width()); }); // Create the table wrapper div var $tblDiv = $("<div>").css({ position: "relative", overflow: "hidden", overflowY: "scroll" }) .addClass(opt.cssClass); var width = $table.width(); $tblDiv.width(width).height(opt.height) .attr("id", id + "_wrapper") .css("border-top", "none"); // Insert before $tblDiv $tblDiv.insertBefore($table); // then move the table into it $table.appendTo($tblDiv); // Clone the div for header var $hdDiv = $tblDiv.clone(); $hdDiv.empty(); var width = $table.width(); $hdDiv.attr("style", "") .css("border-bottom", "none") .width(width) .attr("id", id + "_wrapper_header"); // create a copy of the table and remove all children var $newTable = $($table).clone(); $newTable.empty() .attr("id", $table.attr("id") + "_header"); $thead.appendTo($newTable); $hdDiv.insertBefore($tblDiv); $newTable.appendTo($hdDiv); $table.css("border-width", 0); }); } })(jQuery); Oh sweet spaghetti code :-) The code starts out by dealing the parameters that can be passed in the options object map: height The height of the full table/structure. The height of the outside wrapper container. Defaults to 200px. rightPadding The padding that is added to the right of the table to account for the scrollbar. Creates a column of this width and injects it into the table. If too small the rightmost column might get truncated. if too large the empty column might show. cssClass The CSS class of the wrapping container that appears to wrap the table. If you want a border around your table this class should probably provide it since the plug-in removes the table border. The rest of the code is obtuse, but pretty straight forward. It starts by creating a new column in the table to accommodate the width of the scrollbar and avoid clipping of text in the rightmost column. The width of the columns is explicitly set in the header elements to force the size of the table to be fixed and to provide the same sizing when the THEAD section is moved to a new copied table later. The table wrapper div is created, formatted and the table is moved into it. The new wrapper div is cloned for the header wrapper and configured. Finally the actual table is cloned and cleared of all elements. The original table's THEAD section is then moved into the new table. At last the new table is added to the header <div>, and the header <div> is inserted before the table wrapper <div>. I'm always amazed how easy jQuery makes it to do this sort of re-arranging, and given of what's happening the amount of code is rather small. Disclaimer: Your mileage may vary A word of warning: I make no guarantees about the code above. It's a first cut and I provided this here mainly to demonstrate the concepts of decomposing and reassembling an HTML layout :-) which jQuery makes so nice and easy. I tested this component against the typical scenarios we plan on using it for which are tables that use a few well known styles (or no styling at all). I suspect if you have complex styling on your <table> tag that things might not go so well. If you plan on using this plug-in you might want to minimize your styling of the table tag and defer any border formatting using the class passed in via the cssClass parameter, which ends up on the two wrapper div's that wrap the header and body rows. There's also no explicit support for footers. I rarely if ever use footers (when not using paging that is), so I didn't feel the need to add footer support. However, if you need that it's not difficult to add - the logic is the same as adding the header. The plug-in relies on a well-formatted table that has THEAD and TBODY sections along with TH tags in the header. Note that ASP.NET WebForm DataGrids and GridViews by default do not generate well-formatted table HTML. You can look at my Adding proper THEAD sections to a GridView post for more info on how to get a GridView to render properly. The plug-in has no dependencies other than jQuery. Even with the limitations in mind I hope this might be useful to some of you. I know I've already identified a number of places in my own existing applications where I will be plugging this in almost immediately. Resources Download Sample and Plug-in code Latest version in the West Wind Web & AJAX Toolkit Repository © Rick Strahl, West Wind Technologies, 2005-2011Posted in jQuery  HTML  ASP.NET  

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  • Which techniques to study?

    - by Djentleman
    Just to give you some background info, I'm studying a programming major at a tertiary level and am in my third year, so I'm not a newbie off the street. However, I am still quite new to game programming as a subset of programming. One of my personal projects for next semester is to design and create a 2D platformer game with emphasis on procedural generation and "neato" effects (think metroidvania). I've written up a list of some techniques to help me improve my personal skills (using XNA for the time being). The list is as follows: QuadTrees: Build a basic program in XNA that moves basic 2D sprites (circles and squares) around a set path and speed and changes their colour when they collide. Add functionality to add and delete objects of different sizes (select a direction and speed when adding and just drag and drop them in). Particles: Build a basic program in XNA in which you can select different colours and create particle effects of those colours on screen by clicking and dragging the mouse around (simple particles emerging from where the mouse is clicked). Add functionality where you can change the amount of particles to be drawn and the speed at which they travel and when they expire. Possibly implement gravity and wind after part 3 is complete. Physics: Build a basic program in XNA where you have a ball in a set 2D environment, a wind slider, and a gravity slider (can go to negative for reverse gravity). You can click to drag the ball around and release to throw it and, depending on what you do, the ball interacts with the environment. Implement other shapes afterwards. Random 2D terrain generation: Build a basic program in XNA that randomly generates terrain (including hills, caves, etc) created from 2D tiles. Add functionality that draws the tiles from a tileset and places different tiles depending on where they lie on the y-axis (dirt on top, then rock, then lava, etc). Randomised objects: Build a basic program in XNA that, when a button is clicked, displays a randomised item sprite based on parameters (type, colour, etc) with the images pulled from tilesets. Add the ability to save the item as an object, which stores it in a side-pane where it can be selected for viewing. Movement: Build a basic program in XNA where you can move an object around in an environment (tile-based) with a camera that pans with it. No gravity. Implement gravity and wind, allow the character to jump and fall with some basic platforms. So my question is this: Are there any other commonly used techniques that I should research, and can I get some suggestions as to the effectiveness of the techniques I've chosen to work on (e.g., don't do QuadTree stuff because [insert reason here], or, do [insert technique here] before you start working on particles because [insert reason here])? I hope this is clear enough and please let me know if I can further clarify anything!

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