Scott Hanselman

A few dasBlog changes coming tonight

July 3, '05 Comments [7] Posted in Ruby | Watir | DasBlog | Javascript | NUnit | XML | Bugs
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Working on the dasBlog bug list this evening/morning. I'm running the latest source that's checked in now.

We're getting close to a 1.8 release. However, you're always welcome to download the source and follow the "head" of CVS, compiling it yourself.

[Valid RSS]One (small) milestone - well, less of a milestone and more of a ToDo, our RSS validates against Feed Validator as does our ATOM.

[Valid Atom]

In the conformance department, a few small things, like a language element for the RSS Feed and xml:lang for the ATOM. Working on things like umlauts and high latin in blog post titles, hyphens in weblog vdirs, an easier setup with a VBS.

Also, I'm putting together a smoke test using Ruby and Watir that should make regression testing way easier.

There's also a number of small security fixes to plug holes in referrer logs and some cookie efficiencies.

Omar has also checked in some code that should take care of this trackback spam issue by including total conformance with the trackback spec (most blogs are NOT comformant and that causes most of their trackback spam problems) as well as blacklist support using our existing referral blacklist and MTBlackList nightly download job. Also, the obfuscated javascript/mailto: links work in all browsers now.

Omar also added a great new feature called "theme manifests." This means you don't have to edit the web.config to introduce a new theme to dasBlog. You'll include a theme.manifest file that includes all the themes info and assets and dasBlog will find it automatically. This is intended to promote easier theme sharing and removes a whole section in the web.config.

Finally, there's been a lot of talk around DasBlog's (some say formerly) excellent MailToWeblog support. Things seemed to break between 1.6 and 1.7, but it seems that it was likely the introduction of Thunderbird and it's use of multipart/related and multipart/alternative that was the culprit. Needless to say, I've added a number of new code paths in MailToWeblog that have pass all the tests so far. We also added SMTP Authentication support from Ryan Gregg.

MailToWeblog in DasBlog takes new posts via email with the email subject in this format:

  • SECRETWORD Blog Post Title [category1;category2;category3]

SECRETWORD is the prepended keyword that will cause dasBlog to post your post. This is configurable. The list of categories is separated by semicolons ";" and appears within brackets [].

If you send email and HTML'ed inline images, those emails are automatically stored and the whole email is posted as is. If you send plain text email with attached images, those images are optionally thumbnailed and linked to, and of course extracted and stored on the server. Much of this is functionality from previous versions that was a bit fragile and is now less so. Thanks to Clemens and Luke for their early work.

Coming soon!

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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Code Camp Portland - July 23 and 24

July 1, '05 Comments [1] Posted in ASP.NET | Learning .NET | Web Services | Ruby | Javascript | Coding4Fun | XML | Gaming | Tools
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There's a new kind of developer community event out there, and we're bringing one to Portland this July 23rd and 24th. It's called Code Camp and it's been a lot of fun and a great success all over the East Coast this past year.

The original Code Camp Manifesto was by Thom Robbins starting in Boston. Portland's will be the first Code Camp west of the Mississippi!

This event is TOTALLY FREE. It's not meant to be a "come listen to pundits talk" - it's meant for you. If you have always wanted to present, then come present. The list of Tracks is up and you can just email the Track Chair and tell them what you'd like to present. We're still taking talks for many tracks so this is a great opportunity for you to share the useful things you've been exploring.

That said, we do have a pretty amazing list of presenters already, 23 to be exact as of the time of this writing, including Chris Kinsman, Ed Kaim, Andy Dunn (a fellow Coding4Fun author), and Ted Neward as well as locals like Chris Sells, Rich Claussen, Chris Goldfarb, Jason Olson, Jason Mauer (our DE) and Rory (only one name, like "Cher"). Helping organize this all along with Jason and Rich is Stuart Celarier, INETA Iluminatus who is also a world class juggler.

This isn't a .NET event, it's Code Camp. That means we'll have talks on Ruby, Rails, Squeak, Boo, whatever. We'll talk about XML, we'll talk about ASP.NET, and we'll talk about Ajax.

I'm chairing the "Hobbyist" track, so I'll personally give at least one talk with content from my Coding4Fun column and probably a talk on Ultimate Tools. I'm currently looking for talks, so if you have a talk that would be interesting to the Hobbyist programmer, email me and cc: stuart.celarier@ineta.org. Some ideas are: Automating your house with X10 and .NET, Using Java to talk to your Tivo, Making Coffee with JavaScript...you get the idea. You'll speak for 60 minutes and have Q&A for 15, so be prepared, but be prepared to have fun.

