Fixed IE 6 style sheet issue

Published 6/7/2008 by Henry in CSS

A colleague of mine (Geert) pointed out this site did not work well under IE6.
I fired it up and sure enough, it did not show the blogposts, all was black.
I also tried in Firefox, but that worked nicely.

I went through my stylesheets, while trying out stuff in IE 6.
It turned out to be 1 line that worked nice in all browsers, but not in IE 6, I removed it and now I'm cool again.

Thx Geert, for pointing this out.
Goes to show, trying out as much browsers as possible when building web apps is no luxury!

Henry Cordes
My thoughts exactly...

ASP.NET MVC Preview 3 released!

Published 5/31/2008 by Henry in ASP.NET | C#
Tags: ,

ASP.NET MVC Preview 3 is released. You can download it from here:

I took the following quote from ScottGu's blog which is a dutch translation!
Je kan hier een geintegreerd pakket van de ASP.NET MVC Preview 3 setup downloaden. Als je dat wil, kan je ook de ASP.NET MVC Preview 3 framework broncode en de framework unit tests hier downloaden.
Which means something along the line of:
You can download an integrated ASP.NET MVC Preview 3 setup package here.  You can also optionally download the ASP.NET MVC Preview 3 framework source code and framework unit tests here.

The way Microsoft is open about the code they write, is awsome to me.
The 'ScottGu teams' really turning the game upside down, IMHO it is so cool and insightfull to look at the way the MVC Framework team sets up the framework. The opportunity to look at their tests is another learning experience to me.
So download an learn, is what I say!

Henry Cordes
My thoughts exactly...

External js file and CRM

Published 5/27/2008 by Henry in AJAX | CRM | Javascript

While doing a project where MS Dynamics CRM  is used a lot of customizations are performed by JavaScript.
Usually the way to it is to perform some JavaScript actions in the OnLoad of the Page.
MS Dynamics CRM has a extention point, where you can control the OnLoad of Detail Forms by entering JavaScript.

Now when you need to deploy your CRM configuration to more than one system (like we do at my project, it is sold as part of a product), you want to use a centralized Javascript file so you can change your url's etc. all in one place.
To do this (unsupported by Microsoft!) I learnt the following technique from CRM Specialists:

First technique

   1:  var script = document.createElement('script');
   2:  script.language = 'javascript';
   3:  script.src = '/_customscript/customscript.js';
   4:  script.onreadystatechange = OnScriptReadyState;
   5:  document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0].appendChild(script);
   7:  function OnScriptReadyState()
   8:  {
   9:      if (event.srcElement.readyState == 'complete')
  10:     {
  11:          // Perform onload script
  12:          //Doit();
  13:      }
  14:  }

Listing 1

The drawback with this technique is that the first time CRM loads (and every time the cache is empty) the script is not executed. Leaving the user to think the application does not work. After some time it really annoyed me, so I started to ask uncle Google again for a solution. I found the following on

What this guy does is doing an AJAX call, to get the js file.
Next he loads the javascript as a string, eval() it, and imports all functions found into the current namespace, so you can access them.

It needs functionnames a-z, it cannot handle numeric values in the name of the function, but i will fix this before I will use it.
Otherwise I think it rocks! Async technique (no first time drawback)

   1:  function load_script (url) 
   2:  { 
   3:      var x = new ActiveXObject("Msxml2.XMLHTTP"); 
   4:'GET', url, false); 
   5:      x.send(''); 
   6:      eval(x.responseText); 
   7:      var s = x.responseText.split(/\n/); 
   8:      var r = /^function\s*([a-z_]+)/i; 
   9:      for (var i = 0; i < s.length; i++) 
  10:      { 
  11:          var m = r.exec(s[i]); 
  12:          if (m != null) 
  13:          {
  14:              window[m[1]] = eval(m[1]); 
  15:          }
  16:      } 
  17:  } 
  19:  load_script("/_customscript/customscript.js"); 
  21:  //perform onload scripts
  22:  //DoIt();

Listing 2


As I mentioned numbers in the functionname caused the code to fail. So I changed the regex pattern in line 8 from listing 2 into:

   1:  var r = /^function\s*([a-zA-Z_0-9]+)/i; 

Listing 3

With this regex pattern functions with numbers in the name also are added to the namespace. I added the uppercase A-Z not because functions with uppercase characters in the name where not added, but as a best practice. also you can never be sure browsers keep on using IgnoreCase as default setting.

