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WebMatrix Hosting :: How To Produce a CSHTML with TweetMeme Helper

clock May 17, 2011 06:39 by author Administrator

Microsoft has recently introduced the first beta of its new stack for building great web sites – WebMatrix. One of the key components of WebMatrix is the ASP.Net Web Pages “Razor” Syntax (or simply: CSHTML) that lets you write C# code inside the HTML markup.



Helpers in WebMatrix

Among the new possibilities and simplicity that this approach brings to people who build web sites, there is also the notion of Helper. Helpers are a way to use a single line of code for a common task that originally had taken several lines of code to do. Such helpers can be:

- Sending mails
- Displaying a WebGrid for presenting tabular data
- Adding the Facebook button
- Querying the database
- Displaying a Twitter profile
- Embedding rich media (Silverlight, Flash, WMV)

In this post I will show how to create a custom helper to use in your ASP.Net Web Pages with Razor Syntax inside WebMatrix. For the demo I will build a TweetMeme helper that embeds the familiar TweetMeme button.

There are 2 ways of creating helpers to use in WebMatrix:

1. Create the helper as a Class Library.
2. Create it as a class and distribute the code.

Create CSHTML Helper for WebMatrix as a Class Library in Visual Studio 2010

1. Open Visual Studio 2010, and create a new Class Library that targets .Net Framework 4 called TweetMeme.Helpers.
2. Add a reference to System.Web.dll.
3. Rename the default file (Class1.cs) to a more meaningful name, such as TweetMeme.cs.
4. Rename the class name in that file to TweetMeme, and remove the namespace declaration. You better off without a namespace when using helpers.

In order to implement a custom helper, you should create a method that will render to required HTML for the helper. This method should be public and static method and should return IHtmlString as the following code:

public static IHtmlString Button(... parameters ... )
{
    // Generate the HTML
    string html = ...
    return new HtmlString(html);
}

5. Implement the TweetMeme button method:

public static IHtmlString Button(string Url,
    string  Twitter = null,
    bool    Compact = false,
    string  UrlShortenerService = "bit.ly",
    string  UrlShortenerAPIKey = null)
{
    // Generate the HTML
    string html = GeneratedCode(Url, Twitter, Compact, UrlShortenerService, UrlShortenerAPIKey);
    return new HtmlString(html);
}

6. Implement the GenerateCode method, that generates the HTML for TweetMeme:

private static string GeneratedCode(string url, string twitterName = null, bool isCompact = false, string UrlShortenerService = "bit.ly", string UrlShortenerAPIKey = null)
{
    if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(url))
        throw new ArgumentException("Url cannot be null or empty", url);

    StringBuilder builder = new StringBuilder();
    builder.Append("<script type=\"text/javascript\"> ");
    if (isCompact)
        builder.Append("tweetmeme_style = 'compact'; ");
    builder.Append(string.Format("tweetmeme_url = '{0}'; ", url));
     if (!String.IsNullOrEmpty(twitterName))
        builder.Append(string.Format("tweetmeme_source = '{0}'; ", twitterName));
    if (!String.IsNullOrEmpty(UrlShortenerService))
    {
        builder.Append(string.Format("tweetmeme_service = '{0}'; ", UrlShortenerService));
        if (!String.IsNullOrEmpty(UrlShortenerAPIKey))
            builder.Append(string.Format("tweetmeme_service_api = '{0}'; ", UrlShortenerAPIKey));
    }
    builder.Append("</script> ");
    builder.Append("<script type=\"text/javascript\" src=\"http://tweetmeme.com/i/scripts/button.js\"></script>");
    return builder.ToString();}

7. That’s it. The helper is ready to use.

Using a Custom Helper in WebMatrix

To use a custom helper in WebMatrix that is delivered as an assembly, you simply have to copy that .dll into a bin folder in your site.

1. In WebMatrix, add a bin folder to the root of your site.
2. Copy the output assembly of the helper (from the bin\debug\ folder of the class library you have just created) to the bin folder of the site.
3. In your code, simply call the Helper:

@TweetMeme.Button(url: Request.Url.AbsoluteUri,                  
twitter: "bursteg", // replace with your twitter name                 
 compact: false)

Notice: If you now run your site locally, you with receive a TweetMeme button with a question mark in it. This is just because the url that it points to is a localhost address and not something that can be reached from the outside.

Create CSHTML Helper as a Class file inside WebMatrix

The second approach for creating helpers for WebMatrix is just adding a C# file with the helper class.

1. Inside WebMatrix, add a folder called App_Code to your web site.
2. Into the App_Code folder, add a new C# class to your web site.


