Sunday, October 31, 2004

An Analysis of Skype VoIP Application For Use in a Corporate Environment

An Analysis of Skype VoIP Application For Use in a Corporate Environment

 Summary The report linked here is an analysis of the VoIP application Skype. One of the scopes in this report was to investigate whether the Skype application is secure enough to deploy in a corporate environment.

Bluetooth a Mile Away

Bluetooth a Mile Away

[Popular Science] With a simple mod, I can make a Bluetooth connection up to a mile away—about 4,950 feet farther than most. Bandwidth is’’t increased, so ’t’s not a Wi-Fi killer, but now I can connect to my Bluetooth devices from anywhere in the house or yard.

More information and pictures can be found up at

Speaking of replacing antennas - remember a few months ago when I was talking about replacing the antenna of my Netgear WGR614 router? I was finally able to track down a place to get the right connector (an U.FL to RP-SMA female bulkhead, bought from JEFATech) so I could add on a Netgear ANT-05 Omnidirectional and really boost the range of my 802.11g.

I'm planning on doing the upgrade in the next week or so, I'll post some pictures and instructions with the results.

Connected Systems

Connected Systems

The following presentation for the ISV Community Evening Briefing Dublin, 26. October 2004 is amazing. Certainly useful for me since in a couple of weeks I have to do a Webcast and a training on the business perspectives regarding Microsoft Office smart client and the Information Bridge Framework. The whole story Office smart client and IBF fits nicely within the connected systems wave.

FxCop 1.312 Released!

FxCop 1.312 Released!


Major features of this release
-Simplification of report xml.
-New Fix Categories: Each message is marked to indicate if the suggested fix will constitute a breaking change for previously shipped code.
-User Interface Improvements: windowing behavior has been made more consistent
-Auto Update: Sign up to get notified when a new version of FxCop is available.

New Rules
-Avoid excessive parameters on generic types
-Collections should implement generic interface
-Do not declare static members on generic types
-Do not expose generic lists
-Do not nest generic types in member signatures
-Enums should have zero value
-Generic methods should provide type parameter
-Members should not expose certain concrete types
-Types should not extend certain base types
-Use generic event handler instances
-Use generics where appropriate

-Avoid overloads in ComVisible Interfaces
-Call GetLastError immediately after PInvoke
-Com visible base types should be ComVisible
-Do not use idle process priority
-Do not use times that prevent power state changes
-Compound words should be cased correctly
-Do not name enum values ‘Reserve’’
-Resource string compound words should be cased correctly

-Avoid calls that box value types
-Avoid costly calls where possible
-Avoid unnecessary string creation
-Avoid unused parameters
-Do not cast unnecessarily
-Do not ignore method results
-Do not initialize unnecessarily
-Remove unused locals
-Use literals where appropriate

-Avoid testing for floating point equality
-PInvoke declarations should be portable
-Catch non-CLSCompliant exceptions in general handlers
-Review sql queries for security vulnerabilities

-Call base class methods on ISerializable types
-Do not dispose objects multiple times
-Do not raise reserved exception types
-Implement ISerializable correctly
-Implement serialization methods correctly
-Literals should be spellect correctly
-Mark all non-serializable fields
-Provide deserialization methods for optional fields
-Rethrow to preserve stack details
-Review Boolean assignment evaluations
-Use managed equivalents of win32 api

Migrating Custom Rules
Please see the readme at for more details on how to migrate custom rules.

This Blog Hosted On:

Friday, October 29, 2004

Ewww - Geek loving

Every male geeks dream...

You know it's every geeks dream to have some lovely looking woman approach him and admire him.  Well it is mine anyway.  I've been going to gym now 3 times a week for the last 4-5 months.  There are lots of others also on the fitness drive in my area and some very nice looking women.  Being a typical male I can't help but “observ”” some of these as they go through their workout routine.  So today while I was at gym - I had one of the approach me and say hello.  She asked me about the MVP shirt I was wearing - it was one that us SBS MVP's made up for the SBS2003 Launch last year.  It turns out that she had a great admiration for MVP's as they had helped her out of a tight spot some time back via the MS Newsgroups.  She wanted to chat further, but as soon as I mentioned my wife and kids, she decided she had to leave. :-)

Still if I was a single guy it could have been even more fun.  Lucky for me I am very happily married to an absolutely fantastic woman!