As you can read in the comments, Marc-Andre uses the following pattern:

   1:  var r = /^(?:function|var)\s*([a-zA-Z_]+)/i; 

He wants some vars (which he uses as constants) to be added to the namespace also, maybe I would add the 0-9 here also. anyway, I think it is a good suggestion to mention here.

Addition 2:

Steve Le Mon made a very good suggestion and tried out a few things, he found a way around the parsing of the functions and/or vars and adding them to the current namespace.
I tweaked his code a little bit and ended up with the following:

   1:  function InjectScript(scriptFile)
   2:  {
   3:      var netRequest = new ActiveXObject("Msxml2.XMLHTTP"); 
   4:"GET", scriptFile, false); 
   5:      netRequest.send(null); 
   6:      eval(netRequest.responseText); 
   7:  }
   9:  InjectScript('/_customscript/customscript.js');
  11:  //CallFunctionInExternalFile(); 

Listing 4

This technique removes the overhead of the parsing of the functions and vars so will perform faster.

Henry Cordes
My thoughts exactly...


When I migrated my blog over to a new provider and blogengine, I lost some images,replaced them using VS2010, so some screenshots look 'newer'.

Series  - Create a UserControl with Silverlight 2.0 Beta x  

Part I   - Create a UserControl with Silverlight 2.0 Beta 1 (this post)
Part II - Create a UserControl with SilverLight 2.0 Beta

Wanting to know what all the hype is really about, I started to think about creating a web application with Silverlight.
Before I will create an application, my idea is to start of with a UserControl. A really simple one too. For the application I am going to maybe be building with Silverlight, I need a UI component to choose the gender of a person.
You could use two radiobuttons, make them a member of the same group and we're off. But with Silverlight we can try a more graphical approach, maybe a more intuitive control. I want to create a control that has the Male and Female Symbol that are clickable, through clicking on a symbol you select the gender.

I installed:

  • Microsoft Expression Design
  • Microsoft Expression Blend 2.5 March 2008 Preview
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2008
  • Microsoft Silverlight Tools Beta 1 for Visual Studio 2008

First thing you learn when starting to use this technology is that you really need a designers eye on things. So if you are not a creative person, that likes designing stuff, maybe you need a designer to do it for you.
We are going to try to do the design ourselves for now.

Create Solution and projects
First I Fired up Visual Studio 2008. I created a new Silverlight Application (so it is easy to try our control out).

Create Silverlight Application

As soon as you click OK, you are presented a choice, because Silverlight will be hosted on or inside a web page, you have to choose from the following options:

  1. Create only the Silverlight app and let Studio generate an HTML page for you to test the app with (only in bin/debug)
  2. Add a Website project to your solution
  3. Add a Web Application Project to your solution


Select hosting application type

I choose option 3. a Web Application Project. Now I got two projects inside my solution. I right click on the Page.xaml file and choose "Open in Expression Blend"


Open in MS Blend

Rightclick on the Silverlight project file and choose "Add New Item..." from the menu

Add new item to Silverlight application project in Blend Add New Item

Select UserControl as template and give the control a name.

Give the xaml file for your UserControl a name New Item

Rightclick in the area named: "Objects and Timeline" in the left side of Blend, on the UserControl and select Rename, give the control a name (GenderChoose), it cannot be the same as the name you gave the .xaml file (this is confusing, because the New Item dialog suggests you name the Usercontrol, but all you do is name the xaml and these names both must be unique.

Rename the UserControl in blend Rename Control

Because the background of the LayoutRoot is white  We need to change it to transparent, we do this by selecting the LayoutRoot inside the UserControl

Select LayoutRoot Grid in Blend Select LayoutRoot

After this,we select the little square that is on the right of the BackGround Brush setting

Background brush

In the contextmenu choose "Reset" and the background is transparent

No brush


Now it is time to fire up Microsoft Expression Design, it is a vector based drawing and design tool. I need to create the Male and Female symbols with it.
Click File > New and create a document with Width: 120 px and Height 140 px.
From the toolbox select an Ellipse

Select Ellipse

Draw a circle and select a line, to draw the arrow on the upper right of the circle. Set the width of the line to 10px. You should be making something like this:

Male symbol inside Microsoft Expression Design Male Symbol

Select all paths in your drawing, than click Object > Compound Path > Make, or use Ctrl + 8. Than again select all on your drawing

Compounded path

and paste into your control in Blend.

