Friday, February 24, 2006

Building a WaitScreen control for ASP.NET

Another day, another nuggetty article, this time about ASP.Net user interface best practice - namely in providing a "Wait Timer" when a page has some long-running processing occurring on it.

Scott Guthrie must do nothing but blog all day (lucky beast! :) ) - in this post, he links to a very nice article by Daniel Fisher which includes the source code to a server control that lets you show a "Wait" graphic. To quote his reason for needing this functionality:
"Sometimes it happens that a form is processing and you need to make sure that the users don't panic and run away before it finishes."
Phil Winstanley pointed out in this blog entry that this kind of thing isn't necessarily applicable or suitable when a page is using AJAX for it's processing, and gives a number of reasons.

I still think that the simple elegant implementation of this control makes it a good one.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

ASP.NET 2.0 RSS Toolkit

Here's another useful .Net 2.0 code library, which I found linked from this MSDN blog post by Scott Guthrie. It provides flexible, configurable RSS functionality for both consuming and generating RSS feeds.

Scott's posting provides a great step-by-step tutorial on the basics of using this, including screen shots - excellent work.

RSS syndication is becoming pretty much pervasive, so making supporting it this easy can only be a win.

The RSS Toolkit for ASP.Net 2.0 can be found here, and is definitely one to add to the toolbox.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Shy Cohen's WebLog : It’s playtime! The WCF Virtual Labs are now online!

The MSDN Blogs are a treasure chest of information, and great for telling you when Microsoft releases new resources. One of their more interesting offerings are the MSDN Virtual Labs - online lab sessions that guide you through new technologies. I played with the VS2005 and BizTalk labs at the Launch event this year, and was reasonably impressed.

Today, Shy Cohen posted in his blog that "MSDN Virtual Labs for WCF are up on These are the same labs we use in the training we deliver here at MS."

'Nuff said really - as he puts it... Playtime!

Windows Communication Foundation Web

WCF is going to be central to any windows-based distributed systems development over the next year or so... and here's a fine resource for it.

The Windows Communication Foundation Web: is a community site sponsored by Microsoft to provide peer suport and insight into using the new Indigo technologies.

I also have to admit that MSDN seems to be getting it right by involving the wider development community earlier and closer.

New Year, New Blog

I'm starting this second blog as one that is much more focused on those technical nuggets of information that I come across and want to both keep and share with my peers.

I'm know going to be doing a lot of linking to the MSDN Blogs, but will also try and research the wi(l)der web for those hard to find nuggets of information, as well as posting my own thoughts on and solutions to technical problems.

Watch this space!