Why I hate PDF as an E-book Format or PDF vs CHM

PDF (Portable Document Format) is a common choice for e-books, big manuals comprising of several hundred pages and other documents. At a first glance, it seems to be a reasonable choice. PDF is a really cross-platform format, the most popular PDF viewer – Adobe Acrobat – is freely available in all popular operating systems – Windows, Mac OS and Linux. But what is wrong with it?

Well, the first of all, it tends to be slow, of course, it might depend on an application you are viewing your document with, but still opening large files in Adobe Acrobat doesn’t seem to be an easy walk. Of course, it’s not the only reason why I think this format is a poor choice for e-books. More...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Working with Google Maps API in ASP.NET

Recently I have been working on a project where I needed to make use of some geographical data and I decided to use Google Maps for that. So, in this particular tutorial I will explain how one can start working with the Google Maps API in ASP.NET.

Basically, the following topic will be covered:

  • How to find a place on the map by address
  • How to let a user choose a place on the map and retrieve its coordinates and save them in a database. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Using Live Mesh as a Free Backup Utility

Recently I was looking for a free backup tool that would keep my important documents online and in case any problems with my laptop, I could easily recover them.

I could use my own hosting space, but I thought it wasn’t convenient to manually upload the documents I was constantly working on. So, I decided to look for some automatic solution. Basically, I need the following things:

  • Ability to save the data online
  • Ability to perform automatic synchronization, i.e. when I change a file on my local computer it should get automatically updated on the remote storage and vice versa.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Put EntityDataSource Attributes to Code-Behind

The EntityDataSource control is a very powerful one. It allows you to rapidly create database driven application. You don’t have to manually write code for extracting, modification and deleting records from the database. Moreover since this code is backed by Entity Framework, you are not tied up with a particular database schema and can easily change it or even choose other database application.

However when working with EntityDataSource sometimes I feel like I using plain old SqlDataSource and simply have too much unnecessary code in my .aspx files. More...

Monday, March 23, 2009

CSS Class Names Instead of ASP.NET Client IDs

In ASP.NET the client IDs of controls are often really unpredictable. When you need to add some JavaScript code that works with rendered controls you have to know their IDs. But usually an ID looks like something like this: “ctl00_contentBody_txtStreet”. There are several methods for overcoming that diffic ulty explained here. However they require writing additional code or even creating your own controls inherited from the original ones.

But there is one simply but yet dirty way of addressing HTML elements rendered by ASP.NET. More...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Multiple E-mail Accounts in Outlook 2007

Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 is an indeed great application. But when it comes to adding a new e-mail account one can simply feel frustrated, simply because every message received from that account will still be stored in the default account. I remember I was having a hard time after switching from Mozilla Thunderbird to Outlook when adding my e-mail accounts.

Hopefully, there is a workaround More...

Monday, February 23, 2009

NetBeans 6.5 as a Cute and Free IDE for PHP

Although I mostly blog about .NET and related technologies, tools, etc., this time I’m writing about PHP. I work a lot with PHP as well. And recently I got a small project to do and I was looking for a free but cute PHP IDE. I’m quite aware about Eclipse and PHP Development Tools for Eclipse, but I still was wondering if there is some other free tool for PHP. Eventually, I remembered NetBeans.

NetBeans is mostly known for Java developers as a good and free IDE. At the same time recently NetBeans started supporting other languages, like C/C++, Ruby and finally PHP. Moreover it not only supports plain PHP, but it offers quite good support of HTML and JavaScript. More...

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Do You Suffer From Information Overload?

Do you ever feel surrounded by tons of information that you think you don’t have time to consume? I guess everyone remembers that feeling when you are glancing at your RSS reader and say to yourself: “Jeez, that’s really interesting, all that new development tools and useful refactoring patterns, but I don’t really have time for that, I need to finish my project, cause the deadline is coming”. In addition, there are also very interesting things that go around us, including Facebook updates from your friends, new photos from your Flickr pals and fresh tweets from your mates. In contrast to that *serious* news on software development, we always tend to read updates from our friends, moreover we become addicted to that kind of news, so we are constantly checking our e-mails, reply to instant messages and so on. In the mean time we still have to work and have normal rest away from the computer :)! More...

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Send Your Feedback about Internet Explorer 8 and Other Beta Products

I must admit perhaps I was too rude when I was describing the glitches with IE8 Beta 2 usability. First of all, it was beta which purpose was to demonstrate new features and gather feedback, but no to present a completely finished product. Second, it were my own thoughts, but still IE remains the most popular browser on the Net and people must find it useable, since they use it.

Anyway, Internet Explorer 8 Release Candidate 1 is available now, which means that there won’t be any new functionality in the release, however if they find any bugs in the current RC, they will fix them and make RC2 available for public.

So, if you want to submit any bug report of feature request, I strongly advice you take part in the Microsoft Connect program that allows you to send feedback about their beta products, including Windows Azure, Windows 7, IE8 and many other products. Just navigate your browser to connect.microsoft.com, sign-in with your Live ID and choose an appropriate program. It’s advisable to search through the database before submitting your bug report or a suggestions, because it’s likely that other people have already spotted that bug and complained about it or came up with the same feature request.

Participating in such programs and sending feedbacks allows Microsoft to make better products that you will like ;-)!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Free Entity Framework Learning Guide

I came across a wonderful learning guide for the Entity Framework that explains many essential and complex things about the Entity Framework, including:

  • Modeling Entities
  • Lazy Loading
  • Inheritance
  • Working with objects
  • Performance
  • Working with Stored Procedures

Moreover this 500 pages long learning guide is absolutely free and can be downloaded here with all examples.


Monday, January 19, 2009