Photo Story 3 Available for Download

Photo Story 3 Available for Download

We released the latest version of Photo Story yesterday, and it is now available for download for Windows XP users. If you're like me, you probably have a hard drive full of digital photos that you'd like to make into an easy-to-download (or e-mail) slide show. Well, this free tool makes that process extremely simple. Here are some of its features:

  • It's very easy to add motion and transitions to give your slide show that Ken Burns documentary effect.

  • You can add your own music or have the system automatically generate custom themes based on several music styles (it does a pretty good job at this).

  • If you have a microphone attached to your computer, you can easily add your own narration.

  • You can retouch your images by correcting color levels, reducing/eliminating red-eye, rotating, or cropping.

  • There are about 10 styles that you can apply to make your images look like they were created with watercolor, colored pencil, chalk or charcoal, or any of a few other styles.

  • This new version can automatically remove any black borders from your image so that it occupies more of the frame (very cool). This is based on work done by Microsoft Research.

  • You can optionally add your own caption for each picture.

  • When you're done composing your slide show, you can have Photo Story create a file for use on your computer, a Pocket PC, a Smartphone, a Portable Media Center, or for sending via e-mail.

Channel 9 has an interesting 28 minute interview with members of the product team, including: Vladmir Rovinsky, Lead Program Manager, Mehul Shah, Development Lead, James Yuan, Software Test Engineer, and Dongmei Zhang, Researcher (Developer). Also, Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows has a good review of Photo Story 3 that is worth reading.

SharePoint Developers Road Map:

SharePoint Developers Road Map:

In order to be an effective SharePoint Developer you need to be skilled in many areas.  I would strongly suggest that you start by completing the MCSD.NET Certification.  Then I would read all books and documents mentioned below.


1. Learn to code .NET

            A. C# Programmer's Cookbook

            B. Improving .NET Application Performance and Scalability     

            C. Application Architecture for .NET: Designing Applications and Services

            D. Design and Implementation Guidelines for Web Clients

            E. User Interface Process (UIP) Application Block - Version 2.0


2. Learn to code ASP.NET

            A. Developing ASP.NET Server Controls and Components

            B. Microsoft ASP.NET Coding Strategies with the Microsoft ASP.NET Team


3. Learn to code Web Services –

            A. .NET Web Services Architecture and Implementation


4. Learn CORE Web Technologies

            A. XSLT - XSLT Cookbook

            B.  JavaScript & DHTML - JavaScript & DHTML Cookbook

            C. CAML––

            D. XML - Applied XML Programming for Microsoft .NET

E. XSD - Definitive XML Schema

F. FrontPage 2003 - Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003 Inside Out


5. Learn SQL 2000 and ADO.NET

            A. Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Administrator's Pocket Consultant

            B. Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Performance Tuning Technical Reference

            C. Database Design for Mere Mortals: A Hands-On Guide to Relational Database Design

            D. SQL Queries for Mere Mortals: A Hands-On Guide to Data Manipulation in SQL

            E. UML for Mere Mortals

            F. C# Developer's Guide to ASP.NET, XML and ADO.NET

            G. ADO.NET Examples and Best Practices for C# Programmers


6. Windows Server Directory Security

            A. Building Secure Microsoft ASP.NET Applications

            B. Improving Web Application Security

            C. Pro .NET Directory Services Programming

            D. The .NET Developer's Guide to Windows Security


7. Learn SharePoint

            A. Microsoft SharePoint: Building Office 2003 Solutions

            B. Out in Jan 2005 - Advanced SharePoint Services Solutions

            C. Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies Resource Kit

Leon's on Drugs Again - Sometimes you frustrate me, Mrs. Reporting Services.

Sometimes you frustrate me, Mrs. Reporting Services.

Sometimes you say one thing when you really mean another.

Remember the other day? You said:

"There is an error in the query. Implicit conversion from data type sql_variant to datetime is not allowed. Use the CONVERT function to run this query."

