April 25, 2006

Martin Szugat's article about eXml Web server control

Martin Szugat, .NET and XML expert from Germany has published an article about using my eXml Web server control in ASP.NET 2.0. The article was published in the German dot.net magazin and now it also went online in the German MSDN: "Von der Quelle zum Kunden. Anzeige von XML-Daten auf dem Client in ASP.NET 2.0". Yep, German only, no English translation yet afaik. Well, cool anyway.

April 24, 2006

How to check if XslCompiledTransform instance has already loaded a stylesheet

XslCompiledTransform provides amazing transformation performance, but obviously not without a price. As with any compiling system the price is slower and quite resource consuming compilation stage. That's why it's very important to cache loaded XslCompiledTransform instance to avoid paying compilation price over again. One question that comes sometimes while implementing caching/pooling systems for XslCompiledTransform is how to check if XslCompiledTransform instance has been already loaded with a stylesheet?

XslCompiledTransform design separates object construction and initialization for the sake of reusability (to be able to load another XSLT stylesheet into the same XslCompiledTransform instance). I believe that's a legacy issue as it contradicts with always-cache-loaded-XslCompiledTransform mantra. And unfortunately currently XslCompiledTransform provides no property to check if the stylesheet was already loaded and XslCompiledTransform instance is ready to be used. Hopefully in the next version we will get such one. But currently here is a trick that can be used - check OutputSettings property for not null. It's always null when Load() method has not been called and always not null after that. This is pretty much safe and I was assured by guys at the Microsoft XML team responsible for the XslCompiledTransform that this behaviour won't be changed.

April 10, 2006

My first ASP.NET 2.0 site in production

Yeah, my first ASP.NET 2.0 site went into production. It's a site hosted by the Israel Football Association for football referees so they can fill in game reports while relaxing at home. PowerBuilder backend - turned out to be not as bad as it could be (btw, if anyone ever want to interop with PowerBuilder from .NET via COM - never ever use OLE DB in PB code). No public access, so no URL, sorry. But what I wanted to say is that ASP.NET 2.0 and Visual Studio 2005 rock! It was just a plain coding pleasure.

April 9, 2006

XSLT 2.0 in .NET Survey Winner

Well, "XSLT 2.0 in .NET" survey at the XML Lab site has ended back in January and I forgot to select a winner. Ooops. Let's finish this now.

I obviously made a mistake requiring user registration for voting, but then I needed some way to identify a winner... Anyway, 40 people registered and voted (thanks guys), which is not bad for such a small unknown site. 72% need XSLT 2.0, 25% think it would be nice to have, 2% happy with XSLT 1.0. Quite predictable given my audience.

And the winner (choosen truly randomly using EXSLT random:random-sequence() function) is Yoeri Van de Moortel from Belgium. Congratulations, Yoeri! Get in touch with me, I need your address to send the "XSLT 2.0 Programmer's Reference" book by Mike Kay (or some other XSLT book if you happens to own this one already).