Tuesday, August 30, 2005

WinFS Beta 1 Released to MSDN Subscribers

Microsoft has just posted the WinFS Beta 1 in the MSDN Subscriber download site. I have downloaded and installed it in my Windows XP Professional SP2 machine. I will post a review as soon as I have tried it out. Stay tuned!

There is also a video about WinFS on Channel 9.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Major Changes for Visual Web Developer 2005 and ASP.NET 2.0 from Whidbey Beta 2 to RTM

The Microsoft ASP.NET Developer Center has posted a list of changes going forward from Beta 2 to RTM. Check it out!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Google Talk (beta)

Google has just joined the Instant Messaging market with the new Google Talk (beta). Using the Google Talk, not only can you send instant messages to your friends, you can also participate in voice calls, for free. I have not tried the voice call feature yet, but if you want to try it out, call me at weimenglee@gmail.com. :-)

My article on Sep/Oct '05 issue of Code Magazine

The Sep/Oct '05 issue of Code Magazine features my latest article on "Using the New Security Controls in ASP.NET 2.0". If you want to know how to use the new security controls in ASP.NET 2.0 to perform tasks such as user logins, registration, password changes, and more, with no more effort than dragging and dropping controls onto your Web form, check out the article now!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Avalon Programming on Windows XP

I did a session on "Building Windows Vista (Longhorn) client application using Avalon" today at TechEd '05 Singapore. If you are interested to test out Avalon today, you simply need to have Windows XP, together with the following free downloads from Microsoft:

In addition, to help you create Avalon UI using XAML, you can try out the following third-party tools:

Have fun!

Friday, August 19, 2005

Changes in Client Callback in Visual Studio 2005 July CTP

If you use the July CTP of Visual Studio 2005, you might have noticed that the RaiseCallbackEvent event (in the ICallbackEventHandler interface) has now been split into two separate events:

  • PrepareCallbackEvent

  • RenderCallbackResult
That means that the Client Callback example in my book - ASP.NET 2.0: A Developer’s Notebook, will break. Fortunately, a reader named Cindy Kee alerted me to the problem and helped to change the code listed on page 266 and 267 of the book to use the two new events. Here they are, in C#:

void ICallbackEventHandler.PrepareCallbackEvent(string eventArgument)
this._eventArg = eventArgument;

string ICallbackEventHandler.RenderCallbackResult()
if (this._eventArg.StartsWith("1:"))
//--strips away the command
this._eventArg = this._eventArg.Substring(2);
//--get city and state based on Zipcode
switch (this._eventArg)
case "95472":
return "Sebastopol,CA";
case "02140":
return "Cambridge,MA";
throw (new Exception("ZipCode not valid!"));
else if (this._eventArg.StartsWith("2:"))
//--strips away the command
this._eventArg = this._eventArg.Substring(2);
//--get states and cities related to country
switch (this._eventArg)
case "Sing":
return "Singapore,";
case "US":
return "Alabama,California,Maryland,Massachusetts,New York,Oklahoma,Wisconsin,";
case "UK":
return "Birmingham,Cambridge,Christchurch,Leeds,Sheffield,";
return "";
return "Command not recognized";

In essence, the two events above replace the original function that handled the RaiseCallbackEvent event. The rationale for the changes is to ensure callbacks work with asynchronous data sources.

For VB2005 readers, it should not be difficult to modify the original code in the book. Thanks, Cindy, for pointing that out to me!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Blogger for Word Add-in

Google has just announced the release of the Blogger for Word Add-in that allows users to publish their post in Blogger.com via Microsoft Word. Using the Blogger for Word Add-in, you will be able use Microsoft Word to:

  • Publish to your blog
  • Save drafts
  • Edit posts

I have tried it and it works pretty neat! However, my only complain is that it can’t handle images yet and I still have to edit my post using Blogger Dashboard.

