.NET and Open Source: better together

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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...

How to switch Commentor from Waegis to Akismet

PwdByAkismet If you are using Commentor with Waegis like I do, you probably got email about Waegis suspending services for uncertain time this coming Friday (September 4th). Waegis served me well all this time and blocked hundreds of spam comments helping to keep this site reasonably clean. I hope it will find a way to get back soon, meanwhile you might want to flip the switch and start using Akismet as your primary anti-spam service. Here what I did to get Akismet up and running. More...

Best e-Book manager for Kindle

calibre-logoOne of the biggest Kindle strengths is that, in theory, it does not need manage books on PC. Amazon wants you to use its online store as eBook manager. Make sense - that is, for Amazon. For those of us with large PDF libraries laying around on the hard drives, there is a need to manage and sync books between PC and Kindle somehow. Suggested by Kindle's tech support option is to use MobiPocket reader. This is generic eReader for all kinds of mobile devices like phones and PDAs, it does not have anything Kindle-specific but it can convert various document and eBook formats to .prc or .mobi that Kindle can understand. More...

Managing comments in BlogEngine

comment-card The Commentor extension for BlogEngine got a lot of positive feedback from community and will become a part of standard BlogEngine install in the next version. As work on moving it under BE umbrella just started and it's not too late to make drastic changes, I'll try to outline here how it is going to look and work and, if you have any suggestions or special demands, feel free to drop a line. Your input is always appreciated!

- First of all, here are three basic usage scenarios: More...

Web Platform Installer on Windows Home Server

whs-1Windows Home Server is a great OS for home users, it does a lot of stuff for you and you can find many useful plug-ins if you want more. One thing that it does not do out of the box though it does not work as a web server. It might be ok for average home user, but many advanced users, not to mention developers, would love to have their home server also serve web pages and applicatons. Fortunately, under the hood it is old good Windows server 2003, and you can make it do just about anything WS 2003 can do. More...

Digsby widget for BlogEngine

digsby-3I've got email from user having issues with embedding HTML snippet into BlogEngine's page. Not really sure what was wrong with that tag, because I have never get to test it. Why? Because it is sometimes easier to add simple extension or widget than to deal with row HTML when it comes to BlogEngine. Seriously, it took me way under half an hour following steps in my own simple widget tutorial to put this together, and this is including time spent opening Disby account. More...

Picasa with HighSlide

HighSlide If you are using Picasa extension I published while back you might want to take a look at another choice and try to use HighSlide JavaScript library instead of the LightBox. Just take a look at this post by Radim Boušek and get it there along with instructions. I’ve never herd about HighSlide before, but it seems like a nice thumbnail viewer with Ajax support and more options, so give it a try.

Quick and dirty role management in ASP.NET MVC

Rl-0Wrapper around standard Membership provider that ships with ASP.NET MVC 1.0 out of the box fit well common scenario for social websites with self-registration and all users treated equal. When you have more complex requirements, in portal-like style application, you are very much out of luck. Account controller that comes with MVC 1.0 has very limited user management implementation and does not go into role management at all. It would be nice to have role management implemented the same way as account management, but if you need to roll right away I’ll show you quick and dirty way of doing basic user/role management with what we have now. More...

About Open Source .NET Projects

And why they don’t take over the world. If you ever wonder about it, you probably already came up with perfectly good explanation. I’ve heard and read quite a few and agree with most of them, but still want to add my two cents. IMO, in open source there are generally two kinds of approaches. More...

Package Installer

Attached to this post is a small extension which is really just a proof of concept. To install it, do the regular routine: unzip and install files into corresponding locations. This is what we always do to install extension in BlogEngine. It is not hard, but requires you to have FTP client, opened port for FTP connection and, most importantly, you must have some basic administration skills. As I said nothing extra ordinary here, but still – we should not assume casual blogger comfortable doing all this little tricks. It’s a good thing most of BE users are also .NET developers ;) More...