6 Tips to Improve Code Downloads for your Blog

Posted by: Imar Spaanjaars at Thursday, July 01, 2010 1:45:28 PM in: Imar's Blogs

Don't you just hate it? You read an interesting programming related article on the web that comes with source code. You downloaded the source so you can look at it later. When you open the file later, you've long forgotten where you got the file, or which concept it was supposed to demonstrate. Worse, the download contains a gazillion files, making it pretty impossible to find the stuff you're looking for yourself. Rather than two or three files demonstrating the topics originally discussed in the article you read, you're faced with a gazillion ReSharper cache files, useless .suo and .user files, obj folder and more. Take, for example, this article "Using Dynamic Views In ASP.NET MVC 2" (note: I am not picking on the author here personally; it's just an example I ran into recently that shows most of the problems I face with code downloads; it's easy to come up with many other examples). The relevant code is only 18 lines long (7 in the View and another 11 in a controller class), yet when you unpack the zip file you get 79 files. Granted, some are needed to run the example as an MVC site, but with a bit of clean up, the number of files can easily be reduced to 27 plus 1 by following these simple tips.

Read on ...

Sketch and Prototype Tools Review - Part - 6 - And the winner is...

Posted by: Imar Spaanjaars at Friday, June 25, 2010 1:28:55 PM in: Product Reviews

Over the past couple of weeks I've been reviewing a number of Sketch and Mockup Tools. You can find the complete series here:

For now I won't be reviewing any other tools as I haven't worked with them (extensively) enough to say something useful about them. Thanks to everyone who contributed suggestions for additional tools to review.

To close off the series, I'll briefly recap the five tools and give my opinion of the one(s) I liked best.

Read on ...

Sketch and Prototype Tools Review - Part 5 - Microsoft Expression Blend 4 + Sketch Flow

Posted by: Imar Spaanjaars at Friday, June 25, 2010 11:17:49 AM in: Product Reviews

As a software designer and web developer I usually focus on the back end of web sites and applications and leave the User Interface and UX design to people more knowledgeable. Still, occasionally I have the need to do some sketching and drawing with a customer, for example when designing a web interface or when working on use case documents. While paper and pencil often work fine, they lack durability and the result is hard to share, especially with "digital" clients or clients in a different country. Over the years, I've been working with a number of software design tools to aid me in this process. Since I get asked which tools I use every now and then, I decided to write a short blog series outlining a number of these tools, including Balsamiq Mockups, Axure RP Pro, Microsoft Visio with the 'GUUUI Sketchy GUI Shapes', Pencil, and Microsoft's SketchFlow.

In this series I'll be (re)creating a design mockup for the Management section of my web site with each of the tools, giving you the opportunity to compare their output. You'll find a screen shot of the existing Management section at the end of this article.

Today's tool: Microsoft Expression Blend 4 + SketchFlow

Read on ...

Book Review: .NET Performance Testing and Optimization by Paul Glavich and Chris Farrell

Posted by: Imar Spaanjaars at Wednesday, June 23, 2010 5:13:52 PM in: Book Reviews

I recently got the chance to review the book .NET Performance Testing and Optimization by Paul Glavich and Chris Farrell published by Simple Talk Publishing. Since I am usually a "performance aware" coder and try to think about performance right from the start, I was looking forward to this book with the hopes to learn a few new tricks, techniques and tools. Having read it now, I am not disappointed.

Read on ...

Sketch and Prototype Tools Review - Part 4 - Pencil

Posted by: Imar Spaanjaars at Tuesday, June 08, 2010 9:09:25 PM in: Product Reviews

As a software designer and web developer I usually focus on the back end of web sites and applications and leave the User Interface and UX design to people more knowledgeable. Still, occasionally I have the need to do some sketching and drawing with a customer, for example when designing a web interface or when working on use case documents. While paper and pencil often work fine, they lack durability and the result is hard to share, especially with "digital" clients or clients in a different country. Over the years, I've been working with a number of software design tools to aid me in this process. Since I get asked which tools I use every now and then, I decided to write a short blog series outlining a number of these tools, including Balsamiq Mockups, Axure RP Pro, Microsoft Visio with the 'GUUUI Sketchy GUI Shapes', Pencil, and Microsoft's Sketchflow.

In this series I'll be (re)creating a design mockup for the Management section of my web site with each of the tools, giving you the opportunity to compare their output. You'll find a screen shot of the existing Management section at the end of this article.

Today's tool: Pencil 1.2.

Read on ...

