Scott Hanselman

MS-Ajax Client Javascript integrated within the Aptana IDE

February 12, '08 Comments [8] Posted in ASP.NET | Javascript | Microsoft | Musings | Programming
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Aptana has a cool Eclipse-based IDE for writing AJAX-y websites. It's got built-in support, via plugins, for most of the major Javascript Libraries. At the core of ASP.NET's AJAX support is the Microsoft AJAX Library 3.5 (direct download), a collection of Javascript classes that you can use in any application, whether it uses ASP.NET or not. The library is licensed under the Ms-PL, the least restrictive Microsoft license. It's the "do what makes you happy" license.

Anyway, I wanted it integrated into Aptana's Studio, so I took the client libraries and bundled them into a JAR file as an Aptana (Eclipse) plugin. You just download this one JAR and save it in the Aptana\Plugins folder and when you make a new Web Project, Microsoft Ajax 3.5 will appear in the list.

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When you select (it's a checkbox, so you can add multiple libraries to one project) you'll get the Javascript and "intellisense" for the libraries, as well as a Hello World Sample...

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...as well as integrated with the online Ajax Documentation

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I think that JS components like MS-Ajax should be easily accessible in other IDEs that aren't Visual Studio, like Aptana.

The one big feature that I didn't have time to do was full Intellisense (Aptana calls it "Code Assist") as it'll require a custom ScriptDoc XML file to describe each method within the libraries. This means that you'll not get the extra documentation tooltip, but I'm working in it.

Bertrand has a post explaining what our format for JS metadata looks like. The Open Ajax Alliance has an IDE Charter that describes an interoperable way for IDEs to interact with libraries, publish metadata,etc. Microsoft joined the Alliance last year and passed the Open Ajax Interop Test last September. Bertrand has a whole category dedicated to Open Ajax. When these specs gets better figured out, we'll make sure this gets supported. I may write a tool in the short term to convert between our format into Aptana's if folks ask. Eventually, however, everyone will use the standard (after it comes out, you know how standard take time).

I've  been talking with Aptana to get this support built in and possibly auto-downloadable, but for now, if you're running Aptana and you'd like MS-Ajax support, save this JAR (com.ajax.ms.3.5.21022.8.jar) into Aptana's plugin directory and restart the IDE.

Later, I'll show you how to do the inverse with Visual Studio, integrating Prototype and JQuery.

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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ooVoo - Multi-person Video Chat comes to Windows

February 9, '08 Comments [19] Posted in Remote Work | Reviews | Tools
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iChat As a remote worker going to meetings sucks. It sucks big time. Huge. Nothing is worse (from a work perspective) than listening to six faint voices over a speakerphone get work done while you struggle to remain relevant.

Sometimes I can convince someone to bring a laptop to a meeting but inevitably they haven't got the right software working. If we can actually get a video going, I have to explain to them how to get it going full screen.

If we actually do get it working using either Office Communicator, Live Messenger or Skype, we can only have one to one video. (Yes, I know about iChat, but not everyone has a Mac).

I'm not sure of the relationship between ooVoo and the others, but I can tell you that ooVoo is like Skype PLUS multi-person chat. Wow. It's fantastic. It'll do 6 people. I tested it with four as you can see above. The video is better than the audio, but we had folks in 4 states (1 in Hawaii) so I'm not sure everyone had the best connection.

It also has a beautiful "You Don't Know Jack" juicy style animated interface. It's very responsive and you can minimize and maximize whatever individual or individuals are talking at the time.

Color me impressed. It doesn't have any of the office features like Office Communicator, so that'll still be my primary chat for work, but this'll be great for the couple of meetings I have a week with remote folks in many locations. If you sign up my ooVoo name is "shanselman."

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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ASP.NET Wiki Beta

February 8, '08 Comments [17] Posted in ASP.NET | Learning .NET | Microsoft
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imageOne of my first projects when I started working here is an ASP.NET Wiki. ScottGu had the idea and my team had to make it happen. The Beta (finally!) launched today. A lot of work went into the development and seeding of this project.

