Scott Hanselman

IE7 RC1 can't update Password Protected Feeds

September 13, '06 Comments [13] Posted in ASP.NET | Programming | Tools | Web Services
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UPDATE: Niall Kennedy blogs about accessing private feeds, but doesn't mention that IE7 and Office 2007 doesn't support it. Dare posts about Niall's post and has an interesting comment "At the end of the day, can Bank of America trust that RSS Bandit or Bloglines is doing a good job of adequately protecting the feed from spyware or malicious hackers?"

Of course they can't, just as BofA can't control that I might use any old HTTP stack to talk to their regular website. Angle brackets over HTTP are just that. RSS just makes them more regular and a little easier to parse. I would propose within the context of banking, keying off Dare's comment, that OFX and RSS are arguably the same thing with RSS just being more presentation focused. OFX being pulled into Microsoft Money and Yodlee is no different from RSS being pulled into RSS Bandit or Bloglines.

More on this topic at this post...

This is news that I'm apparently late to the party on:

Internet Explorer is unable to update password-protected feeds.

In IE7RC1, it let me subscribe happily with a password dialog and added my feed. Only when I returned a day later did I find my stale content wasn't updating.

That's going to make things like Audible.com and other password protected feeds difficult to work with in IE7. I hope the get this handled for the release.

Does anyone else think this is a huge problem? Is this just IE7 or is this the whole RSS Platform? If it is the platform, I think this makes personalized RSS content considerably more difficult.

There's been some news on this before over at GlobeBlogger, who noted as I did with considerable shock, that Outlook 2007 isn't using the RSS Platform.

The RSS Team PM Sean Lyndersay responded here to Charlie Wood's email. He says (edited for length)

To be honest, it was simply a casualty of time/resources vs. demand. There aren't a lot of authenticated feeds out there (yet). When we looked at the cost of doing it, we decided that it was something that could wait until our next release.

Outlook 2007 doesn't use the RSS Platform for downloading feeds, but they made fundamentally the same decision as we did (weighing resources against demand), and they don't support authenticated feeds either.

In both cases (IE/RSS Platform, and Outlook 2007), we support what's called NTLM/Kerberos pass-through authentication — which means that in many corporate environments where NTLM/Kerberos authentication is used (typically with Windows domains), the credentials that the user used to log into the machine will be automatically used. This allows authenticated feeds to work in a lot of corporate environments.

Both IE/RSS Platform and Outlook 2007 do support SSL-encrypted feeds. We also have found that many people who ask for authenticated feeds really want personalized feeds (where the data is public, but the feed itself is personalized to a particular user) — in these cases, we recommend generating URLs with guids or another unique identifier for each user.

So, to summarize:

  • We don't support storing different credentials for different feeds.
  • We do support NTLM/Kerberos pass-through for using the users logged-in credentials
  • We do support SSL-encrypted feeds
  • We recommend using personalized feeds, where possible.
  • As for when we will have authenticated feed support: I don't have an answer for you on that. We haven't announced a date for our next release.

Hope this is helpful.

Sean

With all due respect to Sean and his team, I hope that they hear our concern about this huge omission and realize that truly authenticated feeds will allow RSS to realize it's full potential.

Dare Obasanjo realizes how HUGE this could be and what a HUGE GOOF it is to not include support out of the gate. Authenticated feeds could change the game entirely (emphasis mine):

No support for password protected feeds. The number of password protected feeds on the Web continues to grow, Web sites such as GMail and LiveJournal provide authenticated feeds for users today. As the usage of syndication technologies like RSS continues to grow, the need to support authentication by feed readers will also grow as well. I can imagine a day when I can subscribe to a password protected feed from my bank or credit card company. Not having support for this today is a non-starter.

Please, discuss, I'm interested in your thoughts, dear reader. If you agree that this is important for the future of the spec and the continued usefulness of Feed technology, do put pressure on them.

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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DNRTV - Sysinternals Tools

September 11, '06 Comments [6] Posted in Podcast | Screencasts | Tools
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I recorded an episode of DNRTV, Carl's ".NET Rocks" Screencast recently. This episode is on exclusively on Sysinternals tools. While certainly no replacement for the Sysinternals Video Library, we did cover quite a big of ground in less than an hour. Check it out. You might recognize a number of the tools and tricks from the Developer Producitivity Tools Videos. Forgive my slowness in these videos as I was on Carl's machine over VNC and didn't have all my hotkeys and speedy goodness installed.

DotNetRocks TV - Show #35 | 9/10/2006

Scott Hanselman on Sysinternals Tools

Play Flash Version in the BrowserOSubscribe with PwopCatcher (read more below)ur good friend Scott Hanselman pays us a visit to show us the nitty gritty of  some of his favorite Sysinternals tools. 
Download zipped video Download Torrent to Zip

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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Active ASP.NET Blogging Engines

September 8, '06 Comments [16] Posted in DasBlog
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Dasblog_splashJust stumbled on this post from "The Rabid Paladin." I wanted to clarify to a few things that he brings up in the post.

