NullifyNetwork

The blog and home page of Simon Soanes
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Are you having issues with loading the designer and getting InvalidOperationException and a NamedPipeTimeout trying to connect?

Open a PowerShell in Admin mode and run this to set an exclusion in Defender for the design server:-

Add-MpPreference -ExclusionProcess 'DesignToolsServer.exe'
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I just upgraded this site to .NET 6, I thought it was over due with the release of Visual Studio 2022 having happened a while ago now.  Great to see it was a quick and easy upgrade, the performance has improved even more on the new version too.  I just updated the build version, compiled, then fixed some warnings caused by RenderPartial, I'm pleased to see they sorted that deadlock!

I also took the time to switch to Alpine Linux as the docker container hosting it as it's my preferred Linux distribution, however found I needed to solve the ICU issue (the MS SQL Server client expecting to have localisation libraries) by getting the packages during the container build:-

FROM mcr.microsoft.com/dotnet/aspnet:6.0-alpine AS base
WORKDIR /app
EXPOSE 80
EXPOSE 443
RUN apk add --no-cache icu-libs
ENV DOTNET_SYSTEM_GLOBALIZATION_INVARIANT=false

Oddly when building the ARM64 containers for the dev version of the site that runs on a pair of Raspberry PI's I also encountered a problem with the cross-compilation of docker containers, but that was easily fixed by running the below on the host building the containers as part of the pipeline:-

docker run --rm --privileged multiarch/qemu-user-static --reset -p yes
This allowed the ARM components inside the 6.0-alpine-arm64v8 container to work so the apk command didn't error.
 
Other than the above it was seamless, and it's nice to switch to an even smaller container size.
 
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Happy new year to anyone still reading this, it has been more than 21 years I've written on this blog, varying from extensive articles to years where I've not felt the need to say anything at all (including last year!).  I just this week completely rebuilt this blog to run on .NET 5 and be hosted under Docker, no changes to paths, content, etc. but it's good to keep things current and modern and each rewrite I distill it further and make it simpler.

With the move to a more digital way of running businesses and all the working from home it's an interesting time for a technologist.  A decade ago this would have been possible but unlikely to be something we'd end up doing for real or such a prolonged period, now it suddenly normal.  It seemed appropriate to confirm all is well for anyone that still does look.

Life/work update: I've been managing a team of developers for the last few years now, I am still staying as technical as I can and run regular training sessions for my team.  I'm doing fairly well.

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For the last year I went permanent and I've been a Delivery Lead managing about 30 people and a swathe of business applications.  It's good fun, and I've still got the ability to be really deeply technical or help my team members with actual programming at times - I'm glad to have a great team who can do most things on their own.

I've just updated this site with the latest version of the code that runs it (I did a complete re-write, though the layout is exactly the same for the moment).  If anyone spots anything broken please e-mail me.

I'm still around and doing fine.  My company (Fizl Ltd) is still in existance and sitting there ready for me to use for things.

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I can't believe it's still a thing; I've encountered this error repeatedly since the release of Windows Identity Foundation and have just encountered it again with Azure AD and MVC.  You just have to add this somewhere before using an AntiForgeryToken in MVC:-

AntiForgeryConfig.UniqueClaimTypeIdentifier = "http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/ws/2005/05/identity/claims/name";

To get past the error:-

A claim of type 'http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/ws/2005/05/identity/claims/nameidentifier' or 'http://schemas.microsoft.com/accesscontrolservice/2010/07/claims/identityprovider' was not present on the provided ClaimsIdentity.

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Well I had a very bad year with my father passing away and various business related things like the umbrella company I was using going insolvent and taking an amount of my money with it (and I expect a few more road bumps over the next few months as things settle down) I'm hoping for a better year going forward.  Many of the things that happened have just pushed me to adapt.

I know I haven't posted blog articles properly in years as I've been constantly trying to avoid posting work related items (as I've been contracting for others), I've been doing some interesting research myself recently and hope to talk more about that instead soon though there are a few hurdles to overcome before there's anything useful produced from it.  I do need to get back in the habbit of doing my own things though, I have buried my head into my customers work like it was sand without thinking of my own reality and that needs to change.

I have lots of ideas for Fizl Ltd to do in the future too so I wish any readers that remain well and hope you will remain patient - pretty easy with an RSS reader.

First things first though, this site needs an upgrade and some new content...

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I'm still alive and contracting, I've been radio silent for some time because I don't really want to talk about anything related to my employer on here and hadn't done much personal software development for a while.  About six months ago I started to do some again so hopefully will resume posting.

I've just finished a full set of server upgrades for my off-site physical servers (nice new hardware, and to Windows Server 2012r2), if you were hosted on them and haven't contributed for more than ten years or so your accounts may not work when you try to get in as I didn't migrate those people.  I may still have copies of your content if you ask before the old servers are turned off.