Sketch and Prototype Tools Review - Part 3 - Microsoft Office Visio 2010

Posted by: Imar Spaanjaars at Tuesday, June 01, 2010 8:03:49 PM in: Product Reviews

As a software designer and web developer I usually focus on the back end of web sites and applications and leave the User Interface and UX design to people more knowledgeable. Still, occasionally I have the need to do some sketching and drawing with a customer, for example when designing a web interface or when working on use case documents. While paper and pencil often work fine, they lack durability. Additionally, the result is hard to share, especially with "digital" clients or clients in a different country. Over the years, I've been working with a number of software design tools to aid me in this process. Since I get asked which tools I use every now and then, I decided to write a short blog series outlining a number of these tools, including Balsamiq Mockups, Axure RP Pro, Microsoft Visio with the 'GUUUI Sketchy GUI Shapes' stencil, Pencil, and Microsoft's Sketchflow.

In this series I'll be (re)creating a design mockup for the Management section of my web site with each of the tools, giving you the opportunity to compare their output. You'll find a screen shot of the existing Management section at the end of this article.

Today's tool: Microsoft Office Visio 2010.

Read on ...

Sketch and Prototype Tools Review - Part 2 - Axure RP Pro 5.6

Posted by: Imar Spaanjaars at Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:58:11 AM in: Product Reviews

As a software designer and web developer I usually focus on the back end of web sites and applications and leave the User Interface and UX design to people more knowledgeable. Still, occasionally I have the need to do some sketching and drawing with a customer, for example when designing a web interface or when working on use case documents. While paper and pencil often work fine, they lack durability. Additionally, the result is hard to share, especially with "digital" clients or clients in a different country. Over the years, I've been working with a number of software design tools to aid me in this process. Since I get asked which tools I use every now and then, I decided to write a short blog series outlining a number of these tools, including Balsamiq Mockups, Axure RP Pro, Microsoft Visio with the 'GUUUI Sketchy GUI Shapes' stencil, Pencil, and Microsoft's Sketchflow.

In this series I'll be (re)creating a design mockup for the Management section of my web site with each of the tools, giving you the opportunity to compare their output. You'll find a screen shot of the existing Management section at the end of this article.

Today's tool: Axure RP 5.6.

Read on ...

Sketch and Prototype Tools Review - Part 1 - Balsamiq

Posted by: Imar Spaanjaars at Tuesday, May 18, 2010 9:33:16 PM in: Product Reviews

As a software designer and web developer I usually focus on the back end of web sites and applications and leave the User Interface and UX design to people more knowledgeable. Still, occasionally I have the need to do some sketching and drawing with a customer, for example when designing a web interface or when working on use case documents. While paper and pencil often work fine, they lack durability. Additionally, the result is hard to share, especially with "digital" clients or clients in a different country. Over the years, I've been working with a number of software design tools to aid me in this process. Since I get asked which tools I use every now and then, I decided to write a short blog series outlining a number of these tools, including Balsamiq Mockups, Axure RP Pro, Microsoft Visio with the 'GUUUI Sketchy GUI Shapes' stencil, Pencil, and Microsoft's Sketchflow.

In this series I'll be (re)creating a design mockup for the Management section of my web site with each of the tools, giving you the opportunity to compare their output. You'll find a screen shot of the existing Management section at the end of this article.

Today's tool: Balsamiq Mockups.

Read on ...

Release Candidate of new Imar.Spaanjaars.Com Online

Posted by: Imar Spaanjaars at Monday, May 17, 2010 1:10:44 PM in: Imar's Blogs
Update 6/6/2010: the MVC version is already live at http://imar.spaanjaars.com and the MVC subdomain is no longer available.
I just uploaded the release candidate of my new web site built with ASP.NET MVC to my server.
Read on ...

Screwing Up Your System and Getting It Back On-Line in Minutes

Posted by: Imar Spaanjaars at Monday, May 17, 2010 9:33:35 AM in: Imar's Blogs

As a developer and a beta-software fanatic, I tend to install and try out a lot of software. Some of it works well and adds value to my "developer toolkit". However, quite often the software is too buggy to work with, has a negative impact on my system's performance or leaves traces when uninstalled. Additionally, just using Windows and the installed applications tends to slow down a system after some time as well. Since having a speedy and responsive system is important for a productive developer, you need to find ways to keep your machine as fast as possible.

Over the years I found a good way to minimize the impact of these applications and Windows usage, enabling me to get my machine back in a clean state in just a few minutes. How?
Read on ... 12345678910111213