The move to BlogEngine.NET

29. June 2008

There are several reasons why I moved to BlogEngine.NET. In this blog I will outline reasons why I moved.  Why the switch, cool features and dislikes.

One reason for moving was that my old blog site was done in DotNetNuke.  Now I really like DNN, but it is just over kill for a blogging site.  I had started looking to replace my site with WordPress but could not get it working.    WordPress is written in PHP.  This was not really an issue for me, but the site is hosted with Godaddy.com and I have the deluxe package for Windows.  I got PHP working, but really wanted an open source blog engine written in .Net.  I could have gotten WordPress working, but saw a blog from Brian Sullivan talking about how much he liked BlogEngine.NET.  I also watched the video on how to install it.  The nice part about Godaddy.com was that it was already configured for installs.

Another reason for moving was that DNN was missing some features that all blog sites should have.  One of these was the management of comments.  I’m hoping that it will be easier with BlogEngine.NET.  I also could not add tags and categories.  Without this, I could not create a blog cloud.  This makes it easy for someone to search the site for topics.  Lastly BlogEngine.NET has a list of Extensions that can be added to your site.  For example, I loaded the Social Bookmarking Extension and Updated DotNetKicks Button.  Both add social icons to the bottom of my post.

The best thing I found was ping services.  This allows you to add a ping service to automatically ping one or more servers each time a new post is created or an old one gets updated. An XML-RPC signal is sent to one or more "ping servers," which can then generate a list of blogs that have new material.

I really have not come up with any dislikes at this point.  I wish that I had more choices for themes.  This really is not an issue, though, because I can always create my own.

My future plans with BlogEngine.NET are to continue searching for ways to integrate with other systems like twitter and flickr.

 

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Four Eagle Scouts with 12 Wood Badge beads

27. May 2008

My father, brothers, and I have all participated in Scouting.   We have all earned the Eagle Scout rank.  It was really not an option in our family--earning the Eagle Scout rank was a must.  While each of us three boys moved off to college, Dad continued to stay involved in Scouting.  One of the programs that Dad continued to stay involved in was Wood Badge.

Wood Badge is a program that educates adult leaders about Scouting and leadership.  Over time Dad asked each one of us to take the Wood Badge course.  Of course after we completed the course Dad then asked us to come on as staff.  It was all part of a master plan.  Somehow Dad managed to get all three boys on the course, two of us were on staff and one was a participant.  The highest level of leadership on a Wood Badge course is course director.  That was the position that my Dad served the past year.

Wood Badge beads are earned by completing a Wood Badge ticket.  A ticket contains tasks or goals that are done for the good of Scouting.  Two beads are earned after the ticket is completed.  Another bead is earned by volunteering in a Wood Badge course as a staffer.  For my father, he earned the fourth bead by serving as the course director.

This may be a first in Scouting, four Eagles with a combined 12 Wood Badge beads.

 

IMG_4161

 

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HermesReader Visual Studio 2008 setup

22. May 2008

After attending the fish bowl session at the Austin Code Camp, Chad Myers offered to help anyone with TDD and BDD.  So last I night, we were able to hook up online.  We used Skype and Microsoft SharedView to have a virtual pairing session.  I felt it went really well and was still smiling the next day :).  About half way into the session Jay Smith joined us. 

The first task we had was setting up my environment with the correct development tools.  If you are first starting out with TDD and BDD then you must have the correct tools.  Below is what we installed and I will explain each.

 ReSharper 4.0 Nightly Builds

ReSharper is a refactoring and productivity add-on for Visual Studio.  I kind of think of it as IntelliSense on steroids.  The ones who can master ReSharper can really gen some code.  Below is a sample dialog box for renaming a method.

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NUnit 2.4.6

NUnit is one of the many unit testing frameworks.  This framework was ported from JUnit.  A unit testing framework is a must have when creating tests.  In the next couple of blog posts I will show how NUnit works.

Rhino Mocks 3.5 Beta - For .Net 3.5

When using TDD you start with creating the test first.  So since the domain objects are not created, you cannot build complete tests.  To create the test you use mocks to act as the objects that are not created or difficult or impossible to incorporate into a unit test.  You could think of mocks as a architect's sketch of a house.  The sketch is a starting point to flesh out the details.

