May 2007 - Blake Niemyjski

  • Community Server 2007 migration bug

    Tonight we updated to Community Server 2007. After a while of messing around I noticed that I couldn't access and blog posts.  Soon enough, after enough looking around we noticed that the query string had \themes\blogs obviously something was wrong. So I went and messaged my friend and twice time co-worker Rick Reszler if he had any clue as to the reason of my error. He quickly told me that this happens on some sites only after they are migrated from 2.x to 3.x and all you have to do is change the blog theme from default to some other theme and then back to default. However, if this doesn't work then one needs to stop the website in IIS, recopy the themes folder and then reset the application pool and start back up the website.

    I'd like to thank Rick Reszler again, for his superb Community Server elite hacking skills, WoW skills, and being from Wisconsin Skills. ;)

  • No rain... what a change!

    Today in Dallas, Texas we actually had a nice day. Although, it was cloudy when I checked but that is better than rain right?

    My fellow interns came into my office a few times today and told me that I am a hard worker. Thanks! All that I can say is that I love the work we are doing and I am very committed to it.  Last night, I ended up working on the User Interface until the master page was done.  Now we finally have something pleasant to look at.

    Today we started adding features to the User Interface, and customizing the layout.  One of the major things that I learned today from Jason Alexander is how one can really manipulate master page to do anything you could ever think of.

    Tonight, I am going to update to Community Server 2007 (with sp1).  I am pretty confident that everything will go smoothly.

  • The Community Server Enterprise Reporting User Interface!

    This morning we woke up and headed out the door like usual; however, a bird keeps on attacking Adam, so now every time we leave our apartment he sprints to the car. When we arrived at work it was nice and bright outside.  But by the time we had devoured the breakfast that Telligent had bought for its employees and in our SCRUM meeting, it was pitch black!

    It has been raining so much; a person visiting from Seattle might forget where he actually was.

    Today, we made a design decision that we should drop the work that I and Kevin had done yesterday, because there was a way better way to do it.  We implemented the new design pretty quickly, and it works slick! Our next task for the week is to design the way the Presentation Layer looks and works. We will have to integrate our product into the regular Community Server with little or no noticeable differences.

  • Drop and Give me 40 lines of code!

    Today we had a very interesting SCRUM meeting; Jason Alexander reassured us that we have a ton of work to do, and not a lot of time to get it done.  The interns know that we all will prevail!  He assigned everyone in pairs to do pair programming (Extreme Programming).

    Towards the end of this meeting, Jason assigned me and Kevin to work together on the Reporting User Interface. All I could think was wow; we get to define how the User Interface is laid out. However, I soon realized that I was not seeing the big picture and we would have a huge task of sub classing a control and various other things. The first two hours were like eternity, we were given a task that we had never done before, and I needed to learn it quick. It was a rush, and soon my mind cleared, and I knew exactly what needed to be done. I feel like tomorrow I could get the remaining chunk of code all done. But as always there will be many small obstacles in the way, the good thing is once they are overcome, the lesson has been learned, and those obstacles SHOULD hopefully never show up again.

    Somewhere in the day, we received notice that Telligent had bought all the employees a delicious meal, it included:

    • Cowboy Chicken
    • Twice baked potatoes
    • Corn
    • Peach Cobbler

    Thanks Telligent for everything!

  • Initial database design done

    As always we started the day with meetings. Today, we finished up the initial database design portion and actually started making tables and merging the data together. I suspect that we will have at least one maybe two days left of just classifying and merging data.

    There were several things that I learned today, most of it was MS SQL commands like (sp_who, sp_lock, sp_helptext, kill 60). It is always nice to see the commands in action and get a detailed explanation of what they return and do.

    Jason Alexander showed use one other command it was

    "Select Top 1 * from cs_xxx"

    And he explained that it has a lot of overhead because it pulls down all the data and then returns the top result. So a better way of doing it would be to pull down only one result with the following:

    "Set RowCount 1"

    "Select * From cs_xxx"

    "Set RowCount 0"

    I'm always glad to learn little tips and tricks like this.  

