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Rachel Hagerman

Rachel Hagerman

A Software Engineer with over 8 years experience, Rachel has experience in circuitry design and automated test systems, but her true passion has always been for software. When she's not at the keyboard developing software, Rachel loves to spend time with her husband and daughters on their cattle ranch enjoying horseback riding, taking photos, and making memories with her extended family.

Articles

Super Simple Spreadsheet Export from Kendo UI Grid

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

I was recently working on a way to download data displayed in a Kendo UI grid into a file for opening in Excel. Nothing fancy, just a way to grab a file that would open as a spreadsheet and let the user view the data.  Preferably something that could be done all client-side, and applied to all of the (many) Kendo grids on the site. Of course, I wasn’t the first person to need this – I found a great resource for converting the grid datasource into a .csv file, but what I also wanted was a easy way to…

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Windows Phone 8 Development: Troubleshooting the Emulator

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I just finished setting up my Windows Phone 8 development environment on a fresh operating system.  Everything went smoothly…and then I attempted to debug  a Windows Phone 8 app using the emulator.  That’s when things started to get difficult, and I mean really difficult! To be fair, I have several things working against me on this setup.  For almost two years, I have been happily running dual operating systems on a late-2011 MacBook Pro, and recently I installed a new hard drive and a fresh installation of Windows 8 Pro on a BootCamp partition.  In addition, I typically have no…

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iOS Development for .NET Developers: Using Blocks like Anonymous Delegates

By | .NET | No Comments

Learning a new programming language is a lot of fun, but it can be disorienting to not have all of your usual tools in your mental toolbox, so to speak.  We get used to using our familiar patterns and syntax, and even though the new language may be just as capable, it takes some getting used to in order to have the same level of productivity.  It’s been over a year since I started working on iOS apps in Objective C, and still I sometimes find myself searching for ways to write a block of code that I could write…

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Breaking on Exceptions in XCode

By | iOS | No Comments

If you happen to be experienced in development using Visual Studio, but a bit new to working in XCode for iOS development (like me), you are probably used to your application breaking on exceptions during debugging.  But by default, your iOS application may not act as you expect when it comes to debugging crash exceptions.  You may instead see something like this: With an error message that says:  *** Terminating app due to uncaught exception What?  Why was my exception uncaught while I am debugging?  I, for one, would rather be taken to the point at which the exception occurred,…

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Apple Push Notifications Certificates and IIS

By | iOS | No Comments

Last week I found myself debugging an issue with Apple Push Notifications service (APNs) on one of our development servers, and learning a bit about APNs certificates and Windows Server 2008 R2 with IIS 7.5 in the process.   My first task was to try to isolate why the push notifications weren’t received by our iOS devices, so I started on my local development machine.  I installed the certificates into my personal certificate store, stepped through the notification code, and sure enough I heard my iPad chirping telling me the notifications were being received.  It turned out that the certificates…

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Silverlight 3: Why is My Text Blinking When I Use a CaretBrush?

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This answer is easy to find once you realize it was the addition of a CaretBrush in a TextBox that started the blinking…but if you’ve just added in a bunch of Styles and Resources with dozens of additional properties, well, it could take a while.  Hopefully this post will help someone find the answer a little quicker. Applying any StaticResource brush to the CaretBrush property of a regular TextBox in Silverlight 3 will apparently cause everything else using that StaticResource to blink with the caret blink.  Odd, very odd indeed!  The fix is easy, of course…just don’t re-use your caret…

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Silverlight RadGrid with Templated Combobox Cells

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Telerik’s ComboboxColumn for the Silverlight RadGrid is highly useful for presenting drop-down list options for the user in a grid-editing scenario.  But it’s also very easy to template, and you can even template the ‘Display’ look of the cells to match that of your dropdown list items.  Using templates, we have the ability to display the dropdown choices using data-driven visual elements, for a much richer user experience. Here’s an example of using a simple template that utilizes a custom Background and Foreground color, based upon properties of the underlying data.  First, a look at the sample data used for…

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The Many Faces of Falafel

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If you aren’t aware of the unique qualities of Falafel Software, here’s one for the archives.  Falafelites are located across 4 time zones in California, Colorado, Texas, and Michigan, and through each other we get to experience lives beyond our own.  Someone is always sharing a cool story about what’s going on in their little world, and it is interesting to see how we can all morph from day-time (and sometimes night-time) developers or trainers into weekend warriors of such different types. Among other things, we get to enjoy awe-inspiring photography, hear the surf, mountain biking, or maybe snowboarding reports,…

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Telerik’s RadTabControl Improvements in Silverlight Q3 2009

