Afternoon Tea

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Afternoon Tea – 11th June 2013 – Open Source Projects I Like: Glimpse

Posted by on 11 Jun 2013 | Tagged as: .NET, Afternoon Tea, ASP.NET, C#, Community, Development, Morning Brew

A couple of weeks ago I watched the dotNetConf Open Source .NET Panel’ discussion which brought together a number of people from the .NET Open Source communities to discuss the state of Open Source in our community. The discussion was a good one, well worth watching and made me start to think about some of the Open Source projects I like – one of which features in this post.


Glimpse provides the answer for server side code that the likes of Firebug and Chrome Developer Tools provide for the client side developer. The project was originally conceived by Anthony van der Hoorn and Nik Molnar back in early 2011, and launched at Mix11’s Open Source Fest.

Glimpse did the usual Open Source project dance through many <1.0 releases, and mid last year became a project supported by Red Gate. Since then things have rapidly accelerated, and the community team have blasted beyond the 1.0 release threshold.

Today sees the announcement of Glimpse 1.4, along with a significant new look and feel introducing a Heads Up Display to make the most significant and useful information always available when Glimpse is enabled. Check out the announcement post over on the Glimpse Blog for the full lowdown, including a short video which gives a real impression of how the new Heads Up Display actually works.

More Heads Up

Get Your Head Up!

I love that adding Glimpse to a project while working is as simple as adding a NuGet package

Install-Package Glimpse.MVC4

Once installed, build and run your solution, and then hit up the Glimpse Handler to see what’s installed and to enable the tool


So far all as expected. Now head back to your web application, and you will be greeted by the new look Heads Up Display at the bottom of the page, in all its Metro’esque glory.

Glimpse Heads Up Display

The Heads Up Display appears across the bottom of all pages when enabled, providing at a glance key metrics about the page:

  • Key Overall Timing Metrics
    • Overall Time
    • Time spent network communicating
    • Time Spent processing Server Side Code
    • Time until DOM Ready
  • Server Side Processing Breakdown
    • In the MVC case identifying the Controller
    • The Action processing time
    • The View processing time
    • The Time taken by Database queries triggered by the page
  • Realtime updating view of the Ajax Requests

Hovering the mouse over each of these sections gives further information about the metrics in a concise and clear, yet information dense way:
Heads Up Display Detail

More new UI awaits you on clicking the ‘g’ logo in the corner, the traditional way to summon Glimpse’s detailed FireBug like UI to the foreground, which has also had the Metro style make over. If you’ve ever used Glimpse before you will be familiar with the range of information available in here, including the very useful (and even prettier now) Timeline view:

Glimpse Detail View - Timeline

Why Glimpse Works for me

  1. Very, very easy to get up and running
    The ‘Pit Of Success’ is easy to get into, install the package, enable via a URL, and you are reaping the rewards.
  2. Tells me useful information
    Glimpse has the useful metrics, configuration and information readily available – other than enabling it there is nothing more that needs to be done
  3. Friendly and far reaching community
    Nik and Anthony are nice chaps and have fostered a good community round Glimpse, and care about engagement in the open source community. The community is growing with with ever increasing numbers of contributors and extensions for all kinds of things ranging from pure ADO to SignalR – I’ve found the SignalR one useful on a number of occasions
  4. Easy Extension
    It’s pretty simple to start adding your monitoring for your own functionality to a custom Glimpse tab (so easy I’ve managed it!)

I’ve found having the metrics Glimpse provides to be invaluable on a countless occasions, and I encourage you to try it out, or even better, get involved with the project itself.

Full Disclosure – Anthony & Nik gave me a preview of the new Head Up Display functionality a few days ago, which prompted me to tell you how much I’ve liked Glimpse for quite some time – No money exchanged hands, but I might let them buy me a drink when I finally get to meet them both 😉

Afternoon Tea – 19th October 2012 – DDD North 2 Special

Posted by on 19 Oct 2012 | Tagged as: .NET, Afternoon Tea, Development, Morning Brew

DDD North 2 took place last weekend, and brought together a great bunch of speakers and attendees for a fantastic event up in Bradford. Many many thanks to all those who attended, the sponsors, and especially the organisers for making the day (and surrounding days) excellent fun.

A great number of people posted slides, reviews, photos and code online as a result of the event, and I’ve tried to collect together those that I’ve seen via RSS and Twitter. It’s almost certain that I’ve missed an number of posts out, so feel free to chuck links to anything I’ve missed in the comments (and I’ll approve them as they come in).

