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Archive for December, 2006

Now Playing: Episode 4 of Devcasting: Firefox Extensions

Now Playing: Episode 4 of Devcasting: Firefox Extensions

Episode #4 of the Devcasting podcast has been posted:

December 29, 2006Comments are DisabledRead More
Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1

Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1

As you may already know, Visual Studio 2005 Sp1 is available for download at Microsoft.

I updated my copy with SP1 this morning and it took a little less than 2 hours tocomplete.
2 hours is far too long, especially when I need to keep an eye on it to click on ‘OK’or ‘Accept’ periodically.

Hopefully it will address my Dev environment crashing because of its buggy SourceSafe integration. Grrrr…

A little about SourceSafe
Foryour own sake, stop using SourceSafe – please!

Download VisualStudio 2005 Service Pack 1

Revised: 2006/12/21
See ThingsI wish I’d known before I installed VS 2005 Service Pack 1

December 20, 20061 commentRead More
POSTing to a webpage and using it’s response (HttpWebRequest and HttpWebResponse)

POSTing to a webpage and using it’s response (HttpWebRequest and HttpWebResponse)

You might encounter a situation where you need to Post to a web page and read it’s

Here’s a function that uses System.Net.HttpWebRequest and System.Net.HttpWebResponse
to do just that.

      ' Usage:
      '   Dim xmlDoc As Xml.XmlDocument
      '   xmlDoc.Load(MakeHttpRequest( _
                           "request=listPersons&filter=last(a*)", _
                           "/requestManager.php", _

      Protected Function MakeHttpRequest(
                                   ByVal data As String, _
                                   ByVal url As String, _
                                   ByVal contentType As String) _
                                   As System.IO.Stream
        Dim retVal As System.IO.Stream 
        Dim httpRequest As System.Net.HttpWebRequest 
        Dim httpResponse As System.Net.HttpWebResponse 
        Dim encoding As New System.Text.UTF8Encoding
        Dim uri As New System.Uri(url) 
        Dim postBytes As Byte() postBytes = encoding.GetBytes(data)      
        httpRequest = CType(System.Net.HttpWebRequest.Create(uri), _
        httpRequest.ContentLength = postBytes.Length 
        httpRequest.Method = "POST" 
        httpRequest.ContentType      = contentType 
        Dim postStream As System.IO.Stream = _
        postStream.Write(postBytes, 0, postBytes.Length) 
        httpResponse = CType(httpRequest.GetResponse(), System.Net.HttpWebResponse) 
        retVal = httpResponse.GetResponseStream()
        Return retVal
      End Function

Variation: If the webpage you are calling expects xml you could easily replace and
pass a valid xml string as data
httpRequest.ContentType = "application/x-www-form-urlencoded"

httpRequest.ContentType = "text/xml"

You could even go further and return an xml document if the expected datatype is

Developer Workshops in Moncton in January 2007

Developer Workshops in Moncton in January 2007

I am planning two developer training events in Moncton, New Brunswick in early 2007 (tentatively the weeks of January 22 and 29).  I’ll be doing one week and it will be a .NET focus – probably Professional ASP.NET Development but if there’s demand for something else I can switch it.  The other week will be Mike Mullen and the focus will probably be either Professional PHP Development or Building Ajax Web Apps with Prototype and Dojo.  Again, Mike is flexible based on demand.

Details are not finalized so there’s time to influence the schedule or topics if you’re interested.  We hope to offer these workshops from time to time.  To keep costs in check we are trying to avoid advertising so please help us spread the word by telling your colleagues in Atlantic Canada.

Classes will be a minimum of 3 people and a maximum of 5 people.  The cost is $1200 for the week.

December 19, 2006Comments are DisabledRead More
It’s Coming: PDC 07, October 2 – 5

It’s Coming: PDC 07, October 2 – 5

You heard it here first:  the next Microsoft Professional Developers Conference will be October 2 – 5, 2007 in Los Angeles, California.  The Microsoft Professional Developers Conference (PDC) is the definitive developer event focused on the future of the Microsoft platform.

Registration is NOT open at this point.  The dates have simply been announced.

It was PDC 03 that tipped me off to the coming web-desktop convergence.  It was PDC 05 where I saw what a real Avalon (humph, WPF) designer could look like with timelines, transitions, reflection, etc.

Start saving your pennies or start dropping hints to your boss!

December 13, 2006Comments are DisabledRead More