But I pressed the "Edit..." button. The query builder came up and displayed my query. It all looked okay. So I pressed "OK" to close the query builder.

Then you gave me a different message altogether. You changed your story, Mrs Reporting Services.

You said:

"Could not generate a list of fields for the query. Check the query syntax or click refresh fields on the query toolbar. EXECUTE permission denied on object 'queryname', database 'dbname', owner 'dbo'."

Dammit! You tried to trick me, Mrs Reporting Services!

As soon as I granted execute permission to my role for that sproc, you stopped complaining.

Sometimes I wish you'd just tell me the truth right from the start of an argument.

But you're still a very special lady to me, Mrs Reporting Services.

I like your style. I'm sorry I threw that vase at your head.

Andrew Connell's SharePoint Links

Blog update...

Most people just syndicate blogs... I know I don't spend too much time actually going to someone's blog. Little update on mine. I plan to create a few "link" pages that contain product info, how to articles, downloads, blogs, etc... just your standard link page. I like to think of it as my personal favorites list used between home and work... just out there for you to use as well. I just posted my SharePoint links. Feel free to send me a message if you think I'm missing something. I'll post my MCMS links, blog roll, .NET resources, and my favorite non-work sites on there in the comming weeks. I'll post when there's a new list added... but not again unless there's a huge update or something. All link pages will be accessible via the site header.

» SharePoint Links & References

Search Blogs from the Microsoft Office 2003 "Research Pane"

Search Blogs from the Microsoft Office 2003 "Research Pane"

Here's an interesting thing.

MyST Technology Partners have built an Office Research Service to access all content from the aggregation of RD blogs.

You add it to your Research Pane, with things like the Dictionary and Encyclopedia.

You can also right click on a word within Word and "Lookup" that word in a list of blogs. 

What a great way to remind us that "it's just data."

Way Cool Windows Forms 2.0 Samples

Way Cool Windows Forms 2.0 Samples

My Windows Forms partner in crime, Mike Weinhardt, pointed out to me this morning that the Windows Forms team has posted their way cool Windows Forms 2.0 samples, including:

  • Design Mode Dialog - Mike Harsh
    This is a sample dialog component that allows any form to go into "design mode" at runtime. This component highlights the new, easy to consume, designer infrastructure APIs in Whidbey and has the same usage pattern as other common dialogs.

  • Stock Quote Chart Generator - Joe Stegman
    This app uses the sample asynchronously polls a web service for stock quotes and charts the results over a customizable time period.

  • MSN Messenger Clone - Scott Morrison
    This is a Windows Forms app that emulates the functionality of MSN Messenger.

  • Internet Explorer Clone - Joe Stegman
    This is a Windows Forms app that looks like Internet Explorer 6 and uses the new WebBrowser control.

  • Windows Forms RSS Portal - Joe Stegman
    This is portal type application that aggregates RSS feeds asynchronously.

  • Outlook 2003 Clone - Joe Stegman
    This is a UI front end that has the look and feel of Microsoft Outlook 2003.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

VSTO 2005 Demo Videos

VSTO 2005 Demo Videos

A bunch of short demo videos from the VSTO 2005 team focussed on common tasks developers need to perform:


Locate and Delete Named Range Controls

Auto-resize of Controls in a Worksheet

Custom User Controls in a Document

Row/Column Order Persistence in DataBound List Objects

Resize Excel Controls


Dev Luv: Transforming Visio’s XML File Format

Dev Luv: Transforming Visio’s XML File Format

As I mentioned in my last blog on the Visio XML file format, Visio documents can be saved into a native XML Visio file format (.VDX) or Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG). The Visio XML file format is not a W3C standard. SVG, which is a language for describing two-dimensional graphics and graphical applications in XML, is a W3C standard and has a strong community of support. (Click here to read up on SVG.)


If yo’’re looking to convert Visio VDX files to a W3C-accepted standard XML file format, you have two options.


1.       Use SVG. As a user, you can save any Visio 2003 file to SVG. As a developer, you can automate the saving of a Visio file to SVG format. You can also take advantage of post-authoring third party tools that can convert a Visio XML file to SVG. I hear that SourceForge has a tool that does this, although I have not tried it myself.