Speakers / Sessions

Reviews of the day

Future Events

  • DunDDD – Dundee on Saturday 17th November – Registration and session submission open now
  • DDD Brisbane – DDD is an international affair, with the next overseas event taking place in Brisbane on the 1st December. Session submission is open until 4th November

Afternoon Tea – Sunday 10th June 2012

Posted by on 10 Jun 2012 | Tagged as: .NET, Afternoon Tea, ASP.NET, C#, COM Interop, Community, Database, Development, Links, Morning Brew, SysAdmin, Talks / Presentations

It’s been quite a while since the last ‘Afternoon Tea’ post, and there have been quite a lot of significant announcements in the past few weeks, coupled with my being busy at work which has resulted in me building up quite a backlog of links which I really wanted to include in a Morning Brew. This post is my attempt to ‘clear the decks’ and get caught up again, and also provides the perfect excuse to do a link roundup of DDD South West which I had the pleasure of presenting at at the end of last month.


  • Introducing jQuery++ – Justin B Meyer and the folsk over at Bitovi announce the release of jQuery++, a collection of DOM helpers which complement and extend jQuery
  • Bundler.NET – Bundler.NET brings the CSS and JavaScript minification and combining features of .NET 4.5 to earlier versions of .NET. The installation is simple via a NuGet package and the API reflects the .NET 4.5 implementation.
  • bddify is moved to GitHub and is renamed to TestStack.BDDfy – Mehdi Khalili gives an update on TestStack.BDDfy, the project formerly known as bddify, discussing the name change, and change to the projects hosting, along with looking at the structure of the NuGet packages which amke up TestStack.BDDfy.
  • #mvvmlight V4 for Windows 8 RP is available – Laurent Bugnion announces the release of version 4 of his MVVMLight framework for Windows 8 Release Preview
  • Get latest CSS 3 support in Visual Studio 2010 – Mads Kristensen discusses how you can get the latest version of the CSS3 support into your Visual Studio 2010 installation providing a link to the schema files required and giving instructions on getting it setup and installed in Visual Studio 2010
  • Tree Surgeon – Alive and Kicking or Dead and Buried? – Bil Simser gives an update on an old tool that I used to make considerable use of in the past. Tree Surgeon was a tool to create a standardized format of Development Source Tree structure. In this post Bil discusses how the landscape of .NET development has changed in the 4 years since its last release with improvements in T4 Templating and NuGet, and questions if there is a future for the project.
  • Introducing RabbitBus – Derek Greer introduces RabbitBus, a .NET client API implementation for working with RabbitMQ, aiming to provide constructs which are not provided in the standard RabbitMQ .NET client. The library is open source with code available on GitHub, and the installation is available in NuGet package format.


DeveloperDeveloperDeveloper South-West 4.0

Afternoon Tea – Monday 19th September

Posted by on 19 Sep 2011 | Tagged as: .NET, Afternoon Tea, Development, Morning Brew

Catching up on all the great posts from last week and the weekend with a heavy dose of //Build/ content, along with the non-build links that missed out on being included last week.

//Build/ Related


  • Released: Project Silk Client-Side Web Development for Modern Browsers – Karl Shifflett announces the official release of Project Silk – a guidance package for the creation of rich web based experiences using modern web development technologies and techniques. This release comes on the end of a series of preview releases where we have been able to watch the team build the guidance package and the supporting sample application.
  • Announcing Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio 4 Beta – Stathis Papaefstathiou announces the beta release of the first beta of the Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio 4. The major features of this release involve integration of Kinect based functionality for improved Human Robot Interaction, and a Silverlight based CCR Programming model.
  • Windows Azure PowerShell Cmdlets 2.0 have been released! – Michael Washam announces the release of a new version of the Windows Azure PowerShell Cmdlets. This version 2 release adds a number of new and updated cmdlets for improving the Deployment, diagnostics capabilities of Azure from your PowerShell command line.
  • Now Available: The Service Bus September 2011 Release – Clemens Vasters announces the September 2011 release of the Azure Service Bus. The new release improves capabilities in Pub/Sub messaging, enables load balancing capabilities for Intra Application messaging, supports Asynchronous Cloud Eventing and Event Driven Service Oriented Architectures
  • WebMatrix v2 Beta is out… – Greg Duncan highlights the announcement from Simon Tan of the Beta release of WebMatrix V2. This release sees a significant development in the product, and brings with it a range of great new features for development using PHP, JavaScript, and .NET, including NuGet support, and improved data management options and features. Be sure to check out the linked New features document for all the new bits.
  • PlayStation Suite SDK beta coming in November, offering new games in spring 2012 – Engadget highlights the forthcoming Sony PlayStation Suite which will support the use of C# to program games for the various Sony games platforms,


