Holiday Season 2007 Recap

Funny, I feel like I’m still in Christmas and New Years holiday mode and that the grind hasn’t really kicked into gear yet.  To help bring me back into the workabilly flow I’ll write this holiday season 2007 recap to remind myself that the grind has indeed returned for working geeks like me, whether I feel like it’s returned or not.

It was the night before Christmas and all through the home office, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse…

until I received an email asking if I could help put a site online by the first week of January.  “Dude, it’s holiday time.  I’m in serious Bing Crosby mode.  Besides, I’ve had a good year and don’t need the extra income pop.”  But you learn that one of the great things about being a freelancer is that you get project offers out of the blue that are very interesting, from people who you instantly have a connection with and want to help.  To be honest, if it wasn’t the holidays I would have never pushed back other client work to take on this project, but since I planned on doing little more than kicking back for two weeks anyway I had a window to lend a hand, or a keyboard if you will.

I don’t blog about my clients or specific sites I’ve worked on, but I do like to blog about the work.  That’s what excites me, after all, and during this holiday surprise project I did some great blog-worthy work in CodeSmith, writing several new Composite Templates, added a CodeSmith project template in my CSTiers library to create a new project’s Data Provider classes, and created a sweet CodeSmith template that generates a nearly complete Chameleon form, with all Child Control properties declared, ID viewstate control names listed, control values assigned, and the form’s data object populated from the controls in the OnSubmit() method and passed to the data provider.  While on a Chameleon form codegen jag, I also created a CodeSmith template to create all of the base HTML for the .ASPX web page as well as the labels for the Resources (or custom) .XML file. 

I hope to blog about my holiday CodeSmith ventures soon, but besides CodeSmith I was able to work with a brand new 3rd party Web Service in Community Server, using the WSResponse object to test the success of the Web Service.  The product was so new that its spec actually changed during the project and the WSResponse object gave me the info I needed to adjust to the change.

I created a ton of pages and submenus in my Holiday Season 2007 project, but I blogged about Community Server submenus before.  Still, it reminded me that the process of creating pages and site areas in Community Server is still rocket science, so that’s a great blog post topic as well.

Another useful takeaway from Holiday Season 2007 was the value of using custom .XML resource files in Community Server.  For every resource element I created in the project I used DBVT.xml instead of Resources.xml.  Definitely a CS Nuglet there to address the benefits of this approach.  The last project issue I want to blog about is how I created an iFrame source URL attribute dynamically in Community Server.  That was pretty interesting.

Oh, I also used SQL bitwise and (&) and or (|) operators in this project, but I guess it would be pretty tough to make that blog-worthy.  Never mind.

I hope this explains why I’ve been quiet lately.  If I don’t blog every 2 or 3 days I know you get worried about me.  Happy 2008!  Now get back to work.  Holiday’s over, Pal.

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A long time developer, I was an early adopter of Linux in the mid-90's for a few years until I entered corporate environments and worked with Microsoft technologies like ASP, then .NET. In 2008 I released Sueetie, an Online Community Platform built in .NET. In late 2012 I returned to my Linux roots and locked in on Java development. Much of my work is available on GitHub.