Archives for November 2009

November 2009 (9)
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Converting GraffitiCMS from VistaDB to SQL Server on GoDaddy

Is that SEO-specific enough, do you think? Heh. Anyway, here's the situation. I started this blog using GraffitiCMS about a year ago, previously having used static web pages created with CityDesk . All my sites are hosted on GoDaddy : I went with a Deluxe hosting option which means I can host pretty much as many sites as I want to in the same single folder tree. At the time — can't remember why — I decided to stick with the default VistaDB as the database instead of opting to...


PCPlus 275: Ant Colony Optimization

I write a monthly column for PCPlus, a computer news-views-n-reviews magazine in the UK (actually there are 13 issues a year — there's an Xmas issue as well — so it's a bit more than monthly). The column is called Theory Workshop and appears in the back of every issue. When I signed up, my editor and the magazine were gracious enough to allow me to reprint the articles here after say a year or so. After all, the PDFs do appear on each issue's DVD after a few months. When I...


Pasting code from VS into WLW, part 2

Last time in this two-parter, I laid down the basics of the RTF I followed in pasting code from VS to WLW, and some of the helper classes I started off with. This time, we'll look at the parser and the various tricks I used to make sure that the translated HTML was valid and produced the correct look for the code in a web page. The parser I implemented is pretty much a standard top-down parser. I started off with a method that parsed the RTF document by calling other parsing methods to parse...


Pasting code from Visual Studio into Windows Live Writer

Way back in January this year, I briefly explained how I was pasting code into my blog posts so that they were displayed fully syntax-highlighted. At the time I said I'd explain how the underlying parser works, but never got round to it. Well, it's the Friday after Thanksgiving (so-called Black Friday ), and I'm feeling voluble. Besides my colleague Mehul Harry just asked me on Twitter how I did it. The basic process goes like this: Select a bunch of code from Visual Studio's editor...


Local variables are evil (or just irritating)

Every now and then, I reread parts of Refactoring by Martin Fowler. The main reason is of course to look for refactoring ideas for DevExpress' Refactor! Pro product, but I also like to take a particular refactoring in there, tease it out, and really understand it. Such a refactoring is Replace Temp with Query (120). The preamble to the refactoring goes like this: You are using a temporary variable to hold the result of an expression. Extract the expression into a method. Replace all references...


GraffitiCMS to be released as open source

Scott Watermasysk of Telligent has just announced on Twitter that GraffitiCMS (the CMS engine behind this blog) is going to be released as open source on December 11: A few initial thoughts: First: thank goodness they've decided to do something with the product. I would have preferred, perhaps, that they added new features and functionality and brought out a new "closed" version, but this is a good second best. I wonder if they'll be using codeplex for publishing it. Second: I wonder if...


Fixing site problems

Bang in the middle of my trip to Los Angeles for PDC, on 15th November, this GraffitiCMS site you are reading ( ) went down. Hard. It seemed to happen just after my last post as well. I added a "site under repair" default.html file to the root directory while I investigated (it would be picked up first if no filename is entered in a browser address bar). I had absolutely no idea what was wrong. I couldn't log into the site (indeed, the main page didn't even come...


Some thoughts on software piracy

So yesterday Microsoft flipped a switch, turning off access to the Xbox Live service for thousands of Xboxes that had been chipped ( the BBC news report ). These machines had been deliberately altered at the hardware level to circumvent the DRM (Digital Rights Management) part of games played on those machines. Chipped machines could play hacked games, in essence, without paying for them. I suppose this is the Xbox equivalent to jailbreaking iPhones. The BBC report was interesting because it also...


Professional DevExpress ASP.NET Controls now in print

Just a quick post to say I received a copy of Professional DevExpress ASP.NET Controls in my hot little hands this afternoon. Also, also have it in stock here . Just to prove it, here's an iPhone shot, taken just now on my desk in DevExpress' Glendale office: Yay! I'll be bringing it home after PDC and adding it to my little collection of books I've had a hand in (one sole author, two co-authored, two edited/typeset). Getting to be quite the bookworm…...