eWorld.UI - Matt Hawley

Ramblings of Matt

Atlas Dec CTP Live

December 22, 2005 20:54 by matthaw
Well, darnit! It would be live 5 minutes before I leave for vacation! Oh well, I’ll get to play when I return. Check it out & get the latest Atlas bits – the Atlas site hasn’t been updated but it does look like the bits are the Dec ones.

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Most Favorite VS2005 Item

December 22, 2005 00:52 by matthaw

So as I’ve been playing around with VS2005 and the 2.0 framework, my mostest favorite new addition in the C# IDE is being able to write a type and have it intelligently tell me “HEY! I don’t know where that type is!” and give me the option to either fully qualify it or adding in a “using” statement. Whenever you see the red line underneath a type when your cursor is in the word, simply press Shift+Alt+F10, then Enter. And voila! you know have a new using statement. The only downside, is that this only works when the assembly that type is contained in is referenced in your project. Ohh - and if you like using the mouse more than the keyboard, just hover your cursor over the red line and it’ll allow you to do the same thing.

Update: If you’re looking for the keyboard shortcut for this, its called “View.ShowSmartTag”. I just added Shift+Alt+Space which is a lot easier on the hands as I don’t have to hunt for F10.

Categories: Whidbey
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New Atlas Dec CTP Coming

December 21, 2005 21:43 by matthaw
So Nikhil posted a juicy teaser of the new Atlas Dec CTP bits that they’re going to be releasing very soon. After playing with the previous bits and realizing that its cool but extremely hard to work with, I’m very excited to see that they’ve improved (tremendously) the server control experience. I can’t wait to get my hands on this drop! – Now, if only it wasn’t the Holidays and I was going on vacation Friday!

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Vista Build 5270 - Sound Advice

December 21, 2005 16:17 by matthaw
So I nearly took the Vista build plunge last night, and it would have been my first one. Luckily enough, my DVD didn't finish burning until after 11:30 PM, so I didn't feel like staying up real late. Good thing I hit the sack. Reading my blog posts this morning reminds me of very sound advice - wait for Sam to do it first! What's his advice, don't. Seems this build isn't ready for prime time. I guess I'll go ahead and stash the DVD away and wait for Beta 2.

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Wizard Control - Annoyance Factor 1.2.3

December 20, 2005 23:03 by matthaw

So I’m playing around with the new ASP.NET Wizard control. Quite an impressive control to say the least, however within 1 hour I realized there were 3 annoyances that I think were implemented incorrectly.

1 – The wizard control has 2 events, NextButtonClick and FinishButtonClick, that are raised when the user’s clicking through the wizard. Both use the same event handler, and thus the same event args. The WizardNavigationEventArgs has a Cancel property that acts just like the CancelEventArgs. However – cancelling within the FinishButtonClick event when FinishDestinationPageUrl is set, doesn’t work – you still get redirected.

Workaround? Sure – but its not obvious and requires some comments inline so developers know whats going on.

private void FinishStep(object sender, WizardNavigationEventArgs e)
   if (!Page.IsValid)
       this.wizardControl.FinishDestinationPageUrl = string.Empty;
   this.wizardControl.FinishDestinationPageUrl = “AfterPage.aspx”;


The reason setting e.Cancel = true doesn’t work and clearing the destination page url does, is that the OnFinishButtonClick doesn’t care if you’ve cancelled or not, but redirects the user to the destination url as long as it exists. Now – if you don’t want to redirect to a page, but still show a completion message, you can create another wizard step and set it’s StypeType equal to “Complete”. When doing this, cancelling within the finish event works as expected.

2 – There are some instances that during a wizard, you have multiple paths based on the data entered in the current step. Being able to dynamically choose your next step works great in the Wizard control because it remembers what step you came from (a bonus feature that I wasn’t expecting!). However, setting the next active step isn’t one that “falls into the pit of success” that I’ve read / heard about a lot within the last week.

One would think the WizardNavigationEventArgs would allow you to set the next page index – but you cant… NextPageIndex is read-only. But the kicker, is they have an internal method (SetNextStepIndex) that is used by the Wizard control. While it would make most sense to allow the next page index to be set via the EventArgs since they have code in the OnBubbleEvent method to set ActiveStepIndex for you, but you have to resort to setting the ActiveStepIndex property on the wizard control itself.

3 – Okay, so this one falls into “why do we have multiple properties for the same (?) thing!” category. The Wizard control contains properties like StartNextButton[Text/Style/Type/ImageUrl] as well as StepNextButton[Text/Style/Type/ImageUrl]. When I was first configuring the wizard control, I didn’t realize that both of these existed and only set StepNextButton*. Much to my amazement, my 2 step wizard didn’t have what I just set it up to be. Needless to say I had to go digging through docs and intelli-sense to realize that, “Yes Virgina, there is a real santa claus.” A bit confusing and annoying if you ask me because if you want all your “Next” buttons to look the same you have to set 2n properties to do so!

Okay – enjoy your coding, I just had to get these few annoyances out!

Categories: Whidbey
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ASP.NET Membership - Configuration Error in Documentation

December 20, 2005 01:25 by matthaw

So I’m currently playing around with ASP.NET’s new Membership / Role providers with a dummy application, and I came across an error in the documentation concerning the MinRequiredNonAlphanumericCharacters property.

The documentation clearly states that for configuration via web.config should use “minAlphanumericCharacters” attribute which is to be set on the membership element. The example right below explains that “minRequiredNonAlphanumericCharacters” should be used, however the example configuration shows it using the invalid item.

It should be noted that “minRequiredNonAlphanumericCharacters” is the correct attribute name that should be used, as well as it is not set on the membership element, but on the provider add element itself.

I’ve also been told that the documentation has been updated internally and will eventually get published to the web in the future…so until then, remember this post.

Categories: Whidbey
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Disk Output Caching for ASP.NET 2.0

December 14, 2005 17:35 by matthaw
The feature that was cut from ASP.NET 2.0 now makes its debut as an HttpModule. Dmitry states that this isn’t the same code base that they were working from, but is another implementation. Very cool for those intense caching applications!

Categories: .NET | Whidbey
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