Thanks to the blog of Ivan Porto Carrero, I just did the Programmer Personality Test. My type is :


You’re a Doer.
You are very quick at getting tasks done. You believe the outcome is the most important part of a task and the faster you can reach that outcome the better. After all, time is money.

You like coding at a High level.
The world is made up of objects and components, you should create your programs in the same way.

You work best in a Solo situation.
The best way to program is by yourself. There’s no communication problems, you know every part of the code allowing you to write the best programs possible.

You are a Conservative programmer.
The less code you write, the less chance there is of it containing a bug. You write short and to the point code that gets the job done efficiently.

Getting things done.

May 1, 2007

Yves Hanoulle, Bernard Vander Beken and others started While not purely .Net or even development focused many of the workshops they organize will be of interest to people working in development teams. But also if you are an independent freelancer (like me) they have a “Getting Things Done” (GTD) workshop that can certainly come in handy. In a one-person ‘company’, there is always work to be done, be it administration, staying-up-to-date, looking for assignments and of course, trying to deliver a good job all the time. But it sometimes seems that when one task is done, two new ones just popped up.
So we need some ways to organize all this work. I already apply a zero-email-bounce rule (ZEB) that I learned from Scott Hanselman and have a special TODO email folder for work-items. Whenever something pops up that I have to investigate or do later I’ll just send myself an email with the necessary links and info. It was a nice surprise to find out that Scott himself was influenced by GTD so I hope to learn during that workshop some more useful tips and tricks on how to organize my work.

Yves and Bernard, good luck with !

Codeproject has every week several interesting articles and once in a while there is a real beauty. That once in a while seems to be now with ‘Build Google IG like Ajax Start Page in 7 days using ASP.NET Ajax and .NET 3.0’ by Omar Al Zabir. Omar is the chief technical guy behind, a web 2.0 portal site based on Microsoft Ajax. Before he already wrote a great article with tips&trics on ASP.NET Ajax but his latest is just mind-blowing. He explains how you can make your own web 2.0 portal using Ajax, Windows Workflow Foundation and Linq. The future of web development on the Microsoft platform is here and the future is beautiful!

Great coding projects to all in 2007!

December 19, 2006

Of interest to Belgians working in the UI field is the new Belgian chapter of ACM’s special interest group for Computer Human Interaction. Topics covered during their evening sessions are usability of applications and design of UIs. Their website is also hosted on and their next lectures are tomorrow, 20 december, at the offices of Namahn in Brussels.

Seems there are lot of evening sessions in Belgium the coming months…

What’s New in Internet Explorer 7 for Developers (September 29, Microsoft Belux, Diegem) : especially interesting for day to day web development is the topic about HTML and CSS standards support in IE7. Be prepared.

Windows Workflow Foundation VISUG session (October 5, Ordina, Schelle) : ASP.NET can host Windows Workflow Foundation workflows, so it is a good time to check out how WF works and how you can use it.

DRUPAL – een open source content management systeem (Dutch, October 10, Technologisch Instituut, Antwerpen) : A successful open-source website content management system (that is a mouthful) founded by a Belgian developer (Dries Buytaert).

User Centered Design (Dutch, November 21, Technologisch Instituut, Antwerpen) : A session given by Joannes Vandermeulen of Namahn, a Belgian company specialized in user friendly computer interaction.

I’ll be there, I hope you too ! 🙂

Michael Vanhoutte wrote an excellent article on CodeProject called Using Memory Mapped Files in ASP.NET using VB.NET. It shows how you can create a cache hosted in a Windows Service and used by multiple ASP.NET applications. The neat thing is that the interprocess communication is done by memory-mapped files, a fast way to read lots of data from another process on the same machine.

By the way, check out the links on this blogentry of David Boschmans to know a little bit more about the cool stuff that Michael Vanhoutte is doing during his day-to-day job at AlfaPrint.

