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Posts Tagged ‘HowTo’

HowTo: Reset browser cache of CSS files upon ASP.net MVC app publish

On an ASP.net MVC webapp I’m maintaining, I had the issue that due to caching of older CSS (stylesheet) files in the browser, if the user didn’t press F5/refresh, it wasn’t showing you some message (since I had added the class .center-horiz-vert in the CSS that didn’t exist in the older cached css the browser had).

Instead of changing web.config to stop cachine of CSS files (in which case it would bring the CSS on every page load which is an overkill), I expanded on an idea mentioned by Maxim Kornilov on SO (https://stackoverflow.com/a/12992813/903783), on making the CSS URLs webapp version specific.

I added a fake version parameter to the URLs with the build number as value so that till I publish a new build the browser caches the CSS, but when I upload a new build it brings the new one since it cache with the url as a key (that now includes the build number as a dummy url parameter that the webserver will ignore and just fetch the CSS file when requested)

Maxim’s example was in ASP/ASP.net WebForms syntax instead of MVC’s and Razor Pages’ newer Razor syntax), so I contributed my solution for the case of an ASP.net MVC webapp that wants to serve a fresh copy of CSS files on every new build that you publish (will do this whether the CSS file has changed or not) so that browsers don’t use older cached copies of the file. Obviously this expands to any kind of files you link/load into your webpages via a URL.

1) Added to the webapp’s main class (was called MvcApplication) in Global.asax.cs

#region Versioning

public static string Version => 
typeof(MvcApplication).Assembly.GetName().Version.ToString();
//note: syntax requires C# version >=6 public static DateTime LastUpdated =>
File.GetLastWriteTime(typeof(MvcApplication).Assembly.Location); #endregion

the someProperty => someReadOnlyExpression syntax is just shorthand for someProperty { get { return … ;} } possible since C# 6

2) in its Content/_Layout.cshtml file I used to have the following to show build number and build datetime (based on the webapp’s main assembly) on the page footer:

Version @ViewContext.Controller.GetType().Assembly.GetName().Version 
(@string.Format("{0:yyyy/MM/dd-HH:mm:ss}",
@File.GetLastWriteTime(ViewContext.Controller.GetType().Assembly.Location)))

which I changed to the simpler:

Version @somewebappname.MvcApplication.Version
(@string.Format("{0:yyyy/MM/dd-HH:mm:ss}",
somewebappname.MvcApplication.LastUpdated))

3) it was loading the CSS via hardcoded link in _Layout.cshtml (still refactoring it) which I changed to:

<link href='@Url.Content("~/Content/Site.css?version=" + 
somewebappname.MvcApplication.Version)' rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" />

so if one right-clicks in the webpage and they do view source they see:

<link href='/Content/Site.css?version=2.1.5435.22633' 
rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" />

that is the CSS url is version specific thanks to the dummy parameter version

If a random number was used instead it would fetch the CSS at every page load which is usually undesired, especially if you are already pushing a new webapp build instead of individual page changes to the web server (so that you do have access to a build number that you can inject into URLs).

Note that to achieve auto-incrementing of build number, at Properties/AssemblyInfo.cs I have (see How to have an auto incrementing version number (Visual Studio)?):

// Version information for an assembly consists of the following four values:
//
//      Major Version
//      Minor Version 
//      Build Number
//      Revision
//
// You can specify all the values or you can default the Revision 
// and Build Numbers by using the '*' as shown below: [assembly: AssemblyVersion("1.0.*")] //[assembly: AssemblyFileVersion("1.0.*")]
// don't use boh AssemblyVersion and AssemblyFileVersion with auto-increment

Fix: Invalid Firmware Image at Dell Inspiron 3537 BIOS update

For some time now I was trying to update the BIOS of an older Dell Inspiron 3537 laptop from inside Windows (with the InsydeFlash application that the respective Dell update package employs), only to get a blue screen saying Invalid Firmware Image upon reboot and the BIOS update was skipped every time.

