IIS Express for VS Code

So time for another blog post, this time for something new (well kinda, it’s been out a little while)

Today I am releasing version 1.0.0 of IIS Express for Visual Studio Code editor, after having smaller releases over the last year or so. It’s time to give it a bit more polish & love and to give the release a 1.0.0 tag.

What is it?

This extension gives you the power to run a folder open in Visual Studio Code as a website using IIS Express. Allowing websites to be quickly and easily run without having to remember the command line query to run in order to have a folder run as a website.

Continue reading “IIS Express for VS Code”

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Why did the Umbraco pet project uHangout die?

Why did the Umbraco pet project uHangout die?

Hello I am back!
It’s been a while since I wrote something & I think blogging in general is slowly dying out, so I am gonna try & make a more conscious effort to blog quick snippets or things I learn as I enjoyed doing this in the past, so hopefully you can see more in the future.

So where have I been for the last 18 months or so… well I started working for Umbraco HQ helping to build great software be it the core CMS product, the Cloud platform or the addon products such as Forms & Deploy (TAFKA Courier), with a very talented & passionate team that I am so lucky to work alongside and learn so much from.

Previous to working at Umbraco HQ, I would actively work on pet projects be it small packages coded in a few evenings or lunchtimes to larger projects such as uHangout.

What is uHangout?

uHangout was a project I decided to create one lunchtime around September of 2013, I fired up a Google Hangout On Air session and invited someone in the Umbraco community to come talk about their Umbraco project & why it was so neat, where we streamed it live on YouTube. From there the idea just grew into a community show & tell. This was mostly involving new packages being built, as at the time & still today the Umbraco community site our.umbraco.org has a rapidly increasing amount of packages and it’s hard to keep up with whats new.

Why did the project die?

So you may be wondering why the project came to an abrupt end? With the last episode being aired last August. Well this happened due to a number of different things:

Continue reading “Why did the Umbraco pet project uHangout die?”

Time to say goodbye…for now

Hello all
I have not written a blog post for a little while but I thought I’ll cobble this together on the commute into London.

It’s time to say goodbye to uHangout for this year, but don’t worry it’s not going away permanently it’s that uHangout & me will be taking a little well deserved break.

This is mainly because I am stepping away from the lovely Umbraco Gold Partner gang that is The CogWorks and in doing so I am taking a little ‘me’ time between now; well tomorrow & when my new role starts in January.

So it made sense for uHangout to take a break so that I can recharge my batteries, pump up that enthusiasm and ensure the uHangout pet project gets a bit more love and that the annoying tech issues become less frequent than they currently are!

So in the new year I am so happy to announce that I will be returning to work with the awesome guys & gals over at Umbraco to help continuing to deliver a great CMS that we all love to use.

I am sad to be leaving my CogWorks family and has been loads of fun, so if you are on the lookout for a new Umbraco role and want to work with a great team building some neat websites then make sure to get in touch with Anthony Dang or Adam Shallcross

With me joining Umbraco the uHangout project will not turn into a corporate marketing show; not that Umbraco is even ‘corporate’ in that sense that of the way. This will still a pet project of mine which I will still be talking with the fantastic members of the Umbraco community about their packages & latest contribution in this show & tell format.

So with me taking a bit of hiatus I will be spending some good family time and going completely dark, so don’t expect me to reply to tweets and emails so that I can fully disconnect from our busy world that we all work in to become a fully rested & recharged Warren ready to deliver great stuff in the new year!

So don’t panic I have not run away or got hit by a bus!

With that all said & done it’s time to say goodbye….for now.
Warren x

How to use Visual Studio Android Emulator on VMWare Fusion

Hello
I thought I would share a quick blog post for others who may have recently downloaded Visual Studio 2015 this week who use a Mac as their main machine & VMWare Fusion to run a copy of Windows on it.

So after downloading the new Visual Studio 2015 release, I am quite keen to do some mobile development so I was keen to look at the Visual Studio Android Emulator, but upon opening the application & starting one of the emulators that are already come pre installed, I was greeted with an error.

The error was as follows:

Visual Studio Android Emulator

So the first thing I done was hit the lovely smiley face in the main window, to give the Visual Studio team feedback on this and within 3 to 4 hours I received a reply on how to resolve this.

So what’s the solution?

The following solution is not a supported & official response from the Visual Studio Team but does allow you to use it inside of VMWare Fusion.

He is the response from Visual Studio team:

Hi Warren
Thanks for using our emulator. Our emulator is not officially supported in a nested virtualization environment (like when running under VMWare Fusion).

You can try to enable it if you do not need OpenGL support, but running in this mode is unsupported as some features are not functional in this mode.

In VMWare Fusion, under General settings, for the OS Type, you’ll need to change it from Windows 8.1 to “Hyper-V (unsupported)”. I would also suggest at least 2 processors and 4gb of ram (6gb is better depending on the Android VMs you want to run)

In Windows, you’ll need to edit the c:\program files (x86)\Microsoft XDE\10.0.10240.0\skus\android\xdesku.xml file and remove the following line from the file: GuestDisplayProvider=”VsEmulator.OpenGLGuestDisplay”

Well I have done that & managed to get the emulator to spin up and work. Hopefully this will change in the future and that this modification will no longer be needed, we will just have to wait & see.

Thank You Umbraco Community

Hello,
So last week was the annual Umbraco developer conference; CodeGarden 15 that is hosted in the homeland of the Umbraco project Copenhagen.

This was the first year I was unable to attend the conference to catch up with the Umbraco community, which I like to call my second family, due to a recent new arrival to my family of my wonderful little daughter!

