Posts Tagged ASP.NET

Ruby on Rails or ASP.NET MVC?

A couple of months back I mentioned that I’d be taking a break from speaking and would start focusing on learning. And that’s what I’ve been doing over the last couple of months.

For the record: in the last 8 years or so, I’ve done very little web development; and that little worked involved mostly working on middle tier components. I’ve done some work on WebForms, but not a lot. Before that, I had spent a couple of years doing “classic” ASP, with COM components providing all the middle tier and html generation.

With that said, I knew that catching up with web development wasn’t going to be easy.

At first, I started looking into ASP.NET MVC. Over the last three years I have read articles on it, I’ve seen presentations, videos, etc. I remember seeing it being unveiled at the ALT.NET Open Spaces conference in Austin, and thinking how that looked a LOT better than WebForms. I thought I’d be better off starting on that track, as at least I’d be working on a familiar environment (C#, Visual Studio, having “some” understanding of ASP.NET and MVC).

I decided to base my studies off the Test-Drive ASP.NET MVC book. I had heard good comments about this book, and I liked the approach of development the sample app from a TDD standpoint, as well as using NHibernate and some other solid Open Source frameworks. I did go through almost half of the book following along with the examples (I am planning on finishing it at some point, at least for completeness sake).

Eventually, due to peer pressure, I decided to start learning Ruby on Rails. And I have no regrets at all (can’t ever say that phrase without thinking of William Hung)!  Smile

This is not exactly an easy task for me. Like I said, it seems like ages since I worked on any serious web development. Back then, JavaScript sucked, jQuery wasn’t around, CSS was only starting to get some attraction… so, not only do I have to learn (or get a refresher) on all of these things, but I also need learn an entire new language (Ruby), environment, tools, frameworks, mindset. And I am loving it so far!

Seriously, here’s a tag cloud of things I’m having to either learn from scratch, or relearn (after so many years of not using it):  

railstagcloud

Of course, some of the things there aren’t required (such as Devise or CanCan), but I’m learning because I’ve seen the potential and it made sense to take the time and do it.

I have been seeing quite a few people whose opinion I value jumping ship from .NET to Rails and saying many good things about it, so I figured I should check it out. Like I said, I’m enjoying what I’ve seen so far, so you can expect more blog posts with my findings in this area as time goes by.

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Web Application Project: Ah, much better!

A few months ago I’ve posted my rants about the web site project in VS 2005. I just want to add a new post here to say that it’s been over 2 or 3 months since we’ve migrated our website to the Web Application Project option (http://webproject.scottgu.com/) and it solved ALL the problems we were having (and didn’t introduce any new one, which is always good). So I definitely recommend it.

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Little workaround to make web projects in VS 2005 build faster

So, the other day I posted something here ranting about how slow it is to build a web app here in VS 2005. We’ve been wasting a lot of time here because of that. Doing some research on the internet, I ran accross some info that didn’t help me much. For instance:
 
  • Found this hotfix: FIX: Visual Studio 2005 may stop responding when you build a Web application project that is checked out of Visual SourceSafe (http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=915110). This really seemed like what the problem was here. Basically, everytime i was hitting Rebuild, I could tell VS was doing something (by an animated icon somewhere), but I would not see any progress on the Build Output window. Then after the long 5-10 minutes of waiting, I’d see something on the ouput window, like "Validating Web Site", "Building directory…". From that point on, it’d take about 20 seconds to finish the process. Well, one couldn’t download the hotfix (you have to call MS support to get it). We’ve got the hotfix and applied it, but didn’t seem to fix the problem.
  • Poking around, I found this other link: http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/productfeedback/ViewWorkaround.aspx?FeedbackID=FDBK41369#1. Tried that as well, but didn’t get good results either.

At this point, we aren’t going the new web project coming with the VS 2005 Service Pack since it’s not release yet, so we’re just sticking to what we’ve got. Here’s the solution I’ve found to remedy the problem meanwhile:

 

  • Most of the problem with the slowness seems to be related to the contents under the Bin folder (which is under the web app folder – I’m using the File System-based "project").
  • I remove all the files contained within the bin folder (including all the junk that gets there, such as files with extensions like .pdb, .refresh, and .xml, that shouldn’t be there).
  • I put copies of all the assemblies I need on the bin folder (our biz objs assemblies and stuff like that).
  • When I rebuild the solution at this point, it takes just under 20 seconds! Yay!!

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ASP.NET 2.0: Wow!

For about three years we’ve seen lots of presentations where there was a lot of hyp regarding new things coming in ASP.NET 2.0. Master Pages, Membership, two-way data binding, etc, etc, etc. We’ve heard a lot about developers being able to write 70% less code with all the new things.
 
That is all great!!!
 
However, there wasn’t much hype about how terribly slow it is to build a web project. Gee, it’s cool that we can write 70% less code, but it’s definitely not cool having to wait almost 5 minutes for a 6-page project to build. Even if you right-click on a single page and choose "Build Page", that takes long and painful minutes.
 
It’s hard to understand how this thing shipped with a major problem like that.
 
Ok, it’s just finished building the project here, I can resume work. I’ll probably post something new to the blog during the next build. 

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