Since that update was fixing a critical security issue (Intel Security Advisory INTEL-SA-00115 – CVE-2018-3639 & CVE-2018-3640), I decided to do some more research on it. I eventually came to the conclusion that since I had A9 BIOS version, I needed to install BIOS version A10 first (which addresses CVE-2017-5715 and associated Intel Reboot issue), then try the BIOS version A11 update that the Dell Support online was offering.

Luckily there was a Dell BIOS update guide that was suggesting to visit Dell downloads catalog to find older updates, from where I found all Dell Inspiron 3537 updates and was able to locate the A10 BIOS update.

Updating the BIOS from version A9 (the version I had, as displayed at “Current BIOS” field on the InsydeFlash UI) to A10 and then after reboot from A10 to A11 with the respective update executables worked fine. Can confirm the update is done by launching the update once more and then just Cancel.

image

HowTo: round a number up to N decimal digits in Javascript

Was just trying to round-off some Google Maps coordinates for display in Javascript up to 3 decimal digits and that was a bit like a blast from the past (the end of the ‘90s to be more accurate)…

So here’s my contributed answer at:
https://stackoverflow.com/questions/2221167/javascript-formatting-a-rounded-number-to-n-decimals

This works for rounding to N digits (if you just want to truncate to N digits remove the Math.round call and use the Math.trunc one):

function roundN(value, digits) {
   var tenToN = 10 ** digits;
   return /*Math.trunc*/(Math.round(value * tenToN)) / tenToN;
}

Had to resort to such logic at Java in the past when I was authoring data manipulation E-Slate components. That is since I had found out that adding 0.1 many times to 0 you’d end up with some unexpectedly long decimal part (this is due to floating point arithmetics).

A user comment at Format number to always show 2 decimal places calls this technique scaling.

Some mention there are cases that don’t round as expected and at http://www.jacklmoore.com/notes/rounding-in-javascript/ this is suggested instead:

function round(value, decimals) {
  return Number(Math.round(value+'e'+decimals)+'e-'+decimals);
}

image

HowTo: Use latest C# features in MVC5 Razor views (.cshtml)

Having recently updated an ASP.net MVC web app from MVC4 to MVC5 and from .NET 4.5 to .NET 4.7.2 I was expecting Razor views (.cshtml files) to use the latest C# compiler, especially since at Properties/Build/Advanced option for the web project one read “C# latest major version (default)”.

However that was not the case and trying to use newer C# language features like the ?. ternary conditional operator or interpolated strings (or nameof etc.) would show errors like

Feature ‘interpolated strings’ is not available in C# 5. Please use language version 6 or greater.

Luckily there is a workaround for using the latest C# compiler in MVC5. Just need to add the NuGet package https://www.nuget.org/packages/Microsoft.CodeDom.Providers.DotNetCompilerPlatform/ to one’s project as explained at https://dusted.codes/using-csharp-6-features-in-aspdotnet-mvc-5-razor-views. Alternatively one could move their project to ASP.net Core, which is a more drastic move though.

After doing it I started seeing Intellisense issues in .cshtml like:

The type ‘Expression<>’ is defined in an assembly that is not referenced. You must add a reference to assembly ‘System.Core …

Tried to add the System.Core assembly to the project, but wasn’t allowed (it said the Build system was adding it). Adding System.Core as a NuGet package would mean moving to .NET Core which I wasn’t ready to try with that project yet.

Seems there was an easy solution to that, just closed and reopened the Visual Studio solution and did a Rebuild and all was fine after that.

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How-to: get int value via ADO.net SqlDataReader using column name

Based on Sam Holder’s answer at https://stackoverflow.com/questions/7388475/reading-int-values-from-sqldatareader/54296026, just contributed an extension method for fetching Int32 values via ADO.net’s SqlDataReader, without jumping through hoops (aka first fetch column ordinal [number] by name, then fetching the int value passing the column ordinal).