On the standard TreeView of ASP.NET 2.0 it is not possible to give individual TreeNodes different styles. With the style attributes on the TreeView, one can only set the styling for a certain group of nodes, like the styling for all the leafnodes with the LeafNodeStyle attribute. However, it is possible to add styling on individual nodes with just a few lines of code. Just create a custom treenode class by inheriting from TreeNode, add some styling attributes and apply these attributes to the node by overriding the RenderPreText method.

You can see some code on how to do this on the ASP.NET forums and in the comments on a post of Danny Chen . Just check it out. Done ? Ok ! As you can see, while trying out this solution I made the mistake of writing ‘Gray’ as ‘Grey’ which lead me to some funny conclusions about why it wasn’t working. Guess it is better to think twice before posting or to have a spellchecker in Visual Studio. 🙂

Update : Kris van der Mast, probably by far Belgium’s most active poster on the ASP.NET forums, pointed me to a blogentry of Fredrik Normén, dated even before Beta2 was released, that already talked about this extensibility of TreeNodes.

Devdays 2006 & MIX06

December 26, 2005

Seems like march 2006 is going to be conference time. Grab your agenda for :

Microsoft Dev & IT Pro Days 2006 on the 7 & 8th of March. Good decision to move this back to the ICC of Ghent where it was also organized two years ago. The accommodation is great there as well as the conference rooms. And yeah, the evening activities in the student-neighborhood of Ghent can also be fun. This conference is the place to be to get in touch with your Belgian colleagues.

MIX06 in Las Vegas from 20 till the 22nd of March. This is Microsoft’s answer to the Web 2.0 conferences organized by O’Reilly and, to my knowledge, their first conference that is almost exclusively about UI. From the website :

The MIX conference is a 72-hour conversation between web developers, designers and business leaders. When you attend MIX you’ll learn the latest about IE7, Windows Media, Windows Live!, as well as “Atlas”, Microsoft’s new AJAX framework.

Pity that I will have to miss both of them cause I will be hiking in New Zealand around that time. Alas, one cannot have one’s cake and eat it too.

A great read is Nikhil Kothari’s latest blog entry which describes the fundamental changes in the integration of server controls with the client side Atlas framework in the December build. This switch seems to be inspired by the RefreshPanel project, pre-Atlas work of another ASP.NET team member, Bertrand Le Roy. Compare the new Atlas UpdatePanel control described in Nikhil’s blog with the RefreshPanel of Bertrand. The major difference is that in the RefreshPanel xmlhttp communication was encapsulated by the ASP.NET 2.0 ClientCallback mechanism while in the UpdatePanel control this is done by the Atlas framework.

Anyway, this new way of integrating server controls with the Atlas framework will allow developers without JavaScript knowledge to use some Ajax-style functionality like refreshing part of a page, autocomplete textboxes and draggable panels just by using the new server controls. This is very good news for development teams that want to avoid the complexity of writing pure client side JavaScript/Ajax applications and still want to have some of the benefits.

Have you already been in the situation that you had read an article or blogentry before that has the answer to a problem you are facing now but that you cannot find it back ? Even when trying to find it again by guessing the right keywords with google it escapes you in this huge cyberspace ? To me it happens quite regularly and I guess to everyone who is reading blogs it happens from time to time too.

A solution would be to bookmark all the interesting pages you are reading in your browser and that is what I used to do. But after a while this starts to get quite messy. One reason is that you can only categorize your bookmarks in a hierarchy. Some browsers also allow keywords to be added to bookmarks but using that feature can be pretty cumbersome. Another disadvantage is that we are all working on several computers and then you have the problem of keeping these bookmarks in sync.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have kind of online service where one can store all his bookmarks so that they are synched and that with a good support for keywords ? Seems such a service already exists. It is called ‘delicious’ (what’s in a name ?) and you can find it at About two weeks ago they were acquired by Yahoo and that is how I got to know about them. Some people use it extensively and have hundreds, if not thousands, of bookmarks online. Using it is free, just creating an account and you are ready to go. Oh yeah, there is one caveat, your bookmark list is public, for everyone to read ( Just something to be aware of…