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JavaScript, HTML 5, ASP.NET, DevExpress, ASP.NET MVC & WebForms, and News - Mehul Harry's DevExpress blog

October 2009 - Posts

  • Sneak Peek: Enhanced ASP.NET Themes DLL Performance

    Another performance enhancement in the DXperience 2009 volume 3 release is the use of the ASPxThemes DLL. Using our custom HTTP handler [1] module, the ASPxThemes DLL will now compress the CSS files along with the scripts and callbacks.

    Typically, the ASP.NET theme files are stored in your project’s App_Themes folder. With the DXperience 2009 volume 2 release, you have the advantage of using our ASPxThemes DLL [2] which packs the images and CSS files into one DLL.

    Using the ASPxThemes DLL in the DXperience 2009 volume 3 release results in reduced web server traffic because:

    1. Shorter resource URLs:
      • ASPxThemes DLL - '/grid93/DXR.axd?r=1_16' – (22 Characters)
      • App_Themes Folder - 'App_Themes/MyBlackGlass/Web/sprite.png'  - (38 Characters)
    2. The ASPxThemes DLL will now compress the CSS files (v9.3) along with scripts and callbacks (v9.2):

    Table 1: Performance of App_Themes Folder vs ASPxThemes DLL    

    Recommendation

    We’re recommending that you use the ASPxThemes DLL. By default, the pre-packaged themes we provide will already be included in the ASPxThemes DLL. However, if you use custom ASP.NET Themes then put them in the ‘custom theme assembly’ before publishing your web site. And here’s how to do it:

    S132599 - Provide a way to use custom ASP.NET Theme with New HTTP Handler for Resources

     

    Your Feedback Is Appreciated

    Drop me a line below with your thoughts and comments.

     

    References:

    [1] ASP.NET Performance Improvements in DevExpress 2009 volume 2 by Mehul Harry

    [2] Custom ASP.NET Themes And The New ASP.NET Themes DLL by Mehul Harry

     

    DXperience? What's That?

    DXperience is the .NET developer's secret weapon. Get full access to a complete suite of professional components that let you instantly drop in new features, designer styles and fast performance for your applications. Try a fully-functional version of DXperience for free now: http://www.devexpress.com/Downloads/NET/

     

  • Sneak Peak: CSS Sprites Make Your Websites Faster

    Let’s get right to the good news. The CSS Sprites technique has been added to some of the major ASP.NET controls in the DXperience 2009 volume 3 release!

    You might be asking yourself, what is a CSS Sprite? It’s a CSS technique to combine several smaller images into one image and gain performance. As web design guru, Chris Coyier [1] puts it:

    The name might be a little misleading, because sprites aren’t little images like you might be picturing, a sprite is actually one big image. Have you ever seen the CSS technique where the “on” and “off” states of a button are contained within the same image and are activated by shifting the background-position? Think of CSS Sprites as an extension of that technique. The difference is that instead of just two or three images being combined into one, you can combine an unlimited number of images into one.

    Using the CSS Sprite technique has the effect of reducing the amount of requests sent to the web server: one big image requested instead of many many small images. And less requests on your web server means 2 things:

    1. There’s less to send over the wire.
    2. Pages load faster!

    How fast?

    We tested the performance using the 512kps speed settings in Fiddler. Just to be sure that we’re targeting a common speed that users might have if their visiting your website from home.

    The result? If one of the ASP.NET controls contains a lot of images, for example the ASPxHtmlEditor, then the CSS Sprites approach gives you a staggering improvement of about 1.5 to 2 times for a page with the ASPxHtmlEditor.

    Table 1: 9.2 vs 9.3 Performance of CSS Sprites in ASPxHtmlEditor  

    Your Feedback Is Appreciated

    This post has a lot of information to digest so fire away if you've got more questions.

     

    References:

    [1] CSS Sprites: What They Are, Why They’re Cool, and How To Use Them by Chris Coyier

     

    DXperience? What's That?

    DXperience is the .NET developer's secret weapon. Get full access to a complete suite of professional components that let you instantly drop in new features, designer styles and fast performance for your applications. Try a fully-functional version of DXperience for free now: http://www.devexpress.com/Downloads/NET/

  • Video: CodeRush Metric Shader Plugin

    Check out the CodeRush Metric Shader plugin video with Rory Becker. Rory’s created for you another useful plugin that helps you visualize code metrics!

