eWorld.UI - Matt Hawley

Ramblings of Matt

Bug Tracking Provider Block

June 25, 2004 19:31 by matthaw

The past few days I decided that my bug tracking component that I created for WebDeploy needed an overhaul. It was built directly to interface with FogBUGZ, and didn't allow for support of any other method. Alas, I thought the provider model could come in extremely handy - and it did.

Now, before you go off saying that Microsoft already created an Exception Handling Block that does almost what I did, I want to say that this was done in response to bug tracking specifically. It has a namespace structure of ErrorHandling, however that is just for future additions. Currently it only supports "Tracking."

So, what's this all about? Well, I'm releasing my ErrorHandling block that allows you to easily implement bug collecting into any application in any method using custom tracking providers. The current version comes with 3 tracking providers:

  • FogBUGZ (using scoutSubmit.asp)
  • Email
  • EventLog

To use it, it's as simple as calling:

eWorld.ErrorHandling.Tracking.Submit("Subject", "Body", "Creator Name", "Creator Email", true);

However, its not just that simple - a custom configuration section needs to be declared to allow the different tracking providers to be loaded. A sample configuration file comes with the download, but here's a summary of what the custom configuration section needs to look like:

<trackers defaultProvider="FogBUGZ" enabled

="eWorld.ErrorHandling.Providers.FogBugzTrackingProvider, eWorld.ErrorHandling"
="eWorld.ErrorHandling.Providers.EmailTrackingProvider, eWorld.ErrorHandling"
="eWorld.ErrorHandling.Providers.EventLogTrackingProvider, eWorld.ErrorHandling"

Simple enough, right? Okay - so download the ErrorHandling block here, and make sure you keep an eye out for any new enhancements. If you've created another provider that you feel would be worthwhile to release, please submit it to me, and I'll see what I can do.

Categories: .NET
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Centrall IL Dot Net UG Meetings

June 25, 2004 18:53 by matthaw

I guess its time for a recap, in case anyone is interested.

Kent just posted his visit and topic for our group meeting in September, but I'd also like to mention the meetings between now and then that are going to be notable..

June 30th - Eric Sink from SourceGear will be visiting and discussing the use of ASP.NET for ISVs.
August 4th - Phil Weber from CodeWidget will be visiting and discussing Smart Client applications.
August 4th - Michael Ruminer from CodeWidget will be visiting.
September 1st - Kent Tegels will be visiting and discussing XML in Databases
October 6th - Jeff Prosise will be visiting and discussing security with ASP.NET applications.
November 3rd - Jacob Cynamon will be visiting and discussing WSE 2.0
December 1st - I will be discussing development and use of ASP.NET Server Controls

Great lineup, isn't it. I'm stoked! You can keep up to date on our lineup by visiting our group's webpage.

Update: Phil informed me that he is no longer employed by CodeWidget. I'm looking for an alternative solution - hopefully CodeWidget will come through and still send someone, otherwise I'll be taking the slot and moving my presentation up.

Update 2: Michael Ruminer will be taking Phil's place. His topic is currently unknown.

When Dynamic Code Goes Wrong

June 24, 2004 15:16 by matthaw

So, how many days has it been since November 21, 2003 - Lets see by opening Snippit Compiler...216

But, why is that day so special? Well, I believe that was the day that I started work on my revision of my website, long time ago...yup it sure is. How do I know? Well, I forgot that the date in the top right hand corner of my website was dynamic...so its been “Friday, November 21, 2003” for quite some time...could this be a form of time travel?

What fathams me, is that I've gone to my own site for 216 days, and haven't noticed it until today...now, I must go fix it.

Categories: General
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Updated Utility: WebDeploy

June 24, 2004 04:14 by matthaw

Note: WebDeploy has recently been upgraded - check out the more features here.

WebDeploy has hit 1.0! There aren't any earth shattering additions, just some bug fixes over 0.9 as well as the addition of bug tracking into the system. Now, you can submit a bug right from the UI...also, when an error occurs, it'll prompt you. Talk about easy, right? Here's the changelog:

  • Fixed "Quick Deploy" profile extensions on initial creation.
  • Fixed FTP unhandled exceptions being thrown.
  • Fixed error when deleting extensions if no extensions selected.
  • Added new Bug Submission Capabilities.

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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XP SP2 RC2 Woes: Followup

June 22, 2004 16:34 by matthaw

So after my computer mysteriously decided it wasn't going to connect to the internet anymore (got me on that one, tried everything short of throwing the computer out the window) I determined my computer was destined to its second rebuild in 1 month. Most commonly I do this every 6 months, but not  having internet can put a damper on that experience. So, even after my initial woes of SP2 not working with my DVD burner, and having it freeze on me, I decided, what the hey - I'll do a fresh install and try it out again.