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I have been using Telerik’s RadTabControl for Silverlight for a while, and have finally been able to upgrade to the new Q3 2009 release. Happily, I am noticing some new features from my wish-list which will make tab navigation oh so much easier. I have been looking forward to the new scrolling and dropdown overflow features since the Beta version, these are absolute necessities when using many tabs. When the user selects an item in the drop down, it is automatically scrolled into view with a nice smooth scrolling action. The scrolling works with the dropdown even if you do…

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Capture Screen Shots with ToolTips and Popups using Vista Snipping Tool

By | Uncategorized | One Comment

Screen capture is something I never really think about until I need it. I was recently working on a project and needed to email a screen shot of the application, including the tooltip I was seeing. I’ve always been a big fan of Alt+PrintScreen to capture my active window, but in this case, I couldn’t capture the tooltip along with the window. After a few minutes, I turned to my favorite search engine to see if there was some utility I could use to get what I needed. Amazingly, the perfect utility was already installed on my Windows Vista machine!…

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Using the Simple Styles Project in Visual Studio to Customize WPF Controls

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If you’ve ever edited a template in Microsoft Expression Blend, you’ll be able to relate to this blog. Woah – that’s a lot of code!  For those of use whose first language is something other than XAML, the default styles generated in Blend are pretty intimidating. Now, I know there are gurus out there who know exactly what every one of those settings and templatebindings do, but for the rest of us, there has got to be a simpler place to start. Well, there is. It’s a handy little download you can get straight from your Visual Studio help called…

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Validating Input of Databound Controls in WPF with Validation Rules

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Windows Presentation Foundation provides a simple way to validate user input on your data-bound controls, and it’s completely customizable, too.  By writing a custom class deriving from ValidationRule, and adding an error template to our control, we can have consistent UI notification of invalid input according to our specific needs.  A simple example would be a TextBox which requires a positive integer input.  First, we write our custom validation rule. public class posintValidationRule : ValidationRule { public override ValidationResult Validate(object value, System.Globalization.CultureInfo cultureInfo) { string _strInt = value.ToString(); int _int = -1; if (!Int32.TryParse(_strInt, out _int)) return new ValidationResult(false, “Value…

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Drag and Drop Tasks in Microsoft Outlook

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Ever find yourself getting emailed tasks and then noticing they get lost too easily in the daily pile of emails?  Generally it doesn’t happen to the really important ones, or those that are tracked by some other task/project tracking mechanism. But for me, those little off-the-top-of-somebody’s-mind tasks are the ones that are hardest to keep up with, because they may not be linked to any big project or deliverable. To avoid permanently feeling scatterbrained, I started trying to use the Tasks section of Outlook 2007 to track such otherwise un-tracked items on my To-Do list.  I liked the categorization, and…

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Saving and Loading Summary Row Information in a RadGrid

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One feature I really like in Telerik’s WinForms RadGrid control is the ability to save and load layout information using the Serialization API.  It’s nice to be able to to persist appearance and other settings in XML format, so that they can be restored later and provide a more consistent feel for the user. Telerik’s Knowledge Base has a great article here on how to use the API to persist selected property values. This is quite useful if, instead of using the default values which store many many grid settings, you only want to store a few settings.  There’s even…

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Smarter ComboBoxes inside a Telerik WinForms RadGridView

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Once again I’m sharing some tips and tricks for the Telerik RadGridView control; this time for your combobox editors inside the grid.  The RadGridView makes it very easy to add combobox columns to your grids, and with these tips you can get an even smoother user experience. For these examples, I’m using a sample form that uses some GridViewComboBoxColumns for the day of week and month fields. Combobox dropdowns are great, but what if you want your users to be able to clear the field, and even assign a null value that you will store in your database?  If the…

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Simple Ways to Speed up a WinForms RadGridView Control

By | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Once again I am spending a lot of time working with Telerk’s RadControls for WinForms, and most recently have been looking for all sorts of ways to squeeze every possible bit of speed out of a RadGridView control.  Sometimes a really simple change has made a noticeable improvement, and I thought it would be useful to collect those simple-yet-effective tips all in one place. There are basically two types of datasets that seem to slow down my grids – those with a large number of rows (over 5000) and those with a large number of columns (over 25).  RadGridView controls…

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Binding RadGridView Controls Together using CellElements

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I recently needed to use the cells of a Telerik RadGridView to display data in an unusual way, and bind the values of those cells to the records of another RadGridView control.  Some experimentation revealed that the RadGridView cells can be quite versatile, and I thought the resulting sample project was interesting enough to share.  For this sample, we will use two RadGridView controls:  one will display an abbreviated version of the records in a database table, while the other will display the full set of record data for a selected row. The first grid is bound to the contacts…