The idea is that folks spend a lot of time trolling the blogs, googling live-searching for answers to common "How To" questions. There's piles of fantastic community-created and MSFT-created content out there, but if it's not found by a search engine and the right combination of keywords, it's often lost.

Search is great, but for targeted answers you can't beat the one-two punch of search plus human  editing. I spent a long time looking for content and seeding the wiki, but there's still piles to do. Hopefully it won't be just me editing it.

What's the point:

  • To provide a targeted, categorized, human-hand-edited, and living Wiki for finding answers to ASP.NET questions.

You can leave comments on the content, there's RSS feeds, and you add your own updates and make it better. You'll also get recognition points if you're a member of the http://www.asp.net community.

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You can get there from http://wiki.asp.net/ and it's also been added to main tab menu of http://www.asp.net. Folks are already starting to discover the site and make changes. I hope you find it helpful!

Thanks above all to my friend Ward for inventing the Wiki in the first place!

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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Using an IDE to write PowerShell Scripts

February 8, '08 Comments [10] Posted in PowerShell
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imageI was writing a PowerShell Script for the 2008 Window Scripting Games (are you in the games?) and I found writing a long complex script using only a text edit to be really tiring.

I blogged about a PowerShell IDE two years ago, but for whatever reason it didn't stick. I didn't start using it regularly and fell back to the command-line and notepad.

However, while I was writing scripts for the Games I got fed up with just the command-line. I went back to http://www.powershell.com and starting coding in the PowerShellPlus Editor. You can get it free. Schweet.

This IDE has come so far and it's a joy to use. It's got a debugger and intellisense and syntax highlighting. It's like SQL Analyzer, but for PowerShell. It's a great way to not only learn PowerShell but it's very powerful for advanced users. Seriously, go get it.

UPDATE with $50 off COUPON: From the comments: "So we have a special deal for loyal hanselman fans..For the next 2 weeks we will give $50 off our price of $129, giving you our PowerShell Suite for only $79.  However we've only set up the coupon code with google checkout, so you'll have to checkout through there. So basically add the item to your cart, and check out with Google checkout and use the coupon code: hanselman and you'll be on your way."

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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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Hanselminutes Podcast 99 - Mac Development with Panic's Steven Frank

February 8, '08 Comments [15] Posted in Podcast
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stevesunchips My ninety-ninth podcast is up. Seriously, 99. That's INSANE. We've got a special guest for the 100th show next week, but this show is equally awesome.

In this episode, I sit down with Steven Frank, co-founder of the Award-Winning Mac Development shop Panic. Panic develops software like Transmit (THE Apple FTP client), Unison (The Apple NNTP client) and most recently Coda, a "one window" web development IDE.

Oddly enough, they are also the only licensed provider of Katamari swag in North America, and their shopping cart interface is bangin'.

Subscribe: Subscribe to Hanselminutes Subscribe to my Podcast in iTunes

If you have trouble downloading, or your download is slow, do try the torrent with µtorrent or another BitTorrent Downloader.

Do also remember the complete archives are always up and they have PDF Transcripts, a little known feature that show up a few weeks after each show.

Telerik is our sponsor for this show.

Check out their UI Suite of controls for ASP.NET. It's very hardcore stuff. One of the things I appreciate about Telerik is their commitment to completeness. For example, they have a page about their Right-to-Left support while some vendors have zero support, or don't bother testing. They also are committed to XHTML compliance and publish their roadmap. It's nice when your controls vendor is very transparent.

As I've said before this show comes to you with the audio expertise and stewardship of Carl Franklin. The name comes from Travis Illig, but the goal of the show is simple. Avoid wasting the listener's time. (and make the commute less boring)

Enjoy. Who knows what'll happen in the next show?

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.