JSON.NET Version 6.0 Release 4!

One of the best JSON libraries just got better.  James Newton-King just released version 6.0 release 4 of JSON.NET!   It came out on August 4th, but I just came across it.  This is not just a bug fix release.  Some of the updates include:

  • Merge – makes it super simple to merge JSON
  • ConstructorInfo properties replaced with functions – simplifies Dependency Injection
  • Metadata properties no longer have to be ordered first
  • XML document type support!

 

And more!   And to top it off, he gave it a nice performance boost!  Nice work!

Happy Coding!

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Book on Bootstrap V3

Last night I purchased the Kindle book Bootstrap 3 by Ryan Flores.  It’s a small book and it does not attempt to be a ‘teach me how to do everything’ type of book.  It is written to help you do one thing: get up and using Bootstrap quickly.  It does that one thing very well.  

Ryan’s style of walking you through a few examples, does an excellent job of helping you understand the basics that you have to know and understand in order to use Bootstrap 3 effectively.

The price on Amazon was $2.99 and I finished it in half a day.  And that includes chasing down questions that I had while working through the examples!

This is definitely a book you need on your electronic bookshelf!

 

Happy Coding!

 

 

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What’s new in WPF 4.5

This is yet another post about WPF.  We all know that WinForms is dead or dying, still used but anyone learning development should not spend time on it.  WPF was once thought to have had the door slammed shut on it, but like all good technology, it is still alive and improving.  We have some great things coming for WPF 4.5 (my favorite is accessing collections on non-UI threads!).  Jerry Nixon did a pretty good write up on the primary features coming in WPF 4.5 and can be found here.  There is also a pretty good video from Pete Brown on the bottom of that page.  Our good friends over at Infragistics also provided some more information and can be located here.  Antonio Luevano put together a pretty good PowerPoint that you can download from here.  All in all, if we as developers can pick up the new features and run with them, we can help influence/guide/prod/push/coerce/convince Microsoft that this is a good technology that can have a good long life.  

Enjoy and Happy Coding!

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Provide value on ‘System.Windows.Baml2006.TypeConverterMarkupExtension’ error

Sometimes it blows me away to see an error message that is so confusing that I don’t wonder why people get frustrated with new technology. Take for instance this error you might see when building a WPF application. I had a WPF application that I was polishing and happened to add a background to a report page. It took me several minutes to determine what the problem was because, as you can see, the error didn’t really indicate clearly what the problem was.
The root cause was that when I added the Grid.Background, I had not provided a path and the file was in the solution directory, so it looked fine during design but failed when I tried to run the application.
The fix was simple, I put the file on a hosted share and gave a web URL for the image.

I hope that helps someone avoid the headache I had.

** One additional note ** Changing the target framework to 3.5 clarified the error greatly. Kudos to the 3.5 .Net guys. ***

Happy Coding!

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Oracle ODT x64 drivers for Visual Studio

As some of you know the Oracle drivers can be somewhat…..painful to say the least.  Oracle still hasn’t gotten the ‘universal’ driver install working consistently, but the x64 driver install does seem much more stable.  I played with the XCopy version for just a minute before bailing on that and going with the SETUP version.

However, one thing I would suggest is that if you were running the 32bit version previously, I would strongly suggest you remove the 32bit version.  It will just save you loads of confusion and possibly pulling some of your hair out.

Once you install the 64bit, be sure to change all your 32bit projects to 64bit.

Happy Coding!

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WPF – it’s still alive

When I do a posting, I try to do my research.  When I added my last post about WPF seemingly “disappearing” from MSDN, I wasn’t expecting the immediate response about how WPF is going strong.   Yes, what I said about the WPF home page on MSDN was true.  However, there was some hidden information that I didn’t have.

A friend directed me to the new Introduction to WPF 4.5 page on MSDN.  Once I got to that page, I found links to several other great WPF pages on MSDN.  It would seem that WPF is not just alive, but it is evolving.   If you do some searches, you can actually find some Win 8 development pages showing XAML.   You can make your own conjectures just as I have.

As for the WPF docs on MSDN, that would appear that someone over at the MSDN group is not handling that evolution well.

Oh, and even though getting flamed isn’t fun.  I’m really happy to get the clarification on WPF (especially from those who would really know).  In my opinion, WPF is a big improvement over WinForms and is a significant investment.  I know nothing lasts forever (remember VB6 forms and/or C++ MFC forms?) but for now, it seems like my WPF investments are still holding their value.

Happy Coding!

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Where in the world is WPF?

Subtly and quietly, Microsoft has been removing WPF resources from the MSDN site.  If you click on the link that used to take you to the WPF home, you will be directed to the general Visual Studio .Net Framework home.

WinForms has been a thorn in Microsoft’s side for a while and it would appear that they want to remove the WPF thorn as quickly as possible.  It’s a shame, really, WPF has some really good qualities.

What’s next?  HTML5, CSS and Javascript (oops, I meant TypeScript).  So it’s time to hop on the next bandwagon.

I can’t really complain though.  If you look at something like Java/Swing/AWT/JavaFX, Oracle can’t pull it all together fast enough.  Sure the toolsets have really improved, but the base product itself (the libraries) just aren’t up to snuff.

That’s my two cents worth.

Happy Coding!

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Responding to posts v/s Captcha

It’s become a sad state of affairs when technology works so hard to prevent malicious posting that it actually gets in the way of people and progress.  Take Captcha (please).  I respond to posts and every time there is a Captcha requirement, I have to click refresh multiple times before I can get a readable display that I can use. On more than a few occasions, I will refresh a few times and then just lose my patience and close my window abandoning my reply.

This is not to say I have a problem with preventing those out there who seem hell bent on posting garbage everywhere and pretty much ruining everyone’s day.  However, when a blog or web reply already has a user review requirement, the maximum strength Captcha is way overkill.  It’s pretty much a message to users saying “I don’t really want you to respond”.

We developers need to find a way we can safely collaborate and share discussions without having to fight the technology that we’re using to facilitate it.

Happy Coding (and collaboration)

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Not so much fun with NuGet

NuGet was a great idea and addition to Visual Studio.  That said, it can be a notorious pain in the ‘you know where’.  Things like not being able to see packages, not being able to download new packages, InvalidOperationExceptions in the PowerShell window when working with NuGet packages are just a few of the problems you can (and probably will) run into when working with NuGet. 

I picked up a new laptop and installed VS 2010 Ultimate and crated a new MVC3 application project.  I wanted to use Ninject and opened the “Add Library Package Reference” and was greeted with this error:

There was an error while processing the request. Please verify that ‘http://packages.nuget.org/v1/FeedService.svc/’ is a valid feed.

I verified the settings in the Package Manager Settings and even changed the redirect to point to the Feed Service directly with no effect.  I also applied the recommended VS hotfix that was posted as a way to resolve the problem and that had no effect either.

I was able to manually force adding Ninject by going to the Package Manager Console (PowerShell) and doing the following command:

Install-Package Ninject.MVC3

But I’m the curious type so I couldn’t just let it go at that.  After some web surfing, I came across a tip to uninstall NuGet from VS (running as Admin) and then installing it directly from the CodePlex web site.   Bingo!  That did it!

This solution does point to some disparity between the Visual Studio install team and the Open Source community.  I hope this post helps someone else avoid wasting time searching.

Happy Coding!

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Finally IIF is coming to T-SQL!

After a long wait and many, many requests, the IIF function is finally coming to SQL Server 2012! If you aren’t familar with this function but yet you do use CASE statements, you’re going to love the IIF function.  Check out the MSDN entry and see!

 

Happy Coding!!

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