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  1. New Technology - Should You Learn It?

    It is one of those questions you constantly struggle with throughout any technical career: Should I learn this latest and greatest technology that is out? Do I need to learn it, do I want to learn it, do I get left behind if I don't? The truth is that you can't learn everything so how do you know what to focus on?The sections below are not mutually exclusive, nor do you have to fulfill all of them. If you can say "yes" to one of them, then you are probably okay to invest time in the technology in...
  2. Visual Studio 2017 Installer Projects

    The one thing that frustrates me a bit is how often the Visual Studio installer projects change from version to version. In fact, as of this writing there is no project template for Visual Studio 2017. It just so happened that the project that I was working on, was originally developed in Visual Studio 2015. It included a setup project that was now no longer available in Visual Studio 2017. It simply displayed the setup project as (incompatible).Some might argue that I should just go back to using...
  3. Introduction to Progressive Web Apps

    As some people know, I have been very passionate about Windows Phone since the early days of the platform. I am still using a Windows 10 Mobile device, and I still love the operating system and the Windows 10 platform. However, I am not living in a cave, and I do realise that the future potential of the Windows mobile platform is limited. I still don't think it is "dead", but it is certainly limited. I started learning Xamarin a couple of years ago, to use my C# knowledge and skills for building...
  4. Lessons Learned Writing Spring Boot Auto Configurations

    My team and I make heavy use of Spring Boot to build microservices that power our applications at our company. We've even gone so far as to write our own custom auto configurations to ease development. We package these auto configurations along with other goodies into what we call our platform.Recently, after releasing a new platform version, we encountered an issue where one of our microservices would fail to start at what appeared to be random intervals. After further digging, we noticed specifically...
  5. The Path is Null and Full of Squiggles

    I've been using Visual Studio 2017 since the earliest bits were available and I can confidently say, I'm a fan and highly recommend you give it a shot if you get a chance.With that being said, sometimes new features can cause things to blow up and this post is going to be discussing one of those such features, namely Lightweight Solution Load.Recently, I opened up a decently sized solution (~9 projects) and everything seemed in order. All of my dependencies were there, with no warning signs to be...
  6. Sharing is Caring: Using Shared Projects in ASP.NET

    As software developers, copy-pasting some code or a few files and having it in multiple places has always been smelly. There are several different avenues that you can take to avoid this kind of redundancy, but this post will focus on one that it seems isn’t talked about too often: Shared Projects.Prior to the introduction to Shared Projects, I’ll briefly go over why Shared Projects themselves were introduced, and how you might have accomplished similar behavior before their release.With the major...
  7. Glyphfriend 2.1 Released! Now with Library Filtering

    It hasn't been too long since the latest 2.0 release of Glyphfriend, but with the release of Visual Studio 2017 coming around the corner, there were a few things that could use some improvement and polishing off before then.Message received, loud and clear.All of the changes that were made to make the extension more flexible actually resulted in it being more noisy. Glyphfriend would just serve everything it knew about. This has generally been regarded as a bad move, and thus library filtering is...
  8. Resolving Installation Issues with Visual Studio 2017

    I’ve seen quite a few posts online regarding folks having issues installing Visual Studio 2017 after using previous versions of the IDE (such as the various pre-releases and RCs). If this sounds like you, then you might want to follow some of the steps in this blog post to ensure that your next install goes smoothly.Generally, the standard uninstall procedure should work as expected, so definitely try that before moving on. If that doesn’t work and you find yourself unable to install or update...
  9. Spring Cloud and Netflix Ribbon: Client-side Load Balancing

    Eventually you'll reach a point where you need to run multiple instances of an application or a service for high availability or to manage increased load. That's what load balancers are for. There's generally two different types:What many people would call a "load balancer" is actually a server-side load balancer. It can be implemented in hardware or software. The traffic is sent to a dedicated service that decides where to send the traffic, using an algorithm like round-robin, to one of the...
  10. How to add five star rating functionality to a website with jQuery, CSS and Microsoft Web API

    This article is the example I would have liked to have found when I was investigating how to write my own five star rating system.See https://www.easy-listen.com to see the five star rating example live.The rating system allows voting and retrieving the average vote for multiple items on a single page.References: the edX course named Introduction to jQuery by Microsoft’s Michael Harrison.This sample is a walkthrough explaining how to create the following code items.1. HTML file with five stars for...
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