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Tim Walters .NET Blog [Site] [XML]
Description: Microsoft .NET, along with XML, XSL, XSD, SQL and other cool stuff
Last Update: 12:04:09 03/03/2006

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First Fetched: 00:18:33 01/31/2004
Last Updated: 12:04:09 03/03/2006


Job opportunity in Santa Cruz, CA
I may have taken too long on this, I meant to post it 2 weeks ago!Anyway, in case it's still an option... there is (was?) some job opportunities going for someone with .NET Remoting and Flash skills, it's a Web application development shop in Santa Cruz, CA (USA).They're running enterprise level applications, take a look at their site here.If you're the sort of person that's good with .NET and/or Flash, can really think and solve problems, and are in the Santa Cruz, CA area, then drop them an email to enquire. Jago Macleod is the person to ask for, and be sure to mention my blog! :)I hope this helps some of you.
16:52:00 April 30, 2004, Friday (PDT) Source: Tim Walters .NET Blog
Application Blocks for faster coding
I was at the Security Summit yesterday (based on the DevDays stuff in America), and was reminded yet again of the great Application Blocks that are available, so here's some links:Microsoft patterns and practices for Application Architecture and Design (the main page)Smart Client OfflineAsynchronous InvocationCachingConfiguration ManagementData Acces - NOTE: has been updated to version 3, GotDotNet Workspace for DAABAF (supports Abstract Framework)Exception Management, there are two:Exception Management (basic exception management)Enterprise Instrumentation Framework (advanced exception tracking, logging, performance counters etc)Logging Application Block (based on the EIF)Updater (can auto-download and install updates to your application)Some of the Application Blocks that aren't as applicable for me, but here for reference:Authorization and ProfileAggregationUser Interface ProcessQuite a few great bits of code there.PS: I will be posting an update to my Heirarchial XML into SQL ...
00:42:00 March 17, 2004, Wednesday (PST) Source: Tim Walters .NET Blog
InfoPath 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP-1) Preview
I saw the InfoPath 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP-1) Preview appear on the Microsoft Download Centre RSS feed recently, and I must say it's something I'd like to have a play with.When InfoPath first came out I was very excited, but I realised that much of the functionality is available in the (now FREE) Altova Authentic®, which has supports a browser plug-in for Internet Explorer, comes with a free Windows Client, Placeholder Control for Microsoft CMS 2002 Server, and an ASP.NET Server Control.The flip side of the coin is that InfoPath is a dream to use, looks sexy, and supports scripting. With the addition of the InfoPath 2003 Toolkit for Visual Studio .NET it has reached a level where it can be taken quite seriously.Anyone out there have some experience with either the VS Toolkit or the SP1 Preview that they would like to share?
08:03:00 February 26, 2004, Thursday (PST) Source: Tim Walters .NET Blog
Hierarchical XML - importing into SQL Server 2000
I've just finished my first draft of a new article on how to import infinite-depth XML trees into a parent/child table in SQL Server 2000.It uses table variables and OPENXML to do most of the tricks, along with an interesting WHILE loop.Have a read and see what you think, I'd love to hear your feedback.
07:50:00 February 25, 2004, Wednesday (PST) Source: Tim Walters .NET Blog
SQL Reporting Services
Well, I just got back from the SQL Reporting Services MSDN Update session. As always Adam Cogan was entertaining while still providing heaps of information, and live code demos!I was in the beta for Rosetta (SQL Reporting Services), but never had a chance to even install it due to a heavy work load, so it was great to get a comprehensive overview of the features.SQL Reporting Services provides a great option for those needing to do Web based reporting, and to some degree can be used for WinForms reporting. One noticable area that's lacking is the ability to use it in a WinForms app and send the report directly to the printer! Anyone out there know a good way around it? I suggested perhaps a Rendering Extension could be created that would render to a network printer, I'll have to look into that more.Of all the people that attended, only 2 didn't think they would start using it, and both for the same reason: easy "user" creation of reports, as provided by Crystal Enterprise Edition. ...