Avalon series

I recently did a three-part article series on Avalon (now officially known as Windows Presentation Foundation, or WPF for short) for DevX.com. Part 1 talks about the basics of XAML (the UI markup language for Avalon applications) and Part 2 talks about the navigational topology in Avalon applications. If you are interested in developing application for the upcoming Windows Vista, do check them out and be in the know of what is to come. Note that the articles were all based on Beta 1 of the WinFX SDK, and hence they are not guaranteed to be valid in the final release.

iPod Photo

When Apple first released the iPod Photo in late 2004, I was one of the first to order one, in addition to the third generation 20GB iPod I already have. I was intrigued with the fact that you can display photos and album artworks with the iPod photo and perhaps with some hacks you can play movies with it (no one really managed to do it, but close).

That prompted me to write the eDoc - All About Your iPod Photo (PDF), for O'Reilly. In it, I shared some of the ways in which you can:
  • Save photos for viewing on a TV
  • Use it for presenting PowerPoint slides
  • View photo slideshows with background music
  • View and listen to Podcast

However, recently Apple has decided to put color screens on every iPod, meaning that all new iPods you buy today are essentially iPod photos. This further proves that color is a necessity for the iPod and that a separate line of iPod with color capabilities does not justify the higher price tag (at least consumers would not be willing to pay for it).

Nevertheless, my eDoc is still useful if you have a color iPod :-) It is available as a PDF file for US$5.95. I am not sure if people are willing to folk out cash for buying bytes, but do let me know if you have reached the stage where you buy books based on content rather than on something physical.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Have you seen the new IE 7 Icon and Logo?

Have you seen the new IE 7 icon and logo? IEBlog talks about it.

An In-Depth Look at Vista, Part 1 and 2

Microsoft has recently released Windows Vista (formerly codenamed Longhorn) Beta 1. These two articles (Part 1 and Part 2) on WindowsDevCenter.com detailed some of the new features in this new OS.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Missing Generate Local Resource menu item in Visual Studio 2005?

Some of you have pointed out to me that when doing localization for your ASP.NET 2.0 web application, you could not locate the Generate Local Resource menu item under the Tools menu in Visual Studio 2005.

While I do not know the exact cause of the missing menu item (probably it went missing after you install some third-party tools in Visual Studio 2005). However, you can get it back easily. Here are the steps:

Go to Tools->Customize.

Select the Tools catagory and click on the “Rearrange Commands…” button.

In the Menu Bar list, select Tools and click Add… to add the Generate Local Resource menu item.

That should add the Generate Local Resource menu item back into the Tools menu.

Allow your users to use your website in their own language

Globalization and Localization support is much improved in ASP.NET 2.0. If you are into writing international web applications, check out my article on ONDotNnet.com.

Tabbed browsing, RSS support, and more

My first look at Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) Beta 1. This is the version that comes with Windows Vista Beta 1. If you are a big-fan of tabbed-browsing, then IE7 should be good news to you. Also, RSS support is built-in. However, do not expect all the niceties to be in this Beta 1.

Visual Basic 2005 Jumpstart

I have a new book that is going to be published in early September '05. This book is targeted at VB6 programmers who are hesitating to move to the new Visual Basic 2005. While it is understandable why VB6 programmers are reluctant to move to the .NET platform, Visual Basic 2005 should ease their migration woes as a lot of familar features in VB6 are available in Visual Basic 2005. Go on, take a look at the book and let me know if it is useful to getting you started in .NET.

Here is a brief synopsis of the book:

"Okay, VB6 developers--time's up. Microsoft no longer supports this version of Visual Basic, but VB 2005 offers several attractive reasons to upgrade. Our jumpstart guide lets you test-drive the beta version of VB 2005 with three hands-on projects that let you learn the new syntax quickly. It's the painless way to migrate, and the perfect training manual for moving to the world of .NET. "

More information available at: http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/vbjumpstart/

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

ASP.NET 2.0 : A Developer's Notebook

So far, there have been positive reviews of my latest book - ASP.NET 2.0 : A Developer's Notebook, on Amazon.com.

Here is the brief synopsis of the book:

"To bring you up to speed with ASP.NET 2.0, this practical book offers nearly 50 hands-on projects. Each one explores a new feature of the language, with emphasis on changes that can increase productivity, simplify programming tasks, and help you add new functionality to your applications. You get the goods straight from the masters in an informal, code-intensive style. Part of our new Developer's Notebook series."

For more information, check out: