Thursday, April 29, 2010

Issues with Sitecore CMS 6 admin pages related to the application pool managed pipline mode

Spent the morning debugging a Sitecore CMS 6.2.0 (rev. 091012) install on my local machine. Most of the site worked fine, but things started to fall apart under the admin screens.

The Content Editor UI would come up, but the Presentation > Preview resulted in a 404.0 exception where it was trying to resolve the Request URL using the StaticFile handler to files that didn't exist.

The admin Desktop interface was similarly out of order. In this case bringing up any of the UR elements would result in a 404 using the StaticFile handler again.

The resolution I found was to change the Application Pool from Classic Managed pipeline mode to integrated. The exact cause still eludes me but I suspect there may have been a custom URL rewriter involved that wasn't intercepting requests with the classic mode.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Some notes from the Visual Studio 2010 & Windows Azure Launch Event

TechEd 2010 New Zealand dates

August 30th to September 1st

Visual Studio 2010

  • There is a TFS plugin for Ecllipse
  • Team build now runs on Windows Workflow
  • Generate assembly dependency and sequence diagrams
  • IntelliTrace
    • A Time sequence capture of server execution
    • Full debug environment when opened.
  • IDE will perform variable highlighting
  • ~97% of customers have a trouble free upgrade from VS2008 solutions and projects.


  • Doesn't currently allow admin access to the VMs (web and worker role)
  • Disadvantage in that it prevents installing certain applications
  • Advantage in that the Azure fabric will manage the VMs for you. E.g. Installing windows update.
  • Windows Azure Storage
    • Blobs
    • Tables (not to be confused with SQL tables). Provide scalable storage.
    • Queues
  • SQL Azure Database (currently limited to 10 GB)
  • Windows Azure Platform AppFabric
  • Service Bus
  • Access Control
  • Potential applications characteristics that would benefit from the Azure platform:
    • Massive scalibitliy
    • High Reliability
    • Apps with variable load
    • Short or unknown lifetime
    • Parallel processing
    • Start Ups - Fail fast or scale fast
    • Orgs data centre doesn't easily support the installation of an Azure supported application locally.
    • Need to be able to calculate costs to a degree of certainty.
    • Provide a remote storage solution.

Sample by Green Button

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Unexpected Captcha

This isn't the sort of captcha I'd expect from a ASP.NET website.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Visual Studio 2008 excessive disk usage in AppData ReflectedSchemas

I didn't have enough disk space in install Visual Studio 2010 so went searching for the folders with the biggest usage. In my case the folder

was using just under 18 GB for 22,356 files.

See Also:

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

PS3 TVNZ OnDemand in a web browser - underlying website

The PlayStation 3 TVNZ OnDemand function seems like it is a locked down browser session pointing to a flash page:
Cursor keys and enter seem to work for the controls.

See also:

Escaping braces when using string.Format() to output a literal brace

Typically a backslash will be used to escape characters in a C# string. However, with the string.Format() method you double up the braces ("{{", "}}") to produce a literal.

E.g. The following will result in a FormatException.

string.Format("function JavaScriptFunction() { return {0}; }", variableToReturn);

Escaping the required braces to output literals produces the correct output.

string.Format("function JavaScriptFunction() {{ return {0}; }}", variableToReturn);

From MSDN:

To specify a single literal brace character in format, specify two leading or trailing brace characters; that is, "{{" or "}}".

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Creating an MSDN OpenSearch connector for Windows 7

Scott Hanselman recently posted about a OpenSearch provider for MSDN so you can search the MSDN Library directly from within Windows itself. I couldn't see and reference to this provider, but it doesn't look too difficult to put together.

There is an osdx definition here for MSDN.

There are instruction here for installing the search connector into Windows 7.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Forums that discourage answers to older questions

I recently ran into an issue setting relative URLs in a UserControl that is used in several locations. I could think of several ways that could resolve the issue through explicit coding but was keen to find a solution that didn't require the user control to know about the page it was used on.

Naturally I did some Googling to see if someone had already found a solution. There was an almost identical post on the ASP.NET forums about the issue but no one had found an acceptable solution. I did some more searching and came across a possible solution which I posted back to the ASP.NET forums for the next person to find.

A couple of days later I was surprised to get a message back from the forums that my post had been deleted as it was an old thread (June 2008) and "there is no value in reviving it".

Fair enough, it's their forum and they can set whatever rules they want. The user who deleted it was much more active on the forum than I am so I'll defer to their judgement.

Still, it's unfortunate that the next person to come across the thread won't have direct access to the possible solution that I found. As a forum they don't really focus on answering questions, but rather having discussions they will ultimately be closed off after a certain period of time.

Taking that into account I posted the same question to a more appropriate site.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: ASP.NET Forums - Automated Email 
Date: Mon, Apr 12, 2010 at 9:05 AM
Subject: (ASP.NET Forums) Post Deleted: Re: relative url in hyperlinkfield
To: [myemailaddress]

Your post was deleted by [A forum user with a high level of Recognition].

Subject: Re: relative url in hyperlinkfield

Reason: Hello,

You attempted to submit the following post to the ASP.NET Forums:

Using Control.AppRelativeTemplateSourceDirectory you can change the URL that is used
to resolve a relative URL. You can use this to change how Case 2 resolves to a URL.
E.g. AppRelativeTemplateSourceDirectory = AppRelativeTemplateSourceDirectory.Replace("~/Controls/", "~/folder1/");

Your post was submitted as a reply to the following thread:

The thread to which you have attempted to reply is a very old thread, and there is
no value in reviving it. As a consequence, the above post has not been approved.
Replying to very old threads (aka Necro-Posting) is discouraged on the forums as it
moves those old threads ahead of the sites more recent threads. We ask all members
who are offerring answers to please stick to the site's more recent threads.

ASP.NET Forums team