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ConEmu – split setup for Node.js

I’m a big fan of ConEmu. I’ve recently starting making use of the split console capability, as shown below

ConEmu Split Screen

Getting the split screen is easy, you just have to select the option in the new console window dialog

ConEmu New Console Dialog

Here’s the triple split that I typically use for Node.js development:

ConEmu Triple Split

What I really want though is my split screen setup in one easy step. Fortunately that’s possible with little effort through some additional commands in ConEmu’s Tasks option. What I did was created a new task called Node.js with the following options:

ConEmu Task Setup


  • Node.js – this is just the task name
  • Commands
    • The > before powershell.exe means that I want this console to be the active one when I start the task
    • powershell.exe is listed three times, delimited by empty lines, this means I want powershell to open 3 times
    • The second powershell.exe has the option -cur_console:as30H, meaning that I want it to be a horizontal split at the size of 30%
    • The third powershell.exe has the option -cur_console:as30V, meaning that I want it to be a vertical split at the size of 30%. Since this comes after the second command, it will be split under the second console, as shown in the screenshot above
    • Additional option: -noexit -command “$host.UI.RawUI.WindowTitle=’NodeJS'” means that I want to set the title of the tab to NodeJS

Now I can get my triple split setup just by selecting the new task:

ConEmu New Console Dialog - NodeJS

Hopefully this is useful to someone else. ūüôā


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Unable to search in Lync 2013

I recently started using Lync 2013, but with a couple of hacks to get it work with our Communicator 2007 server.  While trying to apply various registry hacks to get things like Outlook 2013 integration to work, I somehow broke my capability to search for contacts in Lync.

The fix turned out to be just exiting Lync, deleting this registry key, and opening Lync again. Then voila, I can now search my contacts again.


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Coding Fonts: Envy Code R, Consolas, and Adobe’s Source Code Pro in Visual Studio 2012

Being a bit of a font geek (a little, not much), I am always on the lookout for a better coding font.¬† As a long time user of Microsoft’s Consolas, and Damien Guard’s Envy Code R, I was excited to try out Adobe’s new entry, Source Code Pro.¬† I always want to see a comparison between what I use and the new font in question. So here are the comparisons:

The first thing that I notice between Envy Code R and Source Code Pro is the difference in width.  I have both of these dialed up to 11. Envy Code R is a little more subtle on distinguishing letters which can be commonly confused, such as 1 and l, O and 0, and so on.  Even though I can fit more code on the screen with Envy Code R, it might be worth trying Source Code Pro for a while to see if it is generally easier to read.

(Source Code Pro on top, Envy Code R on the bottom)

Next we have Microsoft’s Consolas vs Adobe’s Source Code Pro.¬† Again, more code fits onto the screen with Consolas over Source Code Pro; not only horizontally, but also vertically. I do like the sweeping bottoms of Source Code Pro’s lower case L and I over Consolas, which are conversely flat. Compared to Source Code Pro, Consolas just looks harsh.¬† Of course it’s not nearly as harsh as something like Courier New, but in this comparison, it’s clearly not the winner.

(Source Code Pro on top, Consolas on the bottom)

I’m pretty much over using Consolas. It’s still a nice font, but when I start to focus in on the parts of it that I really don’t care for, those parts become difficult to ignore.¬† Envy Code R is my font of choice, but I will give Source Code Pro at least a week of trial before giving it a final thumbs up or down.


Converting Brail View Engine pages on MonoRail to use the Spark View Engine

Converting from the Brail View Engine to the Spark View Engine for MonoRail apps might not be interesting to many people, but here it is nonetheless. (We’re having to convert a project over due to switching our dependency management to Nuget.. hence the old Brail View Engine does not like the newer Castle.Core.)


Brail property bag shortcuts:


Spark equivalent :


The only problem with this is it’s not as clean as the Brail version. However, there’s a solution. By using the


tag, you can write the code just like Brail:

<viewdata SiteRoot='string' />



<% if AppEnvironment.ToUpper() == "DEV": %>
V: <strong>${VersionNumber}</strong>
Environment: <strong>${AppEnvironment}</strong>
Connection: <strong>${ConnectionEnvironment}</strong>
<% if AreThereProblemsWithTheEnvironment: %>
<a href="${siteroot}/Admin/Health.rails">
<img src="${siteroot}/Images/sick.jpg" title="I'm not feeling so hot...there are some problems with the environment" />
<% end %>
<% end %>


<if condition='PropertyBag["AppEnvironment"].ToString().ToUpper() == "DEV"'>
V: <strong>${PropertyBag["VersionNumber"]}</strong>
Environment: <strong>${PropertyBag["AppEnvironment"]}</strong>
Connection: <strong>${PropertyBag["ConnectionEnvironment"]}</strong>
<if condition='(int)PropertyBag["AreThereProblemsWithTheEnvironment"] > 0' >
<a href='${SiteRoot}/Admin/Health.spark'>
<img src="${SiteRoot}/Images/sick.jpg" title="I'm not feeling so hot...there are some problems with the environment" />



addSlash = false
for breadCrumb in breadCrumbs:
output " > " if addSlash
<a href="${breadCrumb.Href}">${breadCrumb.Name}</a>
addSlash = true


<var addSlash="false" type="bool">
<for each='var breadCrumb in (List[[BreadCrumb]])PropertyBag["BreadCrumbs"]'>
<span if='addSlash == true'>></span>
<a href='${breadCrumb.Href}'>${breadCrumb.Name}</a>
# addSlash = true;

Partial Pages:

In Brail, the way we were using partial pages was to specify the partials as “layouts” after the main layout on our controller:

[Layout("Main", "myPartialPage")]
public class HomeController : SmartDispatcherController


// ...


and in the Main layout, you specify where the view content is rendered like so:


This doesn’t work in Spark. If you provide a second layout parameter to the Layout attribute on your controller, Spark will use that for the view content. So to fix this, we have to remove the second Layout attribute parameter:

public class HomeController : SmartDispatcherController


// ...


and then adjust our HTML to have the <use /> tag instead (I think this is cleaner)

<use file="myPartialPage" />
<use content="view" />

Other things:
Brail has a handy ${SiteRoot} variable added to the view context, which will give you the root path of the site for things like including scripts and css. With Spark, you can also use ${SiteRoot}, you just have to setup a couple of things first:

public class HomeController : SmartDispatcherController
public override void Initialize()
PropertyBag["SiteRoot"] = Context.ApplicationPath;

and add the viewdata tag at the top of the page:

<viewdata SiteRoot='string' />

now you can reference scripts, urls, css, etc. properly:

<script type="text/javascript" src="${SiteRoot}/Scripts/jquery-1.4.3.min.js"></script>

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Strangeness with NUnit runner instantiating attributes before running tests are run

So Scott Koon and I going through converting a project from using MBUnit / Gallio to NUnit instead, mainly for the speed benefits, but also for complying with the direction of our development moving forward.  One gotcha we just ran into is in the way NUnit handles custom attributes.

Say you have an attribute like this:

    [AttributeUsage(AttributeTargets.Class, AllowMultiple = false)]
    public class DogMeowsLikeRatAttribute : Attribute
        public DogMeowsLikeRatAttribute()
            if (!StateMaintainer.HasBeenTouched)
                throw new ImmaCryException("Oh snap! You broke it!");

and a class that uses the attribute:

    public class WhatDoWeAttributeThisTooClass
        public void FoShizzel()
            Console.WriteLine("Nizzle izzle da bomb dapibizzle turpizzle go to hizzle shiz");

and a test for your class

    public class TestThatClassyClass
        public void WhoaNow()
            StateMaintainer.HasBeenTouched = true;

            var subject = new WhatDoWeAttributeThisTooClass();
            subject.Should().NotBeNull("Cause I said so!");

and the state maintainer just to prove the point:

    public static class StateMaintainer
        public static bool HasBeenTouched;

When you run the test, you will receive an exception. Now the important thing is to look at the stack trace here:

