Friday, 26 September 2008

IE8 CSS 'Active' hover not working

I'm creating a new web-site layout for my company.  We are targeting the latest most standard compliant browsers (IE7 be damned)...

Anyway.  Has anyone else noticed that the CSS action "Active" doesn't work anymore?  It does in FF, Chrome and IE7 compatible mode of IE8.

What happened to here?

DotNetRocks #Show 380

Listening to DotNetRocks 

Carl and Richard really struggle to get a good flowing discussion going, painful to listen to.  Which is a pity because I generally believe that the Show is outstanding...  Although I wish there was a bit more variation in the Ads (Same Telerek ad for 6 months?!?!)

Anyway... Rant Over

LINQ to SQL is unbelievingly faster than the Entity Framework, and this really shouldn't be overlooked.

Windows Home Server & IIS Reinstallation

I've been using windows home server as a very cheap way to get a hold of windows server 2003 for one of my production machines, the other day I ran into a Hosting issue with the WCF .svc files not being recognised in IIS 6.0 - The solution? reinstalling IIS.

But this had it's own problems... Windows Home Server needs IIS and had some half dozen virtual directories installed as virtual directories.  All with special privileges and who knows what.

I was prepared to do away with the backup facilities, but I wanted to expose my web-site to the world and to be honest.... I wouldn't have a clue how to setup the router!  WHS (Windows home server) has a nifty facility to do this for you... Only it needs to be functioning correctly in order to do it.

So... back to my original problem... how do I fix WHS after a IIS reinstall?  A quick scan around the web brought little encouragement... Lots of advice that it is easier to reinstall the OS! (What the!)  There was also hints that there is a WHS folder in the main installation drive.

A quick glance and I remembered these all being run during the original installation routine.  They all ran after the principal windows server 2003 was installed. 

I didn't exactly write down which ones I installed. But I believe that I ran at least the following:c:\WHS file contents

  • umrabase.exe
  • umrahome.exe
  • umraremote.exe

So problem solved.

And no OS reinstall required!

Thursday, 25 September 2008

WCF and IIS 6.0 Hosting Issue

I've developed a WCF Service which I have tested extensively in the Visual Studio environment.  I have had it successfully hosted on Vista and also Windows XP.

Today when I attempted to install the Service on my windows Server 2003 machine, it refused to display the .svc file.  It would only return a 404 error.

After much stuffing around I found this resource which described the same problem I was facing. (Always nice to know you are not alone!)

The only method that worked for me was uninstalling and reinstalling IIS.  I then repaired my .NET 3.5 SP1 installation and Vola! A visible svc and wsdl file!

Wow what a waste of an afternoon that was!


Tuesday, 23 September 2008

MVC Preview 5 Bug

Seems the Routing doesn't work correctly with my newly ported MVC project.  With <compilation debug="false"> it shows the correct Head description for the page, but the content is from another section of the web-site (Home in this case).  When I change the <compilation debug="true"> it behaves correctly again!

Should I use SQL 2008?

As I have noted in previous posts I'm currently migrating to a New Production Server.  This always brings to the fore the question of installing new technologies.

Previously I was using SQL2005 (Workgroups) for Production and I have been using 2005 Express locally for Development.  Just recently (two weeks ago) I switched to SQL 2008 Express on my dev machine, so far I haven't noticed any great differences other than the minor changes to the Management Studio.

So, should I use SQL 2008?

I think I need to do more research into this question.

[EDIT] Interesting article weighing up the pros and cons


Copying Files remotely

Today I commenced migrating to our new web-server.  Everything was going well when I stumbled across an Error when copying files via FTP onto the new machine.

I connected via Remote Desktop, and had opened up a new 'Network Places' location, this is a very efficient means of connecting to FTP.  I created a new folder for the Database files and dragged the new files across.  This was greeted by a obscure message from Windows Server 2003:

"Your current security settings do not allow you to download files from this location"

Google wasn't particularly helpful either.

The solution? Simply navigate iexplorer to the FTP location and attempt to download the files from here.  This will bring up the Security Message - with a difference... This one allows you to add the FTP location to the authorised list.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Rare praise for Windows Vista

Can I just say... what is with the constant Vista bashing in the world at large?

I keep on coming across people (Non-IT people mainly) who flat out hate vista.  Most of whom have not even used it or even seen it running.  Is this just a reflection of the numerous articles on the web bagging it?

I have been using Vista Ultimate on my dell laptop since January this year and I have to say I'm very pleased with it.  This machine is my development platform so stability really is my number one priority in it's O/S.  Vista is remarkably stable. 

It seems that Microsoft is caught in an awkward transition from previous security woeful XP into Vista.  People all know that XP has been heavily targeted by virus and had streams of security patches.  And yet they expect that they can just port all of their old programs over onto this new platform?  Windows has had a history of being over backwards in ways that Apple never has had to do in order to accommodate compatibility with ancient product lines.  I think people should have some cost in order to bring a new level of security and stability to their O/S platform. 

In this case that means deciding what is worth more to them: Stability and security? or extensive backwards software compatibility?

Is this the only choice? well no... you can always install a Virtual machine and install your old O/S on top of vista. 

Me personally, I couldn't go back to XP.

Can you remember your last 'blue screen of death?'

I can't say that I have had more than two in the last 8 months.  Now that is a real change from my previous years of experience on the windows platform.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Google Chrome first experiences update

Ok, I have played with Google's new browser for a bit longer.

I'm starting to notice some functionality which I am already missing:

  • Where are my syndicate feeds?
  • How do I easily get to my old homepage? without opening or closing the current tab?

Also, I think I am not alone in starting to question... When do we stop sending our Internet data to Google?  If you are anything like me you have:

  • A personal Gmail account
  • Google Analytics installed on your website(s)
  • Use Google Search extensively
  • Installed the Google Desktop search
  • Made the mistake of installing the Google tool bar
  • Brought a Dell with all of the above crap pre-installed

Google - Will you do no Evil?

Here is an interesting article about Google and Privacy concerns

Google Chrome

I just installed Google Chrome the newest browser on the beta market.

First impressions... wow

Second impressions.... cool :)

Favourite features to date:

  1. Dragging out a Tab to create a whole new window
  2. Speed and stability
  3. Omnibox - New and improved search and address bar combo

Anyone want to be the fly on a wall in IE Microsoft right about now?