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Not related to the site, but now there is an audience... regarding asp.net mvc:

Can we have support and out of band releases for asp.net mvc without having to go through connect or partner support, which are both to be honest, utter shit?

Also can you get the API right and leave it right so we don't have to piss around for a week with our container and testing environment.

And finally, can you give us something better than razor which has a parser that isn't made of broken twigs and has proper separation of content and programming language (its horrid sorry). Jinja2/django/golang templates FTW.

Oh and sort out SQL 2012 licensing. It's going to cost us £768,000 to upgrade out kit from 2008 to 2012. Postgres migration is an order of magnitude cheaper.

I'm coming from a large asp.net mvc project and its not pleasant, sorry. Welcome to Microsoft centric development!

Content on the web site is pretty good though.

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jongalloway2 559 days ago | link

For your first few question: You can get signed nightly builds of ASP.NET MVC. Instructions are here: https://aspnetwebstack.codeplex.com/

Depending on the kind of support you're looking for, the discussions and issues on CodePlex may help as well. Otherwise, there's community support (often including ASP.NET team members) in the following places: http://forums.asp.net/1146.aspx/1?MVC http://stackoverflow.com/ http://jabbr.net/#/rooms/aspnetmvc

There are some other view engines available if you don't like Razor. Since you mentioned Django, I'm guessing you've looked at NDjango(http://ndjango.org/index.php?title=NDjango_Home). Another one I've been keeping an eye on is Parrot (http://thisisparrot.com/) - still in development, but I really like the syntax.

After that it got kinda ranty so not sure if I missed some other questions.

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eckyptang 559 days ago | link

I'm talking supported builds, not signed builds. You know with the pile of pre-paid support credits that we get with our partnership agreement which are supposed to result in solutions. Every support call requires a week long argument with the lowest grade of software support who phone me up and ask if they can close the call every day without escalating it. I'm aware of the support options you mention, which basically result in "yes, just limp along with the dependency injection problems with ActionFilters in MVC3 for 6 months" or fork and fix it yourself. We chose the latter, but it's expensive so we might as well forfeit the partner agreement, use Open Source software and pay someone to maintain our forks and contribute patches to the products.

We've looked at NDjango, but it's based on F# and as we well know, unless a product is a mainstream MS platform then it's liable to go out of the window on a whim or is shrouded constantly with uncertainty (choke silverlight, original workflow foundation, XNA? etc).

Sorry if this is rather critical and slightly ranty, but I'm slightly pissed off with maintaining this mess.

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jongalloway2 558 days ago | link

Can you send me some specifics (jon dot galloway at microsoft dot com)? At a minimum I'd like to make sure we've got a bug filed on the di / filters issue you mention, but more importantly I want to see what we can do about the support issues you're hitting.

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sergiotapia 558 days ago | link

I couldn't disagree with you more on the Razor subject. Frankly templating schemes like Django's, Rails, etc all SUCK compared to Razor.

It's crisp concise and fast.

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darrelmiller 559 days ago | link

If you like Jinja2 then use it. We have been using it for templating, running with IronPython, for the last couple of years.

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chris_wot 558 days ago | link

Genuinely curious... What are the issues you are having with Razor?

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Not for a minute. The releases are pretty much shelved after v.next. To add to that, the support you do get is crappy, even as a gold partner. ASP.Net MVC is awfully designed and rather buggy as well from experience.

I've been using it on a huge project (145 controllers)since CTP2. I wouldn't use it again.

we're currently investigating werkzeug, python, sqlalchemy and postgresql as a replacement for a new project, particularly also because we got shafted by SQL 2012 per core licensing.

Stay away - you have been warned.

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DennisP 558 days ago | link

I've built a fair number of medium-small sites with it and like it pretty well...I'm interested in your perspective with such a large project. Why do you think it's awfully designed?

I did just run into a pretty nasty and obscure bug. (That was the first though.)

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jongalloway2 557 days ago | link

What was the bug? I'd like to make sure it's listed on https://aspnetwebstack.codeplex.com/workitem/list/basic if it's not there already.

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DennisP 556 days ago | link

This one: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/8640950/null-reference-ex...

In my case it manifested on ajax calls but not the initial page load. I had a custom grid that worked fine on the first load but blew up when the user tried to page or sort it. And it only happened on production, because the prod server had the component mentioned in the link installed, but the dev and stage servers didn't.

Luckily the guy administering the web servers tracked down the configuration difference, googled, and found the above link, and I was able to make a small change to my code to work around it, pre-calculating the url on the initial load and just referencing the resulting string on the ajax call (specifically, using lexical closure instead of calculating the url inside a lambda). That fixed it.

This was on MVC3.

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That does it. I'm defending my airspace with anti-drone drones (until they are illegal).

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dhughes 559 days ago | link

As soon as I saw the Parrot AR Drone I imagined putting a small stripped down pellet gun on it.

I bet AR Drone will mysteriously become illegal soon.

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ktizo 559 days ago | link

Technically, it already is for outdoor use in the UK, unless the person flying it is not the person looking at the first person view, as the pilot has to keep visual contact with the aircraft. Also if you use one for anything commercial you are required to hold a civil pilots licence.

http://www.buzzflyer.co.uk/aerial-photo-uav-fpv-law.asp

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mtgx 559 days ago | link

Illegal for you.

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ktizo 559 days ago | link

This brings up an interesting point. Anti-drone drones may well be much cheaper and more maneuverable than general purpose drones and people in general have far fewer ethical concerns when targeting a drone, as it is basically just property damage. In fact I suspect that some people would even look on drone hunting as some sort of extreme sport.

Another social effect of the introduction of a mass of visible drones is that it has the potential to drive a reasonable amount of an armed and already fairly paranoid population, completely and utterly nuts.

