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Timothy Little's Blog (14)

Web security for the small-to-medium sized enterprise

There is no doubt that all of us have heard about the security breaches of numerous Fortune 500 companies.  From credit card information hijacks to content defilement, there is no shortage of news reports detailing the exploits of uber-hackers or hacker groups.  The companies that were aggrieved were so, in part, due to their size.  The acclaim for a hacker penetrating Wal-Mart or Citibank will be far greater than that achieved by taking down Joe's Pool & Spa.  But the havoc wreaked on…


Added by Timothy Little on August 21, 2013 at 2:27pm — 1 Comment

Knockout.js custom bindings (or how to make a jQuery autocomplete play nice with knockout.js)

The key to making any jQuery UI component play nice with knockout.js is to use a custom binding.  From the knockout site, this is how you add a custom binding:

ko.bindingHandlers.yourBindingName = {

    init: function…

Added by Timothy Little on July 29, 2013 at 9:18am — 1 Comment


The front-end framework of choice for MVC 4 web applications seems to be Knockout.js.  It's fairly robust and easy to add/remove from projects via NuGet and provides an MVVM feel much like Silverlight or WPF.

Think of a label control used in WPF.  Using data bindings, you tell the label to display certain text.  If the object representing the text displayed is updated, WPF kindly…


Added by Timothy Little on May 28, 2013 at 3:37pm — 1 Comment

MVC4 and Rails

I have been immersed in Rails development for the last several months and I almost always recommend Rails as the best platform for raising a new website from scratch.  Recently, though, an opportunity came up to work on a .NET MVC 4 project. Great, I thought.  I get to switch back to my favorite language (C#) and still develop in an MVC framework.

Below, I will compare some major feature areas of both frameworks:…


Added by Timothy Little on April 7, 2013 at 11:33pm — 1 Comment

Screen Scraping Tools for Rails Developers

Screen scraping is defined in Wikipedia as "a computer software technique of extracting information from websites. Usually, such software programs simulate human exploration of the World Wide Web by either implementing low-level Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), or embedding a fully-fledged web browser, such as…


Added by Timothy Little on January 24, 2013 at 11:15am — No Comments

What to do when you can't decipher your unit tests

I've been meaning to follow up on Chris Sass' excellent post on growing pains.  A related side effect of code that has grown too complicated is unit tests that are impossible to decipher.  As your ActiveRecord model becomes bloated, the tests written for it have to mock out too many things.  This makes it nearly impossible to know why the test was created and what, exactly, is supposed…


Added by Timothy Little on November 6, 2012 at 8:34am — 1 Comment

Hating on JS

Okay, so actually I'm very impressed with what enterprising coders have been able to do with fantastic libraries like NodeJS, PhantomJS, JQuery, mootools, etc.  They've take away a lot of the pain and to them I'm very grateful.  Making javascript work more in the fashion of other ECMA standard…


Added by Timothy Little on September 5, 2012 at 9:30am — 1 Comment

Testablility and WCF Data Services

Microsoft has come a long way when it comes to support for unit tests.  They basically co-opted NUnit as their basic building block for testing.  Of course they re-branded it as MSTest and added feature/bug tracking and some more stuff all bundled together into TFS.

Given their willingness to get that deep into the unit test craze, their choice of interfaces for ObjectContext (on the server side) and DataServiceContext (on the client side) seems a bit odd.  There is no interface to be…


Added by Timothy Little on April 23, 2012 at 10:49am — No Comments

RESTful data with Microsoft

So, your jealous about all the new technology stacks that seem to make life so much easier? You no longer have to be.  With the help of a javascript library available at and a very simple implementation of WCF Data Services utilizing the latest Entity Framework, you can open up your data store to the world with ease.


Lets start with the Entity Framework.  It's the 3rd or 4th attempt by the boys at Redmond to provide a serviceable ORM with a Microsoft logo.  This…


Added by Timothy Little on March 4, 2012 at 10:30pm — 1 Comment

Silverlight and Unit Testing

Having spent a year in the Ruby on Rails world, I had become accustomed to coding in a BDD/TDD fashion. Ultimately, I craved my type safety and came back to .NET ready to apply these same proven principles to WPF and Silverlight development. No worries, I thought;  I had used NUnit before going to rails and, upon return, had discoveredStoryQ (a BDD framework) which integrates nicely…


Added by Timothy Little on March 23, 2011 at 2:37pm — 1 Comment

Tree Surgeon

You can find this little gem here. I know that we're all supposed to know how to correctly setup a solution and I know that we all have our way (and reasoning) for how we set it up. It would be nice to come up with a standard way to do this. Tree Surgeon to the rescue. This is not a tool you will use everyday, but it will become invaluable when you do.

The basics are just that. Fire up the tree surgeion GUI and…


Added by Timothy Little on December 18, 2007 at 11:24pm — No Comments

Resource Refactor Tool (fixed)

I was finally able to fix the install of this tool and have become fairly enamoredwith it. The UI is simple and effective. The preview will only be useful until you become confident that the tool will work correctly.

There are a number of feature requests for the next version of this tool and I second most of them. For a simple utility, though, I think it is a good start.

For those interested in the install problem, I've narrowed it to two things:

  1. Previous Add-in…

Added by Timothy Little on December 18, 2007 at 11:18pm — No Comments

Resource Refactor Tool

I was excited about this tool because I get tired of hearing FxCop telling me to replace literal with a string from the resource file. It's purpose in life is simple--just right-click any hardcoded string and automagically send it to a new or existing resource file.

So, I anxiously click on the msi to install this tool. The install went fine and I fired up Visual Studio to give it a try. I clicked Tools\Add-in Manager... to make sure the install went as well as it seemed and it…


Added by Timothy Little on December 17, 2007 at 12:03am — No Comments

Codeplex tools

I've been checking out some of the projects available at codeplex and have been impressed with some of the tools available. They range from the simple (a build tree generator) to the complex (EntLib). I plan a blog entry for each of the tools I have incorporated into my work.

Added by Timothy Little on December 15, 2007 at 10:09pm — 1 Comment


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