07:18:00 February 19, 2004, Thursday (PST) Source: Tim Walters .NET Blog
The history of Reporting with the Microsoft Development environment
With SQL Reporting Services being released recently, it's interesting to look back on the history of reporting...For me it began with MS Access v1.0 back in 1992. A nice reporting system, with some programmability, producing on-screen and printed reports with a minimum of fuss. I followed Access right through to Access 2000, along the way I became an Access MVP... it was a fun ride but I've moved on.The VB world started getting controls to allow reporting too, with the addition of pseudo-Access style reporting added in VB 6.As we progressed, Web Reporting became more popular, and many ASP developers began to feel the pain. It was easy enough to generate report for displaying in a web page, but printing ... well it sucked really! Some played with using Word or Excel to print by exporting from the page into the correct format, others tried PDF generators, and then there was products like Crystal Reports. Personally I found that putting your data in XML format and having 2 XSLTs to ...
05:06:00 February 10, 2004, Tuesday (PST) Source: Tim Walters .NET Blog
Free defect tracking software
Axosoft is offering bloggers a free 3-user version of their .NET & SQL based OnTime defect tracking software (bug tracking software). For more information, visit http://www.axosoft.com/Free3UserOffer.htm.
05:26:00 February 9, 2004, Monday (PST) Source: Tim Walters .NET Blog
I saw this a while back, but for some reason didn't download and install it... this time I gave in and it seems to be a very nice application. Support for .Text is great, about the only thing I've noticed so far that's missing is that it's hard to assign multiple categories to a post, but that's probably a bad idea anyway right?If you want to try it out, take a look - BlogJet. It's a cool Windows client for blogging (loads of great features). Get your copy here: http://blogjet.com"Computers are useless. They can only give you answers." -- Pablo Picasso
02:31:00 February 6, 2004, Friday (PST) Source: Tim Walters .NET Blog
TabletPC advice please
I'm looking to get a TabletPC on salary sacrifice, and I would love to hear some advice from people who have them. I will be using it to test TabletPC software I write, and will use it as a secondary development PC (though I imagine I'll use an external 17" or 19" display). It would also be nice if I could play some 3D games on it (Toshiba seems to win there!). I've been looking at the Acer C300 and Toshiba M200. Here's the pros/cons I've come up with from my research so far: Acer C300 Toshiba M200 PROS 14.1" screen 12.1" screen DVD/CD-RW 1400 x 1050 resolution 7.5hr battery nVidia GeForce FX Go5200 (32Mb) CONS 1024 x 768 resolution No CD/DVD drive as standard Heavy (2.74Kg without DVD or extra battery) 4.5Hr battery Anyone out there care to give me their advice?Thanks!
04:41:00 January 6, 2004, Tuesday (PST) Source: Tim Walters .NET Blog
Embedding Flash in a Windows Forms .NET app
Mark G. Patterson asked: "What's the best way to embed flash animations in .NET Windows Forms apps?"Well, here's how I do it... First you want to add the "Flash" control to the Toolbox: Right-click on the Toolbox, choose "Add/Remove items..." Select the "COM Components" tab Scroll down to "Shockwave Flash Object" and make sure it's ticked Click OK Drag the "Shockwave Flash Object" from the toolbox onto the Form (just like any other control) Righ-click on the new object and select "Properties" to show the custom properties panel Some things to keep in mind... You probably don't want to hard-code the URL for the move in the properties dialog, so try setting the "Movie" property to something like Application.StartupPath + "\\MyMovie.swf" If you want to talk to the Flash movie from C# (or VB.NET or whatever) then you need to use the "SetVariable" method If you want to talk to the host Windows Forms app from Flash, use FSCommand... you'll need to add an event handler in your Windows ...
03:18:00 December 29, 2003, Monday (PST) Source: Tim Walters .NET Blog
MobyDock - Mac style docking for 2000/XP
I ran across this great tool, MobyDock. It gives you a great little docking panel like Mac OS X, with lots of features you can tweak. Enjoy!