Would be nice if Microsoft was providing such things out of the box.

namespace adonet.extensions
{
  public static class AdonetExt
  {
    public static int GetInt32(this SqlDataReader reader, string columnName)
    {
      return reader.GetInt32(reader.GetOrdinal(columnName));
    }
  }
}

and use it like this

using adonet.extensions;

//…

int farmsize = reader.GetInt32("farmsize");

assuming there is no GetInt32(string) already in SqlDataReader – if there is any, just use some other method name instead

HowTo: change color of validation messages in ASP.net MVC

If you need to customize the colors (or do more restyling) of validation messages in ASP.net MVC, the following snippet from a discussion on ASP.net forums should be useful:

Add to Content/Site.css:

/* styles for validation helpers */

.field-validation-error {
    color: #b94a48;
}

.field-validation-valid {
    display: none;
}

input.input-validation-error {
    border: 1px solid #b94a48;
}

select.input-validation-error {
    border: 1px solid #b94a48;
}

input[type="checkbox"].input-validation-error {
    border: 0 none;
}

.validation-summary-errors {
    color: #b94a48;
}

.validation-summary-valid {
    display: none;
}

Other useful replies from there:

@Html.ValidationSummary(true,"",new {@style= "color: red"})

The method for MVC 5 + Bootstrap is:
@Html.ValidationSummary(true, "", new { @class = "text-danger" })

HowTo: Fix DVD/CD with Live filesystem (Packet/UDF) on Windows

The other day I found how easy it is to use a Live CD/DVD (where packet writing occurs when adding stuff) instead of a Mastered one (where all is kept to be written when you close the disk) on Windows.

It feels more like using a USB flash disk and should be more safe regarding losing data in the long run if you want to keep some file archive. In theory at least, since there are cases the live disk last write operation may fail and it may appear as an unreadable disk after one, making funny noises when you insert it and freezing for long time periods Windows Explorer when you try to access it.

However, the UDF filesystem that it uses keeps multiple VAT tables for the blocks written to the disk, which means it can be restored to the last workable state of the disk (you might still lose data from the last block I guess, but you’ll have access to the rest of the files you had written to the disk). For any files you find missing, you can try file recovery software with deep search option, like ISOBuster.

To restore such a disk back to working state, on Windows 10 you can right click the Start menu button and from the context (popup) menu shown, you can select to run PowerShell as Administrator. Then you can write CMD and press ENTER. The classic command-line shell (DOS syntax) will open up, where you should type-in chkdsk /f e: (replacing e: with the letter of the drive where the problematic disk has been inserted – can find that one easily from Windows Explorer / My Computer) and press ENTER again.

The disk should be detected as being of UDF format and the disk checking (chkdsk) command will check for a valid VAT on the last written block and if it can’t will try to revert the media to a previous state, before the corruption occurred by placing at the the end of the disk the last valid VAT.

Windows PowerShell
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> cmd
Microsoft Windows [Version 10.0.17134.165]
(c) 2018 Microsoft Corporation. Με επιφύλαξη κάθε νόμιμου δικαιώματος.

C:\WINDOWS\system32>chkdsk /f e:
The type of the file system is UDF.
Volume Μουσική is UDF version 2.01.

Chkdsk is running on media that does not support writes in place.
On such media chkdsk operation is limited to verifying the presence
of a valid VAT on the last written block and if necessary searching
for the last valid VAT and placing it at the end of the disk.
This could revert the media to a previous state before the corruption
occured.

Chkdsk could not find a valid VAT at the end of the volume.

CHKDSK is searching for a valid VAT …

And after some ages (stayed at 0% for some time and then took around a day progressing slowly on my machine for a DVD) you’ll hopefully see something like:

Search for VAT completed.
Chkdsk is copying last valid VAT at block 1722719 to the end of the
volume. This will revert the volume to its state at 01:13 on
10/09/2018.

Windows has made corrections to the file system.
No further action is required.

   4595200 KB total disk space.
    222240 KB available on disk.

      2048 bytes in each allocation unit.
   2297600 total allocation units on disk.
    111120 allocation units available on disk.

Then type exit followed by ENTER key twice to exit the command processor (cmd) and PowerShell. This will close the console window.

C:\WINDOWS\system32>exit
PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> exit

Enjoy your disk with its files again, hopefully all of them… Plus you’ll be able to add more files to the disk, which could have even been near to empty when the corruption had occurred. Note that when you’re finished and don’t want to write anymore files to the disk, you can right click it and close the session, so that it can be readable on more systems.

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