I still have spare capacity for friends to use on the servers (much more than previously actually).  For those of you using the teamspeak server, it's still on on the same address beta.nullify.net but the IP will have changed.  Let me know if there are any issues.

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Well, I managed to go almost a year without posting which is pretty bad.  I'm still contracting and haven't had anything interesting to post technically but the new items at the Build conference looked good.

I've been pre-occupied for ages now with getting my own house sorted but it's finally looking like it's almost there.

I hope to get a chance to post more useful content in the future but I really need to do something about this website being a bit out of date!

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Not sure anyone is still reading this, but I've not really been blogging while contracting for semi-obvious reasons; I'll be leaving this post here at the top just to confirm I am still alive and will post some interesting stuff about both Workflow Foundation and 3D engine development in the future.

All but a few of my servers are now upgraded to Server 2012 or FreeBSD and I'm ditching the remaining Linux ones, overall I've been finding Server 2012 a solid platform and while the initial version had power management bugs and various other quirks updates have really improved it.  It has made things like Active Directory extremely lightweight too.

I've also been making a 3d engine in my spare time (though only putting in a concerted effort over holidays!) so should have plenty to say about geometry/meshes, collision detection, mouse movement, shaders and physics.  I also toyed with flow-field pathfinding and am amazed how effective it can be with so little code so hopefully that'll be the subject of a few blog posts on its own.

TFS 2012 has been an awesome platform for doing builds and keeping track of what I was working on given quite lengthy gaps too.

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You can download the theme editor from here.  I have started to get used to the colours to be honest, though they are still substantially worse than the VS2010 scheme.  Commence the addition of colour!

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I'm still contracting so haven't posted much at all but I am still alive!  This is just a quick note because it's nice to see people like Microsoft have taken world IPv6 launch day seriously and enabled their main websites permanently with AAAA records.

Unfortunatey major UK ISP's haven't yet enabled it for their customers (JANET excluded), but the smaller ones (and international carriers) are shining through and able to provide service.

I took the IPv6 Enabled logo off my site; however I'm proud to say it has been enabled here for the last eight years or so.

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Microsoft have just released version 5 of Silverlight, the tools for VS2010, the developer runtime and the full runtime!

Hopefully this isn't the end of Silverlight as the media are currently speculating, I'm hopeful that there'll be an announcement of a Silverlight 6 but either way Silverlight 5 has a ten year support cycle and is the underlying technology behind Windows Phone 7 and Windows 8 (albeit with different naming, etc.).

I've been very impressed with the capabilities of WPF/Silverlight and hope that it gets the resources it deserves.

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This has been delaying my release of an upgraded version of this blog for months now, and has also meant that I have chosen to use Linq To SQL on several large projects when working (Linq To SQL fully supports this scenario despite being the 2nd class citizen in entity mapping at Microsoft), Paul Patterson explains it quite well here so I can be lazy and just link to his article:-

http://www.paulspatterson.com/technology/dot-net-development/entity-framework-4-and-sql-uniqueidentifier-bug/

I wasn't willing to employ his fix though, it was frustrating and would get overwritten whenever the schema was updated however I have just found that there is a hotfix for this now available from Microsoft so that you can correctly configure the EDMX in entity framework to support the rowguid correctly:-

http://connect.microsoft.com/VisualStudio/Downloads/DownloadDetails.aspx?DownloadID=37957

This isn't perfect as you still need to manually set the StoreGeneratedPattern option on the rowguid columns to Identity, but it is certainly better than the total failure that was the case before!  Hopefully they will consider better support for replication, guid's and server-generated values in future versions.

I guess this means I can finally switch to Entity Framework and get my new site version released... :)

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Haven't had time to blog around work (figured I should at least post once a year though), but I'm pleased to see large companies suddenly enabling their IPv6 implementations today, it has been a rough ride.  I've seen a gradual climb in IPv6 end users (and web and mail servers) for some time now and it's very pleasing to see it gradually approaching critical mass.

With my network fully IPv6 enabled for some time now thanks to Hurricane Electric (and more recently Goscomb Technologies too) I am looking forward to the time when there's no more NAT being deployed, or at least not in the same fashion.

Edit: I'm glad to see Microsoft as one of the first companies to get their sites advertising their AAAA records today, curtesy of Akamai.  The rapid climb towards 100% amongst the participating companies is excellent to see, partcularly as the agreed start time is midnight UTC rather than british summer time when this post is being made (visible at http://www.worldipv6day.org/participants-dashboard/index.html and http://v6day.ripe.net/cgi-bin/index.cgi)

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Just a quick note to say that I've been contracting for a while now and have avoided posting anything/not had much to post about but that I'm still around.

I did go to the Microsoft PDC's virtual event in Reading, UK so should really have been evangelizing about how great it is that there'll be private Azure clouds now but I've not really had a proper opportunity to investigate that yet, but perhaps the next post will be related to that.

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