Male symbol pasted into Blend Path inside Blend Control

Rename the Path to MalePath. Do the same for the Female symbol (draw, make compound path, copy and paste into Blend) and rename this path into FemalePath. Give the paths a color you like, by selecting and choosing the right color in Brush option. Now we got something like this

Symbols have color Colors added

And the result in Xaml is this:

   1:  <UserControl
   2:      xmlns=""
   3:      xmlns:x=""
   4:      xmlns:d=""
   5:      xmlns:mc=""
   6:      mc:Ignorable="d"

   7:      x:Class="HC.Silverlight.Tyout.GenderChooser"
   8:      d:DesignWidth="288" d:DesignHeight="160" x:Name="GenderChoose">
  10:      <Grid x:Name="LayoutRoot" Height="160" Width="244" >
  11:          <Path x:Name="MalePath"    
  12:              MouseLeftButtonDown="MalePath_MouseLeftButtonDown" 
  13:              MouseEnter="MalePath_MouseEnter"    
  14:              MouseLeave="MalePath_MouseLeave"   
  15:              Stretch="Fill" StrokeThickness="10" 
  16:              StrokeLineJoin="Round" 
  17:              Stroke="#4C0E1B4B" 
  18:              Data="M71.182777,43.484818 C88.632889,57.770176 91.340874,83.323097 77.231247,
  19:                  100.56004 C63.121323,117.79601 37.536755,120.18899 20.086346,
  20:                  105.90402 C2.6360354,91.620079 -0.071950652,66.066154 14.037977,
  21:                  48.829205 C28.147804,31.592951 53.732468,29.20006 71.182777,
  22:                  43.484818 z M71.687004,42.605003 L102.30298,5.2050009 L104.313,
  23:                  34.850189 M71.437004,42.401001 L102.053,5.000001 L72.594521,8.885973" 
  24:              Height="120.23" 
  25:              HorizontalAlignment="Left" 
  26:              Margin="2.93199992179871,2.15100002288818,0,37.6189994812012" 
  27:              VerticalAlignment="Stretch" 
  28:              Width="109.313" 
  29:              d:LayoutOverrides="Width"/>
  30:          <Path x:Name="FemalePath"  
  31:              MouseLeftButtonDown="FemalePath_MouseLeftButtonDown"    
  32:              MouseEnter="FemalePath_MouseEnter"    
  33:              MouseLeave="FemalePath_MouseLeave"   
  34:              Stretch="Fill"   

  35:              StrokeThickness="10"   
  36:              StrokeLineJoin="Round"   
  37:              Stroke="#4CF502E4"   
  38:              Data="M 75.6667,46.1667C 98.2183,46.1667 116.5,64.2245 116.5,86.5C 116.5,108.775 98.2183,126.833 75.6667,
  39:                  126.833C 53.1151,126.833 34.8333,108.775 34.8333,86.5C 34.8333,64.2245 53.115,46.1667 75.6667,
  40:                  46.1667 Z M 76.5,126.5L 76.5,185.167M 103.833,159.167L 48.8333,159.167"   
  41:              HorizontalAlignment="Left"   
  42:              Margin="122.833000183105,0.166999995708466,0,10.8330001831055"   
  43:              Width="91.667"   
  44:              d:LayoutOverrides="Width"/>
  45:      </Grid>
  46:  </UserControl>

Listing 1

Now we open Visual studio again, we get the file modified message

We select Yes to all and in the upper side of the Studio Design screen we click reload.
We open the code window for our GenderChooser class (GendserChooser.xaml.cs) and I wrote the following code:


   1:  namespace HC.Silverlight.Tryout
   2:  {
   3:      #region Enums
   4:      /// <summary>
   5:      /// Tells which Gender
   6:      /// </summary>
   7:      public enum GenderChoice
   8:      {
   9:          /// <summary>
  10:          /// Gender for man
  11:          /// </summary>
  12:          Male = 0,
  13:          /// <summary>
  14:          /// Gender for woman
  15:          /// </summary>
  16:          Female = 1,
  17:          /// <summary>
  18:          /// Not sure :-)
  19:          /// </summary>
  20:          Unknown = 2
  21:      }
  23:      #endregion
  25:      #region Delegates
  26:      /// <summary>
  27:      /// Handles GenderChosen Event
  28:      /// </summary>
  29:      /// <param name="sender"></param>
  30:      /// <param name="e"></param>
  31:      public delegate void GenderChosenEventHandler(object sender, GenderChoice gender);
  32:  #endregion
  34:      public partial class GenderChooser : UserControl
  35:      {
  36:          #region Events
  37:          /// <summary>
  38:          /// GenderChosen
  39:          /// </summary>
  40:          public event GenderChosenEventHandler GenderChosen;
  41:          #endregion
  43:          #region EventHandler
  44:          /// <summary>
  45:          /// Raises event, if EventHandler not null
  46:          /// </summary>
  47:          /// <param name="message"></param>
  48:          private void OnGenderChosen(object sender, GenderChoice selectedGender)
  49:          {
  50:              if (GenderChosen != null)
  51:              {
  52:                  GenderChosen(sender, selectedGender);
  53:              }
  54:          }
  55:          #endregion
  58:          #region Privates
  59:          private GenderChoice _Gender = GenderChoice.Unknown;
  60:          private SolidColorBrush _MaleColor = new SolidColorBrush(Color.FromArgb(255, 14, 27, 75));
  61:          private SolidColorBrush _MaleColorDisabled = new SolidColorBrush(Color.FromArgb(70, 14, 27, 75));
  62:          private SolidColorBrush _FemaleColor = new SolidColorBrush(Color.FromArgb(255, 245, 2, 228));
  63:          private SolidColorBrush _FemaleColorDisabled = new SolidColorBrush(Color.FromArgb(70, 245, 2, 228));
  64:          #endregion
  66:          #region Properties
  68:          #region Colors
  69:          /// <summary>
  70:          /// Gets or sets MaleColorDisabled, the color if the Male symbol is disabled
  71:          /// </summary>
  72:          public SolidColorBrush MaleColorDisabled