11:49:00 October 22, 2003, Wednesday (PDT) Source: Tim Walters .NET Blog
w.bloggar test
This is just a quick test to see if posting from w.bloggar is working, if you're reading this then it's working! ;) PS: I will post more soon, I promise!
06:15:00 October 21, 2003, Tuesday (PDT) Source: Tim Walters .NET Blog
I finally caved in and did the test... my Bloginality is INTP.
04:58:00 October 13, 2003, Monday (PDT) Source: Tim Walters .NET Blog
I quit!
I quit my job this week! I will be starting with my new employer as soon as I am released from my current contract (I'm meant to give 4 weeks notice, but my new employer wants me ASAP). It will be an interesting move for me, as I will be going from a VB.NET shop over to C# (which I am fluent in), and I will finally get to work with Flash MX again (embedded in WinForms). I'll also get to work with PocketPC and Tablets, using Web Services, BizTalk, SQL Server and more! I will also be changing from writing Intranet/Government type apps to ones specialised for the Hospital industry, which should prove interesting and give me more to play with and be excited about. Once I'm settled in at the new place I'll let you all know how it goes.
08:50:00 August 21, 2003, Thursday (PDT) Source: Tim Walters .NET Blog
TypeFinder macro update
It seems that Jan Tielens has updated the TypeFinder macro again. It's got a few nice extras in there. There's one little addition I would add, once you have the macro installed browse in the AddDirective method down to where it has this line: While text.Text.StartsWith("/*") Or text.Text.StartsWith(" *") Or text.Text.StartsWith("//") Or text.Text.StartsWith("'") And add this to the end of the line: Or text.Text.StartsWith("Option") This fixes a small issue for VB.NET users that have an Option Explicit On or Option Strict On. Happy coding!
05:27:00 August 21, 2003, Thursday (PDT) Source: Tim Walters .NET Blog
Technical Content part #2
Well, I got some good feedback from my last post, seems like I've finally got some readers! :) I've since seen some really well done presentations. One that currently rates as #1 on my list was the .NET Compact Framework (DEV308), extremely well done. I didn't think I would get much out of it, as I've been 'playing' with .NETCF for a while now, and had a pretty good grasp... but after hearing Peter Stanski talk, I'm almost wishing I could go to his UNI classes! He had a lot of material to cover (next year give this man 2 or 3 session slots!!), and although the early stuff was an introduction I didn't feel like he was insulting my intelligence like I have at other sessions. He provided a host of great links, lots of hints and tips, guidelines etc. A really good section on the Performance issues you might encounter and how to overcome them. Next he went into using compression when using web services, with links to libraries like this (HTTPZip) for the server, as well as this (zHTTP) ...
02:39:00 August 13, 2003, Wednesday (PDT) Source: Tim Walters .NET Blog
Tech.Ed Technical Content
I've been checking with a few people here, getting feedback on the technical content of the sessions. For those that don't know, they're rated as follows in the session guide: 100 - Introduction to Material 200 - Strategic Overviews 300 - Advanced Level 400 - Expert Level What I've found is that I'm attending a few 300 and 400 level talks that seem like they really should have been rated as 200... most of the presenters have been really good, but the level of technical detail has been poor, and in some cases missing. I mean, we're mostly developers (ignoring all the Managers that have come here for a holiday and can't understand most of what's being said, but that's another gripe)... we want to see code, we want to see it work, I'm getting a little tired of being told how it works and what it looks like, I want to see it! Anyway, that's my opinion, and as always there have been exceptions, of note was Matthew Hardman's talk about Building Secure Applications with the Microsoft .NET ...
05:53:00 August 12, 2003, Tuesday (PDT) Source: Tim Walters .NET Blog
Visual Studio Macros
I was going over Adam Cogan's (Superior Software for Windows) upcoming talk here at Tech.Ed Australia, and mentioned some macro's I use all the time... unfortunately I couldn't find the link to the TypeFinder one, so here is where to get this great macro (check the comments for an enhancement someone posted). The other great macro is the “Add Region” macro by DevHawk, I sent him a little bug fix for it so it's worth double checking if you have the latest version. What other ideas do you all have for Macros to enhance your experience in Visual Studio? I consider the above two to be “must have”, but I'm keen to know of more. Update: Corrected the link to Adam's profile upon request.
