SharePoint vs (?) ASP.NET MVC

I’ve been studying ASP.NET MVC 4 over the last while; this is the subject of second of the 4 exams required for the SharePoint Developer MCSD, and I really need to spend some time on that.

The idea of an MVC (Model-View-Controller) framework is to separate the different concerns of your code, and that usually this allows you to design a data model, and then let your tools create a scaffolding of your site. Such things aren’t new; I implemented a Chinese Chess web site in Ruby on Rails which uses this approach in 2005. I loved the MVC approach. Continue reading “SharePoint vs (?) ASP.NET MVC”

SharePoint vs (?) ASP.NET MVC

Website Bandwidth Usage

Off topic a little for SharePoint, but we all know the value of a Content Delivery Network (CDN), right? In particular, using services that host commonly used files, like jQuery.js, etc.? This has the advantage that other sites that use that CDN may have already cached that file in your visitor’s browser, but it also reduces the bandwidth used by your site.

Well, I found that my site was spending a lot of bandwidth serving jQuery.


Yup, 10% of my site’s bandwidth was being spent on… serving jQuery. That’s not efficient, so I found this post, which describes how to make the site use a CDN instead. Note that the functions.php file it mentions is the one in your theme.

Hopefully, that’ll reduce the bandwidth used. I also changed the css files for the theme, by minimising them; that should save another 200Mb per month. In total, that should be about a 12% saving on bandwidth.

It’s funny how this all mounts up!

Website Bandwidth Usage

The Importance of knowing Regular Expressions

It’s something that always mystifies me, it does seem that a lot of developers don’t know regular expression syntax very well. This came up when I was on some SharePoint 2013 training just before Christmas.

SharePoint 2013 introduces something called “Routing Rules”. These are rules that allow you to direct traffic to different front-end servers (or pools of servers), allowing you to isolate traffic, route to better health servers, etc.. Spence Harbar has a very good article about it.

Anyway, one some of the criteria that you can match rules on are Regular Expressions. However, SharePoint does warn you that Regex routing rules are slower – this is unsurprising. But how much slower than, say, a ‘Starts with’ or ‘Ends with’ rule? And on the Ignite training I did wonder about the efficiency of their example… Continue reading “The Importance of knowing Regular Expressions”

The Importance of knowing Regular Expressions

HTML 5 – Email Address Validation Regex

And interesting one to stumble upon – the ‘official‘ regex for validating a email address:

Edit: I’ve had to break this down into parts – for some reason WordPress throws a 403 error if I don’t. I think it sees this regex as a security risk!

Before the @ sign:

The @ sign and after:

Reads like it should work pretty well to me. I didn’t realise before the @ was so generous. And you could shrink it by using a case insensitive operator.

HTML 5 – Email Address Validation Regex

Every Developer should know about Cryptography

It fascinates me, but it seems like a lot of developers don’t know a lot about cryptography. Certainly, the litany of security bloopers caused by incorrectly implemented crypto makes it appear that way.

Encryption isn’t something that I work with every day, but as a web developer you can’t really get away from needing to secure something – and that means encryption.So, to overcome some of this it’s worth a bit of reading.

Bruce Schneier is a pretty interesting author. His books on Applied Cryptography and Practical Cryptography are excellent, and well worth a read for anyone starting to work with crypto. His blog is also an interesting discussion of security and risk in a wider context.

Troy Hunt has managed to write a number of posts that have grabbed my attention over the year or so. “Lessons in web site security anti-patterns” is just that, “A brief Sony password analysis” is fascinating, and “Our password hashing has no clothes” was eye opening. I like that his posts are strongly based on systematic analysis.

Cryptography on StackExchange can be interesting. It’s where I first heard of scrypt, which is quite interesting.

Anyway, I’ll try and update this if I find new, useful resources, or post your own favourites in the comments.

Every Developer should know about Cryptography

Lookbehinds, Regexes, and replacing n

This is a little note for myself; don’t forget lookbehinds (and lookaheads) in regular expressions as a way of matching text that you don’t want to replace.

For example, if converting new lines to carriage-return new-lines:

// n ---> rn
string output = Regex.Replace(input, "(?<!r)n", "rn"); 

This pattern find any new line character ‘n‘ and checks if the preceding character ‘(?< … )‘ is not a carriage return ‘!r‘.

This is neater than my having a capture group for the preceding character, and then having to put that group into my replacement pattern.

Lookbehinds, Regexes, and replacing n

TFS: Solution Explorer missing file status icons

I’ve just had a bit of a problem with Solution Explorer in Visual Studio not showing the ‘checkout status’ icons from TFS – you know, the red tick, the padlock, etc.. These things:

I couldn’t figure out what was causing this, but found the solution on MSDN forums:

In VS 2010, while you have the solution open in Solution Explorer, select File-> Source Control-> Change Source Control, could you click on Bind for each project/solution? Binding provides version control functionality. This includes various version control icons that indicate status in Solution Explorer.

This advice was correct – I went to the binding dialog, and the solution and projects weren’t bound. I added the bindings back – and presto. I’m not sure, however, how the project became unbound…


TFS: Solution Explorer missing file status icons