Archive for April, 2009

ClickOnce: Concurrent versions

April 22, 2009

One of the questions that comes up a lot in the MSDN ClickOnce forum is how to deploy an application so the user can install multiple versions of it, like a QA version and a production version. Basically , you have to change the assembly name and the product name. This GoldMail illustrates how to do this, and mentions a couple of other considerations as well.

Ban Fox Hunting in America?

April 21, 2009

We used to have this British CEO who was sometimes very funny and sometimes very serious, as CEOs should be. When they banned fox hunting in the UK, he made a GoldMail about banning it in America.

View in browser

Update on Fresno

April 13, 2009

You know those collective nouns, like a herd of elephants, an army of ants, a murder of crows, a sleuth of bears, a charm of hummingbirds, an ostentation of peacocks, etc.? For tech people, I would use an enumeration of programmers. That’s a programming thing, so if you’re not a tech person and you didn’t get it, don’t worry about it. If you are a .Net programmer and you didn’t get it, check this out:

I spent time with an enumeration of programmers at the .Net Users Group in Fresno last week, where I gave a talk about Click Once Deployment. I thought the talk went really well. Nobody fell asleep that I noticed, or if they did, they didn’t snore so you could hear, and that’s always a good sign.

While not as large as the Pleasanton (California) .Net User Group meetings I attend regularly, they seemed just as determined to have an experience where tech people can come together and share information, which is what it’s all about. If you actually figure out how to get something complicated to work, don’t you want to share it with someone else who might have the same problem, to save them all the time you spent? That’s one of the many great things about the tech community.

Thanks to the people in Fresno for asking me to come down there, and for listening to me; I had a great time.

I’ve lived in different-sized towns in several states — Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Texas, and California — and I have had relatives all over Texas in small towns and large, and every town, no matter how small, has something interesting about it.

I wouldn’t call Fresno small — according to the 2000 census, they have over 425,000 people living there, and that doesn’t count the surrounding environs — but it isn’t exactly close to a huge metropolitan area, but it still has things to do and points of interest — and I’m not just counting the three National Parks within an hour or so of driving distance.

In the next few days, I will make a GoldMail or two and share what I found interesting about Fresno. In the meantime, code on!

Where did Robin go?

April 9, 2009

I’m going to Fresno, California! Woohoo!

I’ve worked a lot in the past few months, and have hardly taken a weekday off. The first six weeks of this year, I worked pretty consistent 12 hour days (or longer) every day, including weekends. I realized one day (it was about 3:00 in the afternoon on a Saturday) that I was starting to crack up a little, so I (mostly) cut out weekends, and I’m trying to cut my daily hours back as well (mostly).

I was working on the backend changes for our next big release, which impacted all of the different parts of our product — the Player, the Composer, the database, the web services, the billing system, and so on. With all the time I spent “directoring”, I had trouble getting the coding done too. This was the first time I can ever remember that updates to almost all of the products were released almost simultaneously.

I work with a lot of great people at GoldMail, and putting out that release took everybody’s effort. We all worked together as a team, and I was really impressed. From design from the PMs through development from the Engineers and into QA and testing, with help from Operations and Release Management and even the CIO, everybody chipped in and did his (or her) part. It took a lot of work, and seeing it all come together and get released at the end was definitely worth it.

Things have calmed down, but we continue to work on new features. The next one coming out is one of the best usability additions I’ve seen, and because I got to write it, I get to use it before it’s released. 😀 We’ve added the ability to write notes for each slide, that you can refer to while recording your GoldMail. It makes it easier to remember what you were going to say. I’ve fixed all the bugs (famous last words), and I think it’s going to be released soon.

I’m fortunate because this quiet time fell right at the time I have agreed to go to Fresno, California and talk at the .Net User Group meeting about Click Once deployment.

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area (out in the suburbs), and it’s about 150 miles to Fresno, so I’m going to take the rest of the week (Fri-Sun)and hang out there. Now, I have to say, it’s not like spending a weekend in San Francisco, and I’m not sure what there is to do there. It’s pretty close (1-2 hours) to Yosemite National Park, and to the Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks. Unfortunately, it’s snowing up at those elevations.

I was actually thinking about getting some chains and braving the snow and going to Sequoia National Park, and mentioned it to Mike, one of my co-workers. He asked if I had winter wear. (I just thought I’d wear a couple of polar fleece jackets.) He said, “Tell me you at least have hiking boots.” (silence) He said, “There’s always some fool who gets out of his car in flip flops and shorts to put on his chains.” (I would never wear flip-flops! Honest!) “You guys will be two frozen corpses that they find in a car on the side of the highway after the snowplows finally come through.” Ouch.

The road up to Lake Tahoe occasionally gets blocked, and you have to sit in your car for hours waiting for it to open back up, and the same could happen to me in a National Park. Apparently sneakers and a jacket won’t keep me from dying of hypothermia after my car runs out of gas. Picky, picky, picky.

So I’ll have to find something else to do. I’m thinking I’ll drive around in the foothills (as far as I can go without dying, because I won’t give Mike the satisfaction) and look at the scenery, and see what other kind of trouble I can get into in Fresno. There’s a college there, so there has to be something to do.

If I get really desperate, the hotel has wi-fi.

If you’re in Fresno or the surrounding area, come see me on Thursday night. The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. at the California State University in the Peters Building/Business Center. I don’t know what room; hopefully they will have signs. Or I can just run around yelling “Marco” and wait for the answering “Polo”.

Creating a desktop shortcut for a Click Once application

April 7, 2009
This GoldMail shows how to create a desktop shortcut for your ClickOnce application. The code can be used for any ClickOnce application, assuming you set your attributes accordingly.
This download contains the sample code (VS2008, C#). If you are a VB developer and can’t figure out how to translate this to VB, post a query and I’ll see what I can do for you.

July 19, 2009 edit: Here is a link to the follow-up post that provides the code and implementation details for doing same in VB.

ClickOnce Desktop Shortcut Using VB

[edit 7/7/2011 Move zip file to Azure blob storage]

[edit 3/8/2014 Move to different Azure blob storage]

GoldMail — Safety Drive at Work

April 5, 2009
This is a really funny GoldMail I got from one of my coworkers. It’s titled “OSHA — Safety Drive At Work”

View in browser