Thursday, March 26, 2009

Live Messenger IM Control on Blogger

I was reading Mix’09 update from Angus Logan’s blog and noticed Live Messenger IM Control on the side. I found it cool and wanted to add it to my blogger blog as well. Here are the steps that I have followed to get this up and working on my blog.

  1. Get html code for Live Messenger IM Control as specified at Delegated Authentication with the Windows Live Messenger IM Control
  2. Go to Customize > Layout > ‘Page Elements’ on your blogger site
  3. Click on ‘Add a Gadget’ link
  4. Select HTML/JavaScript gadget from Basics collection
  5. Insert the html code generated in step 1 to the ‘Content’ area and give an apt title.
    • Note: You will have to adjust the height and width of iframe to fit correctly with your blogger page template
  6. Save and view your blog. You are all set. :)

Thanks to Rajendra for helping me with this. :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Writing blogs using Live Writer

Windows Live Essentials come with a set of goodies. Out of which Live Writer is a tool which can be used to write blogs and publish to most of the popular blog sites. I am also trying out the same. And this blog is written and posted to my blogger site using Windows Live Writer.

I am listing down, what I liked about Live Writer.

  • Preview of blog is much much better from Live Writer. I love it.
  • Switching between Edit, Preview and Source is faster.
  • I don’t need to do an explicit spell checker
  • I have better control while inserting hyperlinks
  • Tables, alignments, picture, formatting etc looks good. (Haven’t used it really)

What did I not like about Writer?

  • While showing the preview, the labels shown do not seem to be correct. This could be a bug with Writer.
  • With Live Writer also, I am not able to see the code block, custom edit of the template that I made is not coming proper in the preview mode. Yea, I understand that it is difficult for both Blogger and Writer to do it, as it need to sort of invoke the runtime page execution to run the custom script and generate the html output. This is something which I would really like to have. (Either auto execution of script in preview mode, or code style inbuilt in the blogger theme).

Disclaimer: I haven’t used blogger for long time. So I am not really sure about all the features of blogger create page. These are my initial impressions. :)

Debugging using Fiddler

I have been using Fiddler for a long time. I use fiddler to trace http/https calls to see what is the actual http messages (request - response).

From C#, I typically use the following configuration.

<proxy bypassonlocal="False" usesystemdefault="True" />

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Customizing Blogger Template

When I started blogging, one of the main requirements I had was to enable code block on my blog. I have enabled syntax highlighting on my blog by taking help from Using SyntaxHighlighter on BLOGGER and How to get syntax highlighting in Blogger with SyntaxHighlighter.

Also, by default the template that I was using was having smaller width for the main post area. To increase this I have followed Rounders 2 with a wider post area.

APM pattern with Anonymous methods

Jeffrey Ritcher has explained the APM pattern with anonymous methods in one of the concurrent affairs article in msdn magazine. Here, one of the key things to notice is that anonymous delegate method could be executed on another thread at a later point of time (after executing the statements below the BeginXYZ method).

Consider the following APM code.

static void Main(string[] args)
// Create instnace of LongTask that is executed asynchronously
// Ref:
LongTask task = new LongTask(15); // Task should run for 15 seconds
string.Format("Thread-{0} : {1}",
Thread.CurrentThread.ManagedThreadId, "Starting Task"));

// APM pattern with anonymous method
delegate(IAsyncResult ar)
string.Format("Thread-{0} : {1}",
Thread.CurrentThread.ManagedThreadId, "Delegate called"));

string.Format("Thread-{0} : {1}",
Thread.CurrentThread.ManagedThreadId, "Control came back after BeginDoTask"));

Thread.Sleep(25 * 1000); // Sleep for 25 seconds
When I run the above code, output is coming as given below.

Thread-1 : Starting Task
Thread-1 : Control came back after BeginDoTask
Thread-3 : Delegate called
This means that the anonymous method could be called from another thread at a later point of time. So the below given code is very very wrong.

// Following code is very very wrong.
// Never use this approach
int returnData = 0;
delegate(IAsyncResult ar)
returnData = asyncObj.EndXYZ(ar);

// It is most likely that returnData is 0
return returnData;

Hello World

Hello everyone.. :)

Disclaimer: I have created this blog to share my thoughts, learning, experience and knowledge around various technical areas that I come across. All the information posted here in this blog are solely my own personal opinions and are not related to the company that I work for or anybody else.