    Check out the video to see what I mean:

    Video: CodeRush Metric Shader Plugin

    Then, be sure to leave us a comment below with your thoughts, questions or just praise for Rory.

    Click here to download plugin and source-code for CR_MetricShader.

    DevExpress PDC 2009 Platinum Sponsor

    DXperience? What's That?

    DXperience is a royalty-free tool suite for rapid business application development for WinForms and ASP.NET apps.

    Instantly enhance your WinForms and ASP.NET apps by dropping in new feature sets encapsulated in components.

    Try a fully-functional version of DXperience for free now: http://www.devexpress.com/Downloads/NET/

     

  • Mark Miller Will Beat You With a Guitar!

    Check out this 8 minute Mark Miller video interview where he discusses:

    • How he got an Xbox Guitar working with Visual Studio
    • The coding challenge at the DevExpress booth during Microsoft’s PDC 2009

    Click the image below and watch the video to learn why I’m so excited to see this in action:

    Video: Guitars and Code With Mark and Mehul

    PDC Challenge

    The coding challenge is simple:

    • You both have a PC with a standard install of Visual Studio.
    • You get to use a standard keyboard and mouse.
    • Mark will use an Xbox guitar and CodeRush.
    • You battle against each other by writing a piece of code.
    • Finish first and win big prizes.

    Now, I’m a little skeptical whether Mark can pull it off. I mean that I’m basically crippled without my Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000. But one thing I’ve learned is that you don’t underestimate Mark “the Millinator” Miller.

    What do you think? Will he slaughter the competition or has he bitten off more than he can chew this time? Drop me a line below with your thoughts.

    DevExpress PDC 2009 Platinum Sponsor

    DXperience? What's That?

    DXperience is a royalty-free tool suite for rapid business application development for WinForms and ASP.NET apps.

    Instantly enhance your WinForms and ASP.NET apps by dropping in new feature sets encapsulated in components.

    Try a fully-functional version of DXperience for free now: http://www.devexpress.com/Downloads/NET/

     

  • Video: Quick Add Reference – Visual Studio Plugin

    Check out this 9 minute plugin screencast with Rory Becker. Rory created a fantastic Visual Studio plugin to address the slow “Add Reference” dialog issue.

    Watch the video to learn more about the CR_QuickAddReference plugin and …

    • How fast the dialog is
    • How simple it is to install and use the plugin
    • Why bother recreating an existing functionality
    • And how was it built

    Rory Becker is one smart developer who’s created tons of useful DXCore and CodeRush plugins. I’ll highlight some of the best ones for you on this blog.

    Click the image below and watch the full screencast. Then drop me and Rory a line below with your thoughts.

    Video: Visual Studio Quick Add Reference Plugin

    Click here to download plugin and source-code for CR_QuickAddReference.

    DevExpress PDC 2009 Platinum SponsorDXperience? What's That?

    DXperience is a royalty-free tool suite for rapid business application development for WinForms and ASP.NET apps.

    Instantly enhance your WinForms and ASP.NET apps by dropping in new feature sets encapsulated in components. DXperience contains:

    • IDE Productivity Tools - Make Visual Studio easier and more effective with IDE enhancements
      • DXCore - IDE tools extensible engine
      • CodeRush - Extensible swiss army knife of tools to make source code editing faster and easier, including code editing templates, code editing utilities (selection, navigation, clipboard), inline code visualizations and the upcoming unit test runner.
      • Refactor Pro - Code editing tools specifically geared for refactoring source code.
    • XAF - Business app framework for WinForms and ASP.NET
    • XPO – Object-relational mapping for .NET
    • Reporting - Reporting "platform" for WinForms and ASP.NET
    • UI Components for WinForms, ASP.NET, WPF and Silverlight

    Try a fully-functional version of DXperience for free now: http://www.devexpress.com/Downloads/NET/

     

  • 500 Screencasts and Counting…

    Yes, we’re gonna party like it’s 1999 because we've just reached a sweet little milestone for The DevExpress Channel.

    We published the 500th screencast this week with the “WPF Grid - Feature Tour” screencast.

    Champagne bottle ready for celebration

    Since launching the DevExpress Channel in July 2008, we’ve pumped out about 38.4615 videos a month! Sure, I’ll grant you that some months had more videos than others but I stand by the milestone.

