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January 31, 2006

Oscar Misses the Boat

Once again this morning the Hollywood elite were waiting breathlessly for the Academy Award nominations. As the nods were read it became more and more clear the disconnect between the movie people and rest of America is only growing. It amazes me the that in a year where we've heard nothing but whining about box office totals falling away into the abyss, that this is the collection of movies they come up with for their biggest award show. It seems we haven't hurt their wallets enough when they are so willing honor a set of esoteric films that most of us have never seen or heard of. Brokeback Mountain leads with 8 nods. Most of us have heard of that but only because of the subject matter. Then there's Capote, Good Night and Good Luck, Crash and who could forget Memoirs of the Geisha.

Hey let them honor whatever movies they want. I just don't want to hear them complain that people aren't going to see the films they are holding up to us as the best of the year.

On another note Best Foreign Language picture is a lock for Paradise Now. Remember you hear it here first. This is a film about two suicide bombers preparing to leave their friends and family. The basic message is "Its tough to be a terrorist". Don't believe me?  Here's the synopsis right off Oscar.com:

"Over the course of twenty-seven hours, two young Palestinian men prepare themselves for a suicide bombing mission. For Said and Khaled, everyday life comes to an abrupt end when they are contacted by the guerrilla group to which they both belong and begin the process of taking their leave of family and friends. "

Paradise Now will win as message to us all.

In his book Skywalking, George Lucas says that he once called the Academy Awards "a farce for selling movies".   I used to think he was right. Given what they would be trying to sell I'm not sure the show even aspires to the level of farce anymore. For some it may be down right offensive.

01:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

January 27, 2006

Road Code Camp South Florida

So you are building dynamic HTML web pages. You've learned how to manipulate every part of the DOM. Every page you've written contains a flying toaster of some sort. ( And lets face it flying toasters is the pinnacle software evolution. Everything that came after that has pretty much been a down hill trend :-))

Now you need to write to script that doesn't produce HTML; it produces more script, but how do we do that? How do we get the browser to recognize a line of code after the page has rendered? The obvious way is to add a piece of HTML with an event declaration and line of JavaScript attached to it.

<div onclick="alert('Hello World');" >Click Here</div>

That works for simple script generation of a line or two as long as you don't mind being tied to an event. When you truly need script that will write script and execute it there is another way. The window object has a function called "eval". You create a line of code in the form of a string and pass it to the eval function. The eval function compiles and executes the line of code immediately.

var s = "alert('Hello World');"


10:04 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

January 16, 2006

Road To Code Camp : Smart Client Data

If your thinking about attending my talk on Smart Client data technologies you should check out VistaDb (VistaDB.com). This is a .Net Database. It deploys with xCopy and runs on a lightweight file you include in the product. This product is very fast and feature-wise it  improves dramatically with each release. This will be one of the major technologies I will he highlighting in my Code Camp talk. Take a look and get to know it.

02:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

January 10, 2006

Road to Code Camp

For those of you who might be attending my DHTML Talk here's a HTML tip.

Lets say you have a java script function that act on a control such as:

function Characteristically(){

my Form.txt Name.style.color = "green";


When you call this function text inside the text box will change to green

But what if you wanted to make this function generic so that you could pass in the name of the control. I would look like this:

function Characteristically(El){

El.style.color = "green";


Now lets says that its an ASP.NET server control. Well with the different layers created by Master Pages, Content Areas and user controls your controls get renamed to all kinds of things once they are rendered on the the client so how do would tell the function the name of the control when your not sure what it will be at run time. Use the this key word and pass it to the function in place of the control name.

<input type="text" id="Mp _100_X_101_txt Name" name="Mp _100_X_101_txt Name" On Change="Characteristically(this)" />

Give it a try. See you at Code Camp.

Register To Attend Code Camp

11:34 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

January 09, 2006

Road to Code Camp South Florida Part 1

Hey if your within driving distance of Miramar Florida and you .NET or you have been thinking doing something .NET then  you should be at Code Camp on Feb 4.  Registration is open:


The price couldn't be better. I'll be speaking on:

  1. The Dark Art of DHTML
  2. Master Pages and Themes
  3. New Controls in ASP.NET
  4. Smart Client Disconnected Data Strategies.

To prep and get you started, from now until the code camp I'll be blogging about a different element of a talk each day. That way by the time Code Camp hits you should be flyin'


05:07 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

January 03, 2006

SQL Server Reporting Services Security

If you haven't tried out SQL Server Reporting Services you really should give it a look. It features a better than average report designer. You have shared data sources, a Query designer, drag and drop fields and sub-reports. Virtually every property of every object in the report can be configured by parametrized expressions. Report are easy to create, easy to deploy and easy to export to various formats. Best of all if you are SQL Server 2000 license owner the add-on is free. If you are running SQL Server 2005 its baked in.

By default SSRS (SQL Server Reporting Services) runs under windows domain authentication. This works great on the intranet but what happens when you want to use reporting over the Internet. It can be done but its going to be a bumpy ride.

SSRS has an extensible security architecture. You have to extend the existing security model to use Forms authentication. Authentications are handled through your database or a custom database supplied with the sample. Once you get through this the real trick is to seamlessly authenticate users who are using you application to display reports without having to ask them to supply their credentials again.  It be done but it took a weekend and three developers to get it working. Think twice before heading down this path.

02:07 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)