Running Azure dev storage without an SQLExpress instance

November 29, 2011 - 100 words - 1 mins
If, like me, you think the SQL Express named instance is a blight on humanity and refuse to sully your dev machine with it, you'll run into issues trying to start up Azure development storage: "Failed to start Development Storage: the SQL Server instance ‘localhost\SQLExpress’ could not be foun… read more

Implementing AWS authentication for your own REST API

September 07, 2011 - 648 words - 4 mins
If you need to build an authentication mechanism for an HTTP-based REST API, a common approach is to use HTTP Basic - it's simple, all clients have it built-in, it's easy to test from the browser, and you can store passwords as hashes. The downside is that your credentials are transmitted in (nearly… read more

Deploying to Azure from psake - “No snap-ins have been registered”

June 21, 2011 - 158 words - 1 mins
Cloud hosting really lends itself to continuous deployment approaches - scripted provisioning models and blue/green deployment are well catered for. In the case of Microsoft Azure, the Powershell Cmdlets integrate easily with our psake build scripts. Unfortunately, the cmdlets are 64 bit only and mo… read more

DotLessResult - MVC ActionResult for dotless

May 23, 2011 - 298 words - 2 mins
I’ve recently had the need to generate dynamic css for a themable MVC web application. I considered using a basic homegrown templating mechanism, or repurposing Razor, but then found the dotless project on the interwebs. With the NuGet package it was relatively easy to get up & running, and I’ve… read more

Google Analytics Razor Helper

May 19, 2011 - 193 words - 1 mins
I experimented today with the Razor helper syntax to consolidate generation of the Google Analytics tracking boilerplate (in ~/App_Code/Helpers.cshtml): @helper GoogleAnalyticsTracker(string analyticsId) { if (!String.IsNullOrEmpty(analyticsId)) { <script type="text/javascript"&… read more

Technical Interviews

May 02, 2011 - 458 words - 3 mins
I’ve recently been doing a few technical interviews with candidates for software developer positions. I haven't done any in a long time and I'd assumed I'd go back and trot out some of the old technical ‘trivia’ questions (“In .NET, is a string a value type or a reference type?” etc). Alternatively,… read more

"uncaught illegal access" exception in Android browser on JSON.parse()

April 01, 2011 - 122 words - 1 mins
I recently had a problem where a web app that worked fine on the iPhone, iPhone Simulator, Safari Mac, Safari Windows, Chrome and the Android Emulator would not work at all on any Android device. After tracking down someone who had an Android phone and was able to debug the app, we discovered: Conso… read more

vsdbcmd deployment to SQL Azure

March 31, 2011 - 266 words - 2 mins
Unless you're targeting a data-tier application, you can’t generate a create script from a .dbproj (datadude) database project in Visual Studio that’s compatible with SQL Azure. This is a big pain if you’re attempting to implement a continuous deployment/continuous delivery approach. Following is a … read more

Facetime over tethered 3G

March 17, 2011 - 110 words - 1 mins
John Gruber just confirmed that it’s possible to use Facetime on the iPad 2 while tethered (via Wifi) to an iPhone’s 3G connection. It’s worth noting that Apple’s own Developer Tech Services explicitly recommend to third-party app developers NOT to use the type of network to determine whether it wil… read more

Martin Fowler Presentation

March 09, 2011 - 256 words - 2 mins
I had the privilege (along with most of Perth's Agile community, by the look of it) of seeing Martin Fowler speak at the ThoughtWorks quarterly briefing at the Melbourne Hotel last night. Martin gave two short talks (what he calls a ‘Suite of Talks’), one on Continuous Integration & Continuous D… read more