Archive for the_time('F Y')

Amping up MSBuild
26 October 2006 in .Net & Code & Microsoft & Tools | Comments (2)

Recently I’ve been doing some work with CruiseControl.Net 1.1 and setting it up to build my work projects. I’ve been using earlier versions of CC.Net at home (what? you don’t run a continuous build environment at home? for shame…) but that has been using Nant for most of the tasks.

For this implementation I decided to try and only use MSBuild and have found it surprisingly easy to work with. Every time I think I’ve hit a wall or found something it cannot do I find some great community additions that add more tasks that I require. One project seemed to offer a considerable number of tasks.

Some of the tasks supplied include:

  • Zip & Unzip
  • Subversion support
  • NDoc generation
  • XML reading & writing
  • Control windows services
  • FTP upload & download
  • SQL Execute

There are a pile more and some of these could be done by just calling against executables but being wrapped up as tasks is a more elegant solution.

The MSBuildTasks Project

 - JD

DOS Day 2006
26 October 2006 in Tools | Comments (4)

OK, so it’s not really DOS day but I thought I would post this since it was something random I saw recently in a video by Scott Hanselman and it just made me smile.

Most people these days know to use the up and down keys in at the command prompt to get the recent commands they have issued but did you know that F7 gives you a pop up of the commands you’ve used?

 - JD

Business object validation
23 October 2006 in .Net & Code | Comments (3)

This long weekend I’ve been doing a fair bit of coding and catching up on some tech reading online in the domain of business objects, testing and WPF development. I managed to find my way to an article on The Code Project which discusses the use of interface I hadn’t heard of before – IDataErrorInfo and goes into some detail on how to write what I consider to be some rather clever validation code for your business objects.

The error information provided by an object implementing IDataErrorInfo is automatically picked up by controls that the object is bound to (for example, if the object has an error based on the data entered the control will automatically notify you about the error without you, the developer, having to explicitly wire it up). I won’t go into too much detail about IDataErrorInfo since it is covered in the article and has links to MSDN as well with more information.  

Paul’s article goes into further detail about implementing the business rules for validating business objects. The implementation discussed made a lot of sense and looked quite elegant, I will certainly be looking to follow this design with any business object design I’m doing in future.

Paul Stovell, the article author, has a great blog as well which he posts about WPF and some more interesting topics of .net.

Code Project Article: Delegates and Business Objects

 - JD

What I’m reading
17 October 2006 in Business & Code | Comments (0)

So lately it’s been a bit try on new material around this place so I thought I’d write a bit about what I’ve been doing instead of tapping away at my keyboard lately. Actually, no, scratch that, I’ve still be at the keyboard a lot but recently I’ve been trying to read more. I’ve always enjoyed reading but in the last 18 months or so I’d only read a couple of books which was making me feel a bit guilty.

I virtually never read fiction, I don’t see the point as I read to learn something new. So here is a list of what I’m working my way through at the moment:

I’ll try and write a review of each of them as I complete them, I’ve already knocked off two of them so I’ll try and get that post up in the next few days.

As you can see, my primary interests in what I read is IT & business. The only odd one out is ‘The Fingerprint of God’ which is mostly about physics, a pet interest of mine. Are there any books you could recommend for me to add to my list?

- JD

Vista RC1 Thoughts
3 October 2006 in Microsoft & Windows | Comments (3)

I’ve been playing with Vista for more than a year and finally upgraded to RC1 and am trying to use it as my full desktop replacement now (James is loving it so I thought I should make a real go at it too). So far these are my thoughts:

  • The overall user experience is better which is great considering I’m still finding my way around it
  • It picked up all the hardware in my machine and installed all the drivers. This is better than what XP or 2003 does for me which misses some things.
  • Seem stable, I haven’t had a single crash yet and the number of reboots required is noticeably lower when first setting up the machine.
  • Performance monitoring is greatly improved – I’m a sucker for stats
  • IIS 7 is cool :)
  • I keep finding neat little things all over the place, I love playing with new stuff

I could go on for quite a while and perhaps I will post again with anything cool I find – I’ve been avoiding this on earlier builds with the risk of features being dropped.

The only problem I have had so far is frustrating and keeps me going back to Windows 2003, I use an nVidia 6800 and my TV is only detected as being able to display at 30Hz interlaced mode (it can support 1024×768 @ 75Hz) so video looks awful. I can’t seem to find a work around yet which is annoying- I’ve even upgraded the graphics drivers only to find they offer almost no value at all (thanks nVidia :P ). If anyone else has this issue I’d be forever greatful – Google hasn’t been helpful so far either. However I don’t believe this is a Vista issue but more that nVidia need to get their act together.

All up though, I’m impressed with the quality of RC1 and would recomended it to anyone :)

 - JD