.NET and Open Source: better together

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Syntax Highlighter extension for BlogEngine

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There are several implementations of this extension for BlogEngine, but I wanted it to work with latest JS library and be more configurable. And also I wanted it play well with TinyMCE - yes, it might come as a shock but some people don't use Windows Live Writer. I don't know why... So, if you go through usual routine downloading and moving files to corresponding location (you’ll need to overwrite couple) this is what you’ll get. More...

Blacklist added to Commentor

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Some people complain about Akismet not killing spam as effectively as they would like or hope. I think Akismet doing fine job identifying spam bots, but recently a lot of it coming from real people trying to make a little extra money, and those are challenging to deal with. Sometimes I get totally valid comment and the only odd thing about it is that guy’s name is “buy cheap watches” or something like it. It is tough to filter out programmatically. Probably, the best solution for a moment is similar counter-move when people tired of spam come together and create list of known spammers so that spam blocking applications can use it. More...

IIS 7 – Who is running the show?

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When you run ASP.NET site in Visual Studio things generally tend to work. It usually when you try to deploy it to live server when you get into trouble. This is why I wasn’t surprised when after setting up little continuous integration server my application that ran perfectly well in VS broke apart on local IIS 7. I went to IIS console and double-checked application settings and write permissions. Along with Network Service I gave access to ASPNET account, because IIS keeps changing identity and I felt lazy to figure out what account it uses in this particular case. More...

Using ELMAH with BlogEngine.NET

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Few days ago I’ve noticed that “error.aspx” becomes quite popular destination on my site. What’s going on? I never run into errors, how do I know what others do to break in? Elmah to the rescue! This little utility specifically designed to run in the background and record any ASP.NET errors so you can review them later at your convenience. If you interested how it all works, check out this excellent article on MSDN, it goes in depth explaining technical details. I’ll focus here on how to set it up with BlogEngine (or any ASP.NET web forms application to that matter). More...

WinHost - new ASP.NET hosting

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Hosting is a tough business, you almost can't load a page on the internet without running into adds by hosting companies. Yet, on average hosts do pretty bad job in customer satisfaction. It is especially true for those of us looking for cheap affordable solution for blog or family website with low-end requirements. Unfortunately, with low-end requirements and price, comes low-end service.  I used quite a few and came to expect it "out of the box", this is why when things look unexpectedly good you start feeling an obligation to spread a word. More...

How to migrate to IIS 7 on GoDaddy

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This post more accurately should’ve been called "how NOT to migrate to IIS 7". To migrate from IIS 6 to IIS 7 on GoDaddy all you need is to push "upgrade to IIS 7" button in the control panel. Sweet, right? Actually, this is the last thing you want to do. Because once you done it, your site goes down right away and your new shiny IIS 7 site will come up in... well, not sure yet. In my case, it is 5 days and counting. More...

Publishing from iPhone to BlogEngine

TitleWhile I’m personally not looking forward to writing posts on the phone, some maniacs out there demand modern blog should have this functionality. Or may be I just needed lame excuse to start writing something that can be used on my new Touch ;) Anyway, I’ve started looking into better way to publish posts from iPhone or Touch than using standard web admin UI. First I checked few apps in the app store but none of them worked well with Metaweblog API (as a mater of fact, none of what I tried worked with BE at all…). In the end I put together this little add-on to BlogEngine. More...

PHP on Windows Home Server

404 As I have already wrote, you can use Web Platform Installer to turn home server into full-blown web server. WPI 2.0 comes with whole bunch of .NET and PHP applications for you to pick from. Not surprisingly, ASP.NET apps run out of the box just fine. But if you select PHP application from the list, you likely to run into situation when installer goes through and reports success, but application itself throws HTTP 404 not found error. The good news is that installer did not lie and PHP/MySQL/web application all installed properly, it just missed one small step and did not configure .PHP extension with IIS. Fortunately, it is pretty easy to fix. More...

Ipod Touch - first impression

touch2 I commute a lot, mostly on the train, which explains why my need for entertainment on-the-go is a little bit on the extreme. Over years I used all kind of portable devices, from actual paper books (remember those?) to the wide range of media players and e-readers. Couple weeks ago I got a budget approved to get a new toy and was really torn between Ipod Touch and Zune HD. To the last minute I was hoping Zune will have application support, but alas. Evil Empire won - I gave up and went for Touch (kidding about empire... sort of). There is no shortage of reviews for Touch, but most written by Apple fan boys and have little to do with harsh reality, IMO, so I decided to write my impressions here. More or less unbiased I hope. Probably they will change over time, or may be not. I'll check this again in a year or so ;) More...

Don’t make me think!

EasyHardOne of the tools I use a lot on my current project is ClearCase – fine version control overall, but its Windows client sometimes drives me nuts. The problem is that it is unnecessarily complicated, it exposes all functionality it got in very obnoxious way. For example, you’ll get dialog with two check boxes and, if try to select one of them you’ll get an error: “you can’t select this because so-and-so”. Really? If you know I can’t use this – why I’m getting this as an option? Why not show me only what I am able to use? And “features” like this is all over the product, you always get menus loaded with options some of which you will never use and some you can’t use even if you try. Very annoying. May be this is why when I started on comment administration for BlogEngine I was extra sensitive in trying to avoid this behavior. After several different approaches I decided that simplest pyramid-like flow will work best. It starts really simple. More...