Scott Hanselman

Is it you? Or the test? Is there a problem with Microsoft Technical Assessment.

July 4, '04 Comments [12] Posted in XML
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Notice the average score (the green arrows)...is it just me, or if the AVERAGE is 40% on a test, maybe there's something wrong with the test? (or I'm an idiot. ;) One of those.)  Gee, I hope my boss doesn't read my blog, or take tests for that matter.  Well, it only took 15 minutes.

This was the Introduction to .NET for Developers: Microsoft Visual C#® .NET, I got the link from Bryant.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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This holiday weekend - install anti-spyware software on your relative's machines!

July 3, '04 Comments [0] Posted in
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I'm amazed that anyone's computer still runs anymore!

This holiday weekend, when you (computer person) visit your cousin/dad/aunt/grandma, give them a gift:

* install anti-spyware software and configure it to run automatically on startup. I use SpyBot Search and Destroy.
* enable their existing Windows Xp firewall, just turn it on
* give them anti-Virus software (or install the free version of AVG)
* run diskcleanup and defrag
* lower the size of the IE cache
* turn the security in IE up (for ActiveX controls) or install FireFox.

Let's make July 4th a Safe To Surf Day!

Scott Hanselman - Corillian Corp
--------------------------
Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Why the using statement is better than a sharp stick in the eye, and a SqlConnection refactoring example

July 2, '04 Comments [3] Posted in Programming
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A friend of mine sent me some code just now where he was experimenting with Close and Dispose on SqlConnection.  Reflectoring into SqlConnection shows it closes open connections in Dispose().  So, here's the before and after code.  I think it shows good examples on why the using statement exists, and when to avoid (hide) superfluous try/catches.  I also changed a few nits for readability by using certain overloaded constructors as well as String.Format().

BEFORE - The code I was given:

private void RunScriptOnDB(string filename,string DB)
{
    SqlConnection sqlcon = new SqlConnection();
    sqlcon.ConnectionString ="Persist Security Info=False;Integrated Security=SSPI;Initial Catalog="+DB+";Data Source=(local);";
    SqlCommand com = new SqlCommand();
    com.Connection = sqlcon;
    try
    {
        StreamReader sr = Utility.GetStreamOfFile(filename);
        com.CommandText = sr.ReadToEnd();
        sr.Close();
    }
    catch(FileNotFoundException fileex)
    {
        msg.Text = fileex.Message;
        return;
    }
    try
    {
        sqlcon.Open();
        com.ExecuteNonQuery();
        msg.Text = "Successful";
    }
    catch( SqlException sqlex)
    {
        msg.Text = sqlex.Message;
    }
    finally
    {

        if(closingMethod.SelectedValue == "c") //SDH: He's trying different closing methods based on a Radio Button, this won't be needed in a refactor
        {
            sqlcon.Close();
        }
        else if(closingMethod.SelectedValue == "d")
        {
            sqlcon.Dispose();
        }
        else
        {
            sqlcon.Close();
            sqlcon.Dispose();
        }
    }
}

AFTER - My quickie refactor/clean:

private void RunScriptOnDB(string filename, string database)
{
   string commandText = String.Empty;
   try
   {
      using (StreamReader sr = Utility.GetStreamOfFile(filename))
      {
         commandText = sr.ReadToEnd();
      }
   }
   catch (FileNotFoundException fileEx)
   {
      msg.Text = fileEx.Message;
      return;
   }
   using (SqlConnection connection = new SqlConnection(String.Format("Persist Security Info=False;Integrated Security=SSPI;Initial Catalog={0};Data Source=(local);",database))
   {
      using (SqlCommand command = new SqlCommand(commandText, connection))
      {
         try
         {
            connection.Open();
            command.ExecuteNonQuery();
            msg.Text = "Successful";
         }
         catch (SqlException sqlEx)
         {
            msg.Text = sqlEx.Message;
         }
      }
   }
}

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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VB6->VB.NET->VB.NET/Whidbey Collection Class change

July 1, '04 Comments [0] Posted in Programming
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Remember all the weirdness around Collections and VB6 when VB.NET came out?  I just noticed this breaking change as we move from 1.1 to Whidbey.  Previously added workaround code will have to be removed.