Much to my dismay, things still weren't working. My DVD burner still wasn't being recognized via IEEE 1394, and now that I've installed McAfee 7.1 ontop of SP2, it crashes everytime which doesn't bode well for very secure using. So, I poked around the newsgroups for SP2, and found others having the same problems as me. Well, not as far as virus scanners, but found that people that also have the Sound Blaster Audigy 2 PCI card that has onboard IEEE 1394 suddenly stopped after SP2 upgrade. Err, so I added myself to the list - yay! of people with the same problem.

I think I'll just have to uninstall SP2, again, to get my DVD burner (and actually my IEEE 1394 devices - this includes my MiniDV camcorder) back as well as getting a virus scanner running. I sure hope Microsoft and Creative gets this issue solved before they “go-live” with SP2, because you will have many unhappy customers if things don't work as expected after an upgrade of this magnitude.

BTW - if you install McAfee prior to installing SP2, things work great...its just installing afterwards that bombs the application.

Categories: General
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Standardized Installers

June 21, 2004 23:15 by matthaw

As I typed the title, I just had a flash back of ACT, SAT, CAT (I think) tests that we all knew and loved back in our early days of schooling. Standardized Testing, oh how great it was, and made it nice for the schools to accurately judge our abilities.

However, as long of a post that could be, I'm not going to be talking about testing, but rather installers...specifically Microsoft Installers. I find it quite humorous to see that each application team at Microsoft has their own Installer. No, I'm not talking about the files contained with in them, but rather the look, feel, and structure of the various installers. I find it odd that a company that has created the Microsoft Installer, doesn't even have standards for their own installers. Sure, they may all use MSI as a base, but as an end user, having different UI's for installers can just get plain confusing.

To compare on contrast, you see installers for Office products that all have the same look & feel. Its a wizard type of UI that (I feel) all installers should follow. Why? Well, its simple, easy, intuitive, and common amongst a lot of applications installers in the market. However, on the contrary, installers for VS.NET, MSDN Help, Windows Media Player, DirectX (to just name a few), all have their own “look” to them. Sure, in a sense, they all have that base “wizardry” to them, but its convoluted by the pretty graphics and interesting ways of displaying information to them. I wouldn't actually mind seeing some sort of standardization come across Microsoft's installers, but who am I to speak. I'm a lonely voice in the world where I have no say against MS standards.

Just my thoughts..I don't expect you to agree or disagree, however it would be nice to have a good conversation on this topic.

Categories: General
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VisualBlogger Beta 3 Shot

June 19, 2004 17:22 by matthaw

So Robert posted a new screenshot of VisualBlogger Beta 3, and asked for our feedback. Here it comes...

  • The UI looks too much like an integrated Office app & VS.NET.
  • I HATE the post options on the right. This is supposed to be user friendly, and the property grid is not the way to go. Look at how MS implements some of its wizards in the side menu, and go the route of that.
  • It's starting to look more professional, however as I see it now, its getting further and further away from that VS.NET integration he so promised a long time ago. I'd assume you would loose a lot of what you have if docked in VS.NET, then we're back to square 1 of not having a user friendly UI.
  • Ditch the "Settings/Configure Blogs/Submit" menu, it should be available through the main menu. It really looks out of place now. However, I'd have a Outlook type "Send" button somewhere with the "New/Open/Save" menu.

So, in retrospective, I've always said that VisualBlogger was 1 step behind everything else, well it still is, but its catching up quick. As soon as I can quickly format code in BlogJet (direcly), I'll never use anything else.

Categories: General
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My Take on Not Getting VSTS

June 19, 2004 15:53 by matthaw

After reading Early Adopter's post about how VSTS will not even be available via MSDN Universal Subscribers, I thought to myself - why the heck is Microsoft even implementing VSTS. If its not going to be available to most developers out there (unless your a super corp with loads of $$, not my company - we get ours from MSDN Universal) then the darn thing 1) isn't going to be bought by individuals/developers, 2) isn't going to be an available tool that MS will probably market it as, 3) isn't going to be worth the time spending thousands of hours developing it.

So my only irk about this is, why the heck create it, if you're not going to let developers/teams use it at a reasonable cost. Stupid position MS, stupid.

Categories: .NET
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GMail Invites Are Out - For me

June 18, 2004 02:54 by matthaw

So I finally got into GMail after several weeks and noticed I had 3 invites to give out. Well, due to the overwelhming response here, I decided to ignore all those requests and go back to the root of where I got mine, the Channel9 Gmail Request Wiki.

So, for those 3 lucky people, congrats and I hope you do the same :)

Now, those still requesting - STOP!

Categories: General
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XP SP2 RC2 Woes

June 16, 2004 07:48 by matthaw
Man, I have absolutely NO LUCK with XP SP2 on my machines. I downloaded and installed it tonight on my home machine (which was recently rebuilt), and WHAMMO! it doesn't boot up anymore, and when it first did I lost my DVD Burner (attached via FireWire). Anyone else having this much trouble? I know I had about the same problems with XP SP2 RC1.

Categories: General
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