<pre>------ Test started: Assembly: DoesNunitInstantiateAttributes.dll ------

Here's what you're a gonna do: Oh snap! You broke it!
Test 'M:DoesNunitInstantiateAttributes.TestThatClassyClass.WhoaNow' failed: Oh snap! You broke it!
	DoesNunitInstantiateAttributes.ImmaCryException: Oh snap! You broke it!
	Class1.cs(18,0): at DoesNunitInstantiateAttributes.DogMeowsLikeRatAttribute..ctor()
	at System.RuntimeTypeHandle.CreateCaInstance(RuntimeType type, IRuntimeMethodInfo ctor)
	at System.Reflection.CustomAttribute.GetCustomAttributes(RuntimeModule decoratedModule, Int32 decoratedMetadataToken, Int32 pcaCount, RuntimeType attributeFilterType, Boolean mustBeInheritable, IList derivedAttributes, Boolean isDecoratedTargetSecurityTransparent)
	at System.Reflection.CustomAttribute.GetCustomAttributes(RuntimeType type, RuntimeType caType, Boolean inherit)
	at System.RuntimeType.GetCustomAttributes(Boolean inherit)
	at NUnit.Core.Reflect.GetAttributes(ICustomAttributeProvider member, Boolean inherit)
	at NUnit.Core.Reflect.HasAttribute(ICustomAttributeProvider member, String attrName, Boolean inherit)
	at NUnit.Core.Builders.NUnitTestFixtureBuilder.CanBuildFrom(Type type)
	at NUnit.Core.Extensibility.SuiteBuilderCollection.CanBuildFrom(Type type)
	at NUnit.Core.TestFixtureBuilder.CanBuildFrom(Type type)
	at NUnit.Core.Builders.TestAssemblyBuilder.GetFixtures(Assembly assembly, String ns)
	at NUnit.Core.Builders.TestAssemblyBuilder.Build(String assemblyName, Boolean autoSuites)
	at NUnit.Core.Builders.TestAssemblyBuilder.Build(String assemblyName, String testName, Boolean autoSuites)
	at NUnit.Core.TestSuiteBuilder.BuildSingleAssembly(TestPackage package)
	at NUnit.Core.TestSuiteBuilder.Build(TestPackage package)
	at testListener, Assembly assembly, ITestFilter filter)
	at NUnit.AddInRunner.NUnitTestRunner.runMethod(ITestListener testListener, Assembly assembly, MethodInfo method)
	at NUnit.AddInRunner.NUnitTestRunner.MemberRun.Run(NUnitTestRunner testRunner, ITestListener testListener, Assembly assembly)
	at testListener, Assembly assembly, IRun run)
	at NUnit.AddInRunner.NUnitTestRunner.RunMember(ITestListener testListener, Assembly assembly, MemberInfo member)
	at TestDriven.TestRunner.AdaptorTestRunner.Run(ITestListener testListener, ITraceListener traceListener, String assemblyPath, String testPath)
	at TestDriven.TestRunner.ThreadTestRunner.Runner.Run()

0 passed, 1 failed, 0 skipped, took 0.18 seconds (NUnit 2.5).</pre>

The test where the attributed class is instantiated has not been hit yet by NUnit. ¬†Instead, it seems that NUnit is gleaning over the text fixtures in the assembly, finding all of the custom attributes, and instantiating those attributes before running any of the tests. ¬†We ran into this issue because of an attribute that had an IoC container lookup (I know what you’re going to say, but we didn’t write it) in the constructor of the attribute. Due to the container not yet being initialized, an exception was thrown.

Hopefully Charlie Poole can provide some insight into this strange behavior on NUnit’s part.