So with the first CodeGarden that I have missed since I started attending back in 2007 the one & only time it left Copenhagen & came to London that year & was a little gutted to not be able to come this year

If you was at this years CodeGarden you would have seen in the keynote or watched it back online, that I had a lovely surprise from the man himself, Niels Hartvig aka Chief Unicorn turning up unannounced at my front door and was presented with t fantastic LifeTime Umbraco MVP award, which is very touching & nice to hear that my contributions & efforts are noticed.

Rather than me drone on too much I thought I would create a short video instead, but once again a BIG, BIG Thank You Umbraco community for the LifeTime award & for giving me such a lovely reception. It did give me a nice warm happy feeling & a slight happy tear to the eye on Monday morning when I watched it back.

But before I go & wrap up, I want to say congratulations to my fellow MVPs at this years Umbraco CodeGarden that include the lovely bunch of people who continually work hard to make the community a friendlier & happier place, so again congrats to the following:

  • Lee Kelleher – Umbrella Inc
  • Matt Brailsford – The Outfield
  • Jeavon Leopold – Crumpled Dog
  • Jan Skovgaard
  • Jeroen Breuer

Umbraco 2015-2016 MVPS
The Umbraco 2015 MVPs. Photo: Doug Robar

Thanks again Niels for a fantastic surprise!

Securing Umbraco Web APIs using JSON Web Tokens

Hello all,
First off a very happy new year to you all. I hope you had a good time off over the festive period and relaxed.

Over this festive period in between our baby girl arriving during late night feeds and insomnia kicking in, I managed to find a little time to polish off my new pet project for the wonderful Umbraco CMS. So I herby introduce you to UmbracoAuthTokens!

What is Umbraco Auth Tokens?

Umbraco Auth Tokens is a project that I have built that allows you to secure Umbraco WebAPI Controllers using a token based authentication using JSON Web Tokens aka JWT; pronounced jot. This is ideal for securing WebAPIs that require using a backoffice Umbraco user.

For example you may want to securely from a third party client be it a mobile application or similar create a new page or any other action that a backofficer Umbraco user may do.

What are JWTs?

They are an auth token that allows you to send a piece of JSON encoded as a token and are the more modern approach to deal with auth in applications especially as we build applications across different devices. The videos below will do a lot better trying to explain it than I can do.

Continue reading “Securing Umbraco Web APIs using JSON Web Tokens”

My Development Setup. What’s yours?

Hello all,
It’s a Sunday evening and I am sipping an ice cold G&T now that my DIY bits are done for the weekend.

I saw a tweet from my good friend & Aussie Peter Gregory today, saying:

I replied to Pete saying I have never had any issues and that I would write about my experiences, hence this post.

Pete and other people have asked me before about my setup of my machine I use for coding and I want to discuss about my particular setup and start a wider discussion with the community about their setups.

Continue reading “My Development Setup. What’s yours?”

Quick Snippet: Toggle Tree Navigation in Umbraco Backoffice using JavaScript

Hello,
Here is a very quick blog post on how to toggle the tree navigation in the Umbraco 7 (aka Belle) back office using JavaScript with some AngularJS services that the Umbraco core team has given to us to use.

First of all you may be wondering why you would want to toggle the display of the tree navigation, considering that this is the main & primary navigation when using the Umbraco backoffice, however on a project I am doing at work a new property editor that is being developed requires more screen real estate and toggling the tree navigation allows the content editor to see & use this property editor a lot easier, as it involves plotting objects on a canvas. So as much space as possible is useful in this case.

So enough of the why and I will get straight down to the very simple JavaScript code snippet that allows us to do this:

angular.module('umbraco').controller('demo.toggler', function($scope, appState, eventsService) {
  //Create an Angular JS controller and inject Umbraco services appState & eventsService

  //Button Click - ToggleUmbracoNavigation
  $scope.toggleUmbracoNavigation = function() {

    //Get the current state of showNavigation
    var currentNavigationState = appState.getGlobalState('showNavigation');

    //console.log("currentNavigationState", currentNavigationState);
    //console.log("Inverse of currentNavigationState", !currentNavigationState);

    //Toggle the tree visibility
    appState.setGlobalState("showNavigation", !currentNavigationState);
  }

  //The eventService allows us to easily listen for any events that the Umbraco applciation fires
  //Let's listen for globalState changes...
  eventsService.on("appState.globalState.changed", function (e, args) {
    //console.log("appState.globalState.changed (args)", args);

    if (args.key === "showNavigation") {
      //console.log("showNavigation value", args.key, args.value);

      //If false (So hiding navigation)
      if(!args.value) {
        //Set css left position to 80px (width of appBar)
        document.getElementById("contentwrapper").style.left = "80px";
      }
      else {
        //Remove the CSS we set so default CSS of Umbraco kicks in
        document.getElementById("contentwrapper").style.left = "";
      }
    }
  });

});

Hopefully the JavaScript is commented enough and is easy to follow, but the ensence of this is that we have a button or anchor link in our view with the Angular directive of ng-click applied to it calling out method, i.e ng-click=”toggleUmbracoNavigation()” this toggles the value stored in Umbraco’s globabl settings in this case these values & settings are stored in an AngularJS service called appState, that allows us to get & set values stored in here. I recommend you look at the source code on GitHub to see what other values are stored in appState for you to use in your customisations to the Umbraco back office.

I would be interested to hear what other people think of this and should this tree toggle become part of the core by doing a Pull Request and if was to become part of the main UI, where should the button go or by double clicking the grey area with the application/section icons toggle this action?

Well let me know by leaving your thoughts in the comments.

Thanks,
Warren 🙂