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Current Posts
Monday, September 21, 2009
Gate
Posted: 1:39:00 AM 0 comments
In a recent post, I mentioned that I was combining roncli.com, my projects site, and this blog into one website. Well, work on it has begun, and it's called Gate. The name Gate is actually short for Aggregate, which I will somehow work into the main theme.

Gate itself aims to be an open source, modular project. The first three modules will be a wiki, a Blogger-supported blog, and a project management module. I've been working on the SQL Server database setup the last week and a half or so and have it just about completed. Now I gotta write the repair script, which is what happens when installation goes wrong. It's been pretty fun, as I've been using jQuery and jQuery UI for the interface, allowing for the installation to be robust and user friendly.

The challenge is going to be figuring out how I want to do the modules. There are two problems to solve here. First, I need to figure out how to handle database usage between the modules and the core application. I'm using LINQ to SQL to build the data structures and synchronizing them with SMO, so theoretically the modules could use a separate LINQ to SQL file for the same database, but that might not be very optimal.

Second, I need to figure out if I am going to be able to just drag and drop modules into the /bin directory or if I'm going to have to compile it into the main website. The design strategy is to keep things simple for the user to install, so it would be nice if I didn't have to recompile things for every module. I know how to do plugins for desktop applications, as I have in Solar, a TCP/IP text processing engine that I've written that allows users to write their own plugins to process the text however they want to. Would it work for websites, or even make sense for them? That is the challenge ahead of me.

The nice part of it, like I said, is that it's open source. I'm doing this mostly for myself, and if others can get good use out of it, that's great. And if I can get others to help out with the code, that's even better. But until I have a functional version, I'm pretty much just going to write the core module plus the wiki, blog, and projects modules myself. Once the new roncli.com is online, then I'll look into releasing Gate as its own project.

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Tuesday, September 08, 2009
LibWowArmory 0.2.1 beta
Posted: 4:35:00 PM 0 comments
Blizzard decided in the latest World of Warcraft patch to add items that are only usable by one of the factions while providing an item with exact stats but different looks to the other faction. LibWowArmory, my VB.Net Armory parser, has picked up on this, and thus version 0.2.1 is released.

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Friday, September 04, 2009
Cleanup day
Posted: 4:56:00 PM 0 comments
I suppose today is cleanup day.

I removed achaea.roncli.com and d3tl.org from my server. The source code to these sites can be found in my Subversion repository at svn://www.roncli.com/ronclipro/old/Websites.

If it's the data you're after, I have backed up all the SQL Server information, which is available upon request.

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PXO Pilot aliases
Posted: 4:38:00 PM 0 comments
Remember PXO? If so, you probably remember some people who loved their aliases, often griefing people to no end.

For fun, I compiled a list of pilots along with their possible aliases from a period of about a year. I ran an IRC bot on the PXO's server and tracked every person that entered a channel. The bot was hidden because it never actually joined a channel, but it could use standard IRC commands to see who was in what channel and to get additional information about them. Yes, I was a sneaky bastard.

It served no real purpose. This was back in the days when I was cynical and bored, and had nothing better to code. Oh, the days. So anyway, I figured I'd at least share the information I collected, and you can go back and laugh at the good old days.

Oh, if only there was a Descent 4.

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As if I don't have enough to do
Posted: 2:04:00 PM 0 comments
In addition to working on my personal projects (including the Six Minutes To Release website and the associated libraries), leading a 7-day a week WoW raiding guild, and somehow still finding time to sleep, I've decided to participate in the open source development of Rawr, an equipment planner and optimizer for World of Warcraft.

Primarily, I'll be working on the protection paladin module, as the primary handler of that module has stopped working on it. Already I've fixed some bugs from the latest version, and the module should be usable again in the next release. I really don't plan on adding a whole lot, there's already a lot of good stuff in there. My goal is to make sure that there's as little down time as possible between patches so that protection paladins can stay up to date with the kind of gear that they need.

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Tuesday, September 01, 2009
FeedPage
Posted: 1:48:00 PM 0 comments
Because the code is so short, I've decided to just go ahead and post the code to FeedPage here. Remember, you must have a reference to the ASP.Net RSS Toolkit in order to compile this.

Imports RssToolkit.Rss
Imports System.Web.UI

Namespace roncliProductions.LibFeedPage

Public MustInherit Class FeedPage
    Inherits Page

    Protected Overrides Sub OnPreInit(ByVal e As System.EventArgs)
        MyBase.OnPreInit(e)
        Dim strFeed As String = Request.QueryString("feed")
        If Not String.IsNullOrEmpty(strFeed) Then
            If strFeed = "atom" Or strFeed = "opml" Or strFeed = "rdf" Or strFeed = "rss" Then
                Response.ContentType = "text/xml"
                Select Case strFeed
                    Case "atom"
                        Response.Write(GetFeed().ToXml(DocumentType.Atom))
                    Case "opml"
                        Response.Write(GetFeed().ToXml(DocumentType.Opml))
                    Case "rdf"
                        Response.Write(GetFeed().ToXml(DocumentType.Rdf))
                    Case "rss"
                        Response.Write(GetFeed().ToXml(DocumentType.Rss))
                End Select
            End If
            Response.End()
        End If
    End Sub

    Protected MustOverride Function GetFeed() As RssDocument

End Class

End Namespace


Easy enough. To use, simply change your inheritance from System.Web.UI.Page to roncliProductions.LibFeedPage.FeedPage, and inside that construct and return an RssDocument object. Then, when you add ?feed=xml to the URL of the page, you will get an RSS feed.

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Fastest. Project. Evar.
Posted: 12:56:00 AM 0 comments
I've decided that I'm going to write a website that combines my three main personal sites: Projects, roncli.com, and this blog.

One of the biggest features of this site is the ability to easily add an RSS feed to a webpage without having to write separate pages or nasty ASP.Net http handlers. Basically what I wanted was to have URL's that look like "...page.aspx" load the usual aspx, but "...page.aspx?feed=rss" load the RSS feed instead of the normal page.

This idea led me to the ASP.Net RSS Toolkit, a very easy to use toolkit with some nice features. Including the ability to quickly make RSS feeds. That, combined with a 34-line class (counting 6 blank lines) that inherits from System.Web.Ui.Page, overrides OnPreInit, and forces inheriting classes to override a GetFeed function, and I'm ready to create feeds not only in RSS, but also Atom, OPML, and RDF as well.

Wow. The demo app was more challenging to write than this gem.

I want to give it a test run, probably on some Six Minutes To Release pages, and see if it's stable. However, shortly thereafter I will probably release this to CodePlex so that other people can get their hands on it. I am rapidly becoming addicted to RSS feeds since my iPhone reads em pretty good using Byline. I have feeds from all over the Internet, and it's nice to be able to have one central place to find out what's going on in my own little corner of the world.

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