  73:          {
  74:              get { return _MaleColorDisabled; }
  75:              set { _MaleColorDisabled = value; }
  76:          }
  78:          /// <summary>
  79:          ///  Gets or sets FemaleColorDisabled, the color if the Female symbol is disabled
  80:          /// </summary>
  81:          public SolidColorBrush FemaleColorDisabled
  82:          {
  83:              get { return _FemaleColorDisabled; }
  84:              set { _FemaleColorDisabled = value; }
  85:          }
  87:          /// <summary>
  88:          /// Gets or sets MaleColor
  89:          /// </summary>
  90:          public SolidColorBrush MaleColor
  91:          {
  92:              get { return _MaleColor; }
  93:              set { _MaleColor = value; }
  94:          }
  96:          /// <summary>
  97:          /// Gets or sets FemaleColor
  98:          /// </summary>
  99:          public SolidColorBrush FemaleColor
 100:          {
 101:              get { return _FemaleColor; }
 102:              set { _FemaleColor = value; }
 103:          }

 104:          #endregion
 106:          /// <summary>
 107:          /// Gets or sets GenderChoice
 108:          /// </summary>
 109:          public GenderChoice Gender
 110:          {
 111:              get { return _Gender; }
 112:              set 
 113:              { 
 114:                  _Gender = value;
 115:                  SetColorAccordingToChoice();
 116:                  OnGenderChosen(this, _Gender);
 117:              }
 118:          }
 119:          #endregion
 121:          #region C'tor
 122:          public GenderChooser()
 123:          {
 124:              // Required to initialize variables
 125:              InitializeComponent();
 127:          }

 128:          #endregion
 130:          #region MouseEvents
 131:          private void MalePath_MouseEnter(object sender, MouseEventArgs e)
 132:          {
 133:              MalePath.Stroke = MaleColor;
 134:          }
 136:          private void MalePath_MouseLeave(object sender, MouseEventArgs e)
 137:          {
 138:              if (Gender == GenderChoice.Male)
 139:              {
 140:                  MalePath.Stroke = MaleColor;
 141:              }
 142:              else
 143:              {
 144:                  MalePath.Stroke = MaleColorDisabled;
 145:              }
 146:          }
 148:          private void FemalePath_MouseEnter(object sender, MouseEventArgs e)
 149:          {
 150:              FemalePath.Stroke = FemaleColor;
 151:          }
 154:          private void FemalePath_MouseLeave(object sender, MouseEventArgs e)
 155:          {
 156:              if (Gender == GenderChoice.Female)
 157:              {
 158:                  FemalePath.Stroke = FemaleColor;

 159:              }
 160:              else
 161:              {
 162:                  FemalePath.Stroke = FemaleColorDisabled;
 163:              }
 164:          }
 167:          private void MalePath_MouseLeftButtonDown(object sender, MouseButtonEventArgs e)
 168:          {
 169:              Gender = GenderChoice.Male;
 170:          }
 172:          private void FemalePath_MouseLeftButtonDown(object sender, MouseButtonEventArgs e)
 173:          {
 174:              Gender = GenderChoice.Female;
 175:          }

