ailon's DevBlog: Development related stuff in my life

Using Symlinks to Ease Development with Visual Studio Express

11/21/2007 8:01:16 PM

As you probably know, since Visual Web Developer Express and Visual C# Express (or VB for that matter) are separate products and you can't create DLLs in VWD or build web sites in VCS it is painful to develop ASP .NET controls using the Express editions of Visual Studio.

There are several ways to workaround this limitation. Personally I prefer the one where you develop your control in App_Code directory of a test web site in VWD and then when you are ready you copy the .cs files to a project in Visual C# Express and build your DLL(s) from there.

vwd_spaw2

The problem with this approach is that you have 2 copies of your files and as it often happens sometimes you edit the files in one place then in the other dir and you have a mess.

Fortunately this problem can be solved using symbolic links - feature well known to *nix guys and now available in Windows Vista using mklink. As far as I understand you can get the same effect using linkd command in Windows Resource Kit for Windows 2000 and newer but mklink comes with Vista out of the box.

So, what I do is make a symbolic link in my Visual C# project directory which points to a subdirectory in my Visual Web Developer web site:

cmd_mklink

The syntax for mklink in our case is this:

mklink /D new_dir_path original_dir_path

Now we just need to include our newly created "fake" directory into Visual C# Express project and we are all set

vcs_spaw2

This approach can be used in many different scenarios. Currently I work on a couple of related web sites with a colleague. All of the sites originate from one "base" web site. The class files of this base web site are still under development (we update them from time to time). It's too early to compile them and include in our "inherited" web sites as DLLs, so we use the same technique to "include" these common files in our "child" projects.

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TortoiseSVN installation

10/23/2007 9:52:44 AM

For quite some time TortoiseSVN was shouting that I have to upgrade my installation cause I used a version which apparently had a security hole. After refusing to comply for some time I finally gave up. I've downloaded and installed version TortoiseSVN 1.4.5, Build 10425 which to my surprise, among other apps, required that I "exit" Windows Explorer!

I've killed all the "reasonable" applications it required but refused to do the same with Explorer and hit "Ignore". After the reboot TortoiseSVN couldn't launch stating (or was it Windows?) that "The application has failed to start because its side-by-side configuration is incorrect."

I needed to work with SVN badly, so I ran tortoise's installer again and ordered it to repair my installation. No surprise it asked again that I kill Windows Explorer. This time I complied (no matter how crazy this might seem) and it went "smoothly". I wonder when my whole system is going to crash...

I wonder if this is Vista-only issue or everyone has to kill Windows Explorer to install TortoiseSVN? Sounds completely nuts to me.

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Windows Vista SideShow + Windows Mobile 6 = No Love

10/12/2007 10:42:04 AM

Sometimes I kind of don't understand Microsoft. Windows Vista was released like a year ago and Windows Mobile 6 was released this year and still there's no support for SideShow in WM6. And what is the first device that comes to mind as Vista PC companion device? If asked this question in the middle of the night I would immediately answer - PocketPC.

I would really like to have WMP "Now playing" information and controls on my HTC Touch docked next to my main monitor. And you can probably think of more useful applications.

Do divisions at Microsoft actually talk to each other?

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If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It

10/8/2007 11:01:54 AM

The telling is as true as ever. Update to Windows Mobile Device Center was hanging for some time in optional Windows Vista Updates on my computer and I finally decided to install it this weekend. Installation went smoothly but this morning I found out that my HTC Touch couldn't connect to computer or vice versa. And there was an error in Application Event Log saying: "Windows Mobile-based USB device is plugged in but is unable to make a network connection to the desktop."

I tried many things including rebooting both phone and computer, dropping the partnership, plugging device to a different port, enabling and disabling firewalls, etc. Finally I decided that it was about time to google. After several unhelpful links I found this thread in Microsoft's forums and this post in particular saying:

Settings - Connections - Usb to PC - uncheck the "Enable advanced network functionality".  Disconnect device and connect back up.  Recognized it immediately

I didn't even have to unplug the device. It was recognized immediately and everything (as far as I noticed) started working. No idea, though, what functionality I lost disabling that "advanced network functionality". Go figure...

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Oracle's Enterprise Manager Disables Vista's Aero

10/7/2007 2:17:52 PM

I'm currently working on a project which uses Oracle 10g DBMS. So, naturally I've downloaded Oracle 10g Client for Vista (why this is a separate 600mb download from "standard" Win32 version is another story). Installation went smoothly but then, when I started Oracle's Enterprise Manager my screen flickered and shiny Aero Glass interface disappeared. I've closed EM and Aero reappeared. Opened - disappeared, closed - reappeared.

Long story short: I've narrowed the problem down to old JRE (java runtime) version which was included in Oracle's client for Vista (which is a separate 600mb+ download from standard Win32 client for XP, Win2000, etc.). And the ugliest thing is that even though I have the latest version of JRE on my machine Oracle insists on using it's "own" (excerpt from their oemapp.bat file: "REM Make sure that our JRE is used for this invocation").

So, I just took the latest JRE installation and forcefully installed it into Oracle's JRE directory (oracle\product\10.2.0\client_1\jdk\jre\). Voila. Aero is saved, EM seems to work (don't blame me if doesn't). "Only" 2 hours wasted.

Some useful links:

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