05:42:00 August 12, 2003, Tuesday (PDT) Source: Tim Walters .NET Blog
Tech.Ed 2003 - Brisbane
Well, first day of sessions is already half over. As usual Brisbane has great weather, typical winter days of 20-25 Celcius... I don't wanna go home! I have seen the introduction to Jupiter so far, looks pretty good. Full integration into Visual Studio .NET will be a great thing, as well as better support for current and emerging standard. Now I just need to find some way to get more readers... what would you like to know about Tech.Ed? Oh, and Marcie, what will it take to get you to link to me!! I'll give you some cake ;-)
06:53:00 August 11, 2003, Monday (PDT) Source: Tim Walters .NET Blog
Wow, what an upgrade!
Scott Watermasysk has really outdone himself with the latest upgrade to these WebLogs. The Admin interface is just plain cool, I would love to see more web-based apps with such a clean interface. Along with the upgrade, it's now got a brand name I believe, .Text. Keep up the great work Scott!
08:13:00 July 29, 2003, Tuesday (PDT) Source: Tim Walters .NET Blog
Tech.Ed Australia
My boss just offered to send me to Tech.Ed 2003 in Brisbane, here in Australia. I thought I would have a look and see what the event is going to be like, and guess who's coming "down under"? DGG! DataGrid Girl, y'know, Marcie Robillard. I read her blog (subscribed) all the time, and other than her obsession with pink (ick!!) it's pretty darn good. She's got a lot of great info about DataGrids in ASP.NET on there. I noticed that Adam Cogan is speaking too, I remember my job interview with him a while back, and although I decided not to take the job (would have needed to move inter-state), I quite liked what he's doing there. He's a Microsoft Regional Director, as well as running his own company Superior Software for Windows. Hmm, I wonder if I should accept? :) Update: I decided it was an offer too good to refuse, I'm even taking my wife and having a short holiday afterwards! Update: Updated Adam's profile link as requested.
05:54:00 July 18, 2003, Friday (PDT) Source: Tim Walters .NET Blog
.NET Compact Framework and embedded Flash - at last!
I've been trying to work out a way of doing this for a while now, and the only solution to date seemed to be using Intelliprog's HTMLViewer control. Sure, these guys need to make money, but that's some rather aggressive licensing for a simple wrapper! Imagine if I wanted to make a small Shareware app, and I wanted to host some HTML (with Flash in it of course!) in there... If I plan to sell 100 copies (and assuming I understand the pricing info at the bottom) I'm up for $US 149.99. If I was only charging $US 3 for my app then half that money is going just to the licence of a simple little wrapper. I was ready to give up, when I spotted something sweet and wonderful on the GotDotNet Samples feed (subscribed!). This HTMLViewer sample does everything I need, although there were a few errors in the code provided I posted comments on how to fix it. Being that it's a sample, it's got a great price tag - FREE! I did a quick test of loading HTML with Flash in it and it worked like a charm! ...
09:17:00 July 17, 2003, Thursday (PDT) Source: Tim Walters .NET Blog
XML Tools and other goodies
I just saw this MSDN article on XML Tools. I have already been looking into most of these, but there were a few new ones for me. Having all of these in one spot is great. While I'm pointing to MSDN articles, how about these: Turn your PocketPC into a remote control for your Desktop PC Allow your Windows Forms .NET applications to auto-update Pull the control flow and state management out of the UI and into a UI process layer Along with the 2 above, there's other Application Blocks here, here, here, here, here and here! Tools reference for what comes with Visual Studio.NET PocketPC: information about what's new in Windows Mobile 2003 for developers, along with a SDK update Data Access Strategies Ahh, so many toys, so little time...
07:34:00 June 30, 2003, Monday (PDT) Source: Tim Walters .NET Blog