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#  Wednesday, 05 October 2005

Seems IE 7 has sniffed me out:

So please do not try to log on here :-)

Categories: this
Wednesday, 05 October 2005 01:43:21 (W. Europe Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [0]


#  Tuesday, 04 October 2005

Here you will find various documents to get you started with Monad. Includes a getting started guide (now that was a surprise), MSH language reference, using tracing and three hands-on labs. Downloads for Monad itself can be found in the Related Downloads section.

Categories: Administration | Cool Download
Tuesday, 04 October 2005 15:59:52 (W. Europe Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [0]


We all laughed heartily today when we heard about Eli's misfortune, which he describes in his blog entry I'm in Redmond. If it weren't for a first-hand account (he was standing in front of us later today, having arrived in the right Redmond), this story would be too crazy to be true.

From the shits and giggles department: Codename "Spang". What the sound of a Buffalo wing hitting a dish can get started... all you need is a couple of crazy Brits, preferably geeks, sitting together for dinner in a steakhouse. All the craziness about this also can serve as a nice lesson to various people who constantly "wave candy in front of a diabetic" so to speak (yes you, the one blogging about the cool stuff only you have access to). Spang also stirred a debate on Channel9 (read).

Categories: this
Tuesday, 04 October 2005 06:36:08 (W. Europe Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [0]


This site as well as the German community blogs are running on the latest dasBlog release. The upgrade went smooth (to 1.8.5223.0, for the record), however, one upgrade never worked out - the #develop team blog. I always got the message "An error has been encountered while writing to your content folder. Most likely this error is caused by a configuration error on your server. Contact your hosting provider or check your permissions for SiteConfig, content, logs." Except that the permissions were fine.

I spent way too much time back then trying to figure it out, so in the end I gave up. Until today, when I wanted to give it another shot. To start with a sure-fire success, I copied my blog (this one) to the root of the team blog - this worked. Next, I copied a blank dasBlog 1.8 to that location - this worked. Next, I took the custome theme and copied it - whoops, I did it again:

As copying a theme doesn't influence NTFS permissions (normally I'd vouch for that), I had a look at my prime suspect, theme.manifest:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?> 
<theme name="laputa" title=laputa" templateDirectory="themes/laputa" imageDirectory="themes/laputa" />

Guess what - I made a mistake. The title attribute had a missing quotation mark. Hadn't I taken this rigid process of adding one item at a time, I would have spent hours in vein again... thanks to a well-meaning but rather misleading error message.

Categories: this
Tuesday, 04 October 2005 06:24:23 (W. Europe Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [0]


#  Monday, 03 October 2005

Rob Howard blogs about this acquisition. Cool things coming to Community Server!

Categories: ASP.NET | Community
Monday, 03 October 2005 19:51:06 (W. Europe Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [0]


At the MVP Summit, the EMEA / LATAM ASP.NET MVPs were partnering to prepare feedback for the team (any more information and I have to shoot you, or shoot your lawyer if you prefer). We were having a jolly good time (we all agreed to spend money on beer and... but that's another story). At that point I suggested that we (book authors, bloggers, article authors, et al) should slap a mandatory warning on our sample code / application: "Not built to scale."

However, in the German community we have an application built to scale: CodeFairway.NET. I wrote an overview article, now Alex followed up with an in-depth look at the features, architecture and techniques of CFW. Read Code Behind: CodeFairway.NET.

Categories: ASP.NET | Community | this | Web Services
Monday, 03 October 2005 17:24:41 (W. Europe Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [0]


#  Sunday, 02 October 2005

The MVP Summit 2005 is over, and with the exception of Transportationgate, it was a great event - even though I had attended PDC05, and worked with Whidbey for years now. I don't primarily come for the news, but talking to other MVPs as well as product group members.

On the community side of things, Alex and I put the finishing touches on the localization feature of CodeFairway.NET, which now includes the ability to play a tournament in a specific timezone.

You don't know what CodeFairway.NET means? Let me introduce .NET Golf to you:

Now, that is intentionally a graphic, to show that sites made by programmers for programmers need not be ugly but can be quite appealing. Here goes the text for easier reading:

"What is .NET Golf?" How did the union of a programming technology and a lawn sport come about? Well, the idea is simple and fascinating: in 'classical golf' the winner is the player using the least number of strokes to hole out. We transferred this concept to programming: whoever needs the fewest number of characters to solve a given programming problem wins the tournament. Speed and elegance of the solution are not criteria.

