Testing a website with a root path

This post is really a reminder to myself, so that I can find the information quickly for the next time I reformat my hard drive!

To run a website with a root path in Visual Studio 2005 follow these steps:
  1. Tools->External tools menu
  2. Click Add
  3. Title = Webserver
  4. Command = C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\WebDev.WebServer.EXE
  5. Arguments = /port:8080 /path:$(ProjectDir)
  6. Tick "Use output window"
Whenever you need the webserver running just open your project and go to Tools->Webserver.


Calling base constructors in C#

I occasionally find it annoying that I cannot specify at which point in a class's constructor I wish to invoke the base constructor. Having C# always invoke it before any of the code in my descendant constructor is executed sometimes causes me problems.

Considering .NET is capable of calling the ancestor constructor at any point I wondered why C# wont allow it. I contacted Anders Hejlsberg and he was kind enough to reply, unfortunately he seems to have answered a question I didn't ask :-)

Anyway, I have been deleting some old emails today and I came across his response, which he gave me permission to publish:

The problem with Delphi's model (allowing constructors to be called on
an already constructed object) is that it makes it impossible to have
provably immutable objects. Immutability is an important concept because
it allows applications to hand objects to an external party without
first copying those objects and still have a guarantee that the objects
won't be modified. If constructors can be called on already constructed
objects it obviously isn't possible to make such guarantees. In Delphi's
case that may be ok since Delphi doesn't really make type safety
guarantees anyway (you can cast any object reference to a
pointer-to-something and start poking away), but .NET goes further with
type safety and this would be a big hole.

There, now get out of my head ;-)



SQL Server amazes me!

Well, SQL Server amazes me, but not because I am impressed!

Today I wrote an application that does the following:
01) Find all ZIP files in a specific folder
02) Open each ZIP file in turn
03) Extract an XML file from the ZIP into an array of bytes
04) Insert that data into a table

There are 1,978 files in this folder and the XML within each ZIP file is around 2MB in size.

I ran this app and was really surprised at how soon my PC started to crawl, it was so slow that it was taking over 10 seconds to switch between MSN and a Skype text-chat window. So I decided to monitor the process.....

Importing the zip data into SQL Server took a total of 19 minutes and 15 seconds (this includes unzip time). What concerns me is that SQL Server's RAM usage went up to 830MB at its peak, this is what was crippling my PC. Twenty minutes after my app had finished SqlSevr.exe was still holding over 700MB of RAM, I then restarted my PC. SQL Server was using more RAM than I had available and was forcing my PC to use virtual memory!

So I decided to try FireBird 2.0

Importing the zip data into FB took a total of 15 minutes and 15 seconds (again including unzip time). RAM usage for FB started at 21MB but dropped to 16MB at home point within the first 5 minutes. It's memory consumption remained at 16MB.

In both cases I was creating + committing a transaction around each INSERT command. In fact it was the exact same code, I just did a search + replace from Sql to Fb.




Today my baby girl looked at me, said "DaDa" for the first time ever, and then giggled. What a great day! :-)