Formatted JSON In Notepad++ Video Tutorial

Since my most visited post is Formatted JSON In Notepad++, I decided it would make a good subject for my first attempt at a video tutorial.

Since my original post, I've discovered a plug-in I like even more: JSTool.

This tool not only has more features than JSONViewer, but it doesn't have the annoying requirement that you select the JSON text before applying it.

JSTool will help you make minified JSON readable the same way JSONViewer does, but it can also go the other way. It can minify your JSON for you.

Of course, JSTool isn't just for JSON. It can format and minify JavaScript files as well.

One word of warning: if you try to minify a very large JavaScript or JSON file (like the JQuery.js file) it can bog down a bit. It only took a few seconds to minify the JQuery code, but the UI became unresponsive during those seconds. Don't panic if it freezes for a bit.

Both plug-ins have a JSONViewer that gives you a tree view of your JSON or JavaScript to help you navigate your code.

Getting The Plug-Ins

Getting any plug-in in Notepad++ is as simple as going to the Plugins menu and clicking Plugin Manger: Show Plugin Manager. From there you get a nice dialog that lets you search for plug-ins. In this case just search for JSON.

Comments Welcome

Let me know in the comments on the YouTube video if you like it, or if you have ideas for other tutorials you'd like to see.

I'm currently planning a beginner's guide to SQL series.

ASP vNext: Playing With The Alpha Bits Presentation

Presentation Cover
Slides from my GGMUG presentation. Click the image to download.

Update I have updated my slides to reflect changes I made for later versions of this talk.

I gave a talk at the August 2014 meeting of the Gwinnett, Georgia, Microsoft User Group (GGMUG) about what's coming in the next version of ASP.Net.

Click on the image of the cover to download my PowerPoint slides.

There is a ton of coolness in the next release of ASP.

In my talk I covered:

  • Open Source Development of ASP MVC/Entity Framework/SignalR/etc.
  • Cross Platform: Run on Windows, Linux or Mac!
  • MVC Merged: MVC 6 is merging of MVC, Web API and Web Pages (Web Forms Not Included)
  • Cloud Optimized Runtime: leaner, meaner, faster startup
  • Super Modular: Replace most parts with your favorite project
  • New Project System: Nuget + Proj file == project.json
  • New Configuration System: Good-bye Web.Config, unless you want to keep it
  • Dependency Injection: Out of the box DI, but replaceable with your favorite
  • Command-line Tools: kvm, kpm, k

I tried to reassure everyone that most of these changes are either optional or can be over-ridden.

The command-line tools will also be available, but not required. Visual Studio will still be the KING!

I made the point that this release will mark the split between the MVC line and the Web Forms line. They will no longer be built on the same base.

Web Forms isn't going away, but I'm not sure it will receive super active development in the future, either.

Already most new features have started on the MVC side and later been added to Web Forms.

I don't have a crystal ball or access to secret Microsoft plans, but my guess is that MVC will be the right choice for new projects. I don't believe Microsoft could kill off Web Forms if they wanted to because SharePoint is built on it. I also don't believe they are likely to want to kill it off.

Here are the links I put on the Resources slide:

Let me know what you think about the slides. Like them? Hate them? Let me know!

I do apologize to everyone who attended for missing the 1 hour mark I set for myself. I did give everyone a chance to leave at the 1 hour-ish point, so I hope nobody felt trapped. I tend to get excited about technology and love talking about it!

Fun Friday: August 7, 2014

Mars As Seen By OSIRIS, the comet catching Rosetta probe's main camera, not the Egyptian God.
Image courtesy European Space Agency
Full Size Image

Space Pix

This week we start off with some good old fashioned space porn thanks to an article by Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomer in his Slate.com column.

Here's What a Comet Looks Like When You're Close Enough to Touch It.

If you aren't familiar with Rosetta, it is a European Space Agency probe that has now rendezvoused with a comet.

Read Phil's article for all the details, but as do most deep space probes, it used both Earth and Mars for gravity speed boosts.

That yielded some spectacular images of both planets as well as the comet in question, 67/P Churyomov-Gerasimenko.

There are some really awesome photos on the ESA site, so I highly encourage you to go take a look!

I'm just putting in some scaled down versions of the images here, but the full size shots are simply breathtaking.

If you are familiar with photos from spacecraft, you know that they are often not in the colors your eye would see if you were actually there yourself. Often separate images are shot with color filters and reassembled on earth.

This shot of Mars is pretty close to what we would see if we were there.

Comet 67/P Churyomov-Gerasimenko
Comet 67/P Churyomov-Gerasimenko
Image from European Space Agency

As for the comet itself, you can see the "rubber ducky fallen over" shape in this image.

Like most comets it is primarily a dusty, dirty snowball. As it gets closer to the sun, little bits will be pushed away by the solar wind and glitter in the sunlight. That will make the comet's tail.

I don't want to put too many of the images in this post, but over on the ESA site they have a wicked cool timelapse of the comet rotating and growing larger as Rosetta approached.

ASP vNext Configuration Details

Bam! There's your graceful segue from space pix to talking about ASP.

Maybe not so graceful, but there you go.

I'm working on a talk for our user group meeting next week about the upcoming version of Microsoft's ASP web framework code named vNext.

I found a post from Louis Dejardin from a few months back talking about how the configuration will work.

ASP.NET vNext Moving Parts: IConfiguration

If you've worked with ASP you've worked with the venerable web.config file.

You have also probably at some point killed a web site by getting ONE DAMNED CHARACTER WRONG in a web.config file.

Not sure how you feel about the fact that one stray character in a config file can make a web app die an unceremonious death, but I'm not a fan.

Such is the beauty of XML.

Well hold on to your hats, cowboys and girls, because you won't have to use the XML based web.config any more.

Unless you want to.

Say what?

I love the pluggable modularity the team at MS are going for here.

Check out Louis' post for the full scoop, but you will be able to specify JSON, XML, INI, Environment Variables, and probably Norse Runes for your configuration settings.

I think that is cool.

If you use Azure, you know you can specify environment variables in the Portal UI for Websites.

One big advantage to that approach is you don't risk someone checking web.config into source control with all it's connection string goodies hanging out for all to see.

Well that about wraps it up for this week.

Enjoy your space porn and config files!