JosephGuadagno.net

Microsoft .NET MVP, Vice President of INETA North America, and Founder of Southeast Valley .NET User Group

Speakers are not Idols

I’ve noticed that at a lot of conferences I attend conference attendees are afraid to approach the conference speakers. It would appear that some attendees think that speakers are idols and untouchable. I want to say that conference speakers are not idols. While I can not speak for every conference speaker, I know myself, and the other conference speakers that I know, love when conference attendees come up to us. So when you are at your next conference, or user group meeting, feel free to walk up to the speaker after the talk or if you see them in the hall way.

Here are a few tips for interacting with a speaker:

  • Be respectful of the speakers time. Do not monopolize their time.
  • Do not expect the speaker to solve all your problems. Most will spend a few minutes to talk to you and to understand the issue so that they can provide suggestions, some may provide guidance.
  • Feel free to contact them.  Most speakers provide an email address and / or have social media accounts.  Please keep in mind that some speakers keep their Facebook accounts personal so do not be offended if they deny the request or do not approve it.
  • Avoid interrupting speakers if they are already talking to someone.
  • Avoid interrupting speakers while they are eating, if they are at your table they will most likely talk.

I’d love your feedback, please leave comments below with your thoughts.


Bootstrap for ASP.NET MVC Review

Starts off with a good introduction to using Bootstrap in your ASP.NET applications.  It covers the default “File | New” experience, manually added files and my favorite, NuGet. The author then continues with introducing the Bootstrap element styles in a logical order, starting with the grid and ending with form validation.  Next the author introduces the JavaScript components of Bootstrap.

In the next part of the book the author does what I have not seen in other books on Bootstrap, the author explains how to create helper methods, which is good but there already is a well used package for that in which the author has a chapter on on at the end of the book.

The author goes on to give suggestions are to how to work with and convert sites that do not have bootstrap.

I’m not sure why but the author included a whole chapter using the jQuery DataTables plugin with some of it’s extensions with Bootstrap.

Overall, the book was easy to read, the author was clear and logical in his explanations of Bootstrap. I would recommend this book to someone just starting to learn Bootstrap and working on ASP.NET applications.

Pro NuGet Book Review

First off, I love the subtitle “Your Salvation from Dependency Hell’, although NuGet does offer its own Dependency Hell sometimes.

The first chapter starts out as you would expect, how to get started with NuGet.  However, the authors  added a helpful page of links to the different NuGet tools and documentation that they would be referring to.

The next chapter goes through, in great detail, how to install, uninstall and upgrade NuGet from the user interface, NuGet Powershell Console and command line. They then continue to talk about NuGets solution package management and visualization features.

The third chapter is a doozy, the authors explain in great detail how to author a NuGet package. They cover versioning, dependencies, configuration transformations and more.

The next chapter covers publishing NuGet package in three different ways; on NuGet.org, through the command line, and NuGet Package Explorer. The authors continue the chapter by explaining how to publish the symbol files for you NuGet packages.

The authors then show you how you can host your own NuGet repository on your servers or use a service like MyGet..org to host your packages privately.

The next three chapters talk about integrating NuGet into you release management process for both continuous and automated delivery as well as integration with your build services (TFS and Team City)

The final two chapters talk about extending NuGet to add features to it and using NuGet to make your applications extendable.

Overall, this books first 5 chapters starts with what you would expect a book or a set of blog post on NuGet would. However, the authors provided a lot more than just the “normal” stuff, they added a lot of extra detail and reference points.  But what really sets this book apart from the rest is the last 5 chapters that go into how you can incorporate NuGet into your current environment and processes. It also provides lots of ideas on how you can custom NuGet and use NuGet to make your own application extensible. 

jQuery Twitter Bootstrap Flickr Carousel

A few months ago I built a jQuery plugin that uses the Twitter Bootstrap Carousel to cycle through images on Flickr. In order to use this plugin you need to get an Api Key from Flickr and have the following software:

  • jQuery (v1.8 or higher)
  • Twitter Bootstrap (v3.0 or higher)
  • Twitter Bootstrap components (v3.0 or higher)
  • twbsPagination (optional)

Sample Usage

$('#flickr-carousel').twbsFlickrCarousel(
    {tagsToSearchFor: 'mvpsummit,mvp2013,mvp13', 
    flickrApiKey: 'insert your key here', 
    paginationSelector: '#flickr-pagination'}
    );

Download the plugin from GitHub at: https://github.com/jguadagno/twbs-flickrCarousel

See an example of usage at: http://mvp2014.mvpsummitevents.info/flickr

Bootstrap Theme Switcher jQuery plugin

A few months ago a published an article on a Bootstrap Theme Switcher. I’ve since approved this post and the JavaScript and turned it into a jQuery plugin. This plugin works with the Bootswatch API to provide the user the following:

  • Loads a list of available themes from the API into a SELECT or a UL,
  • Dynamically change the site theme to the selected theme
  • Manually change the theme
  • Save the selected theme to a cookie, requires the jQuery Cookie plugin,
  • Loads the selected theme from a cookie, requires the jQuery Cookie plugin,

The plugin also allows you to load of list of local themes in case you to note want to use the Bootswatch site.

Let me know what you think.

Downloads

jQuery Plugin page
http://plugins.jquery.com/bootstrapThemeSwitcher/
GitHub Repository
http://github.com/jguadagno/bootstrapThemeSwitcher
Demo site
http://introtobootstrap.azurewebsites.net/

Next steps

  • NuGet Package
  • NPM module
  • Bower module