Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Recent POC experiments

What's a POC? - POC

I don't learn details very well, I learn why or why not. So I keep a base of code to refer back to the details and how to repeat something that I haven't done enough times to memorize. I also try to keep a thorough history of sites which helped me reach the conclusion in case I forget some of the why, or miss a few hows on things I didn't need at the time.


  • Asp.net Profile provider
    • I've successfully configured and used the default functionality here in asp.net Mvc2
      • I would love to figure out how to enable some items to be for even anonymous visitors and the rest for authenticated users only.
  • VSTO - outlook add in
    • Outlook 2007 for whatever reason does not allow you to add rules involving distribution groups
      • I wrote an add-on (far from release quality) that gets around that and has a WPF window with a WPF data-grid to sort mail involving distribution groups into proper folders.
  • WPF - this leads me of course to the fact I've now done my first WPF window
  • VS2010 Add-in
    • The process of unloading the project, then editing the project file to look at what hint path a reference has was a pain. In my position I need to check for the presence of bad paths. I wrote an add-in that will open the project file without unloading it, and report back if there are any of these bad paths present.
  • VS2010 - Guidance Package migrated from vs2008 to a .vsix extension.
    • We have a guidance package that just barely qualifies as such to help developers create new components for our incredibly huge (443 projects, not counting testing projects) application. It generates 4 projects for every component (common, control(s), service, test).
      • I converted it to a .vsix and made many improvements such as adding a default form instead of just the existing user control for components that have a full form pop or dialog.
      • I added class file template projects (both the .cs and the designer.cs) for adding another user control or dialog
  • MsBuild tasks- We do not have a solution file for our 443 project application! We build the projects individually then assemble them together. Our build process involves CC.net, 2 huge build scripts, no custom logger, a .net app to generate/build locally,  and a lot of spaghetti Msbuild code.
    • I wrote a build task that takes the app's logic and my own Linq to XML to generate a proper build order on the fly by reading in the ITaskItem[] for all the project files, and comparing the list of assembly names against project references (intra-component references in our project depend on all dependencies going to 1 of 2 special folders instead of direct project references)
    • The next step was generating a project file that has the items in the right order already, with additional convenient message output.
    • I've been thinking of trying to generate a solution file or making the projects reference each other for MSBuild auto-dependency-detection and build ordering, but I've not hit enough dead-ends the way I'm currently going.
  • Entity Framework - I've made 2 poor attempts or perhaps good attempts that failed to use EF4.0 in the same way I'm used to with Linq to SQL.