TestDriven.NET-2.13.2184 Beta

Lastly we installed TestDriven.Net.  This makes it easy to run the unit test you create.  We set up the following shortcut-keys. 

Ctrl-1 testdriven.net.RunTests

Ctrl-2 testdriven.net.RerunTests

Ctrl-3 testdriven.net.Debugger

image

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Nwa Technology Summit hashtag on Twitter

19. May 2008

The new twitter hashtag is #nwats08.

Track it at http://www.hashtags.org/tag/nwats08/

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New Northwest Arkansas SQL Server User Group

12. May 2008

image

The first ever NWASQL meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, May 14th from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm

Pizza will be provided and there will be several drawings for Microsoft products and other prizes!

Primary Topic:  What can we expect from SQL 2008?  (Boyd Evert:  Speaker)     

Location:          Connolly Consulting, 2703 SE Otis Corley Drive, Bentonville, AR 72712
Map:                 http://76.215.122.46/nwasql/directions.aspx

Agenda and details are available on www.nwasql.org

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VS2008 and .Net 3.5 SP1 Beta - Install complete

12. May 2008

I just installed VS2008 and .Net 3.5 SP1 Beta without any issues.  The first thing that I installed was Expression Blend 2.5 March 2008 Preview. I already had Blend 2 December Preview installed so I also removed that.   Next I installed .Net 3.5 SP1.  Then I installed VS2008, this did take a while.  Next I uninstalled both installs of ADO.Net Entity Frameworks and ASP.Net 3.5 Extensions CTP.  Lastly I installed the ASP.Net MVC 2 preview.  This was not included in the new VS2008

Install of Expression Blend 2.5 March

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Install of .Net 3.5 SP1

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Install of VS 2008

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Uninstall of ADO.Net Entity Frameworks

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Uninstall of ASP.Net 3.5 Extensions CTP

 image

Reinstalled ASP.Net MVC 2 Preview

image

Below notes from Mohamed Meligy

This post is not for repeating the announcements, instead referring to other related content:

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My Trip to Dallas TechFest 2008

4. May 2008

image

 

Michael Paladino and I went down to the Dallas TechFest.  We had a really good time.  Like always we talked about technology all the way down and back.  It was exactly 666 miles round trip.  With the cost of gas at about $3.50 and my car getting 30 MPG, our gas cost was about $75 and hotel was about $50.  Not too bad for a trip to Dallas in 24 hours.

One of the neat things about the TechFest was meeting the guys at .Net Rocks.  I got to talk to Carl for about five minutes during sessions breaks.  Really neat to put a voice to a face.

One of the other things that I saw, was the difference between the Java and .Net communities.  We had both groups at the TechFest.  At one point during the conference, everybody was standing in front of Microsoft's booths and nobody in front of Sun's booth.  Not sure why it was, but it was just amazing to see how the Microsoft community has grown.

The session I liked the most was on Instant Web Applications with ASP.NET Dynamic Data by Jason Kergosien.  ASP.NET Dynamic Data is a scaffolding framework used to build data driven web applications.  The biggest question that I have, is how does this work with Behavior Driven Design?  I hope to ask this question in Austin when I go to the Austin Code Camp in a couple weeks.

Lastly when taking a road trip like this, it allows you to eat at some place new.  We chose to eat at Big Foot BBQ in Caney, Oklahoma.  They had really good baked beans.

 

ATT00181

 

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My first SilverLight app

24. April 2008

I just wanted to blog about my first SilverLight.  This was something I build a couple months ago but never had the chance to blog about it.  It was a simple demo I follow about creating a little chicken.

Enjoy!

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First Blog Post

23. March 2008

This is my first blog post.  My goal is to use this blog post to share my experience with technology to the world and to improve my writing skills. (With the help of my lovely wife).  Over the past couple of years, I have been working with a lot of different technologies.  I started with the Oracle Database and quickly developed a passion for technology.  The thing I like most about technology is using it to solve problems.  Every day since that first day I have been solving problems with technology.  Another aspect that I like about the technology field is the reading required to become really proficient.  If I could, I would read a lot more than I do.

Two of the areas that I have been researching and reading about lately are Object Orientated programming (C# and Java) and Agile development.  As I uncover new items in these areas I will share.

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