Monthly Archives

December 2016

Breakpoints in Auto-Properties in Visual Studio 2015

By | Visual Studio | No Comments

This tip falls squarely into the category of simple, yet oh so useful. Visual Studio 2015 isn’t exactly new, but I am still discovering things that make it so nice for debugging. That’s where I’ve spent a lot of my time this week, and one thing that has saved me is using Actions on breakpoints to print messages to the console. And surprise! You can do the same thing even when using auto-properties in Visual Studio 2015 without backing fields.

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C# Windows IoT Core Serial Communications with an ESP8266

By | Blogs, C#, ESP8266, git, Hardware, IoT, Microsoft, Multi-Device, News, Raspberry Pi, Visual Studio, Windows Universal Apps | No Comments

Windows IoT Core is great for connecting single board computers such a Pi2 to an ESP8266, via a serial link. The hardware for such a link can be found in my previous post here. The details for a basic serial communication C# framework are detailed in this post. If you have an ESP8266, there are numerous ways of communicating with them such as LuaLoader. However, I needed to communicate with my ESP8266 through a Pi2 running Windows IoT Core. This is part of a larger automated test project for an upcoming consumer project we’re developing. In this post, I’ll cover…

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One-Time Passwords (OTP)

By | .NET, node.js | No Comments

Years ago, I worked for a customer who provided me with a RSA SecurID device to access their VPN. This was a plastic fob that would display a six digit number on a LCD screen. Every 30 seconds, the numbers changed to a different random six digits. To log into their VPN, I had to provide my username and password, plus the current six digit number displayed on the device. So, even if my password was compromised, an attacker still could not get into their VPN without also having that SecurID device. Today, we simply call this Two-Factor Authentication, or 2FA. While plastic fobs…

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Rewriting URLs to Lowercase in Sitefinity

By | .NET, MVC, Sitefinity | No Comments

Enforcing Lowercase on URLs to Normalize URLs In any web application, it is generally a good idea to make sure that all of your content has only one way to reach them via a user’s address bar in their browser. Whether you accomplish this by using canonical URLs, strict discipline/convention (i.e. “I will never capitalize any directory or filename”, very hard!), or rewriting URLs into lowercase ones, they all accomplish the same goal. Google only sees one URL for content, and your SEO doesn’t take a hit for “duplicate content” like what may happen if you can go to www.example.com/Foo…

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Awesome, Text-Based Diagrams with Mermaid

By | Visual Studio Code | No Comments

A picture is worth a thousand words. Plain text can convey high levels of detail, but when there are multiple entities involved, text fails to communicate the relationships between them well. In a recent incident, I needed to explain to myself and others how information flowed between four different actors in a transaction. Oral and written attempts would quickly become confusing because of the difficulty of keeping the state of all the different actors in our heads at once. In comparison, once the transaction was laid out in a diagram, the flow of information immediately become far easier to understand for…

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aspnet-core-area-view-viewstart-layout

Set Layout for Views in MVC Areas

By | ASP.NET, ASP.NET Core, MVC | No Comments

Here’s a quick tip follow up for my last post on working with MVC Areas with ASP.NET Core. When I visited the pages in the new Admin area I created, it was obvious that they were not picking up the layout and style from the other pages in the site:   To fix this I needed to add the Layout property to the View:

Alternatively, you can create a file named _ViewStart.cshtml with just the layout definition and place it in the Views folder for the Area. This approach will make all views automatically use the defined template. This…

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Is an 80 Character Code Line Length Still Relevant?

By | C#, CSS, JavaScript, TypeScript, Visual Studio | No Comments

If you’ve spent any time reading about coding standards on the internet, you’ve probably come across the suggestion to limit lines of code to 80 characters and wondered if it’s still relevant today. The advise to limit lines to 80 characters is often connected to the historical limit of 80 characters in terminal windows. But what if your team is not subject to this constraint? Are there still any benefits to adopting this limitation? I tried living with it for a while and here are my takeaways. Growing pains Indentation When I first set out to try this style out,…

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asp-net-core-area-index-view

MVC Areas with ASP.NET Core

By | ASP.NET, ASP.NET Core, MVC, Web | One Comment

Areas in MVC allow you to separate your web application into segments, each with their own set of Controllers and Views, for better organization and intuitive access via routing. I decided to play with this MVC Areas feature in ASP.NET Core and thought I’d share my experience in case it might help others using this feature. My first attempt to use this was to simply add the Areas folder to the root of my application, with a subfolder called Admin with the associated folders for Controllers, Models, and Views: I added a simple AdminController to simulate a separate Administration section…

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Quick Tip for Showing JSFiddles in Your WordPress Blog

By | Blogs | No Comments

I know for a fact I have shared this tip with colleagues multiple times over the last year, because it always seems to be just tricky enough to trip someone up when writing a WordPress blog post that would benefit from a live JSFiddle in an iframe. And I realize that there are plugins for this also, but you might not have access to them, or maybe you just want a simple solution.

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Multilingual Publishing in Sitefinity

By | C#, Sitefinity | No Comments

Initially Publish your Content in a Non-Default Language Sitefinity has great multilingual publishing capabilities. From the perspective of an end-user / content manager, the backend offers up a myriad of methods to create content items both in the site’s default language as well as any other languages activated/enabled in the site itself. They’re all usually just one click away, and provide a good experience. But what about the development side of things? Say we have a custom widget that creates a content item, but the language either must be something apart from the default, or is user-selectable before creation occurs?…

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Kendo DataSource: Grouping then Sorting

By | Kendo UI, Telerik | No Comments

It seems that Kendo DataSource (and, thus, the Kendo Grid) cannot do both Grouping and Sorting. When sorting is defined without grouping, then everything works fine. But, when records are grouped, then the sorting within each groups does not work at all. Consider this simple example: http://jsfiddle.net/jfollas/z3297jtx/

The sorting is all over the place! One workaround (there are probably many more) is to perform a sort AFTER the DataSource has already grouped the data. For a data-bound Kendo Grid, this can be done in the DataBound event handler. However, there is a Chicken-and-Egg situation when doing this: performing a .sort()…

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