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Thursday, September 25, 2003

Share Your Views 

Blogger is although the best and the finest blogging tool available on the net today but unfortunately it does not offer commenting features or ‘annotations’ as they call them for the blogs so I did some research and it turned out that you can have a third party annotation tool setup easily and for free.

So with out wasting any more time I simply got one for "Managed|Core" right away from http://www.enetation.co.uk/.

All you readers are requested to comment on the older posts and rants as well so I can learn and share in with your thoughts.

Weird... Try this at Home 

Try this: While sitting in a chair, lift your right foot off the ground and rotate it clockwise. Then with your right hand, draw a number 6 in the air. Your right foot tries to go the other way.. doesn't it?

Docs 

I have always been a fan of documentation. Learning the tricks of the trade through hardcore documentation reading. I must say Allaire the creators of ColdFusion (which now belongs to Macromedia) really did a first-rate job creating their DOCS and the best thing about them was that all the documentation had a solid universal and navigatoabele design let alone the excellent content. .NET documentation goes a step further in all the above sense and it’s more user-friendly.

Well I wondered if I could come with such fabulous documentation for my code and projects and guess what I found out that there is a whole generator named the NDOC generator which reads on all the inline XML commenting (a excellent feature supported by VS.NET) and convert it to documentation that looks like the original MSDN counterpart.

NDoc is simply the best extensible code documentation generation tool for .NET developers; its open source and being developed in C#. You can download a free copy at: http://sourceforge.net/projects/ndoc

Remember Me? 

Why do sites insist on making people click a 'Remember Me' checkbox? Unless you're a Hotmail.com with a highly-mobile user base on public machines, most of your users are coming from the same machines -- their own -- over and over. Make it an option, but save your users a click and turn it on by default.*

You are not doing anyone any favours by using the opt-in philosophy on this issue. That checkbox stores a cookie. On the user's machine. The act of remembering preferences in the form of cookies is not gathering information on surfing habits. If the issue is the perception of privacy, then educate your users about cookies. If you care about privacy, provide a button to delete cookies previously stored by your site. This solution is useful to the user. It is empowering.

Of course this does not only apply to remembering usernames. Provide and remember all preferences, even without a login. Let the user pick the skin for your blog or the colour-scheme for a site. And remember it. By default. Provide an option to turn it off (deleting cookies will do just fine), but do not charge extra clicks to use features in the first place.

Deleting cookies is as simple as setting a cookie's expiry date to something before now.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

The .NET (Show) Rocks! 

Two very entertaining as well as very .NET centric media weeklies (not to be missed) are the '.NET Show' a TV series about all things .NET and a Radio Talk Show called '.NET Rocks!'. Both the shows invite experts as guests and are filled with great educational interviews.

As I live in Pakistan I don’t get to watch or hear the aired versions of both the shows but then that’s ok because I always get to download the soft copies every once in a while and now have a whole 1 GB of hard disk space filled with all this interesting stuff.

The .NET Show is run by Robert Hess and Erica Wiechers and a complete downloadable archive with the complete transcripts is available at http://msdn.microsoft.com/theshow/Archive.asp

The .NET Rocks is run by Carl Franklin and Mark Dunn and a complete archive is available at http://www.franklins.net/dotnetrocks.asp

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