Andrej Tozon's blog

In the Attic


Search this blog

In one of my previous posts I wrote about OpenSearch and adding OpenSearch providers to your browser's Search toolbar. If you're using Community Server for your blog/forums engine, you can easily enable your visitors to take advantage of such providers to search through your site.

For example, when you visit my blog, you'll see a dropdown button next to browser's search icon turn orange. This means that browser [should be IE7, Firefox 2 or some other browser, supporting search providers] found a search provider on this page and has made it ready for you to use. Just enter the desired keywords, open the dropdown and select Andrej Tozon's Blog Search - your browser will take you to blog's search results page. To make this provider stay in your browser's search providers dropdown for future use, select Add Search Providers | Andrej Tozon's Blog Search from the same menu.

To implement this kind of search on your own site, create an OpenSearch description file, called opensearch-description.xml. This file describes your provider and should look something like:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
<OpenSearchDescription xmlns="">
  <ShortName>My Search</ShortName>
  <Description>Search my site</Description>
  <LongName>My Search Provider</LongName>
  <Tags>Blog, Community</Tags>
  <Url type="text/html" template="{searchTerms}&o=Relevance" />

[Note: the above bold text represents a link, used by Community Server to display the search results page. If you're using a different kind of site engine and it supports searching, replace that link with the one your engine uses.]

Put the OpenSearch description file, you've just created, somewhere on your site, then edit one of your web pages, where you want your provider to be discovered [best place for this is usually the master template file]. Here's the contents that should go into this file's <head> section:

<link title="My Search" type="application/opensearchdescription+xml" rel="search" href="" mce_href="" lang="en" xml:lang="en" />

Make sure the link in the href attribute points to a valid OpenSearch description file you've created in previous step.

That's it, you're done. Navigate to your site with your browser and watch that icon go orange...

On a side note: I've also searchbox enabled our Developer users group portal [SLODUG/CodeZone-SI]; if you read Slovenian language, you're kindly invited to search through our posts...

Latest hotfixes for Visual Studio developers

Microsoft launched a "DevDiv Hotfix Public Availability Pilot Program", which will allow developers to access and download some of the latest hotfixes of their developer tools. Not many hotfixes are available at this time [the one that caught my eye was "FIX: You may receive an error message when you rebuild a solution and try to view a Windows Form in Design view in Visual Studio 2005."], but hopefully the number will increase in time. Of course, this hotfixes will be included in the forthcoming Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1.

This program is available through Microsoft Connect. And make sure you read the red text before downloading and applying any of the hotfixes...

Got .docx?

With 2007 Microsoft Office System out in the wild, there is a fair chance your next e-mail message will contain some Word 2007 formatted documents. Get ready and download Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats, which will help you open, edit and save those documents in your Word 2000, XP or 2003. The pack includes filters for Word, Excel and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats and can also be applied to equivalent Office 2003 Viewers.

Less than a month to Windows Vista and Office 2007?

Looks like we're finally getting there - Windows Vista and Office 2007 will be made available to business on November 30th, while home users will have to wait till public release in January. I'm running Vista RC2 on my laptop and Windows XP + IE7 (final IE7 has been available for download for more than a week now, now also available through Automatic Windows Updates) and I'm ready for the switch. I guess this is also the right time to buy a new working box to raise that experience factor and make Vista happy. Some other stuff I've been installing lately include Windows Live Messenger 8.1 Beta, XNA Game Studio Express Beta 2, Windows Live Writer Beta Update (Build 145) and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 IDE Enhancements. It's just too bad I don't have more time to play with all these - time's just flying when you're having fun...

VS2005 SP1 Beta is out

Yes, the very much anticipated Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 Beta is now available through Microsoft Connect. If you signed up for this Beta a week or so ago, you should now have the access to download it! Separate downloads are available for Standard/Pro/Team* and Express editions. The service pack file for non-Express editions takes about 370 MB, and the list of included HotFixes looks long enough... :) I'm just installing it on my usual Beta/CTP suspect - my NX7010 laptop, currently running Vista RC1. Let's see what happens ;)

According to Somasegar's post, the final version will be shipped in the next 3-4 months. The post also discusses the Windows Vista and .NET Framework 3.0 support, so make sure you read it in full...

[Update: looking good...]