 177:          #endregion
 179:          #region Private Methods
 180:          /// <summary>
 181:          /// Sets color for Male and Female according to Gender chosen
 182:          /// </summary>
 183:          private void SetColorAccordingToChoice()
 184:          {
 185:              switch (Gender)
 186:              {
 187:                  case  GenderChoice.Unknown:
 188:                      MalePath.Stroke = MaleColorDisabled;
 189:                      FemalePath.Stroke = FemaleColorDisabled;
 190:                      break;
 191:                  case GenderChoice.Female:
 192:                      MalePath.Stroke = MaleColorDisabled;
 193:                      FemalePath.Stroke = FemaleColor;
 194:                      break;
 195:                  case GenderChoice.Male:
 196:                      MalePath.Stroke = MaleColor;
 197:                      FemalePath.Stroke = FemaleColorDisabled;
 198:                      break;
 199:              }
 200:          }
 201:          #endregion
 202:      }
 203:  }

 Listing 2

I use the SolidColorBrush to change the color of the symbols, (I only change the Alpha channel). I decided to make properties for the colors, that way the colors are dynamic.
An enum is used for the Gender choice, a property Gender of type GenderChoice (the enum) holds the current Gender.
In the setter for Gender the method SetColorAccordingToChoice is called in this method the current Gender is read and accordingly the richt colors are set on the symbols.

Control in startup state Control has Female selected
Control in action

The control in action, the first picture shows the control in startup state (symbols greyed out), the second picture shows the female symbol selected, under the hood the Gender is filled with GenderChoice.Female and the GenderChosen Event is fired.

All in all I think Silverlight is cool for it's purpose. It is possible to create strong graphics for your application and use them programming the language you already are used to.
The fact that not everybody is a designer is really the downside. A lot of developers will be better of creating windows or web apps using standard controls.
Ofcourse with Silverlight 2.0 standard controls are available, but the strong point of Silverlight is it's decoupling of UI from logic.

When designers are going to adopt Blend and MS Design, it could be really taking off, but until that time we have to do it ourselves.

Series  - Create a UserControl with Silverlight 2.0 Beta x

Part I   - Create a UserControl with Silverlight 2.0 Beta 1 (this post)
Part II - Create a UserControl with SilverLight 2.0 Beta

Henry Cordes
My thoughts exactly...

The requirement is:
When a user clicks on a form's tab in a Crm detail form, a record needs to be entered into an (Oracle) database. In case of success show a webpage from a particular url (to an application that reacts to the data in the record), in case of failure show a message.
The most elegant way to react to the onclick event of the Tab, in my opinion is to attach to this event in Javascript, ofcourse it is important not to interfere with the attached handler that is already present and takes care of the showing/hiding of the tab's content.

First I took the IE Developer Toolbar, and with the 'Find' > 'Select Element by Click' functionality, I reduced the Tab's id: 'tab4Tab'.
In the Onload handler, of the Form.Properties I added this:

   1:  var tabVar= crmForm.all.tab4Tab; 
   2:  if(typeof(tabVar) != "undefined" && tabVar != null) 
   3:  { 
   4:       crmForm.all.tab4Tab.attachEvent('onclick',insertRecordAndRedirect, false)
   5:  } 
Listing 1

First the tab object with id: 'tab4Tab' is put into a variable called 'tabVar'.
When this variable is not null and not 'undefined', the function called: 'insertRecordAndRedirect' is attached to the onclick of the 'crmForm.all.tab4Tab' object.

So the function 'insertRecordAndRedirect' is called, the moment the Tab with id: 'tab4Tab' is clicked.
This function is also inserted in the Onload handler, of the Form.Properties (like listing 1):

   1:  function insertRecordAndRedirect()
   2:  {
   3:      var id = crmForm.objectId.value;
   4:      document.all.IFRAME_CrmTab.src =''+id;
   5:  }
Listing 2

The function reads the value (a Guid) from the objectId property of the crmForm object (the UniqueIdentifier of the database record, from which the details are shown in the form). The aspx page that is called takes care of the inserting of the record into the database, using the provided querystring parameter.

In my case, this works really good, and it also solved an issue I had with GoogleMaps and LiveMaps. Because the tabs on which I put the maps are invisible when the form loads, the maps do not seem to know how big they are.

The result is:

  • In the case of GoogleMaps that the center of the map (the chosen spot on the map is centered) always was on (0,0). Left=0, top=0. When using the 'onclick of the Tab' approach, the map is loaded when the tab is clicked, so the map is visible and the map is centered as intended.
  • In the case of LiveMaps, only the right, lower corner of the map was visible in the left, upper corner of the iframe. But when using the 'onclick of the Tab' approach, the map is loaded when the tab is clicked and the map is completely visible and centered as intended.

Henry Cordes
My thoughts exactly...