The Application Development Experiences of an Enterprise Developer


AZGiveCamp is Breaking the Mold

Posted by bsstahl on 2016-08-11 and Filed Under: event 

The organizing team of AZGiveCamp recently announced that we would be hosting a one-day Hackathon for Humanitarian Toolbox on Saturday, August 27th, from 8:30 am to 5pm at Ticketmaster in Scottsdale, AZ.  This event is a bit of a departure for us.  We have been looking for ways to evolve the organization to host more and different coding-for-charity events while continuing our mission to to help charitable and non-profit organizations in our community meet their technology needs.  We hope you’ll join us for this first experiment with other event types at AZGiveCamp.

AZGiveCamp’s flagship event is our Hackathon of Help. We have had the privilege of hosting 7 such events in the Valley of the Sun so far, with our 8th scheduled for March of 2017.  These events take up an entire weekend and are designed to put  multiple charity and non-profit organizations together with multiple development teams.  The teams are tasked with taking a project from idea to completion in the course of one weekend.  During these events, participants may chose to camp out at the event facility, stay up and work on their projects, or go home at night, returning to continue the project in the morning until the final turnover on Sunday afternoon.  These events are technology agnostic, with the specific technologies to be used determined by the teams themselves.

By contrast, the AZGiveCamp Humanitarian Toolbox Hackathon will be only a 1-day event.  Participants will work on a single project, the Humanitarian Toolbox (htBox) allReady project, for which the technologies, design, and many of the features have already been chosen and implemented.  We will be lending our support to this worthy organization by adding features, upgrading tooling, and writing tests against the existing code base.  This event will not be judged by how many projects we complete, but by how much better-off the project is when we are done.

For those not familiar with Humanitarian Toolbox, they are an organization that sets up projects to assist humanitarian organizations.  Their current project, dubbed allReady, is designed to organize the preparedness campaigns of the Red Cross and other disaster response groups.  The project is implemented in ASP.NET Core MVC with a Cordova client. Participants need to have at least a basic comfort level with one or both of these technologies, along with the appropriate development tools, to be an effective contributor to this project.  Specifics of the required tools can be found on the event page on Meetup.

We hope you’ll join us at this and future AZGiveCamp events.

Tags: azgivecamp charity community givecamp ionic nonprofit open source phoenix visual studio apache cordova 

10 Common ASP.NET Pitfalls

Posted by bsstahl on 2007-07-11 and Filed Under: development 

Another MSDN back-article that I found interesting was Web App Follies from the July 2006 issues, where Jeff Prosise reviews what, from his experience, are 10 common ASP.NET gotchas.  Most of these items are fairly well understood, but I think we all have our specializations and can use any valuable tips/tricks we can find.  I, for example, rarely come in contact with User Controls.  I create Custom Controls when needed because I prefer the lifecycle and reuse benefits over those of User Controls.  So for me, the 1st tip that Jeff gives us about Output Caching User Controls could be very valuable the next time I am debugging an app created by others who have used User Controls.  My guess is that everyone will find out something new looking through this piece.


Profile Provider Exception

Posted by bsstahl on 2006-10-07 and Filed Under: development 

While working on a custom Profile provider, I needed to set the values in a SettingPropertyValuesCollection object to pass to the SetPropertyValues method of the provider. Using the code below, I was always getting a NullReferenceException when the provider attempted to read the values out of the collection.

Dim objProperties As New System.Configuration.SettingsPropertyValueCollection
Dim objProperty As New System.Configuration.SettingsProperty"BirthDate")
objProperty.PropertyValue = #2/14/2004#
Dim objPropertyValue As New System.Configuration.SettingsPropertyValue(objProperty)

The problem occurs because the collection doesn't know what type to assign the value to coming out of the collection. By modifying the code as follows, I specify the type of the property, and the process executes as expected.

Dim objProperties As New System.Configuration.SettingsPropertyValueCollection
Dim objProperty As New System.Configuration.SettingsProperty("BirthDate")
objProperty.PropertyValue = #2/14/2004#
objProperty.PropertyType = GetType(System.DateTime)
Dim objPropertyValue As New System.Configuration.SettingsPropertyValue(objProperty)

Tags: provider profile framework 

Creating Custom Controls for ASP.NET 2.0

Posted by bsstahl on 2006-05-08 and Filed Under: event development 

A number of new facts came out of the final talk I attended on the day, Mickey Williams' discussion of ASP.NET 2.0 custom controls. These key facts for me were:

  • Embedded resources can be used in 2.0 controls (i.e. graphics)
  • ControlState can be used for critical data rather than ViewState. ControlState can't be turned off (be sure to use this for good and not for evil)
  • SmartTags can be easily created to expose the most common elements of a control to the page developer for easy modification and configuration
  • Controls can now inherit from CompositeControl or CompositeDataBoundControl
  • Mickey highly reccomends Reflector as a class browser, explorer, analyzer and documentation viewer for .NET

I'm sure the slide-decks and samples will be posted soon.

Tags: controls 

.NET 2.0 Concerns

Posted by bsstahl on 2006-04-29 and Filed Under: development 

I am seeing some things in .NET 2.0 that concern me. Much of it has to do with Microsoft putting in features that have obviously been demanded by many developers, but were not included in earlier versions of the framework because, for the most part, they are the wrong thing to do the majority of the time. For example, Microsoft has included the ability to have inline code as well as the standard code-behind model in ASP.NET 2.0 pages. While this seems like a nice feature, I can't come up with a good reason to ever mix my object code and HTML code. Perhaps someone else can. If you do, please let me know.

Tags: clr dotnet 

Afternoon - Day 2

Posted by bsstahl on 2003-10-30 and Filed Under: event 

With the exception of the previously mentioned security problems the remainder of day 2 went quite well. I attended sessions on Web design using ASP.NET Whidbey, the new features in Visual Basic.NET under Whidbey, as well as a talk on using Whidbey to program mobile devices such as Pocket PCs and Smartphones. Some of the most interesting topics from these sessions included the concept of Master Pages, which is similar to a frameset without actually using frames, the new navigation controls provided with Whidbey such as the breadcrumb, sitemap, and menu controls, and the use of SQL Server Cache invalidation to improve the application performance by caching objects without having to worry about those objects becoming stale.

By far the most interesting items were in the Visual Basic features update. The new version of VB that ships with Whidbey will include even more tools to promote code reuse such as Operator Overloading which will allow us to define how operators such as the plus sign (+) or multiplication sign (*) work with our objects. We will also be able to define both narrowing and widening conversions for our objects which will allow the use of cType with those objects, we will have access to strongly typed collections (i.e. new collection(of myObject)), and will be able to make use of Generics which, among many other things, will enable us to create items such as nullable scalars.

I’ll post more from my information overload as time allows!

Tags: pdc master pages 

About the Author

Barry S. Stahl Barry S. Stahl (him/his) - Barry is a .NET Software Engineer who has been creating business solutions for enterprise customers for more than 30 years. Barry is also an Election Integrity Activist, baseball and hockey fan, husband of one genius and father of another, and a 30+ year resident of Phoenix Arizona USA. When Barry is not traveling around the world to speak at Conferences, Code Camps and User Groups or to participate in GiveCamp events, he spends his days as a Solution Architect for Carvana in Tempe AZ and his nights thinking about the next AZGiveCamp event where software creators come together to build websites and apps for some great non-profit organizations.

Barry has started delivering in-person talks again now that numerous mechanisms for protecting our communities from Covid-19 are available. He will, of course, still entertain opportunities to speak online. Please contact him if you would like him to deliver one of his talks at your event, either online or in-person. Refer to his Community Speaker page for available options.

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