17 July 2015 13:43
Every time I need to work with the contents of text-based files in an ASP.NET application I invariably start off thinking about using the various static methods on the
System.IO.File class to extract the text and then some string manipulation or Regex to parse the content into some kind of structure. And, just in time, I remember the
TextFieldParser class that hides itself away in the
Microsoft.VisualBasic assembly. The purpose of this article is to introduce this component to a wider audience, but also to serve me as an aide-mémoire in terms of the basic usage, which I always have to look up.
30 April 2015 13:26
Hardly a week goes by without someone asking a question in the ASP.NET forums about parsing HTML for one purpose or another. Mostly, the questions are couched in terms of 'finding values' or similar, prompting responses from the community that recommend one regular expression pattern or another, treating HTML as a string of text with no structure or rules. In fact, HTML is a structured document format with a set of very clearly defined rules, which means that it can easily be parsed given the right tool. My favourite tool for parsing HTML is the HtmlAgilityPack.
07 August 2014 08:34
A perennial question on the ASP.NET forums concerns how to schedule regular tasks as part of a web application. Typically, the requirement is to send emails once every 24 hours at a particular time each day, but it could actually be anything from tweeting on a schedule to performing maintenance tasks. Equally typically, half a dozen members on the forum dive in with recommendations to install Windows Services or schedule batch files with the Task Scheduler - regardless of the fact that most web site owners are not afforded such privileges as part of their shared hosting plan.
12 September 2010 08:14
I've had a review copy of Jeffrey Richter's CLR via C#, Third Edition for some months, and it has taken until now to get round to publishing my thoughts on the book. It's not my fault. I blame the book. It made me forget why I was given a copy in the first place. Let me explain...
22 February 2010 21:53
It seems that the whole world (and Margate) is having its say on which is better - MVC or Web Forms. Scott Guthrie posted his views on technical debates in general, and then contributed his thoughts on MVC v. Web Forms. Ian Cooper has an interesting contribution to make to the debate too. Rob Conery (formerly of Microsoft) posted probably the most linked to opinion on the matter. (There - I've just added another link...) A lot of other blog posts around scream that MVC is better because its better. One even tries to posit the notion that some kind of score card approach can help you decide.
10 February 2010 07:28
The most recent addition to my Cheat Sheets features details of all the Exceptions that can be found in the most commonly used assemblies within ASP.NET development. Compiling this information was an interesting challenge. I could have simply copy-pasted from MSDN, but that would have been extremely tedious. Instead, I ended up with a blend of Linq to XML, Reflection, a dash of Regex and the Global Assembly Cache Tool - gacutil.exe. Here's the full story.
07 February 2010 17:19
Here's a list of Exceptions that can be found in the assemblies which are most commonly used in ASP.NET development. Ideally, you should be as specific as possible when catching or throwing Exceptions. The more specific you are, the less work the CLR has to do in locating the appropriate catch block, and the more informative your error messages are, which should help speed up identifying the source of any problems.
12 December 2009 10:31
Some one posted a comment to one of my articles the other day. It appears that they had had little success in adapting some code I had posted in the article to their application. They included this phrase in their comment: "Please advice me, it is urgent".
23 November 2009 22:26
If you are new to web development and choose ASP.NET Web Forms as your starting point, you may be forgiven for not understanding how ASP.NET works, and what its role is. This article covers the basics which should help you discover your limits.
11 October 2009 18:36
Back in the day, when I began to get interested in ASP.NET application architecture and design, I spent hours hunting for a book that would explain all I needed to know. I wanted one that focused on ASP.NET, with its special demands, rather than a general .NET development book. I wanted a book that would explain what layers and tiers were, and how I should separate code out to make it more scalable and reusable. I wanted a book that would explain how I could take my skills to the next level. I couldn't find one. There was a big gap in the market. Vivek Thakur has attempted to fill this gap, with this apty named title: ASP.NET 3.5 Application Architecture and Design.
27 July 2009 13:25
There's always a splurge of new books that come out around the RTM of any new ASP.NET related technology. Authors all over the place are burning the midnight oil, cursing the changes from one CTP to the next, through to Betas and hoping against hope that the Release Candidates and final RTMs aren't stuffed with "breaking changes" which inevitably mean total rewrites of whole sections or chapters in their draft. And then the race between the publishers is on, as each tries to get their offer to market before the others. Here, I look at three of the titles that were published around the time that ASP.NET MVC was launched, and give my judgement on how they fare in covering not only the core Framework but the key features that ASP.NET MVC is designed to offer: