I see the agenda for this year's SUGCON NA event is out now. While everyone will have their own interests, here's what's caught my eye in the agenda.
I had another "things work differently in containers" moment recently. One of the fun points of changing the approach to your deployments is that sometimes you have to look differently at how some core configuration issues too. And this seems like an issue others will encounter too:
Some time back I did a load of work on performance diagnostic work on some poorly performing Sitecore websites. (Which was the basis of a talk I gave a few times) I've recently had to look at some similar issues - but the world has moved on. I now have Visual Studio 2022 as my diagnostic tool of choice, and the websites are commonly hosted in Azure PaaS web apps. So what do you have to do these days to diagnose likely places for your code to be stuck?
Some of the most frustrating issues in IT happen when a thing which was working fine stops, and you're sure you didn't change anything. Now that very few people host their own infrastructure, these issues can be compounded because change or problems might happen in the internals of a complex infrastructure system you have no control over. I got bitten by this recently, and while I have no answers I suspect this is worth writing up just because it may help other people to realise the problem you have is not always your fault...
I noticed the other week that the sitemap file my blog was generating included the urls, but none of the other metadata that they can report. To be honest, I'm not sure if search engines pay much attention to this these days, but since the schema for the files includes other options I decided to see if I could add them.
A colleague pointed me at an interesting issue recently, where trying to switch the Sitecore Desktop to view a "preview" database for a Publishing Target on a client's website caused a crash. The reason for this appears to be an interesting issue it would be fairly easy for others to trip over, so this seemed a useful thing to write up:
Recently I found myself looking at a Visual Studio project where the build was not behaving in the way I expected. So I was forced to try a few debugging techniques to work out what was up. And in the process of trying to resolve the problem, I discovered an interesting tool to help with scenarios like this. So if you find yourself stuck with a misbehaving MSBuild script here are a couple of ideas:
I was looking at writing a tool in .Net 7 the other day which would benefit from having an option to load and unload plugin extensions. Reloadable plugins could be a bit tricky in .Net 4, but doable. But that's changed dramatically in more recent framework versions, in some ways that are better and interesting.
To customise a very old joke, there are only two difficult issues in IT: Naming things, Time calculations, and off-by-one errors. And adding containers into the mix raises even more fun. I recently hit an issue where containerised Sitecore needed to use a different time zone to the physical servers it was hosted on. So what can be done to configure this? Here's two things that can help: