May 22nd Links: ASP.NET, Visual Studio, Silverlight, WPF and .NET

One of the things I'm going to try and start doing is a weekly blog post of useful/interesting links on .NET related topics that I've found on the web.  Below is this week's version:


  • Storing Binary Files Directly in the Database using ASP.NET 2.0: Scott Mitchell has a good article that shows how to upload and store images within a SQL database, and then serve them out dynamically from within a web application (very useful for photo albums).  You could combine this article with Rick's above to enable an optional "Save As" option that allows site visitors to save high-resolution versions of images or other file types.

Visual Studio

  • Debugging SQL Server 2005 Stored Procedures in Visual Studio: Scott Mitchell published another great article on how to debug SPROCs using Visual Studio 2005.  You can use this approach to set a breakpoint within a SPROC in your database, and then hit it like a normal debug breakpoint when debugging an ASP.NET application that calls it.
  • Using Visual Studio Macros to Increase Productivity: Dan has a nice post describing some of the Macros he has created to manage large projects in Visual Studio.  The Visual Studio macro recorder and editor are two features that not enough developers take advantage of (myself included).  Whenever you find yourself repeating a task a number of times, I'd highly recommend creating a macro within VS to automate it for future uses.


  • Silverlight 1.1 Alpha Layout System and Controls Framework: One of the features missing in the Silverlight 1.1 Alpha that we shipped at MIX is support for layout management.  This is a powerful feature of WPF, and makes it much easier to position and control UI on a page (I'll post more about this in the future).  Dave Relyea from the Silverlight UI team posted a cool sample on his blog that provides a sample implementation of layout management that works with the 1.1 Alpha and includes both Stack and Grid layout manager support.  He also then shipped a number of cool custom controls including buttons, labels, textbox, and border controls.  Very cool stuff.
  • Silverlight Toolbar Example: A nice sample from Vivek that describes how to create an animated toolbar where the buttons expand when you hover over them.  You might also want to check out the "Office UI Ribbon" sample on the sample gallery web-site that demonstrates how to build a really cool toolbar within the browser.


.NET General

  • NDepend 2.2: Scott Dorman has written up a great post on NDepend - which is a .NET utility that enables you to perform code analysis on your .NET projects.  This can be useful especially with large projects that you've inherited.  NDepend also supports a SQL-like query language that enables you to define your own code rules/analytics to search a code base with.
  • Dynamic Language Runtime (DLR) ported to Mono: One of the announcements we made at MIX was that we are shipping a new "dynamic language runtime" framework library for .NET that makes it much easier to build dynamic languages on top of .NET (both the full .NET Framework and Silverlight).  We are also shipping four dynamic language implementations of our own: IronPython, IronRuby, Javascript and Dynamic VB.  We shipped the source code to the DLR and IronPython as a CodePlex project with a permissive license.  This article on O'Reilly describes how someone has already taken the code and got it up and running on Mono.  Miguel de Icaza was up in Redmond this week at a compiler dev lab we held and JasonZ and I got a chance to take him out to dinner last night.  You can read about Miguel's trip on his blog here.

Hope this helps,



  • This is a great idea, sure it will be quality links!
    And... the new blog's layout is nice!

  • Cool - glad you find it useful!

    And I'm glad you like the new blog layout - I decided it was time to look a little more modern. :-)



  • very nice template! it is so 2007 ;-)
    thanks for the links, very usefull.

  • The new look of the blog is beautiful.

  • This idea of yours posting a weekly post is too good. Makes my life easier. I don't have to keep track of many blogs.

  • Great idea, I can't believe you got time to look for other peoples post, I'm still waiting for you to visit my blog ;-)

  • Hi Scott,

    Thanks for the very useful links, and I feel it is a superb idea to do this weekly. Your links have always been helpful to me.

    I gotta say I like the old blog layout better. It was so simple, and that really fit well with your easy-to-understand writings (everything you do ends up seeming so simple). But hey, that's why it says "ScottGu's Blog" at the top - set it up how YOU want!!

    Best regards,

  • Cool idea... I do that on my blog too when I find the time.

    Like the new site-design... I think it's very modern and still very clear.

  • I like your new skin

  • I don't like the new style on your blog....

  • Great links. Thanks Scott!

  • The text in the image at the top is completely screwed up:
    "ScottGu's Blog
    Scott Guthrie lives in Seattle and builds a few products for Microsoft"
    "ScottGu's Blog" manages to stay inside the image, the rest is floating below and is completely unreadable. Use a static font-size if you do not like people who make text larger to be more readable.

  • yea a very good Idea. And even more good on your blog since many - many people read it

    P.S. Like your new theme for blog. Was surprised at first to see the new theme, but looks cool

  • Hi Denis,

    Can you tell me what browser you are using? I've tested the new theme with FireFox and IE and didn't see any issues. If you can let me know which browser you are seeing issues with, I can test it and get it fixed.



  • Hi MS,

    Can you tell me what in particular you don't like about the new style? I'm still trying to tweak it and customize is, and so would be interested in understanding if there is something in particular that bothers people with it.



  • I think the new look is good, but you can recreate Dennis's problem in IE7 by selecting to View|Text Size|Largest.

  • I think the new look is good, but you can recreate Dennis's problem in IE7 by selecting View|Text Size|Largest.

  • Hi Scott,

    Any chance you can put links together for WCF and WWF? Of all the new technology coming out of MS, I've found that those two topics are the least fleshed out in the community. DinnerNow is the only real example I've found and it looks like that project went to sleep. Combining LINQ with WCF and WWF are of particular interest with a project I'm working on.



  • It's a great adia and very helpful.
    Thanks a lot for your impressive job.
    By the way the new look of the blog is cool.
    Good luck

  • Hey Scott,
    I'm digging the new look, but you might want to consider some kind of visual separation for the comments.

    It's easy to tell which comments are yours (due to the 'eommentowner' CSS class and styling), but its hard to distinguish between the regular comments... they all seem to run together. So perhaps a light grey bounding box? Something like:

    border:1px solid #CCCCCC;

    And Yes, my design skills are pretty weak. :)

  • Hi Scott,

    It seems you are looking for some specific feedback on the new blog style. Perhaps I can enlighten you :)

    Some things that might need consideration...

    1) Although the new page header is fairly elegant, it takes up too much space.
    2) I wish the front page still displayed the full blog posts.
    3) Probably should use a difference in font-weight rather than light blue for "visited" links (or no diff at all).
    4) All headings appear squished together for some reason.
    5) Why does it tell us the author of each blog post? Is there any chance it will be someone else?
    6) I would prefer the navigational bar on the left.
    7) The contrast between light brown and light blue seems a little odd. It's not bad, though.
    8) The comment layout is not very appealing (too plain, need a border or something).

    What I like...

    1) Emphasis on the number of comments on the front page.

    Hope this helps,

  • Great links - thanks. Love the new look for your blog.
    Got a slight layout problem with your blog when I select a Tag (for example ASP.NET) - the first two posts are shown correctly, then the rest are displayed under the Favourite links column, with a large gap between the first two and the rest - this is on IE7. Hope this helps.

  • Hi Scott,

    I'm having problems installing Silverlight on my machine, I have Vista, but I think in the past I installed WPF/E, I have no idea how to un-install WPF/E so I can Install Silverlight, thanks for the links, I already bought Essential WPF book, the new show of your blog, I like it.


  • Hi Scott,

    It will be magic if you can do these posts weekly!
    Can we help with something? like providing useful links?


  • All the links are very useful, definately will look forward to these posts! I also agree that the layout looks great! Happy Wednesday Scott

  • Will you be posting the link to the collected Tips and Tricks that your old site had?



  • Hi Bryan,

    I'll be adding my tips/tricks link back to my site soon - not sure why it was lost with the new skin!



  • Hi Caleb,

    If you can send me details about the Silverlight install problem you are having, I can have someone help fix it. There is indeed an issue that some people have run in if they have an older version of WPF/E on their machine. The good news is that it is easy to fix (just delete a reg key). I can loop you in with someone to give you the exact steps.



  • Hi Nathanael,

    The HttpResponse.TransmitFile method has an overloaded version that allows you to pass in the start and length segments of a file to send. I haven't looked at the resume protocol in any depth - but this method should in theory give you the server piece needed to implement it.



  • Hi Nathaneal,

    Themes are definitely still supported. Unfortunately the Expression team didn't have time to get them in for V1 of Expression Web. But they are fully supported in VS (both VS 2005 and VS Orcas).

    Hope this helps,


  • I've been using the Save-As method for quite a while, but was extremely annoyed that if you tried to open the file [1] would always be appended to the end of the name.

    The way I worked around this was removing:

    Response.AppendHeader("Content-Disposition", "attachment; filename=" + filename);

  • Thanks. We bought a pile of licenses for our designers under the assumption that they would work... It turns out even Web Developer Express does a better job. What do you recommend we do?

  • It's nice to know they will be supported in Orcas. Will there be a free patch/upgrade for Expression Web? We bought a pile of EW licenses just to get good design-time support for our designers....


  • Don't stop've made my day once again :)

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