    Therefore, in just a little over one year:

    • over 403,000 total views (nearly 1/2 million)
    • average views up from double to triple digits and 100+ videos with 1000+ views
    • over 800 comments
    • did I mention 500 videos?
    • the backup and sister youtube channel is steadily rising
    • the http://tv.DevExpress.com site has gotten:
      • professional graphics makeover (September 2009)
      • skip feature: metadata injection let’s you skip around in the videos (August 2009)
      • A complete redesign (ok still pending but it’s close)

    And what a fun time we’ve had making these videos this past year! However, the newly redesigned DevExpress channel is even more exciting so stay tuned for more info in the coming weeks.

    DXperience? What's That?

    DXperience is the .NET developer's secret weapon. Get full access to a complete suite of professional components that let you instantly drop in new features, designer styles and fast performance for your applications. Try a fully-functional version of DXperience for free now: http://www.devexpress.com/Downloads/NET/

    image_450588121_61C55EBD[1]

  • New Video Feature: Jump Or Skip Time

    Recently, we added a super-useful little feature so you can skip around in the videos without having the video fully loaded. All the videos on the DevExpress Channel are now converted to support the new feature.

    How does it work?

    1. We inject ‘metadata’ into the video as a final step in the production process.
    2. You click to any point in the video and the player will start streaming from the new cue point. Take a look at the shot of the 9 minute screencast below. I’ve clicked to the 4 minute mark and video player started streaming from this point forward. Sweet!

    DevExpress Channel: Jump To Time Point

    Who does #2 work for?

    Everyone! Especially on those really long videos. For example, if you had to stop watching a video half way through and wanted to continue where you'd left off, you're just one jump point away.

    But wait, there’s more…

    One of our internal teams is hard at work on a complete site redesign. The new site has a lot of your suggestions like a playlist feature built-in. Stay tuned for details in the coming weeks.

    DevExpress PDC 2009 Platinum SponsorDXperience? What's That?

    DXperience is a royalty-free tool suite for rapid business application development for WinForms and ASP.NET apps.

    Instantly enhance your WinForms and ASP.NET apps by dropping in new feature sets encapsulated in components. DXperience contains:

    • IDE Productivity Tools - Make Visual Studio easier and more effective with IDE enhancements
      • DXCore - IDE tools extensible engine
      • CodeRush - Extensible swiss army knife of tools to make source code editing faster and easier, including code editing templates, code editing utilities (selection, navigation, clipboard), inline code visualizations and the upcoming unit test runner.
      • Refactor Pro - Code editing tools specifically geared for refactoring source code.
    • XAF - Business app framework for WinForms and ASP.NET
    • XPO – Object-relational mapping for .NET
    • Reporting - Reporting "platform" for WinForms and ASP.NET
    • UI Components for WinForms, ASP.NET, WPF and Silverlight

    Try a fully-functional version of DXperience for free now: http://www.devexpress.com/Downloads/NET/

  • Gearing up for PDC 2009 – Platinum Sponsors

    We’re getting ready for the upcoming Microsoft Professional Developer’s Conference 2009.

    If you’re attending then you’ll be in for treat because we’re bring the big booth with us. This means that we’ll have a bunch of the DevExpress crew there to answer your questions and give demos. And we’re also planning to have a little bit of fun for you.

    The logo reveals a little bit of the the theme that we’ve got planned for you.

    DX_PDC_large

    Can you guess what the theme might be?

    DXperience? What's That?

    DXperience is the .NET developer's secret weapon. Get full access to a complete suite of professional components that let you instantly drop in new features, designer styles and fast performance for your applications. Try a fully-functional version of DXperience for free now: http://www.devexpress.com/Downloads/NET/

  • Video: New CodeRush Plugin To Collapse Long Methods

    Check out this short eight minute CodeRush plugin screencast with Rory Becker. The screencast explains:

    • What is DX_CollapseFromEnd?
    • How do you use it?
    • How was it built?

    Rory is not just an avid fan of CodeRush but he’s an extraordinary plugin developer too. Not only has he developed several plugins but also goes the extra mile to help others learn about CodeRush and refactoring.

    Click the image below and watch the full screencast. Then drop me and Rory a line below with your thoughts.

    Video: CodeRush Plugin - Collapse From End

    Click here to download plugin and source-code for DX_CollapseFromEnd.

    DXperience is the .NET developer's secret weapon. Get full access to a complete suite of professional components that let you instantly drop in new features, designer styles and fast performance for your applications. Try a fully-functional version of DXperience for free now: http://www.devexpress.com/Downloads/NET/

     

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