The front-runners in the .NET space for blogging software appear to be SubText and DasBlog--both are branches from their progenitor .Text which appears to be defunct. Unfortunately, since .Text was originally ASP.NET 1.1, both SubText and DasBlog are rooted in that technology. They both support custom themes, but they had to hack ASP.NET 1.1 to do so--mostly with custom controls.

DasBlog is a ongoing fork from BlogX, not .Text. Neither SubText nor DasBlog are "rooted" in ASP.NET 1.1 (not sure how one would root in a particular version of ASP.NET), both run happily under 2.0 and both have 'more native' 2.0 versions in development. DasBlog's theming isn't based on custom controls, it's a Radio Userland-style macro language so Mort can write his or her own themes without coding. It's true that there's lots of ways to architect themes and skins, including, but not limited to, the built in ASP.NET 2.0 theming.

I was originally drawn more to DasBlog because I've become a fan of Scott Hanselman--first from his podcasts, Hanselminutes, but later to his blog (which actually uses DasBlog, kudos for eating the dinner you've made). He's one of those over-producers who seems to have his hand in on fifteen million things at a time and is able to simultaneously talk about it all.

However, DasBlog's main website is frequently down, and there doesn't appear to be a lot of action in the form of improvements, releases, news, or updates. Which makes me wonder if it isn't a dying product, suffering from Scott's hyper interests.

Thanks for the kind words about the podcast! Our DasBlog website has been down occasionally because it's run from the basement of a very kind volunteer, but it being down shouldn't necessarily reflect poorly on the hard work the team has done.

We do have two sites:

On the "not a lot of action" point, I'm a little surprised by that. Have you read my blog over the last 6 months? There's a lot of activity: http://www.hanselman.com/blog/CategoryView.aspx?category=DasBlog

We're just releasing 1.9 soon, we've got daily builds every day, we've added literally dozens of (we think) cutting edge features (http://www.hanselman.com/blog/UpcomingDasBlog19.aspx) and are working on the roadmap for the .NET Framework 3.0 version.

And I stress we - There's an active group of a dozen or so contributors who are continuing to make DasBlog a great platform. It's not just me.

Here's a post on how to contribute to a project like DasBlog. Since the 'how to patch' post, dozens of patches have been added, many bug fixed. We also ship with 23 themes to choose from and more are on the way. The team is more active now then it's ever been and we're looking forward to the future.

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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Diary of a Vista RC1 Install - Upgrading My Main Machine to Windows Vista RC1

September 8, '06 Comments [17] Posted in Reviews
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VistadevicemanagerBEGIN - 10:50 PM 9/7/2006: Pray for me. I'm upgrading my main machine at home to Windows Vista Ultimate RC1 right now. We'll see if this list of tools is compatible with Vista...starting now.

COMPATIBILITY CHECK - 11:04 PM 9/7/2006: Hm...this doesn't bode well. I don't have a QuickCam installed, much less three. Not only that, but the Logitech QuickCam Express always supported in Windows XP with drivers that shipped with the OS; I wonder why that changed?

Looks like problems with SQL Server 2005 as well. I think I'll install SQL SP1 first. Weird about Nero, I already uninstalled that.

The following applications/drivers are not supported in Windows Vista
    The following devices will not work until the device driver software is updated. After the installation is complete, run Windows Update and check to see if there are any available updates for your devices. If this does not resolve your problem(s), contact the device manufacturer for updated driver software for these devices. :
    • Imaging devices: Logitech QuickCam Express
    • Imaging devices: Logitech QuickCam Express #3
    • Imaging devices: Logitech QuickCam Express #2
    Current versions of the following programs will not work with Windows Vista. After the installation is complete, get updated versions that are compatible with Windows Vista:
    • IntelliType Pro 5.x
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2005
    • Microsoft Powertoys for XP
    • ATI Control Panel
    • Nero 7 Premium
    • Sun Java Scheduler

EXPANDING FILES - 12:50 AM 9/8/2006: Oy. Still going. There's five steps here, Copying, Gathering, Expanding, Installing and Completing. I'm 21% into Expanding. Not sure what we were gathering or from where. The copying from DVD phase took about 15 minutes, but the "gathering" took forever. Now we're expanding. This is a 3GHz P4 on an Intel 925 MB with an SATA 7200 RPM Drive and 2 gigs of the fastest RAM the MB can take. Any one have any ideas why this is taking so long? Even as I type this I can hear the hard drive running like rain on a metal roof. Still 21% into Step 3. Time for bed methinks. This doesn't bode well for Mo's commodity Celeron with 512 MB of RAM. Hm...not at 22% yet...

PLEASE WAIT...PREPARING TO START... - 1:11 AM 9/8/2006: I nodded off there for a sec...I see a gray screen that says "Please wait a moment while Windows prepares to start for the first time." Not "while Windows starts for the first time," but "prepares to start." Hurry up and wait. Watching the dots........we are at 2 hours 21 minutes elapsed upgrade time thus far (counting the 6 minutes it took to apply SQL2k5SP1 after that warning above)....

