My Library Syndication

I'm working on a project to syndicate library content with RSS.... and learn .NET, C#, and AJAX

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Back to Work!

This week was my first back at work. Needless to say, I didn't progress with ListMaker at all! But, I did get my PC fixed up to use the new Active Directory authentication. I had to update my SQL Server connections to use the new 'user' for both ListMaker and for my MS Access ODBC connections to our development server. At least I've got ListMaker working in the new environment. Hopefully I'll be able to snatch some hours to finish up in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

ListMaker Progress

Okay I did do

1. need to use the variables from the user table instead of the static variables I've been using
2. check persistence of the data about the current user.
3. finishing the ranking (this took forever!!)

The above could stand lots of checking. I still need to:

4. remove viewstate from controls that don't need it
5. clean up debugging spew

but before I do that, I discovered a funny error that I have to fix first -- users don't have their own items; all items are shared, so any one can delete any one else's stuff (!!!) I need to make a whole new table JMU_User_Items. Not sure how I overlooked that!! It's definitely an early mistake because it's not on the ER diagrams. I guess when you're just testing as one user, it's easy to overlook that!

I really want to re-implement that silly ATLAS accordion, too. The other wish-lists aren't as critical for show and tell.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Hiatus - Busch Gardens

Spent just over 24 hours on a quickie vacation to Busch Gardens with E & family. I went on the Big Bad Wolf, which is probably the tamest coaster in the park - but a big step for me. I think I'll try the Loch Ness Monster next time! However I'm not trying the Griffon and never would have enjoyed it.... didn't much care for Wild Thing which has an even longer-duration drop although *perhaps* not at 90 degrees - which would make me hate it worse!

Big Bad Wolf


Wild Thing (at ValleyFair, MN) - I have ridden this coaster!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

To-do list

All right, here is what I see that I have left to do:

  1. need to use the variables from the user table instead of the static variables I've been using
  2. check persistence of the data about the current user.
  3. finishing the ranking
  4. remove viewstate from controls that don't need it

And here are some things I'd like to do:

  1. Improve XML comments and XSLT display
  2. re-implement the Ajax accordion for the long list.
  3. Add the ability to add one "subject" to the Create new account routine. Add a suggest of some sort that uses the subject. Or, just add a pull-down to the search to limit / search by subject.
  4. Get the LEO and PL searches working

And here are the things I don't think I'll have time to do after all, but would have done if I had a few more weeks:

  1. Ability to add multiple "subjects" to the Create new account routine. Adding multiple is much tricker because you have to be able to edit, delete individual ones AND merge any results in an intelligent way.
  2. Have those subjects pull in news, faq, etc.
  3. See others' lists / especially librarian-created lists.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

XSLT for ListMaker program comments

One of my ancillary goals, after discovering that Visual Studio can create XML documentation from code comments, was to create an XSLT stylesheet for the resulting XML. So far it's real basic, but at least I've got proof-of-concept! With only a few days left to my leave, I need to move quickly.


Took a break:

Does this field look unplayable to you? The players didn't agree, either:

The very nice Pittsburgh scoreboard. Too bad the series wasn't as nice.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Map of controls, their panels, and their methods

I realize this is nigh illegible, but wanted to memorialize the document, which lists each control that calls methods and turns on/off panels, with separate rows for controls with conditionals. Last two pages are 'created' controls which don't appear in the initial asp. I'm not 100% sure it will help, but it can't hurt. If I can't attain one kind of persistence, this attests to another kind entirely! Dinnertime now.

Note: I did try to do this before beginning, but didn't know what needed to be in its own method. I think I could do it better from the beginning -- and would -- if I had to do it again, now that I have a bit more of an idea of the construction.

ListMaker Persistence

Earlier I mentioned that I had stuck a bunch of methods in Page_Load just to make things work, but that it didn't seem right, somehow. Also, throughout the code, I'm turning on and off panels to display the right controls.

I decided it was more elegant, albeit not ideal, to deal with all the panel manipulation and also the needed method calls on a per-control basis immediately in the Page_Load. Even if I had put all the controls into user controls, I'd still have to turn them on/off for different main control actions. NOTE: need to leave some of the panel manipulation in the control methods, for example, if it depends on the success of the operation. Might not hurt to map all controls and what should happen 1) always and 2) conditionals

Since some of my controls have auto-gen ids, such as img_btn_del, which might actually be img_btn_del1, img_btn_del2, etc., I got to use regular expressions, which is always a nice lift in the morning.


Friday, July 27, 2007

ListMaker Login, Logout, timeout

Today I implemented the Login, Logout, Create new account, and Timeout. Something's still not quite right about the Logout - although I am telling it to clear the session variable that says the user is logged in, it is not. But, it's thunderstorming here and I want to turn off the computer.


  1. need to add "subjects" to the Create new account routine.
  2. need to use the variables from the user table instead of the static variables I've been using - most methods will need to be updated.
  3. need to check persistence of the data about the current user.

Amazon Web Services

So many awesome new technologies, so little time ...

Today I took a brief break to explore Amazon Web Services, a goldmine as far as libraries are concerned! I made my first REST request, for the item information about Cyteen, the book I'm currently reading (note: it is not about a cyborg teenager) . Basically it gets the amazon info you're used to, but in XML.