I have one week...

Posted: 4/4/2006 9:08:16 AM

From: Hillsborough, NC (USA)

Joined: 2/13/2005

I think that shouldn't be a problem. ASP.NET makes so much of this stuff really easy :). In just a few hours, I got the basics of membership/registration, profile editing, general site layout and styling finished. The trick now is finding more hours before the 9th :)
Posted: 4/4/2006 9:59:17 AM

From: Kingston, NY

Joined: 2/13/2005

Hope we haven't introduced too much scope creep on ya.
Another approach is to require registration for posting URLs with verified user's emails (after submitting, they have to answer an email to be registered), but that's not fool proof and requires some more administration which you don't have time for.
2.0 does help a lot, I haven't had to do this one yet, but I can't think of a way to validate a link at post time.

We've been lucky to have a nice respectful community but this is open to the public so you can never know.

Server response has been very slow this AM. I think you have to bust a move even if you're still in a BETA-1 state. Can you test existing code base as of right now on a 2.0/sql2005 box just to see what happens?
Posted: 4/4/2006 8:34:45 PM

From: Hillsborough, NC (USA)

Joined: 2/13/2005

I'm hoping I'll have something rough for folks to test at thereminworld2.com by tomorrow night. That's the temporary domain name - it'll be renamed to thereminworld.com before 4/9.

Yikes... I'm starting to panic a bit though!

John - any thoughts on implementing the forums as a user control vs. a web control vs. inline ASPX?

Is it sick that I'm giddy about just discovering the Office 12 Beta's "upgrade your Access database to SQL Server" wizard? :)
Posted: 4/5/2006 9:13:11 AM

From: Kingston, NY

Joined: 2/13/2005

"Is it sick that I'm giddy about just discovering the Office 12 Beta's "? No not at all Office 12 is very exciting, hope you signed your NDA :~), we did, but haven't done anything with it yet, I'll have to email you when we do it would be bad form to post it.

"user control vs. a web control vs. inline ASPX?"
I would never do inline code unless I have to. The 'portal' project I'm on we make all the active members (listing controls, nav bars, input screens, content displays...) web user controls then drop them into ASPX pages. This makes them re-usable on multiple pages.

We are also using master pages and themes extensively and that has been great. We have one master for the home page which has a basic header + 3 column content, and then a 2 column master for all internal pages. The master page has helped *a lot* with consolidating the UI style. We're also using a comprehensive CSS sheet with the themes. Standard CSS names can be edited and put in a new theme and presto-change-oh a new look. With the top management coming up with design changes every few weeks the themes have really saved our butts.

4/9 Yiikes!! No wonder: "I'm starting to panic a bit though" can you try your code base on your work machine? Just as a sanity check. Don't tell them I said that.

Are you using SQL Express or Enterprise? We had to get off Express ASAP since you can only manage it through VS.NET and deploying it was a major pain with folder permissions et.al.

We haven't had to do forums yet but probably will later this year. My boss has decided to buy a package but hasn't picked one. But we have so much other custom functionality that we wouldn't have time to build our own. For you though, In TW's case the forums are the heavy coding part so it makes sense to roll your own so you can build just what you need.

You've got a great functional framework now, use as much as you can of it.
So forums control?... You should be able to re-use most of the HTML parts to convert them into web user controls. You might be able to use the multi view for toggling the input state and basic listing state.

FYI the "updateable Publish" option is pretty useless, you can only make simple HTML changes and still have to re-deploy for C# changes. Fully compiled def. performs better, if you'll need granular hot fixes then you'll have to use X-Copy.

From way out here on the out side it looks do-able but when you do not have any time it's un-nerving.

Hope this all makes sense, keep me posted.
If you need help activate the Lev signal and shine that spooky theremin shadow in the sky.
Posted: 4/5/2006 10:15:04 AM

From: Hillsborough, NC (USA)

Joined: 2/13/2005

Thanks John, I have a million questions :)

I've gone with CSS & Themes/Skins. CSS is a little annoying in themes because it doesn't appear you can have relative paths to background images in stylesheets for themes. I'm not currently planning to expose theme choice to users, but if there's enough demand, we'll certainly be set up for it.

