eWorld.UI - Matt Hawley

Ramblings of Matt

Fun Words to Type

July 28, 2004 18:47 by matthaw
You know what word is fun to type? Queue. Mississippi could fall into this category as well. What are fun words you like to type? What are hard ones that you hate?

Categories: General
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A little time, a little patience...

July 27, 2004 22:31 by matthaw

...is all it takes to create such a cool looking calendar. One of my happiest customers to date has modified my CalendarPopup javascript to his likings, and as such, has come up with one of the coolest looking Calendar's I've seen...talk about cool.

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Updated Utility: WebDeploy

July 27, 2004 00:03 by matthaw

WebDeploy has now reached version 1.2 with a major shift in how it handles matching files. Yes, the most important release note about 1.2 is that WebDeploy no longer uses file extensions, but rather relies on using File Masks to match and copy files. This new feature will hopefully be able to extend its functionality to even more users.

A few other new additions to note, include the addition of new backup features, anonymous usage tracking, and pre/post commands that are called during a deployment. I'll take these one by one...

New Backup Features includes a more robust way of backing your files that are potentially going to be overwritten. The new features now includes 4 different methods of doing backups:

1. No backup at all, this is the most risky, and if you cancel during a deployment, no files are ever restored.
2. Backup to a temporary location. This solves #1's problem (which has existed previously), however your backed up files are removed after a deployment, whether you cancelled it or not.
3. Backup to a defined location. This method will delete any files and folders in your backup location, then make a backup of the potential files to that directory.
4. Expanding on #3, you can automatically create subdirectories in your base backup directory which will be date and time stamped.

Anonymous Usage Tracking has been added to allow me to collect statistics on how WebDeploy is used. You have the option to not send the usage statistics, however I must stress it is completely anonymous and no information about you, your computer, or your network will be transmitted and stored.

Lastly, Pre/Post commands have been added on a per-profile basis. These work similarly to VS.NET's Pre/Post commands, in the sense that you can execute something prior to deployment, or after deployment. The big thing that I can note from this, is being able to call NAnt scripts to compile a web application prior to deployment...talk about sweet coolness.

Okay okay, so I talked about the new big things...but what about the changelog...well, here it is:

  • Added tooltips to most of the dialogs and controls to help users.
  • Added new backup features.
  • Added backup functionality to console version.
  • Added minimizing configuration options, available in Tools->Configure
  • Added more description to FTP testing if the test fails.
  • Added anonymous usage tracking, with opt out functionality.
  • Added pre and post commands that can be run for a deployment. This is configurable on a per profile basis.
  • Fixed zip files not being visible within Windows XP Compressed Files
  • Changed idea of "Extensions" to be "File Masks". Adds numerous amount of flexibility for file deployment.
  • Changed Save and Load text to be profile specific.

"Like always, WebDeploy is freeware, and the source code is not available. If you have any further suggestions, comments, ideas, or problems, please do not hesitate to contact me or post them on this blog post.

If you wish to download WebDeploy, click here. You will need the .NET framework v1.1.4322 to run WebDeploy."

Categories: Unleash It
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BillG's Summer Home

July 23, 2004 01:45 by matthaw

Saw something extremely cool while taking a tour of Miami today, that was just a "must blog." The picture below, is the backside of BillG's summer home in Miami, FL. I sure wish I could live there...living next to the guy who created Asprin and Viagra, that estate ($49 Million) is wonderful itself.

BillG's Home

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I'm Older Now

July 21, 2004 19:41 by matthaw
Well, one quick note from my vacation...today's my 23rd birthday, and what better way of spending it than sitting on the beach in beautiful blue skies. Yes, I've actually done that this morning, and plan on doing it later. So, off to lunch then back to the beach!

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Beating FTP Software

July 19, 2004 05:36 by matthaw

I'm not so sure if I'm beating the hell out of FTP software, but they sure seem to think so.

Rock on! Oh yeah, back to vacation.

