Testing websites locally on Vista Part II

by Ted Jardine Friday, June 22, 2007 9:54 AM

Peter beat me to the post already, but instead of just leaving these thoughts in the comments, I figured I should add my two cents in a dedicated post as there a couple other things to take note of if a) you're not running as an Admin in Vista and/or b) you want to debug easily with Vista and IIS7.

First off, before hitting Peter's post, go to ScottGu's post. It tells you the essential step of making sure you've installed the "IIS 6 Management Compatibility" option within IIS7 (as ScottGu states, it "installs an API for the new configuration system that is compatible with the old Metabase APIs (which is what VS 2005 uses)").

As well, it'll help you if you've continued to run as a non-Admin on Vista with UAC enabled (both Peter and I have given up on this and are running as Admins with UAC off - the horror). I attempted for a month or so to use Vista with UAC etc., but the deal breaker was when I discovered that I couldn't drag and drop files into Visual Studio; nor could I open a project using the sln file. I'll hold off on UAC until stuff like Visual Studio is upped to use it reasonably (however, for those that want to use this as another reason to slam Vista, my love-hate relationship continues, but whenever I have to do something on my WinXP machine, I cringe...thus, there's a whole lot more love right now than hate).

In addition, I've found that in order to enable debugging, I need to add the following two steps:

  1. Set your application pool for the site to the Classic .NET AppPool.
  2. Enable Windows Authentication so that you can debug the site (haven't taken the time to figure out why this particular combination works, but suffice it to say, out of all the posts out there explaining how to get going with debugging with IIS7, this is the only thing that really matters). You'll get a "Challenge-based and login redirect-based authentication cannot be used simultaneously" alert, but ignorantly ignore this and you'll be fine.

UPDATE: I just found out in the writing of this post, that there is now a Visual Studio patch that fixes the Visual Studio F5 debugging of IIS7Applications on Vista.

NOTE: I LOVE being able to run multiple sites at one time. Bliss!

Testing websites locally on Vista

by Ted Jardine Wednesday, June 20, 2007 3:07 PM

Now that Vista is here with IIS 7, and can set up multiple websites, I have no more need of the IISAdmin tools I used with Windows XP, which hacked IIS 5 to allow more than one website (the limitation being only one website active at any given time).

I've got a pretty good system going.

1. I set up a website for a client project and assign a host header that resembles the client domain:

CropperCapture[12]

2. I open my hosts file (%WINDOWS%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts) and bind the new host header to the local server loopback address:

127.0.0.1     localhost-foo.clientsite.com

3. If I'm working with an ASP.NET website or web application (which is 99% of the time) I tell the Visual Studio 2005 project to use the IIS webserver at the just-defined host header when viewing and debugging:

CropperCapture[11]

It all makes for a realistic representation of how the application or website will behave on the client's domain, allowing me to be sure that various relative URLs are going to resolve, for instance. It is often the case that I am working with a predefined website hierarchy and template, so it's important to emulate the client's site as closely as possible, so that deployment is less of a hassle.

How to install Inmagic DB/Textworks on Vista

by Peter Tyrrell Friday, June 15, 2007 5:05 PM

Right-click on the db/textworks installer. Choose "run as administrator". You may be prompted to proceed and/or enter administrative credentials, depending on your Vista setup. The installer will start installing and should work fine.

If you do not run as administrator, you will get an error like this:

Error 1925. You do not have sufficient privileges to complete this installation for all users of the machine. Log on as administrator & retry installation.

You may be confused by this message if you are logged in as an administrator. Welcome to Vista's User Account Control (UAC).

With UAC, you may have logged in as an admin, but you are not running as one. Instead you are prompted to elevate your permissions whenever you attempt an administrator-level operation. It so happens that Inmagic has not updated db/textworks to handle this scenario and give you fair warning. The error message it gives upon failure is at least completely accurate in its diagnosis, but leaves it up to you to manually elevate your permissions.

Here are some other Inmagic-on-Vista related posts on the Andornot Developer Blog:

Windows Home Server

by Peter Tyrrell Thursday, June 14, 2007 9:09 AM

Woo-hoo! I'm in the RC1 release for Windows Home Server.

It's kind of like a SAN (storage area network). For at home. Added hard drives donate their space to the pool. If there are two or more hard drives involved, duplication can be enabled.

Plus more: centralized backup, file sharing, printer sharing, remote admin, remote access to PCs, health monitoring, media streaming, etc.

Over the past few years I've been unsatisfied with the various network devices I've implemented at home for backups and shared files. I LOVE the idea of an easily configurable server that is expandable and that provides a central administration point for all the home network chores.

Yeah, I could have knocked something like WHS together myself, but I'm lazy and I have limited time. The wife already rolls her eyes and tells me I'm not allowed more than 6 hours of computer love on a weekend.

To sign up for RC1, get on over to http://connect.microsoft.com/WindowsHomeServer real quick.

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Sometimes if it's complicated, it's probably too complicated: doing noscript tags with JavaScript

by Ted Jardine Wednesday, June 13, 2007 3:30 PM

A couple days back I implemented ComponentArt's new ComboBox for a project. Worked great and brought some nice functionality (look ahead filtering and linked dropdowns: a second ComboBox populated via an AJAX callback according to the value selected in the first). However, I noticed at the very end that the controls do not degrade AT ALL when JavaScript is turned off. They look the same, but are completely disabled and useless.

At that point, even if I could duplicate the functionality another way it wasn't worth it; at the very least however, I needed to provide obvious notification that if JavaScript is disabled, the dropdowns are completely non-functional. So heh, easy enough: create a div nicely styled with the obligatory "JavaScript must be enabled to...blah blah blah..." and then set up a startup script for everyone with JavaScript enabled so that this message is not visible.... If you aren't laughing right now, you should be.

It took me a couple days to remember that that's what <noscript>fancy "If you don't have JavaScript enabled" message here</noscript> is for.

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