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Diary of a Code Trotter by Laurent Bugnion is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License

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Copyright (c) 2006 - 2011 GalaSoft Laurent Bugnion

Laurent Bugnion (GalaSoft) Diary of a Code Trotter
ASP.NET: Updating RealSimpleBlog

I decided to make an update (V0.5) to my RealSimpleBlog control. This control is used to display blog entries integrated in an existing webpage, without having to install a heavy infrastructure. Since it's a control, and not a framework like other existing blogging systems, it doesn't disrupt existing pages and integrates seamlessly without needing a lot of administration.

To be fair, the control is still in an early stage, and I don't feel that I can distribute it already. I still have a lot of functionalities to implement before I label it V1.

This new version takes care of quite a few bugs and "change requests" I wanted to implement for quite some time already. It also provides me with a cleaner slate for further development. In the next day or so, I want to clean up the functionality list, in order to have a clearer view of what needs to be done before I can do version 1. I am realistic and I know that it will still take some time, with all the WPF work I have in front of me. One step at a time :-)

Silverlight plans

I am very excited by Silverlight 1.1 alpha (the one with .NET). I always liked JavaScript a lot, but the more I use C# and the more I realize that JavaScript just cannot compete. Probably that's why I didn't even find time to try Silverlight 1.0, the prospect of controlling the XAML with JavaScript code was not exciting enough.

Now it's different, however, and I would like to integrate Silverlight content to my website, specifically my old trusted PhotoAlbum, which is my experimenting field for all the new technologies I learn (the very first version actually used a Java applet controlled by JavaScript to retrieve the pictures on the server...). Now it's a full ASP.NET 2 application, and it feel natural to integrate rich content on the client with Silverlight.

The first step will be to add video content using the ASP.NET media control. This should be relatively easy and painless, and yet give a good feel of what Silverlight can add to a site. It also provides a good progression plan, first starting with built-in skins, but then using Blend to design my own skins (and leveraging all I learned about WPF, Blend and XAML in the last months).

The second step will be to build a control to view the pictures. For the moment, the pics are displayed in a pop-up (bad) with no animation, transitions, effects, etc... I actually built an advanced prototype using HTML and JavaScript allowing transitions and zoom, but it's just a prototype, and the road to make it complete is discouraging, when I see what can be done in just a few lines of XAML. So probably it's a dead-end, and I will never complete it. My plan is to build a Silverlight control for people having installed it, and degrade gracefully to a simple HTML view for people who don't.

Chinese plans

I decided to spend more time exercising my chinese. I've been learning for more than 3 years now, and I notice that I've been too lax lately. I need to spend a little less time programming and a little more time on the chinese lessons.

So from now on, I'll be exercising 1 hour every day, from 8PM (when my daughters go to bed) to 9PM. Depending on my mood and what needs to be done, I will either work on vocabulary, calligraphy, grammar, translations, etc... Actually, even though I will be "losing" one hour of programming every day, I am pretty sure that it will actually improve the quality of the code I write. First, it's good to sometimes think of something else for a change. Then, chinese has a discipline in itself which I think is very profitable to software engineering.

So now, my time from 8PM to 9PM is booked (and I mean it, I actually entered the appointment into my PDA!)

Posted on Saturday, June 2, 2007 9:00 AM Technical stuff , .NET , Website , ASP.NET 2.0 | Back to top

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