Oct 31, 2010

Ready.. Set.. Zoom!

The other week I was attending a technical presentation that was also being video conferenced to some of our offsite developers. While our local team has been happily using ASP.NET MVC our offsite team has been working on other projects using ASP.NET web forms. We've been loving MVC so much that it has become our standard base development technology. So this presentation was a basic introduction to MVC using PowerPoint slides and showing code in Visual Studio 2010. When it came time to show some code in Visual Studio we could see it fine on our screen, but apparently it was very blurry on the other end. Since we just recently upgraded to Visual Studio 2010 we weren't versed on all of the new features just yet and proceeded to bumble around trying to figure out how to zoom into the code. The best that we came up with was to increase the font. This apparently didn't help that much since it was still blurry on the other end.

Only after the presentation did I get a chance to see if there was a zoom feature. It turns out that there is and it's embarrassingly obvious now. It was pretty much where you would think it would be, in the bottom left corner, displaying "100%".

There are other ways to use the zoom feature and if you're using a mouse than holding down the ctrl key and scrolling the mouse wheel will zoom in and out nicely. There are also keyboard shortcuts, which are by default set to Ctrl+Shift+Comma to zoom out and Ctrl+Shift+Period to zoom in. These of course can be modified to use different short cut keys by going to Tools>Options>Keyboard and selecting View.ZoomIn and View.ZoomOut commands.

This is great, but as it turns out it still wouldn't have solved all of our problems during the presentation. The presenter wanted to show the solution explorer in VS 2010 and explain the folder layout of a typical MVC project. However, the VS 2010 zoom feature only works on the text in the code editor window. We needed something that can zoom in on our entire window and it turns out that there are numerous applications that can do this. But the one that I like is called ZoomIt. And it's made by Mark Russinovich, so you know its going to be good. As stated on the introduction page of the application page he "wrote ZoomIt to fit my specific needs and use it in all my presentations." So the next time you need to give a presentation make sure you're Ready.. Set.. Zoom!

Oct 29, 2010

Feed Me - Internet Explorer Cannot Display This Feed

Have you ever needed or wanted to view the raw XML of an RSS feed, or any feed for that matter, in IE7 or IE8? If you have you probably received the, "Internet Explorer cannot display this feed" message instead of the raw XML.

Why would you want to view the raw XML of a feed? Well if you have to ask you probably don't need to. However, if you do need or want to know how to get IE to Feed Me that raw XML then keep reading.

So what's my reason for needing to see a raw XML feed in IE? I'm currently developing web services that produce a custom RSS like feed. To be a little more specific our custom feed is based on AtomPub. So, throughout the day I constantly need to view our feed in the browser. Since, our feed isn't recognized by IE all we get is the "helpful" error message.

So, to have IE just display the raw XML all you have to do is to turn off the feed reading view. To do this uncheck the "Turn on feed reading view" setting under Tools > Internet Options > Content tab > Settings. It seems that this setting is turned on by default, so just make sure that it is not checked.

Once you do this and try to view the feed it will display the raw XML. Now, consider yourself fed for the day.