And whatever the police think about how useful these things are, I doubt that having a lot of drones flying around is going to encourage politeness, to put it mildly. A hell of a lot of people fear these things and fear makes a lot of people go crazy.

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Agree about using data but the main problem is trust autonomy which allows them to develop incompatible systems. For example every damn A&E department in the country has a different software platform or configuration. There should just be one!

Oh that and NHS management, who should just be put up against a wall and shot. If you divide it across all trusts, each directorate member has pissed about 20 million of cash out of the window on stuff that hasn't delivered.

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I was in a hospital the other day with my wife. I watched a senior consultant try and find a printer in AD (because the one on his desk was broken). This was to print a request form. It was very hard for him. The form exists because they have two systems with a paper integration path between them. There is some ceremony involved as well, because there is a quota on how many outstanding forms they can be processing. There is also a restriction on when the appointment can be made resulting in a weird set of rules which are virtually impossible to deal with effectively. The staff are completely depressed at having to deal with this every day.

Instead of wasting more money on this shitty PR exercise, perhaps they should fire Kelsey and all quango-esque departments and middle management who bought this, fire the outsourced idiots who built pieces of crap like this and hire a software team (google style!!!) to build new software and infrastructure across the entire NHS from scratch on Open Source software.

The amount of money the NHS pisses up the wall on contractors and management could build a country-wide system from scratch which solves all of these issues. I mean firing five management consultants could hire people to build an open source active directory replacement which would save millions in license costs (OpenLDAP doesn't cut it so don't go there). Another five management consultants would create a standard desktop operating system country-wide based on a COTS Linux distribution. Another 20 management consultants would replace a big chunk of the 105-or-so disjoint software platforms.

In the mean time, they could surely afford some training for their staff, to fix a few printers and to clean up poor integration paths like this. Then we might get to see our consultants rather than watch them argue with Active Directory.

Note: I've worked for the NHS before - it's an IT disaster, bar Guys & St Thomas trust which actually have a clue stick.

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poissonpie 560 days ago | link

Yah. I currently work for the NHS as a developer. Don't even get me started on this place - inefficiency upon inefficiency. Printers? holy cow, we've just installed "follow me printing" and because it was badly communicated and thought out, we now have several departments who can't print a damn thing because they are waiting on a pass code so they can set up their swipe card to allow them to print. Did I mention there is only 1 machine in the building that you can use to set up your card for printing? aiya.

Kelsey? I'll believe it when I see it - I tried to get hold of him informally a while ago about his coding4health...I got crickets.

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ktizo 559 days ago | link

I tried to get hold of him informally a while ago about his coding4health...I got crickets.

I think you can get a cream for that.

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poissonpie 559 days ago | link

otc or would i have to get a prescription?

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ktizo 559 days ago | link

Prescription only, I'm afraid. The doctor needs to check that you have a fully working conscience first before eliminating the crickets, ever since that messy business involving the wooden boy.

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eckyptang 560 days ago | link | parent | on: Pulse jet tea kettle

Another creation by Colin Furze here: the flame throwing scooter, which incidentally got him arrested.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UNr1XClnec

I wish I had the time to do pointless and dangerous things like this.

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indiecore 560 days ago | link

I wish I had the tools and space to do stuff like this.

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blhack 560 days ago | link

He specifically addresses this on his website. He doesn't have good tools or much space either. He used to do these things in his bedroom at his parents house because his dad wouldn't let him use the garage.

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robertfw 560 days ago | link

I'd suggest looking for a local hackerspace. You can find a fairly comprehensive list here: http://hackerspaces.org/wiki/List_of_Hacker_Spaces

There you'll likely find the tools, space, and most importantly a community of people willing to give you advice :)

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jlgreco 560 days ago | link

I suspect part of the reason he got in trouble for the scooter is that neither did he. ;)

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Obligatory XKCD about the trackpoint:

http://xkcd.com/243/

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Happy birthday - typed on my T61 :)

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It is also true when testing is included and pylint are used, which is the issue.

I can write a 500 line C# program and it works reliably first time with no crashes, type inference errors or framework exceptions thrown. The only errors will be algorithmic or functional (i.e. based on requirements).

The same is not true with python.

I have the same experience with both. Go figure.

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16s 560 days ago | link

It's been my experience that python (or any other similar language) is less prone to type errors when testing and pylint are used. I still prefer C++ and a strong type system when I do more critical work, but I can get by with the fast, more reckless languages too. There's a place for both.

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ajanuary 560 days ago | link

Your tests should be picking the majority of your algorithmic and functional errors, so I'd have to assume you're talking about the state of the code before thorough testing.

What's it like after that testing? How's the long term maintainability? I'm much more interested in possible problems - and it could go either way - in the long term than before I've finished writing it.

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eckyptang 560 days ago | link

They do.

I tend not to write oodles of test cases up front in favour of simple scenario based tests applied later on. I add pre/post/invariant-condition checks in the code as I write it. It is tested incrementally by hand.

The condition checks prevent the what if's and tell you why something broke. The scenario tests ensure that it does what is asked of it.

I rarely get bugs raised against my code (7 this year out of about 112,000 lines of c# written). Not bad!

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And this and VBA is why office is so irreplaceable. I wrote a report generation tool in 1999 with word 97. It picked a report definition off a file share, assembled documents from fragments on disk (up to 50 pages a pop with tables, graphs etc) and emailed them or printed them. 2000 documents an hour on a single Pentium pro 200 with 128mb of ram on NT. It took 2 days to write and was used until 2009 by 9000 users

This was just word, com and nothing else. Even the application host was an instance of word.

I doubt it could have been done with anything else then or now.

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