I think I may be a bit behind the times here, as it's been ages since I've needed to download anything big from MSDN, but it seems that by default the MSDN File Transfer Manager tool doesn't work correctly with IE 11 at the moment. When you try to download something it always just tries to do a normal browser file download, and never launches the file transfer manager, even though you have it installed.
A neat little trick I discovered recently, and promptly forgot to share is that you can make use of Visual Studio's diff window for any pair of files, without the need for a project or solution. All you need is a little command line trickery.
There are quite a few ways to install Sitecore. You can run the .exe provided from SDN, use the Sitecore Instance Manager, or write your own scripts to automate configuring the bits in the official zip files. But, having done a bit of testing, it seems that you have to be careful about the security settings when you're using these different approaches. Whilst the .exe installer leaves you with a Sitecore instance that's relatively safe to expose to the internet, SIM does not seem to make all the same security settings. It's installs seem (by default) only suitable for private development instances. And the "roll it yourself" installs from Sitecore's ZIP packages are only ever as good as you make them – miss a step and you might open a security hole.
With that in mind, I've been thinking about install automation – can I solve the problem of getting an unattended install to work from the .exe file?
The projects I'm working on at the moment are largely stuck using older versions of Sitecore. Whilst our friends at Sitecore UK would love us to upgrade to new versions as soon as they appear, for some of my clients that is not practical for a variety of reasons. However some of the features in newer releases of Sitecore would still be useful in these projects – so recently I found myself quickly coding up a simple version of something like the dictionary domains functionality in SC6.6.
The behaviour I needed to enable was to be able to have separate dictionaries for different aspects of the site – to be able to move dictionary entries away from their standard location in
/sitecore/System/Dictionary. You can do this by providing a custom "translate" method that your code can call to turn a dictionary item path into some text.
Recently I looked at removing aliases when their owning items were deleted. I noted at the end of the post that the code ended up with some duplication in it. Duplication is generally a bad thing in code – copy/pastes of code tends to diverge over time and introduce bugs. So ideally we'd work out a way to get rid of the duplication, and reduce the set of methods our class needs.
Having been reading a bit on functional languages and F# in particular, I was thinking about how it can be done by passing code as parameters to more generic methods.
In these days of standards compliance, most of the time you want the mark-up stored in your Rich Text fields to be well formed XHTML – which is exactly what the editor for these fields should give you. But what can you do if you come across a scenario where you don't want the mark-up to be changed by the editor for some reason?