Sitefinity Bug in Chrome v55

By | Google, Sitefinity | No Comments

Page Editing Drag and Drop Busted On December 1st, 2016, Google pushed out a new version of its internet browser Chrome. Chrome v55 installed and automatically updated on a huge number of machines (as is the standard for silent auto-updating software) and it went off without a hitch. While Chrome was dandy, however, it turns out that it broke something in Sitefinity! A major component to Sitefinity, in fact: Dragging and dropping widgets when editing pages or page templates. Unless you are in an environment where automatic updates for Chrome are disabled, you are now susceptible to this issue if…

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Advanced Sitefinity Developer class in the Silicon Valley

By | Sitefinity | No Comments

We are very pleased and excited about offering the only west coast Progress Sitefinity Advanced Developer class at our training facility in Scotts Valley, CA (25 minutes from San Jose Airport SJC) at the heart of the Silicon Valley. This class offers backend developers the ability to develop a web application using Sitefinity CMS. You will receive extensive knowledge, on-class support and be taught by Sitefinity experts with 25 years of training experience.  Each attendee will receive a certificate of completion.  This class will enable you to confidently take the Advanced Sitefinity Developer Exam. This class is an official Progress Sitefinity…

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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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SMTP4Dev Local SMTP

Test Sending Email Without an SMTP Server

By | .NET, ASP.NET, C#, Microsoft, Tools | No Comments

When working on a project, I had the need to locally test the sending and formatting of an email from an application. The only downside is that I don’t have an SMTP server on my workstation, and I wasn’t about to start setting up IIS with all that ceremony. Luckily there are a couple tools that can help with this problem. Neptune The first tool I tried was Neptune. It doesn’t have source code available, but if you need a way to see if an email has been sent, it will show up with a notification in the system tray. You…

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What’s it Like to Take an Online Proctored Microsoft Certification Exam?

By | Microsoft | No Comments

Each year for the past several years, I have set a personal goal to get developer certified or trained in something new. Sometimes that is a Microsoft Exam, sometimes it is some other certification, such as Kendo UI certification. In previous years, I have had to travel to a test center to take certain Microsoft Exams, but the test center closest to me closed in 2014. The next closest location is over 2 hrs away, which was pretty much a deal breaker for me, and I had almost given up this year on meeting my goal for 2016. But, instead I decided to try something new: an Online Proctored Microsoft Certification Exam.

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Scout Promise

A Brief Introduction to Promises

By | JavaScript | No Comments

It took me a while to get used to working with Promises in JavaScript. I fundamentally knew how the jQuery Deferred object worked from years ago, so some of the concepts were familiar to me. But, the beauty of the newer Promise implementations is in how it really cleans up your code by breaking it up into blocks that can then be chained and executed asynchronously. Consider the following:

The process is kicked off at the bottom with a call to doSomething() . Notice that doSomething()  calls fetchSomething() , and all that fetchSomething()  does is return the results of someHttpClient.get() . But, in…

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Web API Route Design for Non-CRUD Routes

By | ASP.NET, Web API | 2 Comments

Introduction I’ve been finding myself thinking a lot about route design for the web APIs I’ve been building lately. For your basic CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) controllers, everyone knows that the POST HTTP verb maps to create/insert; GET maps to read/select; PUT maps to update; and DELETE maps to–brace yourself–delete. But what about routes that represent things beyond these fundamental but basic data manipulations? I’ve done a bit of reading and thinking about the subject, and these are a distillation of the lessons I’ve learned. URLs represent resources I mean, it’s right in the name: Uniform Resource Locator. But what…

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How I Optimize My Focus and Productivity

By | Tools, Work | No Comments

Whether you work in an office or from your home, distractions can be a huge problem. They yank you out of the nearly trance-like state of focused productivity and bring you crashing back into your body in meatspace. Some distractions are external, and I think it’s common sense for most people to defend against these sorts of distractions by trying to mitigate them. Phone calls interrupting you? Silence your phone. Distracted by email and/or chat notifications? Mute them during certain hours and check them only at specific times. Distracting noises or conversations nearby? Wear some comfortable noise-suppressing headphones and play something…

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Building Mobile UI Tests using REPL

By | Android, Testing, UITest, Xamarin | No Comments

This is post 4 of 4 in the series “Xamarin Test Cloud” Building Mobile UI Tests using REPL REPL builds a list of methods to automate a mobile app for use in a UI test. The typical workflow starts with the tree command to list elements in the current view. Next, app methods wait for elements, enter text, tap buttons and so on. Then the copy command saves your REPL activity to the clipboard. Finally, you paste REPL commands into your test method. Once you paste the REPL output, you can clean it up and add assertions.

The screenshot shows the Android emulator on the left, and…

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sitefinity-feather-designer-preload-message

Sitefinity Feather Designer Tip: Updating Fields Programatically

By | AngularJS, Sitefinity | 2 Comments

I recently needed to create a custom designer for a Sitefinity MVC Widget that would allow a property to be filled in programatically (such as clicking an option in a list).  Populating the field was simple enough using jQuery, and here is a very simple example demonstrating the desired behavior:

Clicking the button does indeed did populate the message property: However, when I saved the changes, the output of the widget message property was still blank: It turns out that this makes sense, because the widget designer is using Angular JS to bind its properties back to the widget, and…

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Restoring Multilingual Translations in Sitefinity

By | Sitefinity | No Comments

Dude, Where’s my Translations? Occasionally I’ve run into an issue where enabling multilingual translations doesn’t correctly reach out to all aspects of my existing Sitefinity instance. Progress Sitefinity will allow translations to be made (under Interface Labels and Messages), and Pages and some content types will allow me to provide translations as well, but some dynamic content types will still behave as if there’s only one language available. Sledgehammer Approach My first thought would always be that maybe existing dynamic types have to be re-installed in order for translations to be made available to them. While you can uninstall a…

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Xamarin UITest Word Cloud

Mobile Testing in the Xamarin Test Cloud

By | Android, Android, C#, iOS, Testing, UITest, Visual Studio, Xamarin, Xamarin Test Cloud | No Comments

Mobile UI testing requires the same power as web UI testing. Certainly we need the basics: identify on-screen elements, automate, and make assertions. But that’s not going to be enough for teams building mobile apps under rapidly changing conditions; not with hundreds of new, evolving technology combinations. So what are the new rules? Here’s what we need, right-out-of-the-box…

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