2.       Write an XSLT to transform the Visio VDX file. Y’u’ll have to write a transform that maps Visio XML to another schema. There is a sample in the Visio 2002 SDK call“d “XSLT Sa”ple” that describes how to use XSL Transformations (XSLT) to transform data in a Visio drawing into an HTML-based report (you can do a transform for another XML schema too). The sample consists of an HTML page used to run the XSLT and display the resulting report, the Visio drawing in XML (.vdx) format, the XSLT map that transforms document data, the XSLT map that transforms shape data, and the JScript file containing the functions used in the sample. The sample takes a Visio diagram like this one:

You can set if the report displays document and/or shape properties, and get the following report:

Note this sample illustrates how to do a transform from a VDX file to HTML. To run a report on custom properties within Visio, you can go to the Tools Menu, click Reports, and walk through the wizard.

I’ve heard requests from customers to add the ability to save a Visio document to other XML file formats that are industry-specific, like the Business Process Execution Language (BPEL), which is currently in process of being standardized. BPEL is a schema that supports abstract processes as well as the extensive details for executable processes. It deals explicitly with the key elements of a business process, such as control flow and long-running units of work. I th’nk it’s pretty interesting. I also think that other XML schemas out there for industries ranging from biology (Systems Biology Markup Language) to finance (Open Financial Exchange) are interesting. We like standards. If these schemas become standards accepted by the W3C and accepted by the marketplace as the de facto standard, then Visio will certainly look into having the ability to leverage the ones that make sense for our customers, such as standards for business process diagrams.


However,’we don’t provide native export support for these schemas in Visio 2003 because they are not universally accepted by the W3C or the marketplace and Visio is not specifically a BPEL or SBML or (insert XML flavor here) authoring tool. Visio gets used to create business process flowcharts, network layouts, org charts and a whole number of other types of diagra’s. That’s one of the reasons why the Visio app is so popular. Yes, these diagrams MAY end up in an enterprise system that uses a custom XML format, but that's why we provide the tools to enable a transform to industry-specific XML schemas (through an XML file format of our own and documentation.).


Visio 2003's export to SVG is pretty powerful functionality. SVG is a widely accepted and used XML schema. If you want to publish your Visio diagrams in a W3C standard format, use SVG. If you want to transform your Visio XML file to a specific XML schema like BPEL, you have a couple approaches you can take. You can write an XSLT to transform the Visio XML to BPEL format. Or, you can use SolutionXML to store and extract the shape information from the Visio XML file and add that data to an existing BPEL file or just write a simpler transform on the shape schema (rather than the entire Visio XML file format).  


Next blog: How to best store and extract data from a Visio XML file using SolutionXML.  


-- Mai-lan


This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights

Yesterday's InfoPath WebCast: MSDN Webcast: Business Logic in InfoPath 2003

Yesterday's InfoPath WebCast: MSDN Webcast: Business Logic in InfoPath 2003

Hello all,

I want to start by apologizing to all of you who tried to connect to yesterday’s WebCast.  We had some network issues that were preventing most people from connecting.  However, the WebCast was recorded and is available on-demand via the following URL:

If you were’’t able to view it yesterday, I hope you will take the time to view the recording.  The talk was very interesting and informative.

I also hope you will join us next Tuesday, November 2nd for the next presentation in the InfoPath Webcast serie“ “Using Managed Code and Visual Studio to Build Soluti”ns” which will be presented by Willson Raj David, a developer on the InfoPath team.  I think we have all the kinks worked out so there sho’ldn’t be any problems connecting to the Live Meeting.  Also, remember that attendees who are not Microsoft employees who view the entire Webcast and fill out a survey at the end will be entered into a drawing for Halo 2.  (The contest is open to US residents only.  Full contest rules will be posted shortly.)

You can register for next’week’s talk through the following URL:

Here is more information about the talk:

MSDN Webcast: Using Managed Code and Visual Studio to Build Sol—tions—Level 300    

Start Time:       Tuesday, November 02, 2004 1:00 PM (GMT-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada) 
End Time:        Tuesday, November 02, 2004 2:30 PM (GMT-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada) 

Event Description
Learn where Mi®rosoft® Office I™foPath™  fits into the M®crosoft® Office family. Find out about the Object Model and business logic programmability features in the product as well as the M®crosoft® Visua® Studio® Toolkit and managed code support that is available in InfoPath.