    Also I'd like to point out that if your using XML Serialization and your going to be serializing a DateTime then please don't make the same mistake that I made.  I picked up the huge xml book that we have here in the book room and started reading. While I was reading I noticed that when they had a DateTime Property they used the following XmlAttribute: [XmlAttribute(DataType = "date")]. The problem with this attribute is if you are trying to serialize a class that has a DateTime property then it will cut off the time and leave you with the Date. Someone might say oh what is the big deal?  The big deal is that you can lose up two 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds of time when you deserialize the data to use it.

    After some research I noticed that a bunch of people where using this attribute, obviously they don't care about loosing data or only need the date.  At last to my surprise I learned that there was an XmlAttribute [XmlAttribute(DataType = "DateTime")]. So I made the changes and recompiled and like "Black Magic" :), everything worked as I had expected!

    We went out to eat at Fuddruckers today; it was very filling since I missed breakfast. I really liked how you can choose the toppings on your sandwich, oh and you can't forget to get a ton of cheese for your fries.

    This weekend, I'm going to finish up the last details on my project. Also it will be part of my job to learn and play around with CodeSmith (code generation software). Hopefully I will get around to making my own templates. I really like the idea of "writing code that generates code".

  • Rain, Rain, and more Rain

    We started today off with another scrum meeting. I already have it drilled into my head to go there automatically at 9:30am.  Today, I did not spend too much time at the computer because we were in the VB conference room all day going over reporting and database design. Tomorrow we will finally be almost done with the database design layout portion. The only thing left is meeting with the SQL gurus's and talk about best practices and what would be the best way to accomplish our task. Then we get to set up the tables and start next step.

    I love talking with people who work with one set of technologies every day.  Because they want to teach you all the best ways to do something, and explain anything you were confused about. Whenever I come into any situation of this kind, I listen very carefully and am ready to take it all in. What better way is there to learn about a subject, then doing it the right way the first time! So today, Jason Alexander (an ex dba) reviewed database shrinking and the differences between the way SQL databases are engineered. Jason since you are going to be reading this sometime I'd like to thank you. I love learning anything and everything that I can, and I know other interns learned from your speech.

    I wish the interns could get the chance to have lunch and learns like Telligent used to have (or still do). Who knows, but if this did happen I'm sure we all would learn a great deal in other .Net areas.

    In other news, we all went out to eat at a burger place; it was sure some good eating, although not the best burger I've ever had. I think Culver's Jumbo butter burgers are the best!

    I've never been down in Texas before when it rained. The thing about Texas weather that I learned today is that when it rains, it really rains. However, I think that back home in Wisconsin we get more soft rain but when it gets really bad out, its way worse than Texas.


  • More meetings and Sushi

    Today we had another Scrum meeting and another "Tattletale Design Session" that lasted for a few hours. We all had a lot of fun throwing even more ideas into what reports we can generate.  I always liked the phrase "Design now, Code later", and that is exactly what were doing. I sense that someone in the gang of interns has been really itching to code. Just give it time and we all will be eating, dreaming, and writing all sorts of code!

    In other news, I've had a little more time to work on my project; I have finally got the xml serialization done. Now it's on to finish the other parts of the project. The following project is to convert the Blog that uses xml serialization to use MS SQL 2005. I think working with SQL is significantly easier than xml serialization.

    Today I also got to go with the rest of the interns to Crolls Sushi for some "Rock n Roll Combo". I thought they were very good, along with eel. However I didn't like the California roll. Being a country boy from Wisconsin, I've really never had the chance to try these foreign specialties so it was a treat!

    If anyone else has suggestions on some really good restaurants that we could try out, please feel free to leave a comment. I know I'm dieing to get back to the Rafain Brazilian Steakhouse.

    As soon as I get done writing this post, we will meet again with Jason Alexander and continue the "Tattletale Design Session".

    Finally before I forget, I am going to get a picture uploaded to our gallery on what I think of when I hear Telliterns. *cough* Telliterns and Tattletale *cough* :)

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