3. Create the helper in this file using the same code as above


4. Use the helper in your code as shown above.

Conclusion

There are 2 approaches for creating Helpers for CSHTML. Creating helpers in class libraries are probably the better way of doing this in the eyes of professional developers, but my guess is that people who build web sites will prefer copying and pasting code samples for helpers to use in the project, and we will have a great community of helpers around the web.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 



WPF Hosting :: Working with WPF Syntax Highlight

clock May 11, 2011 08:45 by author Administrator

If you are writing code for a while now then by now you must have a lot of code snippets which you will be using in your application development, and you use them because they save a lot of development time. At this moment we have now a huge collection of code snippets which includes functions, classes, extension methods and functions that we have extracted from different open source applications.

As we were progressing towards building an application in WPF which helps us managing all our code, a thought ran into our mind that it would be good if we could use syntax highlighting in the code. As usual we began my search to find a control in WPF which supports syntax highlighting and what we found, We were and we are at present satisfied. The control called AvalonEdit is a part of the free IDE called SharpDevelop for C# and VB.NET and Boo projects.

Languages support by the control:
- ASP/XHTML
- HTML
- JavaScript
- XML
- XMLDoc
- VB.NET
- C#
- C++
- Coco
- Java
- PHP
- Patch
- Boo
- TeX
- Custom Highlighting



After adding the reference in your project, add below XAML code on the window where you have your code window.



At line 4, we will use custom mapping (because it is a third-party control) so we can use the control in our project. At line 7, I have used TextEditor class of the AvalonEdit namespace. The font name and size is the same as of the source code text editor in Visual Studio 2010.

To get the control working with least configuration set some namespaces on the top, and two lines of code on window load for syntax highlighting and to show line numbers respectively.

Namespaces:


Window_Loaded:



If you wish to change the language, then just change the name of the language which is passed as a parameter in the GetDefinition method. The code in the Window_Loaded method will allow you to set syntax highlighting specifically for C#, pretty simple but not very useful. Check out the other way where the text editor will load the file and by reading the file extension, it will set the syntax highlighting. Above method will be useful if the user wants to set syntax highlighting of his choice. But if you want to detect the language and get the syntax highlighting automatically, then use the below code.



 The first line of code will Load the file and the second file will first get the extension of the file loaded, set the instance of the HighlightingManager class and in the end set the syntax highlighting. This is what we got in the end (We are using the second way to load the file). 

 


Note: To make sure that the second method work, you need to make sure that the file should have a language extension like .cs for C#, cpp for C++, xml for XML files etc. AvalonEdit is an open source code, so you can play around with it and can have your own customizations. There are lots of in-built configurations that you can do to set up your syntax highlighting control. I strongly recommend you to download the below files and take a look at the sample application.

 

 



IIS 7.5 Hosting :: Security Model for ASP.NET

clock May 3, 2011 08:00 by author Administrator

 

IIS has its own security configuration and even for any request reaching the ASP.NET runtime, IIS verifies the request with it's own security configuration. So the first gatekeeper in the ASP.NET security pipeline is actually IIS. So let us understand those security mechanisms which IIS implements:

1. Authentication: IIS support following authentication mechanism

- Basic authentication
- Digest authentication
- Passport authentication
- Window authentication
- Certificate authentication

Point to remember:

- Any authentication which IIS performs results into an authenticated window user, so this means that IIS supports authenticating window users only.
- If ASP.NET is configured to support form or window authentication, then configure IIS to support basic or digest authentication.
- If ASP.NET is configured to support form or custom authentication, then configure IIS to support anonymous access.
- With XP, it comes with IIS 5.x
- With Server 2003, it is IIS 6.0

How to configure IIS for authentication
:

Point to member here:

1. When the Anonymous User option is checked then everyone is given access to a web page and it overrides all authentication settings.

2. If IIS is configured to anonymous authentication, we can still use ASP.NET-based security to authenticate users either with ASP.NET-integrated mechanisms such as forms authentication or a custom type of authentication.



3. Windows authentication configures IIS to validate the credentials of the user against a Windows account configured either on the local machine or within the domain. A Credential submitted by a user is verified against the Windows account.

4. When Basic Authentication is checked it defines an additional HTTP header for transmitting user names and password across the wire but nothing is encrypted here. It is transmitted in the form of a base64 encoding.



5. Digest authentication is similar to basic authentication with the difference that instead of sending credentials in the form of Base64 encoding, user password and username are hashed.

 



ASP.NET 4.0 & ASP.NET 4.5 Hosting

 

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