Month: November 2008

Microsoft Chart Control for ASP.NET and WinForms

Microsoft has apparently decided that we need another charting control.  Actually, I think this is pretty cool, I just wish it had come out before I was tied in to another vendor’s control.  :|  In any case, you can see some pretty pictures, read documentation, and download some samples here. I wonder if this works…

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Must-have software: VirtualWin

If you are like me and have to do a lot of multi-tasking, you may find yourself wishing that you had more room to work.  One thing I’ve found recently that’s really helped is VirtualWin, a virtual desktop manager for Windows.  It’s free and open-source and works with both XP and Vista.  To navigate between…

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Calculating aggregates with Microsoft Parallel Extensions for .NET

The Parallel Extension for .NET (aka PFX) is a new API coming to .NET 3.5 (and included out-of-the-box with .NET 4.0) that greatly simplify and enhance the parallel-processing story in .NET.  Sure, we’ve got Thread and ThreadPool, but these classes are very lacking.  Fortunately, PFX is a huge improvement.  Be sure to check out their…

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Friday Grab-Bag

A severe lack of sleep and the "too many irons in the fire" syndrome has left me a tad frazzled, so instead of a well-written (I see you laughing!) post, you get a collection of random thoughts and observations: Too much lambda? I wonder if I’m relying too heavily on lambda expressions.  What do you…

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A long time ago, in a GridTreeView far, far away…

Some of you (and by some, I mean two) have been axiously awaiting the release of the code for the GridTreeView that I described a while back. Thanks to the generosity of my current employer, I’m happy to present the code, a compiled DLL, and a demo ASP.NET MVC site that you can use to…

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Crawling results in DeepCrawler.NET

In the last post, I laid out DeepCrawler.NET’s (primitive) strategy for finding search forms, populating them, and submitting their contents using WatiN and a heuristic search mechanism.  As I mentioned at the end of the previous post though, submitting a query is only the first step in a complicated process.  Assuming nothing goes wrong, submitting…

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DeepCrawler.NET: Alive and Kicking

Much to my surprise, getting DeepCrawler.NET up and working with basic functionality was surprisingly easy.  It’s far from finished, and I haven’t exhaustively tested it, but it does work.  In this post, I’ll describe the current implementation with respect to how I’ve addressed some of the barriers raised in my last post. How do we…

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Rant: Automatic Updates

You know what’s awesome?  When you leave a long-running process going overnight on your computer, and return the next day expecting to see the results, but instead realize that Automatic Updates rebooted your computer for you, killing the process and losing all of your process’s progress!  Yeah, that’s my bad for not remembering to disable…

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Deep-web crawling with .NET: Getting Started

Thanks go out to Sol over at FederatedSearchBlog.com for giving me some suggestions on things to watch out for.  If you want more background information on federated search or information retrieval, go check it out that site. In the last post, I introduced the idea of creating a deep-web crawler.  I laid out the basic…

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Creating a deep-web crawler with .NET: Background

For one of my graduate courses, I’ve decided to tackle the task of creating an intelligent agent for deep-web (AKA hidden-web) crawling.  Unlike traditional crawlers, which work by following hyperlinks from a set of seed pages, a deep-web crawler digs through search interfaces and forms on the Internet to access the data underneath, data that…

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