Confessions of a Lazy Blogger

by admin 27. March 2010 05:33

Author: Laurence Sterne I'm never short of plans for the future of this blog, but a cursory glance at the dates of the last few posts reminds one of "the best laid plans of mice and men"...

Every so often I see other bloggers explaining to their readers how they got waylaid and would be more dutiful in their future blogging efforts. But what gets me is that more often than not they were never committed and more likely underestimated the real time demands of maintaining a blog. My excuse is that I have been taking on extra projects without stopping to ask myself what gives me the most enjoyment. I have to admit that I miss blogging on a regular basis and won't rest easy until I get back into the swing of it.

I'm also having problems with the version of BlogEngine that I'm currently using, in that the invisible CAPTCHA is seriously flawed. Right now I'm being spammed to death and I hate not responding to people who are good enough to contribute in the comments section. My plan has been to upgrade to 1.6 but I've also been pondering the use of a different blog engine.

I've been having an internal argument for the last month on whether to switch my focus to MVC; it wouldn't be suitable for our projects at work and I'm loath to invest more time in it myself right now because I'm finally throwing every spare moment into improving my JavaScript/JQuery skills (or lack of). There's a part of me that just knows that MVC is the proper way to build Web applications. However, right now it is just not practical for me to make the switch. In time, I will definitely move in that direction.

So rather than make a list of what I will do for my new blog design, I'm just going to take the first small step when I finish this post: I will download the latest version of BlogEngine and have it ready to go in the morning! First order of business will be to widen the layout to 960 pixels and decide on how radical a re-design this will actually be overall. Thanks to the 7,378 unique visitors over the last month for your patience and loyalty :-)

Tags:

Blog



CodersBarn Roadmap

by agrace 2. May 2009 07:53

Microphone CodersBarn launched in June 2007 and as you can see from the title, the original goal was to establish an "ASP.NET Community Blog". That is still the goal, side projects apart! But what does that mean? Despite the fact that the blog gets 7,000/8,000 hits a month, many from regular readers, I feel the need to explain the original purpose and provide some more detail on where it's headed.

We have seen much change in the industry in the last two years as the catch words of the day move from mash-ups and AJAX to RIA and Silverlight. The onslaught of new software and tools from Redmond has been unrelenting. This month I hope to be taking in the TechEd event in LA in attempt to familiarize myself with much needed SharePoint skills and to get a look at where we are headed with ASP.NET 4.0, C# 4.0 and VS 2010. The data access options are getting more confusing by the day, not to mention the introduction of the "cloud"...

Blogs are personal by nature and this one is no different in the sense that the articles posted are a reflection of the skills I am trying to develop and the hurdles encountered along the way. The "mission statement", for want of a better term, was not just to share working code samples, but also to incorporate good Web design and CSS into the everyday world of the ASP.NET Web developer.

Moleskin With the introduction of Silverlight and the Expression suite of tools from Microsoft, the writing should be on the wall that if a developer (and I'm speaking of myself first and foremost) does not have client-side development skills in the shape of JavaScript/JQuery, then that developer will be unemployable in the RIA (Rich Internet Applications) era we are entering. But the biggest wake-up call of all is that developers are now expected to have basic design skills. Most developers I know can't draw a straight line so this is going to be interesting to watch. One thing is for sure, technological trends that have gained a certain momentum are unstoppable. RIA is one such seismic shift. If graphics, media and other things visual are a source of discomfort for you as a Web developer, then now would be a good time to re-skill in a different area of development.

Going forward, my personal skills acquisition list for the coming year involve some further study of the following, in no particular order:

   * JavScript/JQuery

   * Silverlight/AJAX

   * CSS

   * C# 3.0/4.0

   * Photoshop/Expression

Design Banner

 

A provisional to-do list for the CodersBarn blog currently includes:

   * New, wider layout

   * Creation and incorporation of my own design site

   * Use of video tutorials (like design a site in 15 mins flat)

   * Use graphics tablet to create sketches

   * A community forum

I may have to consider the use of subtitles with video tutorials for those who can't make out the Irish accent! Seriously, sometimes it's easier to actually do something than try and write about it, so Camtasia (check out Jing) is being added to the shopping list. You can expect more posts on ASP.NET and SharePoint, along with working code samples. However, more than anything else, the future direction of this blog will focus on the marriage of good CSS design and ASP.NET.

Resources:

  * Building ASP.NET 2.0 Web Sites Using Web Standards

  * Microsoft Design Center

  * Microsoft Expresssion

  * Microsoft Labs

  * MIX Online

Tags: , , ,

Blog




Microsoft Releases Free CMS System Now I know it's Christmas! I just read on Mary-Jo Foley's blog about the new, free CMS/Blog system released by Microsoft called "Oxite". It is built using the new ASP.NET MVC framework and is highly extensible, touting such features as Microformats and source control integration. In fact, it is so customizable that users can swap out Microsoft technologies and use search and database providers of their choice. In addition, it can be used with different source control products such as TFS or SVN.

The Oxite team who were responsible for Channel 9, have put considerable effort into establishing a strong base that developers can both use off the bat, as well as extend themselves. I'm itching to give this a test drive but am somewhat nervous of the beta-state of MVC right now. So, I'm treading carefully before attempting the full install. It might be worth the time spent to read the MVC release notes and Phil Haacks account of some installation issues before jumping in head first.

You can run Oxite on any version of XP, W2K3 or W2K8. You only need three pieces of software: some version of Visual Studio or Express, ASP.NET MVC and either SQL Express 2005 or 2008 - I'm guessing that SQL Server 2005 will work as well? Note that the online installation instructions for full version VS and database have not at the time of writing, been added. Like that's going to stop us, right?

You can create single blog or multi-blog sites. You can create your own pages and sub-pages, etc. It's got pingbacks, trackbacks, multi-level RSS feeds, gravatars... the list goes on. Plus, we get to use Live Writer to post to our blog :-)

The only thing about all this is that I no longer have an excuse not to learn the MVC framework. So, I guess I better head over to the ASP.NET site and educate myself...

kick it on DotNetKicks.com   PHP, ASP, .NET, JSP Resources, Reviews

Tags: ,

ASP.NET | Blog