BLACK SCREEN - 1:14 AM 9/8/2006: Rebooted automatically...I see a black screen...and a mouse cursor! Now, "completing upgrade"...oh, I thought we were starting. Psyche. Still upgrading...same image duplicated on both monitors, not sure if it's detected that I have two yet...cycling ellipses continue. Little trivia for you, did you know that ellipsis is Greek (e??e??e??) for omission? So far my upgrade is omitted.

MONITOR FLASHING - 1:18 AM 9/8/2006: My secondary monitor just flashed off and disappeared, it's black now and the mouse won't move off the edge of the primary. I think we've just reached the event horizon of this upgrade installation. Not sure if it's this event horizon or this Event Horizon. God help me if it's the latter.

COMPLETING UPGRADE - 1:21 AM 9/8/2006: Still "Completing Upgrade..."

--- The Next Day ---

CHECKING YOUR SYSTEM'S PERFORMANCE - 8:05 AM 9/8/2006: Ah! I awoke today to find a sea-green  screen asking me to press OK and confirm the time, time-zone and location. Not sure why it couldn't have gleaned all that information over th' intraweb, but que sera sera. I pressed OK, waiting for my Vista Desktop to appear in all its glory...and...Progress Bar! "Checking Your System's Performance..." Poop. I'm going to work.

PREPARING YOUR DESKTOP... - 8:15 PM 9/8/2006: The end is near! I see the fifth visual indicator to "hang on, we're really doing something, your computer ISN'T locked up!" This one is a spinning circle.

SUCCESS! - 8:27 PM 9/8/2006: I can see my stuff! Took a while, but pretty much all is well.

All the devices work save a generic random USB Camera with no Manufacturer. Not sure why the original driver didn't suffice..now it wants the disk that I don't have. I didn't like this camera anyway. Pretty good.

Now...what's this about be being a 4.2? Is that out of 5? 10? 100?

Myupgradedvista

UPDATE/CONCLUSION: For the most part everything works. Like 95% of things I use. Here's the jist:

  • The default Windows video drivers for my ATI Radeon 9800 Pro were poo. I got the Beta ATI Catalyst Drivers and the video is working OK.
    • Video Playback on the secondary monitor is unusable, as is Media Center. The Primary Monitor is fine.
  • Having Media Center (via having upgraded from XP Pro to Vista Ultimate) makes it almost worth the hassle for the whole thing. I just need to figure out a remote control situation. Still, the new Media Center is pretty cool, even if it (currently) is a Frankenstein's Monster of the new and old. If you're familiar with Media Center you'll find old looking sections that are jarring after you play with the new stuff.
  • I can't get Virtual PC's Network Drivers to work, so my VPCs have no networking...not sure what's up with that.
  • FinePrint doesn't work, it seems to have been quaranteened (incorrectly) by Windows Defender.
    • I can't figure out the interface to Defender...some items are disabled, but it's not allowing me to enable them.
  • TrueCrypt works, thank gosh, but you have to Shift-Right-Click and Run As Administrator to get it's drivers loaded.
    • Interestingly you can't make a shortcut and Shift-Right-Click the link. An irritating shell bug.
  • Opening new Tabs in IE7 is unacceptably slow.
  • There's some problems with Acronis True Image, but I'm hoping that'll get fixed soon.
  • Performance is a little slow, maybe 15% slower than it should be, but I think if I turned of the Flashy UI it'd be snapper. We'll see when I run it on Mo's little machine.
  • Windows Defender has a cheesy UI in that it's not integrated with the whole "Suite" of Security Stuff. There's Anti-Virus, Firewall, Phishing, Defender - you'll find yourself running around trying to find out where things are.

All in all, I'm happy I did it and I'm upgrading Mo's machine and my Media Center server as well. This will be the first time since 1995 that the whole family was running Beta software. I'm impressed so far.

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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Dark Room is a full screen, distraction free, writing environment

September 8, '06 Comments [7] Posted in Reviews | Tools
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Dark_roomNow THIS is what I needed. I was literally in the middle of writing this tool when I remembered to Google for one someone wrote first!

Dark Room (Feed) is a Windows Clone of WriteRoom, one of my favorite Mac applications. The fact that its default state is green text on black isn't the point; you can change the colors. It's the lack of distraction.

I often type Alt-V|U in Word to go Full Screen - get those damn toolbars out of my face. Dark Room, written in .NET 2.0 baby, will be a nice place to hide occasionally and help me get work done.

Head over to pick up a copy of Dark Room now and give it a try. If you're like me, you just can't get that <whatever> document done. Maybe you leave your office and hide out in a conference room. This is kind of the same thing, but virtually. And shut down Outlook while you're at it.

Whatever it takes to be productive, I say. Now I wonder if he'll let me write a blogging plugin for Dark Room...

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.