XML Intellisense in Visual Studio 2005

Last week, a colleague told me how to get intellisense support in xml documents in the VS2005 IDE. It is really easy, although there are some interesting quirks in the process.

To pull this off, you first need to get an xsd file that defines your xml file. The IDE uses the xsd file to know what elements and attributes are available for a specified location in the document.

The next step is to get at the property grid for your xml file. Just selecting the file in Solution Explorer and then displaying the Properties window doesn't give you the property grid contents that you need. This property grid view just displays the generic properties for a file, rather than being more specific to the xml file type. To get at the property that needs to be changed, open the xml file and show the Properties window. You should now see that a Schema property is available.

Set the Schemas property value to the file path to your xsd file. I have found that the editor for the Schemas property is quite broken. The Add button doesn't work and also has a few other issues. It's easiest to just copy and paste the file path from explorer to the property grid rather than fighting with the editor dialog.


The goods are arriving

Just a couple of days ago, I went to the Perisher Blue site to see how the snow was going. There was nothing but grass apart from a light dusting at the top of the high mountains.

It's a little different now.




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TaskbarEx - control your taskbar

Just came across TaskbarEx via Blizzle. I've always wanted to be able to reorder the items on my taskbar so this little app rocks! It is a little buggy and should have a few extra features (like dragging buttons back onto the taskbar), but TaskbarEx is a really cool app. Oh, and the great thing is that the source is available.

Lima 1.0 Beta 1

One thing that has always been a little annoying about downloading files is when there is no direct link available on a web page to a file that I want to get. This means that I can't right-click on a link and select where I want the file to be downloaded to.

I have just put Lima together. It is a very simple file download utility which makes getting file references in html downloaded without having them load into the browser or any other application.

Lima is written in VB on the .Net 2.0 framework. You will need to install the 2.0 .Net framework before installing Lima.

Lima 1-0 Beta 1

Download: Lima1-0Beta1Setup.msi (382.50 kb)

Lima 1.0 Help

If you have any issues with this version, please let me know.

Lima 1.0 Help

Lima is a simple web file downloading utility that allows you to directly download a file and specify where to store it.

Usually, web pages will present a direct hyperlink to a file. Left-clicking on the link will cause the browser to download the file and take a preset action, while right-clicking on a link will give you the opportunity to download the file and save it to a specified location. 

Direct hyperlinks to files are not always available. These will be CSS, script or multimedia files that are embedded in the web page. As mentioned above, to use the browser to download these embedded references (by putting their url into the address bar) would cause the browser to take its predefined action. The browser will usually display the file in the browser, load the file into a plugin in the browser or run an external application to load the file.

Lima is useful for downloading files that are not available through a direct hyperlink on a webpage.

To use Lima, enter the url of the file and select Download. Lima will attempt to determine some information about the file you are trying to download and will prompt you as to where to save the file. You may also determine what action Lima should take once the file is downloaded.

CSS/Control Adapters - The word is almost out

I have been developing some control adapters over the last month. Control adapters are really cool stuff for ASP.Net. They allow you to modify the rendering behavior of a control in a way that is independent from the control and the web site code. Scott Guthrie posted about control adapters late last year and again more recently.

One of the greatest uses I have come across for control adapters is for developers to use controls that they are familiar with, such as the intrinsic ASP.Net controls, but modify the html they produce to be more suitable to the application. I am involved in a web project that requires CSS to be used for document layout rather than tables. By using adapters, I can allow the developers to use a FormView control which they are familiar with and the adapter will take over the rendering of that control to ensure that tables are not rendered.

I was going to put out an example of creating adapters, but it looks like the ASP.Net crew might beat me to it. I kind of suspect their solutions might be different to mine so it will be interesting to see what they come out with.