Visual Basic 2005 Power Packs

If you're a VB6 developer, who is just about to migrate to the new, VB 2005 (.NET 2.0) environment, you'll probably going to miss some of the old tools and features you loved to use in good old VB6. To ease up the migration process for you, Microsoft just launched a new site, dedicated to VB 2005 Power Packs, which fill feature downloadable (free) "Add-Ins, Controls, Components, and Tools for you to use with Visual Basic 2005 to make developing great applications even easier".

Currently, there are two packs already available to download: Microsoft Interop Forms Toolkit will allow you to easily extend your VB6 applications with new WinForms controls by generating all necessary COM wrappers around those controls with a simple click of a button, which in the end allows you the slow, step by step migration to the new environment.[Update: see this blog post for a 6-minute screencast on this toolkit.] The second pack, Microsoft PrintForm Component, simply brings back the feature of printing your application's forms (including print previews).

You can check for other packs in the making on the Power Pack Suggestion Center (on Microsoft Connect), where you can also vote for your favorite packs and make suggestions for a new pack you'd want to see and use in the future. There's at least one pack already in the making, which I'm sure you already miss - The Line and Shape Controls.

Smart, meet beautiful

"Smart, meet beautiful" - this is the message you're greeted with towards the end of Microsoft Vista Pre-RC1 installation. And yes, Vista continues to look better with each new build [but I'm hardly getting any smarter...]. The latest build (5536). available for download for the first 100.000 people, appears to run a bit faster (graphics/drawing) on my notebook, making me comfortable doing my regular work in Visual Studio 2005 and Office 2007. IE7 appears to perform better too. Now, with the first RC just behind the corner, the wait for the late January release continues...

Also, XNA Game Studio Express Beta has just been released. If you ever wanted to build a good looking game for Windows (who hasn't?) or Xbox 360 (!), now you can do it using C# and Visual Studio 2005 (C# Express). Now, C# Express Edition is required on the system before installing XNA GSE even if  VS2005 (Standard or higher) is already installed) - it's somewhat a double install but both versions of Visual Studio can coexist on the same machine without interfering with each other.
I installed it and tried to run the included "Spacewar Starter Kit", but without luck - my video card on this machine is way behind the required standard (DirectX 9.0c). On hold till final release...

Accessing (more) old posts with WLW

I thought about moving some of my posts from my old blog to this one - Windows Live Writer doesn't really have an option to copy posts between blogs (yet?), but since it supports the Blogger API, it's easy to access and open those old posts nobody wants to read anymore...

So I added a new weblog account to WLW and connected to Blogger and immediately got my blogger theme look and feel in Writer's document area - this works great. The problem was with how to access all of my old posts since WLW only offers the listing of maximum 25 (latest) posts... To show more, registry tweaking is required: open the registry editor and scroll down to the WLW Preferences section: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Windows Live Writer\Preferences\PostEditor\RecentPostDefaults, where you'll find a list of guids, representing your blog configurations. In the Data column, you'll see currently set numbers of posts to be displayed (5, 10, 15, 20 or 25). Simply double click on these items and set the higher number - 50, 100, ... When you return in WLW the number will be (re)set to that number and you'll be able to access much more posts than before.

Now, to republish old posts in my current blog, I'd have to copy the post into a new blog post, set its original date and title and publish it in the new blog.

[Be careful when editing registry settings - changing wrong keys can lead to unpredictable results. Don't try to do this if you're not sure of what you're doing...]

Better late then never...

... for my Windows Live Writer post... I just love this tool! A bunch of helpful add-ins are already popping up (here, here, here), and if you want to make your own - here's how.

Also, I'm writing this on Vista July CTP, which also is a major improvement compared to Beta 2. No more (wireless) network problems (at least in my case), VS2005 and SQL2005 install without problems (although suggesting applying SQL2005 SP2...). IIS is also back (with IIS6 compatibility)... However, the NX7010/Radeon 9200 issue remains..

The address of this blog has also changed, RSS subscriptions should remain the same (thanks to FeedBurner) and is now running on Community Server 2.1. The upgrade process, like always, wasn't going as expected... My online CS database is probably very messed up by now...

And here's where I live [testing Windows Live Map :)]...



[Update: apparently, WLMap coordinates get screwed up somewhere in the process, since it put my location about 50km west of actual location I entered...]

Community Server 2.1 Released!

Download the latest version from the official site. Right on time - for a long an rainy weekend...

Some features that I was eagerly waiting for: Better SPAM protection, Tags, Content Mirroring and Medium Trust.

Also, a new WLM build [8.0.0812.00] is available...