Thursday, August 31, 2006

Building a build server with CC.NET

So I have started implementing CruiseControl.Net at work and I have to say it is pretty fun.  I’ve built a bunch on Nant scripts to build our SOA middle tier, installed CC.Net and setup the first project.

What I am struggling with now is getting VSS to update the source files.  I think I am just missing something small but for some reason I can’t get the files to update.


 I finally had to create NAnt scripts to update the actual source.  The VSS task in CC.Net only monitors the VSS DB for changes, it does not actually down load the latest source.  At least as far as I could tell it does not.

Next is to get the VSS labeled.  CC.Net will label the source but it is not descriptive enough so it will be a trip back to the NAnt scripts.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Hanselminutes - Not Franklinminutes

I like listening to Scott Hanselmin on Hanselminutes. I first noticed Scott while listening to .Net Rocks, the Podcast that was around before the term Podcast. Scott always knows all the cool tools, the most informative websites and alternative ways (read: Not .NET) ways of doing things. His show is great.

But then there is Carl. Let’s not forget that Hanselminutes is Hosted by Carl Franklin. Carl sounds like the Java guy I work with; every time Scott brings up something that is not Microsoft or .Net Carl always comes back with “.NET can do that…”. Or more precisely, “VB.Net can do that.” Drives me nuts.

Like in the show about Dynamic vs Compiled Languages Scott was making the point that TDD could take the place of a compiler in making sure your code was working. Carl argued relentlessly that there was no way you were going to get developers to use TDD. In my opinion Carl is missing the picture.

Note to Carl: Let Scott have his Minutes.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Coding Horror: Source Control: Anything But SourceSafe

If you are serious about the practice of software development, you should avoid SourceSafe.

SourceSafe poisons the minds of software developers.

Coding Horror: Source Control: Anything But SourceSafe.

Visual Source Safe sucks.  Jeff Atwood explains in no uncertain terms why it sucks and I just want to get my vote in.  The two most important issues he points out is that VSS gives the illusion of safety and VSS users DON’T BRANCH!

They fear branching because it takes so much time and it is just a foreign concept to them.

Do yourself a favor, get a real tool.  Be a real programmer.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Programming with Interfaces

Today I was told that:

In general, interfaces should be used sparingly as they add unneeded complexity when applied to a simple set of objects.

I don’t get it, I thought interfaces were a Good Thing. I must be missing something….

Saturday, August 19, 2006

YouTube - The future of TV

I have been saying for the last couple of years that once we get true TV on demand we will stop becoming slaves to the networks. YouTube and Google Video are the start of that phenomena.

The thing I just found out about YouTube is that you can embed videos in any post and not worry about actaully hosting the video.  See my post on the Blue Man Group for an example.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Gallery Upgrade

I upgraded my Gallery from 1.5 to 2.1 and man am I freaking impressed! Between WordPress and Gallery the stuff I've been working on with ASP.NET look like total crap.

The upgrade process was really easy. Rename my original gallery folder, make sure it still works, install the new gallery, import the old. The new Gallery uses MySql where as the 1.5 version only used folders to manage the albums.

Overall the experience with working with the 2.1 version is great.  There is a new admin interface and just a quick look at the plug-ins shows that there is a way to upload images from Picasso!  That Freaking Rocks!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Genghis Darren

Genghis Darren

Moving blogs, ASP.NET vs PHP and WordPress

I moved my permanent blog to here, if you hadn’t noticed.  It went a whole lot smoother than I thought it would as my main blog was on  I had this sinking feeling that in order to move all my entries I would have to save them one by one then repost them.  Boy was I surprised!

I had originally given thought to switching my hosting to use ASP.Net, the only hold back was that  my gallery was using Gallery.  But since I am a .NET developer I thought “why not use something I know?”  Wrong attitude!  It would cost me more to use a .Net server plus after looking around there were not a whole lot of options when it came to applications.  There is DotNetNuke, dasBlog or SubText, plus a handful of galleries.  From what I saw none of those approach the maturity of the PHP options. 

I settled on WordPress mainly because I have used it before.  I’ve used numerous CMS applications but I do not want a CMS.  I want a blog engine and a gallery.  The hosting company provided Gallery already which I use and like, and it does offer PHPNuke but that would not fit my needs.

So how to handle the migration?  Turns out that is all built into WordPress.  When I saw that I could import my entire Blogger site I was amazed!  The whole installation process was simple and enjoyable.  The migration took all of fifteen minutes and that is only because I had to figure out how to dump the two blog entries I had at LiveJournal.

Why did I leave blogger?  I am a adamant fan of almost every thing Google and I have had that blog for ages, but I felt like I had to fight the system more than I needed to.  If I wanted categories I would have to either create separate blogs or encode the titles then have some funky search going on.  I think the one thing that really made me want to switch was that I could not select individual entries.  How lame is that?

But I am here now.  My own domain.  My own little space in the wild.

Genghis DarrenPCC Rulez

Saturday, August 12, 2006

VMWare Server - Good but...

I’ve have discovered virtualization.  Actually I started using it several months ago and found that it is GREAT!  It Rocks My World!!

After trying Microsoft's I decided that I preferred VMWare’s Virtual Server, mainly because there is a version for Linux.  I have a plan to build the ultimate home server using VM’s.

However, tonight I had just downloaded the SourceForge Enterprise VM and was going to play with it but my license key for VMWare Virtual Server had expired.  When I tried to get a new one their server returned a nice little Tomcat error:

javax.servlet.ServletException: JesapiFilter: Invalid Remote Address.

That sucks because now I have to uninstall the server and install the VMPlayer.  blah.  But, it is all free so who am I to complan.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Reading .NET Configuration Files

I am currently working on a small app that will scan our environment and verify that all the configuration settings are correct.  One thing I found was that you can’t open just any .config file using System.Configuration, it has to be named the same as the calling assembly.

What a pain.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Wasting Space on the Web

I waste a lot of space on the web.  How much you ask?  Well, besides this blog these are the other sites I have: (Home Page)


Photo Galleries


Articles on CodeProject:

Plus my GMail accounts which includes email, spreadsheet, calendar, you name it I probably have it.

I’m sure I have more stuff and will add it as I think of it.