For new speakers, we'll have an orientation and presentation tips talk the Friday evening before the event.

Join us at Code Camp Portland, this July 23rd and 24th at Reed College, in Portland, OR [Map]. Perhaps if you're in Salem, Eugene, Seattle or Olympia you'd like to get a bus and head down to hang out?

Register at our Yahoo Group.

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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Take advantage of the extra resolution

July 1, '05 Comments [6] Posted in Programming
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A fellow mentioned to me today that the 1900x1280 resolution of his new laptop was getting to him and he was thinking of trading it back in for a laptop with a lower resolution.

When I hear folks say things like this, and lots do, I imagine them in front of the default Windows desktop with the unchanged tiny icons and tiny fonts. I'm surprised that in this time of XGA+ super-wide 16x9 laptops that Dell hasn't thought to click "Use Large Fonts" and make a few other small changes.

Here's a partial screen shot of my 1280x1024 desktop with standard fonts, icons and spacing. There's a lot of pixels there that are NOT working for me.

Before:

Smalliconssmallfonts

Now, here's the same area with Desktop|Properties|Effects|Use Large Icons checked and the default Icon font pumped up a bit. Also I turned on ClearType (and you should to, here, online [IE Only]) which still isn't turned on by default on most laptops.

After:

Largeiconslargefonts

Amazingly, I've even seen folks running their IBM Thinkpad T42s at 1024x768 (on a LCD that supports 1400x1280) because the default settings suck.

I love using Ctrl-MouseWheelScroll and applications that support them. Try it sometime. Try it in Excel or Word or IE or FireFox or Notepad2. Get the VSZoom addin for Visual Studio to zoom in and out on text. Or, just switch to 14 point (instead of 8pt) everywhere and enjoy.

Now, if you are a small font person who loves the extra detail, more power to you. But if you want the kind of space that 1024x768 provides with MAXIMUM clarity, then run your LCD at its native resolution and adjust your fonts by 30% to 40% larger.

Scott's Final "Presenting with Word" Tip (If you remember one, remember this): If you are presenting a Word Document on a projector - and we all have at one point or the other - even in a small group, do this: Alt-V, then Z, T, Enter. For extra points, do Alt-V, then U for Full Screen. Then click in the gray space between pages to spare us all the bottom and top margins. Do it all in one smooth motion to impress.  

Hidewhitespace

Make the pixels work for you!

Now playing: Counting Crows - American Girls

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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Podcasting with iTunes 4.9

July 1, '05 Comments [5] Posted in NDoc
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Itunespodcasting1I just updated to iTunes 4.9. I was holding off, since I make backups of with jHymn and it's unclear how that will work in the future. But the podcasting support was too attractive to ignore.

(Yes, I know I said something about Podcastarrhea before, and I stand by that. But RSS Enclosures are a good way to get the content I do want brought to me and sync'ed transparently. And I don't have to wait until 2008 for it.)

I have started riding my (new) bike to work, 5 miles each way (don't laugh, it's hard and somehow uphill both ways!) and while I'm a massive fan of Audible.com and it's brilliant iTunes integration (I'm a "Light Listener" which means $12.95 a month for two books) I'd really like to listen to a few public radio stations on my time.

There's a great list of non-commericial and public radio Podcasts at 43 Folders, and it looks like we can expect big things from NPR very soon around podcasting.

I'd love to subscribe to the many .NET Rocks Podcasts, but iTunes doesn't support BitTorrent and I'm not really interested in being a Torrent repeater. Seems my bandwidth always gets sucked up and I'm always pushing more than I'm pulling. NOTE TO SELF: I'll need to use my Sveasoft QoS support to lower the priority of BitTorrent. I hope .NET Rocks offers a conventional method soon.

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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Enabling the Security Tab on Windows XP File Properties

June 30, '05 Comments [2] Posted in ASP.NET | DasBlog
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Sometimes when folks are developing on Windows XP with ASP.NET they think they can't change the security settings (ACLs) for files. This comes up when developing with dasBlog when you have you change file permissions, but also when trying to do anything tricky, like moving your ASP.NET bin folder.

Stephen Venter has a nice write-up on Enabling Windows XP File Permissions explaining the checkboxes and dancing that you have to do to enable the Security Tab in a File's Property Dialog on Windows XP Pro or Home. All this, of course, assumes you're running NTFS as your file system.

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.