Each tournament extends over a given time span, after the end of the tournament we hold 'post mortems', i.e. the participants explain their solutions (so that there may be a great wailing and gnashing of teeth behooving the creative abuse of the technology).

.NET Golf is the successor of ASP Golf which was quite popular among German language developers for a long time (the actual ancestor of code golf is Perl Golf). As many golfers switched over to .NET, we decided to migrate this waste of time ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hmost excellent use of technology to .NET so that the envelope of programming could continually be pushed further.

Sounds interesting, doesn't it? That's what we thought and that's why we ran a tournament at the MVP summit (all English, you can browse it to learn more) to introduce other MVPs to .NET Golf - and whet their appetite to be the host for .NET Golf in their community. If you didn't get a chance to talk to me at the summit, here's what we (German community members, so that there are no misunderstandings) offer: we host the site for you on CodeFairway.NET, and we provide you with the automated test system we have created so that there is little to no overhead for you. Your job: translate the site into your community's native language, and come up with challenges (we can help get you started). My MSN account to get in touch with me: christoph dot wille at alphasierrapapa dot com (also my email alias if you prefer emailing me upfront).

Funny enough at the MVP summit, for the very first time in history of our tournaments, the VB.NET golfers won the tournament hands down. That might have changed if only Karsten and the others would have paid more attention to the sessions ;-)

The leaderboard for the first three looked like this (and yes, the Show link does show the source of the submission - check it out):

It took them quite a while to get on the green, but as with every other tournament I heard something like this: "I only wanted to play till 11:30PM, but at 1:30AM I finally coaxed me to go to bed". Addictive. Even for a simple challenge such as the one played at the MVP Summit:

How can you tell whether three lines of a given length make up a triangle? Some cases are obivious - equilateral triangles, isosceles triangles and triangles governed by the Pythagorean theorem. General triangles are a different matter though. You are now challenged to decide whether a given set of three integers represents the sides of a triangle and indicate this by passing back true, otherwise passing back false to the test application. Please note that "flat" triangles (triangles which have the shorter sides add up to the length of the longer side) do not count as triangles.

The class name for this challenge is Tee, the method name Off. The values for the three sides are passed as a string (never empty, always three values contained) to the Off method, the values are separated by a single space (eg "300 400 5000" which obviously is not a triangle). The values are non-negative integers.

So if you are interested in being the host for your community, get in touch with me. .NET Golf is very popular: currently, Microsoft Austria is using our German codefairway to play a MSDN Connection tournament. Mario just announced it (English).

Categories: .NET | Community | this
Sunday, 02 October 2005 16:21:26 (W. Europe Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [0]


#  Friday, 30 September 2005

Not only is Standby not possible since initial installation, now even Hibernate balks at my sincere request for cooperation:

Not that it worked great before - the last hibernation took almost three minutes for 1GB of memory. The XP installation on the same box still works fine... I have the sinking feeling I am in for more "surprises".

Application note: Forgot to mention that Daemon Tools wouldn't install, but that I almost expected.

Update Longhorn experiment terminated. It hung with not even Ctrl+Alt+Del reacting any more. Looks like something went awfully wrong with my installation.

Categories: Longhorn
Friday, 30 September 2005 23:18:44 (W. Europe Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [0]


#  Wednesday, 28 September 2005

I arrived late yesterday in Seattle after a total flight time of 14 hours. If only Lufthansa were offering a direct connection from Munich. Well. At least another MVP had to endure the same route with me: Christian Wenz.

Learned another lesson about Longhorn yesterday in the hotel: if you have installed ISA client, and are not connected to the network it was configured for, it will balk at being disabled! Only way to straighten this out was uninstalling the firewall software. Guess I will be having some more fun in the next weeks of self-imposed Longhorn testing.

Categories: Longhorn | this
Wednesday, 28 September 2005 17:15:47 (W. Europe Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [0]


#  Monday, 26 September 2005

Seems that I found another application that more or less breaks entirely on Windows Server Codename Longhorn: SharpReader. It does load the feeds and cache correctly, however, one thing does not work at all - refreshing the feeds. I'd say that this pretty much renders a RSS reader useless. Darn. Especially now that I got everything else up and running, including #develop 2.0 Codename Corsavy Build 510.

Update PEBKAC. I didn't install SP1 for .NET Framework v1.1. Now SharpReader works as expected. Note to self: having a WSUS server up and running for your other boxes really can spoil your Beta experience.

Categories: Longhorn | this
Monday, 26 September 2005 11:47:21 (W. Europe Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [0]


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