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after looking at build automation tools like BuildIt.NET and others and looking at the tasks of configuring, etc. as well as the rigidness of what they were build *for*, i began searching elsewhere.

i was referred to finalbuilder (www.finalbuilder.com)

i've been playing around with it for a while and really like it.  it integrates with almost all major source control providers as well as common .net “stuff” (like vs.net and reversioning the assemblyinfo file).

it is really full-featured and i've created automated scripts that get the latest from source control, reversion based on certain variables (timestamps and input params--but this could also be script-based), reversions the assemblyinfo classes for a solution (or individual projects), compiles in a configurable build, copies the new build to a version folder, labels the source control build, uploads the completed (successful) build to a server and notifies someone of completion.

really cool stuff and super easy to setup and configure.

if you are looking for build automation, check out www.finalbuilder.com

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frans takes a lash at the argument...good position on both sides: http://www.theserverside.net/news/thread.tss?thread_id=31953

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don't know what bamf is -- apologies if you are offended...not always the “safest” content on the site (bamf link) but the guy (sharkey) works in the industry and occaisionally has great rants about common things we all face.

at any rate...i had a project i worked my tail off to finish...delivered 2 days early thinking the client really needed it to test.

that was a week ago.

client needs to deliver to their customer tomorrow am.

guess when they started testing.

guess what i'll be doing all night.


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i got a question from robertk just a while ago asking where the presence info was when viewing sharepoint with firefox.

what?! you can view sharepoint with firefox?! calm down, yes you can.

basically the presence indicator is shown using a javascript function in ows.js (IMNRC) and is only rendered for the appropriate browsers (look at owsbrows.js)..basically those that are browseris.ie55up. -- so essentially wss thinks that firefox is netscape 5 because of the mozilla version it checks for. 

ideally the owsbrows.js should be written to check for functionality rather than versions -- maybe render the browseris from the server based on using the .net framework libraries that would be able to determine the “abilities” better.

so if you want it to work, you'll have to jack with ows.js and some other areas as well -- i started looking real quick, but there are other places where it doesn't work and renders the non_ie.js file as well which causes other issues.

wait a minute, get back to getting firefox and sharepoint working...

okay, so it works...most of it.  do you get the cool dhtml menu options? no.  but it renders and you can modify web parts, etc...just different look...try it and you'll see the changes: some here: http://timheuer.com/images/wssffx1.jpg

so basically it works...the cool thing is that if you use the firefox web developer toolbar add-in, you can “turn on“ css tags and see all those hidden wss class names you want to change...without installing a javascript file or referring to the style guide.


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i thought it prudent to share some experiences i've had lately with two isv's that have shined above the rest of those that i've been dealing with.

over the course of the past week/month i've been working on several projects involving 3rd party web controls.  in each of my experiences, i've run into challenges and questions.  some vendors never respond.  others are awesome...two cases in point:

1) aspNetEmail: www.aspnetemail.com

Dave Wanta is great.  with every support request i get an immediate response in less than a day (sometimes immediately).  i've been really putting one of the components of this tool through the test...and dave has been responding.  i tell him my needs as a customer and how a change would make this much more valuable and save me time -- suddenly i get a new version of the tool in my inbox with exactly what i asked for -- that is awesome.

2) WebUI 2.1: www.componentart.com

this suite of tools is awesome...period.  for asp.net web controls these are great.  asp.net 2 will implement some of these and it remains to be seen whether they will be as flexible.  this vendor as well has been ultra responsive to issues and helped me through a potential problem that i was experiencing...the forums are great and they are extremely dedicated to helping the customer get the most value out of those tools.

to the other isvs whose SSL is expired (so i won't buy a new license) or haven't had any updates in a year, or don't respond, or respond with “by design” -- take note: understand your customer needs...listen to them, work with us (customers) to make your product better -- most of the time we aren't whining...we're wanting to use YOUR tools to be more productive.