  • ASP.NET MVC 4: New template for web applications, ASP.NET MVC 4: New mobile web application template &ASP.NET MVC 4: Display modes – Gunnar Peipman explore the new ASP.NET MVC 4 application template, giving a preview of the layout, and discussing how it makes better use of CSS and HTML(5), and provides a mobile friendly version before moving on to look at the new Display Modes feature allowing you to conditionally render different views to mobile devices, discussing how you can simulate and test this behaviour using your desktop browser and looking at creating custom display mode rules.
  • Demystifying the Windows 8 Grid Application – Bil Simser takes the wraps off the Metro Grid Application Template included in the Visual Studio 11 Preview release, exploring the structure of the template and how and what each part does.
  • Windows 8 : Metro’s Grid Application – what, how and when ? – Jonathan Antonie also explores the new Windows 8 Metro Grid application template included in Visual Studio 11, looking at the UI Experience and exploring the creation of a sample application using the template.
  • Metro .NET Framework Profile (Windows Tailored) – Sasha Goldshtein discusses the parts of the .NET API which are exposed to the new Metro Style applications, discussing what is in and out, some of the possible work around available to getting at other bits of the framework, and their effects of App Marketplace compliance.
  • NHibernate Pitfalls: Fetch and Lazy, SELECT N + 1 & Merge – Ricardo Peres continues his series focusing on some of the possible problems you as developer can run into using the NHibernate ORM with a look at the condusion around Fetch and he problem of Select N+1 when retrieving complex object graphs, and discusses merging entities back into the session and the backing data store from outside the current Session.
  • Windows 8 – An OS of two halves – Colin Eberhardt shares his thoughts on the Windows 8 dual UI experience, from both a developer and end user perspective, discussing the confusion the two UIs may cause, and how we have to be careful to select the right UI for our applications.
  • Using System.Reflection.Emit in a Windows 8 Metro style Application – Jason Bock discusses the use of Reflection.Emit in Metro applciation by way of including a .NET Class Library to do the reflection emit work, hard coding the reference to the class library assembly, and discussing the probable impact of this technique on your ability to get the Metro application into the market place.
  • Creating Data-driven web apps using ASP.NET 4.5 Web Forms – Kalyan Bandarupalli takes a look at the new model binding functionality available in ASP.NET WebForms 4.5 Preview, looking based upon Damian Edwards session at //Build/
  • Extending configuration in OpenRasta 2.1 – Sebastien Lambla discusses some changes to OpenRasta 2.1 which make extending OpenRasta’s configuration API easier and also support writing extensions for 2.1 which will continue to function in OpenRasta 3.0
  • Effective Xml Part 1: Choose the right API – Pawel Kadluczka starts a series of posts looking at the different APIs provided for working with XML data and documents and looking at whcih approach is best suited to which scenario.
  • The .NET Dictionary – Simon Cooper takes a look at the implementation of the humble .NET Dictionary class, looking at the internal structure used by the dictionary to keep track of items.
  • Creating simple and complex animations with JQuery in ASP.Net applications – Nikolaos Kantzelis discusses animations using jQuery, sharing some samples which illustrate varying levels of complexity of animation
  • What is the cost of try/catch – Ayende discusses one of the misunderstandings people commonly have with try/catch exception handling – that there is actually no performance penalty in using Try / Catch in your code unless exceptions are thrown.

Afternoon Tea – Monday 8th August

Posted by on 08 Aug 2011 | Tagged as: .NET, Afternoon Tea, Community

Those who follow me on Twitter may recall a few weeks back I mused over doing a daily follow up to the main Morning Brew posting in the afternoon with some of the links that didn’t quite make it into the main Morning Brew. This is where the concept of ‘Afternoon Tea’ came about – and for now I will be occasionally producing these posts to complement The Morning Brew, probably with a more relaxed and varied format than the daily Morning Brew posts. With that introduction out of the way, here is what I have in store today:

Competition – Win a place at the SkillsMatter / London .NET Usergroup Progressive .NET Tutorials

The kind folks at Skills Matter have allowed me 2 tickets to give away for the Progressive .NET Tutorials event being held in London next month. The event is a commercial training opportunity, running over three days (Monday 5th to Wednesday 7th September) and is organised in conjunction with the London .NET UserGroup. Each day features two tracks, with two in-depth sessions / Workshops on each of the tracks from great speakers (many of them with articles which have been featured in The Morning Brew) talking on their areas of authority.

Full details of the event can be found on Skills Matter’s site and you can get 50 off the regular registration fee of 425 using PromoCode PROGNET50 when registering.

As mentioned earlier, I have 2 tickets to give away to lucky readers, so to be in with a chance of winning, let me know what your drink of choice is when you read The Morning Brew by tweeting:


‘Reading @calcock’s #TheMorningBrew with a (cup|mug) of <InsertDrinkHere>


at some point before I publish Friday’s Morning Brew when I will pick (at random, or as close as I can manage) the two lucky winners.

Community Events and News

There are plenty of great Community conferences and community events coming up over the next few months:

If you are involved in running a conference or similar community event either here in the UK, or further afield that you think Morning Brew readers may be interested in then please drop me a note.

Link Overflow

Quite a few people have been emailing me links to articles they have written or found intersting recently – some have made their way into the normal Morning Brew posts, but I’ve also been overrun with good content recently so not as many as I would like have made the transition. If you email me a link that is of Brew interest I generally subscribe to the RSS feed of the blog so I will see future posts when preparing the Morning Brew – and I always welcome link suggestions – if you’ve found something interested, or written something you think the rest of the world needs to see please drop me a note.

So, without further ado, here are a few links which slipped through the cracks: