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Posts Tagged ‘Programming Tools’

I finally got my entry to the MIX 10K contest accepted!

The idea was inspired by MyPadlock Password Manager: a simple, secure, and free password manager developed by yours truly. The 10K entry is a fun little Silverlight app that lets you store any kind of text data behind one master password. That data is then encrypted with your password and stored in isolated storage.

Check it out

Click here to check it out. There’s a fun animation entering your password and locking it back up again (with the X in the upper right that appears once you’re in the program).

Developing this was a good test of borrowing something written in WPF and getting parts of it to run in Silverlight. Implementing the behavior I wanted was super fast and the hardest part by far was systematically destroying the readability of my code as I whittled it down from ~30K to just under 10K (with fewer than 100 bytes to spare!) I kept thinking, I sure hope I don’t have to fix a bug after I strip out all spaces, rename my variables to single characters and all the other ugly tricks I had to do to shave off those unwanted bytes.

Hope you all enjoy this fun little project and be sure to check out MyPadlock Password Manager if you’re not already using something to keep your usernames and passwords safe.

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ASP.NET allows you to get at some great information about the client and the server via the HttpContext.Current.Request.ServerVariables collection. Likewise, Silverlight allows you to get at a few local variables of its own through the System.Windows.Browser.HtmlPage.BrowserInformation object.

But, to use these variables we often need to know what kind of values to expect. For example, let’s say you’re going to create a condition based on which browser the user is using. You would use BrowserInformation.Name. But Name is a string, not an enum. So what are the various values that can be returned by this property? This might be documented somewhere for the officialy supported browsers, but the only fool proof way is to actually try it by writing a dummy Silverlight app that spills out this variable and run it in all the different browsers to see what comes back. The same applies to ServerVariables but even more so because this is just a big dictionary so you don’t even know which variables are going to be present let alone what their values will be.

Here’s a utility I wrote for anyone to use that will help you look at all the BrowserInfo properties and ServerVariables. Hit this page from any machine to see what values it is sending up to the server. Bookmark this page, it will probalby come in handy someday when you’re scratching your head wondering what useragent you’re sending up to the server.


BrowserInfo and ServerVariables

Another cool part is that it not only shows you what servervariables are available at the time your web page is requested, but also what servervariables are available when you hit a WCF service from Silverlight. There are some subtle differences.

Also note that it’s hosted on Azure so you can also get a glimpse of which ServerVariables Azure provides access to. On first glance it looks the same as Windows Server but I haven’t done a variable by variable comparison.

Enjoy, I hope this comes in handy!

Download the source code here to see how it works or to host on your own server.

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I always try to use named colors whenever I can because it makes your Xaml much easier to read! Who knows what color #1A37C5 is? Okay, so maybe some of you can “see into the matrix” but I’d much rather see something like “DarkBlue”. It’s also easier to write because you VS gives you IntelliType when entering a color for a property of type Brush or Color.

Here’s a super easy way to see all the named colors out there that Silverlight supports. This tool also supports copying the name by selecting it and using Ctrl+C. Plus, you can sort the list alphabetically, by red, blue, green, hue, saturation, or luminosity for those of us that get dizzy scanning the palette for a good “blue” to choose.

namedcolorsviewer
Click to Run

Note: Microsoft has a pretty good table of their own with all the same colors in my tool (there are 141 of them by the way, not 240 as stated on the MS site). But the colors blocks are smaller, it’s all just a big image so you can’t copy names, and it of course lacks my patented sort feature 😉

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This tool provides automatic formatting for your xml document by properly indenting nested nodes with tab characters. Simply type in the xml to format or import and xml file press a button and see your perfectly formatted xml. This tool is a really useful for making your xml more readable. Check it out and bookmark it… it will come in handy!



Click to Run

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Need a way to duplicate a chunk of text for each variable in a list? This tool will save you time and soar wrists by letting you create a template and a list of variables and merge the two to get a repeated chunk of text with variables injected into each iteration.



Click To Run

For example, let’s say you had a list of 100 names of colors and you wanted to generate a function in code for each. Supply the list of colors as your “variables” and set your “template” to:

function #value#() { }

And let the TemplateRepeater take it away generating a chunk of text for each color resembling:

function blue() { }

function red() { }

function green() { }

Simple but surprisingly useful! Enjoy!

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