VB collections have weird implementation of IList: 0 based for read and -1 based for insertion
Affected APIs none
: Ilist implementation of VB collection is fixed
Affected Assemblies\Dll(s): Microsoft.VisualBasic.dll
Affected Scenarios: Upgraded apps that use VB Collection through inconsistent implementation of Ilist (very unlikely scenario) may be broken.
Description: An instance of Collection type is casted to Ilist and then used via Ilist interface. To make this work in 7.0, 7.1 you would need to specialcase access to Ilist if it holds Collection
Workaround Code that has special-case warkarounds to use Collections casted to Ilist, will have to remove workarounds.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Doc/Literal/Bare in XML Web Services - my thoughts on all this.

July 1, '04 Comments [7] Posted in Web Services | XML
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Apparently Craig Andera and Tim Ewald were recently working on an MSDN code rewrite and were talking about building doc/literal/bare Web Services vs. doc/literal/wrapped.

I'm a little confused by their respective posts, as they appear to say too different things.  (Coming up on Fox, When Smart People Disagree!) They were both in the same house, coding the same stuff, but Craig's conclusion about how to use SoapParameterStyle.Bare is very different than Tim's (and mine).

Tim suggests that getting an AddResponse type "for free" when writing code like this:

//SDH: This is bad, avoid it
[WebMethod]
[return: XmlElement("sum")]
public int Add(int x, int y) { return x + y; }

is lame, and I agree.  The generared AddResponse type is totally magic, coming (by magic) from the Method name, which is a little too tightly-coupled for my tastes.

Instead, your functions should take as parameters and return as reponses formal types that you control.  Then you can use the [SoapDocumentMethod(ParameterStyle = SoapParameterStyle.Bare)] attribute to avoid any extra automagically-added wrapped elements.  This is purely a coding convention, it's not expressed in WSDL. 

//SDH: This is not bad, embrace it.
[WebMethod]
[SoapDocumentMethod(ParameterStyle = SoapParameterStyle.Bare)]
[return: XmlElement("AddResponse")]
public AddResponse Add(AddRequest req)
{
  AddResponse resp = new AddResponse();
  resp = req.x + req.y;
  return resp;
}

Tim's right on with this.  We do the same thing at Corillian with our code-generation stuff (maybe I'll present on it sometime.)  You can reuse the Request and Response messages this way, as well as take and return base classes.

However, Craig had a different view.  He simply added the bare attribute to the method call:

//SDH: This is bad, think twice
[WebMethod]
[SoapDocumentMethod(ParameterStyle=SoapParameterStyle.Bare)]
public int Add(int x, int y) { return x + y; }

which results in

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<soap:Envelope xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
        xmlns:xsd="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema"
        xmlns:soap="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/soap/envelope/">
  <soap:Body>
    <x xmlns="http://tempuri.org/">int</x>
    <y xmlns="http://tempuri.org/">int</y>
  </soap:Body>
</soap:Envelope>

Which is a non-WS-I Basic Profile compliant Web Service, as it has more than one child node under <soap:Body>.  Craig muses "To me, this just seems like nicer XML; more like how I would do it if I were just using XmlWriter and raw sockets."  I totally disagree with that statement, as XML Web Services are decidedly NOT about that level of abstraction.  If you like talking with XmlWriter and raw sockets, why not yank the <soap:envelope> and those pesky namespaces? ;) If so, there's already a spec for you

Additionally this places even more pressure on the HTTP SOAPAction header, which was always a bad idea.  Fundamentally (at least in my World View) SOAP messages should be transport neutral and that's what wsa:Action is for.

So, conclusion?  Be explicit.  Use Request and Response messages as ins and outs for your Web Services, call them out and use SoapParameterStyle.Bare to avoid the extra wrapping element.  Tim's list of reasons why is excellent.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.