When it comes to web applications deployment is an important part of the application development cycle. Typically, developers will work on a local version of a web application and once they have the application working/fixed they'll deploy it to a production server. Well, in Diamondback (the next release of Delphi) that part of the application development process is going to be a whole lot easier. We've developed a web deployment feature that gives the developer a means of quickly and easily deploying ASP.NET applications. There are two built-in transports, FTP and file copy, which allow the developer to easily move an application from their development machine to either a production machine or even another location on their development machine.
Additionally, as application development proceeds the Deployment Manager displays a list of the files that need to be redeployed as a result of changes made by the developer. Since deployment targets are simply added to an ASP.NET project it's also easy to deploy a single application to multiple targets. The Deployment Manager comes preconfigured to for ASP.NET applications making it easy to create a new deployment that will typically include all of the necessary files for your project without any additional intervention although the Deployment Manager is highly flexible and allows for addtional files to be added by the developer as necessary. The Deployment Manager is a great example of a product area where customers gave us feedback indicating that this was a crucial area of ASP.NET application development where they needed a solution which we took seriously and Diamondback will deliver a solution.
Since I work on Diamondback
next release of Delphi
ASP.NET specifically I thought I'd begin to mention some of the ASP.NET
improvements that have been made now that we've “given out the bits” at Borcon.
One area that can be problematic in D8 is debugging ASP.NET applications on
IIS. While it's possible to use Cassini
alternative development server, using IIS frequently encountered problems. In
D8, we made our best attempt given the time we had and the fact that MS uses an
undocumented debugging mechanism for ASP.NET applications in VS.NET.
Regardless, now that we've had the time to research the issues more our debugger
gurus have come up with a mechanism that works much better and enables much more
consistent debugging of ASP.NET applications running under IIS from Diamondback.
This week while at BorCon I was asked at the meet the team if ActionBands would be in Diamondback (the next release of Delphi
) and unfortunately I wasn't able to immediately answer the question. I've since decided it would be a good idea to follow up here and reply that yes, ActionBands will be supported in both VCL and
VCL.NET. The reason I wasn't sure is that there has been a lot of work done on both the VCL and VCL.NET form designers and since I've been working on ASP.NET related features for almost two years I wasn't aware of the progress that had been made on the form designers and unsure if ActionBands were supported. In any case, the answer is yes.
After a recent thread in borland.delphi.public.non-technical regarding bugs
that are logged to QualityCentral I started a blog post to explain some of the
issues from the perspective of an “insider”. However, it appears that I won't
have to actually finish that post since Allen Bauer has basically done just
that here. I
agree with what he's written 100%. Thanks Allen, great post.
post seems to have been pretty popular I thought I'd build on it a bit and
provide a few more examples. In my previous post I created an HTML page that had
the stylesheet information embedded in a STYLE tag within the page header which
is actually a bad idea but it helped keep the example really simple. In these
examples I've broken out the stylesheet information into individual .css files
and will illustrate a few different layouts using the exact same HTML used in my
previous example (sans the STYLE tag of course).
I've created both left
column layouts using the exact same HTML that I used from my original example.
The difference with these pages is that I've hidden the column that I don't want
on the page while the DIV for the column remains in the HTML and the CSS
dictates that it's not displayed nor does it consume space. Additionally, I've
made the left/right column fixed width which is probably more consistent with a
typical website layout.
[Update: Feb 14, 2007] If you're reading this on www.stevetrefethen.com/blog this site is based on the CSS three column layout discussed above.
After a recent post by Nick
Hodges asking “Got a good stylesheet that works on all browsers, and allows
for a three column/page-wide header/page-wide footer layout, and that doesn't
behave strangely when the browser is sized?” I finally broke down and decided to
try and meet that challenge. What I
came up with seems to work well in IE6 and Firefox 0.9.3 on WinXP and
Safari, Firefox and IE (all latest versions) on Mac OSX. I think it's a pretty
good example of how to use stylesheets to get a layout that works without
requiring the use of tables and provides all of the elements of many modern
It's entirely possible that this idea is not new or unique so I don't claim
either but it's a small, very workable solution.
Give it a shot and let me know how well/poorly it works for you.
UPDATE: I've added a second
page where the footer appears at the bottom of the browser by setting the
height of the maincontent DIV to 95% of the height of the browser which seems to
UPDATE #2: Since Carlos has issued (yet) another challenge I spent about 3-4
minutes tweaking my original
page and came up with a few minor modifications that allows for a header,
footer (at the bottom of the page) and three
CSS. I've tested in IE6 and Firefox 0.9.3 (my browser of
choice) and both work about equally well. Now, I haven't tried using this page
in a real world application so I'm not entirely sure how well it would work but
I it sure seems to me like it would work just fine.
[Updated: Jan. 13, 2010]
Thanks to the Internet Archive
I was able to resurrect links to the files above.
Until fairly recently I was an Outlook Express user and had been for many
years. I've now switched to using Thunderbird which is a
great mail client. I never liked the regular Outlook client since it doesn't
have builtin support for newsgroups which is a requirement for me and
Thunderbird fits the bill nicely. Another bonus of using Thunderbird is that
it's being updated regularly and in fact I've now installed several updates with
new features that I can immediately appreciate. It also has some very nice
plugins like Quote Colors which
makes reading newsgroups really nice.