Author Archives: Rob Church

Canvassing – a packing list

Last weekend I went canvassing for the first time – here’s are some good things to bring:

  • Charged battery pack with multiple cables (everyone’s phone was dead!)
  • Light waterproof / umbrella.
  • Blu-tack for posters / give out with posters.
  • Bottle of water.
  • Backpack for above and extra leaflets.
  • Comfortable shoes

Azure Service Bus lunch’n’learn

This is more for archival purposes really – the talk is quite out of date as it covers native queue usage as HTTP whereas it’s probably easiest just to use a library like MassTransit. It’s also really, really long. However if you skip through the sections to some of the more advanced Service Bus features it could be useful – especially if you’re new to message-based architectures.

Lunch’n’Learn – async/await

We’ve recently started doing more work with the async/await keywords (a side-effect of using MassTransit) and we thought it was a good idea to go through the basics again. Here’s the talk I found which is very easy to follow, full of useful information and well-recorded (if a little dry) – it focuses on usage within but that’s useful for most of us.

Additional bonus video about whether you should always be using an O/RMs (9 minutes, funny):

Productivity lunch’n’learn

Here’s a great Scott Hanselman talk about productivity – he’s been giving it for a while so there are a lot of versions out there, however this is probably a good balance between length / audience interaction and sound quality.

It’s not directly development related but was received really well by the team here.

UI and other network considerations – Embracing the Network lunch’n’learn

This talk is available in various forms across the web and it’s interesting the difference in reaction it received – with the old team at Haymarket we came up with about two pages of suggested changes to our front-end code and other improvements.

At Mountain Warehouse, a lot less interest – but then the team is fairly back-end focused and never really get to play with the UI.

Patrick Hamann – Embracing the network from Web Directions on Vimeo.

MassTransit / RabbitMQ lunch’n’learn

Today I ran a lunch’n’learn around MassTransit and event driven architecture. In addition to some demo code, we watched the video below. It covers things quite nicely, not a lot of detail in the demonstration but as it’s MassTransit 2.x (not 3.x) that was OK. Quality is good, speaker is a little drone-y so a bit of snooze-danger if you’ve had too much pizza!

Loosely coupled applications with MassTransit and RabbitMq – Roland Guijt from NDC Conferences on Vimeo.

RESTful API lunch’n’learn

A little while ago we did a RESTful API lunch’n’learn session. These are the videos that we used.

This video from Stormpath covers a lot from basics to good patterns to use – it’s also good quality and as a speaker he’s quite animated so this kept our attention:

For those people who’ve used more SOAP services this video has been good to help compare approaches – however it does seem as if the presenter prefers SOAP (what else would you expect from Oracle?) so you have to apply your own salt:

Other notes

Here’s a quick overview of the properties of the HTTP verbs (this applies to more than just REST APIs!):

GET – Safe, Idempotent
PUT – Idempotent
DELETE – Idempotent
HEAD – Safe, Idempotent
POST – (none of these)

Safe: Makes no change to the server / performs no action. For e.g. reading an entity is a safe, incrementing a counter or sending an e-mail is not.

Idempotent: Doing this multiple times is the same as it doing it just once. For e.g. “a = 1” is idempotent. “a += 1” is not.

Eurovision 2016 round-up

Again, squirrel mindedness means I need to make some records of the ones I liked this year.

Called it – Bulgaria went from outside chance to placing 4th this year:

Belgium brings something different to Eurovision again this year:

Spain, so upbeat!

Stick a bow on it…

What does a love wave look like?

The interval shows…

Monitoring ViewState size

A short and very dirty script I wrote for TamperMonkey that keeps an eye on the size of your ViewState and alerts you if it gets a bit big. I appreciate this could be a lot better written feel free to take and adapt and improve – although let me know as well please!

Don’t forget to change the @match parameter

// ==UserScript==
// @name         Monitor ViewState size
// @namespace
// @version      0.1
// @description  Monitors ViewState on page and alerts you if it gets big!
// @author       Rob Church
// @require
// @require
// @match        http://**
// ==/UserScript==

/* jshint ignore:start */
var inline_src = (<><![CDATA[
/* jshint ignore:end */
/* jshint esnext: true */

    var allowedViewStateSize = 5000;
    var alerted = false;
    var viewStateSize = document.querySelector('#__VIEWSTATE').value.length;
    if (viewStateSize > allowedViewStateSize) {
       alert('Viewstate is large: ' + viewStateSize);
       alerted = true;

       var viewStateSize = document.querySelector('#__VIEWSTATE').value.length;
       if ((viewStateSize > allowedViewStateSize) && (alerted == false)) {
          alert('Viewstate has *BECOME* large: ' + viewStateSize);
          alerted = true;
    }, 2000);

/* jshint ignore:start */
var c = babel.transform(inline_src);
/* jshint ignore:end */