Presenter: Willson Raj David, Software Design Engineer, Microsoft Corp.

Willson Raj David is a developer in the M®crosoft® Office ™nfoPath™ product division and has been with the product team for at least four years. He primarily worked on the Designer controls and other features’ Willson’s core expertise is Microsoft C++ and COM and he also has extensive knowledge in many Web technologies.

Thank you,
Scott Roberts

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Overriding the Search Results Web Part in SPS

Overriding the Search Results Web Part in SPS

A posting  from Nigel on how one can override the search results Web part in SPS to have the results rendered the way you would like it. I have not tried it out, but it looks good.

Part 1: Visio’s XML File Format

Part 1: Visio’s XML File Format

Visio has a native XML file format for a Visio drawing, a Visio template, and a Visio stencil. We do not have the ability to save a Visio drawing into any other XML schema but our own. If users want Visio diagrams in BPEL or some other business XML format, the user needs to work with a solution provider or their IT department to write an XLST to transform the Visio XML file format to another schema. ’’ll blog more about transforms later on this week. First, I wanted to give a little bit of background on the Visio XML file format itself.


You can save any Visio diagram into XML format using File | Save As and open it in an XML editor to read. Once y’u’ve loaded a Visio XML document into an XML editor, you will note right away that a) the schema is quite complex and b) the XML file itself is relatively large compared to its VSD format, and c)’it’s a great way to learn about the Visio automation model and/or what comprises a Visio shape.


’hat’s because ’isio’s XML file format is a physical file format. In order to render the Visio drawing properly from XML, Visio needs the document schema to tell the app all the gory details about geometry, layout, and other behaviors for the shape. Consider the following simple flowchart.



If you save out this drawing into a VDX file, you will get a 103 KB XML fil’. (It’s 44 KB i’ Visio’s binary drawing format.) If you click here, you can take a look at the XML. About 20% of this file is garbage because by default, when you save a Visio file, it saves with the Preview Picture option turned on in Document Properties. Once I go and turn off the Preview option (on the File | Properties dialog, look on the Summary tab and uncheck Save Preview Picture tab), the file size for the document reduces to 107 KB. Click here for the XML without Preview Picture garbage.


The good news is that the Visio XML schema is documented as part of the Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas. The bad news is that Visio XML can be clumsy for developers to extract specific information, like Shape text or Shape custom properties, from the document.


In Visio 2002 SR1, Visio introduced SolutionXML, which is customer-defined XML that developers can store at the document or cell level and retrieve by a custom (optional) namespace.


Later on this week, I will cover how to use SolutionXML, which is what I would recommend to developers to store custom data that they want to pull out of the Visio XML file format with minimal parsing.


F’r today’s XML topic, the key takeaways are:

  • You can save a document, stencil, or template i’to Visio’s XML file format. Visio does not have native support for saving a Visio document into any other XML file format. To convert a Visio XML document to another XML file format, a developer needs to write an XSLT. (to be covered later this week in my blog)
  • Always turn off Preview Picture when saving to XML file format to reduce the size of your Visio XML file.
  • If you plan to generate a lot of Visio XML files automatically, you might want to make sure that you have space for it on your file share. The files can get quite large.
  • Developers should not have to walk the entire schema in a Visio XML file if all you want out of the file is shape-specific d’ta. There’s a better alternative called Visio SolutionXML. (to be covered later this week in my blog)

 -- Mai-lan


This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights

Multiple virtual web servers on Windows 2000/XP Professional

Huge licensing violation ... anyway ...


Multiple virtual web servers on Windows 2000/XP Professional

Microsoft Windows professional, whether 2000 or XP only allow us to maintain one web site in our IIS configuration. If you want multiple sites you must install a sever version of windows, or so it seems. Here is a way to use ADSI and WScript Host to Create and Switch virtual servers.

New MSN Search

New MSN Search

I know, Goggle is the BEST, however it's good to know that there are different alternatives out there, try and give it a chance !!