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Giles auto test runner for .NET v0.1.1.2 Released

Giles, my pet auto test runner project for .NET applications, has just grown up to v0.1.1.2 and been released on Nuget. Included in this release (and some previous releases) are:

v0.1.1.2 - Sept 12, 2011
 - Added x86 version of Giles to support testing of x86 target applications. A giles-x86.ps1 script has also been included to launch the x86 Giles instead of the AnyCPU version
 - Added Giles version output to help window and to the console window title

v0.1.1.1 - Sept 2, 2011
 - Added giles.ps1 & init script. Now instead of having to run Giles manually from the nuget package, you just need to run giles.ps1 from the root of the solution. Giles will find the correct .sln files and start watching straight away.
 - Added MIT license

v0.1.1.0 - Sept 1, 2011
 - Fixed Machine.Specification versioning issue where the test project needed to have the same version of mspec that Giles was using. Giles no longer has a dependancy on Machine.Specifications.dll, so we're version independent now!

v0.1.0.2 - Aug 29, 2011
 - Introduced Giles own runners instead of relying on console runners for each test framework
 - The only command line option required now is the solution file to watch, the test assembly is determined automatically.  If Giles gets the test assembly incorrect, then you can specify the test assembly location with the -t parameter

Most importantly with v0.1.1.0, through the magic of anonymous types and dynamics in .NET 4, Giles no longer cares which version of Machine.Specifications (mspec) you are running.  Check it out!

Also in the latest version, v0.1.1.2, Giles now ships with a good ol’ x86 version for your thunking pleasure.

Please post issues to the issue tracker on github.

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Getting the Castle Windsor Quartz.Net Facility logging with your log4net configuration

The Castle Windsor Quartz.Net facility is pretty awesome, it making getting up and running a fairly painless process. ¬†However, when things go wrong, will be SILENT about it, unless you configure logging correctly. ¬†Already having log4net¬†and Castle.Facilities.Logging setup in my project, here’s the awesomeness that my team came up with to get to tell us what’s up:

Step number the 1) Add a reference to Common.Logging v2.0.0.0 and Common.Logging.Log4Net v2.0.0.0

Step number the 2) Add this assembly binding redirect to your app/web.config:


<assemblyIdentity name="Common.Logging" publicKeyToken="af08829b84f0328e" culture="neutral"/>

<bindingRedirect oldVersion="" newVersion=""/>


Step number the 3)  Add this section group to the <configSections> in your app/web.config:

<sectionGroup name="common">

<section name="logging" type="Common.Logging.ConfigurationSectionHandler, Common.Logging" />


Step number the 4) Add this xml block in the <configuration> block, right after <configSections> works good:



<factoryAdapter type="Common.Logging.Log4Net.Log4NetLoggerFactoryAdapter, Common.Logging.Log4net">

<arg key="configType" value="FILE-WATCH" />

<arg key="configFile" value="Log4Net.config" />




Step number the last) Profit.

Now, if you mess up your cron schedule, like

<cron-expression>15 0/1 * CAT * ?</cron-expression>

, you’ll get a beautiful error:

<pre>ERROR 03:14:26 Error scheduling jobs: Illegal characters for this position: 'CAT'
System.FormatException: Illegal characters for this position: 'CAT'
   at Quartz.CronExpression.StoreExpressionVals(Int32 pos, String s, Int32 type)
   at Quartz.CronExpression.BuildExpression(String expression)
   at Quartz.CronExpression..ctor(String cronExpression)
   at Quartz.CronTrigger.set_CronExpressionString(String value)
   at Quartz.CronTrigger..ctor(String name, String group, String jobName, String jobGroup, DateTime startTimeUtc, Nullable`1 endTime, String cronExpression)
   at Quartz.Xml.JobSchedulingDataProcessor.ProcessJobs(quartz data)
   at Quartz.Xml.JobSchedulingDataProcessor.ProcessInternal(String xml)
   at Quartz.Xml.JobSchedulingDataProcessor.ProcessFile(String fileName, String systemId)
   at Quartz.Xml.JobSchedulingDataProcessor.ProcessFileAndScheduleJobs(String fileName, String systemId, IScheduler sched, Boolean overwriteExistingJobs)
   at Quartz.Plugin.Xml.JobInitializationPlugin.ProcessFile(JobFile jobFile)

Many thanks to our friend Lane McLaughlin for figuring out this goo… everyone loves a log.

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