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Easy Accept and Cancel Functionality on a Windows Form

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Sometimes while working on a project in Visual Studio, I come across a property or setting that makes me think, “Hey, that’s just too easy, why haven’t I used this before?”.  That’s exactly what I thought when I returned to Windows Forms development, and found the AcceptButton and CancelButton properties of a Form.  Let’s say you’ve got a standard form, and when the user is finished filling in the information, they either “Submit” the information, or they “Cancel” out of the form.  Users generally also expect the Enter key to submit, and also the Escape key to cancel, since that’s…

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Automatic SpellChecking for WPF Text Controls

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While working on some custom editing controls in a WPF application, I began wishing I could provide my users with some simple spell-checking features.  Although I hadn’t used it, I was sure that the RichTextBox control would allow spellchecking, but I was doubtful that my simple TextBoxes would be able to do the same thing.  I was happy to be proven very wrong!  WPF TextBoxes do allow for spellchecking features, and enabling the feature is as easy as setting a boolean.  Here’s the style XAML for two controls which enable spellchecking. <Style TargetType=”{x:Type TextBox}”> <Setter Property=”SpellCheck.IsEnabled” Value=”True”/> <Setter Property=”Template”> <Setter.Value>…

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WPF Validation Rules Continued

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In a previous post, I explained how to use WPF validation rules and error templates to validate user input and provide meaningful feedback for invalid input in the form of tooltips.  Recently, I needed to use these techniques on a WPF textbox which already had non-error tooltip, and observed an unexpected behavior.  The local tooltip overrides the error tooltip, even when an error occurs.  For example, using the code from my previous blog, the following XAML adds a tooltip to the validated TextBox. <TextBox Margin=”10″ Width=”100″ ToolTip=”Enter the number of seconds”> <TextBox.Text> <Binding Path=”seconds” UpdateSourceTrigger=”PropertyChanged”> <Binding.ValidationRules> <local:posintValidationRule/> </Binding.ValidationRules> </Binding> </TextBox.Text>…

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Using Conditional Methods in C# instead of #ifdef

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  I recently found myself using #ifdef preprocessor directives to turn on and off the same pieces of diagnostic code in multiple files all across a project.  We have all used Debug methods, which are turned on and off universally by defining (or not defining) the DEBUG constant.  Isn’t that convenient?  All the lines of code that we want removed at compile-time when not debugging are controlled just by one constant – for an entire project at once!   We can do the same thing using conditional methods.   Define a conditional method using the Conditional attribute before the method…

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Passing Microsoft Exam 70-315

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My name is Rachel Hagerman, and I’m yet another newbie trying out blogging here at Falafel Software.  Recently I spent a few weeks preparing for the MS70-315 Exam:  Developing and Implementing Web Applications with Microsoft Visual C#.NET and Visual Studio.  Since I had no real ASP.NET experience, nor had I ever taken a Microsoft exam, I was a little apprehensive about how to study, how to get set up to take the test, and of course the test itself.  This blog is for anyone in that same situation.  To give you a sense of the time frame here, I started…

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Using BindingValidationError to Add Messages to a Validation Summary in Silverlight

By | Silverlight | No Comments

  If you aren’t familiar with it, the ValidationSummary control in Silverlight automatically shows validation exceptions for any controls within its same container element.  That means if you add it to a grid or StackPanel that is full of bound controls, it will capture any validation exceptions from those bindings.  It also gives you all kinds of useful functionality, like taking you to the invalid control when clicking on an item, and even removing the message when the input is corrected. For example, these two textboxes are bound to FirstName and MiddleInitial properties, and MiddleInitial is required to be a…

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Refreshing Aggregates on a WinForms RadGridView

By | Telerik | No Comments

  This tip, which is not quite obvious from all the RadGridView documentation, works for more than just refreshing aggregates – it can be useful any time you are doing some non-standard manipulations behind the scenes and for whatever reason, the RadGridView isn’t updating to show your changes.   In my case, an AcceptChanges() call to a DataRow in a DataTable was getting new server data to show up, but not notifying the grid that it needed to recalculate aggregates.    Although the aggregate would be correct on a full data load,   after a partial update, getting new data…

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Silverlight 3: Using an Attached Property in a Template

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  Have you ever wanted to use one of your custom attached properties in a control template?  Well I have, but I never could quite get the syntax right, and my bindings always failed.  I had started to think it wasn’t possible!  It was almost as if the template could never quite find the namespace of the attached property once it was applied to the control. But then I saw a piece of Silverlight 3 code  that included another declaration of the namespace inside the element tag, and I thought Oh!  Maybe that will help with those times when the…

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