.Net Extended Framework

The framework is split. Some parts of .Net are included in the normal .Net Framework. But some features are only found in the Extended / Full .Net Framework.

I ran into this when testing an update to a WinForms application that I was working on. The app worked great in production, but once we moved it to the testing environment, this error popped up:

Could not load file or assembly ‘System.Runtime.Caching, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a’ or one of its dependencies. The system cannot find the file specified.

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Unapparent Parent in Knockout Binding Context

When working with KnockoutJS, the with binding allows you to change the current binding context. So if you have a nested data structure, instead of having to binding to properties such as subViewModel.property1 and subViewModel.property2, you can put them inside a with binding and then refer to them directly as property1 and property2, respectively.

This is quite useful in keeping your views from getting too cluttered when your viewmodel structure gets large. However, if you jump down more than one level in a single the with binding, it’s not immediately apparent what the $parent context will refer to.

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Clean Markup with Chrome Extension I18n

Having written both an IE extension and a Chrome extension, I must say that writing the Chrome extension was a far, far better experience. Let’s just say that I really don’t want to ever write an IE extension again.

For the IE extension, you have conflicting forum posts and MSDN articles from years ago that only partially apply to the current version of IE, and there isn’t any real documentation or developer’s guide to speak of. You can write the IE extension in C#, but there is no guidance on how to do so, and the prevailing advice is to write the extension in C++.

Chrome, however, provides a great developer’s guide, tutorials, and a wide collection of sample extensions. The Chrome extension is written completely in Javascript, CSS, and HTML, languages which web developers are already familiar with.

Now that I’ve finished my rant, let’s leave IE behind and focus on Chrome.

Today, we’ll be looking at adding internationalization (i18n) support to a Chrome Extension. We’ll also look at a pattern that uses the data-* attribute in HTML5 to provide clean markup that gets internationalized.

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Knockout binding for onbeforeunload

While continuing on my knockoutjs adventure, we recently had a need to prompt the user when they were leaving the page. A common use case for this is when the user is editing something and navigates away from the page before saving any changes. The navigation can be done by using the back button, a link on the page, or closing the browser or tab. Javascript provides a helpful event, the onbeforeunload event.

The typical pattern for using this event is as follows:

window.onbeforeunload = confirmExit;
function confirmExit()
return "You have not saved your work."

You set onbeforeunload to a function that returns a string. The string will show up in a dialog box like this when navigating away:

This has been around for a while. But I wanted to be able to do this in a way that used the MVVM pattern in Knockout. I wanted to have this controlled by data binding between my markup and viewmodel.

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Bookmarklets gone Awry in Firefox

Bookmarklets are simple, right? You put a snippet of javascript into a bookmark prepended by ‘javascript:’, and then you can click your bookmark to do some javascript magic on your page. For example, if you create a bookmark with this URL (Basic Bookmarklet Demo):

javascript:alert('Hello World');

You will see a ‘Hello World’ alert when you click the bookmark (don’t forget to turn on your bookmark toolbar in your web browser so you have a place to put your bookmarklets).

There are all sorts of interesting bookmarklets out there. You can have bookmarklets that help you analyze your DOM, clean up a page to make it more readable, or even share on Facebook.

However, as with all things related to web development, things don’t always work the same on all web browsers. I was recently working with a bookmarklet that needed to wait until the page was finished loading before it did anything, so I used the setTimeout method, like this (Broken Bookmarklet Demo{alert( “Demo for Broken Bookmarklet - drag to bookmarks bar to test”)):

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