Posts in category .net - page 25

Subtext .NET blogging system 1.9 released

My favorite .NET blogging system, Subtext, is celebrating it’s first .NET 2.0 compatible release known as Subtext 1.9.

Haack and the team have worked hard on getting it out so here’s a thanks to them.

I’ve deployed it here with only a couple of minor issues which are most likely due to me previously running a self-modified version off the Subversion trunk. As a result it didn’t quite detect that it needed to upgrade the database nor that my skin was missing and it should use something else for now.

If anyone else has the same problem simply remove the 1.9.0 record from your subversion_version table and it should upgrade the tables and stored procedures appropriately.

Now Subtext is a Web Application Project you can add a deployment project so deploying to live is only two clicks away (you’ll need to install Web Application Project and Web Deployment Project upgrades to VS 2005 first until SP1 gets here)

  1. Right-click on Subtext.Web and choose Add Web Deployment Project
  2. Accept the defaults by clicking OK
  3. Right mouse button on your new Subtext.Web.csproj_deploy deployment project and choose Property Pages
  4. Set the output folder to the path to your blog’s home on your live server and hit OK

So now we have almost what we need but we don’t want the live server being deployed to every time we build so:

  1. Right-click on the SubtextSolution and choose Configuration Manager
  2. Un-check the build for Subtext.Web.csproj_deploy and press Close

Now you can modify, run, debug and test safely on your dev machine until you are happy it’s ready for live.

To deploy to live either build in Release mode or right-click on Subtext.Web.csproj_deploy and choose build.

You can also have the deployment project replace sections of the web.config on the target machine – useful when your live server connects to a different database for example.


XNA Game Studio Express out today

Beta 1 of Microsoft’s free XNA Game Studio Express product should be available for download later today.

If you haven’t already got started you’ll need to download the following bits first:

Then sign up for the beta and come hang out in the IRC channel #xna on


XNA Game Studio Express is now available for download!


Choose your ORM: Runtime, code generation or build provider?

Selecting the right object-relational mapper is a tricky decision with many factors to weigh up.

One of the basic decisions is whether to go with a dynamic run-time (“black-box”) or a code generator.

I’m not a fan of the run-time approach – the discovery at run-time negatively impacts performance as it often uses reflection (or failing that post-compilation byte code modification) whilst robbing you of compile-time checking, IntelliSense support against your database objects, deployment and potentially licensing issues. In effect, it’s not that much better than a typed dataset.

Code generation provides for a much finer granularity letting you tweak the templates for the performance and features you need whilst also providing full compile-time checking and IntelliSense support.

Tools such as CodeSmith (my personal favorite), MyGeneration (free) do a good job of letting you write these templates and create the necessary ORM code but require being re-run every time you change the schema. During the starting phases of a project this could be quite often and goes against the whole concept of RAD.

So step in SubSonic and it’s build provider approach.

The idea here is that you modify your .config file to include the SubSonic build provider and it’s connection string, drop a simple text file in that lists which tables to work with and you’re done.

SubSonic now goes off to your database via the connection and generates all the code for tables you need and it’s magically there to be used like any other classes. Check out the demo to see just how easy it is.

SubSonic supports a large number of databases, has support for Enterprise Library, is open source and also provides simple “scaffold” pages that let you throw a basic web add/edit/update/delete table maintenance page by just throwing a table name attribute onto an empty page’s form element.

The only downside at this point is that it uses the ActiveRecord pattern for the ORM. If I manage to get some time to spend with it and can knock up a Domain Object + Data Mapper version I’ll let you know.


Equatable Weak References

In a previous post I described a [WeakReference](// class for providing strongly-typed [WeakReference]( objects.

GitHub has the latest version of EquatableWeakReference</a> </p> One problem with the previous WeakReference class is being able to use and find it within the various collection classes. This is because one WeakReference is not equal to another WeakReference class. Overriding the Equals method fixes this problem at first glance however also reveals another issue. If you override Equals you should also override the GetHashCode method so that two objects that equal each other return the same hash code. This is because some of the collection classes use hash codes to efficiently lookup items within their collection. Normally a hash code would be calculated from the various data items that comprise the class but in our case we really only have one to go on – the Target object itself. This raises two more issues: 1. The hash code should not change over the objects lifetime – difficult when your Target object can be changed. 2. The hash code should be stored because the Target object might well be collected by the GC – after all that’s what this class is all about. This doesn’t leave us with many choices at all. We must grab the hash code from the Target object within our constructor and store it for subsequent retrieval. Here is EquatableWeakReference with the usual disclaimers as to it’s suitability for any purpose. ```csharp using System; using System.Runtime.InteropServices; public class EquatableWeakReference : IEquatable<EquatableWeakReference>, IDisposable where T : class { protected GCHandle handle; protected int hashCode; public EquatableWeakReference(T target) { if (target == null) throw new ArgumentNullException("target"); hashCode = target.GetHashCode(); InitializeHandle(target); } protected virtual void InitializeHandle(T target) { handle = GCHandle.Alloc(target, GCHandleType.Weak); } ~EquatableWeakReference() { Dispose(); } public void Dispose() { handle.Free(); GC.SuppressFinalize(this); } public virtual bool IsAlive { get { return (handle.Target != null); } } public virtual T Target { get { object o = handle.Target; if ((o == null) || (!(o is T))) return null; else return (T)o; } } public override bool Equals(object other) { if (other is EquatableWeakReference) return Equals((EquatableWeakReference)other); else return false; } public override int GetHashCode() { return hashCode; } public bool Equals(EquatableWeakReference other) { return ReferenceEquals(other.Target, this.Target); } } ``` _[)amien_