I'm reading up on databinding vs. straight ADO.NET queries now to decide which I'll use for forums. I'm leaning towards the latter. It's a bit more code, but something I'm more familiar with and I like the flexibility it offers.

I'm also quickly finding limitations with the profiles/membership model. For example, the ProfileManager class doesn't expose the user ID GUID, so I'm caching usernames in a table and assigning an int key to them for ease of queries. I haven't done any perf tests yet to see if it makes a big difference (and in fact, the extra join required might just slow things down more) - so that's still in flux.

I'm currently developing with SQL Express because I don't have SQL Server at home or a Windows Server machine to test with. I suppose I could install MSDE since our new host just uses SQL 2000 - that would make the port a little easier. Have you seen the SQL Express Management Studio CTP? It gives you basically the same level of interaction as the Enterprise SQL Manager - only for SQL Express databases. My hope is that I'll be able to use it to generate table/sproc generation scripts and then run them one by one through the new host's tiny little crummy SQL manager web interface (though they tell me they're considering opening up Management Studio access over the Internet- hmm... yikes, or woohoo?)

At this point, I'm far enough behind that I'm probably going to pay month-by-month for our current host until I have enough of the bugs worked out that I'm comfortable moving everyone over to the new site. Hopefully the server speed won't be too much of a problem in the meantime. I hate doing this, but I think it's better than losing a ton of site features in the interim.)

I'll drop you a private note. Maybe we can chat sometime so I can pick your brain a little more about architecture, etc. I'm very familiar with ASP best practices, issues, etc. but ASP.NET is embarrassingly new to me. ;)
Posted: 4/5/2006 11:31:14 AM

From: Kingston, NY

Joined: 2/13/2005

In the CSS the images are relative to the theme:
background: url(img/nav/padding.gif) repeat-x;
where the css is in C:\Projects\SITENAME\App_Themes\THEMENAME\our.css
and images are in
Most of our images use sking IDs like:

this has been really useful.

"I'm reading up on databinding vs. straight ADO.NET" We do both favoring binding a datareader to a datalist and resorting to looping though the dr and dynamic html table building when we have more involved grouping or poop like that. I'll have to send code snippets privately.

"I'm also quickly finding limitations with the profiles/membership model" yup, sorry, we're building our own based on their schema but I'm not working on that module so don't have much to share but would be happy to discuss.

"Have you seen the SQL Express Management Studio CTP?" Yes it's not bad. The major issues were having to use the admin tool in VS>NET and then re-attaching the DB every time we deployed to BETA. If the host is 2000 you'd better code against that. 2005 is very different and for one thing you cannot restore a 2005 DB onto 2000. All that said, if the Express redistributeble works and is not too painful give it a shot, double check max users though just in case TW becomes mega.
" My hope is that I'll be able to use it to generate table/sproc generation scripts " be sure you parse it in 2000 first there's some basic sys-object/syntax changes.

OK, am up to my eye balls in the SSIS learning curve, gotta get to work a little now, will check back in a bit.
Posted: 4/5/2006 1:15:21 PM

From: Kingston, NY

Joined: 2/13/2005

HEY!? I know some other TW members are admitted developers. If you're doing ASP.NET please chime in gal and guys!
Posted: 4/6/2006 10:47:32 PM

From: Toledo, Ohio United States of America

Joined: 2/22/2006

Hi there,
I would just like to be able to 'log-in' with one info input.
And, I would like the thereminist contest revived. That was a great way to meter my progress --- or feel really poor about it! HA!
Posted: 4/6/2006 10:54:03 PM

From: Hillsborough, NC (USA)

Joined: 2/13/2005

Thanks. Can you clarify what you mean by "one info input"? Do you mean like just a username with no password?

I agree - I'm long overdue with reviving the contests. Those must be started again soon. Thanks for your vote for them!

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