New Adobe IFilter

IFilter back too !

The new Adobe PDF Ifilter is out since last week : find it here !

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

New Team System Stuff - 2004-10-26

New Team System Stuff - 2004-10-26

Booch & Pierson on Domain Specific-Languages

Grady Booch recently posted a skeptical commentary (Domain-specific Languages) on domain-specific languages. Harry Pierson responds with a post that offers an alternative perspective (By Request: My Response To Booch's Doubts).


Harry Pierson also blogs about the DSL tutorial Jack Greenfield, Keith Short, Steve Cook and Stuart Kent presented at OOPSLA on Monday (OOPSLA DSL Tutorial). Harry also has a post that sums up the rest of his Monday experience at OOPSLA (OOPSLA Day 0). Tuesday is the first day for invited speakers, including keynotes from Microsoft's Rick Rashid, Ward Cunningham and Herb Sutter. More to come...

Software Roaches

Ishai Ben Aroya has a post (Bugs that hide from debuggers) that explains how some bugs are able to hide from the debugger when it unwittingly prevents the bug from occurring.

Also, be sure to watch these Channel 9 videos (Alex Kipman - Inside a MS Build Bug Triage meeting and Chad Royal - What gets into the bug database?) that shed some light on bug management here at Microsoft.

If you can't wait for a future release of Team System to debug unit tests, you may want to read about a workaround from reidm (How to step through test cases executing with Whidbey's test runner).

Cloak & Dagger

Okay, no dagger, but for those that are familiar with SourceSafe's cloaking feature, Korby Parnell blogs (Team Foundation vs. SourceSafe | Cloaking) about a similar capability in Team Foundation version control that blocks certain folders from recursive gets.

Team System in the News

Upcoming Events (New Events)

Want to hear more about Team System? Here are some upcoming events where Visual Studio Team System is on the agenda:

OCT 2004

NOV 2004

FEB 2005

Got an event you'd like me to include here? Contact me. Otherwise, I'll just ditch this feature on 11/2.

New IBF Goodies

New IBF Goodies

Duplicating Jan's posting of yesterday. It shows how IBF is to grow and get more mature in the next coming months.

Just released on the MSDN Dowload site (get it here); a nice set of tools to help you with IBF development!

  • WSDL to Metadata tool (MOIBF1.0_ResKit_Tools_WSDL1.0.exe)
  • PReg tool (MOIBF1.0_ResKit_Tools_EPReg1.0.exe)
  • Cache tool (MOIBF1.0_ResKit_Tools_Cache1.0.exe)
  • DSReg tool (MOIBF1.0_ResKit_Tools_DSReg1.0.exe)
  • A set of common components (MOIBF1.0_ResKit_Commons1.0.exe)
  • Goup Policy ADM File (MOIBF1.0_Reskit_Tools_GroupPolicy1.0.exe))
  • Visio Metadata Explorer (MOIBF1.0_ResKit_Tools_VisioMDExplorer1.0.exe))
  • WSE 2.0 Adapter (MOIBF1.0_ResKit_Tools_WSE20Adapter1.0.exe))
  • Unit Testing Smart Tags Tool (MOIBF1.0_ResKit_Tools_SmartTagUnitTest1.0.exe))
  • Metadata Debugging tool (MOIBF1.0_ResKit_Tools_MDDebugTool1.0.exe))

MS PressPass: Office Live Communications Server 2005 RTM

MS PressPass: Office Live Communications Server 2005 RTM

Microsoft Corp. today announced the release to manufacturing (RTM) of Microsoft® Office Live Communications Server 2005. Part of the Microsoft Office System, Live Communications Server 2005, available for the first time in both Standard and Enterprise Editions, enables organizations to extend the benefits of enterprise instant messaging and presence awareness to remote business partners, customers, co-workers and suppliers, empowering them to quickly find and communicate with each other and ultimately make better decisions more quickly.

Read the full press release here.

SQL Server 2005 Webcasts

SQL Server 2005 Webcasts

 Cool stuff coming out from MSDN around SQL Server 2005

Get a sneak peak at what Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Beta 2 has in store for the future database development. SQL Server 2005 offers a new paradigm for database development that integrates SQL Server and the CLR to provide several major benefits including enhanced programming mode, enhanced safety and security, user defined types and aggregates, and a common development environment, where database development is integrated into the Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 development environment.

Learn all about how you can use the same tools for developing and debugging database objects and scripts that you use to write middle-tier or client-tier .NET Framework components and services.

Bonus: Attend a live webcast in this series during the month of January and you will receive a SQL Server 2005 developer resource kit. Additionally, you could qualify for a Microsoft T-shirt or an Xbox System! See official rules for more details.

Register today.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Technical Infopath Webcast - Level 300

Been looking for some technical InfoPath training?

MSDN Webcast: Business Logic in InfoPath 2003—Level 300


Learn how to create a simple schema validation and custom data validation using pattern-matching and creating script-based validation using the OnValidate event. See how to use formulas to calculate totals and construct an e-mail address. And how to use conditional formatting to call attention to a text box value and use rules to display a message box and to set the value for another field.

.NET Framework 1.1 Master Pages design pattern implementation without using custom controls

.NET Framework 1.1 Master Pages design pattern implementation without using custom controls

Article shows a very simple but powerfull way to use Master Pages design pattern in .NET without using Custom Controls

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Shrinklet now hosted on SourceForge

Shrinklet now hosted on SourceForge

Have you been wondering why I haven't posted up anything about Shrinklet recently? Of course you were, you were just sitting there on the edge of your seat waiting for more Shrinklet goodness weren't you.

The reason is that I have been waiting to get Shrinklet approved as a SourceForge project. My initial application was rejected because I didn't provide enough detail and I didn't notice the rejection notice so it sat there waiting for clarification.

I am now happy to report that the project page is up and running SourceForge right now and I spent an hour or so migrating the CVS repository over including the historical file versions (minus correct date information).

Feel free to go and check it out. Over the next few days I'll set up the bug tracking and feature request systems the way I want. I will continue update my source code releases on Darren Neimke's Project Distributor - actually - I hope over time I'll be able to move everything over there once they start getting SourceForge like features.

Over the coming weeks I hope to start commiting sources for a 2.0 or 1.1 release (not sure depending on the features that get included), at which point I'll need to branch the repository to do bug fixes on 1.0 versions.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

CSS expressions in IE (or, How to make a TBODY scroll)

CSS expressions in IE (or, How to make a TBODY scroll)

I've heard of CSS expressions before, and the msdn doco on it is pretty skimpy, so i never really knew what they were. They're not talked about that much, so i never found out.

But now i have. All i can say is that this is cool. Expressions in CSS are an IE 5+ only thing. This doesn't worry me, as our target platform that we target our applications at work already stipulates IE 5.5 or greater, and i prefer IE myself anyway. All you freaky firefox, mozilla, opera and safari wierdo scum just have to live without :P (don't flame me, i know you probably don't want it anyway - you've got tabs, what else is there to wish for in a browser? *grin*)

Anyway, we needed to make a TBODY scrollable at work. It's been done before, but normally involves two table tags. My partner-in-code found out about expressions however, and it amazed me at how much power you could have. (have i used that term before? I think it's a good way of referring to the guy i'm currently coding with at work :)

An example is probably best. I wanted this (roughly..this is a simple sample):

Col 1Col 2Col 3Col 4Col 5

And to do it, all that you need is this:

<STYLE type="text/css" media="screen">
: solid 1px black;
: 50%;
: 150px;
: auto;
: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
: left;
<div id="container">
<table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" style="width: 100%">
<tr class="noScroll">
<TH>Col 1</TH><TH>Col 2</TH><TH>Col 3</TH><TH>Col 4</TH><TH>Col 5</TH>

Pretty cool huh? End result: javascript in CSS. Even to the level of having the 'this' object available. Sweet.

A quick item of note: You really need to set the background color on the row you don't want to scroll - if you don't, it stays transparent, and you can see the scrolling text behind the thead. Whoops :)

Of course, now i'm worried about CSS based virus's. Perhaps *.css needs to be marked as an unsafe attachment in Outlook :)

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