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Leaving for Vacation

July 16, 2004 23:54 by matthaw
For those of you keeping tabs on me...I'll be leaving for a week long vacation to Florida this evening. Yup, thats no programming, no work, no stress...just sitting on the beach getting burnt. So, don't expect me to respond if you have a pressing issue directed towards me. Catch on the flip side

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Async Call to WebService

July 16, 2004 23:53 by matthaw

So I ran into a bit of a problem this afternoon when calling WebServices asynchronously. It seems that if the process that calls the webservice ends right after you call the web service asynchrously, the process stops the async call and never makes that call.

I know this to be the case because I did several different tests, one calling the method async, then doing a wait on the IAsyncResult. I also did a long loop afterwards...both of which worked just fine. It seems that since the process ends, it cuts off the async call.

Anyone have any insight on this problem?

Categories: .NET
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Lookout Bought by Microsoft

July 16, 2004 14:52 by matthaw

So all of you who've be such great users of Lookout (like me), did you know that they just got bought out by Microsoft? Here's their blip:

"Today we are delighted to announce that Microsoft has acquired Lookout. The reason we're so excited about this is because Microsoft and Lookout are now altering our product plans to build our next product with the best technologies from each camp. This will enable us to take Lookout where we never previously dreamed it could go."

Hopefully this means that there will be better integrated search in future versions of Outlook. Maybe I should just read the additional info.

Update: Okay, so now this sucks because you cannot download Lookout anymore and they won't be producing any more patches. Looks like MS bought them out for the primary reason of search and MSN. How to make something great suck.

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Find Files with Mask

July 16, 2004 00:31 by matthaw

Preface: For my new version of WebDeploy, I wanted to disband the idea of using extensions. Now, don't freak out...I have a good reason why. One of the most pressing requests has been

"How can I copy config-prod1.config to my production server 1, config-prod2.config to my production server 2, but not deploy config-prod2.config to production server 1?"

Well, my normal answer was, use the "Files to be Copied" dialog to exclude them, as well as rename as you wish. So, do you see where I'm going? I sure hope so.

Post: My main problem, as you can see, has been, how do I implement this into WebDeploy without changing the focus of WebDeploy immensely. Well, the answer wasn't so simple until I was chatting with my good friend Ryan about this problem. His first suggestion was to use the overloaded method of GetFiles to include a mask instead of just retrieving all files.

As this point it seemed like a perfect solution. Oh, but as I started to look into it more, I determined that this just wasn't going to work, primarily for when a source is a VS.NET project file. There's no way of using GetFiles with the mask overload against that, so we went back to the drawing board.

What we came up next was a meeting of the minds that only the statement "Great minds think alike" can explain (which I might add was noted after we both posted the same idea). Well, this idea, of course, was to use Regular Expressions to match the mask. Great idea, huh...did you think of it too?

So, I then proceeded with "how am I going to convert the mask supplied to WebDeploy into a regex that will match file names." Oh, the answer was so simple yet ungodly weird. So, we had to go from something like:


and have it converted into a regex that will match my examples in the preface. It seemed all too simple, but I realized that * isn't a wild card character, rather . (period) was...and so I transgressed into a regex formula that will need to take place:

1) Convert any non alpha-numeric char's (aside from *) into \[char]
2) Convert any *'s into .*
3) Prepend ^
4) Append $

which, after the logic processes takes the mask and creates:


running the regex through a matcher matches both file names noted in the preface without a hitch.

Now, I'm not really sure what the wildcard logic to match files or folders looks like in [enter wildcard matcher here], but I think this is a pretty good solution. If you find anything wrong, please let me know as this logic will be put into WebDeploy. If you find some better method, please let me know as well, any and all help will be greatly appreciated.

Conclusion: Both Ryan and I feel that this new "masking" concept will make WebDeploy a much more powerful tool, allowing you to copy matched files instead of just files with that extension.

"Let the beast roar with great functionality. Because only then can you find out if its worth your time." - Matt Hawley

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